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2018 New Guitar Pedals of the Year

Ambient EffectsAnalog DelayBeetronics FXBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBondi EffectsBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDryBell EffectsDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEQFlangerFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGamechanger AudioGated and Velcro FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHorizon DevicesJackson AudioJHS PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionModulationMulti-DriveOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOrigin EffectsOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRed Panda EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationShimmer ReverbSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStone Deaf EffectsSubdecay EffectsTape DelayThorpyFXTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVox Style DistortionWamplerWMD DevicesZvex+-
2018GPXPedalsOfTheYear700-min.jpg

2018 has been a really surprising year for pedals - there have been quite a few unexpected innovations along the way with also some of the usual production delays and holdups. As I write this I am still waiting for my long-overdue Jackson Audio Bloom to arrive - but I expect it will be worth the delay. I would have liked to have seen the Empress Zoia despatched this year too, as sort of predicted though - I feel that it will be pushed into next year - to coincide with Winter NAMM possibly - in ...

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9 of the Best Chase Bliss Audio Pedals - A Full House at last!

Analog DelayBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDelayDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersEQFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKlone and Transparent OverdriveModulated FuzzModulationMulti-DriveOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingReverbSilicon FuzzUtilityWah and Fixed Wah+-
2018GPXChaseBlissFullHouse700-min.jpg

With the recent launch of the superb and innovative Dark World Reverb Joel Korte’s Chase Bliss Audio can now provide you with a full pedalboard’s complement of stompboxes. It’s with some sadness that I bemoan the retirement of the still superb Spectre BKM Flanger - it obviously wasn’t shifting enough units to keep its place in the lineup - but I still love and support it!

 

I really don’t think that the Dark World will ever experience similar issues - who&...

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Pedal-Chain State of the Union Autumn Harvest & End of Year Upheavals

Abracadabra AudioAmbient EffectsBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorCustom TonesDecibelicsDelayDelay WorkstationDiezel AmplificationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDigiTechDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEchoverbEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideFeaturedFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchHarmonizerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctaverOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOrigin EffectsOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbPower SuppliesRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationRing ModulationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSlicer and StutterSource AudioSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTC ElectronicTech 21 NYCToneQuestTremoloUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWamplerXotic Effects+-
2018GPXSKSignalChainMkVII700-min.jpg

UPDATE 1 - It’s often the case that just after you publish, something big happens which forces a change of stance. On this occasion it was the release of the truly amazing Wampler Pantheon Overdrive which has immediately found its way into Slot #10 of the chain. In fact I have sort of swapped slots #10 and #12 around - relegating the Spaceman Aphelion to a supporting role for now.

 

UPDATE 2 - Still no word from Jackson Audio on the delayed Bloom Compressor etc. - which means the ...

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Best of Italian Guitar Pedals and Pedal Builders

AC NoisesAcoustic SimulatorBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveCornerstone Music GearDelayDigital DelayEffects Pedal MakersFoxgearF-PedalsFTelettronicaFuzzGurus AmpsKlone and Transparent OverdriveMastro ValvolaModulated FuzzModulationNexihum Sound CultOddball FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserSilicon FuzzSIM1Tape DelayTremolo+-
2018GPXItalianPedalMakers700-min.jpg

With its still world-leading designer manufacturing industries I expect Italian pedal-makers to exhibit a certain degree of flair and pizzazz. So I was a touch disappointed when I came across so many poorly designed websites and often rather mediocre designs of pedals. That’s not to say there aren’t some leading lights here which raise the tone - but overall with the glut of pedal-makers I reviewed, I felt that as a nation they did not quite live up to their billing or imaginary ...

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Best of German Guitar Pedals and Pedal Builders

AmpsAnalog DelayBitcrushing and Lo-FiBluGuitarBoostBoost and OverdriveDelayDiezel AmplificationDistortionEffects Pedal MakersGigging AmpHexe EffectsHome-Play AmpJPTR FXKMA AudioLehleMetal DistortionModulationNeo InstrumentsNobelsOKKO FXOverdrivePhaserRotary SpeakerTube AmpTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtility+-
2018GPXBestOfGermanPedals-min.jpg

After the Best of French roundup, the German leg of the European tour turned out to be quite arduous. Germany have easily as many pedal builders as he UK but with a little more strength in depth. There’s a mix of everything from Germany - both vintage and innovation, and they’re of course very strong in the area of overdrive and distortion as backed up by their many superb high-gain amp builders.

 

Overall, I felt that there were a few more brands here that I was familiar ...

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Best of French Guitar Pedals and Pedal Builders

770-CircuitsAnasoundsBoostBoost and OverdriveBuffalo FXCoda EffectsEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGlou GlouJacques StompboxesKlone and Transparent OverdriveModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzSuper-Fuzz StyleThrilltoneTremoloTube OverdriveTubescreamer Style OverdriveTwo Notes Audio EngineeringUtilityZorg Effects+-
2018GPXFrenchPedalMakers700V2-min.jpg

I’m really enjoying researching French Pedal-Makers and discovering so many new brands, while figuring out also that a lot of French Pedal Brand lists are horribly out-of-date as many of those companies previously listed have ceased trading over the last 10 years or so. This follows on from the Best of British and Best of Canadian Pedal Builders and as I am really enjoying doing this sort of thing I will probably stretch the series out to 10 or so articles - as long as I can find enough ...

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Best of Canadian Guitar Pedals and Pedal Builders

6 Degrees FXAleks K ProductionAnalog DelayBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoDelayDelay WorkstationDiamond PedalsDigital DelayDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveEffects Pedal MakersEmpress EffectsFairfield CircuitryFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGround Control AudioIndustrialectricKingsley AmplifiersKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationMontreal AssemblyMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOddball DelayOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserRadial EngineeringRat Style FuzzRetro-SonicREVV AmplificationSilicon FuzzSolidGoldFXSonic CrayonSouthampton PedalsSuper-Fuzz StyleTone Bender Style FuzzTone Hungry EffectsToneboneTube OverdriveTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionWounded Paw Audio+-
2018GPXCanadianPedals700V6-min.jpg

This follows on from my earlier article on British Pedal Builders - I had no immediate plans to do a series of these, but there are definitely certain nations that excel in pedal-making which I quite enjoy featuring. I need not really include the most prodigious - the USA as most pedals still come from there, but will focus on some of the smaller nations and do fairly compact roundups of each. As I said I had no plans originally beyond British, but will likely do French, German, Italian, ...

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Classic VFE Pedals are Available once more for a Short While including most of my personal favourites

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveDistortionDriveDual-DriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionModulationMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePetter RutterPhaserRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeVFE PedalsVonRutter Family Effects+-
2018GPX12BestVFEPedals700-min.jpg

I am a big fan of Peter Rutter’s VFE Pedals (VonRutter Family Effects) and currently own 4, with twice as many on my wishlist. Peter has been building pedals since 2009, after getting inspired by doing a BYOC ’Confidence Booster’ DIY kit build the year before. It was not long before he was devising his own line of pedals - which would become the Alpha Dog, Blueprint, Bumblebee, Fiery Red Horse, Old School, Pale Horse, and The Scream. The last two mentioned being very different...

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12 of the Best Compact Phaser Pedals for Your Consideration

Alexander PedalsBossChase Bliss AudioElectro-HarmonixFlattley Guitar PedalsModulationMXROld Blood Noise EndeavorsPhaserRed House ElectronicsSkreddy PedalsSubdecay EffectsTC ElectronicZvex+-
2018GPX12CompactPhasers700-min.jpg

After writing ’4 Next Level Medium Enclosure Phasers’ I thought it was time to revisit the compact format phasers to see if my take on those had changed since I last considered them. As mentioned, I currently have 3 phasers, the Chase Bliss Wombtone II, the Alexander Pedals La Calavera, and the Mini MXR Phase 95. As far as I’m concerned for quality mini phasers you’ve pretty much got MXR and Mooer - but the real competition is in the compact enclosure category as we ...

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6 Compact Multi-Modulation Pedals for Your Consideration

Alexander PedalsChorus and VibratoEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerModulationModulation WorkstationMuza EffectsNux FXPhaserRing ModulationRotary SpeakerSouthampton PedalsTC ElectronicTremoloUni-Vibe and VibeZCAT Pedals+-
2018GPX6CompactMultiModulation700-min.jpg

When I wrote my 9 Best Modulation Workstations feature last year, I bemoaned the lack of compact-size multi-modulation pedals. In fact the only one I was really aware of then was the TC Electronic John Petrucci Signature Pedal - The Dreamscape, which I include here again as the only one of these 6 that I currently own.

 

In that same previous 9 best listing, I now own 4 of those covered - the Boss MD-500, Strymon Mobius and Eventide H9 Max besides The Dreamscape. I still have a mind to ...

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News Navigation

2018 50

Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal Pedal Considerations and Alternatives
"I would say that the Keeley gets you into the "...
19 days ago
Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal Pedal Considerations and Alternatives
"Can Keeley Filaments achieve shoegaze walls of "...
19 days ago
Thoughts on Modifications, Partscasters and Kit Building, and DIY Guitar Making in general
"Proin faucibus quis ante volutpats posuere. Etiam "...
05-Sep-2018
12 of the Best Tape Delay Pedals for your Consideration
"Ben, thank you for your input - I will keep this "...
04-Sep-2018
12 of the Best Tape Delay Pedals for your Consideration
"The Mr. Black Tapex 2 should definitely be up "...
04-Sep-2018
Thoughts on Modifications, Partscasters and Kit Building, and DIY Guitar Making in general
"There's a couple of points I left out here - "...
23-Aug-2018
4 of the Best Mini Klone Pedals
"To add to this - I was so impressed when I got "...
19-Aug-2018
4 Next Level Medium to Large Enclosure Flangers
"Footnote 1 - The EQD Pyramids is DSP not Analogue"
08-Aug-2018
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