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Early Summer Pedal-Chain State of the Union - the Final Formation?

12 Degrees of SaturationAmbient EffectsAnasoundsBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferBuild Your Own CloneBYOCChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDigiTechDistortionDouble TrackingDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEchoverbEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideFeaturedFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar AccessoriesGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioJHS PedalsKeyztoneKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayLooperMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMeris EffectsMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronNoise GateOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOctaverOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRed Panda EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationRotary SpeakerShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSlicer and StutterSource AudioSpacey ReverbSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicToneQuestTremoloTrue North PedalsTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWampler+-
2019GPXSKSignalChainMKV700-min.jpg

This is one of those moments that I feel that my celebrated Pedal-Chain has reached another milestone of ’peak performance’. There are a number of new releases here - and probably all the big ones I was expecting this year - bar the Chase Bliss Audio / Benson Amps Automatone MKII PreAmp - which is due in the Autumn now - and still pending final pricing, but will probably take up the top spot on Slot #14 eventually. Also - my long-awaited Beetronics Swarm Harmonizing PLL Style Fuzz ...

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Matthews Effects Wins Honour of Best Range Revamp in recent memory!

Ambient EffectsBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbEchoverbEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKlone and Transparent OverdriveMatthews EffectsModulationOctaverOverdrivePhaserPitchPlate ReverbReverbShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbTape Delay+-
2019GPXMatthewsEffectsRelaunch700V2-min.jpg

I already singled out the Newly Revamped Matthews Effects Range in my piece on Pedal Graphic Design - but there I focused more on the design of the actual pedals - principally the facia graphics and control topology - knob choice etc. However there was much more to the Matthews Effects Range Revamp than just a pedal design change - and some of the most significant improvements happened within the disciplines of Packaging and supplementary Collateral. ...

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Best of Danish Guitar Pedals and Pedal Builders

Boost and OverdriveCarl MartinCioksDelayEffects Pedal MakersEmma ElectronicsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperLunastoneModulationNordvang CustomOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePower SuppliesRat Style FuzzReuss EffectsSilicon FuzzTape DelayTC ElectronicT-Rex EffectsUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVulvan Mulciber+-
2019GPXBestDanishPedalBuilders700-min.jpg

Denmark is a country which is known for punching above its weight - particularly in the field of exports - with a number of globally renown brands in several categories - including Bang and Olufsen, Ecco shoes, Georg Jensen jewellery, LEGO, The Republic of Fritz Hansen furniture (Arne Jacobsen etc.) and Stelton homewares. So it’s no surprise really that so many of its pedal brands are well-known too - particularly of course TC Electronic - which is one of the overall Big 4 along with Boss...

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2019GPXStrymonVolanteMagneticDelay700V2-min.jpg

So I at last managed to get a hold of one of these from a UK dealer - looks like Sound Affects Premier were amongst the first to receive a sizeable delivery of Volantes on this side of the pond. For veteran Strymon owners this is really just more of the same - by which I mean another really smartly and intuitively interfaced delay pedal with some significantly clever built-in tone-sculpting.

 

Unbeknownst to some - Strymon pedals very much have their own kind of slightly polished tone / ...

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Pedal Chain 2019 Future Plans, Acquisitions and Alternative Arrangements

12 Degrees of SaturationAleks K ProductionAutomatoneBearfoot FXBeetronics FXBenson AmpsBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBufferChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCompressorDecibelicsDelayDelay WorkstationDemon PedalsDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDrolo EffectsDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEmpress EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQEventideFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMeris EffectsMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveMu-TronOCD Style OverdriveOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePedalboard and Pedal-ChainPhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPladask ElektriskRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRed Witch EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationREVV AmplificationShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSource AudioSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbStrymonTape DelayTC ElectronicThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzToneQuestTremoloTrue North PedalsTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed WahWampler+-
2019GPXSKSignalChainMkII700-min.jpg

So it’s that usual post NAMM-haze time where I figure out the longer-term impact of NAMM, and how those new products will affect the layout, order and composition of my now sort of 40-slot pedal-chain. As noted several times - this was indeed a bumper year for really innovative and highly appealing new pedals - and I will look to accommodate a number of those as they materialise in the forthcoming months.

 

As I hinted in my last pedal-chain overview - while 2018 was very evidently...

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The Best New Pedals In and Around Winter NAMM 2019 Show

Alexander PedalsAutomatoneBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDelayDemon PedalsDigital DelayDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveDunlop EffectsEventideExpressionFlangerFoxpedalFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGranular DelayIbanezJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperLoop-SwitcherMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveNeunaberOctave FuzzOctaverOddball DelayOddball FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingRainger FXRed Panda LabRed Witch EffectsREVV AmplificationRotary SpeakerSilicon FuzzSpaceman EffectsStrymonSuper-Fuzz StyleTape DelayTC ElectronicThopyFXTremoloTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveTWA EffectsUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityVemuramWamplerWren and Cuff+-
2019GPXNAMMPedalHighlights700-min.jpg

This year’s show has seen a bumper crop of interesting new pedals. In fact I was so dazzled by all the various cool pedals that I did not take note of much else - actually not entirely as there were a few synths weirdly that I liked the look of - including the new Teenage Engineering Modular Series in particular. There were very few guitars or amps though that properly piqued my interest.

 

Special thanks to Delicious Audio / Stombox Exhibit / 60 Cycle Hum and Premier Guitar in ...

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Strymon Announces the Volante - The Ultimate Magnetic Style Delay Pedal

DelayDigital DelayEchoverbStrymonTape Delay+-
2019GPXStrymonVolanteMagneticDelay700-min.jpg

Read my first impressions article - here.

 

Strange as it may seem, but I’ve actually been waiting for such a pedal for quite some time. In my piece on the ’12 of the Best Tape Delay Pedals for Your Consideration’ I stated several times that I rather wanted a Multi-Head Binson Echorec 2 style delay, but it really needed to be stereo to fit into my own rig. Ideally there could be a pedal which combined the best of all those so-called tape-delay-effects - The Echrorec, ...

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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 LabReverbReverb 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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The Other King of Fuzz - Marc Ahlfs of Skreddy Pedals

Big Muff Style FuzzDelayDigital DelayEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzSilicon FuzzSkreddy PedalsTape Delay+-
2018GPXMarcAhlfsSkreddyPedals700-min.jpg

While John Lyons of Basic Audio has a generally accepted wider range of Fuzz Pedals in terms of tonal palette, Marc Ahlfs has very much become the master of the 4-Transistor-Silicon fuzzes as well as Germanium/Silicon hybrids. Marc has also managed to deliver a trifecta of fairly unique signature pedals - in the form of this Hybrid Fuzz Driver, Lunar Module Mini Deluxe and Screw Driver Mini Deluxe 5-pot pedals. Those were the first 3 Skreddys I acquired. I have in fact 6 of these now in my ...

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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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