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12 Degrees of Saturation - 2020 Key Fuzz Categories Edition

Analog.ManAnarchy AudioAnasoundsAnimal FactoryBasic AudioBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBigfoot FXBlack Cat PedalsBlammo ElectronicsCatalinbreadChase Bliss AudioChicago StompworksDanDrive PedalDanelectroDeadFXDistortion LimitedDunlop EffectsEl Músico Loco FXExpresso FXFeaturedFjord FuzzFredric EffectsFulltone EffectsFunction F(X)FuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzJAM PedalsJordan EffectsKeeley EngineeringKing Tone EffectsKO AmpsMaestro Style FuzzMaxonModulated FuzzMojo GearMojo Hand FXMonsterpieceMozztronicsMXRMythos PedalsNorth EffectsOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOneControlOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzPigDog PedalsPigtronixProAnalog DevicesReuss EffectsRoerich InstrumentsRonSoundSchu-ToneSilicon FuzzSitek Guitar ElectronicsSizzorfite StudioSkreddy PedalsSolidGoldFXStomp Under FootSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzTrefilio PedaisVahlbruch FXVick Audio+-
12DegreesSaturationFuzzEdition700V3.jpg

This is probably the most anticipated of my 12 Degrees roundups - and is a touch more complex and different to the other 2 in the series. Within each category here there can be a huge difference in character and output - for instance with Fuzz Faces going from quite mild to rather searing Meathead and Regulus VIII levels of aggression. So the gradual step up in gain per category doesn’t apply here. And because of circuit variations and differences in components and construction, each and ...

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12 Degrees of Saturation : 2020 Key Distortion Categories Edition

AmptweakerAMT EffectsAnarchy AudioBearfoot FXBig Ear PedalsBig Tone Music BreweryBlackhawk AmplificationBossBrown Sound DistortionBYOCCarcharias EffectsCatalinbreadCoda EffectsDanelectroDecibelicsDigiTechDistortionDOD EffectsDr ScientistDriveDrunk BeaverDual-DriveDunwich AmplificationEarthbound AudioEarthQuaker DevicesFeaturedFree Fall DiverFriedman EffectsFunction F(X)Fuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionJackson AudioJAM PedalsJohn K Vintage GuitarsKeeley EngineeringLawrence Petross DesignLoop Hole PedalsMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMI EffectsMidValleyFXMooerMulti-DriveMXROneControlOpAmp FuzzPelican NoiseworksPepers' PedalsRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReuss EffectsREVV AmplificationSinvertekSuhrThorpyFXVFE PedalsVox Style DistortionWamplerXIX Tech FXXotic Effects+-
2020GPX12DgreesSaturationDistortionEdition700V2.jpg

This edition comes rather hot on the heels of the recent 12 Degrees of Overdrive version as many readers’ inquiries questioned a couple of missing categories there - which I explained would rather figure within the Distortion contingent which is present here in all its glory!

 

As always, these is some considerable amount of grey science at play here - best typified by the Big Muff and Rat circuits - which are both very much distortions as well as fuzz varieties. I have 3 x 12 ...

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12 Degrees of Saturation : 2020 Key Overdrive Categories Edition

12 Degrees of SaturationAion ElectronicsAnalog.ManBarber ElectronicsBearfoot FXBJFEBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBO EffectsBogner AmplificationBoost and OverdriveBosscmatmodsCrowther AudioCustom TonesDanDrive PedalDecibelicsDemon PedalsDumble Style OverdriveFeaturedFoxpedalF-PedalsFree The ToneFulltone EffectsFunction F(X)Greer AmpsHamstead SoundworksHot Cake Style OverdriveJ RockettJackson AudioJetter GearJHS PedalsJoyo EffectsKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveKuro Custom AudioLovepedalMad Professor EffectsMenatoneMI EffectsMontreal AssemblyMooerMXRMythos PedalsNobelsNordland ElectronicsOCD Style OverdriveODR Style OverdriveOverdrivePaul CochranePedal DiggersPickdropperSarno Music SolutionsSnouse Electric CompanySpaceman EffectsThorpyFXTimmyTrue North PedalsTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveTweed Style OverdriveVemuramVFE PedalsVick AudioWamplerWay Huge Effects+-
2020GPX12DegreesOverdriveEdition700V2.jpg

So this is one of most significant works in a while, and carries on the legacy of two of my most popular all-time articles on the 12 Degrees of Saturation - the Original that evolved in the early months of 2017, and the follow-up which materialised in September of 2018.

 

I obviously deal with a lot of reader inquiries pretty much on a daily basis, and one of the more popular lines of inquiry has been about overdrives. And while Josh Scott attests to the fact that there are only 5 core ...

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28 of the Best Compact Enclosure EVH Brown Sound Distortion Capable Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

AmptweakerAMT EffectsBearfoot FXBogner AmplificationBossBrown Sound DistortionCarl MartinCatalinbreadDawner Prince EffectsDistortionDriveDual-DriveFriedman EffectsJackson AudioJHS PedalsLawrence Petross DesignMad Professor EffectsMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMI EffectsMulti-DriveMXROneControlPettyjohn ElectronicsREVV AmplificationSinvertekSitek Guitar ElectronicsSuhrThorpyFXWampler+-
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In my recent coverage of Eddie Van Halen’s Signature Pedals I indicated that I had none of the usual suspects Overdrives/Distortions - or namely MXR EVH 5150, Wampler Pinnacle Deluxe and Seymour Duncan Diamondhead. While in fact I have well over 20 Brown Sound Style variants in my collection of various different sizes - with the vast majority being compact enclosures as featured here. I make no secret of the fact that the compact size format is my faourite and particularly for these sorts...

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Eddie Van Halen's Pedals, Typical Pedalboard Arrangement and Suitable Alternatives

BossBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoCryBabyDistortionDunlop EffectsEddie Van HalenEffects Pedal MakersEVH ElectronicsFlangerMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationMXROctaverPhaserPitchSeymour DuncanThorpyFXWah and Fixed WahWampler+-
2020GPXEVHPedals700.jpg

Key to Eddie’s signature sound has always been his use of Chorus, Flanger and Phaser effects in particular, along with some Wah-based flourishes. As a result MXR has built up a small range of EVH branded pedals - which Eddie mostly used on his latter-day pedalboards - with some occasional exceptions.

 

For this particular exercise I’m referencing one of Eddie’s 2012 pedalboards - as per the visual below - which also features a Boss OC-3 Super Octave, and an MXR Analog ...

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All you ever wanted to know about the UK's Preeminent Independent Pedal Boutique - Joe's Pedals

Analog AlienBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlack Arts ToneworksBlue ColanderBMF EffectsBoostBoost and OverdriveBuffalo FXCastledine ElectronicsChorus and VibratoD*A*M EffectsDeath By AudioDr ScientistDryBell EffectsEmanating Fist ElectronicsFlangerFoxrox ElectronicsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionFuzzrociousGermanium FuzzGreer AmpsGuitar Gear RetailHungry Robot EffectsIdiotBox FXKlonMalekko Heavy IndustryModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationOctave FuzzOctaverOddball FuzzOscillating FuzzOverdrivePigDog PedalsPitchSilicon FuzzSkreddy PedalsSpiral Electric FXStomp Under FootStone Deaf EffectsSubdecay EffectsThorpyFXThroBakTremoloTru-Fi Guitar EffectsVL Effects+-
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My readers will know that I’ve featured Joe’s Pedals a fair few number of times on this site - in reference to where I acquired several of my own pedals from. My first introduction to said boutique was in search of Marc Ahlfs’ Skreddy Pedals. In fact 5 of my 8 Skreddy’s have come from Joe’s and I would have gotten more had those been in stock when I needed them - such is always the luck of the draw with pedal acquisitions - in that you cannot always get everything ...

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15 of the Best Everyday All-Rounder Mostly Silicon Transistor Compact Enclosure Fuzz Pedals

Analog.ManBasic AudioBig Muff Style FuzzCatalinbreadChase Bliss AudioDOD EffectsDr ScientistFjord FuzzFunction F(X)FuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzKuro Custom AudioMaestro Style FuzzMagnetic EffectsModulated FuzzOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzPettyjohn ElectronicsRat Style FuzzShift LineSilicon FuzzSkreddy PedalsSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzVemuram+-
2020GPXSiliconAllRounderFuzzes700V6.jpg

I frequently get asked to recommend a great all-rounder every*man kind of fuzz pedal, and over the years as my own collection as grown - so has the roster of usual suspects in my recommendations, I felt that it was about time to have the definitive list up on this site so I could simply refer people to that.

 

There’s still quite a few more outliers here - and for reasons of symmetry I judiciously decided to omit them from inclusion on this occasion - but there are certainly a few ...

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Steve Mac's Home Studio 'Wall of Sound' Pedalboard Dynamics and Essential Tone Components

Analog.ManAndy Betts MusicBig Muff Style FuzzBK ButlerBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossChorus and VibratoColorsoundCompressorCustom PedalboardsDelayDemeter AmplificationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveElectro-HarmonixEQFenderFlangerFree The ToneFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGiuseppe BagnaraGuitar Synth and SequencerIbanezKlone and Transparent OverdriveKorgLoop-SwitcherMarshall Style DistortionMJM EffectsModulation WorkstationMooerMorningstar FXOrigin EffectsOverdrivePete CornishPlate ReverbProCoRat Style FuzzRotary SpeakerSilicon FuzzSpring ReverbStrymonTape DelayThorpyFXToneQuestTube OverdriveTunersUni-Vibe and VibeUtilityXotic EffectsZoom FX+-
2020GPXSteveMacStudioBoard700.jpg

I would like to start by thanking Matt Knight and Joe Branton of Guitar Nerds who made this all possible and put me in contact with Steve Mac - guitarist and original member of the Australian Pink Floyd. This all stems back to the Guitar Nerds’ podcast for Friday 3rd July - an interview with Steve Mac, and the accompanying social media pictures of Steve’s home studio pedalboard - or literally ’wall of sound’.

 

I’m a considerable Floyd and Gilmour fan and ...

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28 of the Best Compact Rat-Style Fuzz/Distortion Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

Acid Age ElectronicsAion ElectronicsAnimals PedalBasic AudioBBE SoundBig Ear PedalsBig Tone Music BreweryBigToneMusicBreweryBYOCCatalinbreadChicago StompworkscmatmodsDistortionDr ScientistEarthbound AudioElectro-HarmonixFoxpedalFreakshow EffectsFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGreer AmpsIbanezJAM PedalsJHS PedalsJohn LandgraffMagnetic EffectsMojo Hand FXOpAmp FuzzPettyjohn ElectronicsRat Style FuzzReuss EffectsStomp Under FootThorpyFXVFE PedalsWalrus Audio+-
2020GPX28CompactRats700V2.jpg

Most should know by now that I’m a huge Rat aficionado - and for me Rat doesn’t just mean those original ProCo Rat varieties but all the different derivatives - direct and indirect - old and new, classics, rarities and outliers. This category is titled ’Rat-Style’ so there’s a few Rat-adjacent pedals here too which share some of the core fundamentals and bring to mind some key associations with that well-known highly textured frequency profile.

 

For me at a...

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End of June Pedal-Chain Update - Episode V - A Disturbance in the Force!

Ambient EffectsAnasoundsBig Muff Style FuzzBixonicBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBuffalo FXChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGFI SystemGlitchGranular DelayJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveKuro Custom AudioMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneModulationModulation WorkstationOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePlate ReverbPreAmpRack Style ReverbRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReuss EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMJune700V3.jpg

June hasn’t been a particularly kind month to me - in fact it’s been something of a difficult period - I was going to call this piece ’The Darkness Lingers’ but didn’t really want that particular NLP on this blog - which I try to keep as positive as is practically possible.

 

A number of ventures and collaborations I was working on this month came a cropper when the other collaborating parties somewhat inexplicably and suddenly ended their involvement - ...

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