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The Empress Zoia Lands April 15th! - or rather starts shipping then actually

BoostBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoCompressorDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDown-TunerDriveEmpress EffectsEQFlangerFuzzGuitar Synth and SequencerHarmonizerLooperModulationModulation WorkstationNoise GateOctaverOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOverdrivePhaserPitchPitch-ShiftingPlate ReverbReverbRing ModulationTremoloUtilityVolumeWah and Fixed Wah+-
2019GPXEmpressZoiaFinal700-min.jpg

Now definitively defined as a Pedal-format Modular Synthesizer, Sequencer and Multi-Effects unit. The control interface consists of a small OLED screen accompanied by a grid of 40 (5x8) 7-coloured LED backlit soft-touch buttons, 4 further control buttons for Secondary Functions, and a large Menu scroll dial. There are 3 footswitches to activate live playback and scroll through presets.

 

Essentially you have a building-block interface-led hybrid-modular-synthesiser where you chain ...

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Pedal Highlights at the 2019 Birmingham Guitar Show

AnasoundsAudio Distribution GroupBossChorus and VibratoDistortionDriveFace MIFirst Line DistributionFuzzLaney AmplificationModulationModulation WorkstationOpAmp FuzzOrigin EffectsPeterson TunersReverbSpring ReverbThorpyFXTremoloTunersUtilityWalrus AudioZander Cicuitry+-
2019GPXTheGuitarShowPedals700-min.jpg

The Birmingham Guitar Show this year was so much a better affair than the London / UK Guitar Show I attended at Olympia in September - particularly from an organisational and pedal perspective. But I’m kind of sad to report that it was a very pale shadow of the NAMM show that took place almost exactly one month ago. If I tally up all the best new pedals from the NAMM show - only the tiniest fraction of those were on display at the Birmingham Show.

 

It means that the Beetronics ...

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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 WahEQEventideFeaturedFlangerFuzzFuzz 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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9 of the Best JHS Pedals

Analog DelayBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoDelayDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzJHS PedalsMarshall Style DistortionModulationOverdriveSilicon FuzzTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveUni-Vibe and Vibe+-
2018GPX9BestJHSPedals700-min.jpg

You may have noted that JHS has gotten quite a lot of coverage on this site - being mentioned on no less than 47 different posts, and featuring pedals in just about every category. Yet to date I have only 2 of these in my collection - the two ’greatest hits’ editions as I call them, or the Bonsai Multi-Tube-Screamer and Muffuletta Multi-Big-Muff.

 

In fact I have more JHS-modded pedals than JHS original - these include the recent 4 EHX Big Muff Compacts, the Satisfaction Fuzz...

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2019 Pedal-Chain Musings and Experiments

Analog.ManAnarchy AudioBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCoda EffectsDecibelicsDelayDistortionDouble TrackingDriveEarthQuaker DevicesEmpress EffectsFlangerFuzzGlitchMetal DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationOverdrivePedalboard and Pedal-ChainPhaserPladask ElektriskREVV AmplificationTC ElectronicToneQuestTremoloTrue North PedalsUni-Vibe and VibeZvex+-
2019GPXSKSignalChainMkI700-min.jpg

At the end of 2018 / beginning of 2019 - I start thinking ahead for the year and considering what pedals I would like to swap-out or rotate-in on my pedal-chain. The long-awaited Empress Effects Zoia did not materialise in 2018, and is now expected as one of the major Winter NAMM launches - I see that as being one of two larger (monetary) acquisitions in the year - along with the Line 6 HX Stomp. I kind of did not figure out the HX Stomp until fairly recently really, where I have deemed it to ...

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9 of the Best Magnetic Effects Pedals

Big Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveMagnetic EffectsModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePitchRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzTone Bender Style FuzzTremoloWah and Fixed Wah+-
2018GPX9MagneticEffects700-min.jpg

It’s a touch an unusual path, but I first came across British pedal brand Magnetic Effects courtesy of American Nick Jaffe’s JustNickMusic YouTube Channel - where he frequently named the White Atom as his all-time favourite fuzz - using it as an overdrive in low-gain, as well as a full-on higher gain fuzz, even on the more gated / velcro spitty side. So Magnetic Effects have been on my radar for a while and I had always intended to get the Flagship White Atom Fuzz which Nick ...

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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 WahEQEventideFlangerFuzzFuzz 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 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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News Navigation

2019 47

The Shape of a Guitar's Headstock has a significant impact on Tuning Stability
"William - I've decided to include Servus! Pedale "...
8 days ago
The Shape of a Guitar's Headstock has a significant impact on Tuning Stability
"William - I'm not sure this comment is on the "...
8 days ago
The Shape of a Guitar's Headstock has a significant impact on Tuning Stability
"Thank you very much for the info. Really helpful. "...
8 days ago
16 of the Best Glitch Effects Pedals
"Luis - indeed - I think prices are largely best "...
8 days ago
16 of the Best Glitch Effects Pedals
"Just because of price I am thinking between the "...
9 days ago
6 Cool Germanium and Silicon Switchable Fuzz Pedals
"This is the closest to what I'm looking for! : "...
15 days ago
6 Cool Germanium and Silicon Switchable Fuzz Pedals
"Thanks for the tip - already checked that one out "...
15 days ago
6 Cool Germanium and Silicon Switchable Fuzz Pedals
"I recommend you check out a Black Arts Toneworks S"...
16 days ago
6 Cool Germanium and Silicon Switchable Fuzz Pedals
"I saw your « prototype » of an evolved version of "...
16 days ago
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