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In Defence of the more Complex PreAmp Pedals

Blues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionBuild Your Own CloneBYOCCustom TonesDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOrigin EffectsOverdrivePreAmpSilicon FuzzSinvertekTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
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I am somewhat exasperated to still be seeing several ill-informed nonsense critiques of these more fully featured pedals - where certain factions are denouncing them as sort of jacks-of-all-trade with insufficient core tonal qualities that mean they cannot hack it with just the basic 3 - Volume, Gain and Tone knobs!

 

I refer below to one of the classic Two Rock Amps - specifically the Silver Sterling Signature - which has 17 exceptionally useful controls - including those 6 mode toggle-...

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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+-
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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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The Kuro Custom Audio P.h.A. Boost/Overdrive/PreAmp is a rare High Adaptability Gain Modifier and Tone Transformer

Blues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveDriveKlone and Transparent OverdriveKuro Custom AudioMulti-DriveOverdriveTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
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I must confess that when I first came across the Kuro P.h.A. I kind of rather dismissed it as yet another of those myriad just a tiny bit different overdrives. I think I was to a large degree misled by a number of the earlier fairly uninspiring and unrepresentative demos. I can’t overstate the importance of a good demo towards portraying a just and accurate account of a pedal’s range and capabilities. Mediocre and underwhelming demos can ever undermine and taint the reputations of ...

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9 of the Best Mythos Pedals

Blues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveMythos PedalsOctave FuzzOctaverOverdrivePitchSilicon FuzzTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
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It turns out that I’m quite the fan of Zach Broyles and his many circuit confections. And despite having only been officially properly in business for a handful of years now, Zach’s output is really rather prolific and a number of his classic circuits are already discontinued. Most of you will know his story of how he started dabbling with pedals while working at celebrated guitar hangout Carter Vintage. He got to a stage where he had established enough contacts with clients and ...

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6 of the Best All-Rounder Relatively Compact Dual-Channel / Multi-Voice / Multi-Drive Pedals

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveLovepedalMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveStrymonTubescreamer Style OverdriveWampler+-
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This article was triggered by a question from Ryan C who wanted my take on the Boss OD-200 vs the Strymon Sunset - and why the latter was a more permanent part of my own pedal-chain versus the seemingly more capable and full-featured OD-200 - which I will endeavour to answer here as best I can.

 

I decided to widen the selection as far as possible and get in a few more alternatives for sake of comparison - while that task proved a lot tricker than I had foreseen. The key criteria were to...

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End of April Pedal-Chain Update - Covid-19 Lost in the Post Edition

Ambient EffectsAnasoundsBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGFI SystemGlitchGuitar Synth and SequencerJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionModulated FuzzModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationShimmer ReverbSilicon FuzzSinvertekSpaceman EffectsSpacey ReverbThorpyFXTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveVA AudioVox Style Distortion+-
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So a lot has changed during the month of April - we’ve had some thoroughly exciting and invigorating new product launches, while three of my American acquisitions are seemingly lost by USPS - hopefully they will materialise some day, but for one of them there have been no tracking updates for over a month now - which is somewhat alarming. As the eternal optimist, I can only hope that things right themselves eventually. I had already determined that my pedal-acquisition would go on semi-...

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Jackson Audio Launches Joey Landreth Signature Golden Boy Overdrive + Boost via Reverb.com

Blues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveJackson AudioOverdriveTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
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I must confess I am quite the Jackson Audio fan and have been since they first launched the Prism Boost + EQ + PreAmp + Buffer. I added the Bloom Compressor + EQ + Blooming Boost as soon as that materialised and the Broken Arrow Programmable Overdrive + Boost has been one of my all-time favourite overdrives since that landed. This trifecta has been an unshakeable part of my pedal-chain since launch, and only now is that hegemony being challenged by another!

 

I, same as Joey Landreth ...

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Function F(x)'s Dave Friesema Delivers a Mini Wonderland

BoostBoost and OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersFunction F(X)FuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveOctave FuzzOverdriveSilicon FuzzTone Bender Style FuzzTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
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This is a somewhat belated follow-up to my Mini Pedals State of the Art article where I covered the new benchmarks in mini pedal engineering, quality and design. I’m actually really taken with mini pedals that use the highest quality components and construction, and ideally have classy milled-aluminium knobs as pictured!

 

For the longest time I’ve considered Guillem Vilademunt of Decibelics as the pinnacle of this particular craft. And it heartens me to see Dave Friesema ...

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9 of the Best Compact Vemuram Pedals

BoostBoost and OverdriveDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzMarshall Style DistortionOverdriveTone Bender Style FuzzTubescreamer Style OverdriveVemuram+-
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This is probably not the best time to be featuring a range of pedals whose average price is circa £379 equivalent (for the Compact varieties, and where the most expensive currently is the larger DJ1 Bass Overdrive/Distortion at £474). Yet this article follows on from my recent post on Josh Smith’s pedalboard - where of course I featured his most excellent Signature Vemuram Myriad Hybrid Fuzz.

 

I have had my eye on a few Vemuram pedals over the years, but have always ...

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Josh Smith's Pedalboard Dynamics and Essential Tone Components

BoostDanelectroDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDriveDunlop EffectsEchoverbEventideGFI SystemHarmonizerKing Tone EffectsLoop-SwitcherLovepedalMarshall Style DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMorningstar FXMythos PedalsOctaverOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingPower SuppliesReverbReverb WorkstationTC ElectronicToneQuestTubescreamer Style OverdriveTunersUtilityVemuramWah and Fixed Wah+-
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So I seem to have fallen into something of a Josh Smith ToneQuest phase of late. I’ve always been a fan of his core signature tone/s while not necessarily the biggest fan of his musical output per se. His first influence on me was his signature Eventide H9 Rotary preset - which settings I share in this post. I have somewhat fallen into using my own H9 mostly in Josh’s Rotary mode - with a few choice reverbs and delays too, but modulations generally coming from other parts of my ...

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