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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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20 Favourite Boutique Style Mini Drive and Distortion Pedals

Blues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDecibelicsDistortionDriveEWS EffectsF-PedalsIbanezKeeley EngineeringKHDKKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveMXROverdrivePigtronixSuhrTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionWamplerXotic EffectsXvive Audio+-
2018GPX20FavouriteMiniDrives700-min.jpg

So I’ve covered off a large variety of mini Drive and Distortion pedals in these last few features - starting with the 4-Size key enclosure type articles, then Mooer Micro PreAmps, then the older Mooer Minis, and most recently - the OneControl offerings in that area. This article is essentially a collection of the remaining mini drive and distortion pedals I rate from a variety of pedal-builders. They are not all strictly ’Boutique’ but I felt they fit best within that ...

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A Quick Overview on the Best of the OneControl Mini Drives, Fuzzes and Distortions and their Alternatives

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzMarshall Style DistortionOneControlOverdriveTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
2018GPXOneControlMiniDrives700-min.jpg

So OneControl is sort of 1 corner of the Björn Juhl empire as such - as he designs pedals for his own BJF line, Bearfoot FX in the USA, Mad Professor in Finland, and largely mini pedals for Japan’s OneControl - although a couple of compact pedals have also been released now.

 

Many of you will know OneControl through its excellent utility and loop-switching pedals - like the Crocodile Tail. I though know them entirely through their Björn-Juhl-designed drive pedals. In ...

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A Quick Overview on the Best of the Mooer Mini Drives, Fuzzes and Distortions and their Alternatives

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGermanium FuzzMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMooerOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveSilicon FuzzTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
2018GPXMooerMiniDriveStortion700-min.jpg

After doing the recent Mooer Micro PreAmp pedals overview I thought I should check in on its original range of Overdrives, Fuzzes and Distortions to see how well those still stand up. In fact I have 3 of these pedals that I use every now and again - and the Blues Mood is one of my favourite mini pedals of all time, it was even one of my favourite overdrives for a good couple of years.

 

Most of you will be familiar with most of these as they can pretty much be found everywhere, and are ...

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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large Tube Screamer Style Pedals

Boost and OverdriveEarthQuaker DevicesFoxpedalKHDKPLBR EffectsTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
2018GPX4SizeTubeScreamers700-min.jpg

I have featured most of these usual suspects before - with the exception of the PLBR Effects Floral Green which I’ve only briefly just touched on in ’Glance’. In my opinion these are the most formidable Tube Screamer Pedals for each of their given enclosure sizes. None of these are your typical classic TS808 or TS9 replicas, but all offer significant additional voicing and tone-sculpting controls.

 

Even though I have a number of Tube Screamer type pedals, I currently ...

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9 of the Best MI Audio / MI Effects Pedals

BoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDelayDigital DelayDistortionEffects Pedal MakersFuzzGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveLo-Fi DelayMetal DistortionMI AudioMI EffectsMichael IbrahimOctave FuzzOverdriveSilicon FuzzTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
2018GPXMIEffects9Best700V3-min.jpg

Readers of this blog will know that I’m quite the fan of Michael Ibrahim’s MI Effects Pedals. I’ve had two as a permanent fixture in my pedal-chain for quite a considerable time already - the Super Crunch Box V2 and the super high gain Megalith Delta - which are both exceptional performers in their respective categories.

 

I’ve long had a number of his other pedals in my sight too - in particular his two earlier V1 compact fuzzes - the G.I. and Neo - or Silicon ...

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12 of the Best Compact Tube Screamer-style Pedals

Boost and OverdriveFoxpedalIbanezJHS PedalsKHDKMI EffectsNobelsSeymour DuncanTubescreamer Style OverdriveVFE PedalsWalrus AudioWamplerXotic Effects+-
2018GPX12TubeScreamerTypes700-min.jpg

There’s been a couple of significant Tube Screamer type releases this year and I’ve discovered a whole load more that I like since I last did this overview. I wrongly had the Super Blues Pro in with my Blues Driver / Bluesbreaker category, and the Xotic BB PreAmp often gets mischaracterized as a Bluesbreaker type where its circuit is really Tube Screamer with Baxandall Hi/Lo Tone Controls.

 

This biggest newby this year is no doubt JHS’s 9-flavour Bonsai - which covers ...

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Brian Wampler - King of Drive!

12 Degrees of SaturationBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionWampler+-
2018GPXWamplerKingOfDrive700V4-min 2.jpg

I have a lot of respect for Brian Wampler and his pedals, and already have five in the collection. It is with some sadness that the last active one of those in my chain - the long-serving Mini Ego Compressor is on the point of being ousted by the Jackson Audio Bloom. But Brian of course is still a master pedal craftsman and no one on the boutique side or any side for that manner has as many well-loved overdrives and distortions. And a Wampler pedal will soon appear once more on active duty in ...

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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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News Navigation

2018 50

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"I would say that the Keeley gets you into the "...
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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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