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24 of the Best Compact Overdrive Pedals - 2019 Edition

Analog.ManAnasoundsBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossCrowther AudioCustom TonesDemon PedalsDumble Style OverdriveFoxpedalFulltone EffectsGreer AmpsHamstead SoundworksJ RockettJHS PedalsJRADKlone and Transparent OverdriveMenatoneOCD Style OverdriveOverdrivePaul CochraneSide EffectsSnouse Electric CompanyThorpyFXTrue North PedalsTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveWampler+-
2019GPX24CompactOverdrives700-min.jpg

For this particular selection I tried to get in as diverse number of types, along with all the usual favourites - every year I have readers asking me why I left this one or that one out - so this year is the time for including Menatone in the selection. Obviously between years some pedals rise in prominence while others fall - my intentions are always to provide as broad a selection as possible while still covering all my own personal favourites.

 

There are a few new entrants since 2018...

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9 of the Best Compact Multi-Drive Pedals

AnasoundsBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBuild Your Own CloneBYOCChase Bliss AudioDistortionDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionHamstead SoundworksKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveSide EffectsSilicon FuzzSinvertekSubdecay EffectsTsakalis Audio WorksTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
2019GPX9BestCompactMultidrives700-min.jpg

I’m known for my 12 Degrees of Saturation Methodology and organising drive/dirt pedals into a specific category. I do however also like multi-talented multi-tankers, and have always had one or two all-rounder multi-drive overdrives in my pedal-chain. In fact of the 9 listed here I have all but the last featured, which also happens to be the most recently released - by Greek Boutique Builder Tsakalis - that pedal is currently only available in Greece - direct from the maker and from one or...

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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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BYOC Crown Jewel Multidrive's Multiple Degrees of Saturation - Video Overviews and Reference Settings

12 Degrees of SaturationBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionBuild Your Own CloneBYOCDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzGermanium FuzzKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveSilicon FuzzToneQuestTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
2019GPXBYOCCrownJewelBase700V2-min.jpg

I’ve featured BYOC’s Crown Jewel Multidrive on this site several times previously but only superficially really. It is the kind of Swiss Army Knife of drive pedals that will put some off by virtue of its sheer range and versatility (so many dials and switches) - so I’ve tried to break things down here in a more manageable fashion, while providing everything you need to get the most out of this pedal. I am generally a huge fan of Keith Vonderhulls - Mr BYOC himself - and if and...

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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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4 Key Guitar Pedal Trends for 2019 - Smarter Pedals, More Voicings, Multi-Colour LEDs, and More Utility

Acoustic SimulatorBoostBoost and OverdriveCompressorDelayDigital DelayEQGranular DelayJackson AudioJHS PedalsKeyztoneModulationOverdriveRed Panda EffectsTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtility+-
2019GPX3KeyPedalTrends700-min.jpg

Carrying on from last year - where I somewhat correctly predicted pedals would continue to get more compact, larger numbers would adapt dual-footswitch functionality and pedalboards and pedal-chains would get increasingly larger - I have now identified 4 more prevailing trends for this year.

 

I have selected 4 pedals which underscore these trends - three of my favourites from last year, and the forthcoming significantly enhanced and improved Red Panda Particle V2. These pedals ...

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4 of the Best Stackable Overdrive + Distortion Multidrive Pedals

BoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionDistortionDriveDual-DriveEmpress EffectsJHS PedalsKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMulti-DriveOverdriveTruetoneTubescreamer Style OverdriveWampler+-
2019GPX4StackableOverdriveDistortions700-min.jpg

There are in essence 3 types of dual footswitch drive pedals - Drive + Boost, Dual Channel Individual/Independent, and Dual Channel Stackable. I’m really enjoying combining the two channels of my King of Tone pedal, which is what inspired this article. The 4 pedals featured here both allow you to stack the two ’channels’ together, as well as typically have extended control over the distortion side in particular. The Empress Multidrive differs from the others here by stacking ...

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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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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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News Navigation

2019 46

The Shape of a Guitar's Headstock has a significant impact on Tuning Stability
"William - I've decided to include Servus! Pedale "...
6 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 "...
6 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. "...
6 days ago
16 of the Best Glitch Effects Pedals
"Luis - indeed - I think prices are largely best "...
7 days ago
16 of the Best Glitch Effects Pedals
"Just because of price I am thinking between the "...
7 days ago
6 Cool Germanium and Silicon Switchable Fuzz Pedals
"This is the closest to what I'm looking for! : "...
13 days ago
6 Cool Germanium and Silicon Switchable Fuzz Pedals
"Thanks for the tip - already checked that one out "...
13 days ago
6 Cool Germanium and Silicon Switchable Fuzz Pedals
"I recommend you check out a Black Arts Toneworks S"...
14 days ago
6 Cool Germanium and Silicon Switchable Fuzz Pedals
"I saw your « prototype » of an evolved version of "...
14 days ago
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