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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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24 of the Best Compact Enclosure Bluesbreaker-style Overdrive Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

Aion ElectronicsAnalog.ManBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBondi EffectsBoost and OverdriveChicago StompworkscmatmodsFredric EffectsGoudie FXJ RockettJackson AudioJHS PedalsKeeley EngineeringKlonz LabsMojo Hand FXMythos PedalsOhmless PedalsPedal MonsterRockBoxSiren PedalsSnouse Electric CompanyTorino AudioTsakalis Audio WorksVFE PedalsVick AudioVS AudioWampler+-
2020GPX24BluesBreakers700V2.jpg

It’s been a couple of years since I last did one of these particular genre roundups and this year has seen a number of new entrants into this category which really makes this worth visiting again right now. I’ve already done a feature on the larger dual-channel Bluesbreaker style pedals this year - KOT etc. While the Fredric Effects Blue Monarch, Jackson Audio Golden Boy and Siren Pedals Juneau are the newbies for 2020.

 

Moreover - the much loved Bondi Effects Del Mar has ...

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28 of the Best Compact Enclosure Phaser Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

Alexander PedalsAnasoundsBossChase Bliss AudioCrazy Tube CircuitsDOD EffectsEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixFlattley Guitar PedalsGreenhouse EffectsJ RockettJAM PedalsJRADKeeley EngineeringMad Professor EffectsModulationMu-TronMXRNative AudioOld Blood Noise EndeavorsPhaserRetro-SonicSkreddy PedalsSolidGoldFXSubdecay EffectsTC ElectronicVahlbruch FXVein TapVFE PedalsWalrus AudioZvex+-
2020GPX28CompactPhasers700.jpg

This post actually came about in a rather random roundabout fashion while I’m still waiting for my Buffalo FX Flanger to arrive. The only one of my analog modulation pedals I haven’t rotated recently as such is my Chase Bliss Audio Wombtone MKII Analog Phaser. So I got to thinking if there was something in that area I might look towards - considering I had fairly recently updated all the other analog modulation slots.

 

I have 5 phasers already - including 3 from the top row ...

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28 of the Best Compact Enclosure Chorus Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

Adventure AudioAnalog.ManArionBossCarl MartinCatalinbreadChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoDawner Prince EffectsDigiTechDryBell EffectsEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixGreenhouse EffectsJAM PedalsJHS PedalsLichtlaerm AudioMad Professor EffectsModulationMXRNeunaberOld Blood Noise EndeavorsParadox EffectsProvidence PedalsSource AudioTC ElectronicVFE PedalsVS AudioWalrus AudioWay Huge EffectsZvex+-
2020GPX28BestCompactChorusPedals700V2.jpg

This article was another triggered by a number of recent ’Best Chorus Pedals’ posts out on other sites - which I didn’t feel adequately covered this category. Initially I didn’t used to be that much into Chorus - but being a huge Prince, Nirvana, The Police and The Cure fan amongst others - the Chorus was always going to feature there in the tonal reference library - and besides, I soon discovered how to do all kinds of other cool things with Chorus - for instance just ...

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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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28 of the Best Compact Tremolo Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

AnasoundsBossChase Bliss AudioCoda EffectsCopilot FXDr ScientistEarthQuaker DevicesFlower PedalsHamstead SoundworksJHS PedalsKorora AudioMagnetic EffectsMalekko Heavy IndustryMatthews EffectsModulationNative AudioSentimental Bob ElectronicsSource AudioStone Deaf EffectsSubdecay EffectsSuhrSuproSwindler EffectsTC ElectronicTremoloVFE PedalsWalrus Audio+-
2020GPX28BestCompactTremolos700.jpg

There have been a number of new Tremolo pedals fairly recently released, and in fact I was tempted to acquire another in a roundabout fashion. The catalyst was actually the new Rock Fabrik Effects Kuek Touch Sensitive Dynamic Tremolo - yet that comes in a medium vertical BB enclosure and I only have space for a compact. So luckily Anasounds entered the scene with their own version new Ages Harmonic Tremolo which did much the same thing as the Kuek - but in my preferred size / form factor!

&...

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9 x Blue Means The Blues!

Blues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossKeeley EngineeringLunastoneMad Professor EffectsMenatoneMI EffectsMXROverdrivePine Box CustomsTubescreamer Style OverdriveVFE Pedals+-
2019GPX9BlueMeansBlues700.jpg

Bonus Round! I hadn’t initially intended to do a Blue colourway feature off the back of my ’Pedal Primary Colour Wheel’ article, as I thought the exercise might turn out to be a little more tricky than the Red, Orange, Yellow and Green. Yet I’ve kind of been ’in the zone’ with these different colourways so I kind of proceeded on down that road.

 

I was right in that it took more research for Blue Pedals to find those that matched my criteria - and I ...

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9 x Orange Means Phaser!

Alexander PedalscmatmodsCoron EffectsMad Professor EffectsMaxonModulationMXRPhaserRetro-SonicRoss EffectsVFE Pedals+-
2019GPX9OrangePhasers700.jpg

This is the second of likely 3 features inspired by my ’Pedal Primary Colour Wheel article’. I already covered off the colour ’Red’, and now we’re onto a fairly obvious category wholly dominated by the MXR Phase 90, its adherents, evolutions and derivations.

 

I own only a single on of the 9 featured here - the Alexander La Calavera, while I also possess a sort of mini version of the MXR Phase 99 AKA the Phase 95. My own favourite phaser is still the Chase ...

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9 Cool Compact Dual Circuit / Dual Stage Stackable Boost, Overdrive and Distortion Pedals

Aleks K ProductionBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioDiamond PedalsDistortionDriveDual-DriveFulltone EffectsFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKlone and Transparent OverdriveLoophole PedalsMagnetic EffectsOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveRat Style FuzzThorpyFXTubescreamer Style OverdriveVFE Pedals+-
2019GPX9CompactDualStackingDrives700.jpg

This post was sparked off by the recent launch of the Magnetic Effects Zig Zag Dual Stage Overdrive, my relatively recent acquisition of the Aleks K Production Maple Leaf Royal Drive and ThorpyFX Heavy Water Dual Boost pedals, and the hopefully fairly imminent arrival of my on-order Loophole Pedals Grey Matter Overdrive. They got me thinking about other pedals of this type which allow you to blend 2 separate circuits together essentially for more versatility and more complex and richer tones. ...

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