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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+-
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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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Boss Shrinks Down its GT-1000 Guitar Effects Processor to a more handy-sized but still Full-Featured GT-1000 CORE Stomp Box

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionCompressorDelayDelay WorkstationDistortionDown-TunerDual-DriveEQFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionHarmonizerKlone and Transparent OverdriveLooperMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOctaverOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingPreAmpRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtilityVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed Wah+-
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I’ll jump straight to the obvious here in calling this Boss’s contender to go against current category leader and long-term reigning champ - the Line 6 Helix HX STOMP Multi Effects Processor and Amp Modeller - which interestingly retails for $599 in the USA, but only around £399 on this side of the pond. While starting RRP tag for the GT-1000 CORE will be £615 (vs GT-1000 currently retailing at £799UK/$999USA). In fact prices are weirdly quite disparate between UK,...

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End of August Pedal-Chain Update - Episode VII - Altitude Ascension

Big Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionBuffalo FXChase Bliss AudioCooper FXCrazy Tube CircuitsDanelectroDelayDelay WorkstationDigital DelayDigital ReverbDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDunlop EffectsEnvelope Filter and Auto WahEQExpresso FXFulltone EffectsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGlitchGuitar Synth and SequencerJackson AudioMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePhaserPitchRat Style FuzzReverbReverb WorkstationShnobel ToneSilicon FuzzSitek Guitar ElectronicsTone Bender Style FuzzTubescreamer Style OverdriveUtilityVick AudioVox Style DistortionWah and Fixed Wah+-
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August was quite a slow month in many ways - particularly for those of us clinging to the last vestiges of hope towards the arrival of a Buffalo FX Reticon Flanger. That now seems a very distant pipe-dream indeed as reports indicate that Steve Painter is suffering from some horribly debilitating condition that prevents him from doing any physical activities for the foreseeable future. He’s not officially responded to any communiqués since June 30th - the last day many of us heard ...

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4 Fantastic Programmable Overdrive Pedals

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOpAmp FuzzOverdrivePreAmpSilicon FuzzTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
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This article was obviously inspired by last Friday’s That Pedal Show (TPS) episode with similar title. In watching that I thought - hang on a minute - I have all these pedals, with the Chase Bliss Audio Automatone Preamp MKII the most recently added. So before the episode - 3 were already in my pedal-chain - the Chase Bliss Audio Brothers Analog Gainstage since it first came out, the relatively recent Jackson Audio Golden Boy, and of course my brand new Automatone Preamp MKII.

 

...

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End of July Pedal-Chain Update - Episode VI - Mercurial Conveyance!

Ambient EffectsAnasoundsBig Muff Style FuzzBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBuffalo FXChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXDemon PedalsDigital ReverbDr ScientistDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahExpresso FXFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzGFI SystemGlitchJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOctave FuzzOddball ModulationOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbTone Bender Style FuzzToneQuestTremoloTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
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July has largely been a very decent month for me and culminated with the arrival of my twin new Expresso FX Dual Custom Fuzzes and my annual white whale as such - the Chase Bliss Audio Automatone Preamp MKII on this occasion.

 

It looks like 4 pedals failed to get over the line within the appointed time period - the longest-ranging of which is my Evil Pumpkin Modded DS-1 - which has been en-route from Kiev since June 12th and which I surely hoped should have landed by now.

 

My ...

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A Brief Hobbyist Primer on Clipping Diodes

Blues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoost and OverdriveDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveRat Style FuzzTubescreamer Style OverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
2020GPXClippingDiodes700.jpg

So this post came about due to my sometimes confusion between Soft and Hard Clipping, Symmetrical and Asymmetrical Clipping and the individual clipping characteristics of different Diodes. In my earliest pedal years I took the type of Diode to be the essential constituent of the clipping degree and texture versus the actual circuit and diodes arrangement. Phrases like ’Soft Clipping Germanium’ also confused me for eons - as it’s actually the methodology which principally ...

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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+-
2020GPXFullFeaturedPreAmps700V3.jpg

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+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMJune700V3.jpg

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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End of May Pedal-Chain Update - Episode IV - A New Hope!

Ambient EffectsAnasoundsBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGFI SystemGlitchJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveKuro Custom AudioMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOddball ModulationOverdrivePhaserRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXToneQuestTremoloVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
2020GPXSKSignalChainPostNAMMMay2700.jpg

May was the month that several things finally slotted into place - all my missing / presumed lost USA orders finally landed as did a few other pedals which had been somewhat lingering in the wild - so May delivered a pretty decent pedal yield overall in the end. I also got to be involved in a couple of exciting up-and-coming brands - Kuro Custom Audio of Italy and MidValleyFX of USA. I’ve already published a feature on the excellent Kuro Akuma Fiery Fuzz as featured on slot #5, and hope ...

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The Menatone Flagship Pedals Trifecta Has Landed!

Blues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveDistortionDriveDual-DriveEffects Pedal MakersKlone and Transparent OverdriveMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneOverdriveVox Style Distortion+-
2020GPXMenatoneTrifecta700.jpg

Readers of this blog will know that I’ve been waiting for my trio of Menatone vertical dual-footswitch pedals to arrive for quite some time now. For a considerable period these were presumed lost, as they dropped off the tracking radar for nearly six weeks. In any case - good things come to those who wait - and this has all been well worth waiting for.

 

It all started back on January 24th when I got in touch with Brian about his then very recent Vertical Fish Factory release. I ...

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