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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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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large Extreme High Gain / Metal Style Distortion Pedals

AmptweakerDistortionMetal DistortionMooerREVV AmplificationWampler+-
2018GPX4SizeExtremHighGain700-min.jpg

So hopefully you have already read my High Gain / Metal Style Pedals article - as this really is a follow-up to that. I determine ’Extreme’ as the more modern metal tone with mid-push and super tight percussive sound. A number of these pedals are highly capable and versatile though - so it really depends how you set them up and how much gain you have dialled in. In any case these are typically the ones at the higher end of that spectrum.

 

There’s not too much between ...

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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large EVH Brown Sound Style Pedals

Brown Sound DistortionDistortionEVH ElectronicsMarshall Style DistortionMI EffectsMXRSuhrWampler+-
2018GPX4SizeBrownSound700-min.jpg

I’ve already mentioned that the treble-boosted Vox-style distortion a la Brian May is one of my favourite higher gain tones. The other being Eddie Van Halen’s Signature Variac-attenuated Marshall distortion with added flanger and phaser. I like this sound so much I have a number of dedicated pedals for this purpose - compact and mini. The first foray into this was the Mad Professor #1, then Suhr Riot, Bogner Burnley, and for the longest time now - my favourite - the V2 MI Effects ...

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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large Plexi Style Pedals

DistortionFriedman EffectsMarshall Style DistortionOrigin EffectsWamplerXotic Effects+-
2018GPX4SizePlexiDrives700-min.jpg

Next to the Tube Screamer, the Marshall Plexi sound is probably the second most cloned sound around and particularly in pedal format. You have a huge variety of Plexi pedals to choose from - with no signs of its popularity ever likely to wane. I’ve used a number of pedals over the years for my main Plexi sound - including the Empress Multidrive - which I actually included this time around in the OCD / Crunchy Overdrive style selection. My current champion is the superb Origin Effects ...

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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large Cranked / Top Boosted Vox Style Pedals

Bearfoot FXCarl MartinDistortionDriveSuhrVox Style DistortionWampler+-
2018GPX4SizeCrankedVoxStyle700-min.jpg

Who doesn’t love Brian May’s beautiful creamy Treble-Boosted Vox tone? For me it is one of my two absolute favourite distortion tones alongside Eddie Van Halen’s so called Brown Sound. My first foray into this was courtesy of the rather good, but not quite good enough Catalinbread Galileo - which just lacked a little in the gain and level department to be fully satisfactory for me. I then jumped on the silver/silicon Bearfoot FX Emerald Green Distortion Machine (EGDM) which ...

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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large Dumble Style Pedals

Boost and OverdriveCustom TonesDumble Style OverdriveOneControlVertexVertex EffectsWampler+-
2018GPX4SizeDumbles700-min.jpg

I used to have my ’12 Degrees of Saturation’ formation faithfully laid-out within my pedal-chain - with all the key drive types arranged in order, but recent experimentation has seen me go beyond those rather rigid lines a touch which means the Tube Screamer and Dumble type pedals are currently on the shelf! Despite that, the slightly fuzz-edged Dumble Overdrive Special sound is still one of my favourite Drive tones and will no doubt return to the chain before too long.

 

My ...

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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large Blues Breaker Style Pedals

Analog.ManBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoost and OverdriveMooerTech 21 NYCWampler+-
2018GPX4SizeBluesBreakers700-min.jpg

Before I get properly started on this post I want to dampen down the emotions of some of the gainsayers who actively contend that the King of Tone is not a Blues Breaker style pedal. In Mike Piera’s own words he describes how the King of Tone pedal evolved, and yes the initial inspiration and starting block was the MK1 Marshall Blues Breaker pedal, even though of course Mike’s final circuit is significantly enhanced and eventually highly differentiated from that it is still an ...

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Best of Mini, Compact, Medium and Large Klon Style Pedals

Boost and OverdriveDecibelicsKlone and Transparent OverdriveKTRProAnalog DevicesWampler+-
2018GPX4SizeKloneSelection700-min.jpg

The recent arrival of the V2 ProAnalog Devices Manticore was the catalyst for this series of articles. Where I select my own personal favourite pick for each of the key enclosure sizes. Anyone who has ever assembled a pedalboard or pedal-chain will know that you need to make some hard decisions along the way - based on exactly what you can fit in. Hence I give you options right along the scale from Mini, to Compact, Medium and Large.

 

Usually you get increased functionality and feature ...

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12 of the Best Medium and Large High Gain / Metal style Distortion Pedals

AmptweakerBogner AmplificationBrown Sound DistortionDiezel AmplificationDistortionDual-DriveEmpress EffectsEVH ElectronicsEVH GearHorizon DevicesMarshall Style DistortionMESA/BoogieMetal DistortionMI EffectsMulti-DriveRockfabrik EffectsSeymour DuncanWampler+-
2018GPX12LargeMetalPedals700-min.jpg

Not unusually for me, but pretty much all of these that I don’t have yet are on my wishlist, and I’m still deciding on what order to acquire those in and which ’I need’ the most! My current big metal pedal trio consists of the excellent Diezel VH4-2, Empress Heavy and MI Effects Megalith Delta - I set the Diezel at the most extreme gain, then the Megalith Delta, and then the two voicings of the Empress Heavy. Each of these is a dual drive so there are myriad options here...

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News Navigation

2018 50

Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal Pedal Considerations and Alternatives
"I would say that the Keeley gets you into the "...
19 days ago
Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal Pedal Considerations and Alternatives
"Can Keeley Filaments achieve shoegaze walls of "...
19 days ago
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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