Winter NAMM 2015 was packed with more pedals than ever. It was impossible to check everything out, and we were floored by everything we did see.
It was hard to narrow down our favorites—and this list is by no means complete—but here are 10 pedals that you absolutely must check out in 2015.
Stay tuned for more!
EarthQuaker Park Fuzz Sound
The result of a joint partnership between Park Amplifiers and EarthQuaker Devices, the Park Fuzz Sound is a variation of the Sixties British three-knob fuzz pedals available under various brand names, including Park. Like the originals, the Park Fuzz Sound uses germanium transistors, in this case New Old Stock, to recreate authentic Sixties fuzz tones. The transistors are matched to ensure consistency from pedal to pedal. EarthQuaker has made a few modifications that make the pedal better suited to modern players, including a wider tonal range that takes the fuzz from warm and mellow to biting. User-friendly features include a smaller size, a nine-volt adapter jack with standard polarity, plus true-bypass switching. Low current draw insures that the pedal is ready for isolated power supplies.
DIRECT PRICE: $175
For more information, visit EarthQuaker Devices.
Walrus Audio Luminary
One of Walrus Audio's new pedals introduced this year, Luminary is an octave generator that includes a fantastic degree of control over its operation. There are options for two-octaves-up and two-octaves-down, with mix controls for each to govern how much of each you hear in your signal. The coolest feature is the attack control. Back it all the way down, and the octaves jump in as soon as you play. Dial it up, and the octave tones fade in gradually for an almost ghostly effect. There's even a filter to help you tame the octave tones and create a more unified sound. Violin-like textures and wild space orchestras are among the extremely cool sounds to be found with the Luminary. Simply awesome.
For more information, visit Walrus Audio.
Line 6 Firehawk FX
The Firehawk FX multi-effect guitar processor gives you the tones of more than 200 legendary amps and effects, all of which can be expanded through Line 6's massive online tone library. The tones represent some of the finest amps, ranging from warm vintage classics to high-gain powerhouses. Effects include must-have stomp boxes, rare studio effects, and stunning Line 6 originals. Better still, the free Firehawk Remote app for iOS and Android lets you sculpt the tone from a phone or tablet, making it easy to craft signal chains, fine-tune tone parameters, and find the right sound for any recording session, rehearsal or gig. The pedal has five foot switches with colored LED rings that make it easy to navigate, and it offers 1/4-inch and Variax Digital inputs, two outputs, and effect loop, USB connectivity and ultra-low latency.
LIST PRICE: $629.99
Available first quarter of 2015.
For more information, visit Line 6.
Singular Sound BeatBuddy
It's pretty easy to see why BeatBuddy won Best in Show for NAMM 2015. As we noted in our review of the BeatBuddy, it's an innovative, useful and great-sounding pedal that makes it easy to put a solid beat under your performance. Unlike rhythm machines, which require a fair amount of programming and offer no opportunity for improvising, BeatBuddy provides a selection of rhythm patterns for intros, rhythms, fills, and outros, each of which can be called up with a simple tap of the switch, on the fly, as you perform. The pedal's large color-coded LCD makes it easy to know which type of pattern is active, and a scrolling metronome helps you keep track of beats for each measure. Most important, though, are the sounds, and they are great. BeatBuddy comes packed with 10 different kits covering a range of styles and genres.
LIST PRICE: $349
For more information, visit MyBeatBuddy.
TC Electronic Viscous Vibe
This new addition to TC Electronic's innovative line of TonePrint pedals is a dead-on digital recreation of the legendary Shin-Ei Uni-Vibe, known from countless recordings by Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower and Pink Floyd. The Shin-Ei Uni-Vibe is known for its otherworldly lush and syrupy sweet tones, and with Viscous Vibe these sounds are finally available in a modern, high-quality and compact pedal that won't break the bank. Viscous Vibe combines its gloriously gooey old-school sounds with contemporary features like stereo I/O, true bypass and analog-dry-through. You can also create your own Vibe tones or beam custom made signature sounds to the pedal with the free TonePrint App and Editor.
LIST PRICE: $129.99
Available in June
For more information, visit TC Electronic.
Go to around :50 for the Viscous Vibe content
T-Rex Replicator Tape Delay
Vintage tape delays sound amazing, but they're remarkably expensive and prone to technical problems. And don't even think about taking them onstage. Tape-delay emulators are a great way to avoid those hassles, but for guitarists who crave the real thing, T-Rex has come up with the Replicator, a genuine, 100-percent-analog tape delay that improves upon vintage designs. For the Replicator, T-Rex uses thick chrome tape that lasts much longer than the standard tape used on vintage tape delays. There are also two playback heads for more delay options, with the second head capable of being switched on or off. Chorus, sustain, and tap-tempo are also on offer. Better still, the tape itself is contained in a cassette that can be easily replaced when the time comes. The Replicator will also have a built-in universal power supply that makes the unit compatible with all standard voltages. Each unit will be handmade in Denmark. If the end product sounds as fantastic as the prototype displayed at NAMM 2015, the Replicator will be huge.
LIST PRICE: $799
Available in fall 2015
For more information, visit T-Rex Effects.
Electro-Harmonix taps into the past with the Octavix, the company's own spin on the famed Octavia pedal from the Sixties, with an octave-up circuit. What makes it truly unique is a mini switch for moving between nine- and 24-volt operation, opening up a whole new range of sonic territory. In nine-volt mode, Octavix behaves like a typical saggy fuzz pedal. In 24-volt mode, the pedal offers a tighter fuzz sound and richer tone, while it becomes responsive to picking dynamics. With the fuzz cranked and your guitar turned down, the fuzz cleans up nicely while the octave comes more to the foreground. The Octavix comes packed in EHX's company and durable Nano chassis and features true-bypass for maximum signal integrity.
For more information, visit EHX.com.
If sludgy detuned metal is your thing, get ready for a rough ride. The Boneshaker distortion pedal is supercharged with a three-band parametric EQ that drives its gain to add more frequency-specific, bowel-churning lows, more bare-knuckle mids and more responsive highs. Essentially, more of everything! Black Arts Toneworks designed the Boneshaker's circuit specifically for extended-range guitars, baritone and bass, making it the perfect distortion for players who like to take their tunings into the nether zone. The Boneshaker is true bypass and has a nine-volt power-supply jack.
Available: March 15
For more information, visit DOD.
Seymour Duncan Vise Grip
Seymour Duncan's new Vise Grip Compressor delivers studio-grade soft-knee compression for guitarists, allowing everything from subtle smoothing to dramatically squashed tones. Parallel compression is possible with the blend knob, which lets you add as much or as little of the original signal as you like to the compressed sound. Plus, with the Mid/Full/High switch you can choose the character of the blended signal by deciding what frequency range of the dry signal is blended in with the wet. Other controls include the standard sustain, attack and volume, which acts as both a make-up gain or as a boost.
LIST PRICE: $229
For more information, visit Seymour Duncan.
Dunlop CBM95 Cry Baby Mini wah
Half the size of a traditional Cry Baby, the Mini wah is big on tone. It features the legendary Fasel inductor, has a full sweep range and—best of all—offers three internally adjustable voicings: low, vintage and the more modern GDB95. The result is a truly versatile wah that takes up minimal space on your pedal board. It also has true bypass and the tough construction you'd expect from Dunlop.
LIST PRICE: $142.84
For more information, visit Dunlop.