Pedal Pow Wow

Pedals tend to be the most frequently changed pieces of equipment in our rigs, and the seemingly insatiable demand for them is fueled by our own belief in better sound through technology.

A recent tally of new stompbox arrivals in the Guitar Player offices uncovered over two dozen units that included everything from straight-ahead signal boosters to digital-modeling powerhouses capable of replicating a goodly fraction of a vintage music store’s classic effects inventory. Many of today’s stompbox makers are revisiting the oldies to create new hy-brids, and this build-a-better- mousetrap approach is a boon for players who want to be able to, say, control the depth or sweep of their otherwise vintage-style phase shifter from an external source—something you definitely can’t do with a ’70s-era Small Stone or Phase 90. But even if many of the “new” sounds aren’t really so new, cutting-edge technology has a way of sneaking into the latest pedals, and often with startling results—just witness some of the boxes that model classic amplifier tones, or those that provide enhanced delay, reverb, and modulation effects via the high-end-audio method of melding digital processing with tube conditioning.

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