THERE’S NO DOUBT THAT GUITAR PLAYERS HAVE A HUGE ARENA to play in when it comes to effects pedals. Never in the history of electric guitar have there been so many companies—from large corporations to one-man operations—devoted to creating compact effects for what would appear to be an insatiable market. It’s unusual to find an electric player who doesn’t have at least a couple of stompboxes on the floor, and while not all are as effects-centric as, say, Oz Noy or Omar Rodriguez Lopez, the vast majority of guitarists making albums these days are taking advantage of stompbox technology for their distortion, modulation, and just plain whacked-out sounds.
The thing is that regardless of whether you’re a seasoned pro or a guitar novice, the urge to try new stompboxes is equally irresistible. You might start out with a modest setup of distortion, modulation, and delay boxes, but the lure to add “spotlight” effects to spice up your set will almost inevitably lead you down the road toward larger and more sophisticated pedalboards. “Go big or go home” seems to be the deal nowadays when it comes to effects rigs—even many bass players are carrying boards long enough to surf on—and judging by the number of new pedals that arrive at our offices each month, stompbox makers are definitely pushing out new designs as quickly as possible to satisfy the demand.
We recently corralled 20 pedals and ran them though their paces using various Danelectro, Fender, Fernandes, Gibson, and PRS guitars. Our test amps included a Budda Twinmaster combo, a Fender Deluxe Reverb, a Kendrick 20th Anniversary BadAssMan, an Orange Tiny Terror, a Victoria VIC105, and four Blackheart heads ranging in power from one to 100 watts...
- Analog Man ARDX20 Dual Analog Delay
- Barge Concepts BB-1 Standard
- Barge Concepts BP-1
- Barge Concepts RC-3 Compressor
- Barge Concepts VFB-2 Variable Feedback & Blend Bypass Looper
- Cornell Overdrive Special
- Cornell T.M. Boost
- Danelectro Cool Cat Fuzz CF-2
- MXR Fullbore Metal
- Tanabe Zenkudo
- Tanabe Dumkudo
- Tanabe Twin Custom
- Tanabe Sunkudo
- Tonehunter Hot Tuna
- Tonehunter Juicy Fruit
- TWA Little Dipper LD-01
- Xotic Effects EP-Booster
- Z.Vex Distortron