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Best New Pedals at NAMM 2018

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s there a rigorous way to determine what were the best products among the new pedals presented at NAMM 2018? We doubt it, firstly because “Best of” lists are and always will be entirely subjective. Secondly, it’s worth noting that NAMM “Best of” lists tend to be skewed toward pedals that sport intriguing new features rather than those that “sound great,” simply because it’s downright impossible to tell what sounds good in an insanely noisy environment like NAMM. however, it is possible to create a chart that shows which stompboxes got the best response from experts in the field, simply by aggregating the opinions of the pedal pros who tried a lot of them at the Anaheim convention. Although this approach isn’t 100% foolproof (it’s impossible for any human being to go through all the new pedal releases!), we think it’s the most sensible. To that end, we sifted through the NAMM stompbox picks selected by five gear sites and gave every pedal one point each time it was selected. The sites are:

stefan from Affino.com BestGuitarEffects.com Delicious audio’s eric merrow music radar tone King

#1 (4 Points) JHS Pedals Bonsai Just a few weeks ago, in our pedal blog Delicious audio we pointed out that the Ibanez Tube Screamer is still a huge-selling pedal in all its many incarnations. JhS Pedals came up with the idea of creating a pedal, called the Bonsai, that faithfully replicates the nine classic versions of the mostcloned pedal on the planet. This was the only pedal that was selected by four of the five aforementioned sites. 24

the deli Austin 2018

#2 (3 Points)

A

C

B

E

D

F

A

Alexander Pedals

Colour theory spectrum sequencer

This pedal combines a versatile eight-step sequencer with a powerful effects processor, creating rhythmic combinations seldom heard outside of a rack of synths.

B

Chase Bliss Audio

thermae Pitch shifting Delay

Digitally manipulates an analog signal path created by 4 re-issued versions of the bucket-brigade delay chips. This creates the ability to change delay time in interesting intervals which allows for innumerable harmonizing options. Intervals can be sequenced through automatically, or triggered manually.

C

Chase Bliss Audio

Condor analog eq / Pre / filter

An EQ swiss army knife with a 100% analog signal path and digital controls and parametric boost/cut mids control from 150hz to 5khz with 3 “Q” settings. The Bass boost/cut

G control has 3 intensity settings. Low Pass Filter with 3 settings: normal, slight resonant, very resonant. A switch transforms it into an overdrive, and Ramping/hold functionality creates LFO filter tremolo effects.

D

Empress

zoia modular Pedal

zoia is a compact, stereo grid of musical anything. You can use its modules to construct instruments, effects, and utilities, including deep controlling features like MIDI i/o, Cv & clock in. It can also save patches as supermodules to speed up creation, and create modules randomly. New modules will be introduced over time.

E

Gamechanger Audio

Plasma Distortion

This pedal adopts a new method for achieving signal clipping. Instead of using LED circuits, transistors or vacuum tubes to produce overdrive, the Plasma transforms your instrument’s live signal into a series of continuous high-voltage discharges within a xenon-filled tube. In essence – you are playing a bolt of electricity. This produces an extremely heavy

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Austin Issue 2018, FRIGS, Will Rock Explode Again? Austin Stompbox Exhibit + Synth Expo  

An issue focused on the best emerging artists playing SXSW 2018, and our events for musicians (Synth Expo and Stompbox Exhibit).

Austin Issue 2018, FRIGS, Will Rock Explode Again? Austin Stompbox Exhibit + Synth Expo  

An issue focused on the best emerging artists playing SXSW 2018, and our events for musicians (Synth Expo and Stompbox Exhibit).

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