Guitar Gain Boost Part 1 – Getting the Parts

guitar gain boost part 1Since Gain Boost is one of the most common processes in every pedal, we’ll start by assembling the parts that we’ll need to build our great “beginner” pedal.

In Guitar Gain Boost Part 1, we’ll take a look at the first actual pedal that we are going to create. It’s called the Piledriver, and it is a Gain Boost pedal that I got from modkitsdiy.com (https://www.modkitsdiy.com/pedal/piledriver). This is listed as a “beginner” pedal and that is one of the reasons why I chose it. Gain Boost is also one of the most common processes that take place in every pedal and understanding it will put you well on the road to building great sounding pedals.

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Getting Started Building Your Own Guitar Effects Pedals

best guitar phase shifterHow and where to get started building your own guitar effects pedals from scratch.

To build your own pedal you will usually need to buy a kit for the project and the price of it will vary, based on the kind of pedal that you want to build. If you are building the project from just a schematic, you will need to buy all of the parts individually on your own. Continue reading “Getting Started Building Your Own Guitar Effects Pedals”

Best Guitar Chorus Pedals

best guitar chorusThese classic staples of the industry, as well as some new arrivals to the scene, are some of the best guitar chorus pedals around.

What is the best guitar chorus pedal? Much like overdrive and spring reverb, chorus is a classic guitar effect that every guitarist is familiar with. Chorus is essential for thickening up clean sounds and giving sustaining notes a swirly watery type of movement. This effect also works very well with overdrive, giving it a doubled, more polished sound. While chorus can be very subtle (just thickening the sound a bit or adding some shimmer) it is also capable of some exaggerated effects reminiscent of science fiction movies.

You can probably hear the chorus effect on three out of every four 80s songs. In fact, a perfect example is the beginning of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are”. Since we’re discussing the best chorus pedals available, this list will focus on staples in the industry, as well as some new arrivals to the scene. We want solid tone without too many side effects (for example that background “air swirling sound”). We also want dependability, solid construction, and perhaps some new features.

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Keeley Seafoam Plus Chorus

keeley seafoamThe Seafoam Plus features an internal switch for Vintage mode, as well as an internal switch that turns the pedal into a bass chorus, flanger, or tremolo.

One of the most modern pedals on this list, the Keeley Seafoam Plus Chorus, has a lot of features packed into its compact size. This pedal uses the same automatic doubler as that used in the Keeley 30ms Double Tracker. The Seafoam Plus has three modes of operation. ADT chorus mode creates a second and third voice each with its own slight delay and pitch to emulate a real chorus. Continue reading “Keeley Seafoam Plus Chorus”

What are the Best Guitar Distortion Pedals?

best guitar distortionDistortion is such a personal choice. If you are in search of the best guitar distortion pedals, this list offers some solid options.

Distortion is a type of overdrive, or more accurately, overdrive is a type of distortion. Usually, when we talk about distortion, we’re talking about overdrive with a very high gain that’s very fuzzy and compressed. It’s a different, more controlled sound than FUZZ though, and it’s created in a different way as well. Continue reading “What are the Best Guitar Distortion Pedals?”

Ibanez Tube Screamer TS808DX

ts808dxIbanez Tube Screamer TS808DX

The latest iteration of the line of Ibanez Tube Screamer pedals is the TS808DX. This modern version has some cool features not seen before. The TS808DX is actually two pedals in one, the Tube Screamer and a clean signal boost. It features the same three control knobs you probably know from earlier versions: Overdrive adjusts the amount of overdrive added to the signal; Tone adjusts the level of high end frequencies present in the signal; and Level adjusts the volume of the pedal to match it with the signal when the effect is disengaged. Continue reading “Ibanez Tube Screamer TS808DX”

Seymour Duncan Catalina Dynamic Chorus

Seymour duncan catalinaSeymour Duncan Catalina Dynamic Chorus

The Seymour Duncan Catalina Dynamic Chorus is another 100% pure analogue chorus pedal that uses the “Bucket Brigade Devices” chip to delay the signal. The Catalina has a lot of controls that are designed to help you get your sound just right. The Delay control allows you to set delay times from 6ms to 60ms. The Depth knob modulates the delay time from no modulation for just a slightly thicker sound, to 50% for a swirly chorus sound. The Rate control adjusts the speed of the effect from 0.33 cycles per second to 10 cycles per second. Continue reading “Seymour Duncan Catalina Dynamic Chorus”

Dunlop Silicon Fuzz Face Mini Blue

Dunlop Silicon Fuzz Face Mini BlueDunlop Silicon Fuzz Face Mini Blue

The Dunlop Silicon Fuzz Face Mini Blue is a modern design of the legendary Fuzz Face. As the name suggests, this pedal is housed in a much smaller package than its vintage bigger brother. This is a bright and aggressive pedal built with vintage spec matched BC108 silicon transistors. There are two knobs: Volume and Fuzz, which is where you’ll dial in your sound. Continue reading “Dunlop Silicon Fuzz Face Mini Blue”

Radial Engineering Tonebone TriMode Distortion Pedal

Radial Engineering Tonebone TriMode DistortionRadial Engineering Tonebone TriMode Distortion Pedal

As the name suggests, the Radial Engineering Tonebone TriMode Distortion has three modes of operation: True Bypass, which is designed to keep your signal clean and uncompromised on its way to the amplifier; Rhythm, where you can adjust the distortion, mid range, and output levels; and Solo, which optimizes your sound with increased control and sustain. Both overdrive modes make use of the built-in 12AX7 tube for that British overdrive tone, blending solid state gain stages for modern levels of saturation with the 12AX7 for vintage warmth. Each section has its own Level and Drive control as well as its own three-position Mid Boost switch. Continue reading “Radial Engineering Tonebone TriMode Distortion Pedal”