We talked to our in-house guitar wizard Scotty Iulianelli gives his take on some of the hottest pedals of 2016.
I remember about 10 years ago someone said to me, "Man, Scotty, this whole 'boutique' pedal thing will have to fizzle out at some point". If you ask me, dude was wrong. WAY wrong! Thankfully, most pedal builders (if not all) are guitar players, (I'm looking at you Kirk Hammett), and know exactly what is missing from their command station, i.e. pedalboard. In an effort to achieve the tones in their head or create something completely unheard of, they are pushing the boundaries of what pedals can do. At the same time, there are guys like Jext Telez out there, still sniffing out rare circuits and bringing them back from the dead for all of us to enjoy. And so here you have a list of pedals that 2016 has brought us that tap into the spirit of boundary-pushing and tone-unearthing.
Caroline Guitar Company Meteore Sports Reverb - VK Edition
A reverb pedal unlike any other and therefore, a must have. Cavernous yet lush, with a momentary "Havoc" button that lets you get dynamic and send a rushing wave of harmonics and verb over your playing.
Chase Bliss Audio Spectre Analog TZ Flanger
With a small footprint, it can fill some pretty big shoes. The Spectre Analog Through Zero Flanger can do it all. Expression, presets, assignable functions (via easy access dip-switches) and the list goes on. Did I mention it's a fully analog signal path? Think about that... It's nuts!
T-Rex Replicator Analog Tape Echo Pedal
T-Rex has always made great digital delay pedals but the Replicator is a game-changer. All the features of a good digital deal but in an actual tape delay! Lush saturation, tap? Come on now!
EarthQuaker Devices Spires Nu Face Double Fuzz
Two fuzz pedals in one. One based on a Rosac Nu Fuzz (green side) and the other, an EarthQuaker Dream Crusher (red side). The "Green" channel can go from Doom to sputter and the "Red" channel, rich in harmonic detail and hair, can go from rock to riff. I would almost say the Red Channel is like a small amp dimed vibe and the Green is a HUGE amp on blast vibe, to me anyway.
Walrus Audio Janus Fuzz & Tremolo
Another match made in some sort of weird heaven, the Janus pairs a versatile fuzz circuit with a smooth tremolo. Use one at a time or both together and you are going to have a good time. HAVE FUN! They don't call them "Joy-Sticks" for nothing!
SoloDallas Schaffer Replica Pedal
Ever realise no matter how hard you try, or how many Marshalls you buy, you never can sound like live AC/DC? Problem solved - The SoloDallas Schaffer replica is the missing link between SG and Marshall as it is based on the unintended yet amazing circuitry of AC/DC's Schaffer-Vega Diversity System (SVDS) wireless system.