It's been an incredible year for guitar pedals! From the big boys on down to the small boutique companies, 2015 has truly provided us with enough effects to last a lifetime. However, that doesn't mean we will stop trying to use each and every one of them anytime soon.
We picked the mind of our resident guitar wizard Scotty I. and asked him to select his five favorite pedals to be released this year. His list includes a re-up of a classic, condensed versions of some essentials, an intense reverb, a tremolo monster and a creation for one man band insanity. Read on to discover Scotty's picks for Best Guitar Pedals of 2015!
Origin Effects Compact Series
FINALLY! We can finally fit one of these amazing compressors on our board among our other 500 gotta-have pedals. I was getting pretty close to velcroing on the original sized Cali76 because it is a necessary pedal that demanded prime real-estate on my pedal board. No need now, these babies are normal sized! :) You have never heard a musical and polishing compressor as amazing this until you have played an Origin Effects compressor.
Chase Bliss Audio Gravitas
Ever look at a pedal and think “Man, if only my pedal had more features…” Well, Chase Bliss Audio leaves you wanting more, NO MORE! They have taken tremolo to the next level and left nothing to be desired. Full on tweakable, hackable, Pro Tools-linkable, dip-switchable, pre-setable, awesomeness.
This is the most versatile trem on the planet and to top it off it sounds just as extraordinary as it looks. It delivers a pizza, it lengthens it, it strengthens it, it finds that slipper that's been at large under the chaise lounge for several weeks, it plays a mean Rhythm Master, it makes excuses for unwanted lipstick on your collar and it’s only $299.
Electro-Harmonix 22500 Looper
Dual stereo looper! Yeah, that's two independent loops at once, 8GB card (up to 32) Quantize, Undo, Redo, USB and made in the US of A, blah blah blah. Let’s go back to having two independent loops for a sec. My thought is it that now I can loop both myself and my best friend Ben and still have our loops come out of our respective amps across the stage... OR! Loop my Sub 37 on Loop A, have it blasting out of the bass amp and have my guitar looping in Loop B going through my guitar amp and turn them on and off independently while I play with some other gizmos while maximizing the good lords gift of ADHD.
Caroline Météore Sports Reverb
Caroline stole my heart with the VK edition Kilobyte Delay in 2014, which left me waiting for their next release. Boy, they didn't disappoint with the Météore Sports Reverb!
At first, I thought we were going to get a reverb modeled off of one of my all time favorite records Sports by Huey Lewis and the News. Do you like Huey Lewis and the News? Their early work was a little too new wave for my taste. But when Sports came out in '83, I think they really came into their own, commercially and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He's been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far more bitter, cynical sense of humor (I warned you that I had ADHD).
Like the Kilobyte, the Sports Reverb has a Havoc Switch that can trail-on and on, building reverb walls that come crashing down when released. Unlike its second cousin, the Sony Sports Walkman, the Meteore is not waterproof, but will definitely drench your tone in some lush spring verb or the sound of your guitar echoing through the prehistoric caves of Meteora.
Gurus EchoSex 2
I am going to go ahead and award this as not only one of my favorite pedals of 2015, but it is hands down the sexiest pedal of 2015. When I first powered it up, the pedal got into character of its forefather the Binson Echorec and it was emitting a beautiful amber glow from within, which illuminated the controls and the smile on my face.
The glow makes you want to turn the lights off, so I did. I often just shut the lights off and let the lights of my gadgets light the room. I find it to be like some form of time travel because what only feels like a few minutes turns out to be hours and you are creeping into bed about 5 seconds before the alarm goes off.
Anyway… There I go again! Let’s talk about how it sounds. It’s lush like you would expect a tape echo to be. No matter what I could not get a bad sound out of it. The Age of Decay control is really cool for keeping things vibey and there is Bass/ Treble control which will let you slide the EchoSex into the mix nice and easy. Grab one, turn the lights out and put on some NetFlix.