Imagine it. You are standing around your kitchen with your closest tone confidants. You're in so deep that you don't know what's up and what's down. You lean back on the sink and say in exasperation, "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in." Any proper pedal head or effect freak knows THAT feeling. The search to find the perfect pedal for your board remains endless because brands like Strymon, Universal Audio, and Boss continue to create new innovative takes on delays, reverbs, and overdrives. We want to seek out the best, and the best keep on coming. In this blog, we'll break down the hottest pedals and effects of 2023 (so far). Let's hit it!

Strymon Cloudburst Ambient Reverb Pedal

Let's start with one for the ambient music makers! Whether you're adding sonics in the studio or tinkering during a live set and have open space to fill, the Strymon Cloudburst is apt to do the job. This single switch pedal utilizes a version of the "Cloud" algorithm from the beloved Big Sky and provides smooth, soft reverb unlike anything else. In the MP setting, you'll get more subtle sounds. Flip the switch to Forte to go big.


Strymon Brig Delay Pedal

Strymon continues to rethink the classics with its latest release, Brig, but this version goes way further than the OG Brigadier. The new pedal features three bucket brigade circuits, each with a distinct delay voicing. The 3205 gets you gritty repeats with morphing capabilities, while the 3005 delivers longer delay times and dreamy vibes. The third voice setting, Multi, features two cross-couple, clean dBucket delay lines.

Universal Audio Del-Verb, Galaxy '74 and MAX Pedals

In March, Universal Audio's UAFX lineup grew by three with the addition of the Del-Verb, Galaxy '74, and MAX. These stunning pedals boast dual-processor engines that provide musicians with a wide range of onboard emulations to explore and experiment with. Del-Verb deftly handles delay (Tape EP-III, Analog DMM, Precision) and reverb (Spring 65, Plate 140, Hall 224) while Galaxy '74 recreates the sound of the Roland Space Echo. For those who use two compressors in their set-up, the MAX will be an instant pedalboard add, as it gives you two sets of Dyna, Opto LA-2A, and FET 1176 to stack to your heart's content.  

Origin Effects DCX Boost Tone Shaper And Drive Pedal

One of the hottest pedals and effects of 2023 that ventures into well-known pro audio lore is the DCX Boost. Origin Effects was inspired by the Univeral Audio 610 and created the DCX Boost as a pedal version of the legendary preamp. Perfect for everything from clean to overdrive to fuzz-like tones, the DCX Boost offers many gain options while giving you control over your bass and treble frequencies. If you're a bass player, Origin Effects has you covered with the DCX Bass version.

IK Multimedia TONEX Amp Sim Pedal

Love your amp and want to model it so you can take it anywhere? Hate your tone and want to use something completely different? Do you want to go ampless altogether? Stop answering our rhetoricals and pick up the IK Multimedia TONEX pedal! Adding the TONEX to your board immediately unlocks access to thousands of amps, cabs, and pedals. Use the accompanying software to model your rig and leave all the heavy stuff at home.

Boss DM-101 Delay Pedal

Boss isn't getting left behind when it comes to modern interpretations of its classic gear. The new DM-101 has the same look as the classic DM1 and even features eight BBD chips in its analog signal path. However, things are under digital control with this pedal. We're talking about smart CPU technology with 12 different delay modes, recallable settings, MIDI I/O, and so much more.

Eventide H90 Multi-FX Pedal

Just in time for the 2023 NAMM Show, Eventide dropped one of the hottest pedals of the year in the H90 Harmonizer. This release builds on the 62 effects in the H9 Max by adding seven new algorithms to the equation. Among Eventide's time-tested favorites for pitch-shifting and reverb are fresh options like Polyphony, Prism Shift, Even-Vibe, and Headspace.

T-Rex Binson Echorec Tape Echo Pedal

T-Rex Effects is no stranger to doing wild things with pedals. After all, this brand put a  tape player right in the Replicator. For its latest release, T-Rex is reviving the beloved Binson Echorec (made famous by David Gilmour and Hank Marvin) in a five pound pedal format complete with two recording heads and four individual and switchable playback heads. Echoes and swells, here we come!

Warm Audio ODD Box V1 Overdrive Pedal

Any pedal pro worth their weight in patch cables will instantly recognize the inspiration for the Warm Audio ODD Box V1. This hard-clipping, op-amp-based overdrive serves up a sweet dose of boosts, breakup, high gain, and cleans. Warm has included a unique UK / US switch, which will switch the personality profile from British to American tube amps.

Warm Audio Mutation Phasor II Pedal

Warm Audio's second pedal release of the year is the aptly-named Mutation Phasor II, which is the brand's take on the classic Mu-Tron Phasor II. Whether you're after the funky sounds of Jerry Garcia and Eddie Hazel or something slightly more modern like Billy Corgan, this pedal will get you the swirls and wobbles you desire.

EarthQuaker Devices Aurelius Chorus Pedal

It's been eight years since EarthQuaker Devices released the beloved Sea Machine, and now the Akron, Ohio-based pedal wizards are back with a new flavor of chorus. Three new flavors of chorus, to be exact! The Aurelius has three modes: Vibrato Mode, Chorus Mode, and Rotary Mode. You can flip the middle switch to alternate between modes or save your favorite presets using one of the six slots on the Preset knob.

1981 Inventions LVL Overdrive Pedal

1981 Inventions has made a name for themselves with the DRV distortion pedal, which is a modified version of the ProCo Rat circuit. Building on this success, the company's second release, LVL, ventures into new sonic territory with a fresh design. Leveraging light clipping and an op-amp push, LVL unlocks unique overdrive sounds, setting it apart as a captivating addition to any rig.

Benson Amps Stonk Box Fuzz Pedal

Benson Amps is doing some interesting things with its Automatic Thermal Bias Technology. Just like the Germanium Fuzz before it, the Stonk Box utilizes this tech to gently warm the pedal's germanium transistors to a preset temperature. What does that mean for you? It means you will get blistering MK-1 fuzz sounds no matter what's going on with the weather.

Spaceman Effects Meridian Chorus Pedal

Last but not least on our list of the hottest pedals and effects of 2023 (so far) is the Spaceman Effects Meridan. Here we have another fantastic chorus, but this time the pedal utilizes a 1024-stage bucket brigade delay line for everything from subtle sounds to pitch-shifting vibrato and beyond. The Meridan also has a LFO section that lets you choose between three waveshapes: Sine, Triangle, and Flux. Open yourself up to a world of experimentation, and soon you'll be the master of space and time.
Cristian PerezIf you have any questions or would like to purchase any of the pedals mentioned in this blog, we're here to help! Please contact a Vintage King Audio Consultant via email or by phone at 866.644.0160.