Founded in 1993 by Fred Bonte, Black Cat Pedals is one of the oldest and most distinguished brands of boutique guitar effects around. The vintage tone that you can find in some of the greatest pedals ever made, this is what BC is after and truly succeeds in the production units they have out there. No cut corners here or PCB-mounted jacks - only through-hole components. With users such as Eric Johnson, Gary Clark Jr., Beastie Boys, Billy Gibbons, and Jerry Cantrell, its not very likely you have not enjoyed the sounds coming out of these stompboxes.
Starting out as a guitar design company, Philippe Herndon turned his attention to making original circuit pedals to see what happens. What happened was a plethora of fantastic sounding stompboxes with truly original sounds. While paying homage to, and being inspired by, the developers that got us to where we are, Caroline prefers to create new sounds, new choices for musicians and bring features you might not expect. We love the sweet seductive lo-fi responses and unique voicing options they pump out and the industry seems to agree. These pedals can be heard on records from Linkin Park, Chris Cornell (RIP), Rival Sons, Wilco, many more.
Chasing sound. That is what happens endlessly inside the offices and studios of Oregon's most famous pedal builders, Catalinbread Mechanisms of Music. This brings about questions of how they find this sound. There is the Belle Epoch, which vaulted them onto many pedalboards with its true to the original reproduction of the Echoplex. The Dirty Little Secret brings a Marshall Stack into any set up you have going. Then there is Topanga, which so closely emulates that gorgeous drip of the Fender outboard spring reverb. Chasing that sound drives them to create, not the pedals that pop up in market research, but then ones they themselves want on their board without sacrificing on cheaper parts in the process. For pure quality and sweet sounds, Catalinbread is always going to be in any top 10 you can find!
Johnny Wator, of Chicago, Illinois couldn't find, or afford the pedals he really wanted. So he built them himself. The result is a line of pedals made for the player...by the player...at a player's price point. Handwired with high quality components, these pedals seem to find THAT sound you have always been looking for but couldn't find with other brands.
Total Sonic Annihilation. This was the dream of Death By Audio's Oliver Ackermann, and the basis of most things to come from the company ever since he created the original prototype, and founded the company that now produces the pedal, back in 2002. One of the more culturally involved companies around, the warehouse they resided in was the home of the Death By Audio artists space contributing to Brooklyn's local scene for years. Singer and guitarist of New York's loudest bad, it is no wonder the pedals he designs also bring the noise level to a maximum. With a full line of high quality and extremely versatile effects, it is no wonder that bonafide legendary artists stomp his boxes on a daily basis - Lou Reed, Flaming Lips, Radiohead, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Edge, Trent Reznor, St. Vincent, Pearl Jam - must we go on? Just kick one of these boxes on and you will see what we mean.
The pedals coming out of the Dr. Scientist camp are truly unique. Served up fresh from the center of all things spacy, Ryan Clarke and his graphically inclined partner bring creativity and quality into a happy marriage of noisy bliss. From a country that legalizes everything before most, the tones you can generate from these hot boxes should not be legal at all!
Earthquaker Devices was first made famous by the Black Keys. Guitarist Dan Auerbach really liked the fuzz sound coming from the Hoof, and this pedal quickly became the flagship of the Ohio based company. After a few years, production moved from the basement in founder Jamie Stillman's house to a two-storey hall, and the product line has expanded into dozens of amazing pedals - from fuzz, overdrive and distrortion, to modulation boxes and delays, to endless spacy reverb designs. Their pedals are indestructible and adorn the pedalboards of bands like Queens of the Stone Age and The Strokes.
First look at Fairfield's industrial looking boxes and you really wonder what it is about. No flash, no paint, just grey boxes. But these are not your regular classic pedal mods. Every one of these pedals is original in the true sense of the word. The original circuit designs inside are the works of art that you might expect on the outside. Each design takes a pedal that most people consider unchangeable and turns it into something you never imagined you would get out of a guitar pedal. From a fuzz that has a frequency sweep to a ring modulator with wave modification, and a K-Field modulator (what is that???)...if you want new sounds from your gear, this is where to turn.
Michael Fuller started Fulltone more than 25 years ago. Since then, Fulltone has become synonymous with two words - tone and quality. It is Fulltone's passion to ensure you get the purest and most beautiful tones possible out of pedals that are built to last. Whether through original circuitry and new innovations to the pedal world, or through improved clones of some of the most classic pedals of all time, Fulltone makes sure you have the sounds and versatility you need to wow the crowds! Just ask the droves of best selling artists that use his pedals every day...
The original Clyde McCoy Wah was Vox’s attempt to recreate the muted trumpet sounds
The authentic Univibe clone! There are a LOT of pedals claiming to be “authentic vintage
The Obsessive Compulsive Overdrive is probably the most well known and best selling pedal
Started sometime around mid 2014, with the Black Fountain Delay pedal being their initial design, these guys from from OK USA (that's a place, not an opinion) design, build and showcase their wares like nobody else. We found ourselves doing the same thing when we saw the first demo video as we did when we tried the first pedal for ourselves - cocking our head to the side...a bit confused and a bit reveling in the strangeness of it all. With so many sweet spots in every pedal ranging from tame to shameless, these pedals bring all sorts of sweet noise - and gorgeous artwork - to your board.
We met founder Chris Tsakalis through the Aussie Bushfire charity initiative that ended up, along with helping significantly in contributing to the disaster relief, showcasing the selflessness of the many great people in the industry, including Chris Tsakalis. But Tsakalis Audioworks has been impressing musicians for several years already. Chris started out just repairing gear and developing what was to become the Gravity Spot. Now, with multiple pedals recognized and recommended by Premier Guitar and Vintage Guitar, among others, and a growing artist database, Tsakalis is set to become a huge force in the handmade pedal world!
Galicia is beaten with constant winds and rain off the Atlantic. The people of this province in Spain endure through it all. The guys at Xtonebox rely on top notch materials and high quality components. While their range is not broad, you can bet your house that what they do, they do with intent. The tones from Xtonebox stompboxes will make you feel warm in places you never knew about!
San Fernando Valley - famous for being the home to a few things - the Batmobile and Xotic Effects. These high quality, fully hand made pedals are pretty much used by everyone, from the pro-est of the pro to amat-est of the amateur. Xotic makes pedals that don't flash glittery sparkles in your eyes, but they bring your board to the next level, no matter which pedal you choose. Starting with bass guitars and effects, they have branched out into guitar with great success and we are very sure you’ll dig any product from Xotic that you get your hands on.