NAMM 2012: 10 Of The Best Guitar Effects Pedals

30th Jan 2012 | 11:21

NAMM 2012: 10 Of The Best Guitar Effects Pedals
MXR Custom Badass Modified OD

This year’s NAMM show was packed with exciting announcements about the effects pedals due to drop in 2012. Here we’ve gathered up a small selection of our most-anticipated stompboxes and multi-fx units.

MXR Custom Badass Modified OD

MSRP: unconfirmed, but European MSRP is €159 (approx. £133)

They say:

“A classic overdrive circuit with modern modifications for improved performance and versatility. Experience overdrive nirvana courtesy of the MXR Custom Badass team.”

We say:

The same team behind last year’s successful MXR Custom Badass ’78 Distortion turn their attention to overdrive pedals, adding a 100HZ filter control – designed to help retain the bottom-end when boosting the mids in your tone.

Essential tech specs:

Overdrive pedal with 100HZ frequency boost, ‘BUMP’ switch for low and mid-range boost and 9v power.

MXR Custom Badass Modified OD video demo

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NAMM 2012: 10 Of The Best Guitar Effects Pedals
Fender Mustang Floor

Fender Mustang Floor

MSRP: unconfirmed

They say:

“Fender is proud to announce the debut of its first-ever multi-effects unit, the Mustang Floor… a user-friendly, versatile and high-performance floor unit that delivers professional calibre modelling and effects in a richly varied wealth of musical styles.”

We say:

Based around the popular Mustang modelling amps, the Floor brings an expression pedal into play, has a wealth of I/O connections and looks ruggedly built. Plus, if the pricing is anything like that of its amp-based siblings, the unit will be one of the more affordable multi-fx options out there.

Essential tech specs:

Digital amp-modeller and multi-fx unit with expression pedal, two XLR and quarter-inch outputs (left and right), 3.5mm aux in (for MP3 players etc), 100 customisable presets, 12 amp models, seven stomp effects, 11 modulation effects, nine delay effects and 10 reverb effects.

Fender Mustang Floor press release

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NAMM 2012: 10 Of The Best Guitar Effects Pedals
Joe Bonamassa Signature Cry Baby

Joe Bonamassa Signature Cry Baby

MSRP: unconfirmed, but pre-order via Joe’s website for $169.99 (approx. £109)

They say:

“With its huge vocal sweep range, this is one of the most expressive Cry Babys ever, and it’s Joe’s tool of choice to accentuate every soulful bend and bluesy wail.”

We say:

The extended ‘vocal sweep’ and vintage-style Halo inductor should set this Cry Baby aside from the other standard and signature models, but the proof will be in the, err, wah-pudding.

Essential tech specs:

Wah pedal with a vintage-style Halo inductor (as favoured by Vox wahs), output buffer (to combat impedance), switchable true-bypass and an extended ‘vocal sweep’ range.

Joe Bonamassa Signature Cry Baby press release

Joe Bonamassa Signature Cry Baby video demo

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NAMM 2012: 10 Of The Best Guitar Effects Pedals
Catalinbread Octapussy

Catalinbread Octapussy

MSRP: unconfirmed

They say:

“Searing three knob octave fuzz, capable of delicate octave harmonies, to ripping fuzz tones… whether played high on the frets, or chunky power chords.”

We say:

Now that you can carry a whole pedalboard around on your phone, it’s easy to forget the pleasure of a bitching hand-built fuzz pedal with a brilliant name and a psychedelic paint job. Catalinbread used its NAMM debut to remind us of just that.

Essential tech specs:

Octave fuzz pedal with gain, body and attenuation knobs and LED bypass.

Catalinbread Octapussy press release

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NAMM 2012: 10 Of The Best Guitar Effects Pedals
Zoom G5

Zoom G5

MSRP: unconfirmed

They say:

“…” Not a lot!

We say:

Only the basic specs and above image have been released at this point, but we know that the G5 will house over 120 effects, four LCD displays and 20 amp models driven by a preamp tube, though we’re not sure what kind right now.

Essential tech specs:

Hybrid digital/valve amp-modeller and multi-fx unit with 20 tube-driven amp models, 120 effects, four LCD displays, balanced XLR output and USB audio interface capability.

Zoom G5 press release

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NAMM 2012: 10 Of The Best Guitar Effects Pedals
Blackstar HT-Metal

Blackstar HT-Metal

MSRP: £179

They say:

“Blackstar's new HT-Metal valve pedal is a no-compromise, two channel, ultra high gain filth machine. The tone has been benchmarked against the best high-gain valve amps in the world and will transform even a mild mannered classic into a fire breathing monster.”

We say:

It certainly looks the business and knowing Blackstar it will likely be a far more flexible affair than its super-heavy styling would lead you to believe. Check out Total Guitar issue 224 (on sale now) for our full review.

Essential tech specs:

Two-channel valve distortion pedal with an ECC83 preamp tube, three-band EQ, clean/OD switch (for selecting gain level on channel one) and speaker-emulated output.

Blackstar HT-Metal press release

Blackstar HT-Metal video demo

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NAMM 2012: 10 Of The Best Guitar Effects Pedals
IK Multimedia iRig STOMP

IK Multimedia iRig STOMP

MSRP: unconfirmed, European MSRP is €44.99 excluding tax (approx. £44.50 including VAT)

They say:

“The first stompbox guitar interface for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad… Guitar and bass players can now integrate their favorite iOS signal processing apps into their existing live pedalboard setup for enhanced tone shaping and effects processing.”

We say:

iOS-friendly devices were all the rage this year, but the iRig STOMP seemed to provide one of the most simple and genuinely useful solutions to integrating the likes of Garageband and Amplitube into a live rig. It’s no Octapussy in the looks department though…

Essential tech specs:

Stompbox iOS interface with active battery-powered output and large input gain knob

IK Multimedia iRig STOMP press release

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NAMM 2012: 10 Of The Best Guitar Effects Pedals
TC Electronic PolyTune Mini

TC Electronic PolyTune Mini

MSRP: £65

They say:

“Sometimes size actually does matter and in such cases, PolyTune Mini is the perfect solution… No other pedal tuner in the world will take up so little space - which means more room for other pedals.”

We say:

The original PolyTune was a revelation and the Mini adds new settings (e.g. Drop D) and reduces its physical footprint considerably. Check out Total Guitar issue 224 for our full review.

Essential tech specs:

Polyphonic (all strings simultaneously) tuner pedal running on a 9v power supply, with a super bright LED display and Drop D and Capo modes.

TC Electronic PolyTune Mini press release

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NAMM 2012: 10 Of The Best Guitar Effects Pedals
Vox DelayLab

Vox DelayLab

MSRP: £227

They say:

“In addition to 30 diverse delay effects, the DelayLab offers a stereo looper that can capture up to 28 seconds, 30 stage-ready programs, and a wealth of extras, all packed into a sturdy diecast body.”

We say:

Combining a delay-modeller with a looper pedal is a neat idea and Vox has added some interesting features, such as a sync mode, which should take some of the timing-hassle out of layering-up delay loops.

Essential tech specs:

Delay-modeller and looper pedal with stereo inputs and outputs, 30 delay-types, 28-second stereo looping, ability to combine loop and delay effects and high quality 24-bit sampling rate.

Vox DelayLab press release

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NAMM 2012: 10 Of The Best Guitar Effects Pedals
BOSS GT-100

BOSS GT-100

MSRP: £499

They say:

“Driven by a powerful new BOSS DSP engine, the GT-100 is the most advanced GT ever, loaded with newly developed, ultra-responsive COSM amps, updated effects with enhanced real-time control options, dual displays for easy sound programming and more.”

We say:

BOSS hasn’t simply updated the GT-10 with a faster processor and a new lick of paint (though the GT-100 has both of those things); it’s gone back and completely re-modelled all of the presets, redesigned the interface and added a heap of nifty extras.

Essential tech specs:

Digital amp-modeller and multi-fx unit with two quarter-inch outputs, external fx loop send and return, amp control jack, USB and midi connectivity, headphones output, 3.5mm aux in (for MP3 players etc) and 400 program memory slots (200 user, 200 preset).

BOSS GT-100 press release

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