Stomping Ground: 30 of the Coolest New Stomp Boxes and Tried-and-True Favorites
Guitar World presents a selection of the coolest new stomp boxes — and a few tried-and-true standbys no guitarist should be without.
Tech 21 Boost Overdrive
Celebrating the classic rock sounds of vintage overdrive pedals from the Seventies, the Boost Overdrive pumps up the midrange and adds sustain.
The sparkle control brings out upper harmonics for an open, snappy sound.
The Boost Overdrive is one in a series of four all-analog effects that includes the Boost Fuzz, Boost Distortion and Bass Boost Fuzz. Each features a Boost function, delivering up to 21dB of clean boost. All the pedals are made in the US.
LIST PRICE: $195 | tech21nyc.com
Eventide H9 Harmonizer
The H9 Harmonizer includes Eventide’s renowned studio-quality sound and the most popular effects from Eventide’s line of stomp boxes, including the new Ultra-Tap Delay effect. The H9 packs all the Eventide delay, modulation, pitch and reverb effects you need in a small footprint, along with a fast and accurate tuner. It even includes a remote-control app that lets you wirelessly audition and purchase new effects, edit, manage presets and set-up the H9 from an iPhone or iPad.
STREET PRICE: $499 | Eventide.com
Strymon Mobius Multidimensional Modulation
The mad scientists at Strymon spent countless late nights in their labs forging a collection of the most organic, luscious and versatile modulation effects. The result is the Mobius Multidimensional Modulation, a pedal that captures the warmth and detail of iconic mod effects from the past five decades and pushes their boundaries for new sonic possibilities never heard before. Its sounds range from lush vintage chorus and classic pulsating tremolos to syrupy psychedelic phasers and bit-crushed warbles.
STREET PRICE: $449 | strymon.net/mobius/
Pigtronix Infinity Looper
The Pigtronix Infinity looping pedal is simple to operate, yet it’s tremendously powerful and flexible. Its latency-free looping provides instantaneous record, playback, dub, undo and redo on two stereo loop pairs.
And thanks to discrete analog limiter stages, transparent analog pass-through and a 24-bit/48kHz HD recording engine, the Infinity Looper sounds downright incredible.
LIST PRICE: $599, STREET PRICE: $449 | pigtronix.com
Line 6 M9
Tough as nails and easy to use, the M9 Stompbox Modeler is a powerful, portable guitar effect powerhouse jammed with a huge collection of vintage and modern stomp-box effects painstakingly modeled by the Line 6 team. It includes 17 classic distortion and fuzz pedals, 23 modulation effects, a dozen vintage and modern compressors, filters, reverbs, and a complete collection of analog and digital echoes, including Line 6’s famous DL4 Delay Modeler.
LIST PRICE: $559.99; STREET PRICE: $399.99 | line6.com/m9/
Visual Sound Time Bandit
The Time Bandit converts any click-track signal into a tap-tempo signal that you can plug directly into your time-based effects. Connect a click track to the Time Bandit, then connect the output to your processor’s tap-tempo input. The Time Bandit can also act as a bpm generator and send tempo information to the pedal, with no tapping required.
STREET PRICE: $99.95 | visualsound.net
Bogner Amplification Ecstasy Red
The Ecstasy Red pedal captures the Red Channel tone of Bogner’s legendary Ecstasy amplifier, famous for its incendiary higher-gain crunch and lead tones.
The Red pedal features interactive controls for gain and EQ, allowing it to deliver a wide range of expressive tones, from vintage overdrive to ripping modern high gain.
The Red pedal is ideal for aggressive playing styles and boasts the outrageous heavy tones for which Bogner amps are known.
LIST PRICE: $299.99 | BognerAmplification.com
Boss TE-2 Tera Echo
The TE-2 Tera Echo is Boss’s 100th compact pedal, and it’s the first to include Multi-Dimensional Processing, which analyzes audio signals and applies the ideal amount of processing. This allows for deep and spacious sounds that enhance guitar tones without overwhelming them. The TE-2 features a familiar control set and dynamic sensitivity for a wide range of inspiring sounds, and its freeze function allows it to hold the current sound while you solo over it or use it for unique effects.
LIST PRICE: $291.50 | BossUS.com
Ibanez ES2 Echo Shifter
Ibanez’s AD9 pedal is one of the best-loved analog delay pedals of all time. Now the company brings that same great sound to the ES2 Echo Shifter. Along with its golden-age-of-analog design, the ES2 analog “bucket-brigade” circuitry delivers warm sonic character in its delays and tap-tempo-on-the-fly tempo adjustment.
LIST PRICE: TBD | Ibanez.com
Caroline Guitar Co Icarus
The Icarus features more than 21db of tapered boost, and you can put this boost pedal in front of your overdrives for creamier gain or after them for ideal lead guitar tones. The Icarus is made by hand in the U.S.
STREET PRICE: $135.99 | carolineguitar.com
Vox StompLab 2G
Vox’s StompLab 2G multieffect guitar pedal provides amp and effect modeling in a compact and roadworthy metal unit. Its expression pedal can control wah, volume and effect parameters, and it has 100 preset programs identified by a musical style (e.g. rock, metal) to make it easy to find the perfect sound. The StompLab 2G has 104 effects, including amp, drive, cabinet, modulation, delay and reverb (plus noise reduction), and up to eight effects can be used simultaneously. Extras include a chromatic tuner, headphone out and battery operation.
LIST PRICE: $89.99 | voxamps.com
Blackstar’s HT-Drive tube-driven guitar pedal runs at high voltage (300V HT) to deliver the ultimate overdrive experience, with gain from warm boost to screaming valve saturation. The unique A-Class tone control cuts the high-end fizz without making your tone sound dull and lifeless when you back off. It also offers a no-compromise speaker-emulated output and silent output. And because it responds like a tube amp, the HT-Drive gives you genuine overdrive, with no compromises.
LIST PRICE: $179.99 | blackstaramps.com
TC Electronic Ditto Looper
The TC Electronic Ditto Looper is the first looper to combine compact design with a simple and intuitive feature set, great sound quality and functionalities designed for guitarists. The Ditto Looper features true bypass, analog dry-through, five minutes of looping time, 24-bit uncompressed super-high audio quality, an undo/redo function to help build songs, unlimited overdubs and an ultra-small footprint.
LIST PRICE: $129 | tcelectronic.com
MXR Talk Box
The MXR team has fine tuned the classic Talk Box effect for modern gigging convenience and tone sculpting, all while maintaining the unmistakable sonic character that made the effect legendary. The new Talk Box is compact and has its own amp and speaker driver, so you don’t have to lug around a separate rig. It features volume, tone and gain controls to let you add texture to your Talk Box voice, and it comes with an 18-volt power supply, an eight-foot tube and a mic-stand clip.
LIST PRICE: $298.68; STREET PRICE: $169.99 | jimdunlop.com
Dunlop Fuzz Face Minis
Fuzz Face Minis provide legendary Fuzz Face tones in smaller housings and with modern appointments, including true-bypass switching, bright status LEDs, AC power jacks and battery compartment doors. The Fuzz Face Mini Silicon doles out aggressive silicon fuzz, the Fuzz Face Mini Germanium delivers warm germanium fuzz, and the Fuzz Face Mini Hendrix features the same circuit as the JHF1 Hendrix Fuzz Face, serving up the thick, smooth tone that Hendrix made famous.
LIST PRICE: $169.99; STREET PRICE: $99.99 | jimdunlop.com
Rocktron Reaction Distortion II
The Rocktron Reaction Distortion II pedal combines heavy distortion and gain with a unique voice that’s controllable and adjustable. The pedal is true bypass, and it features a supremely adjustable and dynamic EQ with a high range of sweep on its concentric controls. The focus control adjusts the symmetry of the distortion, and the drive and level controls adjust gain and volume.
LIST PRICE: $139 | rocktron.com
EarthQuaker Devices The Talons
The Talons is an ultra-flexible dirt machine that can go from clean to crunch and everything in between with a swift turn of the gain control. It adds a powerful active three-band equalization section and top-end contour via the presence control. Unlike other overdrives, the Talons is not designed to emulate any specific sound or era. It can sound glassy and open, gritty and wild, and much more. The Talons is true bypass and handmade with Akron, Ohio.
LIST PRICE: $195 | earthquakerdevices.com
Electro-Harmonix 45000 Multi-Track Looper
Building on EHX’s looper legacy, the 45000 combines the familiar controls of a digital recorder with state-of-the-art features, making it possible to create complex stereo multitrack loops quickly and easily. Each loop supports four mono tracks and one stereo mixdown track. The 45000 records uncompressed, 16-bit/44.1kHz CD-quality audio direct to a removable SDHC card (four to 32 GB). Each card holds up to 100 individual loops, accessed with the optional 45000 foot controller.
LIST PRICES: $634.94; 45000 foot controller, $159 | ehx.com
Maxon AD10 Analog Delay
Housed in Maxon’s new Compact Series enclosure, the AD10 has 600 milliseconds of pure analog delay with a warm yet crisp delay tone. The AD10 features Maxon’s proprietary low-noise circuit with zero distortion on delay repeats. Short delay settings create rich, natural reverb effects while longer settings offer a clear and brilliant delay sound. It can be used in combination with other effects or in an effect loop. Higher feedback settings yield self-oscillation and runaway, “spaceship” delay effects. The AD10 features buffered bypass switching.
STREET PRICE: $249: | maxonfx.com
Majik Box Doug Aldrich Rocket Fuel
When Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich needed an overdrive and boost to use in front of his already distorted tube amps, Majik Box responded with the Rocket Fuel. The Rocket Fuel is a specially tuned overdrive and boost in one box, with individual on/off switches and a three-way bass shift to dial in the perfect amount of bass for your rig. It features true-bypass operation and ultra-bright white and yellow LEDs.
LIST PRICE: $289.99 | majikboxusa.com
Wampler Pedals Tweed ’57
The Wampler Tweed ‘57 takes you back to the birth of the electric guitar and is designed to replicate those fantastic Fender tones from that legendary Fifties amp. The unique input selector switch allows you to emulate the different ways of plugging in: normal, bright and even linked, to achieve an amp-in-a-box tone. The Tweed ‘57 delivers a range of sounds, from beautiful warm clean tones to gritty, fuzzy lead tones.
LIST PRICE: $199.97 | wamplerpedals.com
Zoom MS-100BT MultiStomp Guitar Pedal with Bluetooth
The Zoom MS-100BT MultiStomp Guitar Pedal with Bluetooth features 100 preloaded stomp-box effects and amp models and allows you to use Zoom’s free iOS StompShare app (available for download in Apple’s App Store) to browse, sample, purchase and instantly download additional effects for the pedal from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Once you buy an effect via StompShare, it can be transferred directly to your MS-100BT in seconds via Bluetooth.
LIST PRICE: $149.99 | samsontech.com
Analog.Man ARDX20 Dual Analog Delay
Used onstage by Gary Clark Jr., the ARDX20 is a dual analog delay with up to 650ms of pure analog delay and two sets of controls (delay time, feedback and level), one for each of its two delay sounds. It features an effect loop, delay-time expression control and LEDs that blink at the selected delay time. The optional AMAZE0 controller adds features for tap tempo, modulation and remote control, as well as eight presets. The ARDX20 runs on a nine-volt battery or standard power supplies.
LIST PRICES: ARDX20 $265; AMAZE0 controller, $150 | buyanalogman.com
BBE Blacksmith BD-69
The BBE Blacksmith is inspired by pedals hand-made by Paul Gagon in the Eighties, back when he worked for Grover Jackson to support A-list artists like Jeff Beck and Steve Vai. Though their amps may have gone “to 11,” many of these artists told Paul they wanted them to go “to 15 or 20.” Gagon designed an LED-based distortion circuit feeding a three-band passive PLEX-EQ for a creamy high-gain experience that’s true to the tone. Blacksmith recreates the experience those early pedals with greater consistency and durability, giving you more power when 11 isn’t enough.
LIST PRICE: $145 | bbesound.com
DigiTech JamMan Solo XT
DigiTech’s JamMan Solo XT delivers the definitive stereo looping experience by allowing virtually limitless loops and seamless transitions between looped phrases. It offers auto-record, auto-quantize and adjustable bpms to let you perfect your performance, as well as three stop modes. You can also use JamSync to link JamMan Solo XTs, and the new JamManager CT loop library lets you synchronize loops, create JamLists and transfer loops using your computer’s USB port.
STREET PRICE: $199.95 | Harman.com
Decibel Eleven Pedal Palette
The Pedal Palette is the first and only analog loop bypass switcher, router and mixer capable of reordering your effect pedals while simultaneously providing an optional parallel mix bus. It has four pedal effect loops with true-relay bypass and lets you swap pedal order instantly and assign any effect loop to a parallel mix bus.
LIST PRICE: $560; STREET PRICE: $399 | Decibel11.com
Fulltone Secret Freq
The Fulltone Secret Freq. is a gig-friendly clean boost and transparent overdrive/distortion pedal. Dynamic asymmetrical clipping gives the Secret Freq. a sweet and musical clean boost, juicy overdrive and touch-responsive high-gain sounds. The pedal also features a proprietary Freq. knob that adds as much as 20db of active narrow-band midrange. It’s like installing a wah-wah right where the distortion is being generated. Adding the Freq.’s midrange imparts more sustain without losing any bass and treble.
LIST PRICE: $225; STREET PRICE: $192 | fulltone.com
Big Joe Stompbox Company Saturated Tube B-401
The Saturated Tube is a classic, high-gain, hot-rodded distortion stomp box with full-range tube-amp saturation with great sustain. Controls include a two-position high-boost toggle with two distinct gain voices, presence, gain, output and a true-bypass footswitch.
LIST PRICE: $229.95 | bigjoestompboxcompany.com
Z.Vex Effects Loop Gate
The Loop Gate is a noise gate with a built-in facility for introducing a loop of pedals, allowing you to switch the loop in and out of your signal path at will. The audio gate features high headroom, with no distortion or hiss, and it responds to the signal coming from your guitar rather than the output of your pedal loop, where extraneous noises from fuzz and delay pedals can inadvertently trigger the gate. The pedal also gives you options for controlling the loop, including a crossfade “mix” option and a Chop mode for creating tremolo-like sounds.
LIST PRICE: $199 | zvex.com
Mesa Flux-Drive Overdrive+
The Flux-Drive Overdrive+ is an overdrive for those who want more of all the best things from an overdrive. It has more liquid gain and enhanced sustain that easily feeds into rich harmonic overtones, making it addictive and inspiring to play, especially when enhancing a higher-gain amp channel. It also offers a more complete tone-shaping network with individual treble and bass controls. This architecture makes the Flux-Drive a more complete preamp with added versatility beyond that of most overdrive pedals.
STREET PRICE: $179 | mesaboogie.com