Six Modern Effect Pedals Inspired by Classic Albums

Pink Floyd's David Gilmour performs September 23, 1971, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Pink Floyd's David Gilmour performs September 23, 1971, in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Image credit: Jorgen Angel/Redferns/Getty Images)

On June 1, one of my bands is performing the Beatles' White Album—officially known as The Beatles—at a beautiful historic theater in Staten Island, New York. After all, the classic album, which was released November 22, 1968, turns 50 this year.

I've been learning a few White Album tunes every weekend so I'm not stunned when actual rehearsals start up in April. It's helped me appreciate a few guitar parts and sounds I've ignored or forgotten about over the years, such as the jazzy chords and mini-solo in "Honey Pie," the timing and intervals in "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey" and the "nasal" fuzz sound on "Happiness Is a Warm Gun."

Anyway, my bass-playing brother—who loves buying gear (and who loves when I buy gear)—sent me a link to the Jext Telez White Pedal, a square, white stompbox that is clearly inspired by the White Album—although it (very cleverly) doesn't mention the Beatles by name. It does, however, look exactly like the album cover (it even has four knobs for four Beatles and the word "Yoko" written on one side). Based on its looks and a few demo videos, I think it's kinda cool. And while it won't help me with John Lennon's Donovan-inspired finger-picking on "Julia," it certainly could nail a few of the album's fuzzy, overdriven sounds.

Because one of anything is never enough, I decided to search for other current, still-in-production pedals that were "inspired by" or "based on" guitar tones heard on other classic albums—and here's what I've come up with.

Please note that I haven't tried all of these (I actually have the flu/NAMMthrax right now, so the only things I'm trying are NyQuil and Vicks VapoRub). I'm just bringing them to to your attention, supplying a demo video and a hyperlink and letting curiosity take its course. If anything interests you, feel free to do your own research. Keep in mind that I'm focusing only on pedals that are inspired by albums—not by guitarists (there are 9,089 Jimi Hendrix and David Gilmour pedals out there, but that's not what this list is about).

I'm strongly considering "acquiring" a Jext Telez White Pedal. If I do, you can expect a full review in a few months. If I don't, I doubt the audience will be too upset. Enjoy!

Jext Telez White Pedal
Inspired by: The Beatles, the Beatles (1968)

From "The latter-year Beatles recordings may not be laced with the pyrotechnic acrobatics of a Van Halen or Randy Rhoads, but they do feature exceptional playing and part-writing, as well as some amazing tones wrung out of the emerging technology of that era. It’s those tones that the new Jext Telez White Pedal aims to conjure by reproducing the sonic character of an often forgotten line of solid-state Vox amplifiers: the Supreme, Defiant, Conqueror and Virtuoso."

For more information, check out the demo and head here.

Keeley Dark Side
Inspired by: The Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd (1973)

From "The individual pieces that make up the Dark Side workstation are Fuzz, Delay and Modulation. The Fuzz side of the Dark Side is a big fuzz style distortion based on a 1977 op-amp style. We used something similar in our Psi Fuzz. This one is completely and radically different. We made what seemed like endless changes to extract the nuances of earlier transistor based fuzzes. We gained it way to down to fit the time period and the style. This is a more transparent Big Fuzz. This one lets your guitar sing with sustain, yet retains the essence of you guitar whether single coil or humbucker based."

For more information, check out the (very nicely done) demo and head here.

Tech 21 Leeds
Inspired by
: Live at Leeds, the Who (1970)

From "We’re talkin’ ‘bout our generation of loudmouth yobbo tones. The massive headroom delivers the rich bell-like clean tones that drove the classic UK rock and pop bands of the Seventies. Lean into high gain gear for a bare-knuckle growl that retains definition. Push it harder and you are live at Leeds. Laced with the aggressive punch of Fane-style speaker emulation, this pedal is a windmill-inducing wizard."

For more information, check out the demo and head here.

Baroni Lab Wall Era
Inspired by
: The Wall, Pink Floyd (1979)

From "From the slow, mellow sounds on 'Mother,' through the soulful bending of 'Another Brick in the Wall' to the driving rhythm of 'Run Like Hell,' David Gilmour’s playing on this album was breath-taking. Baroni Lab has crafted a distortion effect unlike nothing before, in homage to the wonderfully rich guitar tone on this influential rock album. The Wall Era distortion emulates the deep, harmonic feel of Gilmour’s overdriven guitar sound perfectly."

For more information, check out the demo and head here.

Marshall BB-2 Bluesbreaker
Inspired by: Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers (1966)

From "A redesign of the famous original. The BB-2 Bluesbreaker pedal captures all the characteristics of the classic Bluesbreaker drive pedal. It introduces an additional boost function, allowing you to push your tone to the forefront. From subtle, transparent drive to screaming lead tones, you’re able to shape that iconic breaking up sound to your specific needs."

For more information, check out the demo and head here. P.S.: Just so there's no confusion, remember that any gear-related combination of the words "blues" and "breaker" was and is inspired by Clapton's sound on this album.

Dunlop JHM8 Jimi Hendrix Gypsy Fuzz Pedal
Inspired by
: Band of Gypsys, Jimi Hendrix (1970)

From "Achieve Jimi's unique Band of Gypsys fuzz tone...Plugging into this effects pedal infuses your playing with an aggressive biting character. Craft guitar solos that snarl. Forge rhythms chock-full of funky soul. Then dial in your sound with the Tone control...we appreciate how Dunlop packed this meticulously re-created sound into a modern, pedalboard-friendly enclosure. Get your hands on the rare fuzz tone heard at some of Jimi's most iconic live performances."

For more information, check out the demo and head here.

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.