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Guitar World/The Deli's SXSW Stompbox Exhibit Made for a Stompin' Good Time in Austin

They come in all shapes and sizes. Some with intricate or groovy graphics, others with simple, sleek styling.

But they all affect your tone, either subtly or significantly, in ways that can inspire "Wow," "eh" — and everything in between. And let’s face it, you can never try enough of them!

That’s why Guitar World teamed up with The Deli at SXSW in Austin, Texas, to host the Stompbox Exhibit, a sort of petting zoo for effect pedals. The exhibit took place March 13 to 15 as part of SXSW's Gear Expo.

The concept was simple: 01. Provide lots of loaded pedal boards, all packed with effects made by a host of manufacturers. 02. Make sure there are plenty of Washburn guitars available. 03. Let the testing begin!

The pedal boards contained effects, both widely known and esoteric, all of which were available for guitarists to try for a minute or an hour — with no pressure to make a purchase. On average, visitors were engaged for about 40 minutes.

Special thanks to the gang at Washburn, who supplied axes to anyone who wanted to try out an effect at the exhibit. At most points throughout the day, all 10 Washburn instruments were out on loan, including the seven- and eight-string models.

The result? Hundreds of pedal auditions by happy guitarists throughout the three days of the Expo.

Check out our gallery below for a glimpse at the plethora of pedals provided. And tell us in the comments, what’s your favorite pedal of all time?

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Laura B. Whitmore is a music industry marketing veteran, music journalist and editor, writing for Parade.com (opens in new tab), Guitar World, and others. She has interviewed hundreds of musicians and hosts the She Rocks Podcast. As the founder of the Women’s International Music Network (opens in new tab), she advocates for women in the music industry and produces the annual She Rocks Awards. She is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Positive Grid, making the world safe for guitar exploration everywhere! A guitarist and singer/songwriter, Laura is currently co-writing an album of pop songs that empower and energize girls.