Essential Guitar Pedals
Thanks Shannon for this invitation to be wildly esoteric.
- •Ibanez Tube ScreamerWho knew 35 years ago that this little green stomp box would go on to become synonymous with "overdrive." The go-to pedal for guitar players of every style. Not particularly hi-fi in any way, but synonymous with that Stevie Ray Vaughan blues tone.
- •Dallas-Arbiter Fuzz FaceMade famous by Hendrix and Clapton, fuzz is technically different than overdrive. The Fuzz Face used a germanium transistor, something integral to the sound of the legends' tones often described as "thick" and "creamy."
- •Cry Baby WahWah-chikka-wah... Though purists would say the VOX wah was a better iteration, it was Dunlop's Cry-Baby wah that brought the sound to the masses (for better or worse.) synonymous with 70s funk as much as it is porn soundtracks (my belief is the parody has superseded the reality of the wah pedal's use in porn) the wah pedal is a true staple of the guitar rig.
- •Analog delay pedalMany companies have made them, but the best use an old Panasonic "bucket brigade" analog chip that gives the warmest sound possible. Set the delay time fast and get that great rockabilly slap. Longer times will get you that great David Gilmour/Pink Floyd sound.
- •Klon CentaurA very rare and desirable modern day pedal, the Klon is one of the most "musical" overdrive pedals. The tone sits somewhere between a clean boost and an overdrive. Its appeal is somewhat due to its mystery, since the electronics are covered in a black silicon epoxy and therefore hidden from copycats.
- •UnivibeThe Univibe was most famously and deftly used by Jimi Hendrix during his "Band of Gypsys" days. The Univibe is an incredible unit that is somewhat like a phaser but not as severe a frequency sweep. Lots of different manufacturers built under the Univibe name through the years and it seems as if each and every one has a different personality. Find the right one and you'll be in soloing heaven.
- •Strymon FlintThe newest pedal on the list, the FLINT is a must have. It's a combination reverb and tremolo unit, meant to simulate those features of great vintage amps. Deep, lush reverbs and three different types of tremolo emulation that give you that lonely cowboy sound.
- •Keely KatanaA great and very simple boost pedal that adds more clean gain to the guitar signal without coloring it in any way. I use one live to help get some of the quieter guitars in my rig to match the others. Fun fact: the black guitar I use to play Gravity and others is also extremely quiet, something that gives it such great dynamics, but needs this pedal to "match" the output throughout the course of a concert.