Friday, February 27, 2015

Honey, I Shrunk the Effects Pedals - Those Incredible Micro Pedals

During a high school class field trip to New York City, I made a unannounced trip to Manny’s Music and some of the other music stores on 48th street. While I was at Rudy's I bought an off-brand “fuzz-tone”. I still have it, but it hasn’t worked for years. It was a knock-off of the famous Maestro Fuzztone. The downside of both units was the cheap built-in cords that would always short out.

Over the years, I’ve purchased a good many effect pedals, most of which go unused.

On a recent visit to a music store I came across a bunch of really tiny guitar effects pedals. I had to ask the salesman if these were the real deal or just models of pedals. They were the real thing; micro pedals I was told. Ain’t technology grand!

It turns out there are several companies that are offering these pedals for sale. One of them is Mooer Electronics. The company’s full name is Shenzhen Mooer Audio Co., Ltd.

They are headquartered in Shenzhen, China with a specialty in manufacturing and marketing electronic musical and audio equipment. Their current line-up includes 54 versions of micro pedals, including a tuner.

A California company called Xotic offers several micro pedals. These include the SL Drive, EP Booster and SP Compressor.

Modtone Pedals
Modtone has created a line of 10 mini-pedals that include a clean-boost, chorus, compressor, delay, distortion, flanger, fuzz/distortion, high-gain distortion, overdrive and reverb.

These can be linked to their optional power supply. These are sold under the banner of SHS International, which distributes many brands of musical instruments and equipment.

Outlaw Effects also offers 10 mini-pedals with Western themes.

Nine are effects pedals that include Lock, Stock and Barrel 3 mode distortion, Widow Maker Metal distortion, Dead Man’s Hand 2 mode overdrive, Hangman Overdrive, Quick Draw Delay, 24K Reverb, Vigilante Chorus, Five-O’Clock Fuzz, and Boilermaker Boost.

The tenth pedal is The Six Shooter tuner. These are also made in China.

Hotone Design Inspiration won Best in Show at this year’s NAMM. This company offers 14 mini pedals and a mini power supply. These include their Wally Loop Station pedal, which offers 15 minutes of looping time with limitless overdubs.

The line up also includes Grass overdrive, Fury fuzz, Verb, Whip distortion, Roto modulation, Trem, Blues overdrive, Choir modulation, Chunk distortion, Eko delay, Komp, Liftup, and Octa.

Hotone is also becoming known for their tiny amplifiers. They make look like little tube amps, but actually are all solid state, 5 watts and designed to mimic the sound of well known amplifiers.

The British Invasion is based on a Vox AC30, the Thunder Bass is based on an Ampeg SVT, the Mojo Diamond is based on a Fender Tweed amplifier, the Purple Wind is based on a Marshall Plexi, the Heart Attack is based on a Mesa Boogie rectifier.

These amps can be paired with the optional tiny speaker cabinet the company offers. This contains a 4.5” 8 ohm speaker.

Xvive Audio offers a series of micro-pedals. These include their analog pedals, AC Blend, Electry Fire, Multi-Voice, Singing Autowah and a digital series including Duet Looper, Sound Freezer, Maxiverb plus a mini power supply.

Their older lineup includes Delay, Fuzz Screamer, Metal, Distortion, Classic Rock, Phaser King, Tube Overdrive, Chorus Vibrato, Lemon Squeezer.

Electro Harmonix also offers a line up of Nano pedals including Dr. Q, Bassballs, the LPB-1, the Muff Overdrive, nano looper and the Switchblade.

The pedals that I saw at the music store were all made by Guyatone. They included M2 Micro Delay, the H2 Harmonic Distortion, MC3 Micro Chorus, the CB3 Cool Boost, the FL3 Flanger, the HD3 Hot Drive, the MO3 Micro Octaver, the MT3 Micro Tuner, the OD2+ Overdrive, The SS3 Sonic Shaper, the ST2 Compressor Sustainer, the SV2 Slow Volume, the TZ2 The Fuzz, the VT3 Vintage Fuzz and the WR Wah Rocker.

They also make two bass pedals, the BB2 Bottom Blaster and the BE2 Bottom Equalization. These pedals are all 2.75” x 3.875” x 1.5”. The Guyatone company has been in business since 1951.
©UniqueGuitar Publications (text only)



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raingerfx said...

I make these - from the UK...

BTW that little looper.... IS TINY!!!!

Selina Dorsey said...

Bought a half size guitar for my 8 year old son as a birthday present. The strings are tight and there is a replaceable one in case it got faulty since kids are not very cautious at handling stuffs. It's got the perfect weight so it makes it easier for kids to carry and the sounds are really nice. I love it when my son plays greenday's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" with it. Now my son can fulfill his dream of becoming a rock-star.

marcus ohara said...

That is so cool Selina. Best wishes to you and good luck to your boy!


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