While NAMM 2016 wasn’t loaded with ground-breaking advancements in guitar effect pedal sounds (caveat for Zvex’s new Candela Vibro-Phase), some of our favorite boutique pedal builders did bring us some innovative improvements to classic effects, useful combinations of effects via analog multi-effect stomp boxes, upgrades to popular models and a few new sonic tricks that may tickle your fancy. We’ve highlighted some of the more notable guitar pedals that graced this year’s winter NAMM convention. Enjoy, fellow gear heads!
Earthquaker Devices made the biggest splash at NAMM 2016 in our opinion, with 8 new pedal launches. The Avalanche Run, Night Wire and Spatial Delivery have especially caught our interest. Here’s a user video of the Avalanche Run from someone who attended the 2016 Winter NAMM Show.
It appears that some of these pedals will start being available as early as February. Check out their blog post for more details.
- Avalanche Run – Stereo Delay and Reverb (will only be sold through Reverb.com)
- Night Wire – Dynamic Harmonic Tremolo
- Spires – Fuzz Doubler
- Spatial Delivery – Envelope Filter with Sample & Hold
- Gray Channel – Dynamic Dirt Doubler
- Bows – Germanium Preamp Booster
- Bellows – Fuzzdriver
- Acapulco Gold – Poweramp Distortion
Robert Keeley made waves all through 2015 with his team’s insanely consistent releases of new artistic designs for guitarists to expand their tonal options. For NAMM 2016, the team at Keeley Electronics has released their “workstation” pedals, which were originally created 10 years ago for a handful of famous guitarists and collectors (also used by John Mayer during the recent Dead & Company shows).
The new Workstation pedals provide some serious all-in-one features, and there are three of them in total: Delay Workstation, Mod Workstation and Tone Workstation. These will surely appeal to guitarists who are looking to minimize their pedalboards without sacrificing tonal options. More info.
Chase Bliss Audio
Chase Bliss has revealed a new pedal in a similar format to its past pedals: the Warped Vinyl (chorus/vibrato), Wombtone (phaser), Gravitas (tremolo) and Spectre (flanger). This time around, it’s an analog delay by the name of Tonal Recall. Arnold, anyone? It has to be the coolest looking pedal in their lineup, outside of Warped Vinyl (our opinion).
The new Tonal Recall offers a completely analog signal path with digital control, a Tap/Hold switch offering tap tempo or runaway oscillation, subdivisions and a jack for an expression pedal or CV control over the parameter of your choice, various modulation wave shapes and much more.
Available this spring. More info.
JHS made waves at NAMM by providing “lunchbox” Eurobox versions of some of their popular pedal designs, but for guitarists…their new volume pedal takes the cake. It’s fully buffered and includes an onboard tuner. They’ve also released new versions of seven of their popular pedals, such as the Twin Twelve, Morning Glory, Pulp ‘n Peel among others. Available this spring. More info.
Neunaber Audio Effects
Neunaber continues it’s impressive lineup of reverb pedals with the new Immerse reverberator pedal. It offers eight different stereo reverbs, which the company claims it took no shortcuts with.
Choose from Wet, Hall, Plate & Spring reverbs, a couple different shimmer reverbs, a Wet+echo combo effect, and a Wet+detune combo effect.
There are five knobs offering control over whichever of the eight reverb effects you wish to use, the effect level, the reverb depth, tone/echo time and effect adjust. Also impressive are the external Trails and Kill Dry switches.
Available March 1st. More info.
Walrus Audio has introduced three new guitar pedals at Winter NAMM 2016: Contraband (single knob fuzz with thick/thin switch), Julia (analog chorus/vibrato with sine and triangle waveforms) and Luminary (quad octave pedal with four presets: two down, one down, one up, two up …and an attack knob which allows the octave effect to sort of swell in after a pre-delay). Check out this video of the Luminary to hear what it sounds like, and visit Walrus Audio’s website in the coming days for more info.
Fans of the Boss VB-2 Vibrato rejoice! Boss heard you, and they’ve now released the VB-2W. Guitarists who loved the VB-2’s signature vibrato with true pitch modulation can hang their hat on a new version of this pedal.
The VB-2W (Waza Craft) is fully analog and “features a new Custom sound mode and real-time control functions that extend the range and versatility of the effect” according to Guitar World. Offering everything from fretless instrument simulation to whammy functions to far-out warble effects, the VB-2W is poised to be a modern classic.
Super. Radical. Delay. HELL YES! That is, of course…if you dig spaced-out ’80s jams. Who doesn’t?
Alexander Pedals built upon the success of their Radical Delay, an ’80s-inspired digital delay pedal, with it’s (newer) big brother…the Super Radical Delay. This radical new pedal offers controls for tap tempo, presets, mix, boost, time, modulation wave shape, repeat, offset (modulation center point), modulation rate and range.
The various delay modes include mod, glitch, bend and flow. The pedal also features an expression pedal jack as well as the option for midi control. Can we say radical one more time? Yes. Radical!
Coming this spring. More info.
Strymon didn’t release any new effect pedals (their new Generalissimo is a Eurorack module), but they did release a couple power supplies that may entice you to upgrade from your current power supply. Each isolated ouptut offers a whoppping 500ma, which will offer a lot of pedal powering flexibility. The Ojai is a five-output power supply, and the Zuma is an nine-output power supply with optional 8, 12 or 18 volts on two of the outputs. Even though these don’t make noise on their own, they’re still sexy as hell. Available this spring.
The ingenuity at Catalinbread never stops. Their new CSIDMAN Delay (aka “Discman Delay”) simulates a skipping CD. Err? Yeah, that’s now an effect. Maybe you’ll find a use for it!? We were more impressed by the Bicycle Delay (released in early January) that is sure to make your riffing trip out like never before. This video does all the talking.
If you love Empress Effects like we do, you’ll love their new stereo midi-compatible reverb pedal that is slated to be released this summer according to Premier Guitar. This new reverb from Empress Effects starts off with what you would expect: hall, plate, spring, and room reverbs. However, it also offers octave effects, modulation and parameters that are controllable with expression pedals. Here’s a video run-down with Steve Bragg, founder of Empress Effects.
If you’ve been holding out for a candle-powered vibrato/phaser pedal that looks like a contraption from an 1800’s laboratory, then you’re in luck. Zachary Vex has pushed the envelope once again with his new Candela Vibro Phase. We can’t even explain this thing. Just watch the video below from The Tone King. The suggested retail price of $6,000 for this inspiration piece will likely keep this oddly attractive inspiration machine out of your man cave studio…but hey, you can share the video with your friends and say, “Look at this thing!” That’ll do.
What Guitar Pedals Caught Your Eye from NAMM?
The NAMM Show is mayhem. If you’ve ever been, you know it’s impossible to experience all of the new gear coming out, even if just focusing on guitar pedals. Were there any other releases that caught your attention? Mention in the comments!