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Every year, us guitar players are bombarded with effect pedals. From boutique, limited edition hand-wired units to mass produced digital recreations of classic effects from yesteryear, the market produces a staggering range of stompboxes. We’ve sifted through all the releases from 2019 and put together a list of pedals that we felt stood out from the crowd. What would you have included in your list? Let us know your best guitar effect pedals in the comments section below.

Strymon Volante Magnetic Echo Machine

As far as I can tell, the new Strymon Volante Magnetic Echo Machine may have been the most talked-about effect of 2019. It combines virtual drum, tape and reel-to-reel echo effects into one unit that’s nevertheless straightforward to use. Pre-orders for this pedal sold out in seconds and reviews praised its ease of use and musicality. Definitely one to check out if you’re looking for a premium delay pedal. Other delay pedals we’ve written about recently include the Lysergic Emotions Module, Minim, Eccos and the Collider.

Strymon Volante Magnetic Echo Machine

Strymon Volante Magnetic Echo Machine

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ThorpyFX The Deep Oggin Chorus/Vibrato

The ThorpyFX The Deep Oggin chorus/vibrato pedal was co-designed by Adrian Thorpe and the legendary Dan Coggins of Lovetone Effects fame. This bomb-proof analogue chorus/vibrato has all the classic, retro inspired tones you could want and more.

ThorpyFX Deep Oggin Chorus:Vibrato pedal

ThorpyFX Deep Oggin Chorus:Vibrato pedal

It is the complete opposite of the Strymon above in technology terms. However, it shares the qualities of being very ‘musical’ and user-friendly effect pedal. Try it out.

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Electro Harmonix Ram’s Head Big Muff Pi ’73

Given that I love a good fuzz pedal, it shouldn’t surprise you that I’ve included the the Electro Harmonix Ram’s Head Big Muff Pi ’73 on this list.

EHX says it’s a “faithful reproduction of the highly coveted 1973 Violet Ram’s Head Big Muff” pedal. For many players, the Ram’s Head ’73 is one of the most coveted versions of this great American fuzz pedal. You may recall that in 2019 was David Gilmour sold off his Black Strat? The Big Muff Pi played a big part in the Pink Floyd sound.

Electro Harmonix Ram’s Head Big Muff Pi '73 reissue

Electro Harmonix Ram’s Head Big Muff Pi ’73 reissue

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Boss SY-1

Synth sounds for guitar were one of the big trends in 2019. There was the E7, the revamped Synthotron, Source Audio’s C4, the Boss’s own bigger and more expensive SY-1000, and many others. The SY-1 is a compact synthesiser pedal for electric guitar that does not require any modifications to the guitar, like MIDI pickups or extra hardware. It has some truly amazing sounds available and is still relatively affordable, so for me has to go on this list.

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Origin Effects RevivalDRIVE Compact

The year was crammed full of overdrive pedals, and so it was hard to pick one from so many great drive pedals. But the Origin Effects RevivalDRIVE Compact seems a winning combination for me, as it crams in a lot of great amp-like tones into its compact enclosure. Discrete, transistor-based circuits replace the tubes of valve amps in this pedal. There’s also a Highs knob that takes over the three different preamp voicing modes of its larger sibling, making it smaller and easier to squeeze onto your pedalboard.

Origin Effects RevivalDRIVE compact

Origin Effects RevivalDRIVE compact

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Honourable mention

Originally, we’d planned to boil this list down to five pedals. But I had to mention the Wampler Terraform Multi-Modulation as well. Wampler’s Terraform “do-it-all” modulation pedal includes an absolute shed-load of modulations. I had to add it. If you like modulation for your guitar tone, this one covers so many bases.

Wampler Terraform Multi-Modulation pedal

Wampler Terraform Multi-Modulation pedal

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by Jef

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Oh, no mention of the Empress Zoia?? That pedal is a blast, commercially a success as well.