Pedals and Effects: Top 10 Pedals of 2017

As 2017 comes to an end, we look back on all of the new effects that we managed to play and really dig into in the past year. 

There were so many pedals that made their debut in 2017, but these are our top ten pedals (in no order) that, in our opinion have stood out all year. 

Juan's Top Five

Photo credit: Boss

Photo credit: Boss

Boss Vibrato VB-2w 

The Boss Vibrato Waza Craft is an incredibly faithful reissue of the original Boss VB-2 Vibrato. For a while I've heralded the Behringer Ultra Vibrato as being faithful to the OG VB-2, but the Waza craft sounds better, does more, and has that classic sturdy Boss enclosure. The versatility is off the charts, the "Custom" function makes the VB-2w a cut above your other vibratos. (And I would know!) 

Photo credit: Pigtronix

Photo credit: Pigtronix

Pigtronix Mothership 2

Pigtronix is back with an updated version of their Mothership synth pedal. The updated Mothership 2 takes everything you loved about the original Mothership, puts it in a smaller enclosure, and includes dope LFO and glide settings. 

Photo credit: Dedalo

Photo credit: Dedalo

Dedalo Byte Bass Synth

The Dedalo Byte bass synth is such a unique synth pedal, that it's been out on tour with me for the past few months. The Byte Bass synth is everything you're looking for in a synth pedal, excellent tracking, super musical, and gives a unique color over most synth sounds. 

Photo credit: Mercury

Photo credit: Mercury

Meris Mercury 7

Without overusing the word, the Meris Mercury 7 reverb is one of the most cinematic reverbs I've ever had the pleasure of playing. I am of the mind that the folks over at Meris had cinema's in mind when coming up with this pedal. The reverbs can sound lush, or wall shaking-ly huge. From small rooms, plate, spring, you name it, the Mercury 7 has got it. 

Photo credit: Earthquaker Devices

Photo credit: Earthquaker Devices

Earthquaker Devices Erupter

In the words of Earthquaker Devices mastermind Jamie Stillman, the Erupter is the "ultimate fuzz pedal." The Erupter is no nonsense, just one huge knob to manipulate the bias is all you get. Sometimes you don't need to overthink things, and honestly the one knob is all you need. If you want an exceptional fuzz tone, the Erupter has what you've been searching for. 

-Juan

 

Nick's Top Five

Photo credit: Earthquaker Devices

Photo credit: Earthquaker Devices

Earthquaker Devices Data Corrupter

The Data Corrupter was Earthquaker Devices first entry into the Phase Lock Loop (PLL). It does a lot more than just bleeps, and bloops (even though it does that incredibly well). If you want something truly unique, the Data Corrupter has firmly established itself in the PLL world. This is a sound you're going to start hearing a lot more of on records these days. Bit crushing, synth sounds, ring mod-esque swells, Data Corrupter will infiltrate your mind and your playing. 

Photo credit: Meris

Photo credit: Meris

Meris Ottobit Jr. 

The Meris Ottobit Jr. may very well be the swiss army knife of effects pedals. We were introduced to the pedal in January, and this pedal has not left the pedalboard since. With a super intuitive, user-friendly control panel, the Ottobit bit crushes, stutters, filters, and pitches seamlessly and effortlessly. Sample your own riff, build a pitch sequence, filter sweep, this pedal is pure innovation.

Photo credit: Reverb

Photo credit: Reverb

Dwarfcraft Grazer

With the Grazer, Dwarcraft enters into the granular delay world. Sample, slice, and repeat, the Grazer is super fun and super unique. 

Photo credit: Source Audio

Photo credit: Source Audio

Source Audio Ventris  

The mad scientists at Source Audio are at it again, having blown us away with the Nemesis delay they continue to blaze a trail with their new Ventris dual reverb. Ventris has 4 presets, with 12 unique reverb sounds however, each preset has the option of selecting reverb A, reverb B or BOTH reverb A and B. You can have the reverbs running parallel, or cascading into each other. The flexibility of the Ventris allows for some really unique non-reverb, but still reverb type sounds. Let the Ventris take you for a reverb journey, you won't be disappointed. 

Landscape Stereo Field

From the makers of the HC-TT (tape based time stretched fun), Landscape are back with another cool noise maker. the Stereo Field. The Landscape Stereo Field is a touch based, feedback generator. You send stuff into the pedal, and using their touch based sensors, you can get some really crazy, (really crazy), unique sounds. We still don't fully understand how it works, but we know that the Stereo Field, like the HC-TT is an absolute work of art. 

Honorable Mentions

Banana Effects Matryoshka

Super compact bass synth pedal. Lightning in a bottle, huge sound from such a small package. Been out on tour. 

Fender American Pro Jaguar

Nick's most played guitar this year. Great update to the standard Jaguar, great tones, and the neck practically plays itself. 

Fender Mustang GT-100

Super light, super versatile, super great sounding. Whether it's in the studio, the bedroom, or recording guitar for Pedals and Effects videos, it's a great sounding amp that takes effects really well. 

Warwick Jonas Hellborg Signature Bass

Years in the making, Juan was on the waitlist for this bass. This is a really difficult bass to build, but the wait and the effort paid off in spades, unfortunately, and understandably, you can't get these anymore. There are so many tone options, in-phase, out of phase, you can get great upright bass sounds too. Brass nut, "0-fret" there are so many little things, that make a big difference and that's just icing on the delicious cake that is the Jonas Hellbord Signature Bass. 

Thanks so much for sticking with us for another year! We can't wait to see what surprises 2018 may provide for Pedals and Effects!