Guitar Effects Inside and Out Reviews

Effects Reviews: In depth reviews of guitar effects units

Check out these cool effects pedals in review format on tonymckenzie.com

Sounding great is not just down to plugging in a guitar and 'hoping' that it will all work out fine. Professional guitarists have near enough always used effects units or effects pedals in one way or another to enhance their sound. Even back to someone like Hank Marvin. Lord knows I'm not that much of a fan, but recently watched their 'last concert' of 2004 and in there Hank displayed his great tunes. But what was most interesting was how the effects in his music enhanced the sound incredibly well. Clearly thought out and well executed music. But what about ordinary guitar players like you and me? well, if you believed all the croc of **** that some manufacturers throw at us in 'paid reviews' or 'artist' attached hype then everything is good right? Unfortunately not. Some effects processors simply don't do what they promise, some sound 'digital' and 'cold' to hear while other gear can sound incredibly good when you use it right.

And that's the point! if you have a great effects unit or pedal setup, then invest some time and you will sound great. Just plug in and go? some gear will let you do that and sound great, the 'Line6 Helix' is one of them and make no mistake, that pedal takes music forward in a big way... goodbye fractal at last. Now you can have better for half their price and backed up by Yamaha! Innovation indeed. But here I show you some of the effects and switching I have used or still do so pay attention now! I'm joking of course... just browse to whatever you want and hopefully my experience will help you through the tricky world of effects pedals, switching units, midi controllers, guitar synthesizers and more.

Below is a selection of effects but please be aware that this is an on going sector that will be continuously updated... if there is no link from the picture right now, it will appear when I have the review complete. This website is massive and it takes time to develop between YouTube reviews too. Any images that don't go to a page are for reviews currently being written. Check these sound enhancing tools below and thanks for visiting.

Multi-Effects Units

Roland Boss GT-8 Guitar Effects Unit

The GT-8 looked the part for sure. At the time I had this effects pedal I also had an Engl E670 amplifier and I intended to switch the amp with the GT-8... a good idea right? Unfortunately not. While the sounds were good for the day, and the overall build was great, this effects unit has some issues. I review the unit here. Click the image to read more.

Roland Boss GT-10 Guitar Effects Pedal

I liked the GT-10 for one great reason... it works! While not quite as aesthetically pleasing as the GT-8 the GT-10 fixed all the problems of the GT-8. The sounds have been improved and the pedal is well made. I review this pedal and discuss the features that I think were nice. It's a short review but should give you a feel as to whether this pedal is for you or not. Click the image to read more.

Roland Boss GT-Pro Effects Unit

The GT-Pro is one of those effects units that maybe you will wish you had not bought. While it looks the business, overall these were expensive, not the best quality inside (especially the Power Supply) and somehow this unit was not what I might have expected. I don't say much about this unit, but what I do say you might gain from. Don't expect a long review! Click the image to read more.

Roland Boss GT-100 Effects Processor

At last an effects pedal that really cuts the mustard! The GT-100 was like a breath of fresh air after the GT-8 and GT-10 which in comparison are worlds apart. Gone is the semi cool interface replaced with two screens that a chimpanzee could use! The GT-100 also benefits from other major advantages too. Is this the pedal you have been waiting for? This is a long review of the 'inside and out' type that I am known for. Find out more by clicking on the image.

Roland Boss GT-001 Effects Processor

The GT-001 always seemed like it was built down to a price. I have to say that the build quality of this one shocked me somewhat after reviewing the GT-100. Check out this review before you buy one as it might give you a short insight in to the unit that others may not be so forthcoming with especially if they are paid for the review. Click the image to read more.

Line6 HD500 Effects Pedal

The Line6 HD500 promised to bring for the first time a 'HD' or high definition to effects pedals. But what exactly was that? and could you even tell that 'HD' had arrived? I wrote a review of this exact unit and was a little disappointed at the results! Find out from my review exactly why by clicking on the image.

Avid Digidesign Eleven Rack

I bought my Eleven Rack when it came with the Avid Protools thrown in for free. It seemed like a good idea at the time and with the added value what could I lose? I review the Eleven rack from 'Digidesign' (later renamed Avid Digidesign Eleven Rack when Avid bought out Digidesign) inside and out so you get a good idea about what you are actually buying and discuss the 'Protools' (some call Profools) software and how it all adds up. Is this for you? Find out by clicking on the image to read more.

TC Electronics G-System

The TC G-System was used by guys like Steve Vai at one time, but not for long it seems. I bought one specifically for review and found out really quickly why maybe Steve dumped his... the quality of the unit is great but... read this review to find out the major shortcomings of what I felt were considerable drawbacks to owning and using one effectively. Click the image to read more.

Line6 Helix Effects Pedal

Line6 have not historically been my favorite choice when it comes down to effects pedals. While they did sell units, the shortcomings compared to what Line6 said were quite considerable. But all that may well have changed. Yamaha bought out Line6 some time ago and part of the new company direction and technology has resulted in the Helix. The Helix comes in floor pedal and rack unit both at a substantial price and while the Kemper may seem 'similar' my guess is that the Helix may make some very big inroads against Fractal Audio's Axe-FX products which are somewhat more related in technology.

This is the most in depth total inside and out review I have ever written so find out if the Helix is for you, or is it just another Line6 hopeful that you want to believe the hype about but maybe can't quite. Click the image to read more.

Stand Alone Guitar Effects

Baroni Lab Vintage Pedals

BaroniLab is an Italian company that has made a line of 'vintage' sounding pedals designed to emulate pedals of old. There are four units reviewed here including the 'Light Sustainer', 'TUBES Hard and Color', the 'Opto Comp' and 'The Chorus'. Find out exactly how cool these pedals are. Click the image to read more.

Fulltone Secret Freq Distortion

The Fulltone Secret Freq offers you much more than simple distortion that's for sure. But what else is it capable of? and is this pedal really worth the effort? Check out this pedal that I guarantee you won't find equal to anytime soon. Click the image to see more.

Mesa Boogie Tone Burst

Mesa Boogie of more recent times have started to diversify in to other areas of guitar related gear such as this 'Tone Burst' pedal. This is similar to a 'clean boost' and is built to Mesa Boogies exacting standards. But how good is this pedal and is it worth all the money they typically ask for their gear? Click the image to read more.
mesa-boogie-toneburst

Lee Jackson Fuzzy Finger

You just might have heard of Lee Jackson and then of course you might not have heard of him. Lee is based in the USA and started out making amps with the big companies. Later he formed his own company (metaltronix) and developed ways of customising amps for the stars (so to speak). Over the years Lee has developed some really great mods and amps as well as pedals, and one such pedal is this one - the one you have never heard of the FuzzyFingers. Click the image to read more.

Ibanez TS-808 Reissue

What can I say about the TS808 that has not been said before? Everyone should know about this little effects pedal; and everyone should have one. Well I may stand corrected by some that this little green box is for everyone but for anyone who wants to play Classic Rock then this is the baby. Find out if this reissue cuts the mustard. Click the image to read more.

Ibanez TS-808 Hand Wired Custom Shop

What's all this about? Really, a hand wired limited edition Tube Screamer TS-808 HW with all the bells and whistles and yes, that's right, you do need a mortgage to own one of these; before this they probably only ever existed originally in someone's mind. Find out more about this distortion overdrive pedal and click the image to read more.

Xotic SL Plexi 'Super Lead' Pedal

The Xotic SL overdrive/distortion pedal (I'll call it that) was developed to make your amp sound just like a Marshall Plexi. I was sceptical too! But read this review to find out whether this pedal does indeed achieve what it set out to do. Click the image to read more.

Dunlop 'Univibe' and Controller

Dunlop made this 'Univibe' type pedal some time ago and actually discontinued it because some say it cost more to make than they sold it for! I have this one complete with it's controller pedal which is really a 'must' for this univibe type of effect. If you want to sound like Jimi Hendrix you need one of these, a decent Marshall Plexi and a Stratocaster. Stand back and light the touchpaper. Click the image to read more.
dunlop-univibe-effects-pedal

Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster

This is one of those 'secrets' that many guitarists don't appear to know about. Seymour Duncan made this pedal a while ago (the Mesa Tone Burst is similar) that can add up to 25Db to the signal of your guitar that is completely clean. But that can then 'load up' the preamp to get some magical tones from your amp and change the way it sounds forever. Click the image to read more.
seymour-duncan-pickup-booster

BBE Sonic Maximizer Floor Pedal

Another device that many think is just some simple 'EQ'. If you're one of those guys you really need to check this pedal out further because nothing could be further than the truth. It's one of those effects pedals that can do wonders to some amplifiers, especially if the amp is one of the harder amps to get great sounds out of. Click the image to read more.
bbe-sonic-stomp-maximizer-pedal

MXR Carbon Copy Delay Pedal

MXR made this 'Carbon Copy' pedal a few years ago and it's main claim to fame is that it's an all 'analogue' pedal that utilises the old 'bucket brigade' method of making a delay just like in the 'old days'. I'm no guy for liking old effects as often they were cr*p then and they are cr*p now. But why has this delay unit been a success? Click the image to read more.
mxr-carbon-copy-delay-pedal

Vox Satchurator

When Joe Satriani got together with Vox Amplification one of the results was this 'Satchurator' (a great play on his name). But how good is this pedal and will it make you sound like Joe? Probably not, but we find out much more in the review. Click the image to find out more.
vox-satchurator-effects-pedal

Vox Original Cry Baby Wah Pedal

This is a review of my original Cry Baby pedal from the end of the 60's or early 70's. Needless to say this has been used a lot is a complete understatement. Find out why this is the best wah wah pedal I have bar none. Click the image to read more.
vox-cry-baby-wah-pedal

Vox Satriani Wah Pedal

The Vox Satriani Wah pedal is another one of those collaborations between Satriani and Vox and this one seems to work well. It has some very nice features that I have not really found on any other pedal. Click the image to read more.
vox-big-bad-wah-effects-pedal

Fulltone 'Clyde' Deluxe Wah Pedal

Fulltone make some really good gear and this Clyde Wah deluxe model is no exception. It has other useful features such as a 'Jimi' or 'Wacked' mode so you might guess how it could sound. Click the image to read more.

Effects Control Switchers

DMC Ground Control and GCX Switchers

If you use a rack with effects in it there is no way that you can effectively control that gear without a GCX and Ground Control pedal. I used one of these with my Triaxis and 2:90 amp from Mesa Boogie. Click the image to read more.
dmc-ground-control-and-gcx

Rocktron Midi Raider and Patchmate 8 Switchers

The Rocktron Midi Raider and Patchmate 8 are very similar in many ways to the GCX and Ground control but at a slightly lower cost than the DMC gear. Click the image to read more.
rocktron-midi-raider-patchmate-8

Guitar Synthesizers

Roland GR-55 Guitar Synthesizer

When the Roland Boss GR-55 came out frankly it was a revelation after the GR-33, but it still uses the GK series of Roland pickups for input.But how good are the sounds from this equipment and does it live up to what they said at launch time? Click the image to read more.

Roland GP-10 Guitar Synthesizer

The Roland GP-10 offers much by way of potential in the guitar synth marketplace and at less cost than the older GR-55. That made wonder exactly where this unit had been 'cut back'. And what features were missing when compared to the GR-55. Find out in the review. Click the image to read more.

Roland SY-300 Guitar Synthesizer

The SY-300 is revolutionary in the guitar synthesizer area of music in so much as it is the first guitar synth that needs absolutely no interface. Goodble GK-3 forever. Or is it? Click the image to read more.

Roland VG-99 Guitar Effects Synthesizer

The second guitar synthesizer I ever bought after the GR-22 series. The VG-99 is a revelation in comparison and is probably (even now) one of the best guitar synthesiser/simulators from Roland Boss in this sector. It has got a huge number of great sounds and linked with the 300 series floor pedal this rocks. Click the image to read more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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