Let's start by addressing the elephant in the room. Digital vs analogue guitar pedals: which are better?
Well the truth is, neither! Much like cars or guitars, it's not a manufacturer's philosophy that matters, but how they implement it. There are great digital pedals and awful analogue pedals, and vice-versa.
But what are digital pedals and what are analogue pedals?
It all comes down to how the guitar signal is processed. Back in the day, before microchips existed, pedals were built with analogue circuitry: resistors, capacitors and transistors.
Transistors are responsible for providing a pedal's gain, and come in various flavours: BJTs, MOSFETs, JFETs, silicon, germanium and opamps.
Clipping diodes can be used to simulate tube distortion by "clipping" or squaring-off the tops and bottoms of the waveform. They are used in conjunction with a transistor (which produces the waveform to be clipped by the diode) to achieve the distortion effect.
Resistors and capacitors are responsible for shaping the sound, maybe knocking off some top end or adding a midrange boost.
For more complicated analogue effects such as delays, phasers and choruses, bucket brigade delay (or BBD) integrated circuits are used. Consisting of thousands of transistors, BBDs are responsible for the desirable signal degradation found in so many analogue pedals.
The many different circuit layouts and individual component values can drastically affect the sound of an analogue pedal, and they can also be sensitive to voltage changes, heat and dynamics, so a fading battery, dodgy mains or wet weather can play havoc with stability!
Famous examples of analogue pedals include the Dunlop Fuzz Face, Ibanez TS-808 Tubescreamer, and Dunlop Cry Baby Wah.
In the 1980s, mass-produced, affordable microchips changed the landscape forever. Along with the first calculators and home computers, microchips found their way into guitar pedals.
Some of the signature sounds of the era are a result of this change. These early microchips were pretty basic and couldn't manage the high sample rates of modern equivalents, meaning the sampled guitar signal could often be compressed and low fidelity, in the same way a low quality mp3 sounds less realistic and expansive than hi-res lossless audio.
Once the signal is sampled and converted to digital 0s and 1s, effects can then be applied using digital signal processing (DSP). The abilities of early digital pedals were limited due to the processing power required, but as processing power has increased, so has the ability for pedals to apply a multitude of effects at high resolutions.
Today we are spoilt for choice, with multi-fx units able to provide users with a whole rig, and digital effects pedals offering users plenty of tonal options.
This is where the big difference between analogue and digital pedals is felt: whereas analogue pedals are favoured for their imperfections, analogue warmth and amp-like distortion, digital pedals have given guitarists access to unique effects that the analogue realm can't achieve. At its simplest, this means longer delay times in a delay pedal, while at the more complex end of the spectrum it means realistic cab and amp sims that can be loaded from a large database of digitised gear.
Famous digital pedals include the Line 6 Pod, Boss DD-3 Digital Delay and DigiTech Whammy.
Live music is gradually returning to venues large and small following a hellish 2020 and 2021 for the music and events industries. Whether gigging is a hobby or a full-on career path, things have changed and musicians have had to adapt...
I spent an obsessive amount of time checking out univibe pedals. I'm so glad that I purchased this one from Boost. It is simply fantastic! If you don't believe me, then check out some video demos. Thanks Jim! + JG
This is a fantastic drive pedal. There’s plenty of Plexi style pedals out there and I’ve owned a few, this one stood out for the switchable A/B-B/A switch. The boost side is nice and simple, much like an LPB-1. Not overly clean but a perfect partner to the drive side. The Plexi side is again nothing revolutionary but very good all the same and sounds great, on a par with far more expensive pedals.
The build quality is also top end, very neat and tidy. Squeezed into the single enclosure and with a lifetime warrantee I couldn’t ask for more. I don’t think this’ll be leaving my pedal board any time soon!
Lots of great sounds in this relatively-compact delay / reverb
I’m only just starting to scratch the surface of the KMA MACHINES Cirrus, but absolutely loving it so far. Very responsive to pick attack which means can really control the “ambience” with playing style. Really looking forward to exploring further.
Had a few vibes, absolutely loving this one, check the YT demos, lovely satisfying vibe with all the swirly goodness you could hope for. Beautifully made and reasonably priced. Highly recommended - and Jim at Boost is a top guy
I came across the Formula B Fuzz Rangers via online demos on Youtube, and they all sounded so good that I had to get one. Looking online I found the Boost Guitar Pedals website via the Formula B website as a listed UK stockist. Jim was excellent and the pedal arrived when he said it would and it was perfectly packaged. I would have no hesitation in buying any other product from Boost.
As for the Fuzz Rangers, it is a great pedal. I had to work at it a touch to get the sounds I liked from it, but it seems to react really well to different guitars and different amps with adjustments to volume and tone on the guitar and different amp settings. I found it works best into a slightly cranked amp, and volume roll-off on the guitar offers a great variety of sounds from clean to classic fuzz. Thoroughly enjoying the pedal. Well done Jim, great website and a great selection of interesting brands and pedals..... Which one next????
Having used a number of univibe clones over the years this one truly nails the sound for me, it comes with some clever additions in a pedal board friendly size and is excellent value for money. If you want the true sound of the original this pedal delivers.Special thanks to boost Guitar Pedals for putting this deal together so quickly..
I'm still working my way through all the sounds, but so far I'm loving them all.
Each time I think I've got a fav sound I flip the diode switch and there's another one. Great value for a four-in-one fuzz pedal!!
Both modes really useable. The first can get a wooly or starved/wolly sound or more nasally raw sound depending on how you dial it in.
Mode two can be more mid focused and with both switches down it's just a real nice deep, warm wall of fuzz. Great stuff.
Awesome pedal. Does everything from short slaps, to long endless delays, or echo-verb. The infinite delay feature on the button hold is interesting, though if you need a certain sound out of it like that, you have to be okay with the sound that those settings create when the infinite hold feature is off. I’m sure it will be great for recording some interesting textures, but I don’t think I’d use it live, as the infinite hold sounds glitchy and cuts off very quickly at some of the shorter, more subtle delay settings that I use. The art on the pedal is nice, and the build quality is solid. Comes with a carry bag, for some reason, but I can’t complain. A great unit by any standard, but especially good quality and features for the ticket price.