It’s time for the annual Fat Tone Guitars year end Top 10 Guitar Effect Pedals of 2009 list. In all fairness, this is our first Top 10 list but it’s fun to do so look for another list next year. The Fat Tone Top 10 list seeks to acknowledge those guitar effect pedals that have left a positive impression on us this year.
Our criteria for recognizing an effect pedal for excellence is vague. It’s kinda like we know it when we hear it. In a loose order of importance, here’s the criteria:
- The pedal must sound killer. Seriously. No sandpaper or scratchiness allowed.
- The pedal must be a great value. It can be an expensive pedal with awesome tone or lots of functionality and usefulness.
- Great manufacturer behind it’s design and sale. As a retailer, it’s so refreshing to work with a pedal manufacturer that takes pride in their work, supports the customer AND the dealer.
- Sales volume and popularity.
As you can see, the popularity of a pedal comes in last giving some great sounding but still “under the radar” pedals a chance at winning the coveted award. Enough banter–lets get started.
Our favorite effect pedal of 2009 was the incomparable, super sounding MJM LONDON FUZZ, Germanium Edition. This pedal hit all the criteria dead on and did it all year long. Great smooth fuzz. Affordable price. It seems that everyone wanted a London Fuzz and we couldn’t keep them in stock. We’ll do better in 2010.
- Empress Superdelay Digital Delay Pedal–The Superdelay did it all. A pristine sounding digital delay pedal that had the best tape echo sound we’ve heard outside an Echoplex. And the learning curve was lower on the Superdelay than on other top of the line delay units.
- Analog Man Beano Boost–A very cool vintage sounding pedal that rewards the skilled guitar player. The Beano Boost is based on the Dallas Rangemaster and delivers organic overdriven dirt like it’s going out of style.
- Xotic RC Booster–A good clean boost is like good vodka. No coloration. The Xotic RC Booster allows your amp to do it’s business and gives that extra ooomph to get it there. This pedal became our best selling clean boost pedal and then some.
- Durham Electronics Zia Drive–The Zia Drive is a super smooth, musical overdrive that is super amp-like. And I’ve yet to hear a better rhythm guitar pedal that delivers the chunka chunka like it should. Chicken Bone Dan plays the Zia Drive.
- MJM China Fuzz–The China Fuzz is based on the old Univox Super Fuzz and in my opinion, the best sounding fuzz pedal at Fat Tone. While the China Fuzz is still not selling in boatloads, those that give it a whirl are not disappointed.
- Blackout Effectors Musket Fuzz V2–The Musket Fuzz is based on the Big Muff. But it’s so much more. Vintage and modern sounds abound in this highly tweakable fuzz bonanza. And Kyle at Blackout Effectors is one of the finest inthe business.
- Tech 21 Boost DLA Digital Delay–Here is a digital delay pedal that is highly versatile, sounds great and has a super feature set while still selling for under $200. One of Fat Tone’s top selling summer pedals.
- Fulltone Clyde Deluxe Wah Pedal–The Clyde Deluxe is a tried and true monster. Delivering some great wahsounds and with settings that make sense, this pedal will continue to sell well into the next decade and beyond.
- Barber Electronics Half-Gainer Overdrive Pedal–Barber Electronics makes workhorse pedals that deliver the goods at the best boutique prices around. The Half-Gainer is a two channel overdrive pedal that is tweakable and affordable.
Check out all of Fat Tone Guitars great lineup of guitar effect pedals here.