Best New Guitar Effects Pedals of 2017

The Pedals of the Year are here!


There is no shortage of guitar effects pedals in the world. Every year thousands of pedal builders release countless new stompboxes for guitarists to obsess over. And likewise, there are plenty of guitar magazines and pedal blogs to find info about the latest and greatest, let alone the many enthusiastic voices on Instagram, YouTube, and in forums who seem to present every shiny new pedal they can get their hands on as if it’s the best thing since [insert your favorite pedal here].

But as strong as the hype may be sometimes, it’s important to not let yourself get carried away by the viewpoints of other people. At the end of the day your music will be better by following your ears and instincts and choosing the tools for tone that suit your needs. When researching pedals (or anything for that matter) it’s best to read widely and critically. Find views that are contrary to the norm and try to understand why someone else sees things differently. Keep an open mind, and you’ll often learn something new. Take this approach in pedal land, and you just may discover a whole new approach to making music.


Your Picks & Our Picks


We wanted to broaden everyone’s horizons with this roundup of Best New Guitar Effects Pedals of the Year 2017. We surveyed our readers and cross-referenced their votes with our own perspectives on the pedals released in 2017 to determine which ones are the overall best.

We’ve split our list into two parts. First, you’ll see 9 of the top picks based primarily on reader voting & public opinion. Then we’ll show you 8 BGE Team Picks that showcase some of our other personal favorites. Since this article is a collaborative effort written by 4 members of the BGE team (Jake, Paul, Anda, & Gabe), we’ll each present you 2 pedals in the Team Picks section.

And we’ll wrap things up with a special shout-out to the Best New Pedal Builder of 2017. Now here are the Best New Pedals of the Year 2017!

First up is the pedal that received the most votes from our readers…


Empress Effects Echosystem

Builder: Empress Effects, Pedal: Echosystem, Effect Type: Delay

No one knew for sure that this was coming, but everyone was hoping it was. The Empress Reverb was a strong contender to replace all those big multi-algorithm reverb pedals out there, and many of us were soon looking at our multi-algorithm delays and wondering if our time together was also running out. The very first time I heard that Empress Effects was going to build a delay pedal on the platform of the Empress Reverb I was like, “OMG. This is going to be HUGE!” Not to mention the Echosystem is the successor to beloved Empress Superdelay. I first got to play with the Echosystem at Winter NAMM 2017, in fact, I got to take the NAMM prototype home to begin beta testing. I recall being immediately intrigued by the dual-delay engine. “Wait… you mean this is actually TWO delays and they can work together in perfect unison??” Right away, I knew we had a winner.

The Empress Echosystem is based on nearly the exact same layout of the Empress Reverb. Nearly all the same knobs, switches, and ins and outs are here. If you love the Reverb, adding the Echosystem to your board will be easy as pie. The Echosystem has a dozen different modes/delay types with 36 different sub-modes at the time of this writing. The dual-delay engine allows any two of these sub-modes to be paired together and ran A into B, B into A, or in parallel (split left/right when using the pedal in stereo). That alone is enough reason to stop reading this and just go buy one. If you need more than that, allow me to continue. The EchoSystem has all the usual controls like TIME, MIX, OUTPUT, FEEDBACK, and TONE. Empress adds a couple more exclusive controls with THING 1 and THING 2; these do very interesting and different things in each mode. You also get stereo ins and outs and a Universal Control Port that uses a 1/4″ jack to handle expression, external tap, voltage, and MIDI. Full MIDI implementation (via the Empress Midibox, sold separately) and expression/CV control are at your fingertips with the EchoSystem. A speaker cabinet Simulator keeps things sounding right when you don’t have an amp around and want to just go direct into your DAW. Thankfully, with all of this you will be able to save and recall to 35 preset slots. One of the greatest features of the Echosystem is the fact that you get the latest and greatest of everything for many years to come with the ability to update the firmware. What does this mean? Well, if you want to be involved, you can join the Empress Voting Forum and actually make suggestions and join in on discussions about fixing bugs and adding features to your pedal. If you don’t want to be involved, you can simply go to the Empress website and download the latest firmware at any time. The pedal actually has an SD card slot allowing for the easiest firmware updates in the industry. There is something really cool about not being left out in the cold, and this pedal truly gets better with age.

The Empress Effects Echosystem makes the list because this thing is a game changer, and game changers always move to the front of the line in our book. This pedal also became the main delay for both my live board as well as my studio board. Just everything about it was superior to the other multi-algorithm delay I was using at the time. None of this fancy stuff matters without great tones/sounds, and what I was hearing coming out of the EchoSystem was just the best delay sounds ever. Not only do you get these pristine digital delay tones (they’re all digital, of course), but you also will find some of the best tape and analog emulations in the industry. My preference is for the odd, nasty, lo-fi sounds and, this is where it really shines for me on a personal level. You have a mode called Lo-Fi, but you also have some other very interesting modes that can be tweaked in ways that inspire and take your music in directions that are sure to satisfy your craving for “something different.” The other multi-algorithm delay I was using had too many limitations for me. For starters, I’ve been using that one since 2010b and since that time we have never seen anything new in the way of modes/sub modes. No new sounds. Just the same old, same old since its release. The desire to push things further made it a no-brainer for getting the Echosystem onto my boards. And likewise, a majority of Best Guitar Effects readers voted more for this pedal above all others, crowning the Empress Effects Echosystem as 2017’s Pedal of the Year.


Chase Bliss Audio Brothers

Builder: Chase Bliss Audio, Pedal: Brothers, Effect Type: Overdrive/Boost/Fuzz

Are you looking for a new and unique way to add gain to your tone? Shut up, of course you are. The only problem is, there are a million different pedals and a million different ways to add gain, so which one do you choose? For your consideration: the Chase Bliss Brothers adds that gain in all the ways. It’s got two complementary, all-analog drive circuits, each with a Boost, Overdrive, and Fuzz voicing, paired in two-way serial or parallel, full midi functionality, presets, expression/CV input, and 16 dip-switches for all sorts of expression goodness. Woof.

I have to make a concerted effort to not get sentimental when I talk about this pedal. We’ve just had so many good memories together; I’ve had it acting as the only gain source on my board since May and it’s only gotten deeper as I’ve grown more attached to it. While Chase Bliss’s signature dipswitch fleet can be intimidating, the Brothers is best grasped by starting at the knobs and getting comfortable with it through the mindset of playing through two very simple drive pedals. On Side A we have a warm JFET circuit, but for the readers to whom that classification makes any difference, “JFET” doesn’t quite do the tone justice. I still can’t get over that the circuit is based on an old projector amplifier, the progeny of Resonant Electronic Design’s Field Effects line of inventive drive pedals. Side B is Joel Korte’s IC design and harkens to a modern-feeling, “updated Screamer” vibe. The tonestacks on both sides focus on different facets of the frequency spectrum; Side A emphasizes transparency, letting more of the inherent tone of your guitar shine through, while Side B boosts the mid-range, further balancing out the mid-high, tight nature of the IC circuit.

Of course, we can’t ignore the more unorthodox features of the Brothers; they’re a big part of why it made the list! Namely, the ability to route the Brothers’ gain stages from A to B, B to A, or simultaneously in parallel, makes for incredible tonal flexibility. Want some ear-blasting riffbait that doesn’t obliterate your notes? Try Side A’s dense fuzz into Side B’s super clean boost. Want to warm up your overdrive tone with a gain that kinda-sorta cleans up? Pop overdrive B into a rolled back fuzz A. Need dirt but want to keep your high-end clarity? Run Side A’s overdrive parallel to Side B’s boost. Couple that with the back-mounted dip-switches that allow for pinpoint selection of which parameters you’d like controlled by your expression pedal; crossfading the tones of the two circuits simultaneously via expression is my favorite thing. It’s no surprise the Brothers was one of the most popular pedals of 2017: it’s a damn masterpiece.

Are there any drawbacks? The only thing I’ve experienced that I know is a deliberate built in feature to the Brothers is that when you engage either circuit when the pedal is fully bypassed there’s a few milliseconds of complete signal loss. This was designed into the Brothers to prevent any sudden voltage-change “pops” when the analog circuits are activated. In a band context you don’t even notice it, and this design choice is more than likely adding to the lifespan of your speaker by sparing it the jarring experience of having to disperse all that extra energy. Of course if it bothers you, you can bypass the mute entirely by just leaving the Brothers on for the rest of your life and adding dirt to taste with the expression in or automating it with your favorite DAW.

Read the Chase Bliss Audio Brothers review


Hologram Electronics Infinite Jets

Builder: Hologram Electronics, Pedal: Infinite Jets, Effect Type: Guitar Synthesizer

My first impressions of either of the strong offerings from Hologram Electronics hover somewhere between massively impressed and somewhat overwhelmed. I have thought of Hologram as kind of “smart effects for players that are smarter than me.” In other words, I felt they were over my head. I decided to tackle the review of the Infinite Jets last month and decided to just lock myself in a room until I either needed more water or I understood this incredible little box inside and out. The first few times I sat with this pedal I was just amazed at what was coming out of it. I was putting in very minimal effort as far as what I was playing, yet out the other end was just a symphony of incredible awesomeness. And who doesn’t want that?

The Infinite Jets is a dual-channel synth with all the bells and whistles and complete control you’d ever hope for. You will find four effects, Blur, Synth, Glitch, and Swell, with a total of 10 sub modes. There are three ways of sampling: Mono, Poly, and Manual. In Mono mode, the sampling engines work independently of one another and never overlap. This is useful for creating more clarity. Think of dialing back the feedback on a delay – same idea. In Poly mode, the sampling engines will overlap in the most beautiful way, creating a seamless wash of your signal. In Manual mode, you’re in control. You decide when to trigger the sampling engines using the foot switches. Those switches can also be set up in momentary, latching, or toggle. Plenty of “have it your way” is found on this pedal. Thankfully with all of this you have the ability to save a couple of presets. This was super useful when tinkering around. Additional control can be found in the LFO and Envelope controls. You have control over the LFO depth, shape, and frequency. You also have control over the Envelope shape and control over the effects duration with envelope times all the way out to infinity. The Dimension control is the magic knob on this pedal. It allows for interesting manipulations of parameters unique to each effect type. Sometimes it’s a high pass filter, sometimes it’s a sample playback length (which feels like a delay time). It really is the magic. You can also record up to 10 seconds of movement or automation of knobs. This is super handy since twisting that Dimension knob is super fun and musical but kinda hard to do while you’re playing. You also, of course, have the option for full expression control over knob movements. The signal path, including the drive and tone controls, is all analog, but you have digital control over them. This really is the synth pedal you are looking for, and then some.

It was a fairly simple decision to put this on the Pedals of the Year list. There have been so many posts about this pedal having a similar effect on people as it had on me, personally. My friend, Darren Jackson, released an album last week and the Infinite Jets is so obvious on one of his songs that I correctly identified it immediately. That says something when you can do that, when a pedal as a voice all its own. I have a studio of my own and the Infinite Jets is going to have a permanent place there as the “go-to” box for when I am stuck in a creative rut and I just need help finding a better way. Another bonus is the fact that this pedal has a wet/dry blend knob. I have bought and then sold so many pedals over the years that were freaky in a good way and did things that I just LOVED, but without a blend knob to make the effect more subtle, there was often no way for me to use them in a practical band setting. The Glitch mode is probably my personal favorite. Something about chopping up that incoming signal into the most incredible delay/tremolo kinds of sounds is something that I love. Another strong point is the ability to calibrate this pedal to the incoming audio signal. I used it on guitar, bass, and electric piano, and it shines across the entire spectrum. I went from knowing almost nothing about the Infinite Jets to having it as a staple in the studio. Infinite Jets, we easily crown thee, one of the best of 2017.

Read the Hologram Electronics Infinite Jets review


Keeley Electronics D&M Drive

Builder: Keeley Electronics, Pedal: D&M Drive, Effect Type: Boost/Overdrive

At a glance the Keeley Electronics D&M Drive may look like just another boost and overdrive combo pedal (with a beautiful sparkly orange finish), but it’s so much more than meets the eye. A collaborative effort between Keeley Electronics and Dan & Mick from That Pedal Show, the D&M Drive boasts 2 separate drive channels: a clean boost/mild overdrive on the right and a mid to high-gain overdrive on the left.

The Boost side is akin to a Keeley Katana boost on steroids, providing plenty of ultra high-headroom clean boost on tap. With the Gain rolled all the way down, the signal remains clean. There’s some subtle added definition to the mid-range, and the top end gains an almost high-definition quality. There’s plenty of output volume on tap as well. You could use this channel to add a little magic to your clean tone or balance your guitar sound when switching between single-coils and humbuckers. But of course, that’s not as fun as using this channel a slam into a preamp on the verge of or just starting to breakup. Use the Tone to mellow out the highs of a Strat or Tele or brighten up a Les Paul. Not to mention as you boost the Gain, the Boost side has a whole range of light to mild overdrive of its own to impart on your sound.

Yes, the Boost side alone is enough to make a very solid pedal, but the Drive side is a whole ‘nother monster that greater extends the D&M Drive’s versatility. Kicking on the Drive engulfs your guitar in a rich, full-bodied (sounds like we’re talking about beer) saturation that harkens back to the thick overdrive sounds on your favorite classic rock records. Now try kicking on the Boost in front of the Drive sound to kick it up into a higher gain lead solo tone. Harmonics practically scream from your speakers, and the raunchy swagger of this ordering is great for an 80’s LA rock ‘n roll vibe. Flip the order to feed the Drive into the Boost, and you’ll got yet another flavor of grit on tap.

The D&M Drive has several other nifty features and design efficiencies going for it. Labeling the order flip-switch positions “Drive First” and “Boost First” ensures first timers know what they’re hearing when experimenting with combinations. The foot-switches are adequately spaced to avoid accidentally stomping on both at once yet close enough so that you can do so when needed. An optional TRS I/O mode lets you route each channel to different loops on an effects switcher, a brilliant addition for professional guitar rigs. Thankfully, Keeley Electronics also uses non-relay bypass switches, so the D&M Drive’s channels can be set to always be active when powered up, another boon for guitarists who rely on an effects switcher. All the jacks are top-mounted as well to ensure that the wider form factor takes up as little ‘board space as possible. The power jack might be a little too close to the audio jacks when using some brands of cable, but it’s worth upgrading your patch cables for a pedal that sounds this good.

Read the Keeley Electronics D&M Drive review


EarthQuaker Devices Data Corrupter

Builder: EarthQuaker Devices, Pedal: Data Corrupter, Effect Type: PLL/Fuzz

The mad scientists in Akron have done it again. The Data Corrupter is one of the latest offerings from Earthquaker Devices and is one of the best pedals of the year for 2017. We have seen some great offerings from Earthquaker Devices of late, and this is no exception. The Data Corrupter is loosely based on the Electrax Sythax and the “Basic Frequency Synthesizer” by Ray Marston, only with better tracking and sustain. Earthquaker Devices have created their spin on the familiar PLL-style pedal with an incredible fuzz/modulation/octave/oscillator machine that is sure to corrupt everything you feed into it and will destroy everything in its path. If you have a pair of stiff new speakers to break in, this may be the ideal way get that done and have lots of fun at the same time!

According to the manual, The Data Corrupter is an analog PLL harmonizer with modulation that takes your input signal and brutally amplifies it into a crushing square wave fuzz, multiplies it, divides it, then modulates it into a three-voice synthesizer. Need I go on? They pretty much had me at “brutally amplifies”. At the heart of this signal destroyer is the Master Oscillator. The three-position switch on the oscillator control feeds your input into either Unison, -1 Octave, or -2 Octave. Use this to fine tune the tracking response for your preferred instrument. From here, the Data Corrupter will do the science and split off a synthesized frequency. Further controls allow you to select the octave/interval as well as the volume of this voice. The Frequency Modulator applies pitch-bend modulation to the Master Oscillator. A Glide Mode gives you a smooth portamento as each note slides into the next. In Vibrato Mode, the pitch modulates up and down in a retro sci-fi effect. The Subharmonic assimilates the input into one of eight lower octave programs between one and three octaves below the input. The Square Control blends in a great sounding square wave fuzz which I thought sounded great on its own! And all this is barely scratching the surface of all the options this pedal has.

Those not familiar with a PLL (Phase Locked Loop) will be surprised by how interesting and finicky these things can be! A PLL takes your input signal and compares its phase and frequency against an oscillator, generates an output proportional to their difference then feeds it back into the oscillator. This causes the oscillator to lock onto the input signal and generate a synthesized frequency. Serious science going on here. So what does that sound like? Well, it’s a super thick, nasty undertone with funky octaves and harmonics all over the place. Tracking inconsistencies will make things feels pretty loose and random as you noodle around the fretboard. The Data Corrupter is semi-controlled chaos in pedal form and is ready to take your guitar to spontaneously fragmented new places.


Boss/JHS Pedals JB-2 Angry Driver

Builder: Boss/JHS, Pedal: JB-2, Effect Type: Overdrive/Distortion

What happens when the legendary Boss teams up with US builder, JHS Pedals? Guitarists get angry. That’s right, we’re talkin’ about the JB-2 Angry Driver.

The JB-2 combines Boss’ classic BD-2 Blues Driver with a variation of JHS Pedals’ own Angry Charlie. The Boss BD-2 first debuted in 1995 and quickly became renowned for its clarity and note definition, an amp-like overdrive character, and a dynamic playability that overdrives your guitar signal in proportion to the strength of your pick attack. The JHS Pedals Angry Charlie has also become popular in recent years due to its ability to produce great high gain British style overdrive and distortion tones. Pair the two in one box and you get a highly formidable rock ‘n roll machine capable of igniting your guitar sound with a wide palette of drive tones.

Each circuit has 3 adjustable controls (Drive, Tone, & Level) spread across a trio of dual-concentric knobs. The far right Mode knob is a 6 position rotary encoder that selects the drive circuit(s) in use, alters the routing when using both at once, and affects the functionality of the onboard foot-switch and any external switch connected via the Remote jack. The 6 Mode options in counter-clockwise order are: JHS Angry Charlie by itself, Boss JB-2 by itself, a Toggle mode that lets you flip back and forth between the circuits by pressing the foot-switch, Series JHS → Boss, Series Boss → JHS, and a Parallel mode for playing through both circuits side-by-side. This feature set gives you a huge amount of flexibility for creating familiar and all-new overdrive and distortion tones along with a few different ways to conveniently access these sounds during a live performance.

As for the sounds in action of this unique collaborative pedal, the BD-2 and Angry Charlie are indeed a rock solid combo that pair well together. The Boss circuit produces an excellent range of lower-gain to moderate drive sounds, accurately reproducing the results that its predecessor is known for. Whether you’re just adding a touch of grit to your clean sound, pushing a slightly overdriven amp over the edge, or saturating your tone for a searing solo, the Boss circuit has it all covered. The JHS ciruit takes it from there and kicks everything up a notch, specializing in “angry” drive tones with a warm growl. Whereas the Boss circuit seems to have a broader spectrum of tonal response, the JHS circuit is darker in character and has a pleasing smoothness across the low-end and midrange, giving it muscle and a menacing aggression. Both circuits are great for creating an amp-like drive response and cross perform well at mid-gain settings, albeit with different colors.

Things get more interesting when you pair the circuits. A recommended setting is running the BD-2 on lower Drive settings into the Angry Charlie, like a drive pedal hitting the front of a roaring Marshall amp. Also, you can’t go wrong with running both circuits in parallel for massive drive tones that retain a surprising amount of definition on the low-end. Boss and JHS Pedals have a winner with the JB-2 Angry Driver, and it’s a solid entry among our Pedals of the Year for 2017.


Electro Harmonix Canyon Delay & Looper

Builder: EHX, Pedal: Canyon, Effect Type: Delay/Looper

The Electro Harmonix Canyon Delay & Looper was an early release for 2017, but it remains one of the year’s very best. This affordable compact multi-algorithm delay pedal is packed with features and sounds that offer value well beyond its very reasonable price point. Do not mistake this for a beginner’s throw-away delay. If you haven’t played this pedal yet, put the Canyon at the top of your must-try list.

The Canyon’s big draw are it’s 11 different modes. Echo & Mod give you variations of a digital style delay; Echo is just a simple dry delay while Mod adds some smooth modulation to your wet signal. The Multi mode is a multi-tap delay that adds a series of taps at even spacing and consistent volume level. The Canyon’s Reverse delay is a standout with an “intelligent” reverse echo that tracks your playing to help create optimal reverse delay sounds. The DMM setting is another favorite, emulating the iconic EHX Deluxe Memory Man analog delay pedal. You can even access secondary knob functions to activate DDM style Chorus & Vibrato modulation. When I first played the Canyon, the Tape mode is where I initially spent most of my time. This setting has a nice saturation and modulated sound, and these parameters can also be accessed as secondary knob functions. There’s also a versatile Reverb mode that can put a plate reverb on your delay repeats or be used as a stand-alone reverb when you cut the Feedback all the way down. A secondary low-pass function is very useful for dampening your high-end to suit your guitar sound.

The following trio of “weird” delay modes are all top-tier. The Octave delay does the ascending octave sound better than any other pedal I’ve heard, probably due to EHX’s excellent pitch-shifting as seen in pedals like the Pitch Fork, POG2, & HOG2. The Shimmer mode is yet another strong mode with a modulated octave cloud that floats along with your playing. These rich sounds are achieved by emulating a chain of 4 pedals: compression, pitch-shifter, delay/mod, and another delay/mod. But don’t worry about how it’s happening; just enjoy the beautiful sounds produced. The S/H setting is a Sample-and-hold mode that grabs a note or chord you play and repeats it until you play something else. This mode is a ton of fun for controlled glitchy sounds. Turn the Delay time knob while a held note is repeat to speed it up and slow it back down without changing the pitch.

As if all that wasn’t enough, the Canyon gives you a 62-second Looper as well. Plug in an external tap-switch to tap in your tempo with a choice of ¼ notes, dotted 8ths, or 8th notes. The Canyon has offered a big serving of multi-delay excellence. Until EHX enters the arena of big-box multi-delays, the Canyon will likely remain their best overall delay pedal. The amount of great delay tones the Canyon offers is hard to beat in this price range.


Chase Bliss Audio Tonal Recall RKM

Builder: Chase Bliss Audio, Pedal: Tonal Recall RKM, Effect Type: Analog Delay

Here’s another pedal that made the list due to a very high vote count from our readers. The original Chase Bliss Audio Tonal Recall was one of last year’s best pedals without dispute. CBA engineer, Joel Korte, managed to take reissued MN3005 bucket brigade delay chips and stuff them into a reasonably small enclosure with more features than any other analog delay pedal that came before. 2017’s Tonal Recall Red Knob Mod, or “RKM” for short, doubles the original unit’s 550ms delay time to 1100ms courtesy of 2 extra MN3005 chips.

The Tonal Recall RKM’s massive feature-set also includes an all analog signal path, 2 onboard presets, 122 presets available via MIDI, deep MIDI functionality, tap tempo, hold for oscillation, modulation, CV/EXP input, Ramping for automating parameter movement, buffered & true bypass operation, and 16 dip-switches for further augmenting how the pedal behaves.

Any other differences to note? Well, the original Tonal Recall was one of the quietest analog delays around. The RKM is slightly noisier due to the 2 extra BBDs, but the repeats stay cleaner longer before breakup than the original Tonal Recall. The RKM also has a more musical oscillation than the original. But for many guitarists, the big decision comes down to whether or not you need the extra long delay time afforded by the extra MN3005s and $100 cost difference. More good news: if you’re already an owner of the original tonal recall, you can upgrade it to RKM specs through Chase Bliss Audio. Whether you choose the original or the RKM, BGE readers loved the Tonal Recall in 2016, loved the RKM in 2017, and will likely still love all iterations of this instant classic analog delay pedal in 2018 and beyond.


DigiTech FreqOut

Builder: DigiTech, Pedal: FreqOut, Effect Type: Feedbacker

Always on the hunt for the most interesting and super complicated pedals I can find, I often step back and just make sure I have the basics covered, too. The less exciting things out there like tuners, boosts, and buffers can also be the most important parts of the rig. Sometimes the least complicated effects yield the greatest results. Most players would think “What’s so exciting about a feedbacker?” I mean, it’s not like it does a lot, and how often are you really even going to be using it? I recall jamming a lot in the early days on these high-gain rigs in the basement blowing out my ears and loving the easily conjured natural feedback tones. Throw in that whammy bar and AH!! Guitar heaven! Then reality set in… Maturity and playing shows at “stage volume” pretty much killed the natural feedback. It wasn’t until I borrowed my buddy’s Gretsch hollow body that I found that sweet heaven again, if only for a moment, but I wanted MORE! The DigiTech FreqOut is the answer for instantly summoning natural sounding feedback tones in an unprecedented seven different harmonic tone options. This ensures you will always find the right feedback tone that works perfectly for the moment at hand.

The FreqOut’s control surface is nicely laid out with two knobs, two toggles, and one on/off switch adorning the pedal. It’s a very simple design yet is loaded with plenty of options. The Range knob is a center/ring arrangement with the center knob adjusting the gain. This is more of a “mix” knob controlling how much of the feedback signal is mixed with the dry signal. The ring adjusts the Onset, or rise time of the feedback signal. The Type knob allows you to select one of seven different feedback harmonic types. Options here include Sub (-1 octave), 1st (first harmonic/unison), 2nd (second harmonic), 3rd (third harmonic), 5th (fifth harmonic), NAT LOW (natural lower harmonic), and NAT HIGH (natural lower harmonic). The Momentary toggle lets you toggle between momentary and latching options for the switch. This is handy for using it quickly, activating the effect only a choice note during a solo. Or you can use Latching mode to let the pedal remain on until you manually bypass it. I prefer momentary mode, sneaking it in and out at will. The Dry switch allows you to toggle between having your dry signal off or on while the feedback is enabled. Possibly the coolest part of this pedal is the array of nine LED’s to the left of the pedal that give you real-time feedback of the feedback signal showing the rise time as it comes in. Single input and output jacks are located on the right and left side of the pedal with a top-mount, 9v (235mA) power jack.

Using the FreqOut is fun and simple. The results are exactly the way you would expect them to be with no surprises. For something really interesting set the toggle for momentary off and dry off. Then use an ebow and a slide. You still get the same ebow-type tones, but with interesting results when you select different harmonic tones. I plan to put this into a recording sometime very soon. If you have ever been a fan of feedback tones and you wish to have that on command even at a low-gain, “stage volume” situation, at home, or in the studio, the DigiTech FreqOut is definitely a must-have pedal of 2017.


Pedals of the Year – BGE Team Picks

In addition to the pedals listed above, here are a few of our other personal favorite pedals of 2017. When we polled our readers, the mainstream didn’t vote as highly for some of these pedals, most likely because they simply weren’t aware of them. It’s our job to change that. We think these pedals deserve to be on your radar because they offer new innovations and sounds worth exploring. Best Guitar Effects’ contributing writers, Jake, Paul, Anda, and Gabe, are each covering 2 pedals for the list. And we put our team “pics” on “picks”. Couldn’t resist… Sorry, not sorry.


Boss MS-3 Multi Effects Switcher

Builder: Boss, Pedal: MS-3, Effect Type: Multi-Effects/Effects Switcher

When I first heard about the Boss MS-3 Multi Effects Switcher coming down the line, I thought, “What a cool idea.” But like a lot of guitar players who are skeptical of multi-effects systems, I also had my doubts. Still, I was VERY curious. I picked up my first MS-3 with some level of skepticism. One of those things where you don’t rip the box, and you don’t remove the plastic film from the display, and you don’t even put any velcro on because you don’t wanna kill the resale value. I plugged in and started poking around. “Wait. What?? That sounds really good.” Still a bit skeptical, I added a bit of velcro to the bottom and built a small mock-up board around this thing. I did my best for the next week or so to try and make it suck in some way. I had already been using the Boss ES-8 for the past year, so much of this was picked up easily and, in fact, I felt like some of the switching and MIDI performance of the MS-3 exceeded that of the ES-8. Then, one day, it hit me. I didn’t really even want to admit this because it meant a LOT of work was headed my way, but I realized that my pedalboard life had just been turned upside down. The next morning I took my very large, beautiful, pedalboard apart. In a matter of minutes it went from absolute perfection to a pile of near-useless cables and wood. As much as I hated to see it go, it was time to build the future with the MS-3 and, man, was I looking forward to that!

The Boss MS-3 Multi Effects Switcher is much like the now very familiar ES-8 in style and general appearance, with a much smaller footprint like the ES-5. It also includes nearly all of the functionality while boasting an incredible collection of 112 different effect types, each having several sub groups of effects. For example, one of the 112 effect types is “OD/Distortion”, and within that effect type you will find 21 different varieties of boost, overdrive, distortion, and fuzz. I’ve never counted each and every single option, but it’s staggering. That alone would put this thing on my board as a multi-effect. But it doesn’t end there. The MS-3 gives you full control over MIDI compatible pedals via its MIDI Out as well as 3 audio loops for patching in standard non-MIDI pedals. I know what you’re thinking at this point. “Only 3 loops??” But I have an MS-3 on two of my pedalboards, and I’m only using one loop in one MS-3 and two in the other. The MS-3 will set you free. You can control up to 8 MIDI devices at a time, a limit I have also not even closely reached. I have one MIDI pedal on one board, and I have four MIDI pedals on the other. The idea is to use the internal effects when and where possible. Boss has included many of its legendary classics in variations of Chorus, Flanger, Compressor, and a slew of Delay and Reverb modes as well as some less common goodies like Slow Gear, Defretter, Feedbacker, and Slicer among others. With all of that at your feet, the MS-3 would actually work well as a stand-alone pedalboard on its own for most of you out there. Where I personally needed a little reinforcement was in the weird kind of Lo-Fi dirt selections and to some degree the delays. The weakest link, for me, is the reverb. With everything the way it comes, the MS-3 would work very well for MOST of us. I just need a little help with the weird sounds that I need for my own personal enjoyment. Each foot-switch on the unit can be programmed to do any multitude of tasks. The intuitive and sophisticated graphics display makes it easy to know where you are at any given moment. The Boss MS-3 really does the job of being a catch-all, do-all for guitar effects. The needs of every player are thoughtfully considered here for sure, and when you include the incredible editing software, it’s just an obvious choice.

When I began playing guitar it was just an old Ibanez Iceman into a pawn shop Peavey Backstage. No pedals. Sadly, it was that way for years. Then around 1999, I picked up a brand new Boss GT-3. I was simply amazed, and I recall playing the first show with that thing and all these older musicians were all looking at it like it was a spaceship or something. For years I stuck with the GT series. It wasn’t until I bought one of the very first Strymon Timelines that the spell was broken. From then on, it was individual pedals all the way, and it stayed that way until this year… until the MS-3. Pedalboard insanity is cool and all, but for the past 7 years, I just kind of felt like I was fixing a problem that never existed in the first place. Many of the effects within the MS-3 are from some of the older GT Series units. Many of them we loved, and many we could do without. I was told by a Boss insider, the engineers at Boss went back into the lab for this one. They re-tooled each and every effect by giving them greater sonic characteristics as well as giving them greater control options to make them easier to dial in. When you give the MS-3 a chance, you’ll likely find something here that really changes things AND is something that you actually love the sound of. After all, what good is any of this tech if it doesn’t sound good? I think we can all agree that we’ve spent years where the tech exceeded the tone. Like anything, these things take time to get right. Well, Boss has gotten it right with the MS-3. If you ask me for my personal Pedal of the Year, this is it, hands down.


Effectrode LA-1A Leveling Amplifier

Builder: Effectrode, Pedal: LA-1A, Effect Type: Guitar Compressor

The Effectrode LA-1A Leveling Amplifier is a guitar compressor pedal inspired by the Teletronix LA-2A, the famous rack unit often regarded as the greatest compressor of all-time. And this isn’t the first time Effectrode has interpreted the optical tube classic; Effectrode’s PC-2A was already one of the best compressor pedals around. So what more could be done?

Well, the PC-2A offers a distinct edge over the LA-2A in terms of potential performance improvements for guitar and other instruments (aside from the obvious benefit of it being a small pedal and not a giant piece of rack gear). Within the PC-2A are dedicated Attack & Knee trimpots that allow you to perfectly calibrate the pedal to your instrument of choice. Eventually, musicians started asking for mods to make these controls external. David Gilmour of Pink Floyd is a noteworthy user of a modified PC-2A with external Attack & Knee knobs. And so a big mission of the LA-1A was to put Attack & Knee controls on the surface of the pedal. But that’s not all…

In deciding to initiate the LA-1A project, Effectrode also set out on a new mission: to create the quietest compressor ever built in any format. Low quality compressor pedals are often notorious for adding unwanted background noise, and thus the intent of achieving clean sustain, more volume, and a smoother audio signal is often compromised. To achieve the LA-1A’s incredibly low noise floor, Effectrode equipped the pedal with a parallel tube plate design that uses 4 identical input tube stages to achieve the highest possible signal to noise ratio. Audiophiles familiar with high-end phonograph preamps may be familiar with this technology. It’s an expensive form of noise reduction which has never before been implemented in a stompbox guitar pedal. What does this mean in layman’s terms? For preserving low-noise signal integrity during audio compression, the LA-1A is second to none.

There are a few other features and aspects of the LA-1A worth noting. The pedal also offers a foot-switchable boost section providing up to +6dB of real tube boost. There’s a Dynamic EQ switch that introduces a musical emphasis on the upper frequencies as you increase the compression of your audio signal. An external TRS foot-switch can be used for remote switching of the bypass & boost functions. There’s also a transformer isolated TRS balanced output for connecting to a mixer or audio interface and a gain pad (+6dB, +12dB, or +18dB) for matching output with any line or instrument level signal. And as another performance difference compared to the PC-2A, the LA-1A removes the Compress/Limit switch (a legacy feature from the LA-2A) since the Knee control on the LA-1A provides a more responsive and variable response between compression and limiting performance. In summary, the Effectrode LA-1A is the quietest, most featured packed, and most versatile iteration of this legendary style of photo-optical tube compressor.


Alexander Pedals Syntax Error

Builder: Alexander Pedals, Pedal: Syntax Error, Effect Type: distortion/ring mod/frequency shifter

Despite its ‘80’s arcade theme, the Alexander Pedals Syntax Error is not your dad’s effect pedal; unless of course your dad is a Galaga cabinet. Those of you who haven’t done much research on this lovely little time machine may see the Sample knob and think, “oh jeez, another bit-crusher,” and you’d be about… seven percent right. Thanks to the 32-bit micro-controller in this bad boy, the Syntax Error is more of a tiny computer than most pedals its size. The power contained in the un-ironically named “Audio Computer System” lends its users four different modes (Stretch, Ring, Cube, and Freq) controlled by six expression-enabled digital pots in a lean, four-knob form factor. Alexander’s cleverly-implemented omni-jack next to the output offers MIDI control and presets, CV, and expression pedal control if that’s your thing. There’s also a USB jack on the back of the pedal, and while there is no editor software up on Alexander’s site as of yet, it’s a pretty safe bet that a long-term goal could be to allow deeper user customization and/or firmware updates.

Let’s talk about the Syntax Error’s different modes. Stretch runs your signal through a variable-speed buffer, warping and repeating the notes played. By dialing the Code knob, you change the speed of the buffer which changes the direction in which the signal is played back. It ranges from normal speed to complete reverse. This creates some seriously glitchy dragging effects that at times seem to operate entirely independently from your playing. Next is Cube which is an algorithmic distortion run through a low-pass filter. If that concept confuses you, just think of it this way: (abs(INPUT^3))^3. That’s math for crazy cubic distortion. Cube is MEAN, and the tones in its wheelhouse range from angry distorted filter to pissed off distorted synth to irate distorted… distortion. Ring is a sample-and-hold/ring-mod combo that can do normal ring modulation sounds and spontaneous, glitchier sounding ring mod with the sample-and-hold kicked in. Finally, Freq is a bode-like frequency shifter with delay, opening up cascading dissonance.

The Syntax Error is a versatile pedal for guitarists wanting to dig in with many shades of weird. Thanks to the additional functionality like presets and MIDI control to make use of its many different sounds in a live performance, Alexander Pedals has ensured that the Syntax Error is more than a mere novelty, it’s one of the year’s best pedals.

Read the Alexander Pedals Syntax Error review


TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2 Reverb

Builder: TC Electronic, Pedal: Hall of Fame 2, Effect Type: Reverb

The TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2 Reverb expands on its predecessor with addition of the in-demand Shimmer reverb effect, a new Mash expression foot switch, and two more TonePrint slots, for a total of 3.

The onboard Shimmer effect is quite lovely, more choral than sparkling. The Tone knob intuitively opens up the shimmering high end. It was a great move of TC to add this. The onboard Tile, Ambient, and Gate effects have been removed to make room for the Shimmer and additional TonePrint slots. While I suspect those won’t be sorely missed, if you really want those types of sounds, use the TC Electronic TonePrint Editor app to experiment with gating and other adjustable parameters.

Up to three parameters can be assigned to foot-switch’s Mash function. It doesn’t take much pressure to engage Mash, but you have to mash it pretty hard to nudge the effects into their mid and top range. The feel of it could take some getting used to at first. For those who like more hands-on tweakability, up to three parameters can also be assigned to the Decay and Tone knobs in the TonePrint Editor. In the future, it would be great to have a wider Hall of Fame (X2 or X4?) that allows for more knobs and knob assignment, rather than stacking three parameters on top of each other. If the Flashback and Ditto Loopers can get bigger and more feature rich, so can the Hall of Fame.

The TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2 is still a great all around reverb pedal due to its combination of onboard classic reverb emulations, stereo chain, compact design, and how adventurous and customizable it is through the TonePrint editor and growing library of artists’ presets. The sound and tone of the Hall of Fame are solid. I’ve use the Hall of Fame on vocals, guitar, synths, and drum machines, and it works well in any situation where quality sounding reverb is called for. With the addition of Shimmer and Mash and more encouragement to use the TonePrint slots, the TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2 raises the bar over the previous version.


Gamechanger Audio Plus Pedal

Builder: Gamechanger Audio, Pedal: Plus Pedal, Effect Type: Sustainer

The Plus Pedal is a new kind of audio processing engine that offers piano-like sustain effects for guitars and other instruments. The distinctive, sophisticated appearance and ergonomic design puts the Plus pedal in a class by itself and is sure to invite stares from all the gearheads. Now, of course, there will be some comparisons to things like the EHX Superego and Freeze, but the Plus is decidedly different. Some things are obvious; the actual “switch” is very different. Instead of a stomp switch, you get a great piano-like sustain pedal. This pedal works similar to an expression pedal in that a “half-press” makes it behave differently than a “full-press.” Can’t do that with a stomp switch. You get real-time feedback of half-press vs. full-press by watching the LED brightness. There are some things that are also different under the hood. The actual technology within the pedal is much different than that of other pedals on the market. The Plus pedal is based on a new method of digital sound processing called Real Time Audio Sampling and Looping (patent pending). Instead of creating tones using an oscillator and filter based synth engine, Real Time Audio Sampling and Looping works by creating a smooth, circular loop out of a source signal that is recorded as you go, sampling only the last segments of your incoming notes or chords. These tiny bits are sampled in real time and looped together to create a seamless, warm and responsive sustained tone. On the surface you have a hand-crafted, solid brass piano-style sustain pedal. There are four knobs on the face with rather self explanatory controls for Blend, Sustain, Rise, and Tail. There are several useful ins and outs on the pedal. These include top-mounted input and dual output jacks and a 9v power jack. On the right side, you have options for a separate effects loop as well as two switches that allow for additional control. One switch allows for Group or Single mode. In Group mode, the pedal will collect whole groups of audio layers. In Single mode, it will focus on the most recent note. A second switch allows for Mix or Split on the output. In Mix mode, the more common mode, your wet and dry signals are mixed together on the output. In Split mode, only the isolated wet signal is generated by the Plus Pedal. There is even an option for the Clean Out/FSW output to harness your unaffected dry signal at all times. I can see this being extremely useful in a recording studio setting. A note regarding the size of the Plus. It’s about 2/3 the size of a standard volume or wah pedal. In my efforts to keep my pedalboards really small these days, I was struggling to figure out where to put the Plus. I then learned that it’s best to put it first in your chain. Therefore, I don’t put it on a board. I just carry it with me and plug it in between my guitar and my board. It draws 130mA so it can’t use a battery, which would have been convenient, so I just keep a longer power lead available on the board and plug it in that way. I like it next to my board like that. There’s also an option to split your wet and dry signal output. This is great for recording, and it makes it very handy that it’s first in your chain, splitting off that signal before it goes through anything at all. I usually do that with a DI box anyway.

This little guy is an easy choice to be among the Pedals of the Year for 2017. The very first time I used the Plus pedal, I realized something had changed in my life. I struggle to even refer to it as a “pedal.” it’s more like a piece of musical equipment. I’ll get right down to it. The meat and potatoes of what makes the Plus so great is a two-fold answer. First, the most obvious thing is the actual pedal/switch/damper. The big brass thing that you step on. It’s just brilliant. This would not be a Pedal of the Year pick for me without that. The operation and the feel of using it… There is no other way to say this; it’s simply PERFECT. The most intuitive thing ever. Everyone knows what a piano sustain pedal is and what it does. The way the pedal is constructed, and the shape of the enclosure makes it very easy to use. I was up and running exactly the way I wanted to be in less than a minute. The second point that makes this a Pedal of the Year is the sound. I have used other “similar” pedals, and the Plus just has more of an organic, warm sound. Just the way it naturally rises and falls, it just sounds exactly like what it does to a piano. As you’re playing, you get this nice washy sustained sound. The first time I plugged it in, I ran a Les Paul into the Plus into a crappy little amp with a 2.5” speaker. Point is, nothing good in the line to make it sound nice, however, it sounded incredible! I always like to have a reverb in my chain no matter what and using the Plus Pedal kind of had that sound. It was like a reverb, and not like a reverb at the same time. It was as if I’d just bought a new kind of a reverb pedal. Something fresh and cool sounding. Using it this way was kind of fun and inspiring. One of my favorite ways of using it is to set the sustain and tail for infinite sustain. You get this beautiful drone sound and you can control the level of that drone with the Blend knob.

It’s easy to understand why the Plus Pedal is one of my top picks for Pedals of the Year. It’s a completely new concept, well executed, with beautiful sounding results. After all, in the end, that’s exactly what we’re looking for. I don’t plan to ever part with my Plus Pedal, and I have a feeling that I am just brushing the surface with all that I can do with this thing. I’m fairly certain that it will continue to inspire new ways of making my speakers dance.


Chase Bliss Audio Warped Vinyl HiFi

Builder: Chase Bliss Audio, Pedal: Warped Vinyl HiFi, Effect Type: Chorus/Vibrato

The original Warped Vinyl MKI was Chase Bliss’s first innovative take on chorus and vibrato, featuring waveform “ModuShape” toggles, expansive parameter expression via CBA’s signature dip-switches, and a musical Ramp knob, which in an industry saturated with modulation, truly pushed the Warped Vinyl to the top of the hill. The Warped Vinyl MKII was a respectable improvement on the original with the addition of its Tone knob, expanded MIDI control & preset bank, and upgraded cleaner tone. Both were not just well received but indeed have become coveted artifacts that had every show-going gear nerd pointing ‘boardward mid-song, mouthing “yes!” whenever those glorious warbles spilled out eldritch into the world.

So, why remake the Warped Vinyl yet again in this new, burnt orange enclosure? For starters, we should recognize that the HiFi isn’t exactly a reissue. The new Hold switch, the once-Volume-now-Lag knob, and new dip-switch parameters set the HiFi far enough away from the previous iterations to be considered a piece all its own. On the subject of those dip-switches, CBA has dropped the Lo-Fi dip-switch to accommodate a switch that expands the function of the inarguably more interactive Tap/Hold switch, and obviously the volume dip-switches have been repurposed to now control the Lag. The HiFi also sports a cleaner signal path, allowing for much more transparent tones than its Warped kin, limiting it’s spook factor but increasing it’s usability across genres. Fans of the previous iterations of the Warped Vinyl might be missing the tremolo vibes that MKI & MKII were capable of when ramping the Volume knob, but don’t fret dear readers. What we lose in trem prowess we gain in much more direct control over the delay time which means a much broader spectrum of chorus/vibrato tones. Still, some owners of Warped Vinyl MKI and/or MKII who have grown attached to the volume control may not find enough reason to make the switch, which is understandable, but I have to put this out there: the ideological split between the darker black and white WVs and the newer, brighter model is palpable enough that, if I were to play Devil’s Advocate, I might suggest making the switch and making up the difference with a Gravitas or some other specialized tremolo. At any rate, I for one plan living on that Hi life for as long as possible.


Keeley Electronics Caverns V2

Builder: Keeley Electronics, Pedal: Caverns V2, Effect Type: Delay/Reverb

The Keeley Electronics Caverns V2 is a combination delay and reverb pedal. It’s updated from the V1 with better laid out controls, wider foot-switch spacing, an optional buffer for delay/reverb spillover, and a Mod selection switch. It’s also now a much prettier pedal; the design is clean, modern, and airy with abstract triangle art that serves as a metaphor for the complex sound possibilities and interactions between the delay and reverb. The Caverns V2 encourages you to turn knobs and get creative as the delay and reverb work well together, creating lush and complex sounds.

The tape style delay is a monster. The trails are very warm and analog sounding with a bit of lo-fi grit. At a relatively high Blend with high Repeats, turning the Time knob gives a sense of how much this delay can feedback and mangle into new and intense drone-like sounds. The Rate switch controls whether the modulation is off, deep, or light. When switched on, the Rate knob dials in the speed of the modulation. It adds more to a retro analog vibe and wobbly feel. The longest delay time is 650 milliseconds for deep cavernous echoes. The shortest delay times provide a quick slap-back echo and can go into self-oscillation territory with higher settings of the Repeats knob. It doesn’t have tap tempo, but I think it’s meant for those with a ‘set and forget’ approach or to be tweaked by sound explorers. A small warning that out of the box, the delay and reverb are in trails mode, so there could be some unintended sound artifacts when switching it back on if you’re not careful. Open the back-plate and switch it to True Bypass if that’s your preference.

The reverb exalts the sound coming into it. It doesn’t tend to muddy, dull, or completely wash out the tone even at full blend. Only in Shimmer mode, at higher knob settings, do the subsequent reverb tones and harmonics potentially blend into an ambient choir that masks your original signal. Shimmer mode is a lovely rendering. It has a ‘particles ascending and spreading out’ pattern to it. The Warmth and Rate knobs act together to dial in the strength and tone of the shimmer. Spring mode is emulated well and is reasonably convincing. Dialing in the Warmth and Rate adds a more pronounced spring modulation. With a continuous tone, the effect is more like a small wobble of pitch modulation. Modulation mode adds a choral effect and can achieve reverb closer to room, hall, and church by dialing the Warmth and Rate up or down.

Overall, I was really impressed with the sound of the Caverns V2. It’s expressive and can veer between peaceful ambience to potentially unruly soundscapes. I recommend it for guitar, bass, and monosynth. For what this pedal can do and the current $179 price, it’s a top pedal and deal for 2017.


Neunaber Iconoclast

Builder: Neunaber, Pedal: Iconoclast, Effect Type: Speaker Emulator

The Neunaber Iconoclast is a bit of an outlier among the rest of the pedals on this list. It seems like more of a utility tool or jam companion at first glance than something that will revolutionize your pedalboard, but it has been quite an essential addition to my personal setup in 2017, being one of the most viable options available that facilitates the transition to an “amp-less” guitar rig.

I was initially intrigued by the fact that the Iconoclast is a high-definition “stereo parametric speaker emulator” that was designed to exceed the level of sonic detail and articulation found in traditional loudspeakers. The engineer who designs Neunaber’s acclaimed effects algorithms, Mr. Brian Neunaber, previously worked with a company developing high-fidelity loudspeakers. This experience gives him a unique expertise in the area of speaker acoustics. Combining a distinct knowledge about speaker design with the renowned DSP programming seen in pedals like the Immerse, Neunaber created a tool that offers arguably superior results in many ways over what can be achieved from miking traditional guitar speaker cabinets.

Guitar speakers are essentially analog filters. Their jagged, unbalanced frequency characteristics give them their distinct sounds. But even though your ears may not notice it at first, the various dips and troughs of a speaker’s response are removing frequency content from your audio. The Iconoclast uses a smoother parametric equalization to simulate a speaker with a more balanced response. An Iconoclast app for Mac & PC provides immense flexibility by giving you deep control over the EQ curve of the simulated speaker effect. You can even load a favorite speaker impulse response file into the app to see the filter curve and use the EQ to create an approximation of the IR but with a much smoother response. The pedal’s Low, Mid, and High knobs then let you make further adjustments to the EQ as needed; they’re not simple amp-style tone controls, instead shifting the cab resonance, response, and high-end attenuation to simulate different cabinet types with ease.

The Iconoclast also has a dedicated Gate which is useful since it’ll most likely be at the end of your signal chain. (I like to use the Iconoclast before my delay and reverb pedals which is similar to adding those effects in post production after you record a miked amp and speaker cab.) There’s a stereo headphone jack with level control for silent jamming or warming up before a gig. The stereo I/O features balanced outputs which are ideal for running directly into front-of-house, a mixing console, or recording interface. The Dynamic Power Compression parameters found within the Iconoclast app help create a realistic speaker-like sag response that helps the Iconoclast pair with preamps and “amp-in-a-box” drive pedals for a convincing amp-style playability. Latency is well under half a millisecond, so there is no noticeable sacrifice in feel. You can also trade speaker presets in the Neunaber forums. The Iconoclast is not to be missed if you’re looking for quality speaker simulation, and/or if you’re considering leaving the amp at home when gigging.


Now there’s just one more thing before we go…


Best New Pedal Builder of 2017: Meris

Many new pedal builders come on the scene every year, and sometimes a few of them bring innovative new perspectives and inspiring new pedals. This year we wanted to give a special shout-out to a promising new builder, and we invited “aBunchOfPedals” to write a feature piece on a new builder that we also think deserves your attention.

Read about the Best New Builder of 2017: Meris


While the aforementioned pedals are the ones that made our list, there was no shortage of great pedals released this year. A few other fan favorites and interesting looking pedals of the year were the Catalinbread Belle Epoch Deluxe, EHX Green Russian & Op-Amp Big Muff reissues, EHX Synth9, Wampler Tumnus Deluxe, Dwarfcraft Grazer, Strymon Sunset, and Source Audio Ventris Reverb.

Did we leave out your favorite pedal of the year? Let us know in the comments!

And that concludes our Best New Guitar Effects Pedals of the Year 2017. Thanks for reading!


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    Speak Your Mind


  1. Awesome write up for an awesome list of pedals!
    Can’t wait to try em out! :)

  2. Can I have just one of each? Sites like this are destroying my pocketbook.

  3. Too many great pedals this year to pick a favorite. The echo system does have me extremely excited though.

  4. Eric Lussier says:

    Really nice dual delay with plenty of options, it could one of the best for big ambiant sound and drone stuff!!

  5. Patrick M. says:

    Great list! Good inputs!! Always nice to read you

  6. Jesse Bateman says:

    Just heard about empress last year, picked up their heavy pedal. Sounds so good. I want to replace most of my pedals with their stuff, haha

  7. Isuru Ranawaka says:

    Ecosystem is a good pedal to start with. Awesome reviews and great pedals!!

  8. Frankie Gibson says:

    Oooh, they rock!

  9. Jodie Gillespie says:

    There’s not one on the list I couldn’t make use of

  10. Rich Smith says:

    Really love the Green Russian Big Muff reissue. Nothing fancy but it does exactly what I wanted it to do!

  11. Johannes Hauser says:

    Thank you very much for your informative and inspiring work!

  12. John Mountford says:

    Lot of lush pedals there

  13. Sus Rodriguez says:

    I wish i have them all !!!!! But i would start with the Echosystem.
    Awesome reviews, very usefull.

  14. My favourite pedal of the year is always a classic fuzzface, can be a diy or a brand doesnt matter, would love to have an echo pedal tho, big pink floyd fan.

  15. Ryan Edwards says:

    Great article. Here’s hoping lucks on my side.

  16. Hugo J. Reis says:

    I’ve been craving to get the Chase Bliss Audio Brothers in my collection. From all I’ve read and heard on videos, the sound is absolutely what I need. Fantastic pedal.

  17. Mark Taylor says:

    The Brothers is calling my name so hard… can do so much in one small enclosure.

  18. I absolutely loved the Canyon, but it’s just too complex for it’s limited controls.

  19. they all look great!

  20. Not only a great reference and great looks, tonal recall is easily my favourite

  21. Great Article! Thanks. The Empress Echosystem seems incredible, would be a dream to have it ;)

  22. Thanks for the info!

  23. Amazing pedals all of them!

  24. Chris Vogt says:

    oh i wish i could be lucky and use finaly 8 seconds of delay time

  25. Philipp Kürten says:

    Very good choice of pedals. Wish I could have ’em all…

  26. I’d love to win the lottery just to buy all this stuff!! Thx for sharing all these gems!

  27. Yall are causing me to empty my wallet on a monthly basis with these writeups… but send me the Echosystem and all is forgiven forever :) xoxo

  28. Jacob Tolstrup says:

    Te EchoSystem sounds great in all the demos I’ve heard. Hope to get it one day.

  29. Lervin John Obando says:

    Awesome pedals! love them all, eyeing now on Empress Echosystem and Caverns!

  30. Too many good things here.

  31. That echosystem is a beast!

  32. Empress yes

  33. Juan Sebastian Fernandez says:

    Proud owner of the
    Keeley Electronics Caverns V2 and it’s just mind melting

  34. thanks for the list fellas! cheers!

  35. Mark A Van Der Linden says:

    So many guitar pedals, I need a board that goes across the whole stage!

  36. John Reppion says:

    Great list. Some really incredible looking pedals.

  37. Clark Brown says:

    What a great line up of pedals

  38. Dain Johnson says:


  39. pierre clavier says:

    Bon article jesper que 2018 sera aussi complet

  40. So many pedals…. so little time. Glad I found this informative site.

  41. Giovanni Maldonado says:

    Thanks for the great reviews. Can’t wait to try the synthax error.

  42. Dante André-Kahan says:

    I truly believe that Empress are inheriting the title of top digital pedals for the late 2010s. We had Line 6, and then Eventide, and then Strymon, but now I’m really happy to see that Canadian builders are finally integrating the digital world around us into guitar technology. The Echosystem and Reverb really feel ‘of their time’, and as much as I love Strymon, I can’t help but be very excited about what Empress is doing!

  43. Luis Flores says:

    I can agree with the praise for the Keeley Caverns V2. Awesome pedal.

  44. There are some stellar pedals listed in this article. They all look to be worthy contenders for best of the year. Tyre one that takes the cake for me this last year is the Meris Polymoon. It brings a unique voice and has quite a depth of functionality, while still intuitive and quite approachable in its interface.

  45. Can’t wait to try the Echosystem!

  46. Rob Herriman says:

    Some really great pedals here. Thanks for the hard work guys

  47. Rob Herriman says:

    Great job! There’s things sound amazing. Really into the Polymoon right now

  48. René Rutten says:

    The reviews are great! Was looking for a new reverb pedal, now I know I need a Space from Eventide for my doompop band. Thanks!

  49. Vincent Fragapane says:

    Thanks for the chance to win free excellent gear!

  50. Definitely the Ventris

  51. Echosystem rocks! 2018 = waiting for sth new. I mean really. Thx for your job!

  52. Echosystem rocks! 2018 = waiting for sth new. I mean really.

  53. Fred Parks says:

    He provided all the information I needed to make a decision on what would be the best pedal for me. Thank you!

  54. Nick Buckley says:

    This is by far the best source for pedal info that i have found. So good in fact that I may have to get a second mortgage to pay for all the hardware I want to get after reading your reviews!!
    I love the fact that you guys get down and dirty with your reviews – not only do I learn about the pedal, but I learn about what makes them tick. Words like modulation and “impulse response” which weren’t in my lexicon before are now understood and appreciated!

  55. Echosystem and infinite jets… must have!

  56. Epic list, thanks for all the helpful reviews!

  57. The Neunaber Iconoclast looks very interesting, will have to check one out I think.

  58. Empress has impressed me so much with their quality. Great pedals!

  59. Yves Eggenberger says:

    I’d love to try out some of the Chase Bliss Pedals, they look really awesome. A pedal that I really liked this year and that didn’t make this list is the Walrus Audio Monument. It made me appreciate Tremolo a lot more.

  60. Keep the hits coming!

  61. I’m continually amazed at the evolution of the humble device we know as the stomp box. With the seemingly constant advances in the technology that can fit inside these small metal enclosures, it looks like a change of name to magic box may be required:)

  62. Wow, always was a fan of Empress!!

  63. Sooooooooo many pedals and so many companies to sift thru!!!!!! So nice to have resource to save time and MONEY. thank you for doing the hard work to sort it all out. (hehe tough job)

  64. great pedal !!!

  65. I want to say a “thank you” to the guys (and gals) at Best Guitar This site is a true leader in reviewing and creating buzz for great products. Keep up the great work!
    Picking the pedal of 2017 is really difficult. There are so many great choices. If I had to decide the Boss/ JHS Angry Driver. Just can’t go wrong with two names that are leaders in the industry. It has some attitude too.
    It would be cool to see more gear like multi effects, power supplies, buffers and even patch cables would be great. I am looking forward to seeing what dual effects pedals, like reverb/delay or chorus/tremolo pedals will come out in 2018.

  66. The Echosystem is clearly one of the best delays on the market, if not the best. The most remarkable thing on it is the possibility to use two delays at the same time, which makes almost infinite possibilities in terms of creativity. The happy one who will receive it from BGE will spend some nice winter evenings;)

  67. Hologram infinite jets ftw! :)

  68. The Echosystem just nail every single sound and finally became THE contender for Strymon. Hopefully this competition can bring out more of the big players!

  69. John Mountford says:

    Great review of tasty pedals

  70. Soren Paris says:

    dang!! so many pedals. how can I get YOUR job?

  71. 2017 was an awesome pedal year! Fantastic options presented here. Can’t wait to see what 2018 will bring!

  72. I would choose the Echosystem based on the sound and features.

  73. Jennifer M Wilson says:

    Would love the chance to play with this!

  74. Good selection of pedals. I would choose the Echosystem. It nails it all, digital, tape, analog and that ins tereo…beautiful!!

  75. The Empress Echosystem looks to be the most versatile delay pedal in the market

  76. Zachary B Klein says:

    I was impressed with the Canyon and the Caverns. Both great ambient tools, sound great. Chase Bliss has been making some crazy stuff as well. Empress seems to be killing it right now, they seem to sound a bit more “real”/analog than Strymon’s stuff, from my experience. Those Echosystem’s sure are pretty…

  77. Mary Lloyd says:

    Excellent review. Thanks for the info!

  78. Alex Burton says:

    From the listed pedals that I have played around with, the Keeley caverns and the echosystem are my favorites. Both very useful.

  79. Patrick Ryan says:

    Pre-ordered the Plus Pedal and am loving it! Also got the Pigtronix Mothership 2 early which is also great

  80. Ronald Porter says:

    Great pedals great website love to promote some of your product while playing out

  81. The ultimate pedal board

  82. Bring on the synths!

  83. Chris Bradfield says:

    Empress effects does it again. Best delay pedal i’ve ever seen!

  84. Anthony Laing says:

    There’s not one of those pedals I wouldn’t want on my board

  85. EJay Gerth says:

    What a good year for pedals

  86. Laura Lyn says:

    I think that you guys should do more reviews that compare the best of the best pedals instead of reviewing one. For example you could review several delay pedals in one review comparing the pros and cons of each one.

  87. Em Kaplan says:

    I think the digitech Polara is an awesome pedal. A video demo of it would be awesome

  88. Dan Newman says:

    I love your website. There is nothing I would want to change. I just want to win the echosystem!

  89. Jacob Scott says:

    I would love to see more in depth video demos.

  90. From what I have seen the echosystem is the best new pedal right now. I would love to win it

  91. my pedal want list just grew
    Empress Effects Echosystem – help a brother out would you?

  92. Empress echo system dream pedal

  93. Derek M Stark says:

    How in the world does Chase Bliss cram so much pedal in such a small enclosure? I mean, just…how?

  94. Jeff Axelrod says:

    Great article, wish you did more youtube videos and reviews/demos!

  95. Aiden Stevenson says:

    Agreed 100% on Meris and the Echosystem… Love my Ottobit and would love to get my hands on the latter.

  96. Ahmad Nur Septianto says:

    I’m looking forward to Empress Echo-System, not because I want to win the giveaways… but man, I really want that one… :v
    I mean, look at that thing ! Great look, many knobs… usually versatile you know, and goddamn elegant !
    Adding one to my pedalboard must be great and surely expand my pedalboard versatility.
    Right now, what I need is delay and reverb, I think this one is enough, maybe exceeding my expectations.
    Chase Bliss and Caverns looks so promising too. Oh God…

  97. Joe Greiner says:

    I love all these pedals! But I’m most intrigued in the Meris pedals. Looking into getting a polymoon soon!

    Great reviews, as always. Thorough and honest.

  98. I bought the EarthQuaker Devices Data Corrupter and it gives so many new textures to my lead and harmony lines.
    I have a huge delay systems choice in the Mod Duo but the new features of the Empress Effects Echosystem make it a fun add to my board in the future

  99. Thanks for taking the time to review these pedals for those of us out here in the ‘wasteland’. So many great pedals. After going to the makers sites, I’m enjoying an endorphin float! The Empress and the Iconoclast has my attention. Thanks again!

  100. Marty Meadors says:

    Great pedals, they just keep getting better. Everyone pushes the limits and improves upon their designs. Awesome stuff!

  101. William Otto says:

    These pedals look so cool. I need one!

  102. Roland Ashdown says:

    Thanks for the info. And the chance to win some gear!

  103. Robert Friedrich says:

    Empress Echosystem ist the best pedal for synths!

  104. Echo system + Infinite Jets =✨

  105. Risto Venäläinen says:

    The Echosystem dual engine sounds cool and clean.

  106. it looks soooooo amazing, I’d love to delay with the Empress

  107. I would love to win sometimes :)

  108. Always looking for new pedals!

  109. Luke Jackman says:

    This year there were so many great pedals it is really hard to choose a favorite. Echo System was up there for reverb/delay style pedals. I really like the sound of Elektrons Analog Heat for a distortion pedal . I also like the Data Corrupter from EarthQuaker Devices. I also like trying out all the smaller companies effects, I’m in love with idea of DIY. However my go to for great sounding effects is always Strymon’s line of pedals,the whole line is stunning.

  110. Looking at my Timeline – so lonely without Empress Echosystem…

  111. The empress echo system is one of the best effects on the market

  112. James Cashin says:

    Wow! Some real gems here. I will save my pennies for the EHX Looper. It will take up75% of my pedal board, but it looks like it will be worth it.

  113. Jacob West says:

    Man, I’d love to see a demo of somebody tastefully playing several of these pedals at the same time. So many possible amazing combinations!

  114. mark mendoza says:

    Great review. Encore!

  115. Morten Sigurd Westgaard Brua says:

    Empress Echosystem and Gamechanger Plus Pedal look really interesting!

  116. David Gortych says:

    So many great pedals this year my wallet can’t handle it ha! Echosystem is on my radar and that Hologram Electronics Infinite Jets. Oh how could I forget the Polymoon because to me that’s a must buy type of pedal. It’s lookin like 2018 is going to be another great year too.

  117. So many great pedals

  118. Michael Conner says:

    Thanks for all the work you guys are doing here. I look forward to your reviews and coverage and look forward to future goodines.

  119. Henrik lahdenmaki says:

    Man i wish i had the chance to play with these things, its like these pedals might open a new creqtivr window

  120. Awesome list. I can only vouch for the HOF. So much originality and innovation here. My wish list is getting way to long.

  121. So many pedals pulling my attention

  122. Mark Anderson says:

    The Brothers has my vote. It’s replaced three pedals on my board. I haven’t tried the Echosystem yet though so my opinion may change.

  123. Justin Stanislawski says:

    Hologram Electronics is cool. Wish it were a bit smaller though.

  124. Joseph Perroni says:

    Empress for the win!

  125. My favorite has got to be the Echosystem! It’s been a long time since we heard so much good stuff from Empress and this finally brings them into the big boys league with Strymon and Eventide!

  126. Ethan Park says:

    Polymoon is probably one of my favorite releases from this year, so dreamy! Really I just love everything Meris does, but the Polymoon was where they really nailed it I thought.

  127. Jon Zaloumis says:

    Happy to see Meris get a shoutout. I picked up their Polymoon and have been blown away by the sounds I get from it. It’s really a unique take on the classic delay formula. I still have yet to try the echosystem though!

  128. Jeff Walker says:

    Thankyou for making out my next letter to Santa

  129. Dave McManis says:

    Chase Bliss has some amazing engineers along with Empress. I just wish I could afford them both.

  130. Nathan Migge says:

    So many good pedals… Level’s getting higher when it comes to stuff like guitar effects !

  131. Brian Kretschman says:

    For those who like to repeat themselves the echo system is desirable…For those who like to repeat themselves the echo system is desirable…For those who like to repeat themselves the echo system is desirable…For those who like to repeat themselves the echo system is desirable…desirable…desirable…

  132. Ben Acree says:

    Love the Tonal Recall, but the Empress takes the cake
    for sure!

  133. A pedal with a setting called ‘whisky’ is a winner, period. Form the demos I heard it sounds out of this world too, but c’mon, whisky! Badass.

  134. Rafael Lázaro says:

    Trying to win something here. Let´s do it!!

  135. Site just keeps better and the reviews more complete, better written, and more variety on your pages and channel. Lookin’ forward to what you guys/gals bring in 2018. Cheers!

  136. the chase is a good contender but the echosystem sounds like the bees knees

  137. Excellent article.

  138. Yes the Echosystem. Radness in a pedal

  139. Thank you for the opportunity to win pedals monthly!

  140. Joseph Bertucci says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to win pedals monthly!

  141. I want to own everything Empress makes so bad!

  142. Wow, it’s amazing to see how creative companies are to make new sounds for rockers of all styles!

  143. mark s mendoza says:

    Wow, the Empress Effects Echosystem looks so great!

  144. Jezer Urena says:

    I’m The best reviews on the best gear. Based on your reviews I went out and got the Canyon and Data Corruptor. Thanks for always keeping us current in the world of effects.Keep up the good work.

  145. Jezer Urena says:

    I’m The best reviews on the best gear. Based on your reviews I went out and got the Canyon and Data Corruptor. Thanks for always keeping us current in the world of effects.

  146. Jezer Ureña says:

    I rely heavily on your reviews as a starting point for exploring effects. I haven’t been steered even one time. Several pedals on your best list inhabit my pedal board. In my opinion,you produce the best reviews of the best products.

  147. Chocolate cake…I sleep – This list… REAL SHIT

  148. D&M Drive for days!

  149. This is pure heaven!

  150. Louis Nicolas says:

    Best GAS list of 2017 for sure.

  151. Jeff Walker says:

    So many great pedals

  152. Jeff Walker says:

    Got a EHX Canyon a few weeks ago and love it.
    plan on a few more on this Best of List

  153. Martin Smith says:

    Really surprised when recently playing the Boss MS3. It sounded fantastic.

  154. It’s nice, with pedals like the syntax error, seeing ring mod as a viable guitar sound right now. There’s so much tonal possibility with pedalboards if each pedal is viewed as a stage of a modular synth.

  155. Empress Echosystem. Want.

  156. D&M Drive FTW!

  157. John Rawling says:

    Everyones a good one

  158. David Ashfield says:

    More classic reviews :)

  159. Henrik lahdenmaki says:

    Man i wish i could get all of these, they all look so interesting to play and tinker with

  160. Oliver Books says:

    I want all of them so bad… Man, this year is full of fun!

  161. Norman Strong says:

    If I had all of those pedals, then my GAS would be cured… Well curtailed… Well it’d give me a direction for the next pedalboard anyway

  162. Matt Haswell says:

    Just played the Canyon yesterday, which is one impressive pedal (especially in such a small size!). But, the Empress Effects Echosystem has been on my must-get list since it came out – the sonic possibilities of that seem endless.

  163. Emmett Stinson says:

    Very happy to see Meris recognised. I have an M7 and it’s great!

  164. Bryce Shelton says:

    All great choices indeed! Gaah I need to try them all!

  165. Andrew Wilhelm says:

    Want to try and Echosystem against my Timeline.And I NEED an Infinite Jets.

  166. Great list! Will still need some time to try them all. One question… no analogman choices? KOT?

  167. Great list! Will still some time to try them all. One question… no analogman choices? KOT?

  168. Paul Gibson says:

    A great selection of pedals, If I was to come up with a list, it wouldn’t be very different than yours

  169. Edward Fulton says:

    Though I like have options on my pedals I prefer those that leave me with only a few tweakable knobs. In other words have 10 types of delay is cool but don’t give me 37 ways to tweak each of them.

  170. Definitely looking to pick some of these up

  171. No Drybell!?!

  172. Jeremy Peralta says:

    Proud owner of a number of pedals that made your list!

  173. at the moment, i am, kind of, bored by huge and super complicated all-in-one pedals. that are on offer by everybody, their brother and few neighbors as well. guess ADDA converters, DSPs and programmers got cheap enough and everybody build some all-in-one monstrosity in the last year or so.
    if you are to place two [three???] of these on your pedalboard, you are better off with a laptop [or an iOS device] and a MIDI controller. might even be cheaper.
    if a pedal is that size, and digital, then it must have stereo path and full MIDI support before i even consider thinking about it.
    and why is everybody jumping on the digital bandwagon!? no pedal manufacturer can generate the bright new idea that can be packaged in a compact and analog format. 2-3 dials and 9V <50mA….

  174. Great list of Pedals!

  175. Jean LLerena says:

    I think one day ill own all chase bliss pedals and the syntax error. those things are cool

  176. The Gamechanger Plus Pedal is indeed a game changer! Looking forward to put my hands on it!

  177. James White says:


  178. Very cool!!

  179. The Empress SuperDelay is the best-sounding delay pedal I’ve ever owned. I haven’t had the chance to try the Echo System in person but it seems like the managed to surpass it.
    I am impressed.

  180. David Krauss says:

    The Echosystem is an impressive pedal. Please send it my way!

  181. Bruno Afonso says:

    Man it is so hard to pick one out of all of these. Just so many great pedals! The empress ones are on top of my list for sure

  182. All of them are very tempting! There’s at least one in the list that I’ve got and loving every feature of it: TC’s Hall of Fame Reverb! Amazed!

  183. Tim Ferguson says:

    Thanks so much for this article.
    I find and learn about more pedals here than anywhere else on the interwebz.

  184. Richard Knight says:

    All of the chase bliss pedals are so unique. Live the tonal recall.

  185. Very cool pedals! I look forward to hearing one up close. For now I can only compare the appearances, and these are head-bobbin’, knob-twiddlin’, COOL beasts!

  186. Kobediah Miller says:

    Thank you for all that you do! I would love to try all of these out!!!

  187. helpfull.

  188. Lisa Scott says:

    I’d love to be able to road test that lot!!!

  189. Nicholas Hansen says:

    The Empress system and the FreqOut look like tons of fun.

  190. Such a great year for gear! I loved the Whammy Ricochet, BOSS MS-3 and Rainger Pulsar.

  191. Peter Grey says:

    Some tasty pedals there

  192. Jeff Rogers says:

    I am lucky enough to have a couple of the above mentioned pedals. I have found Digitech to be on a roll and the FreqOut is just amazing and unique. It would be my choice due to sound, creativity, ascetics and engineering, plus it’s funner than a barrel of monkeys. Lastly….it’s not a copy of anything really, it is pat.pending as I type.

  193. Yeah Empress Echosystem! This pedal would hopefully be the last delay pedal I acquire for a long, long time.

    -Jon R.

  194. It’s not fair that every year new pedals are being made, how can I ever keep up with all the good stuff happening? I’m still discovering how, when and if to use my Digitech XP-300 Space Station!
    This doesn’t mean I don’t need new pedals, I always need new pedals, and new pedal boards and then some. I’m absolutely sure though that whatever next pedal I will have in my set-up will make me famous and respected. And if not, then I can always just annoy the neighbourhood with it!

  195. William penn says:

    The digitech line of pedals has been impressive of late. The Ricochet is very useful since it’s seems a smaller format of the whammy.

  196. My fav is the empress echo machine. The stompbox is great!! I must win it

  197. gary marra says:

    That empress echosystems delay and the caverns seem so rad. I want to make space sounds.

  198. Christian Tudon says:

    Wow great article! Can’t wait to get the D&M!

  199. CJ Johnson says:

    I NEED to try out the Angry Driver. I think it would be awesome if collaborations between pedal builders became more popular. Pedal builders have been successfully collaborating with artists for a while now, lets move the trend a step further!

  200. Trish Ramundo says:

    The pedal board looks like something I would use for my pedals.

  201. sandy declercq says:

    hopefully i wil win

  202. Philip Ramundo says:

    All great players

  203. Jerzy Synycja says:

    a great choice for each effect its fine..

  204. Michael H. says:

    Empress Echo is like a dreaammmmm. But no Joke, that neunaber is also powerful.

  205. I’m torn between the ehx freeze and that cool plus sustainer, but all of these look so good

  206. Pierre Desaulniers says:

    My favs are the empress echo and the D&M Drive not revolutionary but so good sounding!

  207. Daniel Arganda says:

    Great article, amazing list of pedals. I’d love to try them all.

  208. Manfred Ganswindt says:

    Thanks. They are all great!

  209. So many great pedals came out this year. I recently got the Brothers and it has changed my whole board! Hoping to get the Empress Echosystem soon!

  210. This is a great list. I love all the pedals!

  211. Chris Price says:

    Empress Echosystem Holy Grail of Delay

  212. Roberto Alaniz says:

    This is a great service. So many pedals out there, Best Guitar Effects helps me to find what I am looking for.

  213. john j pioli says:

    My favorite pedal of the year is the EHX Superego Plus.

  214. Gijs Coolen says:

    Someof this stuff looks amazing. Curious about the Empress delay pedal and the sustain pedal-pedal!

  215. Chase Bliss has had a very good year for pedals

  216. The Data Corrupter is just incredible…if you like to make noise, go get one NOW.

  217. The Empress looks phenomenal, and is 100% my favorite release of the year. I think it will compliment their Reverb unit really well and make an unbeatable pair!

  218. Definitely gunna need an effects switcher soon…

  219. Jordan Pankratz says:

    Great list, really love what I’ve heard of the Ecosystem, and Empress stuff in general. Can’t wait to see what the Zoia is capable of!

  220. Good year for pedals!

  221. Nathan Schneider says:

    Comprehensive list! Of the ones listed, I’ve had the Tonal Recall RKM, Brothers, Syntax Error, EchoSystem, Infinite Jets, and Ottobit Jr. I sadly had to depart with the RKM, Ottobit Jr and Syntax Error, but every single one of those pedals are awesome! Nice review.

  222. Thanks for giving all of us crazies the info we need. We are living in the Golden Age of effects (especially for us delay lovers). Keep up the great work, please.

  223. I wish i could afford any of these

  224. thanks for the great revues. Keep up the good work

  225. Empress giveaway hopeful!

  226. Warped Vinyl Hi-Fi is a great great example of a paradox.

  227. Razvan Lazea-Postelnicu says:

    I really like Mercury 7.

  228. I would vuile a completely new pedalboqrd to fit thuis stuff on it, it I had the money!

  229. Albert Solano says:

    Man, can I not wait for my new Empress Echosystem ;)

  230. Source Audio Ventris crushed it for me this year.

  231. Great selection

  232. Erik aagard says:

    Alexander pedals continue in their quest to fit as much functionality into as small packages as humanly possible. Amazing!

  233. Matt Bell says:

    This is a very accurate list.

  234. John Rice says:

    It doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention, but Digitech’s CabDryVR is a pretty incredible tool. Obviously very similar to the Iconoclast in some ways, but I’m not crazy about effects that require a computer for editing.. (And being able to split the L+R signals between two different IRs is great – my only complaint is that you can’t use the guitar and bass modes at the same time.)

  235. Lewis Bell says:

    Keeley pedals are rock solid choices for the gigging or budding musicians. I have several pedals both modded and originals. Glad to see they are in the article!

  236. Gabe Searles says:

    This is a GREAT list. My personal favorite (SO hard to pick) would be the Keeley Caverns!

  237. paul torbert says:

    Ramen diet is how i afford gear….. i have Meniere’s Disease, so i dont work, i exist barely on Social Security Disability…. music is the only “thread” keeping me from “taking myself out”….

    my Vox Night Train 15w head just died…. things arent looking great…..

  238. TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2 Reverb: un classique qui s’est réinventé de la meilleure façon possible.

  239. Nils Olsson says:

    ekkosystem. the last piece of the puzzle. would change my game, and make the world a better place.

  240. Thanks for the thorough list!

  241. Where was I in 2017?!?! Man I’ve been focusing too much of my browse time on shrewder videos. Should have been researching your page for these pedals!!!

    I have a boss feedbacker but it colors the tone a lot … hard to use. I wonder if the freq out sounds more transparent.

    Great article!

  242. Lucas Van Lenten says:

    Yes please!

  243. The Empress Echosystem is way over my head. However if I won it I’m sure it would raise my playing up a few notches.

  244. Would love to finally have an Empress pedal. Very pricy here in the Netherlands. My favourite pedal of the year so far? Meris Ottobit Jr and Chase Bliss Warped Vinyl.

  245. I would love to win ! Thanks for the chance !


  246. Hands down the Empress Effects Echosystem

  247. Data Corrupter and Syntax Error made my list this year. Really want to get the Ottobit Jr.

  248. Denise Sitton says:

    Would be a great start to my pedal board. Thanks for the chance!

  249. I’ll vouch for the Chase Bliss Brothers and Tonal Recall. I have both and love them. A band mate of mine also has the Boss MS-3, and it’s pretty impressive. Modulation especially sounds great on it.

  250. Michał Nowak says:

    I really like how TC Electronic updated Hall of Fame. Finally, there is a shimmer effect and that “Mash” system rocks!

  251. So many good pedals to try. We’re truly living in the golden age of guitar pedal design. Thanks for the nice and helpful reviews.

  252. Thomas Duck says:

    So mayn awesome pedals, I would never be able to choose only one as the #1 of the year!

  253. Thomas Duck says:

    So many awesome pedals, I would never be able to choose only one as the #1 of the year

  254. Bill Davis says:

    Ok I’m a pedal junkie.

  255. Paul Hogue says:

    I’ve got to get the Iconoclast and the Syntax Error. And the Meris pedals. And Caverns. And…

  256. Christopher Kemp says:

    Great year for pedals!

  257. Steve Comeau says:

    The D&M drive is a brilliant pedal.

  258. Nick Meyer says:

    Empress is just too cool for school

  259. the echo system just blew me away with its intuititive functions and clarity of sound. Drooling over that beauty!

  260. Very good selection of effects! Some of them are the real art of engineering.

  261. Jimmie Atchley says:

    The empress echo system is incredible. I had the chance to play with one for a few hours and was absolutely blown away by the possibilities.

  262. Jaap Kalkman says:

    Love Empress effects. Super quality and Canadian!

  263. Marc-Olivier says:

    Nice pedals! The hologram and the empress are awesome!

  264. Poko Janssen says:

    Such great pedals in 2017! Can’t wait for 2018. Keep up the great work :)

  265. Wow the canyon has so much to offer for the price.

  266. Man, I’m gonna go broke this year! LOL

  267. Brett Rockwell says:

    Incredible stuff!!!

  268. Wolfgang Schneider says:

    what a year for pedals it’s been!

  269. Data Corrupter has held my interest ever since I heard about it. Interested in getting that one.

  270. Paul Farrior says:

    This list is a clear sign that I didn’t buy enough pedals in 2017. Of all the videos I’ve watched, this list certainly does seem to be the best.

  271. Luís Marujo says:

    amazing pedals, the empress is definitely one of the best although i can’t quite compare it to others as it is in such a different league :)

  272. jim thompson says:

    Soooo many awesome effects. Great list. Inspired a chunk of time set aside for a youtube tunnel. Thanks!

  273. bookmarking this page!

  274. So far I have two of these, Data Corrupter and Syntax Error. Already waiting for NAMM 2018 announcements…

  275. John Rosar says:

    I cant wait to try the one I will be winning. The reviews are great and it looks incredible. Keep up the terrific work.

  276. I need ’em all, and about a year to check ’em all out thoroughly.

  277. I LOVE all of these pedals! I don’t know how to fit them all on my board. Lol

  278. Fun article. Now I just want to sell stuff to buy all of these. The echo system has me wat excited though. This last weekend I five into my empress reverb and decided to push since if the more unique features and loved it even more. The sustain is insane. I want to feel and experience the echo system with it so bad now. Like its my new favorite Netflix binge, I keep watching and reading about it. I hope my dream can come true and I can just win one. Thanks for the fun article.

  279. Great list! I love the thorough descriptions and hope to check some of these out soon!

  280. Love the Data Corruptor, EQD always manage to come up with something new

  281. Thorsoreleg says:

    I would try any of these, the chasebliss sounds interesting

  282. Enda Russell says:

    The echosystem makes my heart a little warmer!

  283. Chris Reed says:

    Amazing pedals but the Empress Echosystem is top of my list

  284. Garett Barr says:

    So many awesome pedals… so little cash

  285. Sam McBride says:

    Awesome list!

  286. The empress is an awesome pedal! I also really love the new TC Electronic Tailspin vibrato! It’s not super fancy or complicated, but it’s a beautiful analog vibrato!

  287. I’m pretty sure my family is planning a GAS intervention for me. This article doesn’t help.

  288. Too many good pedals to choose from!
    Wish they were categorized.

    Great selection still though.

  289. Tonal Recall is definitely one of the most innovative delays I’ve ever seen… Great list, guys!!!!!

  290. great list, gotta try the empress

  291. The Caverns covers a lot of ground, but can also be used as a fire-and-forget baseline delay and reverb. And, like all Keeley pedals, is built like a brick!

  292. Christian Olsson says:

    What the h***, the Empress Echo System has eeendless possibilities!! Also a big fan og the Chase Bliss Warped Vinyl HiFi and Alexander Syntax Error! The pedal game is changing so much in the last recent years :)) Thank you for bringing great reviews of all these units Best Guitar Effects.

  293. Love the looks of the Warped Vinyl HiFi pedal. Especially the knobs.

  294. Well, I already wrote off the Syntax Error for the BitQuest!, due to the “you can’t have all presets without MIDI”-thing, but it seems I have to once again put it into the ever growing list of contenders!

  295. Francois Bringuier says:

    They are all great pedals.
    My favorites are the echosystem, the warped vinyl and the syntax error. Would love to get my hands on one of those.
    Keep up the great work bestguitareffects, we love you !

  296. Great giveaway!

  297. Uli Steimer says:

    No doubt the echosystem deserves the victory!
    2017 brought a lot of good stuff, let‘s enjoy 2018!

  298. Josh Petermann says:

    Empress Echosystem by far!

  299. Cameron Breithaupt says:

    Straight up, the Echosystem is so brilliant. Would LOVE to run it into my Empress verb. What a great Canadian company.

  300. Neil Gallimore says:

    Great selection

  301. Markus Notter says:

    Sometimes I would just love to have your job…testing all these amazing pedals the whole day :D

  302. So glad Empress spelled “whisky” correctly, especially so given the “Nebulous” fiasco!

    Would be great to have an Empress “whisky” delay followed by a “beer” reverb chaser!

  303. I love this website

  304. Tawny Close says:

    Thanks, I have so many pedals on my “must try list” now

  305. xoomeizhi says:

    i can’t help but wonder if the plethora of options and tweaks on some of these pedals make them a bit unwieldy.
    Guess i’ll have to try them out and find out!

  306. My wallet cannot handle the dang lists and the tones do not help my will power to try and preserve it.

  307. Gordon McLaughlin says:

    I’ve always been a fan of the Boss blues driver so the JB-2 Angry Driver is something I definitely want to try out! That empress pedal is something else though.

  308. No Ventris reverb?!?!?!

  309. Chase Bliss Audio deserves all the praise. The quality and tweakability that is put into a reasonably sized stomp box is so above and beyond anyone else.

  310. Nicholas W Merz says:

    I’d love to have any of these>

  311. Lukas Guyader says:

    Just here for my weekly gear fixin’s! <3

  312. I do ambient guitar, so the Plus pedal and the Echosystem have been on my radar for a while, I’d love to sit down with either. The Avalanche Run is my favorite pedal I actually own, and I’d love to stack some good stereo delay before and after it for some immensity.

    …This comment is really for the giveaway for the Echosystem.

  313. Richard Cantle says:

    Would love to test drive all of those, however I couldn’t describe them other than falling on the usual cliches which you manage to avoid

  314. looking forward to trying out the Echosystem!

  315. Kostis Pyrenis says:

    Some very cool stuff was released in 2017!
    The Sustainer from Gamechanger audio will definitely find it’s place on the studio pedalboard while the Echosystem and the Angry Drive on the gigging one! Have a nice 2018!

  316. George Lambadis says:


  317. Frank Wortham says:

    Great article. Infinite Jets is at the top of my list. Here’s to 2018.

  318. I’m gonna need a second income stream…

  319. The Empress Echo System is the bees knees!

  320. Stephen Prentiss says:

    I hope you guys get the chance to really check out the Source Audio Ventris. Just got one and it’s incredible. Super simple interface on the top of the pedal but can get really in depth with it through the app. Plus it’s shimmer and e-dome algorithms are fantastic. I’d definitely say it’s a contender with the BlueSky.

  321. Ken Meldrum says:

    Totally agree with the Empress Echo System! Their Reverb should be here as well. They make incredible pedals that cover almost everything in the sonic spectrum.

  322. Kevin Henderson says:

    What a great selection of pedals

  323. Chris Wright says:

    All of these pedals are amazing!!!

  324. marco melis says:

    Yo brò.

  325. bought the chase bliss brothers and the gamechanger and both are amazing pedals…drooling over the infinite jets and the empress!! Great picks!

  326. Gordon McLaughlin says:

    Every time I read one of these articles, I wish I had thousands of non existent dollars to buy every pedal. Going to have to take a second mortgage out on my house.

  327. Joel Thomas says:

    The echosystem is definitely a real leap forward in dual delay.

  328. I hope Empress will come with modulation multieffect this year and we will can also say it is the best. ;)

  329. Tonal Recall totally should’ve been #1

  330. Slawomir Bilanicz says:

    Hey, the OCD is an incredibly versatile and intense pedal.

  331. Joseph Silva says:

    I preordered the syntax error and it’s fantastic!

  332. i am just entering the wonderful world of pedals. i am gonna need a second job to support my future pedal buying habit!

  333. Ingrid Ruddick says:

    That has just risen to the top of my must try list

  334. Great article!

  335. Debbie Moss says:

    Loving those reviews

  336. The Data Corrupter nearly takes the lead for me just for its extreme synth sound not found anywhere else, but the Empress Echosystem’s practicality and genius dual delay system are just impossible to beat with the pedals from last year.

  337. Jeffrey Immer says:

    I feel like the freqout is going to be hitting my rig soon.

    Oh and pick me! My pedal board could use some new blood!

  338. I want this thing!!!

  339. NIck Pagoulatos says:

    The D&M drive is just as great as everyone says and the FreqOut is incredibly fun for low-volume settings and has more versatility than I imagined it would.

    Haven’t tried the Echo System yet but…man, those demos…that look…pick me!

  340. Pick me! Pick me! This pedal sounds so rad!! <3

  341. Great article, guys and gal. Thoroughly enjoyable. I have yet to try many of the pedals on this list, and with so many new pedals coming out weekly, frankly, it’s hard to keep up. So many pedals, so little time, you know? I’d really love to win the Echosystem so that I could try it out sooner rather than later, haha. Anyway, keep up the great work, and it’s nice to see you all back at it, spreading good tone. Cheers!

  342. Great articles, guys and gal! There’s quite a few effects on this list that I have yet to try, but with so many new effects coming out weekly, frankly, it’s a tad overwhelming. It feels like I can’t keep up. So many pedals, so little time, you know? But I do hope to get a chance someday to sample every pedal on this great “best of” list…and then some! Keep up the great work, and glad to see you all back at it. Cheers!

  343. Thanks a lot for the roundup. Need to check out the Echosystem asap.

  344. Great article. Echosystem is my personal number 1 in 2017.

  345. I seriously need more money. From this list, I only have the Canyon (which I absolutely love), but now need to find a good replacement for the El Cap I just traded off.

  346. warped vinyl hifi, canyon, and data corrupter really caught my eye

  347. Kory Stevens says:

    Its been an amazing year for pedals! I’d say my favorite of the bunch is the Echosystem. It blows most of the other big box delays out of the water(as does the Empress Reverb, granted released earlier) And anything that Chase Bliss puts out seems to be made of pure gold. They don’t have a bad pedal. It’s a wonderful time to be a guitarist!

  348. That Empress Echosystem is where it’s at!

  349. Calum Lightfoot says:

    Definitely the EHX Canyon delay/looper

  350. Dan Labrie says:

    Man, what an awesome year for pedals! I think the EchoSystem, the GameChanger, and the Hologram synthesizer are my top 3.

  351. Awesome roundup

  352. Great article, pedals are only getting better, my wallet is getting lighter!

  353. Many many great pedals, but for me it has to be Meris and their Ottobit Jr – so innovative and inspiring!

  354. Matt Cowling says:

    Like, yeahhhhhhhhh.

  355. I am impressed by the sound of the Empress Effects Echosystem
    I hope I win the January contest

  356. I will agree that LA1A is in the best effects of the year. It came out late in the year and not that many people got to experience it but I’ve been on a compressor kick for a least a half decade. Not kidding, I’ve had every Origin, including the G-P (I miss that one), RM58, Ross variations, VCA, LA2A etc… currently my favorite has been the Cornish OC-1 & using a Cali76TX as a limiter. the LA1A kicked the Cali off the board in a second. This is a very accurate description of the LA1A and there is more… you can change the tubes! Drop in a few NOS Mullards, try some different gain levels. I’ve found I actually like a nos Millard ECC83 in the V3 (the output buffer spot) as it raises the gain level a bit it adds a little bit of noise but you can sacrifice that because the LA1A is whisper quiet even at high makeup gain.
    I entered this contest because I noticed Best Guitar Effects blew up my Insta in likes this morning. I thought, hey I wonder if they are doing a new year contest! turns out they are! Especially for a pedal I was super interested in as Daniel Steinhardt was smitten over it. I will say, if I win, I won’t be the guy who’s flipping it on Reverb the same week it arrives.
    Happy New Year Best Guitar Effects!

  357. Meris audio is by far the most interesting thing to happen to me this year. I’ll compare my Mercury 7 to any other reverb ever!
    Great picks!

  358. Giuseppe Divella says:

    Well, the most interesting is sure TC HOF 2. The previous version was very famous because of its great quality/price rate, but lacked of shimmer and was a little subtle. This article gives a boost to my GAS sooo much :)

  359. yep

  360. The empress, data corrupter, and the infinite jets are all crazy fire!!

  361. That data corrupter, the new hologram pedal, and the empress all look amazing!

  362. For me, it’s the Ventris Reverb from Source Audio.

  363. The empress has got me wondering if robbing a bank can be justified by killer tones..

  364. So many awesome pedals!

  365. Matthew Rempes says:

    All of these are pretty amazing tbh.

  366. Did you know there’s a beta firmware with a looper mode? Great pedal! Great articles!

  367. Ethan Keffer says:

    I absolutely love Empress effects! The Empress reverb is killer but as is the Echosystem!!

  368. Kirill Prusov says:

    Empress echosystem is the best pedal of 2017. I wish I could get it.
    And the Neunaber iconoclast is amazing cabsim.

  369. Jason Vanwynsberghe says:

    So many great pedals out there!

  370. Empress Echosystem…I love their pedals, still wish it had a looper. Also, very surprised at how much I want a Warped Vinyl HIFI!

  371. Eduardo Ferreira says:

    Hello!! I just wanna a chance to win the Echosystem. Thanks!!

  372. William Thompson says:


  373. Benjamin Jones says:

    The Boss JB2, and the echosystem were my favorite pedals that came out this year. Empress put out a timeline killer, and boss’s collaboration with JHS hopefully sparks more collaborations between pedal manufacturers.

  374. George Tuxbury says:

    I would love to add many of these to my rig!

  375. Boss MS 3 look like the looper/multi fx i need and I’ve always drooled over the chase bliss tonal recall RKM, but the next pedal on my list is the Iconoclast, I just wonder if it would work well for bass.

  376. John McCormick says:

    I need a dee lay

  377. George Berry says:

    Empress doing absolute bits. bloody game changing. Chase Bliss are my boiz. BGE 4 lyf yo

  378. The Echosystem has me drooling all over the place ! What a beast of a pedal ! The Gamechanger Audio Plus is very intriguing. I can’t help but wonder what marvelous soundscapes those two might produce… :-)

  379. John Mazzocchi says:

    Best pedal of the year? I say the Chase Bliss Audio Brothers. Fantastic pedal, does everything it should and more.

  380. Maria Jose Napoleon says:

    If I were rich. ….. doo be doo be doo be doo be doo be doo be doo ……….I would buy really all of them ♡♡♡♡♡

  381. Ethan Jasinski says:

    The warped vinyl is legit

  382. Someday I’ll be like “nah that EQD looks gimmicky and i don’t crave one” but not today I guess

  383. My 1st delay pedal was an Arion dds4, bought in the mid 80s, which is now falling apart. Plastic shell. I like the way it could layer samples, and 4 seconds was nice back in the day. I still use it sometimes. Need a replacement soon though.

  384. William Vogt says:

    This is my favorite place to find out about new gear. Awsome and informative reviews. Great job. Keep up the good work. Thanks.

  385. Jason Sheffield says:

    Out of the pedals I’ve tried on this list, really liking the EHX Canyon!

  386. jason hubner says:

    Thorough article!

  387. Grumbly Nublins says:

    What a great article. I need one of these

  388. Great article, all these pedals are awesome

  389. Brett Walston says:

    A pedalboard with all of these on it would be heavenly!

  390. Derek Doss says:

    I love my Chase Bliss Tonal Recall RKM.
    Would love to try out any of these. The pedal industry is really going through a golden age.

  391. Bob 'Skippy' Blechinger says:

    The plethora of prodigious pedals presented here are nothing short of AMAZING!!!

    Thinking back, it’s amazing how the state of the art has progressed; so much so, in fact, that I can’t really choose ONE as being ‘best’…

    They’re ALL great!!!

  392. richard locke says:

    cool article

  393. Kitty Lang says:

    Love your reviews, and any of those pedals would suit me fine

  394. José Navarro says:

    Greats reviews

  395. Joseph Bertucci says:

    The Boss MS-3 Multi Effects Switcher is an outstanding multi-effect system that I would love to have as the center of my pedal board for bass and/or guitar!

  396. I thought the Infinite Jets pedal was a shoe-in for Pedal of the Year, but the Empress Echosystem is still a great pick. Guitar Pedals – the best part of 2017!!!!!!! (Seriously).

  397. Frank Slattery says:

    The best pedal, and the one I’d really love to get my hands on, is the Tonal Recall RKM. That thing just sounds amazing.

    There were a ton of crazy innovative pedals that came out in 2017 though. Huge year.

  398. It seems that 2017 was the year of the drive… lots of new dirt pedals saw the light. Meanwhile, I’m still discovering the many possibilities of the Compressor-Boost combo… interesting how different placement of these two yield different sounds. Currently placing a compressor after dirt whilst clean boosting the guitar natural tone…

  399. Ted Gomez says:

    So many pedals, so little time to actually try them all out in a live performance situation! But give me the chance and I will gladly be the one to find placement and use for any one of the these!

  400. Mel Jones says:

    This review is great! There are so many pedals that I’d like to try……especially a few of the pedals by Meris. I’ll start following Meris on Instagram and Facebook.

  401. Grant Marshall says:

    Hall of fame is one of the most underrated pedals around. So useful and such great tone. Tone prints are a bonus. And the MASH tech is a great step forward

  402. Derek Sasaki says:

    Would really like to get my hands on the TC Hall Of Fame ! But all these pedals are awesome and would find a place on my pedal board !

  403. Patricia Napoleón says:

    Beautiful pedals. ……

  404. Javier Alcalde says:

    Lovely pedals……I want them all !!!!!

  405. Vincent GARRETT says:

    Great review indeed ! I’m quite impress by the echosystem and the meris’ pedals !

  406. Ronnie Morris says:

    Great list.

  407. Eric Hager says:

    This List is on point! So I have been holding out on the Chase Bliss Brothers well because bills and such, but then I said, “To heck with that!” and i bought it. I wholeheartedly agree with the write up on the Brothers in this article! I do not regret spending the money on this one! It is so much fun, I constantly change the order of the drives and continue to unlock the best dirt tones with each experimentation. Hands down, the BEST!!!!

  408. Tim Cunnane says:

    These are all terrific pedals and worthy of the best of.

  409. Brian Goldberg says:

    Great List! Keep up the great work Best Guitar Effects. My favorite pedals of the year were Source Audio’s Ventris Reverb and PettyJohn Effects Crush Compressor.

  410. Some great pedals we have coming in 2018, and some great ones from 2017 are on my shopping list!

  411. Dave Brookes says:

    Awesome lineup!

  412. Mauricio Mallmann says:

    Empress Echosystem is one of the best pedals ever!

  413. My keyboard player got the Echo System… It sounds unbelievable.

  414. Stephane Dery says:

    Great list! The echo system looks so great, and it’s built only a few kilometres from where I live! I’m at really glad to have discover the game changer, especially since I use my ehx superego all the time but this layout seems so natural.

  415. Eric Sams says:

    Very informative. Alot of things I need to apply.

  416. nice!

  417. So many choices, so little time

  418. All this pedals in one pedalboard for shure will be the best pedalboard of the century. All of them have some special, it´s a shame this pedals in my country be so expensive. Fantastic page. Always with the best informations. Thanks dude!!!

  419. Clint norwood says:

    The only pedal I have is the digitech Drop and I love it

  420. John Nickell says:

    Pretty awesome pedals on this list , just got the Tonal Recall RKV & it’s fantastic, like all Chase Bliss. Would love to win a pedal today.

  421. Jacob Mckeel says:

    So many great pedals, but that data corruptor looks gnarly!

  422. Marshal Tofte says:

    The Data Corrupter is gnarly. Very excited to eventually get my hands on some Meris gear.

  423. Dirk Florence says:

    Would love to add this to my pedalboard!

  424. Tony Dines says:

    The favourite addition to my own pedalboard in 2017 makes no sound at all! The Boss ES-8 really is a game changer as far what can be achieved with sound sculpting. There is the usual ability to change the order of pedals and manipulate multiple loops with a single button press of course, but parallel loops, wave form parameter changing are just two of the unique features that bring new methods of control to the party.

  425. I really want to drive the Chase Bliss brothers. Seems like a great pedal. My favorite pedal I got was the walrus monument. Not sure if it came out last year, but it’s a great harmonic trem sound.

  426. Noah Hackbarth says:

    Really need to check some of these pedals out.

  427. Michael Conner says:

    Most of these pedals would work magic amongst the others in my system. However, the TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2 Reverb feels the right choice to replace an older outdated reverb unit I have. Looking to add depth to the ambient realm of my sound.

  428. John Williams says:

    Hmm, guess I’ll have to buy one or two of these. I need more guitar pedals like a need another hole in my head.

  429. All of those pedals are simply amazing. It is as if there has been a new dawn for sonic love in the world of guitar- inovation, respect of the tried and tested and a vigorous movement towards great, long lasting materials. Pedal manufacturers have found their pride! I like it. I like it alot. I, for one, want them all!

  430. Ernest Furnari says:

    The echosystem Is a mind-blowing collection of sounds!

  431. MOONRAKER says:

    i would go for Empress Echosystem, hope to win it here….

  432. Christopher Williams says:

    Honestly, I don’t know how any one pedal was picked as best this year. What a great time to be alive! Besides impending nuclear war..

  433. I love the Thing 1 and Thing 2 knobs on the Empress, and I don’t even know what they do. If it’s like the Dr. Seuss Things, we should all be mildly worried.

  434. Alex Li Gayoso says:

    Boss ms3 is a great tool for musician. It has everything you need. Is not the best pedal in quality sound, but it does the job very well.

  435. I cover the Echosystem, the Reverb, and the Chase Bliss pedals in particular…

  436. Robert Schramer says:

    Love the D&M Drive!

  437. David Sutherland says:

    I would love to get my hands on the Empress Echosystem!

  438. Adam Legros says:

    Echo System was my favorite. I like that you can send two different delays to two different amps.

  439. Chris Davies says:

    Love this, hopefully I can add some more delay to my board this year.

  440. Nice!

  441. Ronnie Broch Sommerfelt says:

    Best buy for me in 2017 : Digitech Freqout

    Probably best buy in 2018 : Gamechanger Audio Plus Pedal

    Stupidest pedal bought in 2017 : Ibanez echo shifter.
    Not Ibanez fault just my montly pedaljunkie purchase.

  442. Jeremiah Lind says:

    It was a great year for New pedals and for new concepts. I love how much the pedal world is changing.

  443. Empress Echosystem, such a wonderful pedal…but it would be perfect if it had a display too.
    Thank for you article

  444. Damon Palyka says:

    I dont know if it came out this year or Last, but the Sub N Up was a game changer for me.,..

  445. Beau Osland says:

    The Echosystem is easily my number one dream pedal right now. The dual delay engine is incredible, and Empress makes such great stuff.

  446. Next year can we get a red carpet?

  447. Ryan Stewart says:

    Spot on. This was a great year for non-traditional or innovative effects. The Infinite Jets, Plus Pedal, Data Corrupter, and FreqOut in particular are deserving entries. Looking forward to seeing what crazy stuff 2018 brings.

  448. Scott L Wilson says:

    This past year may have been a golden age of pedal manufacturers.

  449. Jaktip Poonyathalung says:

    one of my reference website

  450. Marc Brule says:

    It all just keeps getting better! That Empress Effects Echosystem would put me in a place of bragging rights over my son’s much superior pedal board setup. Single and unattached means he can buy the pricey stuff. Attached guys — you know what I’m talking about!

    I wish I could pick up at least three of these pedals on the list: Echosystem, Chase Bliss Brothers, and Freqout. Oh yeah!

  451. Kate Frazier says:

    Thanks for the pedal review. The Echosystem sounds amazing!

  452. Markus Opel says:

    Very helpful Article. And even more interesting pedals that I didn’t know up to now. Especially the Effectrode LA-1A Leveling Amplifier. But I am missing one: the BluGuitar BluBOX Impulse Response Speaker Emulator.

  453. Empress effects echosystem that is what makes music even more beautiful

  454. Raul Navarro says:

    The Empress Effects Echosystem is awesome!
    Great post about lost of pedals. Thank you

  455. Felipe Devicaro says:

    Really incredible pedals! I’d change some, but wouldn’t complain if they were on my pedalboard!

  456. Thanks for the article. As always — so many cool pedals, so little time (and funds to divert to said pedals :)

    The D&M Drive looks and sounds like a pretty cool pedal.

  457. Daniel Arifin says:

    Great list !! I’m interested on the empress echosystem.

  458. Building a board with all these pedals would be amazing!

  459. nice article, lots of pedals i didn’t know about

  460. Wow, what an article!

  461. hektor misplon says:

    I wish I could have a strymon BigSky pedal, I would love to try one!

  462. Peter Hristias says:

    Would love the Empress Effects Echosystem for the New Year

  463. Tulio Andrade says:

    Great article. Congrats.

  464. Thanks for these guys! Personally I’d love to try out Brothers and Tonal Recall. Should find a lot of use for those. Cheers!

  465. I thought that i had moved beyond my compulsive, pedal fancying obsession.
    Clearly i was wrong.

  466. Ed Lefebre says:

    Echosystem looks badass, have my eyes on the MS-3 first

  467. Ben Clapton says:

    Absolutely looking the echosystem and many of the pedals featured on this list! (I have to win haha) Canyon is also a nice little delay

  468. Dieter Pirner says:

    The Echosystem Looks like a very interesting pedal, but will it be able to compete with such delay Monsters as the Timeline, TimeFactor etc.?

    I would like to believe it.

    My pedal of the year (though not a new pedal) was the strymon deco – best buy this year! what a simple idea amazingly accomplished!

    And of course nearly every pedal that Electro Harmonix put out is interesting and most of them earn a place in this list.

  469. Oh god, I don’t need see their rankings to know that I want them all!

  470. Matt Taylor says:

    Not sure I agree with some of these as a few just seem to be more of the same just with a different label on, but I do have to say that I love the way that pedal manufacturers are really caring about the graphics on their pedals; some of these look amazing!

  471. Should be good to try these one day

  472. Victor Crisen says:

    This is a superb collection of pedals. Haven’t seen the piano pedal yet!

  473. Simon Denivry says:

    I got myself the Reverb from Empress last year, and it is awesome.
    Couldn’t test the Echosystem so far, but I have no trouble believing it earns its Pedal of the Year 2017 title !!

  474. Awesome!

  475. Wow, so many great pedals! I’m trying to convince myself I don’t need them all.

  476. Steve Danielson says:

    Echo system must incredible to win pedal of the tear. There were a lot of great pedals to choose from. I own the Effectrode la-1a, so to says it’s better than that great pedal then that is high praise indeed. I’ll need to check it out.

  477. Very detailed article. Happy to see the D&M on the list, and the Pedal of the Year sounds awesome

  478. Pierre Desaulniers says:

    Great article lots of hard choices for me

  479. Fantastic article. I love my Tonal Recall and really feeling all of Earthquakers pedals! Looking forward to trying a lot of these.

  480. Honestly, I have used single effects pedals in the past and I am a huge fan of Danelectro pedals, but this Echosystem pedal looks awesome!

  481. The echo system looks like more than a delay. How does it compare to a tc flashback? Should sound empressive.

  482. Christopher Duke says:

    I agree the Echosystem was the best. The FreqOut is great too.

  483. Love that Brothers

  484. Michael Bowlin says:

    Excited to spice up the gear with the new effects out there!

  485. I really dig the reviews….like I need another stomp box. Discovered the Keeley Dark Side early in 2017, so it must have been a 2016 release not eligible for this year? Didn’t pop up on a site search either….friggin’ awesome though….missing my Systech flanger….another lesson to pause before selling off good stuff just because you only use it on one or two tunes.

  486. derrick mcnew says:

    Hologram Infinite Jets is absolutely my fave of 2017. Gorgeous circuitry and beautiful paint job.

  487. derrick mcnew says:

    Hologram Infinite Jets is absolutely my top pick of 2017. Gorgeous circuitry, great paint job.

  488. Really impressed with the Empress stuff this year. Doing Canada proud!

  489. The Echosystem capitalized on the success of the Empress Reverb and knocked it out of the park. Can’t wait to see them do modulation!

  490. Jamie Kelly says:

    Awesome list!!!

  491. Isabel Napoleon says:

    Greats pedals and greats reviews…

  492. Brent Baron says:

    This has indeed been a killer year for effects and the ones who build them. From killer delays like the ecosystem to endless reverbs and fuzzes. I can I lay wish I am lucky enough to be able to have even a pedal or so from this amazing list and the honorable mention section.

  493. Jacob Reda says:

    Echosystem is my number one for sure, just for the fact that they have pushed delay pedals into unbelievably versatile territory. If you can’t do it with Echosystem, it probably can’t (or shouldn’t) be done! As far as usability, I’d go with Hall of Fame/Flashback 2. Genius and elegant solution to a universal issue (expression pedals).

  494. Brothers, EchoSystem, and the Plus Pedal are all top tier gamechanging pedals.

  495. Cole Friesen says:

    An amazing year for pedals! The Brothers and the echosystem are game changers for me. Would love to get on some of the hologram effects pedals.

  496. gabriel pleska says:

    Ready to be their slave

  497. Sage Fuentes says:

    Great year for pedals. I really want to try the Echosystem and am definitely hoping for a few more PLL style pedals next year (please CBA, make a PLL with presets!).

  498. I have not yet tried the TC HOF2 but was curious about it, still running a tc delay and verb

  499. Marshall Conn says:

    Neunaber is one of the most exciting companies around right now, and I look forward to all their releases. Their new chorus pedal didn’t make this list, but I think it’s a contender for best of last year!

  500. Really awesome time we live in with all of the pedal choices. I am always GASsing after visiting this website. Happy 2018, can’t wait to see what’s coming out next…

  501. Steven Yernberg says:

    I want them all.

  502. Can’t wait for the Echosystem giveaway! Cheers

  503. Hologram – wow and wow and wow. Love that stuff, just can’t get enough!

  504. Stephan Nordgren says:

    Empress is my favorite pedal company. I would love to win the Echo System to give it to my brother as a best man gift for being in my wedding!

  505. Stew Guernsey says:

    These lists have become a roadmap to testing new gear for the coming year. There are at least a half a dozen that I’ll be testing and, if history proves correct, buying in the coming year. My needs as a working musician are constantly in a state of flux various boards serving various needs at any given time so I use this list as a primary guide for exploring. Thank you!

  506. Mark Miller says:

    The echo system is so awesome. Empress is so awesome. I loved my super delay and this thing is that on steroids. I’ve barely scratched the surface of this thing but I love it!

  507. Luke Jackman says:

    I’m a fan of everything Chase Bliss has been putting out lately. They have a nice selection of really different sounding effects. Very cool Chase Bliss

  508. Just great stuff! I would love to win this pedal!

  509. The Plus Pedal is where it’s at. Something completely new and impressive execution. Echosystem and Infinite Jets are awesome too!

  510. Out here in the middle of nowhere … San Francisco? … I turn to Best Guitar Effects first to direct me to the winners when it comes to effects. They haven’t failed me yet. And from what I’ve seen on the latest demos, they appear to have struck gold here. Sure, the Empress Effects Echosystem has a bit of a learning curve, but that’s a fair trade for the versatility and breadth that this baby promises.

  511. henry whitmer says:

    Have the Empress Reverb, which is amazing. The Echosystem looks like it needs to go on my board as well. Great company.

  512. awesommeeeeeee pedal sure like to own one

  513. Mohammed Ashraf says:

    Must say I definitely agree with both the pedal of the year and pedal manufacturer of the year winners. The Echo System seems like the perfect all round delay and it sounds incredible in every demo i have heard of it. As for Meris’ pedals, I just love how well thought out they all are and they all seem like they can do the subtle and the extreme really well.

  514. Claudio Pianini says:

    Bought a few of these pedals -> Chase Bliss Audio Brothers, Alexander Pedals Syntax Error, Meris Ottobit, Hologram Infinite Jets, EQD Data Corrupter. Almost kept all of them stayed except the Data Corrupter (was too noisy)!

    Hologram Infinite Jets is just a fantastic divine creative tool.
    I’m very impressed by the Meris Ottobit (soundwise, build quality)

    One of your listed pedals I’d really like to have is the Gamechanger Audio Plus Pedal, but it’s quite pricey.

    Didn’t have the opportunity to witness the Echosystem in real time action. It looks like super powerful tool, limitless!

    Looking forward to what 2018 will have to offer!

  515. Stefan van Jole says:

    So many good looking pedals! Really digging that Empress Echosystem!

  516. David Butler says:

    Great lineup of fascinating pedals…if only I had the scratch to get them all! To quote the old song: “If I were a rich man….”

  517. The Empress Echosystem looks like the comeplete package, I want one.

  518. Howard Gill says:

    Can’t wait to try out the whiskey setting!

  519. Awesome pedals, want the echosystem!!

  520. Although I’m a fan of the Keeley Caverns, the Empress Effects Echo is unparalleled!

  521. Laurent de C says:

    the Echosystem and the DM drive are 2 great pedals of 2017.
    they complement well. I believe i won t need more than this to have fun !!! :)

  522. Colin Johnson says:

    Why is it the moment I’m ready to jump on a used Warped Vinyl, they make a new on that’s better at what I’d use it for and in my favorite color?

  523. I’d love to win the Echosystem to get me and my gear back in the game.

  524. The Echosystem really does sound pretty incredible.

  525. I once had the Empress Effects Superdelay Vintage. Amazing pedal. I’m just blown away by their new Echosystem.

  526. Joseph Bugg says:

    Awesome line-up! I’ll have to check several of these out for sure! Was looking for a stereo cab sim pedal to replace my mono! Thanks for the reviews

  527. Jon Landers says:

    I just started using pedal this past year after having bought a Rhodes piano and Fender Twin Reissue. This site has the best reviews and demos I’ve found. I def have used the input from Best Guitar Pedals to make informed purchases. Thanks!

  528. Chris Johnson says:

    glad to see Chase Bliss so well represented! alsoo good to see weird pedals all over the place. Data Corrupter, Infinite Jets & Syntax Error seem like incredible toys.

  529. Silas Garrett says:

    Interesting choices!

  530. I love this chart! Especially want the echosystem and so curious about the earthqauaker data corruption and the syntax error!! thank you!!

  531. Manfred Ganswindt says:

    Love it. Great versatile pedal.

  532. Simen Andersen says:

    The Echosystem seems amazing. SO.MANY.OPPORTUNITIES.

  533. I want that Echosystem so bad!!!

  534. Nice!

  535. Remi Quenin says:

    For me the best pedal of 2017 is definitly the Infinity Jet, it is pure gold and open many many possibilities !

  536. Pedro Branco says:

    Where’s the Meris Ottobit JR? Groundbreaking :) cheers everyone!

  537. Samuel King says:


  538. Matthew Martin says:

    Jackson Prism surely worth a mention too?

  539. Echosystem looks great!

  540. Giuseppe Galato says:


  541. I´m here to win the echosystem, aha h aha ha

  542. Thanks for the great reviews guys, it sure does help when making a purchase for what can be a lot of money.

  543. Wow! And I was happy years ago when the SuperFuzz came out.

  544. dario molinari says:

    i hope to win!

  545. That’s more information than I was ready to take in but I’m glad I did. a lot of cool stuff

  546. Urban Sever says:

    Great collection guys!!!

  547. Francisco Desviat says:

    Greats pedals …. great selection!!!

  548. great pedal, boys!
    looks rather interesting, and if it sounds so – it must be mine :)

  549. very good gear!

  550. Really glad to inform about these effects, one of these will improve my sound and sound of the band, for sure.

  551. That’s a lot of cool gear..

  552. Matthew Martin says:

    Jackson Prism also worthy of a mention surely…?

  553. David López says:

    I’ve been considering to get a Chase Bliss Brothers to substitute all of the overdrives and fuzzes in my pedalboard, but the price tag is a little bit beyond me. The major GAS-attack that I got after reading this list doesn’t help…

  554. John Inge Melve Ellingsæter says:

    So many exciting and fun effects here! Wish I could own all of them!!

  555. Eoin Jennings says:

    Nice review. Boss MS-3 sounds great value

  556. Timothy Hillman says:

    The Top pedals for 2017 – Great articles! so much for me to learn, thank you all for sharing your experiences with these pedals.

  557. Really great pedals. Definitely a few of the best 2017

  558. Empress builds great pedals. Owned some.
    Once seeked for a Vintage Modified Superdelay but the analog emulations sounded too digital.
    But for sure I would give the Echosystem a chance ;-)

  559. Semms awesome.

  560. What a fantastic year for pedals! Of the demos I’ve watched, these pedals definitely outshined others; great list!

  561. Love the infinite Jets, really want to add that to my sax rig for extra weird stuff

  562. Tim Miller says:

    A free pedal, yeah sure, why not

  563. The Meris Ottobit Jr., is my favorite pedal of 2017! I would love a nice digital delay though… The Empress Echosystem looks so rad!

  564. Kovács Pál says:


  565. So many knobs!!

  566. Fred St Clair says:

    So many pedals, what a great job.

  567. I love reading all the reviews, but that’s about as close as I can get. I wish I could afford to buy some of these pedals.

  568. Thanks for the great reviews!
    I have the Brothers, which is amazing! The Chase Bliss Faves switch, or other midi switching device is however a must to get the most out of it.
    Now I just need an equally amazing delay like either the Empress or the Tonal Recall…

  569. Aaron Halverson says:

    Great list! Gotta love that Echo System!!

  570. Jonathan Smith says:

    I want to try the warped vinyl and echo system.

  571. Jonathan Smith says:

    I want to try the warped vinyl!

  572. Jacob Mreen says:

    I agree with giving Meris as a company recognition. So much amazing stuff from them this year.

  573. The Echosystem, D&M Drive, MS-3 Multi Effects Switcher would get me through most gigs

  574. So many cool pedals coming out these days. Wish I could try them all!

  575. Daniel Arganda says:

    I’d vote for the canyon delay

  576. Terry Johnson says:

    I have been a Electro Harmonix guy for a long time , but Pigtronix has become one of my favorite companies recently . Mothership 2 rocks !

  577. Sash Kosovic says:

    I’m so interested in trying all the mk of the warped vinyl. Chase bliss makes great pedals (I have the spectre purple knob). I would love to get my hands on that Empress echo someday too.

  578. Sean Edwards says:

    I was getting a bit worried that Meris wasn’t going to get a mention. I’m glad they did! Great stuff right there! And Chase Bliss! Some great stuff coming out there! The empress delay looks like the perfect next step in delay evolution. That looks amazing!

  579. That Echosystem looks like some full featured jazz! Love it!

  580. Andrew Hay says:

    I bought a Boss MS3 and honestly its an unsung hero. Combining a switcher with many programmed effects is genius (such a small footprint too). The Echosystem looks really cool although its a little out of my budget (definitely GASsing). The Tumnus Deluxe I thought was also a pedal that deserves a lot of credit.

  581. I wanna winnnn!! Also great work reviewing this stuff all year!

  582. Pretty excited for the Echosystem as I love the Superdelay pedal on both guitars and synths so an upgrade on that would be divine I’m sure! Some of those Chase Bliss pedals sound great too.

  583. Todd novak says:

    The Warped Vinyl has my tail for sure. It is one that I will be looking to purchase this year. Chase Bliss is some of the best stuff out there but it does cost a pretty penny, totally worth it but not a spontaneous buy for me. I love getting sound that does not feel prescribed. love this pedal

  584. Nick Duba says:

    The Echosystem seems completely amazing but I’m curious about the Iconoclast too. Pretty elegant solution. Can’t go wrong with anything on this list though!

  585. John McElroy says:

    Really excited about this list. I had a feeling the syntax error and data corrupter would be on the list since everyone loves square wave fuzz and 8 bit noise. Was really epic hearing andy Martin play the castlevania theme on PGS/reverb/tone report The Empress looks super baller. It looks like it could replace 4 pedals on my board and make it a lot easier to get the good ambient wash and epic shimmer as well as other things I don’t even know about with less footwork. I definitely would have to vote for the DOD rubberneck as a good contender with all of its cool functions as well.

    If it weren’t for buying a used boss DM-2 when I worked at a music store I may not be as obsessed with the effect.

    Currently been working with solo delays like the MXR carbon copy regular and bright, Caroline Kilobyte, Strymon El Capistan, and of course my BOSS DM-2 when I need the OG. I’m to this day surprised at how many different variations of delays come out. Would love to see a shootout between the Strymon Big Sky, Timeline vs the Empress Echosystem. Happy New Year

  586. Robert Connan says:

    I wish the hologram was all stereo. it would clearly replace my old Boss Slicer.
    Maybe there is more in the future!

    Thx for the article!

  587. Andrew Willson says:

    Though it didn’t come out in 2017 I did get the blue knob version of the Tonal Recall and I’m loving it. So many different interesting sounds in that thing. Phaserish stuff, chorus, tape-y. All in addition to a great sounding analog delay.

  588. Boss/JHS Pedals JB-2 Angry Driver is my favorite, great sound! TC Electronic HOF2 too, a classic is born!

  589. Morgan Earendil says:

    Compressor was very interesting! But echosystem is totally best.

  590. Although it’s not from this year, I got it this year – the Catalinbread Katzenkonig. I love it.

    But from 2017, I would pick up the Boss MS-3 because of its versatility.

  591. David Ramirez says:

    Amazing year for pedals 2017 was, love to Chase Bliss tho

  592. Those meris pedals and the game changer plus are all on my list of to get pedals but for me JHS haunted mids top the charts this year, and I actually got one. Simple pedal that cuts and boosts the mid range but damn it’s good at changing your sound to something new.

  593. My favourite pedals of 2017 are EHX Canyon and Alexander Pedals Syntax Error. Long, psychey reverbs/delays and weird modulation effects are my game :) And these two are just perfect. Would love to hear them in combination, for example on some organ or synth.

  594. My vote would have to go towards the DigiTech FreqOut. Cool piece of gear.

  595. Pedal industry seems to be expliing new limits, but I’m a big fan of simple and innovative, so my preference out of this list would be the Canyon Delay. Cheers

  596. Steve King says:

    Empress Echosystem and Effectrode Levelling Amplifier are at the top of my list, but would add the Source Audio Ventris as a late entry to the list.

  597. My vote goes to the Plus Pedal, it is truly a Gamechanger !!

  598. I want them all

  599. Have definitely been wanting to try the Syntax Error for quite some time

  600. Caleb Martin says:

    I haven’t tried the rkm yet, but the tonal recall has been a game changer!

  601. Michael Hill says:

    H9 all the way

  602. William Gould says:

    Would love to own a pedal of the year one day

  603. Creighton J Tamerius says:

    Loved the delays that we got this year. I would say my favorite of all the demos I heard was the rv500. Great to see good pedals become great pedals!

  604. Boss ms-3 all the way :)

  605. Calvin Phua says:

    The syntax error is incredibly inspiring!!

  606. Edward Loo says:

    Empress effects has never disappointed. Owned some of their effects. Well made and good tone.

  607. These all look like crazy fun. But the The Empress Echosystem would be my first pick.
    Fingers crossed for the contest. Good luck to the winner.

  608. John Voyles says:

    Hey! For pedal of the year, it’s a 4-way tie for me between the Canyon, MS-3, FreqOut, and Syntax Error, have all of them and they’re amazing!

  609. John Voyles says:

    Hey! For pedal of the year, it’s a 4-way tie for me between the Canyon, MS-3, FreqOut, and Syntax Error, have all if them and they’re amazing!

  610. Lee Morse says:

    Does anyone agree that the trend in the last few years appears to be two pronged: 1) the addition of extra parameter controls (lots of knobs), and secondly cramming two different effects together in a single housing (a slightly sardonic example that I have dreamed up is a univibe plus fuzz pedal).

    I am not saying that these are bad things, I am just asking whether that seems to be the marketing angle that is catching our attention?

    All I know is that I don’t yet have enough pedals on my board.

  611. My favourite for the year was the ottobit jr and the Empress Echo, Both are on my wish list.

  612. Ventris!!!

  613. Sean O’Donbell says:


  614. wayne risner says:

    Looking forward to the D&M pedal, like the idea of a 2 in 1.

  615. I just love versatile delays. Also I always stack overdrives. Nice to see they are making one box of good combinations

  616. Id love to try the Echosystem ! Looks amazing !

  617. Great list!

  618. Drew Harper says:

    My favorite pedal of 2017 was the Data Corrupter. That pedal does crazy disgusting things to your guitar signal, but in the most amazing way! Plus it’s something different from the “usual” effects that most of us guitar players use all the time. Sometimes change is good!

  619. Some of these effects I want to hear myself!

  620. Great pedals this year. I will be shopping from this list hopefully.

  621. Alex Moran says:

    Empress has been making fantastic products and this one is no exception. Versatile and musical really makes it stand out.

  622. Great stuff. Truly dream pedal board material.

  623. Jens-Peter Axelsson says:

    Super exited to try the bucket brigade delay from Joel and the leveling amp. Great articles!

  624. Blake Kibby says:

    All awesome selections! I want them all!!!!

  625. Taylor Jacobs says:

    I can’t wait to try the Echosystem and the Freqout! This article just makes me want them all the more!

  626. Tanner Hopfauf says:

    Echosystem looks awesome. So many features! Would be fun to experiment with.

  627. Meris is definitely the MVP for 2017!

  628. Ted Fetherstonhaugh says:

    love the d&m drive and the infinite jets – cant wait to get them on my board

  629. Robert Koch says:

    I like this hope I win

  630. I thought the Infinite Jets pedal was a shoe in for Pedal of the Year, but the Empress Echosystem is still a great pick. Guitar Pedals – the best part of 2017!!!!!!! (Seriously).

  631. Kevin L. Gibbs says:

    Thanks for the run down.

  632. Bam Rodriguez says:

    Echosystem! Great pedal!!!

  633. Bill Siepierski says:

    Send it my way

  634. Very informative website, and i need the Empress Echosystem here in Indonesia …. :)

  635. Not enough made of my fave 2017 pedal to name it. Not until I can get hands on my own.

  636. Derek Sasaki says:

    I tried the Empress Effects Echosystem and I love it ! I can see why everyone raves about it ! I tried my friends and he will not let me borrow it ! Hope I win this awesome pedal ! Because right now I can not afford it !

  637. Sarvasaha says:

    So many great pedals in 2017. Bank account is in danger.
    The one that I have that has been the most inspiring is the D&M drive.

  638. Nice list! The Infinte Jets became an instant favourite! :)


  639. I never knew there were so many! I found this site after watching Dan & Mick, and now I’m lost in the weird world of sonic alchemy!

  640. dopenesssssss

  641. Jameson Allen says:

    The Chase bliss brothers is just a work of genius and engiuity. Can’t wait to get my hands on one for good – the presets and analog combo is GAMECHANGER.

  642. Ricardo Santos says:

    The echosystem was in my opinion the best pedal of 2017

  643. Ottobit Jr. was the biggest revelation to me in 2017.

  644. Joel Wolfe says:

    Warped vinyl hi fi is my no 1

  645. john j pioli says:

    WOW with pedal like these, even I could sound good.

  646. Thanks for the awesome reviews!

  647. Leon Zurawski says:

    I‘m soooo close to buying the D‘n‘M Drive

  648. John Seetoo says:

    Empress Echosystem and the Keeley Caverns are 2 of the most versatile sounding delays to come out in the last year

  649. All great pedals but cant wait for the ottobit jr and some more echo pedals for sure!

  650. Perfect pedals!

  651. Got the empress reverb and was so impressed I had to get the echosystem. Both amazing pedals, empress knocked it out of the park with the echosystem though

  652. Awesome list! The Echosystem really looks amazing, and the D&M Drive too actually.

  653. Brothers! What a pedal definitely a must stay on any pedalboard…

  654. Jonathan Neighbors says:

    Tonal Recall!

  655. Fantastic pedals!

  656. William Penn says:

    The echosystem seems like another cool empress effect

  657. Keith Stone says:

    Great tone!!

  658. Brandon Billings says:

    The CBA Brothers is absolutely mind blowing!

  659. Robert Farrese says:

    Best guitar effects blog on the internet!

  660. So many great pedals—the Echosystem and Warped Vinyl look awesome—but I am most intrigued by the PLUS pedal. I would love to play with that and see what sounds could be created.

  661. Shawn Dennis says:

    I’d buy that for a dollar!!!

  662. Adam Jensen says:

    I LOVE Empress and the Echosystem would make a great addition to my collection.

  663. You guys rock! Great article.

  664. Ignacio Gomory says:

    Great article!

  665. Álvaro Ramos says:

    want so badly the empress reverb but the Echosystem would be super mega good too :D

  666. Juan Hernandez says:

    Great article. I have used a few Empress Pedals, and their feature set, sound, and reliability have all been great so far.

  667. Geoff Grauer says:

    Surprised there was no MD/RV500 on the list. The DD-500 is still the best delay pedal on the market.

  668. Daniel Garcia says:

    Echosystem… I guess it doesn’t get more clever than that.

  669. Alec Carper says:

    Excited to hear more demos of the Echosystem! My favorite pedal of 2017 would go to the NRG Purrer. Amazing drive, and the a very nice example of craftsmanship on the inside!

  670. Philippe Bouchard says:

    I can already see a Neunaber stereo speaker emulator with an MS-3 and maybe a preamp pedal on my board in the future…

  671. Ryan Donegan says:

    I’ll take one of each please. Thank you.

  672. All the pedals for me

  673. Anthony Childs says:

    Lol, fave quote: “…unless of course your dad is a Galaga cabinet”. Will have to give Syntax a closer look/ear. Chass Bliss had quite a good year in 2017. Let’s hope 2018 is even better. Will also be interested to see who can come up with the best sub $200 pedal in 2018 (which would assist me in acquiring a more diverse pedalboard!). Thanks for all the in-depth reviews and frequent giveaways.

  674. There are so many great pedals of 2017 I can’t even begin to mention the ones I need, let alone want!! Empress echo system would be one of the greatest additions to my rig, that pedal looks incredible!

  675. Marc Schirwing says:

    The Echosystem is a great Pedal and I need someone ;). Cheers

  676. Kevin Stephens says:

    I’m gonna be broke!!!

  677. So many options with that Empress…

  678. Torgrim Vaagan says:

    I have owned the empress phaser for a couple of years now and really like the sound and possibilities. I would easily have bought the Echosystem if money was not an issue, so it is nice to have an opportunity to win it!

  679. Razvan Lazea-Postelnicu says:

    2017 was a bit slower than previous years.

  680. Jack Feerick says:

    Hurrah for effects that help guitars sound like guitars

  681. Harry Gann says:


  682. I’m a big fan of Empress in general, and then they knock it out of the park with the echo system and their reverb. I was a Strymon fanboy, and while I still enjoy their pedals, I ended up selling all of mine, and have been contemplating a Helix, but I’m always GASing for regular stomps. Such a dilemma!!

  683. The Data Corrupter, yep

  684. Kyle Loskamp says:

    Fantastic list! Thanks

  685. echosystem is great but i want all of them. GAS

  686. I haven’t tried the winning pedal, but the Freqout is very cool! Sustain that turns into feedback… I always have it activated on my solo channel.

  687. This is so much potential trouble for my account…

    I love the Infinite Jets, the Empress Echosystem, the data corrupter, the syntax error, The… The…

  688. Quincy steely says:

    I need them all

  689. Great list this year, looking forward to checking out a Plus Pedal soon.

  690. Peter Teipe says:

    I really love the empress echo system- it’s fantastic

  691. I’m VERY excited to try some of the Meris offerings! I have been loving my Keeley Caverns. Keep up the awesome reviews.

  692. I want things for free, that’s all.

  693. Gotta compare Echosystem with Timeline

  694. Nick Walker says:

    Lots of great pedals this year! I especially like the Empress Echosystem and Keeley D&M Drive!

  695. Luke Borley says:

    This is a valid and entertaining comment in its own right and not anyway just posted here to enter any pedal givewaway

  696. Micah Berlow says:

    So happy the echosystem made it! I’m always happy to see a fellow Canadian’s amazing ideas come to be appreciated and loved by everyone! I’ve never owned a big box Delay and this one seems like THE pedal!

  697. Cesar Pinilla says:

    that ecosystem seems like the perfect pedal

  698. I haven’t tried the winning pedal, but the Freqout is cool! Sustain that turns into feedback… I always have it activated on my solo channel.

  699. Benjamin Lebofsky says:

    Have some, want the rest…Argh!

  700. Flat out the best!!!!

  701. Grzegorz Giedrys says:

    Good selection.

  702. Devin Applegate says:

    A lot of pedals that I chose were on this year’s list (Echosystem, Brothers, Angry Drive, Canyon…). The editors had some interesting choices though. Some were not what I was expecting (but should have, such as the Gamechanger Audio Plus Pedal) while others were pedals that I wasn’t aware of (Effectrode’s LA-1A Leveling Amplifier immediately comes to mind). I will definitely check out Meris’ delightful selection of audio bliss in the time to come. If this is just the beginning for them, then the future of guitar-pedals is looking very bright indeed.

  703. Mark McKeever says:

    Totally agreed on the Brothers, FreQout and Angry Driver. All three are killer.

  704. Great list! Some awesome pedals!

  705. We’re in a Golden Age of Guitar effects for sure, pedals in particular, but all this choice is causing as much paralysis as desire. Very conflicting time indeed. Increasingly intrigued by the Eco System, the FrqOut and PlusPedal have a future on my board and will have to checkout the Effectrode compressor. Great shout for Meris!!

  706. Justin m Chrosniak says:

    Love the Data Destroyer! Would buy right away if I had the cash. I got a meatbox on the cheap BRAND NEW instead! I’ll take it. Repost. My OG comment did not post?

  707. Andy McCauley says:

    Love my warped vinyl!!

  708. Justin m Chrosniak says:

    Love the Data Destroyer! Would buy right away if I had the cash. I got a meatbox on the cheap BRAND NEW instead! I’ll take it. :)

  709. Chris Keledjian says:

    If the Empress Echosystem beat out the Freqout, the D&M, and the Angry Driver, it must be special. Love to get my hands on one!

  710. Andy Kauppinen says:

    Hmmm, all of these pedals would definitely be on my “love to own/try” list, but surprisingly I have NONE of them! I better get busy. I was aware of all the products already, but that was a nice read anyway. Thanks!

  711. Justin Miller says:

    Great work keep it up!

  712. I love the D&M drive! So simple and great! Dual pedals are amazing!

  713. albert ceva says:

    Thank you BEST GUITAR EFFECTS for the chance to win the echo pedal.

  714. Echosystem and brothers are my two favorite picks.

  715. What a glorious time to be alive that pedals like these are being dreamed up for us to enjoy! Can’t imagine what next year’s list will look like?!

  716. Adam Altman says:

    Indeed 2017 was a good year for pedals

  717. Hamish Michael says:

    A truly great year for pedals. A terrible year for my wallet.

  718. Dillon Russell says:

    Amazing picks! That echo system though


    Really keen to try out empress echosysten.
    I have a nemesis delay at the moment and had tried my friend’s timeline but empress echosystem really intrique me.

  720. Carl Kirby says:

    my favourite is the data corrupter and echosystem for sure

  721. I still think the TWA Dynamorph is my favorite pedal to come out this year… or any. ;-P

  722. Bruce Sezler says:

    The echo system is my favorite.

  723. Evan Kostalek says:

    Great read, I need to add an Echosystem to my board asap!

  724. Moises Alanis says:

    Awesome list!

  725. Luis Javier Campos says:

    I’m crazy about delays, I’ve owned about 10 different pedals, from straight, simple ones to really interesting ones with additional effects. When I saw and heard the Empress Echosystem in action I couldn’t believe what an amazing pedal it was.
    It has everything (and more) than I could need. And the fact that it can store presents and has updatable firmware makes it even a better choice.
    If I can get one, I will surely say goodbye to a bunch of pedals I’m using right Now

  726. Ryan Edwards says:

    Such a good year for the pedal nerds! Hears hoping I win that Echo System.

  727. Jason Sanders says:

    I have one of them, but I need them all!

  728. Mark Bordwell says:

    Love all these effects!

  729. Another great year for pedals!

  730. Chris Muir says:

    Good list. The only one I have is the Freqout, which is really fun.

  731. Echo System for the win!!!! Was one of my favorites the moment I saw the first demo. Lots of other amazing pedals on this list!! Thank you for feeding my gear hunger!!

  732. ehx canyon is a good one, surprised me

  733. Colin G Friel says:

    That Empress Echosystem is amazing!! It would look great on my pedalboard and sound great to my ears!!!

  734. The Empress seems like a pretty worthy winner but the Meris are really exciting pedals.

  735. Sean Fear says:

    Nice article about awesome pedals!

  736. I didn’t know much about the Empress Echosystem, but after reading the article above, and checking it out further, I’m very intrigued! Would love to win one! The only pedals I’ve had the pleasure of trying from the above lists are the D&M Drive (very nice), the Iconoclast (it was good, but I was underwhelmed) and the Plus Pedal (I own this, and I’m still getting to grips with it…but it is cool!)

  737. Byron Wilmoth says:

    I love multi switch pedals like this one where important parameters are controllable by feet on the fly!!

  738. Hunter Borowick says:

    All fantastic choices! I especially love the Iconoclast!

  739. Love the MS-3! Also, here to win that Echosystem!

  740. Matt Garner says:

    No source audio ventris? Man that thing deserves to be in this list.

  741. Meris – either , and the ECHOSYSTEM!

  742. All great choices! amazing year for pedals.

  743. Elijah Jeffery says:

    Strong list! I’m really wanting to try out the d & m drive.

  744. Dave Mc Manis says:

    An Empress Echo is definitely on my bucket list for sure! I’ve been carving out a space for it on my pedal board. But actually winning one? Wow! Now that would be cool! To be honest tho, I’ve never won anything in my life cept a few well earned butt whoops. Aw what the heck, I can hope right?

  745. Daniel West says:

    It’s great to see Empress back with another behemoth. The SuperDelay, while I liked it, it had a lot of flaws and was seriously outclassed by the likes of Strymon, TC, Eventide, Source Audio, even Boss. The Echosystem looks fantastic.

  746. Ross Slater says:

    The best pedal I bought this year was a boss GP10.

  747. OMG! Can’t decide what to buy next!

  748. Any one of these would make me happy

  749. Great pedals, great reviews
    Want them all!

  750. Jordan Chulski says:

    I think the Hologram Infinite Jets might be the winner for me.

  751. I am loving my Matthews Effects Architect

  752. The Blessed Prophet Crow says:

    Good picks. I’m *empress*ed with your abilities to *Chase* these down.

  753. I’ll have to check out Meris. They look a bit like the newer Source Audio pedals. I’d love a crack at the Echosystem.

  754. Lee Westwood says:


  755. Andrew Gay says:

    I love delays and the Empress Echosystem seems to have it all, I may have to break down and buy one lol

  756. James Knowles says:

    A lot of really stout pedals on this list. We truly live in a prime era for effects pedals. Good luck to everyone with the Echosystem giveaway, that is some sweet loot that I know we would all like to have on our pedalboard! :)

  757. Ryan Willison says:

    All great pedals!!

  758. Robert Blackmere says:

    The echosystem is an amazing pedal I must own it one day! Three big things holding me back.
    -When I have enough money I will want a different amp/guitar.
    -That new Tonall Recall. Too many choices! Poor me.

  759. greg montgomery says:

    I like the looks of the Empress pedal. I do get concerned with these one way selection switches to move between modes. It is easy on a darkened stage to accidentally hit the wrong button and turn on an incorrect setting and not be able to get back to where you need to be… I often put my number one setting in the default position so I can unplug the delay and have it go back to the correct spot…

  760. Jan-Paul campeau says:

    It’s interesting that the staff picks are all different from the main list! I personally wouldn’t have picked the echosystem as number one, it has its issues. I will happily take a free one though :)

  761. The Best Guitar Effects got right into the bull’s eye, because Empress Echo System is my favourite pedal of 2017. Not to mention the amazing Chase Bliss Audio pedals, Freqout, new EQDs, Infinite Jets and lots of great cabsims.

    In 2018 I’m waiting to see the Modulation System by Empress with the nearly infinite sonic (two independent effects at once) possibilites, as in Echosystem, and an upgraded version of their Reverb, with these features added. Also I would be very happy to see Stereo versions of Chase Bliss Audio pedals, that would make already one of, if not the best, pedals even better.

    Thank you Best Guitar Effects!


  763. My favourite pedal (and the only one I bought in 2017) is Fairfield Circuitry’s Shallow Water.

  764. Mark Walsh says:

    Fantastic that one of us has a chance to win this amazing effect :D Good Luck all. Great list by the way.

  765. Love the Chase Bliss Brothers.

  766. The Empress Effects Echosystem is one of those pedals that can do it all for one money. It only makes sense that so many people voted for it to be the best.

  767. Kevin Ball says:

    I’ll be checking out the Empress at NAMM in a couple weeks. Can’t wait to see what it does in my hands

  768. Paul Borovay says:

    I also loved the DROP by digitech. They are really killing it

  769. Ryan Keller says:

    I never win anything

  770. Peter Boysen says:

    What a great selection of pedals. Would love to win the Echosystem by the way.

  771. Empress Reverb is amazing, want to play with delays

  772. I had to sell my delay on the acoustic side of my pedal board so if I won that would be dope. I would send you sweet photos of me smiling with the pedal and testimonial videos of me swooning the ladies and hitting the road with my new empress effects echosystem, so pick me pls.

  773. Antonio Maggiore says:

    I agree with your pedals of the year choices. You guys are quickly becoming the go-to resource for guitar effects! Keep up the great work!

  774. Three way tie for me between the Data Corruptor, Boss Ms-3 and Suoerego +, it’s been a good year for fx!

  775. David Ribe says:

    We are truly in the golden age of guitar effects; today’s guitarists have a huge selection of superlative effects no matter how trad or rad they want to sound!

    The most interesting pedals for me this year are the Infinite Jets and the Gamechanger Plus volume pedal, but so far those have been objects of unrequited desire for me.

    Personally the pedal that has changed everything is the Neunaber Iconoclast – at last this apartment dweller can wail away into the early hours while enjoying the full benefit of stereo pedalboard.

  776. Patrick Huerta says:

    Really stoked about the Empress Echosystem! I’ve been a Strymon TimeLine rocker for years now and when I played my friend’s Echosystem, I was blown away! The only thing I would change about it is an led screen to see your presets/bpms/parameters/etc… Not that it needs it, but I feel it could benefit from it. I will mos def have one on my board sometime in the future. If I had to replace my TimeLine with anything, the Empress Echosystem is the obvious pick!

  777. Bryce Hamels says:

    Zoinks Scoob! That Empress Effects Echosystem sure is spooky!

  778. We are in a golden age of pedals

  779. Alexandre Gendreau says:

    They all have they’re strenght and weakness.
    The list is right on!

  780. Leon Goodenough says:

    DataCorrupter speaks to me!

  781. Solid list. Couple of meh’s. But solid overall!!;)

  782. D&M drive is the only one on this list I bought and held onto. Great pedal. Echo system is very intriguing though. Great write up!

  783. Tough to narrow down a “POTY” from this crop. I want to play everything that Meris puts out, and the noisemakers from EQD and Alexander make me want to quit guitar altogether and put together a synth rig.

    The Empress, though, managed to make an impression to an audience of gearheads obsessed with the SA Nemesis. Empress’ famous attention to detail in both sound quality and usability made the Echo System a serious contender. I’ve been listing After it since its release.

  784. Trey Klemczewski says:

    I’d say this is a fair list

  785. Scott Quinn says:

    So many ridiculous picks but the one I feel I have to YouTube after my exams is the Plus Pedal :0

  786. After losing all my gear in the california fires that echosystem is what I need

  787. Carl Martin says:

    The Empress Effects Echosystem is an awesome pedal!

  788. Need all of them!

  789. Awesome picks all around!

  790. Brian Steinseifer says:

    Let’s throw these all on one board and let ‘er rip!

  791. The Empress Echosystem would give my pedals an inferiority complex.

  792. patrick redford says:

    Meris polymoon for me. Such a deep pedal. I’ve lost hours of my life to it.

  793. Gotta love the Canyon for the price point and versatility.

  794. oh dreams, sometimes they come true

  795. Jase Ginkel says:

    Great Year for pedals!

  796. What a great year…

  797. Yves Feisel says:

    Lovely collection! Unfortunately I don’t own one yet!

  798. They all look amazing! Keep up the good work and fingers crossed I win something for once!

  799. David lawrence says:

    The empress echo system is the one that got away (due to other obligations) in 2017 ;)

  800. Thomas Howard says:

    Echosystem is my personal fave, but the new Warped Vinyl comes close!

  801. Erik Bolstad says:

    Lots of great pedals here that I need to try for myself.

  802. Albert Casan says:

    Definitely a great year for pedal nerds XD!!

    I would love to get hold of the Empress Echo System indeed.

    Looking forward to be the winner … heheheeheh

  803. If only I could afford any of these

  804. Daniel Hunt says:

    Solid list. Brothers, Syntax Error & the Echosystem are @ the top of my wantlist right now. Was also very impressed with pedals by Ezhi & Aka this year if your tastes happen to lean more toward the weird.

  805. Annabelle Thomas says:

    I think the chase bliss brothers was a total flunk. Wayyyy too much high end fizz for me and it seemed to lack definition. Just not a good enough sound, especially for a nearly 400$ overdrive/fuzz. Big disappointment.

  806. Russell Tanenbaum says:

    Ecosystem pedal looks awesome! Would love to have one on my board.

  807. Love these pedals. Can’t wait to try the echosystem

  808. Michael woods says:

    I would love to try to the Boss MS-3 Multi Effects Switcher

  809. Seeing these all hooked up at once could create some insane soundscapes.

  810. The Meris stuff looks great but, like Chase Bliss, quite pricey.
    I guess it’s not that bad if you live in the US, but over here €375 is a bit steep…
    But really, great stuff.

  811. Ja'Maul A Redmond says:

    ABout 5 of them I want to get but can’t afford :(

  812. Kewl

  813. David Ramirez says:

    I’m in love with the Empress Echosystem

  814. Spencer Krips says:

    Picked up the angry driver, and it definitely deserves its place on this list! It blew my mind, and is definitely one of my faves this year.

  815. I picked up a couple of these pedals this year, but would love to pick up all of these.

  816. Nick L Hilderbrand says:

    It just keeps getting harder to stay happy with your board! Totally new level of G.A.S.!

  817. I loved the EHX Canyon!

  818. I don’t know if I’d be able to pick a “best” pedal, but I’m just super happy the Infinite Jets and the LA-1A made it to the list! =)

  819. The Empress Echosystem seems to be a pretty good contender for the best delay in the market. Although it’s not as tweakable as something like the Boss DD500 it still offers numerous presets and settings that allow it to excel as a delay pedal. I find the toned down complexity to be somewhat easier to deal with and less overwhelming. I’ve never tried the Timeline, so I don’t know how it would compare to that one

  820. Rob Borody says:

    Great article. The Empress Echo System is pretty awesome. Fits nice on a board too. Would love to be an owner of one someday.

  821. Billy Croce says:

    Awesome pedals. Much enjoy.

  822. Alexander Popov says:

    The Empress makes amazing pedals, I would like this one on my board!

  823. Danny McNamara says:

    Chase Bliss was on fire last year. I’d say meris was too. My favorite pedal brobably goes to the Brothers but followed closley by the Polymoon.

  824. These are all great. Freqout and Data Corrouptor are too cool, and the Echosystem is at the top of my want list. I want the Infinite Jets and Canyon a lot too! Hope to try them all out sometime and looking forward to seeing whats coming out at NAMM 2018!

  825. Antoine Ricoux says:

    Always loved delay and empress’s take on the ultimate delay totally blew my mind

  826. Jonathan Miller says:

    2017 saw me add the Chase Bill Brothers and Tonal Recall RKM from this list. The Echosystem would be a welcome addition

  827. Eric Manwiller says:

    I’m gonna need a bigger pedal board for ‘18!

  828. Carlo Tiedge says:

    The Empress Echosystem is amazing and would definitely fit best next to my empress tremolo pedal on my board!

  829. Mark Hampton says:

    These all look sweet! Looking forward to trying some out soon.

  830. Fun list to look at. Always interesting to look back and see how pedal companies are trying to innovate and make better tools for guitarists.

  831. Andrew Estes says:

    The Meris Ottobit Jr. and the Earthquaker Data Corrupter are my favorites of this past year!

  832. Bill Silva-Breen says:

    Parameter overload on that winning pedal.

  833. Lots of cool pedals came out in 2017. Would love to try out the empress echosystem and the chase bliss warped vinyl.

  834. The infinite Jets is awesome. It changes the way you play and open new horizons.

  835. I have a pretty excellent board, but this list makes me want to start figuring out what to replace.

  836. Cameron Paxton says:

    Fingers crossed!

  837. Great year for pedals!

  838. Jeremy Ryser says:

    I want that Empress pedaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAL!!!!!

  839. Erik aagard says:

    Alexander pedals are some of the most amazing and unrecognized pedals out there.

  840. Michail Skar says:

    One more vote for the HOF v2.
    And yes, I have the Data Corruptor (EQD) and all I can say is that it absolutely rocks!

  841. Amazing list of pedals!

  842. Fantastic list, keep ut the good work!

  843. Jesse Comstock says:

    I would love to win the 2017 pedal of the year!

  844. Kieran Devlin says:

    Top qual pedals my dudes

  845. William Craver says:

    Great list, looking forward to getting to play through some of these.

  846. Best guitar effects always bring the best info!

  847. Stoked to see the D&M Drive on this list (and seemingly every other Best Of list for 2017).

  848. Clark Yost says:


  849. Johannes Holmen says:

    Nice list!
    Wanting to incorporate a switcher on my pedalboard in 2018, MIDI-controlled modulation, delay and reverb as part of it. I already own the Big Sky (which is brilliant!), but the Echosystem would be a great addition. Still torn between the Mobius and the MD500…

  850. Benjamin Casale says:

    Great list guys. Some real gems.

  851. Michael Caprio says:

    Would love to win that Empress Echosystem

  852. Quinn Dahl says:

    This Empress Echosystem looks sick! I would love to have the chance to try it out!

  853. Gary Plaus says:

    That Empress Effects Echosystem is one elaborate stomp box.

  854. Jim Lipscomb says:

    This is like a pedal board Holy Grail list to me.

  855. I am always looking for new ways to expand the atmospheric quotient of my sound. I could make use of any of these pedals for my own band. You may recall Ghostbound – we are officially releasing our full-length record in the summer. We have two new songs up on our bandcamp page.

  856. Richard Trump says:

    These pedals are the bomb, I sure would like to win one

  857. Empress Echosystem is in my future. I’m also still blown away by the Keeley 30ms from years before, I can’t turn it off it doesn’t sound right without it.

  858. Jon Layton says:

    Is there an Echo in here?

  859. Fran Prado says:

    Hope to try the Empress Effects Echosystem. It looks very good

  860. Kevin Swartout says:

    I think EHX is doing a great job these days, releasing a pile of new pedals. I’m not necessarily thinking it’s Pedal of the Year material, buy I recently picked up their Blurst and Platform pedals. I like them both, but the Platform Compressor in particularly is really cool, with the swell feature adding a nice and usable extra.

  861. Let’s go empress echosystem

  862. Markus Sundén says:

    Great list of pedals!
    I got myself the Iconoclast this year and it’s a great pedal for playing at home when the kid’s asleep. The Echosystem seems really interesting, especially the dual delay feature.

  863. Agree 100% with the picks! Empress rules!

  864. Daniel Horne says:

    Great article thank you. For me my pedal of the year (although not released this year) is the Keeley Red Dirt. Just blown away by its Tubescreamer goodness.

    Love this website
    Thanks for awesome reviews
    Dan Horne

  865. Gregory Lauer says:

    Empress Echosystem Cant Be Beat!

  866. Can I please have a free pedal <3

  867. Glad to see the FreqOut made the list… such a great pedal!

  868. Bruce Fontaine says:

    The Empress Effects Echosystem is amazing!

  869. John Saylor says:

    Thanks for all this

  870. Sam Thomas says:

    Lots of heavy hitting stuff in 2017!

  871. Claire Tucker says:

    Lots of cool gear came out this year! Thanks for the rundown!

  872. A neunaber iconoclast would be perfect for my setup. So would an empress effects echosystem.

  873. So many cool new pedals – I want ’em all!

  874. Nat Lekeu says:

    Would love to see how that Echosystem stacks up to the El Capistan

  875. I had the pleasure of picking up both the data corruptor and the infinite jets pedals in 2017. Love them and some other great stuff in here – now if i only had unlimited cash…. :)

  876. Mike Carpenter says:

    Didn’t h lave pedal money in 2017. Thanks for keeping me in the Chase Bliss loop! They look like amazing pedals!

  877. Dean Datre says:

    Brothers is incredible! Love that thing.

  878. Colton Bacu says:

    I don’t have a delay. Any of these would be awesome to own.

  879. John Newlands says:

    Fantastic list!

    I would love the Echosystem along with the Empress Reverb, awesome pedals, if only I could afford them! Maybe I’ll get lucky on the giveaway!

    I was also happy to see the D&M Drive on there, Keeley & Dan&Mick have done a great job on that one!

  880. Awesome list!

  881. You could make a killer board with just 2017 pedals, would be unreal.

  882. Dimitrios Lachanis says:

    Been following the Plus Pedal news since it surfaced, looks and sounds amazing, it would be a valuable and inspirational addition to many a musician’s rig (not only guitar players ;) )

  883. So many new pedals!

  884. deheuvels says:

    my new wishlist

  885. Evgenii K. says:

    Cmon guys! I wish I could afford Echosystem or Eventide Space but your are my only chance in this year!
    Space even would be better =(

  886. Brent Stewart says:

    Just looking at this list of pedals… gear envy, indeed.

    We live in a time of seriously great effects, and more cool ones

    coming out all the time.

    Thanks for the reviews, and the giveaways, of course

  887. Jim Richardson says:

    I have a few of these – want to play them all!

  888. here’s to hoping the trails last until next year

  889. Jang-Woo Park says:

    I would love to try the Echosystem.

  890. Graham Twibell says:

    So many good releases in 2017. What a year.

  891. Byron Hori says:

    Loved the new “MASH” expression button by TC!

  892. Sean McCarthy says:

    Love the Empress pedals! The Echosystem would be a great addition to my setup.

  893. Dacid ernst says:

    I don’t own any of the pedals listed but I love my electro harmonix products

  894. Elliott Moe says:

    Seems like every year the more and more insanely brilliant pedals are coming out. Echosystem was one of the most beautiful inside and out, can’t wait to see what 2018 holds in store.

  895. Need the Polymoon and Echosystem to satisfy my G.A.S.

  896. Andy Baird says:

    Would love to win the ecosystem. It would pair well with my Empress Reverb.

  897. Bryan Lopez says:

    Great list guys! Couldn’t agree more

  898. Luke Sital-Singh says:

    Brothers is my pick for best pedal of the year

  899. Yaaaassss! These pedals look great.

  900. Killers, all. Great list

  901. Bret Alexander says:

    Can’t argue at all with this list. Played almost all of them and they are top notch!!

  902. I would love any of these. They are all so expensive.

  903. Daniel Flynn says:

    The infinite jets really shook up the gear world and had the biggest “splash.” However, finally getting more multi-reverb effects pedals really was the highlight for me (Ventris, Boss, etc)

  904. David Mednick says:

    EMpress Echosystem giveaway would be something I really want to win and would use!

  905. EHX Pitchfork for me.

  906. So for me, the Echosystem is definitely the pedal of the year. The market is saturated with multi-delay pedals, so when something new and original comes out, I sit up and take notice. This will one day take the place of my current delay pedal. Also, Chase Bliss. Everything by Chase Bliss is on my wish list. They are knocking it out of the park. And lastly, the Data Corrupter is the first new pedal in a long time that made me say “I’ve GOT to have that!!!”

  907. I know it is sort of a one-trick pony, but the freqout really did something I have never seen and is very cool. I think it would be my vote.

  908. All amazing pedals and the Echosystem is sweet. Not the sexiest, nor the best, but the Magnetic Effects Midphoria was great. Keep up the good work!

  909. Steven Brenner says:

    Thanks for great article!.

  910. The only reason im still keeping my Timeline is because of the easy save feature (with preset numbers and names). Saving looks like a hassle on the empress….

  911. Joaquin Mecklenburg says:

    Nice review!, i love almost all the new pedals of this year

  912. Empire has really killed it with their delay, and at this point unless you’re buying a timeline or an especially unique boutique pedal this is the golden standard for big box delays.

  913. Steven Tijerino says:

    Dopest dope

  914. Ryan Prevost says:

    I really enjoyed this article. It was very informative.

  915. Got a Hall of Fame 2 this year because of the Mash function. Would love to get all the pedals on your list.

  916. Lee Bouchard says:

    I want too many of these. NEED to check out that Data Corrupter

  917. Seth Oyer says:

    Great thank you so much!

  918. Damon Campagna says:

    That Gamechanger Audio Plus sounds like a really cool device. I can’t wait to check it out!

  919. BRIAN BURGER says:

    The Empress and the Corrupter are definitely my favorites on the list. They both make for some very unique sounds.

  920. Jason M. Bennett says:

    Awesome Pedals!! Thanks for the in depth reviews.

  921. Simon Weeks says:

    Great review

  922. Trevor Owen says:

    This may push my Superdelay off board!
    Any chance of a Polymoon giveaway next?

  923. Awesome go-to list

  924. Greg Piotrowski says:

    They all sounds like great pedals. Thanks for the contest.

  925. David Gortych says:

    Really want to try the echosystem. Looks freaking cool and two engines at once is killer. The Ventris I grabbed needs a delay buddy to go along with it.

  926. Kane Janowsky says:

    Great list, some truly inspiring gear

  927. Kane Janowsky says:

    Great picks . Wish I could afford em all !

  928. Sean Walker says:

    Looking forward to trying the Empress Echosystem soon!

  929. Sweetness, a really outstanding pedal

  930. Holy sh*t that Empress looks amazing

  931. Minnesota represent! Awesome to see Chase Bliss so well represented! Really cool to see the trends (routing different dirt/boosts or reverb/delay; and signal manipulation like with the Freqout and Gamechanger). Only disagreement I have is switching the Iconoclast for DSM OmniCabSim Deluxe, though to be fair that wasn’t released in 2017. Still my favorite analog cab sim pedal in it’s price bracket though

  932. The D&M Drive is the one I would like to try the most. I love Dan and Mick and they’re amazing work at TPS. Great article!

  933. Seth Okrend says:

    All very cool pedals!

  934. Canyon is really great.

  935. Rob Evans says:

    Great list, the Brothers and Infinite Jets are amazing. Thank you for the Echosystem giveaway!

  936. Dave Roberts says:

    Some great info here. Love their echo system and the caverns. Awesome gear.

  937. Lorenzo Paoletti says:

    Love the Echosystem! Really interested about the Infinite Jets too, i heard Ed o Brien from Radiohead got one!

  938. Søren Made says:

    Great list, inspirational. Have to disagree with the Hall of fame though, i don’t know if the HoF2 sounds different than the first one, if it does it may be good :D

  939. The canyon is nice if you have multiple delays, but I feel like I’m never going to use most of the settings because it’s my primary delay pedal

  940. Ariel rodriguez says:

    Man that echosystem pedal is just incredible!

  941. Fred Otten says:

    What a great bunch of amazing pedals. The echosystem is worthy of pedal of the year. I would love all of these pedals :)

  942. I think the tonal recall beats the echosystem…And I would take one of the strymon boxes instead as well

  943. Some amazing pedals on here. I love the stuff that Chase Bliss do and the D&M drive sounds great too. Wouldn’t mind an echosystem myself…

  944. New to this site, don’t know why I haven’t looked before. Good articles. This is not going to help my wallet.

  945. Matt Stutts says:

    The bigger our pedal boards get and the more options each box offers, I feel like MIDI / memory banks just become necessary. That’s a reason I ended up trying out the Brothers OD this year.

  946. Brett Aungst says:

    Great picks!
    I would love to buy some of them but I need to save money to buy a better amp to use them with.

  947. I would love for you guys to do some reviews of some wild effects like ring modulators and other things of that sort. Your reviews are awesome and accurate as well.

  948. That echosystem sounds so creamy.

  949. Jacob Lacayo says:

    I need to get a syntax error! Next pedal forsure. And the leveling amp pedal looks awesome. Oh boy these pedals are taking the money right out of my wallet.

  950. Echosystem sounds incredible. I have the Strymon Timeline but I want this one too! Thanks for great coverage of all the best of 2017!

  951. Love the echosystem! Excellent top choice. Now I need more money…

  952. Hologram Electronics’ Infinite Jets is probably my most favorite on this pretty damn well chosen List!
    The’ve clearly taken guitar tone to another dimension

  953. Andrew Hartwig says:

    Glad to see the Syntax Error mentioned here!

  954. Empress Echosystem looks awesome, a worthy competitor to Timeline, etc.

  955. What about the Shallow Water by Fairfield Circuitry :o

  956. The Caverns V2 is next to explore in my own wall of sound

  957. Empress EchoSystem vs. the Strymon TimeLine – it’s a whole new ballgame. Can’t wait to get it!

  958. So many eff and every piece of them so far away from me

  959. Albert Chiochon says:

    so many pedals so little time
    if I had to pick one I would say the Keeley D&M Drive
    Iam an overdrive kind of guy,Love the way the Keeley sounds and the ease of use

  960. Guyaume Robitaille says:

    The effectrode looks really intriguing but the empress echo seems really nice too!

    I’d love to win one! ;-)

  961. Chris Parry says:

    I love my D&M Drive by Keeley. Changed the way I play!
    Outstanding piece of kit!

  962. Kevin Oliver says:

    The echosystem was definitely high on my list all of 2017. I love how it can do the Ct5 stuff but also has really strong classic delay sounds. That’s a strong list. Definitely would make a dream pedalboard. This was a great year for pedals, no doubt.

  963. Caleb Johnston says:

    The Echosystem seems like everything anyone could possibly want in a delay pedal, such a great giveaway choice! Wouldn’t mind getting my hands on the Resynthesiser either mind you.

  964. What a collection of pedals! I would love all of them but adding anyone of these to my pedal board would be great.

  965. Gabe Miller says:

    What I’m hoping for in 2018 is more pedals that offer something you can’t get in software or in a cheap boss box – mainly to continue in the direction of the Hologram Infinite Jets or the Gamechanger Audio Plus pedal – The best set I’ve seen recently was Slowdive using Rv-7’s, basic fuzzes/OD, and JC-120’s. Although I do love new delays, fuzzes, etc, what I really need is not something that’s 5% better or different than what’s already on my very full pedalboard, but things that let me approach the guitar in different ways and let me create different tones in terms of both sound and how I play the instrument. Just my 2c. Happy Shredding Everyone.

  966. Meris for best new builder foooooor sure! The Mercur 7 play so beautifully. Can’t wait to try the other two eventually. The RKM Tonal Recall is the new gold standard in analog delays, and probably will be for a long time. And last but not least the Infinite Jets is one of the most creative tools I’v ever had the pleasure to mess around with. Can’t wait to see what 2018 comes up with!

  967. I’m going with the ottobit jr. Meris is a shining beacon of future forward thinking and design. Ordered my first today and I’ll be getting the whole line if it’s half as good as I think it is. Being a pedal nut, as we all are, i feel almost the same about this company as i did Apple back when the iphone was released. Guitar effects have had a boon in the last 10 years or so, and we live in the golden age of innovation in the guitar effects world. Meris will be at the forefront along with the big boys that Terry helped get there.
    With the onset of more analog synth based pop music and the decline of rock in its traditional sense, it’s nice to see the guitar world try something different and love it.

  968. Honestly, anything/everything that comes from Empress should win every year. Plus they’re Canadian! Gotta support the home team!

  969. Jay Brown says:

    These pedals are really pushing the sonic boundaries exciting times!

  970. Jay Brown says:

    These new pedals are really pushing the sonic boundaries exciting times!

  971. So many great pedals coming out lately. Empress echo system and hologram electronics infinity jets and the Meris pedals are all on top on my wish list. Hopefully my wallet agrees.:)

  972. Ben Jones says:

    I love the Infinite Jets pedal so this gets my vote. It gets a bit silly once you stick it in amongst the aux send of another, or put it in after the Count To 5. But good fun. Completely unusable, but good fun….

  973. Trent Adams says:

    Just got the red Witch Fuzz God II but all of these would be a nice addition. The Echosystem looks awesome too though. I would absolutely love to have some delay. Just need to save some more money!!!

  974. Maheshwar Singh says:

    The pedal I want the most right now is the Echosystem. There are so many crazy sounds available in this pedal and I think it is a very versatile. It has every delay sound I could think of built into it. What really sold me on this pedal was how easy the interface is to interact with. I’m not a fan of pedals that require me to menu dive to tune in the sounds I want. I love the fact the all on the parameters are visible on the outside of the Echosystem.

    My pedal of the year so far has to be the Meris Audio Mercury 7. The reverb on this pedal is nuts! I haven’t played with a reverb pedal that gets a lush as this one does. The shimmer setting on this pedal is very warm and pleasing to the ears. My favorite function on the Mercury 7 has to be the auto swell control. It is super responsive to your playing and makes volume swells really easy to do without a volume pedal.

  975. Norman Marshall says:

    Really great list! :)

  976. David Peatfield says:

    So many pedals to choose from – it’s been a great year for sure! Either Echosystem or Merris Ottobit Jr in my opinion as both are versatile, able to do ‘normal’ subtle effects or wacky and weird

  977. mark mendoza says:

    thank you! such a useful guide.

  978. Darrick H. says:

    Also worth a nod for best of this year: the Stone Deaf Tremotron.

  979. Nathanial Mendenhall says:

    What an awesome list of pedals. Id be happy with any of them.i hadn’t heard of the echosystem before i saw this list and man am i impressed with how it sounds!

  980. paul c. torbert says:

    i am on social security disability for meniere’s disease….. music is the hobby that keeps me from stepping into rush hour traffic on hwy55…..

    i would like to win some nice gear, because i cant afford to buy any, even on a ramen diet….

  981. Fabio Shkurtaj says:

    Gotta catch em all!

  982. Marc Schirwing says:

    The Echosystem Pedal is a great Effect. I hope I win one.

  983. Martin Normandeau says:

    I want ´em all!

  984. Dear GOD, that Echosystem…

  985. Simon Häger says:

    Best of 2017: Def Shallow Water by fairfield circuitry. I have been waiting for that orsak since 2009.

  986. Simon Häger says:

    Best of 2017: Def Shallow Water by fairfield circuitry. I have been waiting for that orsak since 2009.

  987. Sofía Chiquiar says:

    Love this!

  988. Tyler Brady says:

    It’s gotta be the Empress Echosystem for delay. Nice to see it getting love as it was strangely snubbed in a lot of other year end lists.

  989. Stephen Solitro says:

    Empress EchoSystem and the D & M Drive are amazing, but today my vote would be for the Chase Bliss Brothers. This will probably change tomorrow though.

  990. Eric Logeman says:

    I absolutely love my Mercury 7, RKM Tonal Recall, and Infinite Jets. Totally out of this world sounds to be had with them. Would love to try the rest on this list too, especially the Plus Pedal

  991. Matthew King says:

    I think my fav has been the DOD Rubberneck. Great sounds and flexibility. Killer pedal.

  992. I kinda thought I had long since picked my favorite couple of drive pedals but the D&M Drive has me thinking about buying it. Nice job Keeley.

  993. Joel Wilde says:

    Glad to see Chase Bliss got some love in the list. So many pedals so little time.

  994. Myles Dunne says:

    The infinite Jets is my personal favourite. Its changing the way I approach my instrument and I haven’t even tapped into half the possibilities. Ive never heard of the Plus pedal! It looks awesome. Great picks.

  995. David Bagyo says:

    It looks the guys at Keeley had a decent year tho! Also, credit goes to Ehx and Wampler as well for giving as so much amazing gear last year! That Empress Echosystem looks incredible, I thought both the superdelay and tape echo were good enough to be the headliner delays of the market, but probably this one will win it by miles!

  996. Stuart Bond says:

    So many good pedals atm. I’m gonna have to sell my house, my van – everything – if I’m ever going to be able to fund my obsession. Gotta love Chase Bliss and Hologram. Ooh and double delay from Empress and the Data Corrupter and the Plus Pedal….

  997. Maureen Vargas says:

    Solo habia visto el Bigmom y el Polara, gran lista, hay cosas demasiado interesantes.

  998. Matt Sanford says:

    Such a great list. I ended up buying an Infinite Jets and I’m totally blown away by it. Only just scratching the surface of what I’m sure it can do. Played a Freqout earlier in the year and honestly, was not impressed. To me, it always sounded brittle and inorganic. Very cool idea though. Most excited to try the WV HiFi, Data Corrupter, and of course, the Echosystem. I have the Empress Reverb and I’m certain it will never leave my board, so cant wait to try the delay. Nice nod to the DM Drive too, it’s a sweet little dirt box!

  999. Nicholas A. Rhoades says:

    Love your articles and great reviews. These have swayed my buying deci