Posted on 25th January 2018 by Callum
When Fender bring out something new there’s always excitement surrounding it. These are the guys who have brought us so many iconic guitars and amplifiers, and given musicians the tools to create popular music over the last 60 years. So now they’ve announced their latest line of original boutique-looking effects pedals, and all at great prices, we couldn’t help but sense the buzz! Read below for a detailed look at each.
For starters we had to look up what “Pugilist” meant… But now it all makes sense. Pugilist: a boxer, especially a professional one (prepare for the puns). This beefy gold medal pedal packs a prizefighter punch as its name would suggest. Featuring dual gain engines each with its own tone control, this pedal allows you to dial in knockout distortion, and then finely tune to make it suitable for any setup. You can combine the channels using the Series/ Blend switch, building a thick wall of fuzz, and the Bass Boost switch will deal a heavyweight blow to your tone. It’s not all flat-out though, this versatile stompbox can slim down for lower weight classes, to create a subtler growl. Built by Fender’s in house team of experts, this pedal is guaranteed to go the rounds and leave your audience battered and bruised.
No pedal board is complete without a solid and versatile reverb at the end of the signal chain. Fender’s new Marine Layer is an ideal candidate, and can do everything from subtle effects to dunking in the deep end. With familiars such as Hall and Room, as well as the mysterious “Special” setting, this functional and intuitive device is capable of a range of effects. Another great feature is that the reverb tails will continue when the pedal is muted, allowing for a smooth transition and natural decay. People can pay a lot for a great reverb pedal, but Fender have come in with exactly that at a reasonable price. We are certain this is going to be a popular choice!
A classy-looking addition to the range, the Santa Ana Overdrive will provide a wide range of delicious distortion tones. After working for decades to help create some of the classic tones used by top guitarists the world over, Fender have now packed FET technology into this groovy pedal. With plenty of controls this will let you dial in anything from mild crunch right up to thick saturation. A great tool for sculpting those classic sounds.
An often-overlooked effect, compression is a vital component for controlling dynamic audio that can really improve your tone. Uneven playing can damage what you’re trying to do, but it’s not always possible to play with machine-precision – especially when you’re rocking out big on stage. The Bends Compressor will help to smooth out spikes in volume and bring everything closer together, without colouring your tone. Compression done well is when you can’t notice it’s there, and with plenty of controls to sculpt your dynamics this pedal will help maintain a natural sound. An especially cool feature is the blend control, which allows you to precisely dial in the right mix of compression. This is known as parallel compression and is usually the reserve of recording studio maestros – now you can get the same quality on your pedal board!
Different guitars mean different pickups, and therefore different output levels. This can cause a problem when you’re switching it up and trying to play your collection all through the same pedalboard. This is where Fender’s new Level Set Buffer comes in – matching the signal and supplying an even output. It can also be used to provide a boost further down the chain to improve your tone. An important addition to your effects set up that will prove its worth for many years to come.
Delays are a crucial part of any guitarist’s arsenal, and Fender enter the fray with the Mirror Image Delay. This pedal lets you create anything from a classic slapback echo through to modulated atmospheric soundscapes. It’s got Digital, Analog and Tape modes and each with two voice variations, plus your standard depth rate and feedback controls. This is an expressive and powerful unit that will give space and atmosphere to your tone.
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Rich Tone Music Ltd is a company registered in England with company number 05285423 and VAT Number 870 3855 09