Posted on 23rd July 2019 by Callum
Fender’s range of effects pedals has gained a lot of respect since they appeared on the scene a couple of years ago. Featuring a smart appearance, backlit controls and tough, durable construction, these pedals find a happy home on many a pedalboard. The offering expands this month, with 6 new pedals that really push Fender’s effects game up a notch.
Shop Now: Fender Smolder Acoustic Overdrive
Perhaps the weirdest FX pedal Fender have ever made? You’ve read that right, the Smolder is an overdrive pedal specially designed for acoustic guitars. A few challenges here; namely feedback, the difference in sound between electric and acoustic pickups, and the fact you’d be playing direct through a PA. What Fender ended up with is this pedal! Pickup compensation circuitry and cabinet sim helps remedy the issues, and it gives you a surprisingly gnarly overdrive sound! It has plenty of controls for tone shaping, and an all-important blend knob to dial in the right amount of distortion.
Shop Now: Fender Compugilist Compressor/Overdrive
Designed from the blueprints of the Pugilist distortion and The Bends compressor, the Compugilist combines the two into one pedalboard essential. The compressor uses a very fast attack, perfect for guitar playing, which allows for expressive playing whilst taming peaks. The distortion side gives a warmth on lighter gain settings, and goes up to a rocking crunch gain setting. Both can be used independently, but also work great together!
Shop Now: Fender The Trapper Fuzz
The Trapper is a fuzz with two faces. There’s a straightforward octave side with a drive control, which will give you a pretty mean fuzz tone. You can also just go for plain old fuzz, without the octave overtone. There’s controls here for contour, which gives you a sweepable boost from bass to treble, and for tone, which is a low pass filter. The Trapper’s second channel is where things get wild. It uses essentially ‘infinite’ gain combined with a no compromise noise gate. Use your guitar’s volume controls to get some awesome sputtering sounds, right through to thick and heavy sludge.
Shop Now: Fender MTG: LA Overdrive
Fender’s warehouse must be something else. They say they found 30,000 US-made NOS vacuum tubes in there just lying around, and not the kind they’d use on their amps. Teaming up with boutique-amp builder Bruce Egnater, they started to find uses for these tubes. Last year we saw the MTG distortion, and now we have the MTG: LA. This gives a similar sound but with a bigger bottom end, kind of a late 80s heavy metal sound. There’s a lot of control here, and the vacuum tube gives you a real amplifier-esque tone. It does run on 9V DC, but will demand a big chunk of current, up to 300mA is recommended.
Shop Now: Pour Over Envelope Filter
The Pour Over is an envelope filter, with a few extra bells and whistles. There’s a normal envelope (aka auto-wah) section, and capability for distortion before the filter to jazz things up. The filter on its clean sound has settings for a low pass, band pass and high pass. You can also select the filter sweep direction, up or down, using the drive control. This gives you that well-known super-expressive funky wahwah sound. Engage the distortion section with a flick of a switch, and behold a new level of whacky. This is where you will find some massive tones, mashed with the interesting movements of the envelope filter.
Shop Now: Fender Reflecting Pool Reverb/Delay
The cleverly named Reflecting Pool is based on the Mirror Image Delay and the Marine Layer Reverb FX pedals from the first launch a few years ago. And Fender also add new features to create a monster of time-based effects. True stereo in and out, and with a dedicated tap tempo footswitch, already you can tell this is well-through through device. There are 3 delay models, with a Quality control for crystal clear to lo-fi sounds. You have great control over the usual time and decay, but a cool addition is the ‘Subdivision’ control. This lets you add a second channel of delay into your sound, and can decide where it fits into your delay pattern. Some complex rhythmic possibilities right there.
The reverb section has a load of models, from expansive halls and rooms, to shimmer, gated and modulated sounds for ambient excellence. You can change reverb tails, and put some really interesting envelope effects to mess with your sound. Masses of control, and the fact you have the two effects in one pedal, makes the Reflecting Pool a serious contender for your pedalboard real estate!
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