They look different than they did in years past, but they are still chock full of insights into the marketplace.
The Guitars For Idiots pedal rankings are going to look a bit unfamiliar this year. In 2022, I slowed down the pace of the website a bit, mostly because I was overwhelmed with new responsibilities at Ultimate-Guitar, where I was promoted to tech editor. Instead, I’ve refocused the website as a place where I can do two things; A) cover whatever I want, regardless of popularity and B) be a bit more subjective than objective. UG is a massive publication, that requires me to consider a lot of factors when reviewing gear. Here, I can be more focused and personalized.
So in following that trend, this list will contain ANY pedal I personally covered on Instagram, YouTube, Ultimate-Guitar, or this website, Guitars For Idiots. You can find my rankings for Ultimate-Guitar via this link, and see how they compared to what we’re working with here.
2022 was also the closest I’ve gotten to be able to do this full time, a dream of mine that one day I’d like to make happen. So please, if you want to treat yourself to a new pedal, please consider using the affiliate links for each pedal in this list! It is a huge way to support me at no extra cost to you.
So remember, these rankings are a bit more subjective, i.e. my personal opinions, and they include every pedal I’ve covered so far, including the Universal Audio amp sims that purposefully left out of the UG article (I consider them more amp than pedal on that website). This will also include the entrants from Klon-A-Thon project that I’m halfway working on for Ultimate-Guitar.
To read the review or watch the demo, just click on the pedal name in the table!
So what are the big takeaways?
- Pedals are getting expensive. Yes, it is nice that Fender, Catalinbread, and Caline all launched new budget lines to join the JHS 3 Series, but generally pedals are increasing in price and the mid-priced options are shrinking. Check out Demonic Machines for an interesting line of ~$100 or less pedals made in the US!
- The Tube Screamer is still popular and in-demand. The Moxie, Science Fair, Brigade, and Blessed Mother all have various flavors of Tube Screamer in them, and that’s still not counting the many others unleashed on the guitar world this year like the JHS Screamer.
- I don’t really like Klons. Ironically the two favorites out of my Klon-A-Thon so far are the most versatile, least-Klon-like clones. The Demonic Machines Homunculus and Poison Noises Gaia are so user friendly and versatile, with options like clean blends, clipping reorientation, and different modes, Klons are just dialed in Tube Screamers without the mid bump, so clearly I like prefer pedals with more features than less.
- Big year for delay pedals. While many other major delay releases were not covered by me, like the Wampler Metaverse, Nux Tape Echo, or Line6 DL4 MkII, we still had plenty to talk about. The Snow Day, RE-2, and Chamecho all spent a lot of time getting use from me this year. The Snow Day and RE-2 are actually my go-to delays now, and used almost daily. People really loved delays this year!
Goals for 2023 will include reviewing less drive pedals so I can focus on sound scapes with modulations, delays, and reverbs more well represented. Additionally, I want to focus on some more cheaper pedals, closer to $100 or less. We will get the new year of pedal reviews started shortly featuring the Tiesco Fuzz, Delay, and Interface pedals. Then we’ll move on to the 5 new Maestro pedals!