Jan 272018

I love strangely beautiful, weird, or graphically stunning guitar pedals, and part of my “gear joy” at NAMM shows is stumbling upon some bizarre boxes while running around the product booths between meetings.

So I have no idea how the following pedals sound, if they are usable for conventional musical applications, or even if they work okay at all. I was merely attracted to the artwork. Here’s my “Day 1 and Day 2” NAMM gallery of painted boxes and/or flashing LEDs. (The 2018 Winter NAMM show is running January 25-28.)

Rainger FX London

Kind of a mad-scientist vibe here. Check out the monster-lab controls on the Dr. Freakenstein Fuzz. The company is reportedly looking for an American distributor, but if you want to take a chance on their machines, you can buy online by visiting Raingerfx.com.

Walrus Audio

Walrus Audio tends to rock graphic-novel-like images on their pedals that can be cool, mystifying, or disturbing. 

Fuzzrocious Pedals

Fuzzrocious offers a series of wacky hand-painted designs by a husband and wife team—they say the kids help, too. These are uber-boutique products, and they can do custom paint jobs if you desire. I’m hoping we get some of these in for review. They promised…

Shin’s Music Custom Effects

These pedals are made in Tokyo, and they’re somewhat mysterious, as the company’s website is pretty much all Japanese. You can find more bits of info online if you Google them, of course, but I was simply attracted to the undulating paint jobs, the old-school knobs, and the Dymo Label Maker labels.

Empress Effects

The Zoia wins “Best Light Show” and “Most Initially Baffling Effect.” Guitar World’s Paul Riario was the first to find this, and he showed me a picture of it at a dinner for Martin Guitars. Obviously, I had to find it. The Star-Trek-style control matrix is actually a very cool way to construct unique effects chains. We should definitely get this beast in for review. I just hope we can figure it out.

Cool Graphic Stompboxes for 2018
Source: Guitar Player