Everywhere you look online you will find a slue of "top 10" or "top 5" pedals for this or that and RGS wanted to join the fun, too. However, we didn’t want to just add to the number of lists that have the same old units on them. Thus we bring you, “the other 5 greatest pedals… that every guitar player should own".
There are some similarities among the “top” list that seem to make sense. Everyone needs some standard things like; Gain/OD, Wah, Mod and Time-based (reverb/delay) effects. Using that same platform, here are two “top 5” pedal board pedal suggestions: one for the lead player and one for that other guy who plays with you on stage ;)
Lead Board Top 5:
- Mojo Hand FX Extra Special OD - The initial push and full-bodied tone of the Extra Special makes this a good leave on drive or push it for some heavier transparent crunch. This unit is perfect for those thick “dumble" tones so many of us are crazy about. Also, check out the DMBL for the same tonal pallet with a little lower gain… oh wait, you’re a lead player, CRANK IT!
- Walrus Audio Deep Six Compressor - Tightening up your sound helps keep the sound full and present. With its blend knob, the Deep Six is great at fattening up your tone. Placing a comp after one drive and before another provides some extra tone sculpting abilities too; use your volume knob to clean up that sound when it is cranked and you gain harmonic clarity yet still remain presence in the mix .
- Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret - Now that your base sound is set, lets add some singing “Super Lead” tones for that solo you are about to rip. Make sure to run this puppy at 18v for pure face melting saturation.
- Real McCoy Custom Wah - What is lead guitar with out vowels and diction? There's a few to choose from but all the McCoy wah’s are serious pieces. The wah pedal helped define the sounds of rock legends like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. If you're playing lead, you've definitely got to make room on your board for a wah pedal like the RMC8.
- Walrus Audio Bellwether - Whether it is a darker delay for a David Gilmour sound or an Edge-styled rhythmic gallop, the Bellwether can provide it all. Colt and the crew have definitely put function and control at your demand with this ridiculous analog delay.
Rhythm Board Top 5:
- Pettyjohn Predrive - The key to great rhythm tone is definition. Having full, rich sound without stepping on the lead player or keyboardist’s toes is a must and there is no other box we know that can sculpt your tone so completely. Hand’s down a great pedal (Lead players take note, too!). We also hear there is talk of another fabulous unit from Pettyjohn. Hit us up for details and availability!
- Emerson Custom Paramount - Stacking a pedal like the Emerson paramount after the Predrive is pure heaven; righteous rhythm and cutting crunch for days. Mitch’s unique circuit provides the sweetest pick response, just back off on your attack and instantly you are clean and chime-y.
- Chase Bliss Audio Warped Vinyl MKII - Adding a little movement to your playing can help support a verse or even fill out a chorus. There's a whole world of wiggle here; use the MKII with your delay and they just might fire the keyboard player ;)
- JHS Panther Cub - Rhythm players need delay too. Where else will you get those dreamy pads or galloping arpeggios when the lead player is playing a tasty line. Tap tempo is a must for rhythm pedal user who doesn’t want to feel like they are rocking the boat with off tempo playing.
- Walrus Descent - Most rhythm players forget that space can be just as effective as a nice chunky riff. The descent is a reverb machine with a full pallet of cavernous tones. Capture the vibe and space of a room, pull you listener’s ears in with descent's killer shimmer and octaves.
Of course one pedal that should be on every board is a Tuner! Who cares about your tone if you aren’t in tune. Good tune = Good tone. We love the versatility and simplicity of the TC Electronic Polytune 2 or for those of you that need to save space, check out the Polytune mini; same brain, smaller package.
Are there pedals we missed? Sure, there are way too many great stomp boxes out there but we are certain you won’t go wrong with any of these fabulous tone makers.