By my count, I've been paying attention to the effects pedal world for 20 years of my life.
That is a LONG time to be focusing on something and let me tell you...I'm starting to feel the effects (no pun intended).
The more I learn the more I realize that I missed out on SO MUCH. Pedals, amps, guitars, companies, brands...oh my!
And despite the fact that we have no shortage of shiny and new effects pedals I can't help but feel like some of the pedals I missed out on should make a comeback in some way, shape or form. So join me for the journey and let's dive in!
If you came of age in the early part of the 2000s, then I'm sure you came across Arion pedals nestled in the back of the Musicians' Friend catalog. By that point, Arion pedals could essentially be described as a "budget" brand. I remember seeing several of their effects be priced around $50-90 USD back in 2003. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that this budget brand wasn't merely some off-shore, OEM company but a quite well loved brand with a history that went back farther than I could have ever thought possible.
You are most likely familiar with the Arion Stereo Chorus. Both versions of this pedal (the SCH-1 & SCH-Z) have been used by some of the greats including Michael Landau and Eric Clapton. Several companies have mod'ed the Stereo Chorus for True-Bypass and added a 3PDT footswitch. But Arion did FAR MORE than just make the chorus. Some of their pedals are quite similar to Boss pedals (which doesn't hurt). But what I find most interesting is the fact that SO MUCH of their catalog is STEREO. Even effects that are not typically stereo are given stereo versions
With so many players keeping their budget in mind, I don't think there is a reason to NOT bring back Arion Pedals in some way as a budget option. Some of the circuits are well loved and could expose new players to fantastic tones.
Photo credit: @austinfieldsmusic on Instagram
Danelectro Food Series
You know them, you love them...or maybe you don't. But this is MY blog and I know them and I love them! The Danelectro Food Series pedals were a hallmark of my early days exploring pedals. I would always see them in guitar magazines and ALWAYS wanted to buy some of them.
Luckily for me my uncle starting playing guitar shortly after I did and he bought up nearly all the food series pedals! So I was exposed to the beauty of the Pepperoni Phaser, the Tuna Melt Tremolo, the PB&J Delay and the Black Licorice Beyond Metal!
And I also loved how small they were. Oh, and how about those cool "pedal packs" with the black plastic pedalboard!
Mini pedals are all the rage these days and despite the fact that their iconic enclosures are bigger than your typical mini pedals I believe there's a place for the Food Series. First off, the sounds were very good and the pedals were very affordable! What more could a guitarist want? And even if Danelectro chose to change the enclosures of the pedals (which would be an absolute travesty IMHO) they would still find homes.
With Danelectro constantly changing out their pedal lines these days it's time for them to have a constant, ever present pedal line that is uniquely THEM.
Photo credit: r/guitarpedals on Reddit; OP unknown
Ibanez Tone-Lok a.k.a. 7 Series
Picture a pedal that's built like a tank. And it LOOKS like a tank!
Now, imagine the knobs are FLUSH with the enclosure. How are you going to make any changes to your settings? Why, PUSH DOWN on the knobs and the knobs POP UP from the enclosure! Make you changes and then PUSH DOWN again. BAM! Your knobs are now recessed and your settings won't be mistakenly changed when you stomp on your pedals. Sounds pretty cool, right? Well, those pedals already existed! And they were made by Ibanez!
Yup...Ibanez did WAY more then just re-make the Tube Screamer over and over again.
I first became aware of these pedals by way of Mike Einziger of Incubus. He had a DE7 Delay/Echo on his pedalboard and when I first heard it...MAN that was some magic right there! Then I got myself an AW7 Auto-wah. Man was I having some fun! Many years later, while working Artist Relations for Neunaber Audio, I met the band For Today whose guitarists BOTH used the LF7 Lo-Fi for filtered portions of their songs. I was immediately drawn to how effective that pedal was in building energy that I immediately started looking for an affordable used model.
With that in mind, I think the Tone-Lok pedals are due for a reissue. But instead of reissuing them outright, I just think the format need the comeback! Sure you could easily bring back some of the "classics" by why not try some new sounds? Maybe refine the distortions for modern metal/djent tastes? Or a compressor that can do studio-grade OR classic guitar compressor styles? And MAYBE put the Flying Pan in a Tone-Lok enclosure??? See, ideas people! Not that hard.
Boss Hyper Fuzz
Any fuzz fiend knows this pedal! It is one of the most desired vintage Boss pedals. It has been on many famous players' pedalboards for decades. And even a poor-condition one will cost you a nice sum of money on the used market.
$300 for a scuffed up pedal with no box or manual? NO...THANK...YOU!
And with the rise of Boss' WAZA CRAFT series, I think it's time for Boss to dive into creating an FZ-2w!
Based on the Univox Super Fuzz, the pedal is a both a classic and modern favorite! It could please both the dad rocker and the stoner metal druid! And considering that it was only available for five year AND was made in low numbers I could see a triumphant return for this fuzzy behemoth. Let's be honest here: we don't want to buy the Behringer clone because it's a cheap facsimile. Give us the real deal Boss!
But that's not the only Boss pedal I want to see make a comeback...
BOSS Parametic EQ Pedals
As a recording nut, I love EQ and EQ pedals!
Most players are quite familiar with the GE-7 Graphic Equalizer but did you know that BOSS release TWO PARAMETRIC EQ pedals?
Well they did and if you ask me, more players need to experience the power and flexibility of Parametric EQ.
If you're not familiar with what Parametric EQ pedals are, let me tell you: Parametric EQs work on the basis of being able to Boost and Cut frequencies as well as adjust the width of the the frequency range being boosted or cut. It's a great device for surgically removing problematic frequencies OR creating special audio effects. Both pedals were only available for around four years so their numbers are limited and they rarely come up for sale on the used market. Both those points add up to ONE conclusion: those who have them LOVE them and WE (the ones who don't have them) are the ones missing out!
Photo Credit: BuyAnalogMan.com
It seems like Fender has bad a bit of a pedal renaissance in the last few years. They're clearly wanting to invest in their image amongst pedal lovers on the guitar world.
But before then, Fender's pedals were...uh...not very good. There were cheap overdrive pedals. There were cheap pedals under the Starcaster brand. Cheap plastic pedals you could buy at Target or Best Buy.
In all honesty, it was not a good look.
But then there was the Fender Blender...
This pedal was a bit of a sleeper hit for many, many years. I can't think of any "famous" players who have used it BUT what I can say is that some of the old folk LOVED them some Fender Blender. Vintage units were prized amongst the old-school rockers and several studios kept one in their pedal closet. Because of this, Fender reissued the pedal in the early 2000s and its arrival was welcomed with open arms! Of course, like every good thing it wasn't meant to last forever and it eventually was discontinued. And now, even reissue units START at $300 on the used market.
So hear me out Fender: reissue the Fender Blender and put it in your new pedal enclosure. Maybe you can modernize the circuit, add some new voicing, and most importantly PUT THE INPUT AND OUTPUT JACKS IN THE RIGHT PLACE!
I'm sure I'm missing several other pedals but these one are the ones I want to see come back soon!
What pedals do you want to see reissued? Let me know!
Happy Stomping! - SPJ
Hey! Thanks for reading my blog and watching my videos.
Sign Up For my Email List and get all my content DIRECT to your Inbox. Thanks for your support!