The Best Effects Pedals 2023 is a list of the top effects pedals. These are the top five new stompboxes released up until now. And so far this year has been a good one for new effects. Be sure to read our Best Guitar Amps 2023 and Best Guitars 2023 as well.
First on this list is the new Boss DM-101, mainly because it offers a classic analogue delay and pairs it with modern-day digital control.
Could this pedal be the ultimate analogue delay effect realised with advanced BOSS technology? Probably.
It offers eight BBD chips for analogue delays, paired with a CPU that controls it and allows a total of 12 delay modes.
These 12 modes are Classic, Vintage, Modern, Multihead, Nonlinear, Ambience, Reflect, Doubling+ Delay, Wide, Dual Mod, Pan, and Pattern.
It has controls for Mod Rate, Mod Depth, Variation, Delay Time, Intensity, and Delay Volume.
Also having digital control allows for 127 user presets, plus tap tempo. Useful things a standard analogue delay would not have.
It also has handy MIDI control via mini-TRS connections on the rear of the pedal. These can then be used for external footswitches and there is also an expression pedal input for further control.
Perfect for anyone who wants that warm analogue sound, but also needs to integrate into a modern-day pedalboard setup.
Plus, it is a stereo delay, so perfect for more complex setups.
Next up is the Cornerstone Colosseum a dual-drive pedal that offers both Blues Breaker and Klon-style overdrive circuits.
The fact that it was also voted into existence by its user community makes this one worth mentioning.
It would seem that this is the perfect combination of overdrive circuits that guitarists are looking for in 2023.
Both sides of the overdrive have also been tweaked, to make them as versatile as possible and it has four jack connectors on the rear. Allowing this overdrive pedal to fit into just about any rig.
On the BB side, there are no clipping diodes: forget about the common “issues” that affect a classic BB, such as low volume and dark tone. Removing the clipping diodes will solve them
The Klon has built quite a reputation around two “mythical” 1N34A Germanium diodes. Cornerstone measures each one of them and picks the ones with the correct value of forward voltage.
With the addition of a pair of hand-selected silicon diodes as well, this Klon clone is a lot more flexible.
A blend feature then allows for a wide range of tonal options, as it has two sets of diodes to blend between.
It could very well be the only overdrive pedal you need to buy.
WARM Audio Mutation Phasor II
The WARM Audio Mutation Phasor II offers the vintage phaser effect, without the vintage price tag that now goes with original Mutron ’70s phasers.
It is an accurate recreation of one of the most desirable,100% analogue phaser circuits made famous in the experimental era of the 1970s.
If you need vintage phasing and modern reliability, then it offers both of these at a very reasonable price point.
Does it sound exactly like an old Mutron?
This electro-optical phase-shifting pedal is built with a true-to-spec recreation of the 70s circuit using premium components.
Well, maybe it is not a perfect clone. But it gets close enough for most musicians and even originals vary a lot in their sound, as many owners of vintage pedals have experienced.
Therefore, in 2023 this ’70s style optical phaser is definitely one to be checking out.
EHX Pico POG
The new Electro-Harmonix Pico POG is part of their new range of mini NYC DSP Pico-sized stompboxes and this effect offers a lot of power in a small pedal format.
It is EHX’s smallest and most powerful compact Polyphonic Octave Generator yet.
Polyphonic Octave Generator
The Pico POG can go from rumbling basses to faux 12-string tones, and will also do otherworldly noises if required, so it is well worth checking out.
Dial in Sub Octave to add stumble rumble or monstrous thunder. Add Octave Up for ethereal air or max it out to shred into another galaxy. Perfectly blend 3-voice tones for fat synthy madness.
Fender Kevin Shields Blender
For our final pick, we chose the Fender Kevin Shields Blender fuzz pedal because it makes an almighty racket and sometimes, that is exactly what is required.
Not everyone is looking for ‘transparent boutique overdrive tones’ so sometimes a filthy octave fuzz is required.
At its core, the Fender Shields Blender echoes the tone of Shields’ own vintage 1970s Fender Blender, thanks to carefully hand tracing the circuit from his personal fuzz box.
My Bloody Valentine
This octave fuzz is perfect for experimentation and has a vast array of controls that can be tweaked on the fly. Ideal for anyone influenced by bands like Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, and My Bloody Valentine.
This one will always divide opinions and it sure isn’t for every musician, but it is certainly very good at being filthy.
Love it, or hate it this pedal has had a lot of press coverage this year and has many fans already.
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