The Fulltone Plimsoul is an extremely versatile distortion pedal in a surprisingly small enclosure. Its fancily named controls allow a mixture of smooth overdrive and heavier distortion with extremes available at either end. The lighter distortion is controlled by the sustain knob, and the heavy distortion can be mixed in using the miniature stage 2 knob, which is rotated a little off center by design. The enclosure is compact, durable, and attractive.
The MXR Dyna Comp has been immensely popular with guitarists since the 70s, and it’s still widely-regarded as one of the best, affordable compressors on the market today. The pedal promises a percussive, clicky clean sound and a smooth sustain when it comes to lead playing, and most players rate it pretty highly, especially for its reasonable price. However, there’s plenty more competition for the M102 Dyna Comp than there was back in the 70s, so does it still deserve its reputation, or could you do better for your money?
The Fulltone Full-Drive 2 MOSFET is an amazingly versatile overdrive and boost pedal. It is housed in a double-wide enclosure, but easily sports enough features to justify its use of real estate. At its core, it is a beautiful Tube Screamer style distortion circuit with more extra features built on top of it than you can shake a stick at.
John Fromel is a hometown hero for Seattle pedalheads. From his workshop in North Seattle he produces a line of high end stompboxes that feature beautiful and unique acid etched housings. The Fromel Electronics Velvet Vice is a unique compressor. John describes it as a compressor for people who hate compression. The Velvet Vice is designed to provide subtle, transparent compression and little else. Unlike most three knob compressors, it features a release control in place of an attack control.
If maturity is the pursuit of simplicity, this pedal is only for the most mature of guitarists. This is a real plug-and-play unit with only three knobs: a regen (regeneration), mix, and delay–and a mod button. Don’t let that fool you though. There is a wide variety of delay sounds that you can get out of this pedal. Really, it’s just pure, warm, unfettered analog delay. With different settings, you can get a nice slap-back Johnny Cash/Elvis sound or you can go to the other side of the delay spectrum and sound like U2’s The Edge.