There's good reason why the stompboxes that came out of Japan in the '70s and '80s are so widely imitated and revered. From the Boss DM-2 and CE-1 to the Ibanez AD9, these were the sound of a generation that boldly explored new analog and digital sonic territory while refining the rough effects of the '60s.


Some of us recognize these often beat up units from our youth, realizing now that their standardized casings created a template for decades of future pedals. Some us look at these workhorses as hip relics from the days when people didn't pay hundreds of dollars for a hand-painted boutique pedal, the days when there weren't many boutique pedals at all, the days when these were all we had. Not that we were complaining... they sounded great.