Video: Exploring the Sounds of 5 European Boutique Pedals

Here at Reverb, we’re constantly introduced to exciting companies and builders from all corners of the world making lots of unique and interesting music gear. To highlight a few excellent builders you may not be familiar with, Jake Hawrylak is in the studio today with five boutique pedals from five different European builders.

First up is a deceptively simple fuzz pedal from the Netherlands. Effesk's The Overload Unit is a two-knob fuzz, with a large EQ dial that allows you to choose between extreme lows, highs, and anywhere in between. Made-to-order and built into up-cycled vintage transformer chassis, each pedal is unique.

German company °red sun fx's Mammut Muff, is modeled after the beloved Green Russian Muff, but brings a few updates to the circuit for modern functionality—including a blend knob that lets you choose the balance of your dry and effected signal.

Two of the stompboxes featured in the video above come from France, with the first being a bass fuzz/boost from a company called L'Atelier Kraken. Kraken's Lilith Bass Fuzz/Boost has boost, gain, tone, and separate dry and wet knobs for a wide range of tones.

The second pedal from France is Heptode's Virtuoso Phase Shifter. The Virtuoso is a boutique recreation of the famed Maestro PS-1A, which was popularized in the 1970s by players like Steve Howe of Yes, John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, and Ernie Isley of The Isley Brothers.

Lastly, Jake checks out the Italy-based OPFXS' V-Zero Mono Guitar Synth. It's a dual-oscillator mono synth, with one oscillator offering sine, saw, square, and triangle waves, while the second offers pink noise, saw, pulse-wave modulation, and triangle. It also features low-pass, amplitude, and frequency modulators. With an abundance of rich tonal possibilities, a remote is also available for the pedal that will help you control its many functions.

Be sure to check out the full video above for a closer look at what each of their European pedals can do, and let us know which is your favorite in the comments below.

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