Video: Diving Into Japan's Pedal Market with ZenZero Electronics, Bananana Effects, and 320design

As we all know, the pedal-building market has exploded over the past couple of years, with brands sprouting up all over the world with unique, inventive circuits that you can't quit get anywhere else. While you may be familiar with the bustling growth of the scene in the United States, today, we're looking at three pedal companies out of Japan that are making their mark on the industry.

In the video above, Andy starts by checking out the FuzU from ZenZero Electronics, a Tokyo-based pedal company featuring a line of pedals hand-built by an Italian pedal designer. Combining two famous Muffs from different eras, the FuzU is packed with famous features from the line, like the tilt EQ, as well a mids control for fine-tuning your fuzzy tones. Hand-selected MOSFET stages give the circuit an even wider range of tweakability, allowing players to dial in anything from low-gain mid-boost to super-scooped sludge.

Next, Andy is taking a look at a stompbox from another Tokyo-based company, Bananana Effects, called the Abracadabra Reverb.

ZenZero Electronics FuzU
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Bananana Effects Abracadabra Reverb
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The Abracadabra is a multi-reverb unit with eight selectable modes covering everything from reverbs with octaves, 5ths, and modulation to white noise reverbs and even glitchy delays. The modes are selectable via the "Mode" knob, and the multi-color LED changes color for a quick visual cue, which is great for the stage. The circuit is fittingly housed in a striking bright yellow and pedalboard-friendly chassis.

The last company Andy is taking a look at is called 320design and is based in Chiyoda-ku. The brand currently has three super unique effects pedals on offer, all packed into 320design's trademark tallbox enclosures, and we're giving you a peek of all three.

The first is called the Sunakake, which is both a gritty and saturated overdrive as well as a powerful booster. Four controls line the edge of the pedal and allow users to dial in volume, bass, tone, and gain, and 320design encourages bassists to give the effect a shot on their boards as well.

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Brown Feather
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The next two 320design pedals Andy checks out, the Landmighty and the Brown Feather, are both distortion boxes. The former iterates on the classic TS design with additions like character and clipping knobs for low/mid sculpting and for variable blend between clipping diodes and a dynamic thru mode. The latter, the Brown Feather, promises amp-like distortion thanks to its OPA-2134 op-amp, paired with its shapeable wide and narrow tone controls. As Andy demonstrates, it's a great pedal for tight metal tone, with plenty of bottom end and a glassy midrange.

Be sure to check out the full video above to see Andy highlight some of the coolest features of these Japanese stompboxes, and click any of the link above to get your own right here on Reverb.

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