If you’re looking for info on stompboxes,
check out effectsdatabase.com. This free,
non-commercial site contains a wealth of
In my previous column [“Raising the Bar
of Wah Design,” May 2012], I quoted
some statistics about the vast amount of
effect brands that are currently on the market.
While the numbers I listed have likely
changed since then, it’s worth noting that
someone is actually out there compiling this
type of data, not to mention a ton of other
useful and interesting factoids pertaining
to—and only to—guitar effect pedals and
the people who build them.
This oracle of all things stomp is effectsdatabase.com (formerly known as Discofreq).
Created by Bart Provoost, FXDB started 10
years ago as a website about envelope filters,
and since filter boxes are one of my obsessions,
it was inevitable that I ran across the
site and bookmarked it for future reference.
Since then FXDB has grown into the go-to
source for info on pedals, be they vintage or
in current production. There are more effect
pedals listed on FXDB than any other place
that I can think of, and the listings cover
many extremely obscure brands and models
that most people don’t even know about.
Yet the best (or worst?) thing about
FXDB is that Provoost helps you find the
effects you’re looking for and buy them.
When searching for that hard-to-find vintage
pedal or even the low-profile custom builder,
FXDB is a great place to narrow your search
and zero in on the pedal of your desire (more
on how this actually works in a moment).
I recently spoke with Provoost and asked
him to list a few of the things that set FXDB
apart from other pedal-related websites.
Here’s what he had to say about some of the
site’s unique features and his future plans to
make it even more useful and informative:
• Complete pedal database: No other site
lists this many different pedals—more
than 17,000 already! There are quite a
lot of pedals you can only find here. The
drawback is that I need to add more info
about a lot of them, but I’m working on
that (and all input is very welcome).
• New builders: I’m always searching for
pedals that are not on the site yet, and
for new builders that are big enough or
serious enough to be added. I’ve discovered
quite a lot of interesting brands and
really helped some of them get noticed.
That’s important to me—I really like
how small companies (sometimes only one
person) can be big in this industry that
also includes a lot of huge multinationals.
• Interviews: I’m doing a big interview
project focusing on effect manufacturers.
I’ve conducted almost 300 interviews,
and I post one interview a day.
• Relationships between pedals: I try to
make associations between pedals (“based
on,” “clone of ”) to help visitors learn the
background of each model.
• Links to brands: Where possible, I add
links to the site and all the social profiles
of the brands.
• Audio/video: About a year ago, I started
adding audio and video from a lot of
different sources, and I add links to
new demos every day.
• Useful ads: Where other sites buy plugins
or use scripts by eBay, Amazon, and
other vendors, I made my own system
to search for pedals on eBay (and that’s
worldwide—if you try a normal search
on eBay, it still doesn’t show all auctions)
and use my own “logic” to rank these
auctions. I may also add classifieds to the
results, but some people are against that
because it would lessen the chances for
scoring good deals, so I’m still not sure
about doing this. When possible, I include
related auctions in the right column and
there’s a link to pages with many more
results. I’ve received messages thanking me
for that column because buyers got a good
deal or found something they were looking
for. I don’t think a lot of other sites get
thanked for ads! [Author’s note: Beware
of this feature, as it can put a serious dent
in your PayPal balance. Many times I’ve
been looking for one pedal and found
something completely different but equally
desirable in this right-hand column—
something I simply had to acquire!]
• Referrals: I also link to brands’ Etsy and
BigCartel web shops and link to the
relevant products there from the respective
pages on FXDB. This takes some
time to do and I don’t earn any referral
fees—I simply like the idea of buying
directly from the builders.
• Clever search features: Recently I added
some new categories (under effectsdatabase.
com/special) for people who just
want to look around without searching
for anything specific: Classics, Eye Candy,
Funny, Vaporware, etc. I still have to add
more pedals to these categories.
• Future growth: I have many more ideas
for features and want to add much more
media (including demos from my own
pedal collection and vintage documentation
from my archives), but it all takes time
to do that on my own and in my spare
time (I have a full-time job and family,
as well). There will be a great new feature
in a few months, which I’m working on
now, and I think folks will appreciate it.
Whether you’re looking for info on a
rare or vintage effect or hoping to actually
add one to your collection, I highly recommend
effectsdatabase.com for its informative,
voluminous content and clever, useful
search features. Few people have shown
such dedication and affection for effect pedals
as Bart Provoost. Let’s help him make
FXDB a household name amongst pedal
is the president
and founder of Godlyke, the U.S.
distributor for many well-known
boutique effect brands, including
Maxon, Guyatone, EMMA, and