knobs

The featured-packed new delay from Kansas City builder Junior Thomason sounds heavenly, but can be a beast to navigate.

Many beautiful delay tones. Nice, subtle modulation. Double-delay algorithms sound incredible. Big-box functionality in a small footprint.

No delay time knob. Requires a lot of time to memorize its color-coded operations. Difficult to quickly navigate settings on the fly without a MIDI controller.

$299

JET Pedals Eternity
jetpedals.com

4.5
3.5
2.5
4

Maximalist pedal engineering—the kind that finds dozens of functions crammed into small enclosures—isn’t for everyone. The impressive capabilities of these units test conventional thinking about how much tone shaping power you can fit in a single compact housing. But such pedals can also test your patience if you’re the plug-in-and-go type.The JET Pedals Eternity Delay is likely built with patient tinkerers in mind. It's rich with fascinating delay sounds, but to unlock its ample power, you’ll have to keep your wits and do your work with the manual up front.

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Our columnist’s tongue-in-cheek sketch of a “generic” effects pedal.

Pedal enthusiasts’ preferences when it comes to stompbox controls range from simple and easy to use to complex and highly customizable, and manufacturers just can’t please ’em all.

Stompboxes have been a part of musicians’ musical journeys for over 50 years. They’ve been packaged up in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. They’ve also featured a large array of different effects types, and allowed us to manipulate them with various control parameters. It’s these control parameters that are the focus of this article. Recently, I’ve been thinking, “How many knobs are too many, and how few knobs are too few?”

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EHX expands on the evil architecture of the Boss HM-2.

Excellent high-gain sounds. Much more versatile than you might expect. Flexible control set.

Extra controls can make some fundamental tones harder to find.

$176.66

Electro-Harmonix Hell Melter
ehx.com

5
4.5
4
4.5

The manual for Electro-Harmonix’s Hell Melter proclaims that “a good starting point is to turn all knobs … to their maximum positions and play the heaviest riff you’ve got.” That bit of instruction, and the pedal’s semi-satanic $176.66 price tag, should give you a hint about what the Hell Melter is designed to do. But underneath all that underworld-oriented swagger is a pedal that—like the Boss HM-2 that inspired it—covers more sonic ground than you’d expect.

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