Chopper honored to be chosen among Top 50 Pedals of all time 3 years in a row!

Yes, for the third year in a row, the Gig-FX Chopper pedal has been honored to be among the best in this year’s  GuitarWorld Top 50 Pedals list:  Mass Effect: The Top 50

Find out why … try one out for yourself!  Xmas is coming, don’t you deserve the best??


GuitarWorld Award for Chopper

What an honor! Our unique and versatile Chopper pedal was voted one of the Top Fifty Stompboxes of ALL TIME in GuitarWorld’s July 2011 issue.  Here’s what they had to say:

GuitarWorld Magazine - 50 Greatest pedals

Thank You!!

New Delay Pedal

Stereo, Foot Controlled Delay Pedal

Thank you for all the submissions to Help Name Our New Pedal, both here on our Blog and by e-mail. There are some great suggestions to consider! No further submissions will be accepted.
We are now going to gather and sift through all the names, and the Gig-FX team will vote. We will announce the winning name on Feb 29th. All who participated will be entered into our drawing; winner will be announced online and will be notified by e-mail.

Help name our new pedal!!

Here is the press release and photo of our NEW foot-controlled, variable speed, amazing Delay Pedal.  Sound samples will be available after the NAMM show.

We don’t think the name Pan-Ec does this pedal justice – it is a dreamy, mesmerizing, soaring effect; like being in a cavern or a cathedral or something. Pan-Ec sounds like the opposite of this feeling … any suggestions? We used up all our creative juices developing this pedal, we need your help!!

The best suggestions will be selected for voting, and anyone contributing will be entered to win a Buzz-Off Quiet Cable; and anyone submitting a winning suggestion will get a Delay pedal.

Here is the Press Release and photo of the beta model of this pedal.

How Does True Bypass Measure Up?

True Bypass

True Bypass Study Results

Our tests confirm what many people have already figured out—that True Bypass typically degrades, rather than preserves, the tone of a guitar signal. Furthermore, using a gig-fx pedal at the beginning of the chain will actually improve the overall response.

The reference trace (using short jumpers instead of cables) shows the frequency characteristics of
the guitar going directly into a guitar amp. As seen here, a guitar pickup’s high frequency roll-off
typically starts between 2KHz and 3KHz. Inserting a typical good quality cable is seen to
reduce the guitar’s bandwidth by almost 1/3, and combining two cables using a True Bypass
reduces it by almost 1/2! This will kill many of the harmonics and could make a guitar sound dull.
Generally, one can correct for the first cable (effect input) by adjusting tone controls or EQ, but
switching the second cable in and out with True Bypass makes compensation impossible – or at least
highly impractical.

What about buffered bypass

A buffered bypass placed between the two long cables (Trace 6) completely negates the effect
of the second cable. Moreover, Fig.8 shows that a well designed buffer can actually improve the
response of the effect input cable; one sees (Trace 4) that the high frequency harmonics are better
preserved. Also note that if the buffer is placed first in the effects chain (Trace 6), any True Bypass
effects that follow will not significantly degrade the bypass signal.

True, purists will say that electronic buffers can degrade S/N ratio, add distortion, and introduce
loss, especially with several effects in series. Nevertheless, these problems are minimized by well
designed, high quality buffer circuits. Of course, some will be better than others.

Those who still want to use True-Bypassed effects should consider a buffered effect or low gain
preamp at the beginning of the effects chain. In this way, the guitar pickup will always see the same
load impedance, and the long cable between the pedal board and the amp will have little effect on
the signal. Otherwise, plan to spend a fortune on premium quality cables and limit cable length
wherever you can.

It has to be said that in the early days, ‘Vintage’ players without buffered bypass still sounded great
with noisy setups and lossy cables. Good, pleasing tone is created by a combination of several
factors, rarely from a perfectly flat frequency response curve. It is the peaks, valleys, and roll off of
the curve that produce a distinctive sound. Buffered bypass alone is not the answer, but it will
preserve the original harmonics and frequency response of your guitar pickups better than a True
Bypass will.

The conclusion

Choose your effects for the sounds they provide and enjoy, with a clear
conscience, the fact that a good buffered bypass will actually help your tone. In the end,
common sense must prevail. Try not to put a dozen buffered effects in a row, but do not limit
yourself to only true bypass effects either. For the best results, put a good buffered effect at the
beginning of the chain, and mix it up after that to suit your taste.

Please feel free to check out the full report if you’re interested in more information.

Ringo Starr Tour 2010

Out of the blue I got a call from the keyboard tech for Ringo Starr Tour 2010. It was Ringo’s 70th birthday coming up and a big surprise was planned for Ringo at Madison Square Garden where Paul was going to show up and sing happy birthday.

Edgar Winter wanted to have a wah pedal he could use on his keyboards for that song. So of course I offered to hand-deliver a MegaWah and meet Edgar, Ringo and the All Starr Band and watch their Boston gig. A fun night!

Winter NAMM Preview

Yes -- that is Bootsy Collins with his new SUB-WAH pedal!

Our NAMM booth in 2010 was at the back of Hall E which is as far away as you can get from the action when we got word Bootsy Collins was coming over. When the funkiest guy in the universe, who provided the bass for James Brown, walks across acres of exhibition floor fighting through all the fans just to say hello to us, we were truly honored. He said he loves the SUB-WAH because it is the funkiest wah out there, bar none.

I was honored to recently meet Adam Jones at one of Tool's gigs in NY, where this pic was taken back stage. What a nice guy.

At our very first NAMM show we had only one pedal on display! Our very first pedal was the CHOPPER — one pedal in a show full of the titans of the industry! We were unsure how people would react to the pedal and this was our test. Then Joe Baressi, a well renowned record producer (Skunk Anansie, Weezer etc) walked by. He had been working with Tool, and bought six pedals on the spot and gave them as belated Christmas presents to all the members of Tool and a few other musicians.

Mark Tremonti of Creed plays our pedals at NAMM

He later told us that Tool had a “Chopper fest” with chops going down on vocals, guitar, saxophone and I think he said drums but I am not sure. One day he called us to say that Tool had used the CHOPPER all over 10,000 days — we were thrilled with that!

If you can imagine how much attention a Creed star like Mark gets at a show like NAMM, then maybe it makes it more impressive that he actually takes the time to stop and try out the pedals despite all the fuss around him. Since then Mark has used our pedals a lot. I delivered a few more to him when Alterbridge came to town in Boston.

Buddy Miles passed by our booth and heard me demoing the pedals using a Strat and doing some Hendrix licks. I had previously played with Buddy in Boston at a gig called Harpers Ferry in Boston, but I am not sure he remembered that. He invited me to jam with him and Vernon Reid and Andrew Gouche on the John Lennon Stage at NAMM. We did all along the Watchtower and a few other favorites. Sadly Buddy passed away soon after this gig, and it must have been one of his last public appearances, if not the last. I am honored to have played with some of rock’s greats and my heroes from my teenage years and Buddy is one of them.

On stage with Buddy Miles at NAMM