NAMM 2018: Fender revamps pedal line with 6 new original circuits
Fender has announced the introduction of six new, innovative effect pedals, marking its official entrance into the category with all-original circuits designed by in-house experts – the first of many in a long-term commitment to the category and sonic innovation.
Priced from £87 to £160, the new offerings provide a diverse set of effects – reverb, delay, overdrive, distortion, compression and buffer. From weekend warriors and pro players to guitarists looking for their first stomp box, Fender effect pedals give all types of players a chance to colour their tone on stage and in the studio.
“For over 70 years, players have relied on our guitars and amps to create their own unique sound,” said Andy Mooney, CEO Fender. “Today’s player also views effect pedals as being integral to the creative process. We’re very excited to launch this group of highly innovative pedals, a first step in a long-term commitment to the category.”
Born and designed in Southern California, these new Fender pedals were engineered with insight from professional gigging and studio musicians, artists and some of the industry’s best minds, led by in-house expert Stan Cotey. He’s spent 25 years in professional audio and 12 years engineering Fender tone – building the first-ever Fender signature amp model for Eric Clapton and contributing to the design of many of Fender’s digital and tube guitar amplifiers. Cotey brings a unique perspective from working directly with artists, such as The Edge and Joe Bonamassa–all known as legendary aficionados of guitar tone–making their sonic ideas a reality.
“If you go back to the very early part of Fender’s history, we built working tools for working musicians,” said Stan Cotey, VP of Product Development at Fender. “They were built for function first, and we kept that same spirit in these pedals. A lot of the ideas, for me, came from listening, playing, and seeing how things not only sound, but also feel. You design something, build it, and then start fine-tuning it with a guitar, an amp and feedback from artists and players.”
The resulting stomp boxes are packed with stage-ready features and signature Fender aesthetics, like LED Fender amp jewels. With a sleek, modern exterior crafted from lightweight, durable anodized aluminum, the enclosures are engineered for heavy-duty use, while LED-backlit knobs show control settings at a glance–even on dark stages. Each pedal features an exclusive, patent-applied-for, magnetically-latched 9V battery door, making it quick and easy to change batteries, as well as streamlined labeling for ease of use.
These effect pedals feature all-original circuits, not mere copies or clones of existing designs; they include:
• Pugilist Distortion (£87) features dual gain engines—with independent tone controls for each—letting players select multiple variations of distortion. The Series/Blend switch allows stacking channels for thick, cascading distortion; the Bass Boost switch fattens the tone; and the Blend control mixes the two channels.
• Level Set Buffer (£87) allows players to easily swap guitars without negatively affecting tone. This original design features Level, Hi-Freq and Load controls to adjust the signal, along with a Main Mute footswitch for silent tuning. The tuner output allows the tuner to stay on without interrupting the signal path.
• The Bends Compressor (£96) tames wild volume spikes without altering tone. Drive and Recovery controls let players dial in the perfect amount of compression and extend sustain, while the Blend control mixes the dry signal to maintain natural pick attack. The Amp Jewel LED changes color from white to pink while playing, to show when the signal is being affected by the compressor and for how long.
• Marine Layer Reverb (£110) features multiple reverb types, including classics like Hall and Room, along with modern ones, like Shimmer. Reverb tails continue when the effect is muted, ensuring a smooth and natural decay.
• Mirror Image Delay (£110) is an atmospheric delay effect, helping players create depth with a simple slapback or an epic soundscape with modulated repeats. The pedal offers Digital, Analog, and Tape modes—each with two voicing variations—and an option to add a dotted-eighth note.
• Santa Ana Overdrive (£160) lets players dial in sounds all the way to thick, fully saturated overdrive, using FET technology for Tube-like performance. Flexible tone controls unlock a wide range of sonic flavors and cleans up with the guitar’s volume control.
Fender’s new effect pedals are available from 27 February 2018 at local dealers and on www.Fender.com.The post NAMM 2018: Fender revamps pedal line with 6 new original circuits appeared first on The Guitar Magazine.