I can't stand the wah. There. The cat's out of the bag.
But even with my distaste for the wah now out there, I would still argue that the wah isn't the most popular pedal in the world.
I think the most popular pedal in the world is the Tube Screamer. The TS circuit has been on a slew of recordings by just about every genre of band out there and it has been loved so much that it's tough to find popular pedal companies that don't offer an answer to the mean green machine that is the original TS.
And, funny enough, the TS isn't just varied in tone stock, but almost every company that offers the TS, does so with the emphasis that theirs is better than the original in some way, shape or form. Whole companies have been built on the idea that people could send in their TS and have it modified to be better. Just a pinch of secret sauce and viola! A whole new pedal and now you're better than the guitarists around you - at least as far as gear goes.
Generally, these companies offer you some standard modifications or sell you pedals already modified to what the builder thinks sounds best (or the kind of tone that they would like to be associated with).
That's fine. I mean, who has really done it differently than that in the past?
No one that I can think of. No one except God Box FX who just came out with their TS circuit called the C Drive.
So what makes the C Drive different than every other TS pedal out there?
You know, modifications are a funny thing. All sorts of companies offer all sorts of modifications on their clones of popular pedals and you just have to navigate the maze of stomp boxes hoping to see the magic combination of terms that seem to speak to you and only then will you be happy plopping down your hard-earned cash. You do the research because you Won't Get Fooled Again (sorry - had to) by buying a pedal solely on the buzz surrounding it.
So while you're navigating the insane amount of offerings, companies are less than forthcoming with exactly what makes their pedals so special. There's a whole lot of fancy words that are used to describe sounds that ultimately fall flat and the technical specs are generally held away from prying eyes. if you don't know what makes the pedal sound like it does, then how are you going to find the one pedal that sounds the way that it SHOULD for YOUR ears?
God Box FX have thought about that. They were already a strange company for posting color progress shots of builds on their Facebook page and have never been scared of someone going out and trying to clone THEIR stuff, but they took it to another level with the C Drive.
For one thing, they lay out exactly what makes the TS circuit tick and how they've changed some minor things here and there to make a better pedal. Then they made lists of all the more popular parts used in the TS - not just by big companies, but also by more niche-minded ones - and explain what each part does and how it effects the overall end sound.
THEN they let you pick the parts like it's some sort of cafeteria line where you just grab your tray and move down the line grabbing this item from this section, that item from that section, and so on until you reach the cashier with your meal that was made for you. Not entirely custom (because there are SOME limits), but custom enough that when you sit down to eat it, you'll be eating happy.
Side note: please do not try to eat your C Drive.
That's what God Box is doing. They put together a very informative page that you can check out that tells you all about the circuit and parts and then you can order your very own almost-entirely-custom C Drive that is built just for you and the best part is that for now (only for a month), they're only $149.99.
How awesome is that? For less than it would cost to buy a modded TS circuit from another builder that was made without YOU in mind, you can get one that was basically designed by you and made just for you. A one-in-a-million kind of pedal. Actually, it's a one-in-two hundred and forty kind of pedal, but that's before you add the mod toggle switch and any sort of really crazy ideas you want to throw at Carl. 240 might not be the most accurate number, but I didn't become a guitarist because I was good at math. I do know that if you take the eight major fields and draw a line, you'll end up with 240 possible lines BEFORE you get into the crazy things you can customize the pedal with and that's where the math spins out of control and I'm left sitting here with steam of frustration leaking out of my head.
The TS circuit is legendary and is more prevalent than a lot of people think, but just because it's prevalent doesn't mean it's perfect for you - but it does mean that it would probably be a great base to build on. So check out the links above, read up, concoct your dream pedal, and order yourself a C Drive from God Box. I did and I can't wait to get it!