10. Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork
After receiving over 50,000 votes across 11 categories, this year's Total Guitar readers' polls were fiercely competitive. Now, the results have been tallied, and we're ready to announce what you voted the finest gear and guitarists of 2015.
From budget to boutique, some phenomenal stompboxes have landed at our feet this year, and these are the 10 that made the cut, starting with…
Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork
Pitch shifting has come a long way. Back in the 80s, if you wanted quality octaves or harmonisation, you were looking at investing in a bulky - and costly - rack unit, not to mention whiling away a day or two studying its accompanying manual.
But with the advent of the DigiTech Whammy in the 90s, the easy-to-use pedal floodgates were blown wide open, eventually culminating in polyphonic shifting, courtesy of Electro-Harmonix's POG. Now, EHX has set out to cram all its pitch-shifting knowhow into one Nano-enclosured dreambox.
"EHX has knocked it out of the park with the Pitch Fork: the tonal potential from such a tiny box is damn near overwhelming."
FULL REVIEW: Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork review
9. Moog MF Chorus
It had its time in the neon glow of the 80s sun, but chorus is rarely found at the top of guitarists' wishlists these days. If anyone can revive its fortunes, however, it's Moog, which has added an all-analogue, bucket brigade chip-based chorus to its ever-so-sexy Minifooger range.
As it's Moog, there's more to it than just chorus, mind: there are time and feedback controls for extra resonance, while a three-way mix toggle flips between lighter and deeper chorus sounds, as well as a fully wet vibrato.
"Gives traditional chorus effects a firm kick in the posterior."
FULL REVIEW: Moog MF Chorus review
8. TC Electronic Helix Phaser
The TonePrint line has long been missing a couple of crucial mod effects from its roster, but this year, TC has set out to right this wrong with the Helix Phaser, which packs in analogue dry-through, stereo inputs and outputs, plus, of course, TonePrints themselves.
Unlike many multi-mode phasers, it doesn't sound digital, with midrange peaks in all the right places - up the depth and feedback control and it'll drive your amp hard.
"The Helix sets our faces to stunned. Mini next, please, TC!"
FULL REVIEW: TC Electronic Helix Phaser review
7. Electro-Harmonix Nano POG
Starting as a giant metal cuboid back in 2005, the POG's flawless polyphonic tracking and ease of use made it an instant hit with the likes of Jack White and Joe Satriani.
Now in its most compact incarnation yet, the Nano POG continues to handle like a champ, with infallible tracking and some of the most natural octaves you'll get out of a pedal-based pitch-shifter.
"The Nano represents another successful step forward for the POG."
FULL REVIEW: Electro-Harmonix Nano POG review
6. TC Electronic Viscous Vibe
TC takes its inspiration from the past with the Viscous Vibe, which is designed to deliver distinctive Uni-Vibe tones.
It might have a sound that were originally minted in the late 60s, but this new pedal is decidedly 2015, with the modern accoutrements of true bypass, analogue dry through signal, choice of stereo or mono operation and, of course, TC's TonePrint facility.
"Vintage sounds in a practical package with plenty of potential for sonic creativity."
FULL REVIEW: TC Electronic Viscous Vibe review
5. Fractal Audio FX8
Regular readers will be aware of Fractal Audio's Axe-FX range: high-end gear endorsed by numerous well-known names and offering modelled amps and effects in a rackmount unit that can be coupled to a floor controller.
The company became aware that many players have their own favourite amps, so while they don't need the amp sims, they may be interested in the effects – and this was the concept behind the new FX8: taking just the effects from the Axe-FX II and putting them into a floor unit that has a basic working format of a pedalboard with eight simultaneous, instantly available effects blocks, each home to an effect of your choice.
"There are no compromises here: this is the most comprehensive and best-sounding all-in-one effects processor you can currently buy today."
FULL REVIEW: Fractal Audio FX8 review
4. Joyo JF-314 Husky Drive
The Obsessive Compulsive Drive is the basis for a wealth of pedals, and the Husky Drive - an addition to the IronMan range from China's Joyo - is no different.
It's a much-imitated design for a reason, and Joyo's IronMan apes the sound with a sweet, fat amp-like drive that covers all styles of rock and blues, while the high/ low peak switch offers aggressive clipping and softer drives respectively.
"Good with single coils, but works OCD-style wonders with a humbucker-equipped guitar."
FULL REVIEW: Joyo JF-314 Husky Drive review
3. Boss DD-500 Digital Delay
Back in 1983, Boss was the first company to cram the miracle of digital delay into a stompbox with the DD-2, making pristine repeats and longer delay times available to all.
Fast-forward to the early 2000s, and – kickstarted by Line 6's DL4 – delay pedals entered a new stage of evolution with presets and multiple models, and Boss's twin-footswitched DD-20 followed suit. Now, the company's latest flagship echo is in competition with the high-end Strymons and Eventides of the delay world. The solution? Push the DD format to its limits.
"A worthy successor to the Boss digital delay throne."
FULL REVIEW: Boss DD-500 Digital Delay review
2. Dunlop Cry Baby Mini Wah CBM95
It had to happen eventually: hot off the back of its Mini Fuzz Faces, Dunlop has chopped the Cry Baby in half, but without sacrificing spec.
As well as true bypass switching, a smooth-riding Hot Potz potentiometer and red Fasel inductor, the Mini also packs an internal three-way switch, which chooses between low, vintage and GCB95 voicings. Finally, it's powered by either a nine-volt battery or power supply.
"The Mini's compact size does nothing to diminish the Cry Baby legacy, thanks to top-class sounds and functionality."
FULL REVIEW: Dunlop Cry Baby Mini Wah CBM95 review
1. Ibanez Tube Screamer Mini
The belle of 2015's NAMM ball, the adorable TS Mini is made in Japan and packs the TS808's coveted JRC4558D IC chip: good start.
You know what to expect from a TS, and the Mini will get your mids humping and your single coils beefing up with the best of 'em. It's not the smoothest Screamer we've heard, but it is faithful to the 80s incarnation in that it compresses up a treat and cuts the low-end a little.
"Retains the classic Tube Screamer flavour in a cute compact package. What's not to like?"
FULL REVIEW: Ibanez Tube Screamer Mini review