Crazy Tube Circuits wants to take you back to the '80s again with its new Sidekick Jr modulation, delay and reverb combo pedal

Crazy Tube Circuits Sidekick Jr
(Image credit: Crazy Tube Circuits)

Crazy Tube Circuits' 2019 Sidekick pedal was a great idea; eighties aesthetics and tones to take you back to that decade and much more with chorus/flanger, delay and reverb all in one pedal. But in a world where combo to us means compact, it wasn't quite small enough to win our ongoing battle with pedalboard real estate. So imagine our joy at seeing the Greek company's new pedal… 

It's a compact version called the Sidekick Jr! And it's got even more algorithms and DSP power than big bro! 

For guitar, bass and synth, the Sidekick Jr has two footswitches and offers the option to use each of its effects independently, or simultaneously with its combo of analogue mixing, buffering and filtering with digital effects. 

It also offers the choice of true or buffered bypass with reverb tails via an internal switch.  

Crazy Tube Circuits Sidekick Jr

(Image credit: Crazy Tube Circuits)

The modulation algorithms move from the original Sidekick's two to three here are inspired by Boss's '80s benchmark effects – there's an Ensemble one to capture to warm chorus tones and a Dimension algorithm that strongly suggests the influence, alongside a flanger mode too. The delay section is increased from one algorithm to two and combines tape echo options with digital delay inspired by '80s digital rack units. 

The reverb section here is comprehensive – it's doubled from the original Sidekick and provides plate, spring and hall in the pedal's Bank A, and overtly '80s-inspired gated, exciter (a huge hall algorithm with 'almost infinite' reflections and decay, plus an octave up shimmer.  

Scaling down all this into the Sidekick Jr's compact enclosure called for some smart switching design, and jettisoning of the speaker sim DI and headphone output from the larger Sidekick. The delay and reverb sections of Sidekick JR operate independently from each other and the modulation is then assignable to either of these sections. 

Players can also choose to invest in the additional XT footswitch to allow the modulation section to be activated independently and can be switched on/off on its own. 

 The Sidekick Jr is  £249 / €289 GBP and the optional Sidekick JR XT Switch is £42 / €49. More info at Crazy Tube Circuits

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.