akai PRO guitar pedals

Akai is taking a big step into the guitar effects pedal market with the announcement of their Analog Custom Shop line: a collection of 10 pedals that aim for ’boutique’ sound at an affordable price. Building on the success of the E2 Head Rush delay, the Analog Custom Shop pedals feature true-bypass switching and mirror-polished metal chassis at a price range from $100-$200.

The lineup includes some of the usual suspects: Compressor, Chorus, Flanger, Analog Delay, Blues Overdrive, and Phase Shifter. However, Akai has done a bit of tweaking to add extra versatility to the Tri-Mode Overdrive, Deluxe Distortion, Tri-Mode Fuzz, and Tri-Mode Distortion.

The ‘Tri-Mode’ pedals have a three-way switch that allow you choose which distortion circuit to use: flick the switch up for a diode circuit, down for an LED circuit, and the center position will give you a combo of the two. The Deluxe Distortion (pictured below) gives you additional tonal variety with a three-way EQ toggle, in addition to the adjustable frequency knobs, that shapes the input to the distortion circuit. Expect to see all 10 of these all-analog pedals available soon. –Mike Bauer