Most important/prevalent guitar effect of each decade starting in the 50's-now?


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50's Delay
60's Fuzz
90's Distortion
00's ?
20'sMore Reverb?
Just watched an 80's movie with guitars in the sound track. The "C" effect!


In my headcanon, the 00s = OD. The emo, rock and metal genres were still popular enough to have fans that didn't need metamucil and the players obsessed over 808s to boost their ENGL/Mesa/Peavey amps.

The tan pants crowd were busy starting flame wars over boutique tube$creamer$, dumbles in a box and mystical Klon juice. Grifters would dangle fantastical adjectives, splatter the enclosure with vomit-rainbow camo and have feeding frenzies. It was a magical time. :love:

TP Parter

'50s - Tremolo or reverb, but probably the 2nd. But I do love that tape echo sound and it was all over the place too.
'60s - Wah not a close contender within a country mile. It was on clean tones, it was on overdriven tones, it was on fuzz tones. Rock, pop, country, early funk, though not really in the jazz or blues guys' rigs. They were still pretty purist in that it was usually guitar > cord > amp. If it was too funky or not built into the amp (ala rremolo or reverb), then they mostly didn't use it.
'70s - Is probably wah too if I am being honest, but I am gonna go with phaser. Between psychedelia, outlaw country, funk, and disco there is a strong case for either effect. Univibe and phaser were incredibly popular, but so were wah and auto-wah, or parametric filters used for cocked wah tones. By now even some of your jazz and blues guys are using wahs.
'80s - This is where delays and flangers really blew up imo, just like the dudes hair. Lol, men with perms and lipstick pretending to be bad assess. That **** was funny af. :hide
'90s - All of them, but really I think crazy pairings of filters, fuzz, and very abrasive gain devices for extreme textural differences in not just guitar tones, but vocals, and other instruments including many non-traditional items used as instruments in comparison to the previous few decades. Thank all the industrial guys for that; NIN, Ministry, Skinny Puppy, My Life with the Thrill Kill Cult, Pigface, etc... Even if you weren't into that stuff, the things they were doing filtered out through the other scenes pretty quickly.
'00s - Hello auto tune.
'10s - Damn, that auto tune is really getting around.
'20s - Holy crap, are they all robot singers now?

And yes, I didn't really consider fuzz, distortions, or overdrives in this, and chose to stick with time, frequency, or amplitude based fx.
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'50s - tremolo was king, with slap back echo not too far behind - doo wop stuff, country, western, blues, everywhere
'60s - wah was huge, with fuzz a distant contender
'70s - phaser - rock songs, pop songs, easy listening, disco; all over guitars, keyboards and even percussion
'80s - chorus
'90s - fuzz and overdrives - from the grunge era through the explosion of boutique ODs and all the SRV wannabes
'00s - delay blew up with the release of the DL4 in 1999 and everybody raced for the crazy, multi-function delays slathered on everything
'10s - reverb


Silver Supporting Member
'50s - spring reverb. There were a few amps with tremolo but no reverb, but for the most part, amps tended to get verb before trem.
'60s - Fuzz. It was everywhere, Maestro and Fuzzite and Fuzzface -- wah pedals didn't become big until the decade was almost over.
'70s - wah, phaser, BBD chips spawned the electric-mistress-flanger and memory-man-delays
'80s - Huge racks... with plenty of chorus.
'90s - Meh. more racks and cheap plastic pedals.
'00s - Birth of the boutique as mainstream offerings
'10s - Digital comes of age.
'20s - Digital, digital and nothing but the digital. :)

regards, Jack

demos in the dark

Silver Supporting Member
when i'm talking to someone about pedals who doesn't play guitar, they almost always ask, "is that like the thing that goes 'wah wah'?" it is easily the most recognizable fx pedal.

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