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Keeley Electronics or Keeley Pedals are a premier builder of quality guitar effects. They are widely known for an impressive lineup of Boost, Compression, Overdrive, Modulation and Delay pedals for almost any sound or style.
In 1996 Robert Keeley performed his first amp modification on his old 70's Peavey Deuce amplifier, and shortly after he began creating his own effects pedals for personal use.
After a lifelong love of both electrical engineering and music, Robert then went on to form his own company, Keeley Electronics, and has been producing some of the most sought-after effects pedals in the world ever since!
Each and every pedal from Keeley Electronics is made by hand, and the variety they have to offer is simply stunning.
Whether you're after something straightforward, such as a simple Boost, Drive or Compressor pedal, or even one of Keeley's world-renowned multi-pedals (such as the incredible Dark Side Workstation, which brings together a 70's style Op-Amp fuzz, with both Tape Delay and Modulation) you know that you're investing in something special.
Keeley endorse and are frequently used by some of the world's most renowned guitarists, including Larry LaLonde, John Mayer and Ariel Posen.
We are proud to announce that Professional Music Technology is now an authorised dealer of Keeley Pedals, adding to our ever-growing catalogue of boutique effects pedals. Since 2001, Robert Keeley and his team over at Keeley pedals have been creating some of the coolest guitar pedals you’re likely to ever hear. With his roots in electrical engineering, starting out modding amps and pedals for musical legends, Robert Keeley is a man who has made his reputation on building high quality guitar pedals that really bring out the best tone possible. Don’t like the sound of your distortion pedal? Chances are there’s a Keeley Pedal that’ll get the sound you want!
With the likes of Dweezil Zappa, Daniel Donato, Jared James Nichols, Nancy Wilson (Heart), John Petrucci and Devin Townsend to name just a few of the artists on their roster who proudly endorse their pedals, you know you’re in good company! As the range is landing at PMT, we thought we’d take a closer look at our favourite Keeley pedals to give you an idea of what’s available.
With a huge roster of pedals to his name (last count was around 90?) going through each pedal in detail would take forever – and no one has that amount of time. So today we’re going to look at the 5 best Keeley Pedals we think you really ought to try!
Pedal real estate is at a premium, so if you’re like me and you prefer the smaller sized pedals you’ll love the Keeley Red Dirt Overdrive Mini pedal. This smaller sized and very compact pedal may look innocent, but it’s ferocious. Having begun his career making mods of the old Tube Screamer circuit way back in 2001, Robert Keeley’s version (the larger Red Dirt Overdrive) would set a new standard of sound offering an improved bass response, fine-tuned tone and glass-like cleans whilst offering more gain when needed – when do we not need MORE gain!? However, as pedalboards become smaller and space becomes a little more premium, there was a need for a smaller version – hence the Keeley Red Dirt Overdrive Mini was born.
As well as a JFET input buffer, you have four modes of overdrive to choose from via inner-DIP Switches found inside the pedal. By activating any of these 4 DIP switches you change the clipping diodes to alter the sound of your pedal which means you can choose from Distortion, Overdrive, Crunch, and Amp voicings by taking the bottom plate off and adjusting the DIP switches to your preferred setting. Go from a more compressed sound all the way to open tube-like sounds and everything in between. We recommend the Distortion Mode where you have 2-3 times more gain than your regular Screamer circuit! An impressive little pedal that is full of bite.
The Keeley Memphis Sun Echo & Reverb Pedal takes its name from the world-famous Sun Studios in Memphis – widely known as “The Birth Place of Rock n’ Roll”. The sounds emanating from the desk of Sun Studios were drenched in lush reverb and slapback echo delay, completely distinct and ‘of the time’. The team at Keeley Electronics have captured the sound of sunshine in this nifty effects pedal, effectively reproducing the iconic sound of Sun Studios.
Within this cool looking pedal, you have a combination of Lo-Fi Reverb, Echo, and a Double-Tracker to bring out an amazing Rock n’ Roll sound. The Slapback 600 mode is a vintage echo for long delays, the Sun Mode is an automatic Track-Doubling and slapback with short delays and the Room mode is a studio simulation reverb. The Room Reverb can be blended into both the Echo 600 and Sun Mode effects for added presence. This sounds exactly like a vintage delay unit straight out of the 1950s and just like you’re stood playing in Sun Studios back in the day!
Mick and Daniel, stars of That Pedal Show over on YouTube have been entertaining viewers with their pedal reviews and valuable insight on guitar effects pedals. After being so impressed with the sound of the Keeley pedals line, they asked Robert Keeley to design them their own pedal – the result was the Keeley D&M Drive. This couples a boost and a drive circuit, both of which can be played in isolation or blended together to create a completely unique sound. On one side, you have the ‘That Clean’ Boost circuit with loads of headroom to play with and is reminiscent of the Keeley Katana with a germanium modded professional overdrive. However, this is not just a replication of that existing pedal, as you have the ability to dial in a distinct midrange voice for added clarity and punch ensuring that it works with any rig or amplifier.
On the other side you have the ‘That Drive’ section which features multiple drive stages that take you from smooth creamy overdriven tones all the way to heavily saturated punch, making it perfect for when you need to go from clean to all-out attack in a split second. A toggle switch allows you to dictate which effect is first in the chain should you want to blend the two effects and the hand made construction ensures you’re getting a pedal made with love! One of the coolest Keeley Pedals available.
The Keeley Dark Side Workstation is a Fuzz, Delay, and Modulation Effects Pedal capable of providing you all the tones you’d normally have to travel to the Dark Side Of The Moon to get hold of. This amazing effects pedal is easily one of the best Keeley pedals you could hope to play effectively reproducing the sound of a '77 style Op-Amp fuzz circuit, with a multi-head Tape Delay effect, and four separate vintage style Modulation circuits in one unit.
The Op Amp Fuzz takes inspiration from the coveted fuzz sounds of the 70s providing a more transparent sound than modern pedals and a hell of a lot more delay. You can sculpt your tone further thanks to the mid-range toggle switch which allows you to choose a Flat, Scoop or Full fuzz. There’s 12 different syncopated delays to choose from as well as 4 different modulation styles too – it’s basically David Gilmour in a box! Each effect has been specifically designed to replicate the sounds of our favourite 1970s prog bands and can be used individually or in a variety of combinations. Best of all you can even use it for a bass, synth or guitar providing a world of tonal opportunity.
Last but by no means least, we have the Keeley Caverns Delay Reverb V2, which makes our best Keeley pedals list with ease thanks to the lush reverb and delay tones on offer. A good reverb and a good delay pedal is sometimes hard to come by, but as both are essential, Robert Keeley decided to not only create two of the best available but mix the two together, offering the discerning guitar player an amazing guitar pedal that they’ll actually love to use on stage and in the studio.
The delay circuit incorporates the popular Magnetic Echo circuit (also from Keeley electronics) which emulates analogue tape delay lines, adding personality and ‘vibe’ to your delay repeats. You also have the option of sculpting that delay tone further via some integrated switches and knobs. The reverb circuit provides you with 3 different styles of reverb - Spring Mode, Modulation Mode, and Shimmer Mode with added True Bypass or Trails options for plenty of versatility. You can use both independently or combine the two for a lush, rich sound.
Shop a full range of Keeley pedals over at PMT Online today or call in to your local PMT store to view and try out our entire range of boutique guitar pedals.