The Boss compact pedal - such a great design and deservedly still on top. The effects giant has helped shape the sound of generations. Of course, we now live in a time where new effects brands with hot ideas start every week (day?) - but still, I get giddy when I play a Boss pedal.
It could be the nostalgia, where Boss pedals bring me back to my teens, where I played an Ibanez ST300 through a Boss OS-2 into an enormous Yamaha solid state amp. But I think it's more, a lot of Boss' designs are just extremely good, and half of my pedalboard, even now, is still Boss pedals.
So, these are my favourites:
The PS-2 Pitch Shifter and Delay
This is a gritty machine of wonderful noises. It creates its polyphonic pitch shifting by very rapidly modulating a delay chip (it's like repeatedly turning the delay time knob on your analog delay pedal in a very precise and wickedly fast way). The feedback knob allows you to let the pitch shifting cascade. Since the amount of pitch shift is not quantised, you're not limited to sounding in tune, and you can create some great chorus sounds.
The delay is a basic, good sounding digital delay. The cool thing is that it has separate delay lines for each of its three speed ranges, and keeps its content in the delay chip when you switch speeds (as long as your feedback is up high enough). This means that you can play or loop something, and then switch the delay speed range for a faux-granular sound. Very cool. The PS-3 is great as well, losing some of the grit but adding reverse delay and double pitch shifting.
The MO-2 Multi Overtone
Another pitch-shiftery pedal. The MO-2 mainly seems to be an organ sound generator, but it can do a lot more. The lower harmonics setting adds a nice thickness to the mids, good to make a solo stand out. The upper harmonics setting will get you a great octave-up Radiohead sound.
The coolest thing, however, happens when you plug a dummy jack in the stereo out. Now, the chorus / detune function becomes a pitch vibrato, like in a VB-2. Together with the pitch shifting, this gives you a great synthy vibrato sound.
Radiohead in a box, really.