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Best overdrive pedals 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Last Updated March 1, 2019
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Charlie OliverHey friends! I’ve got something important to talk about today! After putting in 38+ hours of research and testing, I made a list of the best overdrive pedals of 2018 and explained their differences and advantages.

The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing. Like most products, some outdo others, so use my top three list below to get started on your search for the best overdrive pedals of 2018.

Best overdrive pedals of 2018

I have a variety of material used in the construction of overdrive pedals including metal, plastic, and glass. Many brands have introduced overdrive pedals on the market. These brands have resulted in a variety for the user. These require that the consumers be well aware of what they are buying so as to make the best choice. I must say I am quite a fan of overdrive pedals, so when the question “What are the best overdrive pedals available on the market?” came to my mind, I excitedly started gathering information together with personal experience to write this article in the hope that it may help you find the suitable overdrive pedals. I am going to specify each good-to-buy feature as much as possible for your references.

Test Results and Ratings

Rank №1 №2 №3
Product
Total 4.8 4.5 4.3
Style
5 points
4 points
4 points
Size
5 points
5 points
4 points
Performance
5 points
4 points
5 points
Price
4 points
5 points
4 points
Awards 1
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How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

You must visit the page of sales. Here is the link. If you don’t care about which brand is better, then you can choose the overdrive pedals by the price and buy from the one who will offer the greatest discount.

 

 

№1 – Wampler Pedals Tumnus V2 Overdrive/Boost Effects Pedal

 
Wampler Pedals Tumnus V2 Overdrive/Boost Effects Pedal

Pros
Hand built in the U.S.A.
Famous OD/Boost voicing
Buffered bypass (soft relay switching)
Cons
Literally no flaws
 
Total:
4.8

Why did this overdrive pedals win the first place?

I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I was completely satisfied with the price. Its counterparts in this price range are way worse. The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack.

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Style
5

5star

Size
5

5star

Performance
5

5star

Price
4

4star

 

 

№2 – Donner Blues Drive Classical Electronic Vintage Overdrive Guitar Effect Pedal True Bypass Warm/Hot Modes

 
Donner Blues Drive Classical Electronic Vintage Overdrive Guitar Effect Pedal True Bypass Warm/Hot Modes

Pros
Two models: reproducing the classical electronic overdrive with plump, warm and sweet effect
The whole item is made of aluminum alloy and classic, stable and strong
True bypass provides transparent tone
Cons
Could be more durable.
It is not for the small jobs.
 
Total:
4.5

Why did this overdrive pedals come in second place?

The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice.

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Style
4

4star

Size
5

5star

Performance
4

4star

Price
5

5star

 

 

№3 – BEHRINGER VINTAGE TUBE OVERDRIVE TO800

 
BEHRINGER VINTAGE TUBE OVERDRIVE TO800

Pros
Get vintage overdrive, smooth sustain and screaming fat tone
Cons
Longevity is in question.
Recommended hand wash only.
 
Total:
4.3

Why did this overdrive pedals take third place?

It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. I hope that the good reputation of the manufacturer will guarantee a long-term work. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new.

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Style
4

4star

Size
4

4star

Performance
5

5star

Price
4

4star

 

 

overdrive pedals Buyer’s Guide

If you keep the before points in mind, you can easily go out to the market and buy overdrive pedals, right? No!

Think of Your Rig as a System

Even in the simplest rigs, there are a lot of considerations. Your fingers, your speaker(s), your power supply, your tubes, your cables — every piece of your gear, put together, makes up a system and every part of the equation matters.

For our purposes, you need to know, for example, that some drive pedals work better with some amplifiers than others. Guitar volume knob cleanup varies from pedal to pedal, and some pedals coax your mind and fingers to work in different ways than others. Running dirt pedals into a dirty amp is very different than running the same pedals into a clean amp. The list of variables goes on and on.

Since your gear creates a system, it’s important that every piece serves the whole. Each of us tends to have a few favorite pieces of gear, which is fine, but the danger is that we end up trying to force everything else to work within the already-set parameters of our favorites pieces and settings. The secret to stacking pedals successfully is to learn what each pedal will bring to the mix and to find ways to help the pedals complement each other.

Dial Your Gear with Your Ears — Not Your Eyes

The key to a perfect drive stack is to pay attention to your EQ. Each new drive will shape the EQ and most drives also increase compression.

Headroom, with each new pedal, will likely decrease. A setting that works well on its own might not be the best setting when stacked.

If you are stacking a given pedal often, you might find that you need to find a new setting that works well both in tandem and standalone. So mess with the knobs. Stacking dimed drives often results in tubby, indistinct tone. Start low, and then add gain — listen to how the EQ and the compression shifts. Try adding gain with only one pedal at a time and don’t be afraid to defy conventional arrangements by switching your pedal order around. You will be surprised by how much your tone is altered by each small change. With a little systematic and thoughtful experimentation, you will be able to hone in on new tonal aspects to create inspiring tones.

It’s best to start with the most obvious pedal, one you’ve probably heard of already. Distortion! The term “distortion pedal” is actually used quite a bit as an umbrella term to refer to different types of pedals.

Although it’s not really wrong to do this (they all distort the signal of the guitar) I’m going to be a little bit more specific and split the group up into types – distortion, overdrive and fuzz (these second two are discussed below).

Distortion is can be quit a heavy, obvious effect which provides a good amount of sustain & crunch to your sound. Because it heavily distorts the sound, it can sometimes hide the actual tone of the guitar.

However you can still hear the original tone of your guitar and amp in there somewhere. It just makes everything sound much more aggressive.

Overdrive

An overdrive pedal still distorts your sound, and gives it an extra punch, but it’s great at keeping more of the sound of your amplifier & guitar intact. So it sounds a little bit more natural.

It drives or “pushes” your amplifier more subtly than a distortion pedal so it doesn’t sound too heavy or overpowering. Yet it still gives you that beefy, thicker sound.

It’s often used in classic rock and blues but is a versatile pedal which is on the pedal board of millions of guitarists around the world.

Fuzz

Fuzz is the most extreme of the distortion effects and kind of sounds like it’s pushing your amplifier to breaking point. It provides a bass heavy and noisy guitar tone and means that it’s very hard to hear any of your original guitar tone.

However it’s still a very diverse pedal depending on how you use it. It can be used to create very heavy attacking sounds, or add more of a discrete buzz which isn’t too overpowering.

The different pedals are differentiated by the amount of the distortion / saturation they provide. Overdrive has the least, fuzz has the most, and distortion is somewhere in the middle.

Delay

Delay is another effect which does what it says on the tin. It delays your signal by a varying amount and then plays it back. This creates a doubling effect. The pedal will let you define how long the delay is.

Digital pedals can usually delay for longer, but some people think that these digital pedals don’t sound as good as analogue alternatives. Delay pedals are great for creating experimental effects and sounds, but can be subtle too.

Chorus

The chours effect sounds like hundreds of different guitarists playing what you are, but very slightly out of time. The effect also creates a mild wobble type noise.

Overall the sound sound rich, full and thick because of the chorus effect.

It can be used effectively both as a subtle effect or a more obvious experimental effect.

Flanger

Flanger is very similar to chorus, however it can provide a little bit more of an obvious effect.

It’s got more of a wooshing sound which goes up in pitch and then down again. People often say it sounds like a plane flying past.

Unlike the chorus effect it doesn’t sound like there are hundreds of guitarists copying your sound, but still can thicken your tone up.

Phaser

Again the phaser pedal is similar to the flanger and chorus effects. It creates a sweeping sound by creating peaks and troughs in your guitar tone. You can alter the height of these peaks and troughs by manipulating the controls on the pedal.

The phaser also adds a similar, but not as obvious, effect to the guitar tone as the chorus. So it sounds like there are a few guitarists playing the same as you.

Tremolo

Tremolo sounds like your volume is being turned up and down very quickly after you play a note. However the sounds gets blended together nicely so it doesn’t sound too obvious or out of place. Essentially it proves a nice wobble sound.

The controls on the pedal control how big this volume change is, and how quickly it occurs. It’s not too far away from the phaser, flanger and chorus pedals, but still sounds unique when compared to them.

Looper

After you’ve been playing guitar for a while it may occur to you that many of those awesome sounds you hear in recordings by your favorite guitarists are coming from something more than their guitar and amp. Those guys are using guitar effects, in many cases pedals and stomp boxes that alter their sound and impact their tone.

It is clear that learning how to properly choose and utilize guitar effects pedals can make a big difference in your sound. However, as a beginner it may not be so clear what each effect does, or even what it is supposed to sound like.

In this article you will learn the basics of guitar effects pedals so you will be better prepared to choose the right analog stomp boxes and digital effects to complement your sound. I’m not going to spend too much time on the science of how effects boxes do what they do. But I will do my best to explain, in plain English, the basics of each effect.

I’ll also present examples of different types of pedals, where possible, from some of the best guitar effects companies in the business. The point is to give you a taste of what’s out there, and a good idea of what each kind of pedal can do for your sound.

Distortion and Overdrive

Overdrive pedals are intended to mimic the sweet sound of an overdriven tube amp. They are generally more subtle, warmer and a bit richer in sound. Overdrive pedals typically don’t produce the kind of heavy distortion needed in hard rock and heavy metal, but they are fantastic for blues, country, rock and anything else where you need warm, textured distortion. A good example of a quality overdrive pedal is the Ibanez Tube Screamer.

Distortion pedals take things a step further. They often feature multiple gain stages, and most are intended to get that thick, meaty distortion guitarists love for heavier forms of rock. Some pedals take this to the extreme.

I could generalize and say distortion pedals are harsher than overdrive pedals, but truthfully there are some good ones out there than can complement your tone in a very positive way. An example of a popular distortion pedal is the Boss DS-Distortion.

Many newbie guitarists seek out distortion effects because they don’t like the distortion sound that comes with their amp. Analog distortion and overdrive pedals can help, but it is important to realize they are not magic bullets. Even the best distortion pedal is still at the mercy of the amp you are playing through, and the same pedal will react far differently whether played through a 100-watt tube head or a 40-watt solid-state combo.

What this means is, when choosing a distortion or overdrive pedal, it is wise to spend some time doing research so you know you are getting exactly what you want.

Tremolo and Vibrato

When it comes to whammy bars the words tremolo and vibrato are used interchangeably. We’ll give that a pass because it’s standard in the guitar world, but it is important to understand that they are not at all the same effect.

The key difference is this: Tremolo describes a change or wavering in volume, where vibrato describes a change in pitch. Therefore, the whammy bar on your guitar is more accurately described as a vibrato bar, not a tremolo.

Tremolo and vibrato are in many ways the granddaddies of guitar effects. They can be heard prominently in early rock, surf rock, rockabilly, country and blues. These effects even came standard on many amps back in the day, most notably classic Fenders.

Wahs and Envelope Filters

The Dunlop Cry Baby is a classic example of a great wah pedal. This pedal adds a ton of texture and nuance to guitar solos, and can also be used to create some very funky ‘70s-ish effects. A wah is essentially a controllable frequency filter. By manipulating the pedal you can change your tone from treble to bass and anywhere in between. This control is part of what makes the wah effect so popular.

An envelope filter is similar to a wah, except the changing of the frequency is controlled via the input from your instrument rather than by a pedal. This means you can control the sound by how hard you pick, for example.

The Dunlop Cry Baby is a must-have guitar effect pedal, but the Original version is a pretty hefty hunk of gear. The new Mini Cry Baby makes toting a great wah to gigs and rehearsals easier than ever.

Compression

Compression is somewhat of a utilitarian effect, though I suppose some players see it as a key part of their sound. Essentially, compression is used to even out your sound. In recording situations this means helping instruments blend together by smoothing out the peaks and valleys inherent in the overall frequency spectrum. Louder sounds, like the crack of snare drum or a shout from a vocalist, become smoother, softer and woven into the overall mix.

So why would you want to make your guitar sound smoother and softer? You might not, but there are some smart ways to use compression for guitar and especially bass.

For example, bass guitar frequencies are on the relatively low end of the tonal spectrum. However, plucking a bass string can create a sudden, short burst of high and mid-frequency sounds. You need your bass amp to be loud enough to make those low-frequency sounds strong and audible in the mix, but you don’t want to flatten your band mates or blow out your speakers by sudden pops of high-frequency sounds.

The solution is to use compression, which many bass amps feature as an onboard effect. While the issue isn’t nearly as pronounced with guitar frequencies, you can use the effect to the same end.

Choosing Your Effects

There are a gazillion different effects pedals out there, and new ones are released every year. Legendary guitar players get their sound in part by the concoction of effects units they employ. They found their way by trial and error, and you will have to do the same.

Your first step should be to think about what you’d really like to add to your sound. If you like the clean tones you get from your amp but can do without the buzzy onboard distortion, consider adding an overdrive or distortion pedal to your rig. If you’d prefer to experiment with chorus, a phaser or a pitch shifter, start there. There are no wrong answers when it comes to effects, and the units you choose and how you decide to use them are part of the creativity of playing guitar.

Don’t feel like you have to spend a fortune either. While there are some very pricey boutique pedals on the market that get outstanding reviews, there are also affordable pedals that will do the job just fine. Consider brands like Boss, DOD and MXR for some great pedals at affordable prices. If you end up with a pedal you don’t like as much as you thought you would, you can always trade it in and get something different.

Good luck on your quest to explore the world of guitar effects pedals. As a beginner you have a lot to learn, but hopefully this article got you started off right.

Overdrive Pedal

The term overdrive refers to when a tube amp is driven past its range to supply a clean tone. This is something we as guitar players have come to love and seek out. A common question is “what is the difference between overdrive, distortion, and fuzz as the terms have become interchangeable?” The short answer is not a lot, just one is more extreme as we go down the line.

The Ibanez Tube Screamer is the industry standard for overdrive pedals. Kicked into legendary status by the late great Stevie Ray Vaughan. The Tube Screamer TS80was first released in the late 70’s and now catches a small fortune on the vintage market but fortunately there are reissues and many boutique clones out there. The Tube Screamer is not the only overdrive circuit of course, there are many excellent options, it is just clearly the most famous. What makes the TS so cool is the way it interacts with an already overdriven amplifier. It can add a nice amount of gain, sustain, and tonal shaping options. They do provide a bit of a boost in the mid frequencies that many people love as it helps to cut through a band. The list of TS users is extensive but Stevie Ray is the most notable.

Distortion Pedal

Many distortion pedals can also be used as overdrive pedals simply by reducing the gain, so once again we see how these terms are a little loose. In high gain amps like a Mesa rectifier the amp is taking advantage of gain staging, many pedals do this as well. Gain staging is simply putting one overdriven tone into another and cascading them to produce even more gain or distortion. So in a Mesa, one preamp tube is being run into another to bump up the level of distortion, there can be any number of gain stages. We can also do this by stacking pedals as well, as we will see in the gain staging pedal chain section. Dialing in a good distorted tone can take some time and slight EQ changes can make a big difference.

Fuzz Pedal

You can hear one all over Led Zeppelin’s debut record and all over Jeff Beck’s trademark “Heart Full of Soul” intro riff from the Yardbirds. He also used it extensively on the Jeff Beck Group sessions. Of course the most famous fuzz pedal is the Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face. This pedal was favored by Jimi Hendrix and set the benchmark for fuzz tones that we are still chasing to this day.

As a lover of fuzz pedals myself I have both kinds and find uses for them, they sound different and excellent. Other famous fuzz users are Eric Johnson, David Gilmour, Joe Bonamassa, and Stevie Ray Vaughan to name a few. When shopping for a fuzz, try to play as many as you can next to each other, even of the same model. Due to the transistor values the same model pedal can sound and feel very different from pedal to pedal.

Digital Delay Pedal

In the late 70’s digital technology boomed and made its way into the guitar community. It first entered in the form as rack units which were expensive and relatively large. As costs came down and the technology shrank, digital delay pedals were introduced into the market by Boss in 198with the Boss DD-Since then as technology advanced, delay pedals now offer many features in a very small box such as tape echo, analog, reverse delay, modulated delay, and loopers.

The main difference between analog and digital delays is delay time and note clarity. Digital delays can produce multi second delay times whereas the Deluxe Memory Man offered a delay time of 550ms. Digital delay units also introduced the tap tempo function which is extremely useful when using delay as a rhythmic tool. There are many excellent companies producing excellent delay units, certainly a ground breaker was the Line DLwhich is still popular today. Although I love the sound of a true analog delay, the latest offerings from companies like TC Electronics and Strymon offer so many options and analog emulation options it makes it a tough sell to stick with analog delays.

Chorus Pedal

Chorus pedals can provide a nice subtle doubling effect to the guitar or an extreme “watery” effect when maximized. Famous tunes that use chorus is “Come As You Are” (1991) by Nirvana, and “Brass in Pocket” (1979) by The Pretenders. But basically almost any clean guitar sound in the 80’s had some chorus on it! Certain effects are timeless such as overdrive, reverb and delay. Other effects like chorus can evoke certain time periods such as the 80’s so that is something to keep in mind when using an effect.

THE IMPORTANCE OF DYNAMICS

That is the main reason why overdrive and distortion pedals with an incorporated boost circuit triggered by a second footswitch have become quite popular over the past few years: the (normally clean) boost circuit placed before or after the OD/Distortion allows for an extra push in volume during solos or loud choruses without losing the guitar’s original tone.

Also, having the two effects embedded in one pedal allows for optimized stacking of the two gain stages, or extra creative routing pre/post options just a switch away.

PICK YOUR OD FLAVOR

Of course, every guitarist has different tastes when it comes to overdrive, but there are so many great options out there that no matter what sound you’re going for, in all likelihood you will be able to find a pedal that can come close to the sound in your head (and if you don’t, maybe you should look into building your own pedals, that’s how boutique manufacturers are born!).

Behringer Vintage Tube Overdrive TO800

Perhaps it is time to get an overdrive pedal? You’ve made up your mind. Your guitar has been feeling quite lonely lately. It needs a new friend, and as its owner, it is your responsibility to get the best overdrive pedal possible.

Great Value

Just think about how happy your guitar will be when you introduce them to each other! They will be so thankful that they will allow you to vary your sound and inspire you to keep creating wonderful music. And you will all live happily ever after.

So, now that we’ve established that you totally need one there are some questions we need to answer. First of all: What overdrive pedals are the best and what is the difference between different brands? Then we’ll look into what an overdrive pedal actually does and what you need to keep in mind when making your decision. If you want to look into different effects, you should see our review on the top pedals with flange effect here.

What to consider with an overdrive pedal

Why do you want to buy an override pedal? Is it just a fun toy for your collection to play around with or is it something you will be using on a professional basis? This very much determines how much you need to spend. While there are budget alternatives that are pretty good it is generally true that you get what you pay for.

It is always better to pay a little extra than to go for the cheap alternative and be slightly disappointed every time you use it. However this really depends on how much you will be using your pedal. If it’s only once a year you might not care that the quality could be better, but if it’s something you will use every day don’t compromise. However there is always the option to go for a cheap one and use that until you can afford a better pedal.

Material

Think about how much you will use the pedal and where you will use it. Is plastic going to be enough for your needs or do you need metal? Take a close look at pictures online or even see if you can physically hold it in store to be able to determine whether it is sturdy enough.

Don’t be too cheap. Buying a pedal is like buying shoes. Sure, you can buy cheap shoes, but they will only last you one season. Next year you will have to buy a new pair because they’re not made to last much longer. But in the long run you are actually not saving money, because if you would have just invested a little bit more and bought better quality you would just have to buy new shoes every fourth year.

Same thing with override pedals, if you buy the cheapest one it might not last you very long and you will end up having to buy another one. It might actually save you money to go for a little more expensive model right from the start.

Decide if the aesthetics are important to you, is color and shape something you care about? You can even match your design to which ever genre you like the most! Some of them look more hard rock, some have a more bluesy appearance and some others would match pop better.

Try to also think if you have any preferences as to how big the pedal is. Try to find one that is quite low if possible, since that will prevent the pedal from tipping over. You may also consider how the potential pedals would match your guitar, other pedals and so on.

Greer Amplification Lightspeed Overdrive Guitar Pedal

A really useful tool for your music making that has everything you need. The fact that it has a lifetime warranty and is handmade in the U.S.A. makes it feel like an even safer choice. The quality is remarkable, you can really feel that they have nurtured this pedal like a baby so that it has grown to perfection. Even if it does cost a little more than some others, think about it; that is not much if you spread it out over a lifetime.

Multi Effects Units

As a beginner you’re probably anxious to try out all of the different effects above and then some. A very costly endeavour to undertake, and where to start!? If you’re taking your first tentative steps into the world of guitar effects then a much more money efficient option is a multi-fx unit.  These will generally contain the majority of the effects listed above, enabling you to sample each one and find out which you like the best. As a bonus, multi-fx units will often contain other useful features such as a built-in metronome and tuner.  You can absolutely use one of these units in place of an amp while you learn the ropes, all you need is a pair of headphones.

Each unit features 100 effects and amp models, of which can be used simultaneously. They have a built-in drum machine (metronome) featuring almost 70 different patterns for you to practice along with at your own speed. An accurate tuner ensures you are always playing at perfect pitch. Another awesome feature is the built-in looper, which allows you to record up to 30 seconds of high quality audio. A headphone jack allows for quiet practice. Unbelievably at this price, both units also include a well-lit LCD screen for easy navigation of the menu system. An auxilliary input on the back allows you to connect a music source, to allow you to jam to your favorite songs.

Both units can be powered with 4xAA batteries. Alternatively they can be powered with a standard 9V PSU (such as this one), or USB mini cable (such as this one).

Check out this excellent overview and demo video from our friends over at GuitarWorld magazine.

Both units include 70 different high quality effects, amp and cab emulators, and the ability to chain of them together in any order. Other key features include a built-in tuner, drum machine, looper with up to 80 seconds of recording. Three large LCD displays with corresponding footswitches and knobs makes it easy to view and edit multiple effects at a glance.

Computer Based Effects

Classic overdrive pedals are voiced to be transparent, but will often have more emphasis on the mids to let your signal cut through a mix better. Modern ones will give you more control over the resulting sound with their EQ knobs, and some may even use compression for higher gain settings. If your overdrive pedal will be your main dirt unit, then you’ll want flexibility and gain range. On the other hand, if you’re just looking to drive your tube amp or supplement another pedal, then you’ll want the most transparent ones available. While having tone shaping features is generally good, don’t fall into the trap of judging OD (Overdrive) pedals based on the number of knobs, rather find the one with just the right controls to inspire your to play better and make great music – and not to spend too much time tweaking.

The price of overdrive pedals are generally accessible, but some can be quite expensive, especially boutique and modded ones. Those with picky ears would be willing to invest in more expensive units, because they may find the difference in sound quality and transparency to be worth the added cost. Others will find the difference to be subtle and not worth the extra cost.

Fulltone OCD Overdrive

Keith Richards, Joe Perry, Stone Gossard and Lou Reed are just a few of the may big name artists that have used Fulltone. Even the great Nigel Tufnel allows his guitar signal to go through Fulltone gear – their pedals are that good. So it’s not surprising at all to find another overdrive pedal from their fold joining this list.

Wampler Dual Fusion Overdrive

Wampler is a relatively new comer in the pedal scene, but their overdrive units continue get more popular, thanks to great reviews and recommendations from artists and users alike. The Tom Quayle Dual Fusion Overdrive showcases what Wampler can do, combining incredible sonic flexibility with top notch sound quality.

Behringer Vintage Tube Monster VT999

The super affordable Behringer VT99Vintage Tube Monster has surprised many guitarists with its tube overdrive tone, thanks to its genuine 12AXpreamp tube circuit. This hidden gem sounds even better when you replace the factory installed tube.

Chorus pedals

Chorus is a classic effect that creates an illusion of more guitars playing at the same time. It can open up a wide expanse of previously unexplored sonic territory in your music. As an effect, chorus can cover from beefing up your guitars tone to drastically changing the voice of your guitar. The most popular example of chorus effect is the opening riff of Kurt Cobain’s Come as As You Are from Nirvana.

Distortion pedals

The most classic way to alter your guitar sound is by using a distortion pedal. A distortion pedal is now almost a practical requirement for every guitarist who can play anything from pop to metal. Most of the guitar brands have a distortion pedal to their name owing its popularity among the masses. These effects are in use by guitarists since the 1960’s with the Pro Co Rat (RAT) and Tube Screamer, from Ibanez being the most sought after when it comes to classic distortion.

Looper pedals

A looper pedal is actually a tool that helps guitarists to record a signal from their guitar and play it over and over again to create their own backing tracks on the fly. For modern guitarists it makes practising more fun by adding a new dimension and reducing their dependence on other musicians. The loopers are not new to the music scene but had taken a back seat for some time and have now returned to their past glory in recent times.

Volume pedals

The volume pedal is the simplest pedals of all. It is basically an external volume knob that you work with your foot. They are used to provide swelling and captivating sound effects when combined with other effect pedals in the rig. A volume pedal needs to be transparent, ie, they do not introduce any of their character to the sound, should have no tone loss, better be passive, have superior build quality, have tuner output and should be adjustable. Boss FV series pedals and Ernie Ball VP are the most popular volume pedals in the market now.

Delay pedals

The function of a delay pedal is to play back the notes that you have played. Though it looks very simple, a great and versatile delay can make every soundscape you wish to explore. The effect is used in almost every genre due to which the pedal market is flooded with delay pedals from every conceivable brand making musical instruments however, the MXR carbon copy and Boss DD models lead the pack. Also, there is a raging debate among the music community about the analog and digital delays.

Compressor pedals

A compressor pedal adds character and distinction to your sound while elevating it and rounds out your acoustic or electric guitar tones in a very subtle manner. Though it does not add a great effect to your music, you will surely miss it when it is not around. It adds an element of control to your playing level – it will bring the quieter parts up and the louder parts down. For a guitar, it can give a more consistent volume output level and increase the sustain by raising the level of decaying notes.

Wah Wah pedals

The Wah pedals are the secret weapons used by guitarists from Jimi Hendrix to Kirk Hammet to bring the extra flavour in their solos. The pedal is popular because it has found a common use in every style of play ranging from classic rock to metal. A dedicated wah pedal will provide you with the most possible variations of sound possible giving you the most enjoyment. The Dunlop orginal cry baby wah is the most widely used and popular pedal that was used to create some of the most timeless sounds in rock music.

Multi effects pedals

Often touted as the do-it-all effect, the effect can cover all tonal bases for recordings and live performances. It is an efficient way for guitar players to keep their pedal set up under control by having an entire effects pedal board in one self-contained unit. The quality of multi effects pedals has increased tremendously over the years since they were first introduced, as a result of which its usage has improved to the point that even critics are finding less and less things to complain about.

There are many more pedals such as boost pedals, fuzz pedals, Octavia pedal, tremolo pedal, flanger pedal, univibe pedal, phase shifter pedal but they are not as widely used as those listed above.

Guitar effects pedals being as popular as the guitars themselves have attracted lot of brands to make effects. Boss, Fender, Dunlop, Electro-Harmonix, Ibanez, Wampler, MXR, TC Electronic, DigiTech, Xotic Effects, Line6, Morley are some noteworthy brands in the effects pedal market.

Ibanez TSTube Screamer

The TSTube Screamer overdrive pedal from Ibanez is the most popular and most copied overdrive pedals. This is a reissue of the original Ibanez TSTube Screamer distortion pedal that is one of the most imitated classis pedals ever made. It has been used by many famous guitarists such as Stevie Ray Vaughan to create their signatures sound. It has three controls, tone, drive and level controls and is used in genres as diverse as country, blues and metal. The warm overdrive sound and tonal integrity along with portability led to the rapid rise in popularity of this pedal and made it one of the best distortion pedals ever.

Pro Co RATDistortion Pedal

The Pro Co RATis a distortion pedal produced by Pro Co Sound. It is a variant of the iconic RAT model which was built in 197The Pro Co RATis built using the same circuit that made the original Rat distortion pedal popular, though it is now being built in China without compromising on the quality. The Pro Co RAT distortion pedal became very popular in the 1980’s mostly because several artists started using it to great effects. It has knobs for distortion, volume and filter. It is perfect for hard rock, metal, punk, jazz or smooth blues solo. It is the most versatile and best guitar distortion pedal with a legacy of around 30 years.

TC Electronic Ditto Looper Pedal

The Ditto looper pedal from TC Electronic is an outstanding and popular looper that owes its popularity to being a simple and affordable pedal. It has a distinction of being the only looper designed by guitarists for guitarists. It offers minutes of loop time with unlimited edits. This is a true bypass mono pedal with just one control knob for volume adjustments. The Ditto’s superior sound quality can be attributed to its 24-bit uncompressed high quality audio. This exquisite guitar loop pedal also features a undo/redo functionality and analog dry-though design. Overall the Ditto is concise and basic yet highly effective and that makes it the best of the best loop pedal for guitars.

Xotic Effects SP compressor pedal

Xotic is a small California based company that manufactures guitars, bass and effects. The Xotic SP compressor is a boutique pedal that is counted among the best compressor pedals. It is built expending the same OTA (Operational transconductance amplifier) technology that is used by the Ross compressor, considered as the best ever compressor. It has a compact design and superb tone quality featuring a wide variety of compressor tones from subtle to modern to vintage and more. It has two knobs to control volume, upto +15db of boost and blend for that perfect balance between dry and compressor signal. There is a three way switch to toggle between, low, mid and high signal. It is a simple to use, great sounding and versatile boutique pedal that is a best buy for the price.

Zoom G3X Multi effects pedal

Zoom G3X is ranked as one of the best guitar multi effects pedal because besides being a multi effect pedal it is also an amplifier simulator, tuner, fully functional looper, USB audio interface and a built-in expression pedal. It provides 11great sounding guitar effects and amp / speaker models with three stompbox-styles each with its own dedicated foot switch. The G3X has three LCD screens each with its own footswitch and control knob, form a large graphical interface that makes it easy to edit effects. With the G3X, you can use up to effects and amp models simultaneously, arranged in any order.

Presets

Preset is an important feature present in most modern guitar pedals. A preset allows configuring overall sound setup. A few of them come with some good presets so you do not need to bother about creating your own. Also, you can tweak the existing presets or create an entirely new one and store them.

Function

Joyo’s JF-0is a fantastic effect that copies the sound of an overdriven amp at an affordable price. It is encased in a metal enclosure for maximum durability. The controls are straightforward and easy to use even for beginners and intermediate musicians. It has three yellow knobs which have an excellent contrast with its ocean-green body. Personally, this is quite a good contrast, especially in a dark environment.

Each knob has its function for adjusting volume, amount of drive and tone. It also features a LED indicator to tell you if it is active or bypassed. It’s compact and does not consume a lot of space in your bag. It can operate on battery and standard DC power bricks.

It has four knobs where others only have three. It has a volume knob, a gain knob, and two knobs for your tone control. One of those two knobs shapes your high and low frequency. The other one gives you control over the mid-tones.

It also has a toggle switch for tight or loose frequencies. Setting it at loose offers more gain and emphasized low-frequency signals. This is quite a great option and makes your pedal versatile.

On the high end, Tech 21’s Fly Rig is packed with amazing goodies. It costs a lot more than the other two but makes up with its features. Its controls are much more complicated since it showcases five effects in one which makes it a candidate in the best overdrive pedal for metal.

The SansAmp gives you a three-band EQ, a drive and amp simulator. This means you can leave your amp at home and just plug it over the PA system on your gig nights. It is like all the essential pedals you need to be packed in a single strip.

The amp simulator has a control for reverb which is cool for me. I can’t imagine playing music without a hint of reverb. It just gives music more character when it sounds like bouncing on walls for me.

The distortion effect provides you with a good drive to bring out that dark tones for metal, and the delay gives you more style. If that’s not enough, they added a boost control that gives you up to 23db! This effect comes very usefully when soloing. It gives you more volume and more emphasis on those face-melting solos.

Clipping and Distortion

In the original signal, you can see that the sine wave exceeds the threshold of the device. Normal waves that are within the proper threshold sound smooth. As the playback devices can’t really exceed the threshold, what happens is the crests and troughs of the wave start to square off. This changes the quality of the sound. Why? Well it has to do with math.

Let’s zoom in on a sine wave.

Now, imagine we play another tone alongside this one, something with a higher frequency but that matches at the peaks. We’ll only introduce it at a low amplitude. Here’s what the result looks like.

You can see that it starts to take the shape of that square-cornered wave from the clipping section. When you introduce an odd-numbered overtone, you’ll start to see this type of shape. If we increase the amplitude of that same overtone, you’ll see a more particular shape.

So you can see those sharp corners form a little more prominently. We can exaggerate this further with the addition of yet another odd-numbered overtone.

Having a lot of clipping changes the shape of the sine wave in a way that is mathematically represented by a different equation entirely, shown above as the addition of two sine waves. The harder the clipping, the greater the resemblance to a increasingly complex waves. Softer clipping won’t really affect the sound too much.

Let’s take a look at what a close up of some distorted waves in Audacity.

Here, I’ve highlighted a portion of the waves that match up. The second wave is a distorted sine wave, something that looks like it was clipped and then compressed down. It’s a square wave. Here’s a sample of a 440 Hz – middle A – sine wave, and a 440 Hz square wave.

A 440Hz Sawtooth Wave

While we’ve skipped the math, we hope you see how wave addition simulates the effects of clipping in different fashions. Differently shaped waves change the quality of the sound in some very important ways. This is partially why distorted guitars have such a rich set of overtones and why there are so many kinds of distortion pedals out there.

Pedal Demo

With the drive knob turned all the way down and the volume knob turned up, you can get a nice gritty boost to your cleans. On the other hand, with the drive knob turned all the way up, you can get a thick crunch, with even more gain in the HP setting. The tone control has a great range for making your tone sound dark (turned all the way down) to sounding very bright (turned all the way up). This way, you can make even the darkest sounding amps sound bright, and vice versa.

Distortion is usually one of the first effects guitarists add to their arsenal, as a good distortion pedal can open up tones that are time-consuming to set up or impossible to achieve on your amp. Although the terms distortion and overdrive can and are often used synonymously, it’s best to think of distortion as a more extreme effect. Distortion pedals usually offer more gain than overdrive pedals, so they’re perfect for metal and hard rock.

Donner Blues Overdrive

Finding the best overdrive pedal can be a make or break for getting your tone just right, and ultimately fitting in with your unique style. If you play any form of metal, blues or rock then you may want to consider your options carefully, as there can be a lot of variation in the types of sound created by each product, and as always the best one is the one that matches your unique style.

The Sound of the Effect

As you can hear in the above video, the sound associated with this effect compared to the distortion pedal and fuzz pedal is a softer more full toned sound. It boosts your signal enough to break up the waveform but keeps the tones of the guitar natural and true.

It isn’t as harsh as the distortion and fuzz pedal’s sound. This can be a very desirable quality for a lot of different genres because you can craft the tone of your guitar more and keep your tone consistent while giving it a bit more energy.

Typically overdrive pedals have three dial knobs for drive, tone and level (or volume depending on the pedal) as well as a foot switch to turn it off and on. Each pedal is powered by either battery or a 9v connection, if you have more then a few pedals then be sure to check into buying a power supply or daisy chain if one of your pedals can distribute power.

Donner Blues Drive Classical Vintage Overdrive

This is a nice versatile pedal that can be used for playing both heavy blues and lighter more melodic blues riffs and comes in at a nice price point, giving you a solid effect that doesn’t break the bank.

Think of Stevie Ray Vaughn in either his version of little wing, which uses a softer warmer overdrive or in “pride and joy” where he uses a heavier “hot” overdrive.

MXR Wylde Overdrive Effects Pedal

This pedal was made for legendary guitar player Zakk Wylde, who may be most recognizable as the guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne and founder of the heavy metal band Black Label Society. As a guitarist, he rips fast, accurate and heavy and needs an overdrive pedal to match.

A lot of the great gritty harmonic tone that is desirable in heavy metal music comes from the amplifier the guitarist is using. Which means when you are talking overdrive and distortion pedals, you probably don’t want something that wipes out the tone of the amp completely and overpowers it with the pedal’s specific sound.

The MXR Wylde is a heavy sounding overdrive that adds an awesome punch and boost but doesn’t overpower the amplifier’s natural tone. It will enhance the natural tone of the amp but allows you boost your sound without compromise.

It has a nice low-end sound with balanced highs. The gain is a beautiful crunchy sound when it is full on but can be backed off if need be to give your signal an extra boost if you prefer to utilize the gain on your amp.

Fulltone OCD Obsessive Compulsive Drive

The OCD is a very full toned thick sounding pedal. It is a great option for metal guitarists because it has such a full sound. It will add a punch and chug in the rhythm section but still has enough force to cut through.

Where to Start

From beginners to seasoned professionals, most guitar players will experiment with effects at some point in their musical journey. While learning to play your instrument well should be a top priority, messing around with effects can be a fun way to engage with your instrument and start learning its sound possibilities without a lot of hard practice. There’s a huge variety of stompboxes out there, many with very low price tags that make great gifts and can add a new dimension of fun for beginning players.

Many modern guitar amps also are equipped with multi-effects sections that encourage experimentation. There are also dozens of multi-effects pedals out there that are very affordably priced and offer a complete suite of effects. Most of these amp and effects processors feature presets created by engineers and pro guitarists to sound good at the touch of a button. Many allow you to create your own unique sounds then store them for instant recall. If you’re a typical player, you’ll adopt and abandon dozens of different effects boxes and presets over your playing career as your style and musical tastes evolve and change.

From subtle warmth to all-out crunch, the BOSS DS-serves up the precise helping of distortion you dial in.

With such a vast array of effects available, it can be hard to know where to start. One good way is to find out which effects your favorite players use. Artist interviews can be a great source of such information. Additionally, most players are happy to discuss their gear with fellow musicians. Talk to other guitar players you know, or chat up the guitarists or bassists at the local club before or after their sets.

If you’re ready to dive in, there’s a vast selection of affordable multi-effects pedals to choose from. Or if you’d prefer to try just one or two dedicated stompboxes, distortion and chorus pedals are a great place to start.

The top-selling BOSS CH-Super Chorus gets props for its clean, classic sound and stereo capabilities.

Musicians Friend also offers video and audio clips demonstrating many of the effects we sell. Just click on the Audio or Video tabs and links on product pages to get a better idea of what each effect can do and how well it will fit into your music.

EQ Effects

EQ or equalization effects work by boosting or cutting specified frequency bands within the sound signal. From treble or high-end sounds such as the sizzling sounds of a riveted cymbal to low-end sources such as the thump of a bass drum or bass guitar, EQ effects don’t change the pitch but rather alter the timbre or quality of the sound. Depending on the application, EQ control can be quite precise or very simple.

Most guitars and basses have one or more tone knobs, which offer a simple form of EQ control. Using these tone knobs adds or cuts the treble frequencies of the instrument’s signal. Most guitar and bass amps also have some tone control available, usually in the form of a 3-band EQ section, allowing you to control bass, mid, and treble frequencies with independent knobs. These knobs boost or cut frequencies when you turn them up or down. Some amps and effects offer more precise control of equalization as we’ll see next.

Refining the Sound

For more control and fine tuning of your sound, you may want to use a parametric or graphic EQ. A parametric EQ allows you to adjust the width of the frequency band that’s being altered and the shape of the curve—how abruptly the boosted or cut area changes to the unmodified area. A graphic EQ divides the frequency ranges into a number of narrow bands which can each be boosted or lowered by sliders, thus giving you a visual or “graphic” representation of how the EQ is being affected. The more bands there are, the more precise your adjustments can be.

EQ can make a tremendous difference in the sound of your instrument. This becomes especially important when playing in a band setting. Your guitar might sound great played alone, but within the sound mix of a full band may need some tweaking. Depending on which instruments are involved, you will need to adjust EQ to help your guitar fit into the overall sound the rest of the band. Using an EQ effects processor can help you dial that sound in more easily and precisely than depending on just your guitar and amp’s EQ controls.

The Wah Pedal

One other effect that depends on EQ modulation is the wah pedal. As you rock forward on the pedal, the sound becomes more trebly. As you rock back, the treble range is muted. In the middle positions, a wah produces a nasal, midrange-heavy tone that is interesting and useful in its own right. Since you can change the wah’s tone constantly while you’re playing, it’s a very dynamic and expressive effect that can become an integral part of your playing. Jimi Hendrix was one of the first guitarists to exploit the wah’s capabilities.

There are a broad range of wah-wah pedals available, each with its own distinctive flavor.

Dunlop’s Original Cry Baby produces the wah effects you’ve heard on countless records.

A variation of the wah pedal is the auto wah. Not to be confused with a city in Canada, auto-wah effects do the same things a wah does, but without the foot treadle. Usually, you can adjust the attack time (how fast the tone shifts toward the treble) and the depth of the cycle. Some auto-wahs also let you set a constant up and down motion that’s not triggered by the note. You’ll find auto-wahs included in many multi-effects processors. One of the newer developments in this area is the Talking Pedal from Electro-Harmonix. While eliminating the moving parts of traditional wahs, it produces amazing male-vocal and vowel-sound effects that harmonize with your guitar’s notes. A fuzz circuit lets you dial in more growl and grit.

Overdrive and Distortion Effects

Originally, distortion of the guitar signal happened accidentally when tube amps were turned up too loud. While distortion was first considered undesirable, players soon came to recognize that a distorted signal increased the amount of sustain they could get out of each note. This essential discovery created a fundamental shift in guitar soloing styles to include extended notes such as those produced by a wind instrument or organ. Used on rhythm guitar parts, distortion thickens up the signal and allows for a much heavier, chunkier sound.

The Ibanez TSTube Screamer adds overdrive warmth to chilly sounding solid-state amps.

Tube amp distortion is created when tubes are overdriven by receiving more juice than they can handle, thus causing the signal break up. Tube-driven amplifiers are still in demand by seasoned players because of the warm, musical tones they create, and some distortion-type effects use actual tubes to replicate that sound. But most distortion effects are produced either through analog solid-state circuitry or digitally.

Pitch-Shift Effects

Pitch shift effects, which includes harmony and octave pedals, are a lot of fun, and add depth and flavor to a guitar player’s sound. The effect works by taking the fundamental note being played on the guitar, and adding another note either above or below the original. Simply adding more notes will often produce odd, off-key notes if you’re not careful. Most modern pitch-shifting effects use advanced technology to make sure the added notes work harmoniously with the original.

The Whammy

The Whammy pedal is truly one-of-a-kind. It gets its name from the slang term for a tremolo arm on a guitar, which allows a player to control the pitch of the strings while playing. In much the same way, The Whammy pedal allows a player to perform radical pitch-shifting in real time by rocking the foot treadle back and forth, sweeping between the intervals set on the pedal. This pedal is a lot of fun and allows guitarists to create the dive-bomb sounds that are associated with JImi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, and Joe Satriani.

Modulation Effects

Modulation effects duplicate the waveform of the fundamental signal and alter it, then blend the altered signal and the original signal to create the effected sound. This may sound complicated, but whether you realize it or not, many of your favorite guitar sounds probably use a modulation effect in some way.

Time-Based Effects

By and large, time-based effects split the guitar output into two identical signals and momentarily hold one back while allowing the other to play in real time. The two signals are mixed back into one at the output. Usually you can control the length of the delay and the amount of the signal that is affected versus the part that stays “dry” (unaffected). This latter control—found on most effects—is usually called the level control.

Warm-sounding all-analog circuitry, cavernous delay times up to 600ms and lots of control tweakability make the MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay a big favorite with fans of old-school delay sounds.

Reverb is a more subtle form of delay that replicates the natural echo effect of various spaces, such as small, medium, or large rooms or concert halls. Many amplifiers have built-in reverb effects, but a lot of guitar players like having a separate reverb pedal for an increased range of programmable options. Some modern reverb stompboxes emulate the sound of vintage reverb devices that used reverberating springs or plates to achieve their effects. Reverb is great tool to add color to a very clean tone, but can quickly make a heavily distorted tone sound muddy.

Echo (also sometimes called long delay) is a natural effect as well, but it is only encountered in large open spaces such as canyons or stadiums. It sounds like when you emit a loud, sharp yelp and a second later you hear the yelp come bouncing faintly back to you from a far wall. This is a particularly fun effect to play around with by yourself. If you set the delay of the echo long enough, you can play against the notes you just played and harmonize with yourself while the rate sets up a kind of beat.

Echo controls usually let you determine the level, the period between playbacks, and the decay—the rate at which succeeding notes become quieter and quieter until they fade out altogether. The period (or time) parameter is often controlled by a single button you push repeatedly in time with the music. This is called tap delay and keeps your echo effect from clashing with the music’s time signature.

Advanced processing gives the BOSS TE-Tera Echo awesomely spacious echo and ambiance effects.

Looping

A looper allows you to record a musical passage or phrase then play that passage back repeatedly. You can then record more loops and layer them, one on top of the other. Most recording and playback functions are foot controlled, and once you’ve created suitable backing tracks, you can can then play over the repeated passages in real time, creating exciting one-man-band sounds never possible before. Many of the more advanced models include built-in rhythms, custom effects, inputs for vocal mics and other instruments, plus MIDI and USB capabilities so that you can use the looper as part of your digital song-creation and recording processes.

While a good looper provides phenomenal musical potential, especially for solo performance, and most are simple to use, looping can be challenging for the novice to master. Experienced musicians will have an easier time creating with them, either in realtime performance or songwriting.

With huge loop storage and location options, you can create amazing layered performances with the DigiTech JamMan Solo XT.

Sound-Conditioning Effects

While most effects pedals can drastically alter your sound, there are some that add more subtle elements to your signal to create a more pleasing sound. They may not be as exciting or fun to play with, but they can be the difference between pretty good and truly great sounds. As your collection of effects grows and opportunities to play with bands increase, some of these will become important additions to your rig.

Gain is the strength of the electronic signal carrying your sound. A standalone gain booster is essentially just a preamp, and can be an effective way to overdrive the preamp section of your amp, creating easier musical-sounding breakup and increasing the amp’s power. A gain booster in a stomp box lets you instantly boost your sound level for solos without altering your fundamental tone.

Many stomp boxes for other effects also include gain controls that instantly bump up your signal when you activate the effect. Watch these controls closely and beware of stompbox gain buildup, which can hit your amp’s preamp section with more juice than it can handle resulting in unpleasant distortion.

Volume Pedal

A volume pedal does the same thing a volume knob on a guitar, but it allows you to control the volume with your foot. It is not a boost, it just allows you to sweep between zero output and the full output capacity of your instrument. Many guitarists use a volume pedal, also sometimes referred to as an expression pedal, to create pedal steel-like swells, where a note or chord is played, then the volume is slowly and smoothly raised. Volume pedals can also be used as a boost effect, by simply playing at less than full volume, then stepping on the pedal to go to full volume momentarily when you need the extra boost. Volume pedals can make a standard electric guitar sound like a pedal steel when used with a well-practiced foot technique.They can also be an important pedal to have in your toolbox when playing in a band with multiple guitars.

The minimum volume control on the Morley Volume Plus creates smooth transitions from lead to rhythm and the pedal lets you produce lush violin-like swells.

Compressors

A compressor affects the dynamics of your guitar or bass signal. By making very quiet signals louder and loud signals quieter, it “compresses” the dynamic range of the signal. This can be very helpful for keeping your quieter passages from getting lost in the rest of the music, and your louder passages from drowning everything else out.

Compressor pedals add a softening effect too, by reducing the front edge of notes and amplifying their tails. This increases sustain by bumping up the signal as the note fades out. Most compressors allow you to control both the thresholds (upper and lower limits) and the knee (the speed with which the signal is raised or lowered). The big appeal for guitarists is the compressor’s ability to simulate the natural compression that tube amps generate when driven at medium to high levels. A good compressor can help thicken up the sound of your guitar and add extra punch to your performance.

The MXR M-10Dyna Comp Compresser adds percussive attack, sustain and smoothes out dynamics using a dead-simple control interface to shape its 100%-analog output.

Limiters

A limiter is basically the upper end of a compressor. It allows you to control the maximum loudness of a signal by cutting it back when it crosses a preset threshold. This allows you to avoid abrupt, loud signals or damaged equipment and ears.

The Carl Martin Compressor/Limiter has the kind of sophisticated control and audio quality usually found in rack-mounted gear—all housed in a rugged stompbox format.

Noise Gates

A noise gate is a very handy device that gets rid of hums and hisses that may become apparent when you’re plugged in but not playing your instrument. Basically a limiter in reverse, the noise gate simply cuts out sounds below a preset level. As long as you’re making music your sound is full on; but as soon as you stop playing, all the noise generated by your effects chain, vintage amp, and/or house wiring is silenced.

The BOSS NS-eliminates noise and hum without messing with your tone.

Bass Guitar Effects

As with guitarists, bass players have a vast selection of effects to choose from. They’re designed specifically to take into account bass dynamics and the challenges that face bassists in crafting a signature sound and sonically meshing with the rest of the band.

The Electro-Harmonix Crying Bass pedal produces wah and fuzz effects that go from smooth funk to rude growls.

You’ll find a full slate of dedicated bass stompbox effects as well as many multi-effects pedals and processors. Like their guitar-friendly cousins, bass effects offer most of the same tone shaping capabilities, including chorus, reverbs, delays, phasers, and tremolos. Because of the bass’s unique sound dynamics that reach deep into the lower frequencies, many bass effects are focused around compression and limiters that help keep a lid on destructive subsonic sound waves that can damage gear. Typically, many guitar effects are not optimal when used with a bass.

Recommended Signal Chain Order

The order shown below is accepted by many pro guitarists and guitar techs as the best way to get a pleasing sound out of your different effects. But this is just a starting point—signal chains are a topic of endless debate, and arriving at the right sequence may involve lots of experimentation.

Guitar wizard Steve Vai offers his solutions to perfect pedal order.

Multi-Effects Pedals and Processors

Multi-effects units are exactly what the name implies—single units that offer many different effects and allow those effects to be used singly or in combinations simultaneously. Most will offer just about all the effect types discussed in this guide and many more. Typically they include dozens if not hundreds of effects presets—combinations of effects and effect parameters designed to achieve specific sounds with the touch of button or footswitch. Most also allow you to also save your presets for instant recall.

With over 100 revered stompbox sounds, the floor-based M1from Line puts a powerful and versatile tone toolbox at your feet.

Multi-effects pedals and processors come in three basic formats: floor-based units equipped with foot-operated pedals and switches, tabletop units with knobs and switches, and rack-mounted units. Most tabletop and rack-mount units offer foot control options in addition to the knobs, switches, and menus accessible from their control panels. Pedals and footswitches are often user-assignable so that you can instantly engage various effects settings and other presets with a single toe tap.

Jam-packed with amp, cab and effects models plus over 300 effects presets, the Line POD offers near endless fodder to tweak your guitar sound.

Beyond effects, some processors offer dozens of other capabilities including recording tools, rhythm track generators, plus sound models based on vintage amps, speaker cabinets, microphones, mic preamps, and much more. Many also have MIDI and USB connectors in addition to XLR and ¼” inputs and outputs, and are designed to work seamlessly with computer and iOS-based recording software and apps.

The Rocktron Xpression rack multi-effects processor has 12killer guitar and bass effects that range from classic to cutting-edge.

With its iOS app and Bluetooth connectivity, the Zoom MS100BT Multistomp offers near limitless effects possibilities.

Often, multi-effects pedals and processors can be more cost-effective than purchasing multiple stompboxes. They also avoid the potential noise and tone-degrading impact of chaining numerous individual pedals together. That said, many guitarists prefer the way certain dedicated pedals sound or operate, and will collect many single-effect stompboxes along the way. If you are looking at purchasing multiple effect units but don’t have any favorites, purchasing a multi-effects processor can be a money-saving alternative.

Advanced multi-effects processors can involve significant learning curves. Their hundreds of sounds and functions may entail diving deep into multi-layered menus to get at what you want. The best units offer intuitive and ergonomic user interfaces that keep the most common functions easily accessible via dedicated knobs and switches. Reading user and pro reviews can help you identify which models offer the greatest ease of use.

 

 

 

 

How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

You must visit the page of sales. Here is the link. If you don’t care about which brand is better, then you can choose the overdrive pedals by the price and buy from the one who will offer the greatest discount.

 

 

Final Word

First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.

Most important, have fun and choose your overdrive pedals wisely! Good luck!

So, TOP3 of overdrive pedals

 

 

Questions? Leave a comment below!

Chatting about overdrive pedals is my passion! Leave me a question in the comments, I answer each and every one and would love to get to know you better!



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