Best Guitar Drive Pedal
Best Guitar Overdrive Pedal:
When I was a teenage guitarist, each night before I went to bed I prayed for two things: A girlfriend, and the perfect Overdrive Pedal. After nearly 25 years of experimenting and gigs, one of those dreams has been realized. I’m still waiting for the other one to come true. And it really is a dream come true. I have sometimes stood in amazement as I was able to conjure up rich, creamy flavors of guitar stuff, using only my Strat, a cord, an amp, and my favorite overdrive pedal. This is highly subjective stuff, and a hotly-debated subject for sure. A pedal that one may consider to be outstanding might simply sound bad to another. So, it is difficult to apply absolute value labels to these pedals. But at the higher-performing end of the spectrum are pedals that most would... agree are without doubt best in class. This list, Best Guitar Overdrive Pedal speaks to the dreamer in every guitarist. The perfect overdrive pedal; not easy to find... until now.
A two-channel, tube-based overdrive pedal that boasts superb tone. The Radial Tonebone Trimode Classic is built like a tank, and dripping in world-class tone. Read Full Review
Transparency is an understatement when used to describe the Fulltone OCD Obsessive Compulsive Drive. This pedal leaves your tone alone and lets it shine, while simply providing as much drive as you need, and all of the wonderful squeaks and squawks that makes drive fun. Read Full Review
One of Fulltones most popular pedals, the Fulldrive 2 delivers a two-channel approach that allows for plenty of flexibility. Enjoy top-notch features such as modern/vintage voicings and 20 dB of volume boost. Read Full Review
The Box of Rock is perfectly named: it simply offers fantastic overdrive sounds. ZVex comes through once again with a well made product that tricks your amplifier into thinking it has been turned up very loud. Read Full Review
The past is new all over again. Ibanez revives the TS808 brand for a new version that features the best of the original, yet delivers the features and design that modern guitarists need most. Read Full Review
Best Guitar Distortion Pedal:
Overdrive is great, but some folks want more... a lot more. Enter the Distortion pedal. Once the concept of getting that warm and creamy breakup via a floor-based pedal got old, guitarists started to yearn for levels of drive that you would normally find only in the afterburner of a 747. Fortunately, some of the best pedal makers came through with flying colors. All of these picks are at the head of the class, and get perfect grades. When making a decision on which one to choose, some of the dynamics to consider are whether you prefer a two-channel model, or a Set-it-and-forget-it kind of tool. Both scenarios have their positive sides, but one may fit your needs better than the other. Whatever your playing style and requirements may be, read on for the best choices in the market today.
T-Rex Engineering packed as much distortion in to the Mean Machine as possible. Enjoy two discrete channels, each with its own level and tone controls. Your amp will be begging for mercy. Read Full Review
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Radial Engineering adds another champ to their product line. The Hot British Tube Drive is a well-designed and expertly crafted pedal that delivers just about any British guitar tone you can dream up. Read Full Review
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The Zvex Vextron series Distortron delivers a super-warm tone and plenty of organic textures. This well-built pedal offers an impressive level of flexibility, and a voicing that recalls the much-loved Marshall JTM-45. Read Full Review
Best Guitar Clean Boost Pedal:
Clean boost pedals are one-trick ponies that can serve many purposes. I know that last sentence was a complete contradiction, but it is true. Although they are meant to only increase your signal level without altering your tone, it is how you position your clean boost pedal that really determines what affect it has on your signal. Many guitarists use them simply to make up for signal loss when using multiple pedals; some use it for that extra oomph they need when soloing; and some simply use it to Phatten-up their clean sound. However you choose to apply it, the clean boost can be a very effective tool. The products in this list are tops in that group.
Who would have thought that a graphic-EQ pedal could also double as a fantastic clean boost? The Boss GE-7s level controls turns this pedal into a clean boost that just so happens to include seven powerful tone-shaping controls. Read Full Review
Best Guitar Fuzz Pedal:
The Guitar Fuzz pedal is capable of coaxing sounds out of a guitar that can take you to new sonic dimensions. It can also make you want to bang your head against a wall; a bad fuzz pedal in the wrong hands is truly an instrument of evil. This is all the more reason to find the best quality possible. While some may judge a Fuzz pedal by how well it does the Jimi thing most experienced musicians would agree that the overall musicality of the pedal is the critical factor. When you step on your Fuzz, you want to know that you are taking the audience to new levels of tonal magic - not giving them early stage tinnitus. Best Guitar Fuzz Pedal is sure to point you in the right direction. Every product here is a truly musical pedal that will only enhance your creative palette.
Fulltone does it again with yet another knockout pedal. The CT1 Catalyst Fuzz Booster Overdrive does double duty, and does it exceptionally well. You can count on not only superb Fuzz, but fantastic-sounding overdrive as well. Read Full Review
If you like Jimi, and you like Fuzz, then you will like the Voodoo Lab Proctavia. Woodstock-esque Fuzz/Octave-up/Snarl is served-up here with elegant simplicity; it just sounds great. Read Full Review
If you need Fuzz, why not get it from the folks who first set the standard? Dallas Arbiter has re-re-introduced the Fuzz Face, and has done it well. This pedal delivers first-class Fuzz, using the same germanium PNP transistors as the original. Read Full Review
Fuzz, or just a little Fuzzy - have it either way you want. The MXR M-173 Classic 108 Fuzz allows you to tease your amp with a nod to Jimis classic sounds, or pummel it with sinewave madness - your choice. Read Full Review
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