As a guitarist, I am always looking for new tones and ways to improve my sound. Overdrive pedals are fantastic tools that can do everything from providing a subtle boost to your clean guitar tone, to giving you the sound of a cranked up tube amp capable of some serious sustain.
Personally, I prefer using an overdrive pedal instead of a distortion pedal, because the overdrive pedal does a great job of keeping the dynamics of your playing intact but still provides enough gain to give you a satisfying amount of dirt.
In this post I will be ranking and reviewing the top 10 overdrive pedals on the market today, as well as explaining what makes them stand out from one another.
The overdrive pedal is probably the most essential and versatile piece of gear that you can have on your pedalboard. It’s this magical black box that can take your guitar and transform it into a different instrument entirely. These are some of the highest rated overdrive pedals available, along with a short description of what each one does.
1) Klon Centaur – The Klon is like the holy grail of overdrive pedals… if you can find one for sale!
2) Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive – This is probably my favorite pedal on the list. It’s able to get those classic Led Zeppelin tones but can be used to add more gain than most other overdrives as well.
3) Red Witch Violetta Fuzz – This is a fuzz pedal, yes, but I’m including it because it also has an “overdrive” setting that works amazingly well.
4) JHS Pedals Morning Glory – Another fantastic overdrive pedal, and one that will let you dial in just about any style of distortion that you want.
An overdrive pedal is the most important piece of gear you can own. That’s a pretty bold statement, but that’s because it’s true. Overdrives are the most versatile. They’re not just for metalheads, or indie rockers, or country pickers, or blues shredders — a good overdrive will work for everyone.
I won’t go too deep into what an overdrive does to your tone, because there are plenty of other articles on this site and others that detail that. Besides, what an overdrive does to your tone depends on how you set it and what kind of amp you use it with. The point is, overdrives make your guitar louder without making it sound like a fuzz pedal (unless you want them to).
But I know this isn’t why you’re here. You want to know which ones are the best and why they are the best so you can get one and be cool like me. I understand. When I was your age, I was also trying desperately to find myself and my place in the world. It wasn’t until I bought my first overdrive pedal that I realized where I was meant to be:
“The most important thing to look for in an overdrive pedal is that it doesn’t alter your tone too much. It should sound as close as possible to your amp’s natural distortion. The best way to accomplish this is by looking at the pedal’s “gain” knob. The gain setting controls how much distortion the pedal adds to your guitar’s original sound.
You can also choose a pedal that enhances a particular range of tones, or you can just look for an overdrive pedal with a “true bypass.” A true bypass pedal will produce no extra sounds when it is off.
Here is a list of some of the best overdrive pedals available:
Ibanez TS-808 Tube Screamer
Behringer TO800 Vintage Tube Overdrive Pedal
Boss BD-2 Blues Driver Pedal
Boss SD-1 Super OverDrive Pedal
Boss OD-1X OverDrive Pedal
MXR M104 Distortion+ Guitar Effects Pedal
MXR M75 Super Badass Distortion Pedal
EHX LPB-1 Linear Power Booster Guitar Effects Pedal
Overdrive pedals are a very important element in the sound of any electric guitar. They are what give the player the option of playing with a lot of distortion and gain, or a light crunch. The way they work is by clipping the signal that comes from the guitar, which gives it a very different sound. Every overdrive pedal works differently. Most overdrive pedals boost the treble frequencies, while some also add bass frequencies, or go as far as not boosting anything at all.
There are many factors that determine the quality of an overdrive pedal. This is why I have decided to make this list of the top ten best overdrive pedals. I have taken into consideration things like price, sound quality, and many other factors that make one overdrive pedal better than another one.
The pedal that I have decided is the best one on this list is number five: The Tubescreamer TS9 by Ibanez. There are many reasons for this decision. First of all, it has a very reasonable price for such an amazing pedal: $109. It sounds really good, and has a very nice build quality, considering it is made out of plastic and metal. The only thing bad about it is that it can get quite noisy if you boost your amp
Overdrive pedals are amongst the most popular effects on the market today for their versatility, ease of use and rich, full tone. Used by countless legendary amplifiers and most Fender Stratocaster players including Eric Clapton, overdrive pedals are perhaps the most important tonal silo when it comes to guitar gear.
An overdrive pedal at its very core is designed to push more signal into an amp. This results in a number of benefits: higher advantage of your tubes, higher gain on your amplifier (if needed), and a more well-rounded sound. These pedals essentially function as a boost pedal, in that they give you more signal to amplify. This increased level of signal helps bring out more of the natural distortion that’s inherent to tubes being pushed to their limits.
With so many overdrive pedals available, it can be tough to know where to start when choosing one for your own rig. We’re going to take a look at some of our favorite overdrive pedals and find out why we feel they stand out from the crowd. Before we do that though let’s look at what an overdrive pedal actually does and how it works with your rig.
The overdrive pedal is arguably the most important part of a guitarist’s rig. It is the heart and soul, the very essence of your tone. Some players, like myself, prefer to use all different types of overdrives for different situations (like using a tubescreamer type pedal for rhythm and a higher gain drive for leads). Others just stick to one overdrive pedal, no matter what kind of guitar they’re playing or what kind of music they’re playing.
Overdrive pedals don’t just add gain – they also add harmonic content and dynamics that are crucial to your tone. If you’re looking to get your first overdrive or just want to upgrade from your current one, I’ve compiled a list of my top five favorites below.