By Billy Saefong
There are simply too many guitar pedals to list here so I've gathered just a few of my favorites. From overdrives to tremolo and delays, these are some of the best bang-for-your-buck stomp boxes around. And yes, I know there are more than 10 pedals on this list! 10 just sounds better. Read on!
All prices are estimates based on Amazon and Reverb listings as of August 1st, 2017.
Boss DS-1 - $49
It’s small, it sounds good, it’s a Boss. You can get this for as little as $20 used! I’m pretty positive every guitarist you’ve ever listened to has probably used this little orange box once or twice. It’s simple and has been kicked around since its release in 1978. If you ever wanted something a little better than your amp’s built-in gain without breaking the bank, you cannot go wrong with the Boss DS-1. Watch real-life guitar magician/robot Andy from ProGuitarShop demo the orange monster here:
If you want to spend a little more on Distortion/Overdrive:
Ibanez TS-9 - $99
Let’s stick with drives and distortion pedals a little longer, the Ibanez TS-9 is famous for its tube-like crunch and has been used for decades by a myriad of guitarists. It has also spawned a number of clones so you can get your tube-inspired overdrive on the cheap!
Big Muff Pi - $80
It’s one of the most popular fuzz pedals around and due to its sustain qualities, it’s been used by The Black Keys, Santana, Pink Floyd and more. It’s also pretty darn inexpensive and sounds like a buzzsaw! Jump to the one minute mark to see the Big Muff Pi in action:
BOOST + MORE DRIVE
Electro-Harmonix Soul food Pedal - $78
You can use this drive as a distortion or overdrive pedal but what sets this pedal apart is its power rails, which makes this pedal incredibly hot and adds tons of definition and volume to whatever you’re playing. It’s got so much headroom that EHX even advertises the pedal as a fuzz effect, too. Players can switch to true bypass or buffered bypass. Watch guitar guru and wielder of the ghost pick, Andy from ProGuitarShop put this pedal through its paces right here:
Joyo JF-08 Digital Delay - $39
Woah, this thing is dirt cheap! And incredibly awesome. Joyo is a smaller, lesser-known manufacturer of psychedelic tones but they’ve got some incredibly high-quality pedals like this delay. Other delays out there can run $100 to $200 but if you want a no-frills delay, Joyo's got your back. The pedal features a knob for time, number of repeats, and level. Last but not least, it's also true bypass so you won't lose any tone. Check Intheblues’ demo right here:
Dunlop Cry Baby - $79
It’s the original wah pedal and the only wah pedal that you need. It's a classic expression pedal and built like a tank. What else can I say? The cool thing is that it’s pretty darn affordable and has been tried and tested by a number of players over the years.
MXR Phase 90 - $79
Another classic on the list, the MXR Phase 90 is the essential phase pedal for all your creamy, wavy tones. With a simple, true bypass signal, and a single knob for speed, it’s literally a plug and play pedal.
Behringer TP300 Ultra Tremolo/Pan - $50
The Ultra Tremolo/Pan is great because users can set the sound wave to either triangle for a smoother operation, or a square wave that breaks up the notes. It also has a pan effect with its own set of triangle and square settings, along with the usual knobs for easy operation. Pro tip: it’s fun turning up the rate while using the square setting. This sounds really crazy, especially if the guitar is overdriven.
Alternate pick: Boss TR-2 Tremolo - $99
Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor - $99
For all the times your rig gets a little out of control.
EHX Crayon 76 Full-range Overdrive - $62
Because we all need more overdrive pedals! Seriously this one sounds so good, and it's $62!
Behringer Multi FX600 - $39
When you just want one inexpensive, versatile pedal. A great pick for someone just getting into pedals and want to sample every effect without having a ton of boxes.