Best Distortion and Overdrive Pedals
Having a great distortion or overdrive pedal is essential for any guitar player. But sometimes it’s hard to find a great pedal for a reasonable price. That’s why we’ve made a list of the top distortion and overdrive pedals on the market. Check it out…
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The Pro Co Fat Rat has Classic Rat sounds with a little something extra! The ability to switch from the original silicon clipping to a mosfet/germanium clipping section gives players a subtle but powerful tweak that is a welcome addition to the Rat sound. Take this pedal from smooth, thick distortion to a fuzzy, hairy mess…and they mean that in a good way!
- Clipping Section
- Thick Switch
- 9-18v Operation
- Socketed Opamp
When Dimebag Darrell of Pantera first exploded on the scene, he ushered in a an era of tone and attitude. When it comes to guitar, Dime doesn’t need a ‘warm’ or ‘pretty’ sound. He can’t be bothered with ‘vintage’ this or ’boutique’ that. He wants a heavy, aggressive, razor-sharp tone that can slice through a loud band and a louder crowd. It’s a tone that rages with distortion but remains tight and focused enough to keep up with lightening-fast rhythm lines and face-melting solos.
Finally there’s a pedal that can deliver all that: the The Dime Distortion from MXR. With its 3-band EQ, proprietary Scoop switch, and ungodly output, this stomp box from Hell has the guts and the muscle to stand up to your heaviest displays of power. Crank the gain, boost the lows and highs, and hit the Scoop switch for a rhythm tone that will annihilate.
With original late-70s Op-Amp Big Muffs selling for exorbitant prices, Mike Matthews decided to take the power to the people and reissue the classic pedal at a price that players could afford! The circuitry of the new Electro-Harmonix Op Amp Big Muff Overdrive Pedal, sometimes also referred to as the IC or V4 Big Muff, has been faithfully re-created while several practical enhancements have been added including a compact, die-cast chassis and true bypass switching.
- A faithful reissue of the original classic circa 1978
- Iconic sound and vibe that’s coveted by guitarists
- Controls for Tone, Sustain and Volume, plus a Tone Bypass switch
- True bypass switching for maximum signal integrity in bypass mode
- Rugged, compact, die-cast package, pedalboard-friendly
The MXR design team has collaborated with Eddie Van Halen to deliver a full range of powerful saturation and hyper driven tones right at your feet. The resulting EVH 5150 Overdrive joins hand-adjusted multi-stage MOSFETs with a full complement of controls to deliver overdriven tube-like tones and exceptional sonic flexibility through a wide variety of amps and speaker cabinets.
Dial in classic EVH tones and craft genuine tube-like distortion with the 5150 overdrive pedal — powered by multi-stage MOSFETs with sensitive 3-band EQ.
- Designed in close collaboration with Eddie Van Halen
- Features multi-stage MOSFETs, 3-band EQ, Boost switch, and Gate
- Extremely versatile
The MXR M116 Fullbore Metal Distortion pedal combines powerful high-gain distortion and accurate EQ control to intensify and shape your output into the way it’s meant to be heard. With all-analog true-bypass circuitry, your tone gets the best treatment offered as your fingers travel up and down your axe’s fingerboard. Along with three-band EQ control and a sweepable mid frequency dial, you have a midrange scoop switch to help emphasize your lows and highs. A tight built-in noise gate allows for intense stops and interesting syncopation capability.
- All-Analog High-Gain Distortion
- Dynamic EQ Control
- Built in Noise Gate and Scoop Switch
- Compact Size and Robust Design
Wampler has taken their popular Plexi-Drive Standard and added a few updates. The result is the Wampler Plexi-Drive Deluxe effects pedal. This pedal features a plexi drive circuit on the left side and a midrange boost circuit on the right. Active three-band EQ knobs boost and cut your bass, middle, and treble ranges with precision, and bass boost and bright boost switches add even more low or high end when you need it. This vibrant effects pedal is hand-built and features true-bypass circuitry.
- Vintage British Tone to Boot
- The “Pre Gain” switch on the bottom right of the Plexi-Drive Deluxe fires up a particular flavor of midrange punch
- Hand-Built True-Bypass Circuitry
A modern monster of gain – everything you love about high gain but with that contemporary depth, aggression, clarity and power to blow every other pedal away… Even since the release of the Triple Wreck in 2008, Brian has been wanting to make a more modern version of the gain, a more contemporary tone designed for modern high gain players. The trouble is, it kept changing – moving – developing.
- Built in the U.S.A
- High grade components picked for their superior sound and response
- Relay true bypass with soft switch
- Top mounted input and output jacks
- Battery connection and 9v power jack
- Two gain voices for maximum versatility
- Perfect modern metal tones
The Boss BD-2 delivers the creamy, yet crunchy sound associated with great blues guitar. Instant access to the kind of warm overdrive and emotive distortion usually reserved for 30-year-old tube amps.
Warm up your distortion tone with this renowned pedal. The BD-2 Blues Driver offers classic blues tones and simulates the response of a tube amp.
- Classic “blues” guitar tones with tube amp simulation.
- Warm distortion and overdrive.
- Responds to nuance and volume changes.
- AC adapter or 9V battery operation.
- 5-year warranty.
Equipped with a dual gain circuit, the MT2 provides super-long sustain and heavy mids and lows like a stack of overdriven amps. With 3-band EQ, a wide range of distortion textures is at your command.
With the Boss MT-2 Metal Zone you’ll have access to an array of distorted tones that will make even the cheapest amp sound like a high-end full stack with.
The history of Boss reads like the history of guitar effects. From their legendary CE-1 chorus pedal (the big gray box that started it all) to the world’s favorite line of compact pedals, they’ve been responsible for more guitar innovations than just about anyone else.
With its extreme gain, the ML-2 is the most potent and heavy distortion pedal ever created by BOSS. It easily delivers massive distortion and gain with heavy lows for playing Nu Metal, Grind Core, Industrial, Hard Core, or any genre that requires crushing sound. The ML-2’s ferocious and biting tone will complement and cut through any blast beats your rhythm section can create.
- Ultra-heavy distortion with sharp-edged attack for crushing metal riffs
- LOW control for heavy, low frequency sound a la 7-string guitar or dropped tuning
- HIGH control for screaming, metallic tone
- Road-tough BOSS metal construction