What are the Best Guitar Pedals? – 2018 Reviews (UPDATED)
The task of getting the right pedal can be quite daunting. You have to be consider a number of facts, or else you will not be able to maximize your utility. These facts include your budget, the brand and the quality of the pedal that you’re getting, and most importantly, the compatibility of the pedal with your guitar. The task is anything but easy.
So, to make your life a little bit easier, here are 5 of the finest guitar pedals reviews that are sure to rule the market this year. For your convenience, we have divided the pedals into low range, medium range and high range pedals.
Quick Comparison of 5 Best Guitar Pedals
Since our mission is to help you find the best device that will suite your budget and taste, we did some extensive research on the available pedals. Here are our top results:
**You'll find detailed comparison below, but you can also check the prices or read Amazon Customer Reviews by click the links above.
Update on April 2017: We have write about several types of guitar pedals. Check them out below:
We want to snoop out the best of the best for you. This is why, we tested all the pedals listed above with a variety of electric guitars. There were other pedals that grabbed our attention, but nothing came close to our top picks. Here are the review of the best guitar pedals available in the market:
Best Low Range Pedals:
When it comes to getting a standard guitar pedal with a decent sound quality, budget is always an issue. It is not possible for all of us to spend a few couple of bucks on a guitar pedal we may or may not use professionally. But it is always hard to find a good pedal on a low budget.
Considering these facts, we tried out a number of cheap guitar pedals, and found three pedals that are very good for a low cost. Here are those:
1. Boss DS1 Distortion Guitar Pedal
It is not always easy to find a decent distortion pedal in a tight budget. But Boss Audio has always been a favorite of the guitarists around the world, and they all agree that nothing could be better than the DS1.
However, there are conditions applied. What conditions? You will like this pedal if and only if you need a basic distortion pedal. Contrariwise, if you are perfectionist regarding tones who believes that every beat of the music you make has to be absolutely perfect, then you might find that the Boss DS1 is really not your cup of tea.
True, there are better alternatives to this particular pedal in the market. Then why is this pedal listed on our best guitar pedals list? That is because this particular product is very popular among musicians, and rightly so.
The DS1 has been available in the market since 1978. For 38 years, this product has been a faithful companion to the guitarists all around the world. Why would it be so successful if it had nothing to offer?
The Boss DS1 has its advantages over many other pedals. It has three knobs- tone, level and distortion. With its simple and elegant design, the DS1 is a pedal that can be used by anybody and everybody. The construction of this pedal is super sturdy, and there’s a possibility that you will never have to replace this pedal.
True, this pedal may not be sparkling tone clarity in a box, and some might say that the distortion sounds harsh and artificial, but if you are looking for a simple pedal with great features, the DS1 is definitely worth a try. What’s better, this pedal functions on any standard 9V battery. A power adapter will suffice as well.
Here’s one other thing. If you find the tone to be a bit buzzy or quite thin, chances are your pedal is not properly set. Since the tone of this pedal is a bit treble heavy, you should always be careful when you play with your settings. Switch off that tone control, and you will get a warm, oddly satisfying distortion which will stroke your soul.
All in all, the Boss DS1 distortion will be worth the money you spend on it, and it is definitely one of the best cheap guitar pedals available in the market. So stop hesitating and give it a chance. If you can use it properly, there is no way that you will be disappointed.
2. Zoom G1Xon Guitar Effects Pedal with Expression Pedal
Have you ever heard of Gandhari? According to the Indian epic Mahabharata, Gandhari was the queen of Kuru Kingdom, and according to legend she had 100 sons.
You might be confused how the legend of Gandhari relates to the Zoom G1Xon. We’ll tell you how- this pedal is the Gandhari of the guitar effects kingdom. Why? Because it provides you with not ten, not twenty, but a total of one hundred distinct effects. See why this pedal is listed on our best guitar pedals’ list?
The Zoom G1Xon has it all. Armed with 80 effects, 14 amp models and one hundred memory locations, this is the ultimate toolbox that will be able to fulfil each and every one of your cravings. Doesn’t matter whether you want delay, distortion or modulation, this amazing device has it all.
What’s even more amazing- up to 5 effects can be used simultaneously in any order that you want. It comes with a built in expression pedal that accomplishes a number of tasks- like filtering your signal or controlling the volume.
With the expression pedal, using all of these functions is a child’s play. It also comes with an onboard tuner (chromatic) and looper. Even that is not all- it supports 68 different rhythm patterns, it has different input jacks for different purposes and has 20 hours of alkaline battery life. It also functions on standard AC adapters.
The Zoom G1Xon is really one of those rare inventions that make people’s lives easier without being overcomplicated. Yes, all these functions in a single pedal seems a bit overwhelming. But rest assured, it is not something that can only be used by experts. That is the beauty of this particular product, despite housing so many astonishing features, it is still very easy to use.
The built in tuner makes sure you are playing your notes accurately, sixty eight different rhythm patterns helps you improve you rhythm techniques without boring you to death, and of course, the looper lets you explore your full potential. This pedal is a heavenly solution for all the problems a guitarist might face. Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it is nonetheless true.
The G1Xon is a complete package. It sounds good, it is strongly built, it is easy to use, and it is one of those very best cheap guitar pedals with extraordinary features. It is everything that a pedal should be. You can even customize the effects to meet up with your expectation. What else could you expect from a pedal that doesn’t even cost a hundred dollars?
Then again, all the reviews in the world is not going to convince you if you just don’t like it. So best option- go ahead and try out this product. Who knows, you just might find your soul mate in it.
3. Dunlop GCB95 The Original Cry Baby® Wah Wah
The Dunlop GCB95 is the mother of all wah pedals. It is the pedal people are talking about when they are talking about wah pedals. The crybaby has helped the guitarists create some of the most iconic sounds in the history of rock music.
This vintage style wah pedal was first launched in the late 1960’s, and ever since then it has been the benchmark for all wah pedals. Need proof?
This pedal has been used by timeless rockers like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, David Gilmore and many others. Why would they confide in this pedal if it wasn’t one of the best guitar pedals ever invented?
The Dunlop Crybaby is fairly easy to use. This original wah has its unique functions that will wake up the sleeping rocker in you. To use this, you just need to rock your foot on the pedal.
By doing so, you will be able to change the effect it has on your guitar sound very easily and swiftly. Need more treble? Keep your toe down.
Want more bass? Keep your heel down. Using a wah pedal has never been easier. The rest comes with three Ps- Passion, Patience and Practice.
The best thing about this particular product that it has a very, very sturdy body. The construction is so heavy and die-cast that it will keep accompanying you for years. There’s even a chance that you can pass it down to your son or daughter and with enough time, it can even turn into a family heirloom. Well, that was a joke, but this particular pedal will definitely last years.
Another fantastic thing about this fantastic pedal is that it works on any adapter. You can use batteries too. But it is always better to avoid cheap adapters if you are in doubt. Hence, we recommend you to purchase the Dunlop ECB-003 AC Adapter in order to power up your pedal.
But this is just an option- you can get any adapter that you want. And oh, the crybaby comes with a one year warranty. So if anything happens to your pedal within that timeframe, Dunlop tech will be very willing to offer their generous helping hand to your aid.
So why hesitate? Grab your Dunlop GCB95 Crybaby now. You will get an amazingly reliable and fantastic sounding wah pedal for just around eighty dollars. Isn’t that pretty cheap for an amazing pedal like this one? Hence, we hope and pray that you can find your Wah soulmate in this particular pedal.
And we hope that the effort you put in by going through millions of guitar pedal reviews does not go to waste. You may just be one of those annoyingly happy guitarists who just cannot stop talking about the new pedal they just bought.
Best Medium Range Pedals
Now let’s think in this way. You want a guitar pedal. But you don’t want a cheap one. Getting a pedal that is a bit more expensive will put your mind at ease. But you don’t want to spend two hundred dollars on a single pedal either. So, in these cases, how do you make your life decisions?
The solution is pretty easy. You keep on reading this article, read the review about the best medium range pedal we’ve found on the market, and go out to get that. But which pedal are we talking about? Here you go.
4. TC Electronic Guitar Ditto Looper Effects Pedal
TC Electronics have been a very reliable name among the guitarists around the world for quite some time. Just like Boss, TC Electronics is one of the first companies that comes to your mind when you are thinking about getting a new guitar pedal or related accessories.
So we present you the ditto looper from TC Electronics- the ultimate looper for the guitarists.
The Ditto looper from TC has all the necessary looper functions that a pedal like this might ever need. Along with these versatile functions, it comes with true bypass, a dry-through design which is analog, very, very small footprint and compressed high quality audio of twenty four bit.
Additionally, it has an intuitive one button UI, which is very handy. To be precise, the ditto looper is the perfect combination of quality, elegance and simplicity.
The ditto looper has one simple thing to do, and it does it perfectly. You press one button, and voila! Your work with the looper is done. Once you’re done playing, simply tap the button once again, and your track will be played back.
If you want to overdub at any point in the looping process, all you have to do is tap the record button twice. Don’t like the overdub? Press and hold the button, and your overdub will be erased. You want to stop and clear everything you’ve done? Press the button twice, then press and hold. Using a looper has never been easier.
The limit for this particular looper is 5 minutes. That should be enough for you to record an entire song and do your magic. If it is still not enough, then we offer our condolences. The tone preservation is fantastic, the variety is nice- This pedal is magic. This small, user friendly looper is just exactly what we’ve all been dreaming of. And it costs around one hundred dollars, so no complaints there as well.
The only con this pedal has is that it does not function on a battery. It needs an AC adapter to function. Other than that, this looper is a little piece of heaven.
So go ahead and try it. You will not find a simpler, easier to use pedal in the market, and we sincerely believe that. Because to be perfectly honest, the ditto looper is one of the very best guitar effects pedals you will be able to find in the market.
Best High Range Pedals
This section is for the professionals. So you have finished trying out all the cheap pedals, and now you want to try out something fancy. Maybe you are going on a world tour next month. No wonder you will want a pedal that costs a little more and not to mention, is worth the price you are paying for it. So here’s our solution to your problem:
5. Electro-Harmonix MEL9 Tape Replay Machine, Power Supply included
If you have the willingness to pay around 230 dollars for a guitar pedal, then the MEL9 Tape Replay is definitely worth a try. This amazing machine is made for born-guitarists, and it has so many beautiful features that it will make your heart ache.
The MEL9 Tape relay is the ultimate pedal that will make your life a whole lot of easier. It pays tribute to nine of the hottest mellotron sound in the history of mankind- including orchestra, saxophone, flute, clarinet etc.
You don’t need any special pickup, modification or any MIDI implementation to use this fine machine, and it works on bass guitars even when you have an open A string.
It works really well with keyboards as well. It has separate effects and dry volume control in order to let your creativity run loose.
You can fine-tune your release time and swell speed by using the attack sustain controls. Sounds pretty impressive, doesn’t it?
This pedal will fulfil your need like no other. It has a beautiful sound and a very accurate tracking. You will be able to improve your techniques with this awesome device. However, that will not come very easily. Since the MEL9 is a professional tool, it takes a bit more effort to be able to use it properly.
In other words, you cannot expect the pedal to yield ultimate results unless you’ve spent sufficient amount of time playing and experimenting with it. The design is ultra-modern and user-friendly, but it still has a limit. So, if you really want to use this device to its fullest potential, you must invest time and effort.
The only con to this pedal is that the sliding and the string bending sounds a little off. This is nothing major, but you may have to avoid certain guitar techniques to have your perfect sound.
All in all, the MEL9 is a fantastic pedal. It is definitely one of the finest guitar pedals around. So it is worth a try.
Playing the guitar is all about patience, passion and hard work. The absence of any one of these three traits makes it significantly harder to master this magical instrument. But once you get the hang of it, nothing else can give you a pleasure that can be compared to it. After months of practice, endless turmoil, and bleeding your fingers dry when you finally go up on that stage and listen to the cheers from the crowd, it all seems worth it.
Someone who has never gone through the hardship of the practice sessions cannot perceive the pleasure derived from delivering a great performance. While you are up there, nothing else seem to matter. And a good guitar pedal accomplishes only 5% of the real thing. Nonetheless, they are still very important.
Another thing, only you can say what’s best for you. So you probably should shut down your computer and go to the nearest store to try out a few pedals. We know that you will be able to find the best guitar pedals for you.
May the force be with you, always.