What are the Best Budget Guitar Overdrive Pedals

budget guitar overdriveOverdrive pedals designed to give you all of the crunch that you need without emptying your pockets.

Effect pedals are a great way to change up or enhance your sound. You can get almost any sound you can think up, somewhere in a pedal. You can do anything from adding a slap-back echo to turning your guitar into a synth. Their small size and relatively inexpensive price allows players to get several types of pedals and string them together on a pedal-board, or several of the same type and swap them out. Many vintage pedals are collected and can sell for thousands of dollars. Right now we’re going to take a look at overdrive pedals in particular, and of those we want the ones that won’t break the bank. Each pedal on this list costs less than $100, looks and sounds great, is high-quality and durable, and will deliver all of the overdrive crunch that you need. We’ll look at, and discuss a few vintage pedals that have more than proven themselves, and we’ll also take a look at a few of the more modern ones on the market today to see how the technology is changing, and determine if they sound as good, or better, than the old pedals.

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What are the Best Guitar Overdrive Pedals ?

best guitar overdriveIf you are in the market for a guitar overdrive pedal, this list will point you in the right direction.

For many of us, the overdrive that is built into our amplifier, even if it is a good one, can become stale and restrictive over time, thus leaving you looking for something more. An overdrive pedal can be the perfect solution. Pedals are usually much cheaper than a new amplifier, and much less bulky. There are so many overdrive pedals available that it won’t be too hard to find one or more that you like, thereby leaving you free to create for yourself a truly custom sound that is unique to you. Right now we’re going to look at some of the best guitar overdrive pedals available out there, and we’ll talk about why they are so great, and also what makes them that way. We’re going to take a look at vintage designs as well as modern overdrive pedals, to see how things have changed, and how they have remained the same. These are all going to be Overdrive pedals, so we will probably see a few tube emulators, and pedals designed to sound like an amp naturally breaking up. You’ll get some good crunch and even distortion out of many of these pedals, but these are not Fuzz pedals or Metal distortion pedals; those are for another time.

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The Fulltone OCD – In Search of the Holy Grail

Fulltone OCDAn incredible palate of overdrive sounds in one little pedal

One of the things that seems to be particularly high on the list of priorities for guitarists is how to achieve the perfect driven sound. There are so many overdrive / distortion pedals out there. You could spend all day and night just trying them all out, to see which one sounds best. Although guitars, amps and even pickups are often candidates for “Best of the Best” ranking among guitarists, the overdrive pedal seems to hold a special place in our hearts, as a critical component to our sound and an item that we keep ourselves in an unrelenting search for.
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MXR M78 Custom Badass ’78 Distortion

MXR M78 Custom Badass '78 DistortionMXR’s new ’78 Bad Ass is a dammed good distortion pedal that offers true bypass and a warm sound, at a very reasonable price.

OK, this thing is pretty good. The kicker is that it retails for under $100. At that price range, true bypass and warm analog distortion is definitely a feature set that should impress anyone. Of course this is all very subjective. You have to factor in your setup, taste, and playing style. That said, all things considered, it’s a strong pedal.  I’m not too sure what the ’78 stands for. I guess I don’t really care, but I am curious.
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Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer – Still Going Strong After 30 Years

Ibanez TS9 Tube ScreamerStarting with the TS-808, these little green monsters known as “tube screamers” have been gracing the pedal boards of guitarists for more than 30 years. Over the years, the shade of green and look have the pedal has morphed a bit, but the popularity has never waned.

I remember these pedals being quite popular back in the late ’70s, but I think most would agree that it was Stevie Ray Vaughan who played a pretty big role in the TS9’s surge in popularity. Eric Johnson was also a fan and known to use one to a large degree. What’s amazing is that over all these years, and through all the re-issues, the overall design has never really changed. This is most likely due to the fact that Ibanez had no reason to fix what was not broken. Many guitarists love the Tube Screamer, and many have loved it just the way it is.
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