BEST OVERDRIVE PEDAL

THE BEST OVERDRIVE PEDAL

best overdrive pedal

We have put together this fun guide for the best overdrive pedal and pedals.  I’m a big fan of the big muff by electro-harmonix, but I wanted to see what else was out there knowing that most of my friends all have different ones.  But one thing was common, and I wanted to find out which they thought was the best.  So, this guide was conducted using about a dozen friends one who works at a guitar center and one who works at a famous guitar shop in Wisconsin, and random guys I ran sound for.

We narrowed down to a top 10 list.  Below you’ll see our list of what us and our friends think.

COMPARISONS

PictureNameRaitingAmazon
Soul Food Distortion4.5 Star Rating
Obsessive Compulsive Drive5 Star Rating
BOSS DS1 Distortion4.5 Star Rating
Ibanez TS808 Overdrive Pedal4.5 Star Rating
BEHRINGER BOD4004 Star Rating
J Rockett 4.5 Star Rating
Electro-Harmonix Bass Big Muff Distortion Pedal4.5 Star Rating
Boss BD-2 Blues Driver Guitar Effects Pedal4.5 Star Rating
Boss MT-2 Metal Zone 4.5 Star Rating
Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer4.5 Star Rating
It’s really hard to decide what you’re going to like without trying it first.  And we understand that, so we just want to go through and give you and quick review of each pedal.  Then you can go to guitar center and give them a try if you like, or if you’re convinced we have a link to amazon, where they pretty much have the best prices online.
But before we get into the reviews let’s go over a some tips when looking for an overdrive pedal.
  • Reviews – Most of the boxes we tried we based it on our opinions, other musicians and star ratings from other websites.  For instance, we only reviewed the best rated and ones with the most reviews.  If you click on a link you can go and read people s reviews to any of the guitar pedals we talk about.
  • Price – Considering that we are going for the over drive pedal, we figured price really isn’t an option BUT it is.  So, as you will see some start at $30 and the most expensive on goes up to $199.
  • Quality – All of the pedals are nothing but the best quality. We’re talking about the casing, the knobs and the electronics that go into making a pedal.
  • Top 10 – Our guide is merely a guide for you to use and compare.  We have a lot of fun doing this stuff and its great to go around and network with other musicians about their gear, try it some time!

Let’s go to the reviews!

1. Soul Food Distortion Review

Soul food Distortion by electro-harmonix is a great company to start off with so I Knew there would be something special about this guitar pedal.

First off this pedal gets high remarks for being very affordable.  Second, with the price in mind guitar players love it.  So what is the Soul food distortion?  It’s a badass pedal that delivers a nice clean transparent overdrive that has awesome touch/response.

A super rugged built box that comes with a power supply, but also runs on a 9-volt battery.  Check out this great fuzz sound!

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2. Obsessive Compulsive Drive Review

Here is the Obsessive compulsive drive guitar pedal made by the Fulltone company.  You might recognize the them for their dozens of other great pedals which is how this one caught our attention.

This particular pedal gets its name for guitar players who are OCD about their sound and guitar tone.

Known for giving beautiful overtones when cranking you’re amp.  The overtones are SO powerful, when you turn down the guitar’s volume the pedal sort of goes into a range of other tone possibilities!
Sounds great using humbucker and single coil guitars.  Things we liked were, amp-like tones, various tone options, uncompressed gain (nice benefit).

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3. BOSS DS1 Distortion Review

The Boss D21 Distortion pedal is a legion in the field of stomp boxes.  This box dates way back to the 1970’s, and has been a real trooper.

If you like it really loud and distorted, then this stomp box is what you need.  Time has proved this is the master of metal and rock tones.

It is super simple, it has only 3 knobs to control your tone and volume.  It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

This pedal is a great pedal, but it’s pretty standard distortion with overdrive.  Not saying that’s bad, but I would recommend this pedal for the guitar player who needs a overdrive pedal that is simple and standard.  If you are looking for a more unique distortion, this is not for you.  But, I do recommend it, because it is a BOSS and it is reasonably priced for stomp boxes.

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4. Ibanez TS808 Overdrive Pedal Review

Here is another legion made by Ibanez and invented by Mazon.  Used by many great musicians like Stevie Ray Vaughn and Trey Anastasio from Phish.

Get a great sound out of tube-amp and a solid-state amp using this pedal.  For instance we tried a few amps and all had great tone, the tube-amp was just a bit better though.  But here is what we did to tweak the pedal, Set the drive knob to zero and you get a fuzzy 70’s tone, like Hendrix.  Turn the drive all the way up, and you get a very pleasing fuzzy sound.  We liked that!

It’s pretty straight forward stomp box with a touch more of excellence.  Voted the best overdrive pedal by Ibanez.

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5. BEHRINGER BOD400 REVIEW

Bass guitar can have overdrive too!   Being a bass player I was excited to try this one out.

I was a little scare to try it, for one it is like $25 bucks and it’s a Behringer.  But to be fair, that company has wowed me in so many ways recently, that is why we gave this bass guitar pedal a shot.

Right off the bat this sucker can get super distorted right away, if you’re into that.  It had great bass tones to go with the distortion, not too harsh at all.
But what I found when playing with the dials was that I could get some nice controlled tones that gave me a nice bass boost with a hint of distortion to drive that mid tone, so like a punchy but top ended tone, I liked that.  I do have a feeling bass players like this pedal for the over all db boost and distorted sound it gives.  But for like twenty-five bucks, it’s not a bad pedal to add to your board.

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6. J Rockett Overdrive Pedal Review

The J Rockett overdrive pedal has a great organic sound, that blends well with other over-drive pedals to create a fantastic unified tone!  This could be one of the pedals out there.

After some time playing with the pedal I found it to be very versatile.  It can actually do a lot more than just distort.

I’m very please actually with the tone of the pedal, the sound has a nice warm overdrive to it with a hint of tube compression.

It has a great solid body that weighs more than a regular pedal.  If it’s the Klon style you’re looking for, you found it.

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7. Electro-Harmonix Little Big Muff

Long, Silky, Smooth-Sustain.  Just a few words to describe this classic monster of a pedal.

This pedal reminds me of a Black Sabbath type of one, dirty distortion with a nice sustain that complaints it’s 1970’s original sound.  Same circuitry as the big brother but in a compact die-cast box.

Overall we like this pedal, it has a great fuzz tone with some warm bass tones.  Not a bad price for a undistrucable box.

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8. Boss BD-2 Blues Driver Review

Here is a great pedal that has that classic blues sound in it.  The classic blues tones with tube-amp simulation.  It has a nice warm distortion and overdrive.  Responsive to volume change and nuance.

If you’re a blues guy or looking to get into it, you need this pedal.  It has a sound that usually only comes from tube amps that are like 30 years old.

No matter how bad you tweak the knobs, it will still maintain that nice warm blues tone.

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9. Boss MT-2 Metal Zone

Boss makes some great pedals that we are big fans of, and here is another great one call the MT-2 Metal Zone.  This sucker has some great distortion to it.

This was designed for heavy sounds like Metallica or punk bands.  Its loud, but it really shapes the sounds well.

We recommend this pedal easily to the heavy metal dudes out there looking to get that awesome distortion.

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10. Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer

This is a reissue of the exact original, Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer.  The same circuit board and components.  The exact same box.

This is the classic pedal that many great rock n roll artist all used to get their sound.

The Tube overdrive is not a distortion pedal like the Metal Zone.  It’s not a fuzz pedal either.

This pedal is meant to boost your signal’s front end, which gives an overall dynamic sounding tone with more gain.  That gives you that nice and mid-range bluesy sound.  Or another we liked was the simple crunchy AC/DC guitar sound.

Overall, we liked it, it boost our signal and shapes the sound.  Maybe you just want to boost the signal for a solo while using another pedal, I did that, its cool.  But overall, this is a great blues overdrive!

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THE WRAP UP

So there it is you guys, there are some pretty cool overdrive pedals we tested.  I have to tell you, I really liked the BOSS blues pedal, the Ibanez tube screamer for the sake of that nice bluesy sort of crunchy tone.  But that’s just my opinion of those.  I will leave that up to you to decide which one is the best overdrive pedal .

It really is up to you and your ear of which sound you want.  We put as many youtube videos up with some good examples of the pedals.  You can for the most part hear what they sound like, especially on a single coil pickup and humbucker pickup.

What are you currently using for an overdrive pedal?  Contact us here or leave a comment, we would love to hear from you.

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