Ever thought about how much better your setup could sound?
Choosing the Best Overdrive Pedal is a vital part in the guitar tone puzzle.
But where to start you ask?
Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place …
After reading this guide you will know exactly what the Best Overdrive Pedal is for you.
As you are reading this post, I assume you will already understand the importance of an overdrive effects pedal in your pedal arsenal.
But, to clarify the point even further, the overdrive pedal is the most used guitar effects pedal used, on the planet … ever.
It is used in almost every music style and therefore truly essential to add to your pedal collection.
So, in today’s post, we will present a list with the best overdrive pedals on the market today.
The top rated overdrive pedals that are listed in this article, are ranging in price and build up from cheapest to more and more expensive.
All the guitar overdrive pedals in this post are evaluated in relation to value for money.
This means an expensive overdrive pedal will have to perform better to make the cut, than a cheap one.
Without further ado, let’s jump into it!
1. Joyo JF-01 Overdrive
The Joyo JF-01 is the best overdrive pedal if you’re are looking at the very bottom end of the overdrive madness spectrum. Meaning, it is a great fit for the broke-ass guitarist. This pedal fits in the category of pedals < 50 $ and easily beats all of its competitors.
Joyo is a Chinese company that has been making cheap guitar electronics for years and is doing a really great job.
With the Joyo JF-01 the company succeeded to get close to the sound of the Ibanez TS808, which is a true classic.
This pedal has got a relative tough sound for the price you pay for it.
This pedal is a very good choice if you don’t want to bust the bank in order to get your new overdrive pedal.
Next up in this overdrive pedals comparison …
2. Electro-Harmonix Soul Food
This overdrive effects pedal is a product of the goal, to achieve a similar sound as the boutique overdrive pedal, the Klon Centaur, but for a much cheaper price. Electro-Harmonix did succeed in achieving a very similar kind of sound as to the Klon Centaur.
The designers added a boosted power rails that provides a higher voltage to the electrical circuit, resulting in a huge output. With this enormous output, you can achieve a high fidelity sound on your clean boost or a very thick / fat sound at high gain.
The Electro-Harmonix Soul Food is great for stacking overdrive pedals, as the pedal is transparent.
“What the hell is a transparent overdrive pedal?”
This means, that when gain is turned all the way down, there is almost zero distortion caused by the pedal in the output signal.
This is a pedal that is great value for money and truly deserves its spot on the list of being the best overdrive pedal.
Let’s jump to another great overdrive pedal.
3. BOSS BD-2 Blues Driver
BOSS BD-2 Blues Driver, one of the most popular overdrive pedals on the market today. This classic overdrive pedal does one thing very well, and that is, as you would expect from the name, creating awesome bluesy sounds. This overdrive pedal for blues still falls just within the 50 < 100 $ pedals category.
BOSS is a company that is known with guitarists all over the world. They produce extremely reliable and quality products since the dawn of time.
Unlike the name would suggest, the BOSS BD-2 Blues Driver can be used for more than just being a blues overdrive pedal. This pedal is actually very versatile. Of course, the overdrive pedal is known for its vintage amp tones, but also can be used from a smooth clean boosted sound to a warm distorted sound when playing around with the gain setting.
The best overdrive pedal for blues on the market today.
If you’re really only want to go for that vintage tube amp, bluesy tone, then I would say, don’t look any further.
If you DO want more, well … there is more!
4. Fulltone OCD ”Obsessive Compulsive Drive”
Our next contestant in the list of best overdrive pedals, the Fulltone OCD. This pedal is widely used by guitarists all over the globe and for a reason. The Fulltone OCD falls in the range of 100 > 200 $.
Fulltone has been around for over two decades producing bass and guitar effects pedals and in this period they have built a reputable name for themselves.
Unlike the Blues Driver, the Fulltone OCD has got the possibility to change between low and high peak. With this feature, you’re able to go from a transparent overdrive tone, like a Fender amplifier, to high peak, which simulates a fatter tone, more like a Marshall amplifier.
This little beast of a pedal has got a great sustain to it in both low and high peak!
This bad boy has got it all, charisma, reputation and looks.
Haven’t found the pedal you’d call THE best overdrive pedal yet?
Don’t worry, there is more!
5. Seymour Duncan 805 Overdrive
Next, the Seymour Duncan 805 Overdrive. When I heard this pedal for the first time I went ”Woahh! …”, I immediately fell in love with it. This pedal has got amazing tones and is extremely versatile, while still being in the low 100 < 200 $ price range!
Fun fact. Co-founder, Seymour W. Duncan was a technician at Fender Soundhouse in London, where he worked on guitars and pick-ups from guys like Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and not to forget Jimi Hendrix. Always interesting to know the background of the brand behind a product.
The Seymour Duncan 805 Overdrive is a clean overdrive pedal, so it can be used as a clean boost, but also works great with a pre-distorted amp. You can play any sort of style with this pedal, pop, funk, blues, rock, metal and everything in between.
This is the best overdrive pedal for the guitarist that demands more versatility from his guitar overdrive pedal. You’ll be able to control your tone on a very detailed level and play any style you’d like!
Are you ready for the last 3 pedals on our list?
6. Ibanez TS808 ”Tube Screamer”
The Ibanez TS808 is truly a vintage overdrive pedal, it isn’t going to be much more vintage than this. This overdrive pedal is the big brother of the Ibanez TS-9, which came a few years after the release of the Ibanez TS808. This baby fits in the category of pedals 100 < 200 $.
Over many decades the Tube Screamer has become infamous among guitarists around the globe.
This really is a pedal that you should combine with the drive on your amp as it is more like an icing on the cake than it is able to provide all the gain by itself. It is close to the best overdrive pedal to for a tube amp, although you can still use it with a solid state.
“So tell me, why are people going crazy over this pedal?”
This pedal is a reissue from the original TS808. It has been modified over the years to keep up with modern day standards, but still has got the original chip. It has got a very natural and warm tone, similar to a tube amplifier. This overdrive pedal has been and is still used by many famous guitarists, like; Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Johnson, John Mayer, Joe Bonamassa and many more.
This true classic might just be the best overdrive pedal for you. This is one of the best overdrive pedals for a strat.
If you’re still reading, then I am guessing you’re not looking for a warm overdrive pedal like the TS808.
Luckily there are two more beasts on the list to finding your best overdrive pedal.
7. BOSS SD-1w ”Super Overdrive”
This next pedal will, next to the BD-2 Blues Driver, help represent its brand in this list of best overdrive pedals. It’s the BOSS SD-1w “Super Overdrive“. This pedal has been THE go-to overdrive pedal for many guitarists for years! It fits in the category of pedals 100 < 200 $.
Everybody probably knows the vintage overdrive pedal, the BOSS Super Overdrive SD-1 from the late 70’s. It was the pedal with an amazing vintage tube amp sound, that dominated the pedalboards.
The BOSS SD-1w is an upgraded version of that SD-1, on one mode it has still the exact vintage sounds as the SD-1 has.
This overdrive pedal has got more adjustable settings, next to the Level, Drive and Tone settings. It has got a switch that is used to go from standard (the SD-1 sound), to custom, which gives you much more; gain, sustain and tonal range.
This is a great pedal for any guitar player that wishes to be versatile, with great warm vintage SD-1 sounds while having an indestructible overdrive pedal.
Now, you might be getting worried if you haven’t found your best overdrive pedal yet.
Fortunately, the last pedal will blow you away.
Fasten your seat belts for the last overdrive pedal for today.
8. EarthQuaker Devices Palisades Overdrive
The Palisades is an absolute monster and also a relative to the vintage overdrive pedal, the TS808. With two different gain channels to select and a range of settings to fiddle around in, there is an endless amount of directions to move into. This pedal fits in the price range of pedals > 200 $.
First off, the Voice setting. This setting lets you choose the clipping style you prefer, where you are able to choose from 7 different styles!
The bandwidth is used to select the focus of the pedal, from a bright sound to a very fat sound.
This probably is the best overdrive pedal for metal due to its wide range of settings and very high gain.
If you’re going for versatility, this is THE best overdrive pedal for you! However, if you don’t have so many bucks to spend from your wallet and feel like you don’t need an overdrive pedal that offers you an extreme range of possibilities in overdrive pedal madness wonderland, then one of the previous pedals might be a better fit for you.
The Palisades is a true work of art and will be much appreciated by every guitarist that is after his/her unique sound.
“So, what the hell is an overdrive pedal?”
Basically, what the overdrive pedal does, is it clips the incoming signal that comes from the guitar and sends the clipped signal to the amplifier, creating a distorted sound.
For practical reasons, it is advised to always use an overdrive pedal over the gain of an amplifier.
It might not become a problem when having to turn on the overdrive by hand on your amplifier when you are playing at home, but on stage you want to avoid that.
Other than that, an overdrive pedal is designed to create the best sound for you plus can function as a boost to your pre-driven amp.
Wrapping it up
Now you finally know what are the best overdrive pedals on the market today.
Every guitarist is looking for something that suits their needs and fits in their pedal arsenal.
In this post we have covered amazing overdrive pedals that could, every single one by itself, be the best overdrive pedal for you.
Will it be cheap or expensive, loads of options or minimized, sound like your hero or create your own sound.
We hope that this post was helpful to you!
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