Best Guitar Pedals of 2019 – Ultimate Review

Whether you heard the sound in your dream or simply want to imitate a few of your guitar heroes, the one thing you will need to add to your guitar equipment is a guitar pedal (or several).

The problem is when you go shopping for your new guitar pedal what you will find is that there are so many different types and brands that choosing the right one may seem impossible. 

In this guide to the best guitar pedals on the market, we will look at several guitar pedals that may work for you, but before we get into those let us discuss what a pedal is and just what makes a great pedal.

Comparison of the Best Guitar Pedals

PRODUCT DETAILS
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Fulltone OCD Obsessive Compulsive Drive Pedal

  • Best guitar pedal overall.
  • Built with a true bypass to negate any buzzing when not in use.
  • A versatile range of sound from the high peak/low peak switch.
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Xotic EP Booster Mini EQ Effect Pedal

  • Built-in switches for bass boost and brightness.
  • Simple controls but fantastic sound in a compact design.
  • Preamp included in the design that boosts volume and offers clean, crisp tones.
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Donner Yellow Fall Vintage Pure Analog Delay Guitar Effect Pedal True Bypass

  • Best guitar pedal for the money.
  • Flawless sound thanks to its whole circuit analog delay.
  • Affordable price for such a high-quality, efficient piece of equipment.
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Zoom Electric Guitar Multi-Effect

  • Best multi-effects pedal.
  • Programed with rhythm pattern built-in (68).
  • Designed with a wide range of built-in effects (71) and multiple amp models (13).
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Ernie Ball VP Jr. P06180 250K Potentiometer

  • Best volume pedal.
  • Ability to control volume through a mono-volume control.
  • Built with a taper switch for multiple rates of volume swell.
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MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay Pedal

  • Best delay pedal.
  • Crafted with analog circuitry that alters tone for the perfect delay.
  • Carbon Copy effect is easy to use and offers optimized delay capabilities.
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Xotic SP Compressor Guitar Effects Pedal

  • Best compressor pedal.
  • SP can be used as a booster to bring clarity to your tonal range.
  • Built with a high-grade SP compressor that helps add to the overall sound quality.
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Empress ParaEq with Boost

  • Best EQ pedal.
  • Reduced extraneous noises for a better overall sound.
  • Built-in 3 band parametric EQ for optimal volume and sound quality.
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TC Electronic DITTO X2 Looper

  • Best looper pedal.
  • Extreme control of the volume of loops and backtracks.
  • Versatility of effects allows for unique combinations and sound.
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Boss RV-500 Reverb Pedal

  • Best reverb pedal.
  • Fitted with multiple reverb modes (12) and types (21).
  • Massive ability to customize the sound to your desired preferences.
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Wampler Tumnus Deluxe Overdrive & Boost Guitar Effects Pedal

  • Best distortion pedal.
  • Buffer creates a detailed breakup which allows for superior distortion.
  • Ultimate customizability of sound due to the inclusion of multiple controls.
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Dunlop MXR M101 Phase 90 Phaser Effects Pedal

  • Best guitar synth pedal.
  • Multiple power sources for better versatility.
  • Compatible with multiple instruments including keyboards and guitars.
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Electro-Harmonix The Silencer Guitar Noise Gate Pedal with Effects Loop

  • Best noise gate pedal.
  • Compact and lightweight design for better portability.
  • Designed with a buffered bypass for decreased excess noise.
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BOSS DS-1 Distortion Pedal

  • Best guitar pedal under $50.
  • Boss is one of the staple pedal makers in the industry.
  • Easy to use three-knob layout for better control of distortion.
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What is a Guitar Pedal?

Have you ever wondered how Jimi Hendrix or any number of guitar royalty crafted their unique sounds? The answer is almost always talent first and then a good guitar pedal. These floor boxes or pedals allow the guitarist to control specific aspects of the soundscape through effects. 

There are many types of guitar pedals that you can choose from, here is just a few examples:

Distortion

This may be one of the most common pedals used. Distortion pedals take the sound and add in overtones so that you get that fuzzy sound like the music is just a touch too loud.

Compressor

With a compressor pedal, you are going to add punch as you craft your sound. This is done through the addition of a softer attack and the equalization of the volume.

Reverb

This pedal is great for giving you that big airy room sound. It adds to the overall brightness of your sound.

What Makes a Great Guitar Pedal?

Now that you know what a guitar pedal is, it is time to take a good look at just what factors add up to make a great pedal and the perfect choice for you and your musical needs. 

Here are the factors that you need to look at when choosing your guitar pedal:

Type

Knowing where you want your sound to go is crucial when looking at which guitar pedal to go for. If you are just starting, we highly suggest starting with a new pedal and working your way into crafting your soundscape gradually. If, however, you have a little experience and a decent budget, a multi-effect pedal could be perfect for you. 

Brand

The easiest way to choose a brand is to follow a new guitarist or even check out what your guitar idol plays. Though some minor brands make good quality pedals, finding one that has positive reviews is always a good way to make a sound decision.

Budget

Last but certainly not least is to consider your budget. So, knowing how much you are willing to spend gives you a way to slim down the pickings so that you won’t feel so overwhelmed or get your heart set on a pedal that just doesn’t match what you have available in your wallet.

Review of the Best Guitar Pedals

Now you have an idea of what to look for, and what pedal does what, you’re ready to begin hunting for the right pedal. Below we have taken the time to carefully curate a list of the best guitar pedals available to you in 2019. 

Fulltone OCD Obsessive Compulsive Drive Overdrive Guitar Effects Pedal

PROS

  • Designed with a small footprint
  • Versatility of sound crafting ability
  • Quality of sound has a wide range of tones
  • Built with high-quality design and materials
  • Super responsive to guitar settings like volume and tone

CONS

  • Use of power is sometimes too high
  • Location of the power input doesn’t work for all players

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers love the versatility of sound and compact design. They feel that this model gives you a durable piece of guitar equipment that will do everything you need it to and so much more. Some customers think the input on the side, and the power usage detracts a little from the overall rating of this drive pedal.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The wide range of tonal quality and ability to mold your sound is what made us choose this as the best overall guitar pedal. The true bypass is also a great asset as you may not always want to have it on and often with another model this would leave you with a buzz. Instead, with the Fulltone OCD, you get no hum and the perfect amount of customization that every guitarist needs to find their sound.

Who Will Use This Most

Though this is a great overall choice for any guitarists looking for flexibility in sound the overall drive pedal build lends a little bit of a stronger sound for those looking to play well old-fashioned blues or even classic rock. Great for solo-ing and getting the heavy one you need when rocking out will be beneficial to those guitarists the most.

Bottom Line

In the end, if you are looking for the best overall pedal, then choosing this drive pedal from Fulltone is an excellent choice. With its ability to build sound just the way you want it and its compact design, any guitarist would feel confident playing with this pedal.

Xotic EP Booster Mini EQ Effect Pedal

PROS

  • The price of this pedal is a steal for what you get
  • Built-in amp is high quality and offers a great volume
  • Overall sound quality is excellent for all levels of experience
  • Compact design that takes up very little space on your stage floor
  • Distortion capability is perfect for thickening tone while cleaning it up

CONS

  • May always end up having it on
  • Issues with extra noises when left on
  • Issues with the amount of work it takes to get to the battery

What Recent Buyers Report

If you read the reviews online, you will find that most people that have recently purchased this pedal love the durability and design as well as the overall capability to play with their sound. For what you get, and the price tag attached, they feel this is an excellent option when you are looking for a good drive pedal. Some have concerns with switching out the battery and that sometimes there are stray noises that issue from it when left on.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Though it may be compact and simply designed the inclusion of internal switches to control bass and brightness make this pedal an admirable choice. This is precisely why we chose it as our runner up. That coupled with the high-quality built-in preamp that drives volume while maintaining clear tones makes this easily one of the best pedals on the market today.

Who Will Use This Most

Ultimately anyone would be well suited to adding this pedal to their kit, but for those that are looking for great volume and distortion like those guitarists playing a harder style of music like metal will probably get the most out of this pedal.

Bottom Line

This pedal offers a lot of great qualities which is why we chose this pedal as one of our best. With the ability to craft tones in both the darker and brighter aspects of the guitar range, you will find the sound customizable to exactly what you need. Plus, you will never have to worry about the volume being an issue no matter what setting you find yourself in.

Donner Yellow Fall Vintage Pure Analog Delay Guitar Effect Pedal True Bypass

PROS

  • Ability to set delays with ease
  • Reduced excess noise when turned on
  • Delivers high quality mimicking ability
  • Lightweight and compact for better portability
  • Easily set up to match the tempo you are playing

CONS

  • Knobs are a bit on the small side
  • Issues with backup battery quality and ease of replacement

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love the lightweight, durability of this pedal. This makes it easy to transport from gig to gig. They also love the performance quality of all the features of this fantastic little yellow box. Though even with the rave reviews, some have found fault with the size of the knobs and the backup battery quality.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Looking at all you get for the money you spend we would be foolish not to make this the best overall for the money. The additions of being able to set both the delays and the tempo to match exactly what you need is a quality found on models that are far higher end than this stomp box from Donner.

Who Will Use This Most

The high-quality production and the inclusion of all the high-grade capabilities make this pedal suitable for just about anyone no matter the experience level. Though with its lightweight and compact design, you may find that guitarists who do a lot of gigs or studio work in multiple studios would get just a bit more from this model than everyone else.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a high-quality pedal that is easy to transport and doesn’t pack a wallop on your wallet, then taking a tour with this small yellow pedal may be what the guitar doctor prescribed.

Best Multi-Effects Pedal:
Zoom Electric Guitar Multi-Effect

Zoom Electric Guitar Multi Effect (G1X FOUR)

PROS

  • Price is nice for a multi-effect pedal
  • Easily upgradeable with your own patches
  • Though it is plastic, the pedal is still very durable
  • Interface is easy to use and laid out in a logical manner
  • Inclusion of drum machine and metronome is a nice addition

CONS

  • Isn’t always a great choice for live shows
  • Issues with the quality of drives being subpar

What Recent Buyers Report

For the most part, people who have bought this pedal recently certainly love the sound quality and the options of effects available to them. With the extra addition of things like a looper and a drum machine, they can’t get enough of it. Though even with their love for this multi-effect pedal, some still wish they had a little more control and that the buttons were better laid out.

Why it Stands Out to Us

When you are looking for the perfect multi-effect pedal, you want one that gives you the most customizability and widest array of effects. This pedal from Zoom does that and is not nearly as expensive as some of its competition. This means you get high-quality options for a price that seems like a steal.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great choice for any musician that may need multiple effects to style their music to whatever they are playing at the time. This is also great for guitarists that are looking to write their own music by themselves. With the drum machine and looper, they will be able to play around and find just the right notes.

Bottom Line

When you have graduated to needing more effect options, you will want a high quality, durable pedal that meets every one of your requirements. The Zoom Electric Guitar Multi-effect pedal is just the pedal you will want.

Ernie Ball VP Jr. P06180 250K Potentiometer for Passive Electronics

PROS

  • Great for passive signals
  • Built with high grade, durable aluminum
  • Length of the pedal gives you better foot coverage
  • Designed to take up less room with a compact design
  • Versatility in volume swells with the inclusion of micro-taper switch

CONS

  • Internal mechanisms are exposed to the outside
  • Though it is compact in width, it is a little long for some

What Recent Buyers Report

The first thing you will note is that this pedal is a bit long and the recent buyers of this pedal are conflicted with whether this is a good or bad thing. Some feel it allows for better foot connectivity, others feel that it makes it not as compact as others. But all in all, recent buyers are talking about how great the versatility of control with this pedal is.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The biggest thing that stands out to us and the reason it is easily the best volume pedal is a design feature that allows you to craft two separate volume swells. With this level of volume control, you will be in good hands.

Who Will Use This Most

This is one of those pedals that is good for just about anyone. Whether you are just starting or have been playing for years, this durable well-built pedal is an excellent addition to any sound. Those that play more ambiently, however, may find the swell effect a little bit of a nuisance to their playing style.

Bottom Line

The Ernie Ball P06180 is a durable and well-designed pedal that offers ultimate control over volume and swells that will help you build your sound and not have to break the bank to do it.

MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay Pedal Bundle with Blucoil Slim 9V 670ma Power Supply AC Adapter, 2-Pack of Pedal Patch Cables and 4-Pack of Celluloid Guitar Picks

PROS

  • Built with simple controls that make it easy to use
  • Designed in high-grade, durable materials with a compact design
  • Delay knob allows you to increase or decrease delay (up to 600ms)
  • Carbon Copy effect allows for your primary signal to stand out over the delay
  • Durable construction means you will be able to use this pedal for a long time

CONS

  • The modulation switch is not easy to reach with your foot
  • Some inclusion of unnecessary controls internally (i.e., modulation)

What Recent Buyers Report

The Carbon Copy Delay pedal seems to be a big hit even though there are a few issues with the location of the modulation switch and the internal modulation controls being superfluous. Those aside most guitarists find this model well built for the optimal delay effect as well as sound crafting.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Carbon Copy effect is what makes this model stand out. With an enhanced level of control and an easy to maneuver knob system, this model is perfect for those guitarists that want to craft a sound rich in delay.

Who Will Use This Most

Though anyone can get a lot from this piece, two guitarists would benefit the most from its features. The first is the guitarist who is always out there on the live stage gigging around the city. With its great live tonal quality and versatility of use, this pedal would up this guitarists’ game. The second is the home recording guitarist because of the good analog tone that is warm with a nice dark delay.

Bottom Line

If you want a nice, perfectly formed delay and need a pedal that also offers a great tone, then this pedal from MXR is an excellent option.

Xotic SP Compressor Guitar Effects Pedal Bundle with Blucoil Slim 9V 670ma Power Supply AC Adapter, 2-Pack of Pedal Patch Cables, and 4-Pack of Celluloid Guitar Picks

PROS

  • Level of customization is nice
  • Built with a high-grade compressor for superior sound
  • Can leave SP on and improve the overall tonal quality of clean sound
  • Compact design takes up little to no room and is perfect for pedalboards
  • SP also helps with clarity and personalizes other effects for better sound quality

CONS

  • Not great for players who always use distortion
  • Internal dip switches can be difficult and time-consuming to adjust

What Recent Buyers Report

If you are looking for a perfectly compact pedal to work with your pedalboards that offer a superior compressor, then the recent buyers are saying the Xotic SP pedal is the way to go. Even with its difficult to adjust dip switch, this model is a universal option that almost every guitarist seems to love.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The use of a high-quality SP compressor is what makes this model so darn good. With its enhanced level of control and ability to not worry about switching it on and off the pedal is simply the best at what it does.

Who Will Use This Most

This is not a great pedal for guitarists that live in the distortion zone but can be a great choice for many other guitarists. This pedal will benefit live guitarists who use a lot of effects. Another guitarist that may get the most out of this idea is the one looking for a super clean boost.

Bottom Line

Looking for a soft attack? Equalized volume? Then this is by far the best pedal for your needs. Crafted with a high-quality compressor, you will be able to build your sound with confidence.

Empress ParaEq with Boost

PROS

  • Extensive control over the sound
  • Is built to allow for a lot of headroom
  • Built-in true bypass for less excess noise
  • Crafted with a high-quality volume control
  • Designed with durable and long-lasting materials

CONS

  • Difficult to use at first
  • Lack of a cut/boost control that is universal

What Recent Buyers Report

This pedal has a lot to offer! That is precisely what recent buyers are raving about online. With a large amount of headroom and the balanced EQ, you will get warm thick tones ready for whatever music you choose to play. But many feel that this is more of a studio pedal than a live show one.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The boost is what really stands out. When you are looking for a high-grade EQ pedal, you want one that as the ability to boost without any artifacts, and that is precisely what this pedal does.

Who Will Use This Most

Though like many of these pedals, this one would benefit anyone looking for a balanced volume with more headroom, it will work the hardest for the live performer the most. The ability to control sound according to your venue is just one of the many advantages the live performer will be able to use to make their sound stand out.

Bottom Line

The Empress ParaEQ is easily the best option on the market for an EQ pedal. Designed with that effect in mind and nothing else, this pedal’s designers included everything they needed for optimized volume control and ample attack when it comes to headroom.

TC Electronic DITTO X2 Looper

PROS

  • Pedal is easy to use and set up
  • Built-in adjustable stop switch
  • Offers stabilized sound and volume
  • Packed full of amazing effects that elevate your sound
  • Designed with high-quality, durable materials for a long life

CONS

  • Limited ability to add backup tracks
  • Not fitted with a drum machine or metronome

What Recent Buyers Report

The reviews from recent buyers have this pedal in the good category way more than the bad. For the most part, the guitarists that use this love the 3-band EQ which gives them volume a stabilization that is stellar. On the flip side, there have been some users that feel the reliability and consistency of this pedal could use a little fine-tuning.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you want to add multiple tracks and play over them, then you will need a looper, and the reason that this one stands out to us the most is the ultimate features included in the design of this pedal. With unlimited dubs and the easy to control tap switch to do so this looper is simply a cut above the rest.

Who Will Use This Most

This would be great for the solo performer or even the studio jam session guitarists that want to craft a song without too many extra people involved. Overall though, this pedal is a great benefit for any guitarist.

Bottom Line

Having access to multiple dubs and backtracks can build a thick, rich, interesting sound. That is why we highly suggest this looper pedal to elevate your sound.

​Best Reverb Pedal:
Boss RV-500 Reverb Pedal

BOSS Reverb Processor Guitar Pedal (RV-500)

PROS

  • Fun effects include the space echo
  • Designed to have flexible switching
  • Affordable price for a multi-effect pedal
  • Overall layout of the pedal is easy to understand and use
  • Individual reverb effects can have delay and modulation added

CONS

  • Lack of PSU provided
  • Front panel set-up of sounds can be frustrating for some

What Recent Buyers Report

The recent buyers of this model simply can not find anything wrong with it. The ultimate customization of the reverb and the multiple effects you can add together for unique sounds is quite simply what every guitarist seems to be looking for.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The amount of reverb effects and customizability with this pedal is simply outstanding. Hence why we made it our best reverb pedal of 2019. Then when you add in the multi-effect capability of this pedal, you get a new stop shop for awesome sound.

Who Will Use This Most

This pedal is great for intermediate to professional players looking to expand their sound crafting capabilities. The versatility of sound will be especially beneficial to those looking to build a sound that offers a depth and uniqueness like no other.

Bottom Line

Even though we made this our best reverb pedal, it is easily a great addition as a multi-effect pedal as well. Though it truly does shine when it comes to the reverb allowing your songs to vibrate through whatever venue you are playing.

Wampler Tumnus Deluxe Overdrive & Boost Guitar Effects Pedal

PROS

  • A versatile array of effects
  • Enhanced 3-band EQ for rich, full sound
  • Built-in active bass, mid, and treble controls
  • True bypass included for the perfect clean sound
  • Compact and built with durable high-grade materials

CONS

  • Price versus value
  • Works best when paired with other pedals due to low gain

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the recent buyers love this overdrive pedal. Though some complain about a little fuzz action happening at the higher end, the consensus is that the Wampler Tumnus is a pedal that simply does what it says it will do.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The inclusion of a buffer that offers detailed sound break up leading to superior distortion is the main thing that jumps out at us when we look at this model. All the features combine to make a pedal that offers highly controlled sound formation and a wide array of effects.

Who Will Use This Most

This is perfect for that artist just beginning to craft their sound. With the wide selection of effects and controls, the guitarist will find it easy to experiment until they find just the right combination of clarity and distortion that they can make their own.

Bottom Line

Distortion plays a key role in many styles of music and finding the right pedal that aid with that is a godsend. When you take this model apart and dissect its flaws and benefits, it is easy to see why we feel it is the best distortion pedal available to you today.

New Dunlop MXR M101 Phase 90 Phaser Effects Pedal Bundle with 6' Patch Cables

PROS

  • Easy to use simple design
  • Value versus price is outstanding
  • Decreased buzz due to true bypass
  • Amazing sweep and velocity capabilities
  • Soft, natural sound, produced from the analog circuit

CONS

  • No inclusion of extra effects
  • Doesn’t have a wide range of control capability

What Recent Buyers Report

There is not much that recent customers have to say, which is a glowing recommendation. This pedal is fitted with the classic name and the attention to detail and quality it brings with it. The guitarists that have decided to go with this, love the almost synth-like sound it delivers while being durable and easy to transport from venue to venue.

Why it Stands Out to Us

With all the fantastic qualities of this pedal, the one thing that sticks out to us is something that also stirred the imagination of recent buyers, and that is the almost synth-like sound created by the features included in the design.

Who Will Use This Most

This is an excellent tool for any guitarist but especially the guitarist looking to utilize multiple instruments. It is even a great choice for those looking for a more synth sounding feel to their music.

Bottom Line

Many styles of music now lean toward the more synth sound made popular in the 80s. With the resurgence of this sound, you may want to include that sound profile in your music, and if you do, this is the pedal for you.

Electro-Harmonix The Silencer Guitar Noise Gate Pedal with Effects Loop

PROS

  • Fitted with a variety of jack ports
  • Ability to control the change of release
  • Designed with an adjustable threshold reduction
  • Multiple power sources capable of powering the pedal
  • Value versus price is great for this easy to use pedal

CONS

  • Holding a note may decrease the sustainability
  • Issues with the versatility of option of operations

What Recent Buyers Report

This pedal shows mixed results, and many recent buyers either love or hate it. Those that love it talk about its superior build and price. Whereas those that are not such big fans find that it doesn’t filter out the excess noise when dealing with compression or distortion. Nor does it work well with single coils.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The clean, crisp tones that can be conceived with this pedal are exactly why it is the best noise gate pedal. With the buffer bypass, you have assured clarity on all your tonal ranges. With an improved release time, this serves to make that sound even better.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great pedal for musicians looking for a cleaner sound. It is suited for music styles like country or contemporary. Especially if they are looking for an electric feel without the excess noises of hum and distortion that are popular in the harder sounds. It is also great for those musicians that are traveling the road as it is compact and lightweight making it an easily portable option.

Bottom Line

This pedal is simply the best choice for the clearest and crisp towns and is ideally suited for many guitarists. With its enhanced release and its attention to design, it will make any guitarists sound feel more complete.

Best Guitar Pedal Under $50:
BOSS DS-1 Distortion Pedal

BOSS DS-1 Distortion Pedal

PROS

  • Musicians can perfect EQ with one knob
  • Installation and use are straightforward
  • The overall design is easy to use and control
  • Features designed to craft a high-quality sound
  • Small footprint makes it great for limited space venues

CONS

  • Issues with durability
  • Lack of sound options

What Recent Buyers Report

When you are working on a tight budget, you want a pedal that is going to do what it says. This pedal from Boss does that. With a nice quality build and an adequate performance in the distortion region, many guitarists that have purchased the DS-1 are thoroughly pleased. Though some complain of a slight hum and sharp tones appearing at higher volumes.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Look at that price tag! That is what stands out most, and then when you look at the quality of the equipment you are getting, you will feel like you are making out like a bandit.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great option for any on-the-road guitarist and is looking for a budget-friendly option. With the level of performance, you get for such a low-price tag that guitarists will be able to take advantage of the high quality that comes with a pedal with Boss scrolled across it and save a few pennies too!

Bottom Line

It shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg to rock to your heart’s content. With this pedal you get value and quality and that in the end is a great choice for any guitarist.

Conclusion

Whew! That was a lot of pedals, but now you have a great selection to choose from. When we chose these models, we looked at everything we said were the key factors as well as what recent buyers had reported, to build a list we know will help you with all your sound crafting. Hopefully, with all the options and the knowledge of what makes a good pedal you know feel ready to rock ‘n’ roll and begin the journey to finding your perfect sound. We wish you luck and say rock on!