Best Cheap Guitar Pedals – 2019 Round-up Review

If you are an experienced guitarist, you already know the importance of accessory equipment for optimal performance. The two most common products that go along with a guitar are amplifiers and guitar pedals.

The latter is what we will discuss in this article, including more than a few affordable models that might be of great use when it comes to enriching your guitar sound. 

With there being a couple of different types, including distortion, overdrive, delay, chorus, and reverb pedals, you can then decide on which one suits your needs the most. Now, let’s rock on and take a look at the best cheap guitar pedals on the market!

Comparison Chart of the Best Cheap Guitar Pedals

PRODUCT DETAILS
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TC Electronic Guitar Ditto Looper Effects Pedal

  • Best Overall and Best Cheap Looper Pedal
  • Highlighted by a 9V power supply that offers up to 100mA
  • Features a True Bypass that will ensure zero loss and optimal sound clarity
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Caline USA Digital Overdrive Guitar Effect Pedal

  • Highlighted by an aluminum steel alloy build
  • It features a True Bypass that ensures great audio clarity
  • It is highlighted by four different knobs including bass, treble, volume, and gain that will allow you to achieve optimal control of the overdrive effect
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MXR M101 Phase 90

  • Best cheap guitar pedal for the money
  • Comes with two main effects including Shimmer and Velocity
  • Features a rich and warm analog tone system that is good for both studio and live recordings
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Donner Yellow Fall Vintage

  • Best Cheap Delay Pedal
  • Comes with a True Bypass to ensure superb audio quality and clarity
  • It is highlighted by three easy-to-access knobs that allow you control over the effect, volume and time (up to 620ms)
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BOSS DS-1

  • Best Cheap Distortion Pedal
  • Offers a powerful boost to your natural guitar sound;
  • It features tone, level and distortion knobs on the face thus facilitating the use for beginners
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Fender Marine Layer

  • Best Cheap Reverb Pedal
  • It offers a reliable battery life featuring a 9V output
  • It comes with a sturdy design and accessible backlit knobs
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JOYO JF-10 Dynamic Compressor

  • Best Cheap Compressor Pedal
  • Offering a smooth dynamic compressing effect
  • Features a True Bypass for better sound clarity
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TC Electronic Corona

  • Best Cheap Chorus Pedal
  • Featuring a reliable analog-dry through signal
  • It is highlighted by the True Bypass as the main guarantee of sound quality and clarity
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Can You Really Find A Quality Guitar Pedal That’s Affordable?

The short answer to this question is -- absolutely! The primary bias of buying guitar pedals is that there has to be a big brand name and a huge price tag on it. While these do serve as guarantees of quality in some cases, not always does the high-end product perform better than your value choice. 

The reason for this is that with guitar pedals, the featured effects as well the simplicity of use matter much more. On the other hand, when you are buying a product from a big brand, you are paying at least 30% of the given price for the name itself. It all comes down to knowing what are the key features and investing time in market research.

What Makes a Great Guitar Pedal?

The answer to this question depends on what guitar pedal are we talking about. While the qualities of a good delay pedal do differ from the ones of an adequate distortion-booting device, there are a couple of uniform traits that we can consider:

Design

The main point of a proper guitar pedal certainly is the design. While an attractive exterior is always a plus, what you should be looking for is that it features a metallic housing as well as reliable, easy-to-access knobs. A well-made guitar pedal is sturdy, reliable, and user-friendly. Additionally, as most guitar pedals feature a battery instead of a power output, you will want it to offer at least a few days of continuous performance. 

Effect

Another critical point is how well does the pedal perform -- what good is a product if it can’t serve its primary purpose? For example, buying a delay pedal will mostly be determined by the versatility of effects that it offers, as well as delay duration. The same goes for distortion pedals as with these; the most important factor to consider is the sound clarity, muff, and crunch. 

Compatibility

You should always take into consideration how well does one guitar pedal fit with another. Whether you are talking about combining delay and distortion pedals, or a guitar pedal with an average amplifier, the more compatible a certain model is, the greater the value. 

Review of the Best Cheap Guitar Pedals

While we don’t have anything against high-end guitar pedals, with some research, you will be able to find high-quality models for a much lower price. That is why we have decided to do that for you and come up with a list of the most budget-friendly, high-quality options we could find. Let’s get right to it!

Best Overall and Best Cheap Looper Pedal:
TC Electronic Guitar Ditto Looper Effects Pedal

TC Electronic Guitar Ditto Looper Effects Pedal

PROS

  • Great audio quality and clarity
  • Great looping time and unlimited overdubs
  • Features an internal memory that continues working
  • Extremely easy-to-use with an accessible loop knob
  • Offers reliable performance for hours with 9V power supply

CONS

  • Customer service is poor
  • Flimsy build; not ideal for gigging

What Recent Buyers Report

The main thing that customers seem to be happy about is the unlimited looping performance that this pedal offers. Not only can you edit as much as you want, but the internal memory will keep looping even when the device is off. The main cons seem to be that the build that is somewhat flimsy and customer service of the manufacturer has proven to be unreliable.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The main reason why we fell for this product is due to its reliable performance. The fact that with the included True Bypass, there is nothing to worry about when it comes to audio quality and clarity.

Who Will Use This Most

As we have suggested above, a looper pedal is something that every guitarist should invest in. While it may not be a must for someone who is just starting, for a professional this TC Electronic Guitar product will go a long way. It doesn’t feature the best construction, but given the price and innovative features of this product, it is safe to say that you will be quite happy with it.

Bottom Line

As one of the most popular guitar pedals on the market, the looper is something every professional guitarist should invest in. This particular model will not only be easy on your wallet, but will also allow you to have countless hours of fun and steady progress, featuring up to 5 minutes of continuous loop time!

Caline USA Digital Overdrive Guitar Effect Pedal with 4 Control Knobs (CP-18)

PROS

  • Compact and portable
  • Transparent clear tone
  • LED indicator for easy information
  • Versatile offering four different knobs
  • Boost the guitar sound for up to 30dB

CONS

  • Not as sturdy as hoped
  • Slow response from customer service

What Recent Buyers Report

The main thing that buyers had to say is that it offers a great transparent tone. There is also a wide range that is essential if you will be playing genres such as classic rock, blues, and jazz.

Why it Stands Out to Us

On the other hand, we simply love the design. Yes, it might not be the sturdiest pedal on the market, but the fact that it is so portable makes it an ideal choice for players on the go. Additionally, the whole design is suited for first-time users.

Who Will Use This Most

While an overdrive pedal may not be something that every guitarist will need, we do think that this product is suitable for everyone. Whether you have a lot of experience or you are just starting, the Caline UA Digital Overdrive Pedal is something you will not regret.

Bottom Line

Overdrive is a great choice for all guitar musicians who are looking to enrich their sound with a warm and mild effect. Coming at an extremely affordable price and with several overdrive settings, it is suitable for beginners and experienced guitar players. As mentioned above, considering all the features and the quality of the overdrive effect that this product offers, it is a great budget-friendly choice.

Best for the Money:
MXR M101 Phase 90

MXR M101 Phase 90 Guitar Effects Pedal

PROS

  • Easy-to-use
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Incredibly affordable
  • Sturdy and attractive build
  • Comes with a reliable performance, offering rich, warm effects to your guitar sound.

CONS

  • Not very user-friendly
  • Customer service could be more responsive

What Recent Buyers Report

The most important feature of this pedal is the smooth and rich analog tone that it offers. Not only that, but all the classic recordings sound much better with the use of this phase pedal. As customers conclude, once you get comfortable with it, controlling the speed with your feet is going to be quite straightforward.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The main reason why we love this phase pedal is not only because of the high-quality audio but also because of the reliable build that will accompany you to multiple performances. If you are a beginner and you are on a tight budget, there is no way you can invest in a few different pedals. Still, one good model can have a substantial impact on your overall performance. This phase pedal will add richness and dramatic effect to your sound, which is perfect for live performances!

Who Will Use This Most

Unlike the previously mentioned overdrive pedal, our opinion is that this pedal is something everyone needs to have. Thus, if you don’t know what type of a guitar pedal should be your first, go Phase!

Bottom Line

There is not much to complain about when it comes to this MXR M101 Phase Guitar Pedal. It is quite reliable, offers a high-quality analog tone, and, most importantly, withstands hours of heavy use.

Best Cheap Delay Pedal:
Donner Yellow Fall Vintage

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

PROS

  • Small and portable
  • Above 6 seconds of delay
  • Affordable for most musicians
  • Features a reliable ECHO delay mode
  • Incredibly easy-to-use and thus an excellent choice for beginners

CONS

  • Not as versatile as similar products
  • Could be more robust (but this is expected considering the price)

What Recent Buyers Report

From the given feedback, we can see that customers are quite satisfied with the performance that this pedal offers. It has only one delay effect, but it can last for over 6 seconds and can be controlled with the three knobs, as mentioned earlier.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The reason why we fell for this delay pedal, apart from its extremely affordable price, is the True Bypass that it comes with. Most low-end pedals don’t include this, and it may be the main guarantee of proper sound clarity.

Who Will Use This Most

A delay pedal is something you should invest in for a few reasons; for one, it improves the texture as well as the richness of the sound your guitar produces. For someone on a tight budget, the Donner Yellow pedal seems like a great choice.

Bottom Line

As long as you don’t mind the fact that it doesn’t include more than a single delay effect, this distortion pedal could be perfect for you. A great choice for guitarists who are just starting, as well as professionals who are on a tighter budget, but still want a reliable delay pedal.

Best Cheap Distortion Pedal:
BOSS DS-1

BOSS DS-1 Distortion Pedal

PROS

  • Extremely affordable for all musicians
  • Customer service is fast and attentive
  • Highlighted by a good crunch and muff
  • Ideal for beginners and as a backup pedal

CONS

  • Hum on high-frequencies
  • Doesn’t feature a True Bypass

What Recent Buyers Report

As probably the best distortion pedal for this price point, customers love the power and crunch that this model offers. Not only that, but the fact that it is so simple to program is another bonus.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The main reason why we recommend this particular product is for the great design that is highlighted by a reliable metallic housing. Additionally, it can offer multiple hours of reliable performance, as long as you get a 9V battery.

Who Will Use This Most

This pedal is recommended for any guitar player, both lead and bass, who wants to enjoy improved performance and doesn’t mind the bit of humming at high-frequencies. There is no doubt that when it comes to the distortion effect and an affordable price, this model is the go-to option. Reliable, sturdy, and offering a power boost is everything that you will need.

Bottom Line

Much like the delay pedal, distortion is almost always a worthy investment, no matter if you want to emphasize the natural tones or go for a more crunchy and powerful effect. As one of the sturdiest pedals on the market, this BOSS model will allow you to shine along with your guitar.

Best Cheap Reverb Pedal:
Fender Marine Layer

Fender Marine Layer Reverb Pedal

PROS

  • Attractive and portable
  • Friendly and fast customer service
  • Reliable design that is suitable for beginners
  • Strong build is ideal for performing and gigging
  • Offers great reverb effect perfect for studio and live performances

CONS

  • Lacks True Bypass that ensures optimal clarity
  • More expensive than the pedals mentioned above

What Recent Buyers Report

From what we can read, this pedal features a fantastic fuzz and reverb effect that is going to improve your performance for a couple of levels. Not only that, but it also comes with a light overdrive effect.

Why it Stands Out to Us

On the other hand, the fact that this pedal features such a compact and attractive design makes it a clincher for us. Along with its reliable performance, it will last you years of proper use as long as you don’t mess up the magnetic battery door.

Who Will Use This Most

Anyone who enjoys ambient tones will have great use out of this reverb pedal. Additionally, due to the design details mentioned above, it is probably the most user-friendly reverb pedal there is.

Bottom Line

Similar to the overdrive pedal with one key difference, the reverb pedal can significantly improve sound quality and clarity, especially for a studio environment. Thus, if you need something like that, this Fender Marine pedal will do a great job at a fair price! A worthy choice nonetheless that will provide you with a great boost in terms of sound clarity and overall performance.

Best Cheap Compressor Pedal:
JOYO JF-10 Dynamic Compressor

JOYO JF-10 Dynamic Compressor Guitar Effect Pedal

PROS

  • Affordable for most guitarists
  • Adjustable controls that boost sound
  • Suitable for beginners or as backup pedal
  • Sturdy and strong; perfect to take on the road
  • Featuring a True Bypass to improve sound clarity

CONS

  • Signal issues can come and go
  • Customer service is slow and unresponsive

What Recent Buyers Report

As the reviews report, you are getting great performance for a fraction of an average price. It will not only boost and allow you to achieve full control over the guitar effect but also add zero noise to your performance.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We were most impressed by this pedal's sturdy and certificated design, which allows even those with no experience whatsoever to use this product effectively.

Who Will Use This Most

As it is suitable for both beginners and experienced players, this pedal is basically for everyone! If you are looking for a reliable compressor pedal that is DE and RoSH certified and comes at an affordable price, then this JOYO model may be the right choice for you.

Bottom Line

It all comes down to whether you will need a dynamic compressor effect or not. If the answer is yes and you don’t want it to break the bank, go for this one!

Best Cheap Chorus Pedal:
TC Electronic Corona

TC Electronic Corona Mini Chorus Pedal

PROS

  • Easy-to-use for beginners
  • Customer service is excellent
  • Great sound quality and clarity
  • Compact and portable for gigging
  • Quite versatile, featuring over 100 different chorus effects

CONS

  • Not as sturdy as could be
  • Lacks an extra control knob

What Recent Buyers Report

From what customers have suggested, this pedal is an ideal choice for improving your performance and diversifying how the chorus part sounds. Not only is it reliable, but it also works on electric, acoustic, and bass guitars.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We love the fact that this pedal is so simple to use and that the featured TonePrint technology allows more than 100 different effects.

Who Will Use This Most

As we have suggested above, this product is ideal for any guitar player (lead or bass) who is looking to try out something new. This great value chorus pedal will go a long way in terms of diversifying the sound your guitar produces and adding a remarkable boost to the chorus.

Bottom Line

As a compact and portable addition to your guitar pedal set-up, the TC Electronic is a worthy choice that you will not regret, whether you have been playing for years or have just begun your guitar journey.

Popular Types of Guitar Pedals

At the end of our article, we want to emphasize once again the importance of choosing the appropriate type for your playing style and performance. The three most popular are distortion, delay, and reverb pedals:

Distortion

As the most popular guitar pedal on the market, the distortion device is something that you will want to get to either emphasize the natural smooth tones of your guitar or focus on the crunch and muff effect. Depending on what kind of genre you play, a distortion pedal will go a long way.

Delay

On the other hand, a delay pedal is there to add richness as well as improve the texture of the sound by focusing on repetitive tones that last for anywhere from 5 to 700ms (on average).

Reverb

The reverb pedal is great for creating an ambient atmosphere, and thus an essential device for any kind of classic recording that prominently features solo performances and blues, jazz, or rock from the 70s.

Conclusion

Investing in a proper guitar pedal will not only boost your confidence and allow you to sound better while playing the guitar but also help your band follow the rhythm and create a powerful ambiance. We have done our best to provide you with the essential tips on how to choose one, as well as listed a few of the cheapest models that still offer great performance. Now it is your turn to do some further research, consider your needs, get yourself a guitar effect pedal, and rock on!