11 Best Distortion Pedals For 2017 (Includes Cheap, Boutique, Dual, Etc)

Choosing the Best Distortion Pedal for You

Loud guitars and distortion go hand-in-hand.  What electric guitarist wants to play clean all the time, anyways?

More gain, please!

Luckily, a huge array of distortion pedals exist on the market. From high-end boutiques right down to budget pedals, there’s something for everyone. You’ll find plenty of great stompboxes with ultimate face-melting, distorted tone, crazy sustain and lots of boost.

Looking for something smoother?  Check out our recommendations for the best overdrive pedal and best fuzz pedal.

There are a number of different things to look at when you are choosing the right one for your dirty sound.

  • How easy the settings are to control (I like simple knobs and a single toggle)?
  • Does pedal appear well-designed and durable?
  • What are the different usable options and features?
  • What’s the price?
  • What types of music I am usually playing?
  • What amp I am playing?
  • Can the pedal perform well in different musical styles?  (Such as hard rock, metal, country, blues and more)

I looked at everything from old vintage original and classic stomp boxes all the way up to the latest modern versions.

Best Distortion Pedal Comparison Chart

NameDescriptionCheck It Out
1. Ibanez TS9 Tube ScreamerOur favorite of the bunch.Read Review
2. T-Rex Engineering Mean MachineAn amazing option if you are looking for something with dual channels.Read Review
3. WMD Geiger CounterGreat digital distortion pedal with tons of features.Read Review
4. MXR M75 Super Badass DistortionLooking for something analog? This is perfect.Read Review
5. Bogner Burnley DistortionGot more to spend and want a boutique type of tone? This one checks this off.Read Review
6. Boss MT-2 Metal ZoneAttention metalheads! For the pure headbangers.Read Review
7. ZVEX Effects Vexter Box of Rock DistortionPlay good ol' rock 'n' roll? This stompbox brings it.Read Review
8. Pro Co You Dirty RATThe best distortion for the punk rockers!Read Review
9. Danelectro D-1 Fab DistortionA great distortion pedal without breaking the bank.Read Review
10. MXR Custom BadassMiddle of the road as far as pricing. Great all around pedal.Read Review
11. Tech 21 Hot-Rod Plexi DistortionAwesome professional distortion effects pedal.Read Review
 

Top Pick – Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer

Ibanez TS9 Tube ScreamerFor many years, the Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer has been a popular overdrive pedal. The TS9 finds the right balance between build quality and price. It creates pleasing over-driven tones, which are easy to key in. Most pedal makers offer stompboxes that expand or copy the circuitry of TS9, but few can match the economies of scale available from Ibanez.

Simple Controls

The Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer features simple control knobs for level, tone, and drive. It is significant to select a set up at an appropriate volume, since Ibanez TS9 does compress the signal. This compression is less of a concern especially when using the TS9’s pedal light overdrive. It also becomes more pronounced at higher drive levels. The Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer pedal is most useful when emulating the sound of a tube amp that is beginning to break up.

Distortion and Overdrive

The TS9 produces subtle overdrive, but it also provides more distinct tube-style distortion especially if it is the only distortion pedal in your rig. The quality of its distortion is spicy and a pronounced mid boost that is not harsh. While not recommended for heavy or fuzzy distortion, Ibanez’s TS9 Tube Screamer defines the term “great overdrive pedal”.

Easy To Mod

Due to TS9’s popularity, you can easily find modifications that can improve on is circuit. In addition, you can easily resell the Tube Screamer, though its used price is a bit lower than the new price (with the exception of some vintage models). The ideal use for TS9 is in a chain of subtle distortion boxes, which can add up to the heavily distorted sound especially if all of them are engaged.

Built To Last A Lifetime

As with all the nine series Ibanez pedals, Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer is housed in an attractive and rugged chassis. The foot switch is quite durable, as well as all the major external components except the battery cover.

After extended use, the plastic battery cover is liable to break. While a minor concern to the users of external power supplies, a spoiled battery cover adversely may affect the resale value, functionality and appearance.

Features

• The output impedance is ten (10) Kohms
• The equivalent input noise is IHF-A (-100dBm).
• Classic stomp box distortion as well as overdrive effect
• It has an input impedance of five hundred (500) Kiloohms (Kohms)
• Made with similar parts and in the same factory as the original model of TS9
• It has a maximum output level of zero (0) dBm while the maximum gain is + 30dB.
• It has one nine-volt battery for power supply or an external nine-volt (9V) AC509 adapter that is sold separately.
• Its dimensions are 2″(Height) x 3″ (Width) x 4.9″(Depth) and a weight of 1.3 pounds.

Technical Specifications

• One-quarter inch output
• Tone, level and drive controls.
• One-quarter inch instrument input
• The pedal types are overdrive and distortion

Use As An Overdrive Pedal

It may not be as smooth as TS808 but TS9 still offers a stunning overdrive sound that makes the mid-range to pop out. This mid-range peak is incredible especially in live situations when you want to pop through the mix for your next solo. If you do not want as much peak in the mid-range simply, lower the tone control for a smoother rhythm overdrive tone.

Use As A High Gain Boost

In the recent years, metal people have had their hands on the tube screamers. They have used them to add a different dynamic to their high gain sounds. Tube screamers not only add gain but also give your sound more attack and bite required when you wish to get into fast-gated high gain rhythms.

Use As A Clean Boost

Most overdrive pedals that have a gain turned down make perfect clean boosts. Nevertheless, nothing sounds as great as a tube screamer. Even when the Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer is turned down to zero you still get a bit of the overdrive. The tone is however more consistent with a clean boost like circuit. Turn the pedal on once and you’ll hear how it produces clean sound whenever you need it.

Final Verdict

To sum up, if you are looking for an original model of the Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer overdrive effects pedal or guitar distortion settle for this particular reissue. There is no other reissue in the market today that can compete with TS9 Tube Screamer. It is a reissue of the exact same seasick-green paint; exact same components, exact same housing, and they are even made in the exact same factory just as the original TS9 Tube Screamers. Stomp down, plug in, let loose, and crank it up. Once you have heard how the reissue Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer sounds like, then you know exactly how a distortion is supposed to sound like.

Quick Points

  • Like all Ibanez pedals, it is well built and very durable.
  • This pedal sounds great with just about any set up you put it into. Single coils, humbuckers, tube amps and solid state.
  • While it sounds great through the clean channel of your amp, it really starts to take on a whole different (and cool!) animal when you run it though an already distorted amp. A great way to thicken your tone while adding some clarity as well.
  • This is a reissue version of the original TS9 overdrive. Made in the same factory and with the same specs as the original.
  • If you are looking for a classic distorted tone (nothing too crazy and probably not great for metal tones) then this is a great option.
  • Powered by either a 9 volt battery or regular adapter.


Best Dual (Two) Channel – T-Rex Engineering Mean Machine Twin-Channel

T-Rex Engineering Mean Machine Double Distortion Guitar Effect PedalThe T-Rex Engineering Mean Machine Twin-Channel Double Distortion compactly houses two distortions.

For players wanting to burn rubber, this might be the perfection distortion pedal. It is very user friendly and even at reduced gain settings, crazy distortion can be produced.  There’s no easing up with this device.

Two Channels of Distortion

The Mean Machine includes two channels, each having its own Level, Drive, and Tone knobs so that the distortion can be easily switched from mind-bending to mind-blowing and way beyond that.

The T-Rex Mean Machine is a double distortion pedal that has the spirit of early level amplifier and then multiplies it according to the need. Two channels are available each with its own LEVEL, DRIVE and TONE controls, and that’s it. The best part about the device is that it is essentially two pedals compacted in one unit. Instead of a majority of pedals with two foot switches where one acts as an on/off button, this one acts independently.

Mean Green

The word “mean” might appear in the color green on the very top of the Mean Machine, but be warned — that the pedal is really a great device. There’s no tuning up from clean, crunch to distorted version. The switch is turned on even when the drive is set zero, and rubber is burnt. The gain is turned up and every other competition in town can be beat, with a lively compact distortion and the best feedback of music that one has ever heard.

With the T-Rex Mean Machine, the makers are of the belief that there has been the creation of the most superior distortion pedal that has ever been made in recent times. It is advisable to take the device for a test drive at the local music store and the helmet is not to be forgotten.

Quick Points:

  • Sometimes you need to have a couple different dirty tones in order to fully cover your set list for live performances. Having a couple different tones quickly on hand is awesome for a more versatile. This pedal does exactly that.
  • Be able to have both a screaming metal tone and a classic rock tone dialed in and ready to be switched in between. If you play a wide variety of genres, this is a great addition.
  • Every pedal comes with a free accessory pack.
  • Controls are set up to be used very easily
  • Built in America by a small American guitar effects company.


Best Digital – WMD Geiger Counter – Digital Destruction Preamp Distortion Pedal

WMD Geiger Counter - Digital Destruction Preamp Distortion PedalPersonally, I am not a huge fan of all digital distortion, but I do like this one! I think it would pair well with a nice tube amp.

At the heart of good music production or even a live performance is the individual musician. You will never find a serious band that does not have serious players. Therefore, he or she needs the best instruments to do a best job.

WMD created the Geiger Counter – Digital Destruction Preamp Distortion Pedal as powerful instrument designed to assist the player in producing irresistible tunes. Here are the benefits and features of this pedal.

WMD Geiger Counter Features

•  252 Wave Table Modulator.
• 1 to 8 Bit Depth with Mask mode.
• Sample Rate from 260Hz to 58kHz.
• Dramatic Tone Control with Disable.
• High Gain Modern Preamp.

10 Control Knobs

This beautiful piece of sound art has ten control knobs. These controls are the Gain, Tone, Tone Enable/Disable, Sample Rate, Bit Depth, Bits/Mas, Wave Table, Key/CV Input, Sample Rate Key In, and Bit Depth Key In. When I used this pedal, I found all these controls to be very useful.

For instance, the Gain control when set to Low settings provides a tone that is clean and that does not have any distortion. In high settings, I could brick wall my signal resulting in great sustain. With the Gain control, I could produce a tone that is coarse. For a tone that is fine, the Bit Depth control does the trick. I could now choose the exact bit depth I want, whether I wanted a low 1 bit or a high 8 bit. This control is great for producing lo-fi gated distortion sound.

I love every bit of the Geiger Counter. In fact, I would recommend that its manufacturers produce a scaled down version of this pedal with all the juicy features and capabilities of this version. Overall, this pedal is extremely interesting and unique, has thoughtful and very useful inclusions such as the Control Voltage modulation, and is very powerful.

Quick Points:

  • This modern high gain preamp comes with a set of 4 quarter inch patch cables.
  • A ton of knobs and controls that may feel intimidating at first but once you play with it for awhile, you should find it to be quite simple.
  • Can generate a variety of different distorted tones – from a smooth overdrive to a face melting metal sound.
  • This thing is basically a small computer that is set up to give you as much versatility in tone that you can think up.


Best Analog – MXR M75 Super Badass Distortion

MXR M75 Super Badass DistortionHaving experience many MXR pedals before, I hold the opinion that MXR M75 Super Badass® Distortion may be its best distortion pedal so far. I mean, I just have to give props to its dynamic gain circuit and EQ controls that offers a range of tone — from classic rock, moderate drive, hard rock to metal roar.

Distortion Pedal Versatility

My tastes tend to lean towards metal but I am impressed with the versatility of this pedal. This could work not only for metal, but even punk and blues!

You can put the distortion control to 10 o’clock to get a rich and saturated distortion, or at 12 o’clock for Marshall-like tone with good saturation. In any case, this makes me a happy buyer, and this super badass stompbox really delivers volume without losing the higher gain.

Features

Features-wise, I think the MXR M75 Super Badass® Distortion takes the cake.

Not only with its classy design with a silver metal finish, but also its EQ section and distortion and output controls. As I have already raved about it, the EQ controls are adaptable to frequency changes that it becomes suitable to most genres. Plus, the distortion and output knobs provide players with either a clean boost or a super-saturated dirt sound.

Because the Super Badass® Distortion comes top sound quality, I’d recommend this for recording and live events. The easiness of use and the compact design add to its charms. This is a highly recommended pedal from MXR, definitely worth it!

Quick Points:

  • To me, analog is where it’s at. This is excellent when paired with just about any type of amp in my opinion – valve or tube amps, solid state and even hybrids.
  • 100% full analog and true bypass design.
  • Features a full 3 part eq stack (bass, mid and treble) along with output level and distortion controls.
  • Can generate all kinds of tones from warm and natural sounding classic rock to gritty metal and everything in between.
  • The pedal can get a bit louder than other pedals but this is easily cured with the output knob.
  • Some people consider it a bit heavy on the treble end but again, this is easily rectified just by changing up your amp settings.

Best Boutique – Bogner Burnley Distortion Pedal

Bogner Burnley Distortion Pedal

Purchased the Bogner Burnley Distortion Pedal and it was just as expected — excellent!

This distortion pedal is responsive and has three controls: level, gain, tone. It produces a nice crunchy tone or a more ripping sound, depending on the setting you prefer. I cannot exaggerate on the excellent sound quality that this distortion pedal provided me, with a rich, buttery-smooth sound that is just pleasing. Yes, it has a high gain, most especially if you turn up the level, but the high-gain pick-ups gives me a powerful sound that can be good with metal, which is what I lean towards. It does need some getting used to since, well, it has more body than the once I have previously used.

Features

Several of the pedal’s features include an F/T switch that gives you a selection between a tight and aggressive tone, or a fat and mellow tone. Depends actually on the genre you much prefer to play, but it can suit a wide array of choices! Yes, even metal. As I have already written, using the high-gain pick-ups would be suitable and sufficient for those who prefer metal. But anyway, the Bogner Burnley Distortion Pedal is good for recording and performances since it really does have excellent sound quality! I would suggest experimenting it with multiple different amplifiers just to see which sort you prefer; as for me, it works best with a Bogner Alchemist.

Aside from the sound quality and the pedal’s responsiveness, it also has a classic and compact design. Though the Rupert Neve Design (RND) custom audio transformer was the deciding factor as to why I bought this, having used it, it really does delivers a somewhat three-dimensional sound. This distortion pedal is a bit on the pricier side, but a good investment nonetheless. For me, it comes highly recommended.

Quick Points:

  • For people that have a bit more of a higher end taste, these super awesome boutique pedals may just be the ticket for you.
  • Sometimes these types of pedals are harder to find but it is definitely worth looking for them because they sure can produce some amazing tones.
  • True bypass and all analog.
  • Has a fat/tight switch which allows you to dial in either a tight metal tone or a more loose rock sound.


For Metal – Boss MT-2 Metal Zone

Boss MT-2 Metal ZoneFor people who play metal like me, the Boss MT-2 Metal Zone is a satisfying and sufficient distortion pedal. I bought mine after checking out their website’s audio library which had a sound check and a tone demo for the MT-2, and it certainly did sound impressive, especially for me whose tastes lean more on hard rock and metal. It has a wide range of distortion with a 3-band EQ and a strong sustain.

Ideal Uses

This, however, is best used with an amplifier on a clean setting; this gets you to that crunchy and heavy sound. There’s a reason that this is Boss’ most popular pedals — because it produces over-the-top, heavy, crazy distortion tones. This is definitely recommended for metal guitarists, or even for beginners who already have a knack for the hard, heavy sound of metal.

The MT-2 Metal Zone has heavy mids and lows, and produces and ultra-saturated sound. There is so much to be discovered with the possibilities of this pedal, so much so that it motivates you to play more and practice more! I will not lie when I say that having this pedal and producing the thick distortion and grungy sound, it did make me feel like a rockstar lost in his own concert. One suggestion is that you can also use it with a chorus pedal to improve the tone.

Well-built Distortion Pedal

The pedal itself is well-built and is durable. Boss, after all, producing gear that typically last for several years, even with regular use. I can feel the MT-2 Metal Zone’s solid design and would bet that this pedal will stay with me for years to come. My initial impression was that it had a classic design. It comes with several colors though I had mine in a predictable black color. Overall, I am greatly satisfied by this purchase. Besides, Boss is already one of my staple brands, so I’m not really surprised at how happy I am with this pedal.

Quick Points:

  • Heavy and high gain is where it is at here – and scoop the mids while you are at it! For all types of heavy metal including death, black, thrash, nu, extreme, doom, grindcore and even hair metal.
  • Sound like a full stack of amps!
  • Super saturated tones with dual gain technology.
  • For metal, this is probably one of BOSS’s most popular pedals.

For Rock – ZVEX Effects Vexter Box of Rock Distortion

ZVEX Effects Vexter Box of Rock DistortionThe ZVEX Effects Vexter Box of Rock Distortion is a distortion pedal I often use when I need a big sound, with lots of gain but without sounding brittle.

I find it goes just fine with different amplifiers and controlling my guitar’s volume will do the trick in getting the right amount of distortion that I need. This pedal sounds awesome and gives off a solid definition.

Features

The compact design is also a plus. It has knobs for boost, volume, tone and drive, which is fairly easy to use and gives me easy control over the distortion I want. The pedal feels great and though the size is a plus for me, it can sometimes be difficult since the knobs are too close to the buttons. Other than that, one of the best pedals I’ve played. The boost option is one of its top features which gives a great clean boost. The distortion control is great too and produces a good range of transparent overdrive to insane, saturated distortions. I noticed that this distortion pedal, aside from having a cleaner sound than most, has enough gain for those classic rock players. It also does well at low volumes, and the batteries last long!

Great First Pedal by ZVEX!

This pedal comes highly recommended. Whether you’re going through different pedals in a shop, give this a try, or better yet just buy it. It is perfect for players looking for lower-grain vintages tones, or that vintage Marshall tone.

I have heard that this is ZVEX’s first distortion pedal, and I must say they nailed it. The ZVEX Effects Vexter Box of Rock Distortion works great with any amplifier, gives a classic amp tone, and has a good, compact size. It has a classy design too! Definitely worth the money, and should be a staple on everyone’s main board.

Quick Points:

  • Rock and roll is all about the right distortion – too much is too much and to little is too little – you need it just right.
  • The control on this pedal make it easy to dial in a great classic rock tone quickly and easily.
  • Unique shape due to the dual stomp switch design.


For Punk – Pro Co You Dirty Rat

Pro Co You Dirty RatThe secret of Pro Co’s You Dirty RAT’s uses clipping diodes,  fashioned out of the metal germanium.

Any pedal aficionado will vouch for the incomparable warm tone of these sought-after components. This distortion pedal sits perfectly in between distortion and fuzz, blending the peculiar sharp tones of the RAT with the cordiality of the conventional fuzz-tone.

Features

The You Dirty RAT distortion pedal offers an additional 3 dB of compression than the original version of RAT. This offers sustainability as well as more “tube amp warmth.”

The Pro Co’s distortion pedal boasts the famous RAT Filter control switch. Turn it to the right to smooth off the fragile high-pitched frequencies.

Having trouble cutting through the mix? Turning the Filter down and permitting the natural luster of the instrument to be evident can solve the problem of going through the mix.

The dial controlling distortion and volume keeps the gain in check keeping the level fully consistent with the clean tone. Since the Characteristic RAT tone is unmistakable when the guitar pedal is on, adequate bypass switching makes sure that there is no mixing of sounds when the pedal is switched off.

History and Build

Pro Co Sound has been building its reputation of having professional effects since the late 1970s. Since then, the RAT guitar pedal has undergone evolution from a solitary, hand-engineered prototype into a genre of multipurpose distortion pedals.

Upon further research it is revealed that ProCo has an unbeatable reputation for constructing dependable equipment. Secondly, their pedals have commercial value on Ebay. Old used original “Rat” pedals are found to successfully sell equally as the new ones.

The device is heavy and is engineered similar to a military tank. There are three knobs that permit shaping options for the pedal covering gain, filter, and volume.

Quick Points:

  • These types of pedals bring the angst to your tone – think vintage punk. If you are a power chord slinger and sporting a spiked mohawk, this pick may be the right one for you.
  • Punk demands something heavy duty and durable – this thing is built like a tank!
  • This is the pedal still widely used in probably the last 30 years or more by all types of rockers.
  • Based off the original RAT distortion with a few tweaks to add more compression, sustain and warmth.

Best Cheap $ – Danelectro D-1 Fab Distortion

Danelectro D-1 Fab DistortionThe Danelectro D-1 Fab Distortion is a distortion pedal that is more compact than the rest, is very easy to use, and affordable as well.

I would consider it as a great first effect pedal and despite its size, can produce a good full tone. It has a wide range of tones and the distortion can go up to the range of a classic heavy metal sound.

Features

The pedal sports three knobs — level, tone, and distortion. I play alternative, grunge, and classic metal rock, so this pedal is good to have on the sides. A guitar friend said that his Danelectro adds too much noise and comes out sounding too grainy, but turning down the grain and level was a simple, easy fix for the problem!

First Impression

My first impression would immediately be a surprise for its size, which became more of an advantage eventually. Imagine the easiness and possibilities of having to transport a distortion pedal without much difficulty! I liked the design, though there may be some room for improvements there, but the thing is that the variety of features, the range of sound and the size really are major plus points to this pedal. I think this pedal is also perfect for those just trying out their talents in playing the guitar since the pedal really is easy to use. It can be a good and dependable beginner pedal.

Great, Affordable Pedal

Overall, I recommend this for people like me who are looking for an affordable, yet decent distortion pedal. Although it is made of plastic, it does seem quite durable, though I’d recommend not putting too much strain on it as well. Danelectro D-1 Fab Distortion really is one of the best distortion pedals out there if you are on a budget. I am honestly telling you, you cannot get a better deal than this!

Quick Points:

  • More budget friendly when you want to get more for less money. Seriously, it’s less than 20 bucks!
  • Has all the controls that you would expect on a good distortion pedal despite the price.
  • Great for beginners at not only playing guitar but also getting used to using effects pedals.
  • Standard 9 volt or adpater power.


$$ – MXR Custom Badass

MXR Custom Badass 78The MXR Custom Badass is a distortion pedal that produces a thick, and a mega crunchy sound. It is a compact pedal and it is very true to its name — it is indeed a badass!

Definitely a fun pedal that had me feeling that retro vibe. I mean, way to feel like a 70’s rocker!

I read about the product before the purchase and it didn’t take too long before I was convinced. True to its description, the MXR Custom Badass does indeed nail the balance between the bottom, the mid, and the highs to produce a thick and defined distortion.

Features

I also give plus points to this products classy and edgy design, and its relatively economical price. Its deep metallic jewel red housing is so striking and blends well with the vintage feels! The price and demo sounds were my primary motivations for the purchase, and I am definitely happy with it. I play along the genres of classic rock which makes this pedal perfect. It would go well if you are into the blues or would prefer some crunchy sound, but if you are into metal rock, you would be better off with some other pedal.

This badass box is definitely for musicians who love the classic late ’70s rock distortion. Though, I tend to notice that the sound leans more toward overdrive. Nonetheless, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing since you can interpret it as allowing for both — a pedal that allows classic distortion and overdrive together!

The tone knob also produces some nice variations; its tone is more aggressive and definitely has a strong personality. Of the many times I’ve used the MXR Custom Badass, it has proven its durability in my books, and is definitely worth the investment! Overall, this is a great pedal.

Quick Points:

  • Got a bit more to spend but still want to keep costs fairly low – consider this!
  • This ’78 distortion provides a thick vintage tone that goes great with vintage sounds.
  • I consider this to be a similar pedal to the BOSS DS-1 which is a classic pedal in the rock world.
  • A great addition to your pedalboard!

$$$ – Tech 21 Hot-Rod Plexi Distortion and Boost

Tech 21 Hot-Rod Plexi Distortion and BoostA lot goes into producing good music. Raw talent, good vocals, and top of the range equipment all factor among the many things that are needed. The Tech 21 Hot-Rod Plexi Distortion and Boost is a pedal that transforms your amplifier into a roaring and modded-out music equipment. I bought this piece of equipment and used it and here are its features and benefits.

Features of the Plexi

The Tech 21 Hot-Rod Plexi Distortion and Boost has a host of useful features that impressed me a lot. These features include:

– A custom, silent-switching footswitch actuator.
– It also features a specialized low pass filter that makes the tone very musical by cutting the high end without getting the tone muddy or losing mids.
– This device also has a ¼” high-impedance input and a ¼” low-impedance output.
– Its circuitry is 100% analog so for a person who prefers the more hands-on and less complicated feel of analog systems, I loved the Hot-Rod Plexi.

Well-designed Controls

Another thing that impressed me about the Hot-Rod Plexi is its straightforward controls. These controls are of great benefit to a guitarist especially during a live performance as one does not need to put much effort and concentration into it to adjust its controls. The controls consist of a total of five knobs. These knobs are the Punch control, the Tone control, Level control, Drive, and Hot. All these controls are very useful and give out powerful output too.

Its other benefits include:

– Surprisingly low-noise courtesy of its all-analog circuitry.
– Use with a variety of different amps.
– Wide-ranging and very effective Punch and Tone Controls.
– It delivers a dynamic variety of sounds courtesy of its Drive, Punch, and Tone controls.

I really love what Tech 21 did with the Hot-Rod Plexi. This pedal is excellent and you should get it too and experience firsthand what I am talking about.

Quick Points:

  • For people that have less concerns about price and more about quality thick and chunky tone.
  • Create an organic sounding distorted tone similar to what you would hear through a Marshall tube amp.
  • Level, tone, thump and drive controls to help you set up the perfect tone.


Looking for something more specific? Take a look at these:


Commonly Asked Questions:

What Type Of Distortion Pedal Did Jimmy Page Use?

His box of choice for this is the Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive Distortion.

What Distortion Pedal Sounds Like A Rectifier?

Now for this, I would say that you want something that mimics the sound of a Mesa Boogie. One option that does this well is the MI Audio Tube Zone.

What Distortion Pedal Does Zakk Wylde Use?

Zakk has a couple different stomp boxes that he uses with his Marshall JCM800 amps – the Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive Distortion, the MXR Zakk Wylde Overdrive and an MXR ZW44 Berzerker Overdrive.

What Distortion Pedal Does Metallica Use?

Both Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield have quite a variety of gear at their disposal. Kirk has been known to use an Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer. James has been known to use the Line 6 DM4 Distortion as well as a rare Lovetone Brown Source.

What Distortion Pedal Does Korn Use?

Brian “Head” Welch, from what I can gather, mainly relies on his amps for his distorted tones.  But, he does sometimes use a Prescription Electronics Depth Charge bass fuzz. James “Munky” Shaffer uses a couple different distortions in his board – TC Electronic Röttweiler Distortion and a Pigtronix Disnortion Analog Octave/Fuzz/Overdrive. He also helped develop the Majik Box Krush pedal.

What Distortion Pedal Does Greenday Use?

For Billie Joe Armstrong’s sound, he has a couple of different pedals for this – a Boss BD-2 Blues Driver Pedal and a Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer.

What Distortion Pedal Did Kurt Cobain Use?

Kurt used a number of different pedals and switched them out depending on the song. For example, in Lithium, he used a Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi. He mainly used a Boss DS-1 Distortion for live shows but also was known to use a DOD Grunge in live gigs as well. He also used a Boss DS-2 Turbo Distortion and a ProCo Rat.

Distortion Pedal Before Or After Delay?

I tend to like to put my delay after the overdrive but it really depends on your preference. My best advice would be to try both and see what works best for your tone.

Distortion Pedal Before Or After Overdrive?

Again, this is all about your personal taste but I like to put the overdrive before distortion. Again, try different options yourself – it’s all about experimentation!

Distortion Pedal In Effects Loop Or In Front?

In front – always!

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11 Best Distortion Pedals For 2017 (Includes Cheap, Boutique, Dual, Etc)
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11 Best Distortion Pedals. Includes Best Cheap Distortion, Best Boutique, Best Dual, Etc.
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