The Best Cheap Guitar Pedals On The Market Today!

Every guitarist nowadays is looking for the best cheap guitar pedals. Since the birth of this accessory, almost all electric guitar players became so obsessed with them. For those who are longing for quality tones, then a pedal is a must.

However, new pedals may come costly. Of course, high-end brands would give you the price that might tear your pocket. Luckily, the price doesn't always determine the usability and satisfactory rate of guitar pedals. Moreover, some guitar pedals under $100 could already give optimal sounds you need.

Cheap guitar pedals are perfect for amateur guitarists. Also, these pedals will enable you to explore and experiment with various tones and harmonies. In this article, we made a list of the top-rated pedals on the market today. Of course, you can expect that these units are not your standard options. They are, in fact, among the most popular brands in the music industry.

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The Best Cheap Guitar Pedals


1. Electro Harmonix Soul Food

Get it via Amazon.com

One should know that the Electro Harmonix Soul Food is a replica of the iconic pedal Klon Centaur. Honestly, its quality is not at the same level as of Klon.

However, all agrees that Soul Food is somehow close. Moreover, the price of Soul Food is just like buying a video game while Klon might somehow tear a hole in your pocket.

The Electro Harmonix Soul Food features great overdrives. It can also provide crystal clear boost tones. This pedal also has separate controls for treble, volume, and drive.

Furthermore, its buffered bypass and true bypass modes add versatility to your play style. Because of these features, the Electro Harmonix Soul Food became one of the best cheap guitar pedals today!


Pros:

  • Highly responsive.
  • It possess power rails for better definition and headroom.
  • ​Easy to control knobs.
  • ​Compact and sturdy design.
  • ​Runs on a 9-volt battery or 9.6 D/C power supply.

Cons:

  • The overdrive is not entirely transparent.
  • If you increase the overdrive, it will "over color" the tones with excessive midrange.

2. Dunlop GCB95 Cry Baby Wah Wah

Get it via Amazon.com

This list would not be complete without the Dunlop GCB95 Cry Baby Wah Wah. Inarguably, this unit is the most popular guitar pedal throughout the history. Because of this, the Cry Baby Wah Wah gave birth to different models.

However, you should still choose the Original Crybaby, which is the GCB95 model. This one lives up to its 1966 specifications (Thomas Organ scheme).

The sound of this wah pedal is just right. It doesn't matter if you are just a beginner or an expert already. The GCB95 Cry Baby Wah Wah will still give you the benefits of getting the talking and crying sounds.

If you pair it with a distortion or overdrive pedal, the GCB95 will indeed produce excellent tones. It also features a clear progression of chords, which is ideal for jazz and soulful genres.


Pros:

  • Uses the original Thomas Organ 1966 design.
  • Metal chassis is rigid.
  • ​Uses a toe position footswitch.
  • ​Comes with 9-volt battery and AC adapter.
  • ​Highly durable construction.

Cons:

  • It takes time before you can get used to this pedal.
  • It produces too much noise on the pedal board.

3. Boss DS-1 Distortion

Get it via Amazon.com

The first distortion pedal of Boss is the DS-1 Distortion. Many novices think that this pedal is already antique.

However, that is a big myth that had been already busted by several pros already. The mere fact that its production is continuous means that this distortion pedal still lives to the standards.

One of the most amazing features of Boss DS-1 Distortion is its conversion of clean amps to the realm of dirty distortion. If you have a dirty amp, then this effect pedal can make it even nastier.

Most of the pros out there practice with this unit so that they can create pulverizing distortions and rock-solid rhythms. Even the legendary Steve Vai used the DS-1 into one of his concerts. Are you the next one to carry this legacy?


Pros:

  • Different knobs for tone, level, and distortion.
  • Easy to learn and use.
  • ​Rigid design and construction.
  • ​Best for metal and rock genre.
  • ​Ideal for professional usage.

Cons:

  • The volume of the DS-1 is somehow noisy.
  • Battery runs too fast, and it doesn't have an AC plug.

4. MXR M101 Phase 90

Get it via Amazon.com

If there is a pedal that doesn't need any introductions, it should be the MXR M101 Phase 90. This pedal is typical, especially for beginners. Specifically, this unit is the epitome of a guitar phaser pedal.

Most of the pros today once used the Phase 90 before advancing to sophisticated brands. You should even know that Zakk Wylde and Eddie Van Halen have their customized versions of this. But for us commoners, settling with the orange version are already acceptable.

Controlling the MXR M101 Phase 90 is quite easy. Just set the speed, and you are ready to play. You will certainly admire the vibrant phase sounds, which can take your solos to a whole new level.

Therefore, if you need an extra phasing on your pedal board, then taking the Phase 90 is a necessity. Of course, we have to remind you that this pedal can produce sonic sounds, thanks to its high-speed setting. It is not for the faint-hearted!


Pros:

  • Analog tone is warm and rich.
  • Produces compelling whooshing and dramatic velocity to the tones.
  • ​Used by world-renown guitarists already.
  • ​Runs on a 9-volt battery or AC Adapter.
  • Ideal for any genres.

Cons:

  • It produces spikes on volume when using the amp at high gains.
  • There are limits on the variations you can play.

5. Boss MT-2 Metal Zone Distortion Guitar Pedal

Get it via Amazon.com

If you are quite a fan of excessive gains, then you should get the Boss MT-2 Metal Zone. This guitar pedal will certainly give you clean distortions without breaking a sweat. If you have this accessory, you can certainly get the metal tones that you are looking for a single pedal.

The Boss MT-2 Metal Zone is using a dual-stage gain circuitry. Therefore, you can expect that its distortions are quite more extreme compared to its counterparts.

Meanwhile, it can also generate long sustains while keeping its mids and lows to the maximum.


Pros:

  • Can create a broad range of distortion textures through its three-band EQ.
  • Highly rugged design.
  • ​Provides optimal control and adjustment features.
  • ​Extremely versatile usability.
  • ​Can be used by any beginners.

Cons:

  • Distortion is adequate, but it is not close to extreme death metal tones.
  • Jacks are too loose.
  • Produces noise and feedback regardless of the setting.

Guitar Pedal Buying Guide

Analog vs. Digital Pedals

Initially, guitar pedals are using analog circuitry. Specifically, this scheme modifies the actual signal to create unique tones. Old-school guitar players always revere the quality of analog pedals.

But by the start of the 1980s, digital pedals began to gain popularity. These pedals convert the output of your guitar into a digital bit stream. Afterward, the digital circuitry modifies the signal before it will be converted back to analog as the final output.

Any guitar geek would say that analog pedals are still the best. However, most of the pedals today are already using digital circuitry. Luckily, this particular design will not break your heart.

Almost all of the digital pedals today can produce tones that would match of those provided by analog pedals. Only those that have trained ears can distinguish them.

Presets

You would certainly need your guitar pedal to have presets. Fortunately, most of the pedals today (multi-effect and single-effect) come with presets. For multi-effect processors, these presets would be the full setup and several built-in sound effects.

Today's pedals are so advanced that you don't need to study them thoroughly. The presets are easy to access. Moreover, they are quite flexible, which means that you can create a new preset out of them.

Equalization Effects

Equalization Effects or EQ are essential for any guitar pedals. Their primary function is to cut or boost certain bands of frequency from the signal produced. However, you should know that EQ effects do not alter the pitch. Instead, it just changes the quality of the sound. Most of the cheap pedals have simple EQ setups. Therefore, learning them is not a problem.

You can control the EQ of a pedal with the use of its tone knobs. Most of the bass and guitar amps today are using 3-band EQ knobs. In this way, you can configure the treble, bass, and mid independently.

Sound Refinement

If you want to improve the tuning and control, then you should use a pedal that has a graphic or parametric EQ. This type of EQ effect will enable you to modify the frequency bandwidth that the pedal alters.

Specifically, it will divide the frequency into multiple bands, which are all usually narrow. You can boost or lower each of these bands by the use of sliders.

Logically, the more bands present, the more precise the adjustments you can do. Of course, it is also important to note that a graphic EQ is highly important. You may notice this if you are just playing alone. But when you are with your band, then this EQ will show its prowess.

Depending on the genre and instruments involved, you may need to adjust your EQ so that your guitar will be in harmony.


Conclusion

These are just some of the best cheap guitar pedals that you can get on the market today. Each of them has different effects to flaunt, but certainly that they are all worth buying. If you are an aspiring guitarist, having them in your arsenals can certainly improve your skills.

Among them, we highly recommend that you should pick the Electro Harmonix Soul Food. This is the best guitar pedal that a novice can get with a price that doesn't skyrocket. Despite its inexpensiveness, it still has features that any pros would love to have.

At this point, you should not treat a guitar pedal as a mere accessory. This tool is a must-have especially if you are serious in your stringed endeavors. Who knows, these pedals might become your stepping stones towards the top?


Do you have any questions, comments, and suggestions? Ask us! We love to hear from you!

Briana Renee
 

I am Briana Renee from Amsterdam. Currently, I am living in Los Angeles and has a recording studio. This site showcases of my skills. Furthermore, I am hoping that through this, I can help fellow musicians and enthusiasts like me to get the right audio components they need! Feel free to ask anything! I am just right here!

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