Best Guitar Pedal 2021 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
Guitar pedals come with different effects. Some of the most common guitar pedals are the reverb pedal, wah pedal, and overdrive.
Though these may have varying effects on your music, it can’t be denied that all of them are very useful. When used in the most efficient order, you can utilize all these effects. Of course, without sounding too overboard.
However, the whole process of finding the best guitar pedal for you is not as complicated. You do not have to be an expert in this field to know what you want from your guitar pedal. Is it the effects? The price? The brand?
5 Best Guitar Pedal for Beginners
The next on our list is the Hall of Fame Reverb pedal. It’s a bundle that comes with all sorts of reverb effects that will surely entice you.
Many guitarists treat reverb as one of the essential pedals out there, so if you’re buying one might as well pick a versatile pedal.
When talking about reverb effects, you want to look at the number. How many reverbs are there? The more, the merrier. But of course, the sound quality is a must too. This is where the Hall of Fame enters and its quality inevitably backs up its name.
It comes 11 reverbs that can be easily switched using one of its four knobs. These range from classic ones like Hall to unique ones like Lofi. However, the TonePrint feature stands among the rest.
This is because it gives you instant downloadable access to different customized reverbs.
- True Bypass.
- Analog Dry Through feature provides maximum clarity and tonal integrity.
- TonePrint reverb is matched with the TonePrint app for infinite reverb choices.
- Can be a substitute to a delay pedal.
- Needs a separate 9V adapter to work.
- May overpower the tone of your amplifiers.
The Fulltone OCD drive makes this list as our overdrive pedal of choice. Having an overdrive pedal gives you a lighter version of a distortion. This allows you to maintain the original tone of your electric guitar.
The Fulltone OCD gives you a lot of high overtones that rings well into feedback. There’s a lot of versatility with this product too. You can go clean when playing, or you can go punkish and wrong.
Again, the personality of your guitar wouldn’t be affected, so it’s perfect for rhythmic blending.
Furthermore, the responsiveness of the Fulltone has received positive comments. The knobs and other features work perfectly well to enhance your playing experience.
- Works best with A-class tube amplifiers.
- Has a vibrant and dynamic overtone.
- Lets your guitar music shine through while in effect.
- Great in low-gain setting.
- Loses low frequencies when on.
- Battery is hard to replace because of screws.
The Dunlop GCB95 Cry Baby is a Wah pedal that can give your guitar significant effects when playing. A wah pedal is usually used by guitarists that want that screaming factor in their music.
So if you want that extra human voice factor when you play your tunes, then the Dunlop GCB95 is one of the best products you can find out there. This product is already tried and tested by some of the best.
To name a few, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, and David Gilmour is among the greats that have used the Cry Baby.
The aesthetics of the Dunlop is sleek and minimalistic. It comes with a smooth black finish that blends in well with the color of your amplifiers and stereos. Furthermore, it has a heavy die-cast construction, so you don’t need to worry about rust or scratches anytime soon.
Also, the Cry Baby has a 100K ohm potentiometer. This meter allows that swift and abrupt wah sound that you would want in your wah pedal.
Lastly, the Cry Baby is easy to operate.
- Heavy Die Cast Construction.
- Comes with a 1-year warranty.
- Easy power through a 9V battery.
- Indicative lights gives you a sound guide when you’re playing.
- Smooth operation.
- Sound can be squeaky after a few months of use.
- Turning the on/off switch can be quite challenging.
The Boss Audio DS1 is our distortion pedal of choice for this product review. Boss is known for its great distortion effects that take metal and punk music to the next level.
The DS1 distortion gives you a hard nose effect that’s great for metal music. However, you also get to maintain a high-pitch treble sound. The BOSS DS1 prevents that deep crunchy sound that other distortion pedals have. So if you’re looking for this right blend, the BOSS Audio DS1.
The BOSS Audio DS1 also has tone and distortion knobs. Make sure that you play with these knobs as it gives you that classic effect that made the BOSS popular. You also get extra gain thanks to the 12 o’clock setting.
- Gives you extra gain.
- Has a hard nose distortion but maintains a high treble sound.
- Solid steel construction.
- Has a good cascading gain.
- Battery can be quickly drained even when off.
- Richer low-end zone effects are not met by this pedal.
Our last product to review is the Donner Compressor Pedal, which is one of the best pedals when you base it in the reviews. A compressor pedal cleans your guitar’s sound by balancing the high and low audio signals. Hence, this is another great pedal to have for your performance.
One of the first things you’ll notice with this pedal is its sleek design and robust built. This is because it’s built out of the whole aluminium-alloy. Internal parts are great too as it features a true bypass.
Functionality-wise, the Donner Compressor Pedal comes with tone knobs to allow you to dial your desired sound. There are two modes which are treble and standard compression.
- Very durable because of its whole aluminum alloy construction.
- The compressed tone is round and smooth.
- Has three knobs with two modals for versatility.
- Has LED light to indicate its status.
- Has a noticeable squishy sound past the 12 o’clock setting.
- Has static when included in the circuit. Could suffer from a dangerous ground.
What To Look For In A Guitar Pedal?
Just as we mentioned earlier, the most important thing when buying a guitar pedal is knowing what you want from it. Personally, the first thing I look for when purchasing a pedal is the effects that come along with it.
For instance, some reverb pedals or compressor pedals can also be used effectively for added sustain. So instead of buying both a reverb and a sustain, I can just look into a particular reverb pedal with good sustain as well.
The next thing I look at is if it works well with a bass or an electric guitar. Most people overlook the fact that not all pedals work naturally with both the bass and the electric guitar. What type of guitar are you looking a pedal for? Is it for your bass? Or your electric guitar?
An example of this would be a guitar distortion pedal. Using the distort effect might create a soft sound instead. This is because electric guitars are in a higher octave than bass guitars.
Another example would be the compressor pedal. The compressor pedal might be one of the very few instances that a particular pedal works for both the bass and the electric guitar.
Identifying which pedals work best with a particular guitar might help you avoid unwanted noises or strange sounds.
Lastly, I look at the feature. This is a critical aspect when buying a guitar pedal. A guitar pedal may very formidable and technologically advanced, but this is not all that matters.
Are the knobs and controls all functional? Are they easy to use? Is the pedal itself comfortable to step on? Or is it durable enough to withstand stomping?
Nothing beats a simple yet durable guitar pedal effect. For me, pedals are best with solid rubber feet. This will help you not lose grip, especially during intense performances.
A durable pedal hinge is also crucial. This will keep your pedal’s lifespan long even when you love stomping on it.
What Are The Different Kinds Of Pedals?
Again, there are different types of pedals. These pedals are classified according to their effects. However, there are a lot of gray areas in organizing these pedals. Some pedals have different effects but fall under the same category.
We will be listing below some of the most shared and essential pedals to use, even for beginners.
The Basic Effects
- Sustain pedal - A sustain prolongs a particular note or portion of your music. If you want emphasis on a particular note, the sustain pedal might come in handy.
- Reverb pedal - The reverb pedal creates/adds space to your notes. This will make it sound as if you are making music in different kinds of halls or different sized spaces.
- Drive pedal - A drive pedal has many uses. Whenever you try searching for “drive pedals,” you would also see overdrive, fuzz, and distortion popping out from your search engine. This is because a gray area lies between the effects and the uses of these pedals.
However, put in a nutshell, a drive pedal just provides gain to your music to give the “overdrive” effect. It is a less harsh version of the distortion.
- Wah pedal - The wah pedal is pretty much an effect that tries to mimic the human voice. The word wah is just an onomatopoeia for this effect that alters the resonance of notes. This is what makes the wah effect sound similar to a human voice saying “wah.”The Necessities in Your Chain
The Necessities in Your Chain
- Delay pedal - From the word itself, the delay pedal recreates a small digital recording of your riff then plays it back at a time of your choosing. In result, this is what creates the “delay effect.”
- Compressor pedal - Finally, a compressor pedal compresses certain parts of your audio signal. This particular effect, however, is not as audibly heard as other effects.
It only reduces your audio signal when it exceeds a predetermined threshold then makes quiet audio signals louder. This is what creates a clean and balanced sound to your music.
Although these are not everything you need to know about the different kinds of pedals, their uses, and orders, these are just some of the basics covered. Especially for beginners, you might still need a lot of research on which pedals to get.
However, we will also be listing below some of the best guitar pedals you can try out there. Depending on the effects you need and your musical style, looking for the best guitar pedal for you should not be as complicated as it seems.
Since there are a ton of different guitar pedals out there, choosing the best pedal is up to your needs.
For example, if you want more audio signal balance, then a compressor should be the one for you. On the other hand, if you want to cover a lot of metal songs then a distortion pedal is the choice to make.
Ultimately, if you’re serious about playing the electric guitar, then you’ll eventually need all these pedals to perform well. Hence, it’s best if we pick one of the five we reviewed and start from there.
When it comes to pedals, reverbs are one of the key ones that you’ll need from day 1. You can use it for almost any kind of song. This is because the options and types of reverbs out there are almost limitless.
With that said, the TC Electronic Hall of Fame is probably the best guitar pedal that you should consider buying. The TonePrint feature gives you versatility in your effects right from the start. Not to mention, it’s durable and has a good reputation too.