Category Archives for "Guitars"

How To Fingerpick Guitar: The Essential Techniques For Beginners

Learning how to fingerpick guitar will enhance your versatility as a player. Once you can learn to fingerpick, you can do solo performances already.

Moreover, jam sessions would always welcome your talent. Aside from that, your flexibility to transition between genres would improve as well.

Fingerpicking is an essential guitar skill. But it is still a suitable technique even if your craft is advancing already. If you are using an electric guitar, fingerpicking will allow you to sound like Les Paul or Jimi Hendrix.

Well, it is a dream that you can achieve as long as you learned all the essential guitar techniques.

In this article, we will teach you the basics of fingerpicking. We hope that you can learn them quickly. Also, don't rush things.

We recommend that you should take your time practicing them. In this way, you will be able to incorporate the skill to your senses fully.


How To Learn Bass Guitar Chords – The Best Practical Guide

"How To Learn Bass Guitar Chords"? Playing bass is one of the most coveted skills in the music world. Even if they don't stand out too much like those lead guitars, bass guitars are still pivotal to the overall quality of the mix. So, if you want to delve into the soulful world of this instrument, then you must learn to understand the different bass guitar chords.

If you have already an experienced in playing the guitar, then learning bass would not be a troublesome task for you. In fact, the chords and scales of a bass guitar are quite easy to comprehend compared to standard guitars. But why? Scales and chords of a bass don't change. Even if you are playing different musical skills, the story will be the same.

In this article, we will teach you the basics of bass guitar chords. Trust us. Your head won't get hurt on this course. So just sit back and relax. We got it all for you.

How To Play Am On Guitar: Am Made Easy

If you’ve decided to learn how to play the guitar, be aware of the challenges you’d be facing. As rewarding as it is, it is undeniable that learning the guitar is no easy feat. Except, if you have a natural talent or knack for the guitar of course.

Today, we will be featuring a step by step guide on how to play Am on guitar. The A minor is often used in many four chord songs along with the G major chord.

Just like any other chords, it is best to learn the full version of the chord first before its alternatives.

Alternatives won’t sound as similar as the original chord. Remembering the alternatives and shifting to another chord will become easier if you know the full chord well. Who knows? You might even be able to make your version of an alternative chord.

10 Of The Best Octave Pedals – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

The era of electric guitars is not possible without the birth of octave pedals. Of course, nothing is much more satisfying than being able to shift the notes that you are playing.

The best octave pedals are responsible for such wonders. They have been with us for decades already, and they won't cease to exist anytime sooner.

The effects produced by octave pedals are often heard. One example is the voice alterations in the voice of Mel Blanc on different Looney Toons characters.

The same effects are also present in the Alvin and the Chipmunks recordings. However, it was the high-speed recording that changed the pitch. But nonetheless, it is still an example of how octaves work.

Octaves and pitch shifters are necessary for guitar players. No one can embark on the great journey of creating new sounds if these effects pedals are not present in your pedalboard.

If you are looking for a decent unit to your collection, you better read this article. We will be featuring some of the best octave pedals on the market today. Also, we will provide a decent buying guide, too! So let's get started!

10 Best Octave Pedals Reviews

Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork Effect Pedal

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There is no denying that the Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork would get the limelight on this list. Even before we tested these gears, we already saw that this particular pedal would sweep the competition in one go.

It has an excellent rapport with the community of guitarists. Many professionals are also seen to use this unit of a pedal, too.

Most of the octave pedals that you can see today are expensive. Even other EHX products can certainly put doubt in the heart of your pocket. Fortunately, the Pitch Fork became a reality.

It is the perfect choice for a best-value guitar pedal. It has great versatility and unique functionality. In short, this pedal is heaven-sent.

The design of this pedal is very intuitive. It won't confuse you with careening control knobs and whatsoever. Instead, it has an ugly ergonomic interface with a sturdy build, too.

Moreover, it offers 11 pitch shift positionings. As a result, you can get a lot of subtle gradients of octaves in just one pedal!


  • Controls are intuitive and simple.
  • Ideal for both experts and beginners.
  • Can keep up with the speed of your instrument.
  • Highly versatile octave pedal (gives you an umpteen choices for pitch shift).
  • Tough and quality build.


  • Battery drains quickly.
  • It is not using a true bypass circuitry.
Electro Harmonix Micro POG Effects Pedal

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Another EHX product that tops this list is the Micro POG. The Micro POG, or the Polyphonic Octave Generator, is something that many guitar enthusiasts will surely love.

It uses a technology that allows it to thread multiple notes simultaneously. Moreover, it comes with a suitable number of controls for tone variation.

Of course, some of you might think that POG2 is better than this. Such statement is not wrong. However, the POG2 is a very expensive choice. As a result, it is a product that a lot of us cannot get easily.

Meanwhile, the Micro POG has a decent price, and it can do the things that are big brother can do. Therefore, this one is the winner of the deal.

You can never find issues on the construction and hardware of this device. Every component is compliant to industry standard. The chassis is die-cast, which makes it very sturdy.

Moreover, it has a compact size, too. Therefore, artists who are always on the go will always have room for this pedal.


  • Gives the better value than the EHX POG2.
  • The build is compact and sturdy.
  • Consistent tracking on different notes
  • Ideal for other instruments (Organ and bass guitars).
  • There are no perceivable latency.


  • Tends to create metallic sound if you crank the Octave Up settings.
  • Only works with its default power supply.
TC Electronic Sub 'N' Up Octaver Pedal

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We consider the TC Electronic Sub ‘N’ Up Octaver as an innovative volume pedal. It is among of the most modern digital volume pedals that we encountered, and we surely loved it.

We will never wonder if the upcoming pedals would be patterned to the technology of this product!

Aside from being a true bypass pedal, the Sub ‘N’ Up Octaver is also using the TonePrint technology. Therefore, you can make your octave effects by the use of their online editing software.

Once you are done creating, you can transfer the new effect in your pedal! Such feature is not even present to EHX pedals!

Although it is a new volume pedal, the Sub ‘N’ Up Octaver still follows the principle of simplicity. The controls are pretty straightforward, with clear labels as your guide.

When it comes to performance and versatility, you cannot question this volume pedal. It produces no latency and has excellent note tracking, too!


  • Limitless octave effects, thanks to its TonePrint Technology.
  • True-bypass circuitry.
  • Compact and sturdy hardware.
  • Complete harmony with your instrument.
  • No noticeable latency.


  • Can overtake the original tone of the guitar.
  • Battery drains quickly.
Electro-Harmonix POG2 Polyphonic Octave Generator

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As we mentioned earlier, another EHX product that can make the cut is the POG2. Had it not been for its price, this octave pedal swept this competition already.

Of course, we are not saying that not all of you can't buy it.However, the steepness of its value makes it an elusive choice for the many of us.

The interface of the EHX POG2 is almost similar to the Micro Synth. Therefore, you can say that this volume pedal is compliant with the industry standards.

A lot of professional guitarists recommend this product as one of the best solutions for your octave problems. It can also provide subtle effects just to make sure that you are fully loaded.

The parameters of the EHX POG2 has a fader and Dry Output on them. Meanwhile, the controls can give a full tonal versatility to your tone. For example, it has a "Q" bottom that provides resonance to your tone.

The interface and built of this product are top-quality, too. Therefore, it is never a wrong investment to choose this volume pedal!


  • Comes will multiple controls and settings for maximum versatility.
  • Great interface and layout.
  • Robust construction and high-quality hardware.
  • Produces no latency.
  • Top-notch note tracking.


  • It is quite expensive.
  • Not for beginners.
Digitech Whammy (5th Gen) 2-Shift Effect Pedal

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It is undeniable that EHX dominates the scene when it comes to octave pedals and pitch shifters. However, a guitarist should never ignore the capabilities of the DigiTech Whammy.

This particular octave pedal earned a lot of good points from pro guitarists around the world.

The functionality of the DigiTech Whammy 5th Gen came from the setback of its predecessors. The ancestor of this volume pedal (Whammy IV) is not a true-bypass.

Moreover, the latter requires you to power it with a DC power supply. Fortunately, DigiTech answered these complaints and came up with the 5th Gen.

Everybody knows the quality of the DigiTech Whammy as an octave pedal. It has a tank-like build which can withstand continuous use.

Moreover, it has an intuitive interface, with all of its controls located in a visible spot. Also, it offers great versatility, as each of the three modes offers multiple settings, respectively!


  • No noticeable latency.
  • Powered by a 9-volt power supply.
  • True bypass circuitry.
  • It has a lot of controls and tone adjustment settings.
  • Excellent note tracking capability.


  • Sounds are not as clean as EHX POG.
  • It is an expensive choice for an octave pedal.
BOSS OC-3 Electronic Keyboard Pedal

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The Boss OC-3 is a super favorite professional octave pedal. It is the heir of the OC-2, which became a hit in the community, too. Since this volume pedal is a Boss product, you can expect that it is very robust.

In fact, it can survive impacts and still work like nothing happened!

Meanwhile, you should know that the Boss OC-3 cannot do upward octaves. Moreover, if you do not activate its POLY mode, this octave pedal would remain to be monophonic.

In short, it can only track one note per time. Therefore, the ideal application for the OC-3 volume pedal is to make your sound thick. It can also fill the small end of your notes. In these areas, the Boss OC-3 excels.

You might say that the OC-3 is not as good as the EHX pedals. Well, we don't want to argue with that. But keep in mind that when it comes to interface and value, this particular volume pedal is not behind.

If you are a bass player, you must never ignore the OC-3 pedal on your options! It comes with the ideal controls to improve your play style.


  • Sturdy hardware and body construction.
  • Intuitive layout and controls.
  • Can use monophonic and polyphonic settings.
  • Can induce distortions to your sound.
  • True bypass circuitry.


  • Cannot make upward octaves.
  • The polyphonic setting limits its versatility.
EarthQuaker Devices Pitch Bay Dirty Polyphonic Harmonizer

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The EarthQuaker Devices Pitch Bay Dirty Polyphonic Harmonizer is a volume pedal that can change the game. It does not contain octave adjustments, but a lot of gains, too.

It is almost similar to Boss OC-3. The only difference is that it can do upward and downward octaves.

We can say that the controls for this volume pedal are somehow limited. Moreover, it can make fine adjustments to the harmonizing tones. It can slightly induce flexible increments for more subtle effects.

Meanwhile, the distortion works well in creating the right mix of various tones. In short, the blending with this one is fantastic!

When it comes to the built, we cannot say that this EarthQuaker Devices volume pedal is the toughest. However, it has a decent rigidity. We are confident that it can endure continuous usage.

Furthermore, you should know that the Pitch Bay Dirty is a compact pedal. It will always have space in your pedalboard.


  • Excellent and harmonizing capabilities
  • Decent hardware and construction
  • Compact and lightweight
  • No latency
  • Comes with a lot of gains and distortion


  • The power supply generates a lot of noise
  • You need to spend time familiarizing the controls
EarthQuaker Devices Tentacle Analog Octave Up Guitar Effects Pedal

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This list would not be complete without the EarthQuaker Devices Tentacle volume pedal. As an EarthQuaker Devices product, this one doesn't possess any exaggerated design.

Its layout is downright simple. For those who are still new to volume pedals, the Tentacle is a great choice!

The function of Tentacle is to give some range to your fuzz pedal. Apparently, that is the original purpose of an octave pedal. Therefore, if you are just looking for a basic octave pedal, this one is the perfect choice for you.

Moreover, you can save more if you buy this product because it doesn't have any extra additives that add to the cost.

Since the Tentacle is an EarthQuaker product, its hardware and construction are truly sturdy. You don't have to ask about the layout because it is very straightforward. It has the portability factor that touring guitarists also need.

Despite its limited application, the Tentacle is still a formidable pedal!


  • Ideal for general applications.
  • Simple interface.
  • Does its function effectively.
  • Compact and portable.
  • Durable design.


  • The power supply is noisy.
  • It is not versatile.
MXR M288 Bass Octave Deluxe

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Conceptually, octave pedals are for the generic guitars only. However, it doesn't mean that bass guitars don't have a use for them.

If you are a hardcore bass player, then we recommend the MXR M288 Bass Octave Deluxe for you. Among the octave pedals for bass, you should prioritize this one.

Most of the bass octave pedals are deficient in tracking low tones. Of course, it is logical that bass guitars often produce such kind of sound.

Fortunately, MXR 288 is an exemption. It note-tracking capabilities is so impressive that you can compare it to some of the top rated brands out there. We can even say that the MXR 288 is one of the most functional octave pedals today!

The brand MXR is famous for effects pedals. The only reason that this pedal is on the bottom of this list is that it is dedicated for bass guitars only. Therefore, its extensive functionality is limited to bass instruments only.

It is not a drawback. But if you want an octave pedal that can take on various applications, the MXR M288 is not the best of options.


  • Excellent tracking of low bass notes.
  • Great interface and design.
  • Impressive durability and toughness.
  • No sound latency.
  • Highly responsive guitar pedal.


  • There is no versatility on this volume pedal.
  • The control on the girth and growl is tad confusing.
JOYO JF-12 Voodoo Octave Fuzz & Octave Effect Pedal

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If you want an inexpensive option, then you have to try the Joyo JF-12 Voodoo Octava. This guitar pedal is not the best on the list.

But with its decent pricing, many thinks that it is a reliable choice. In short, you can choose this octave pedal if you want an immediate replacement or practice partner for your guitar.

One of the great features of the Joyo JF-12 is that it comes with Fuzz Distortion setting. You can use it to provide harmonics with your tone. If you are a jazz or country player, such feature will come handy.

Moreover, its distortion effect can work independently to the octave. Therefore, the blending control of this octave pedal is pretty decent, too.

Surprisingly, the Voodoo Octava is using a true bypass circuitry. Nobody would expect that a cheap pedal like this possesses a standard setup. Therefore, buying the Voodoo Octava is not a regrettable move.

For beginners, this pedal could become your stepping stone to greatness!


  • Inexpensive octave pedal.
  • Comes with distortion tones.
  • Build is pretty sturdy too.
  • True bypass wiring.
  • It doesn't need clean ups.


  • Noticeable buzzing sounds are coming from it.
  • You can hear interferences if you crank up the gain.
  • It is not a "pedalboard friendly" choice.

Best Octave Pedals Buying Guide

Best Octave Pedals

Octave Pedal: What Is It?

When it comes to definition, there is nothing complicated about an octave pedal. It is an effect pedal that has a straightforward use and concept.

Technically, an octave pedal is a stompbox that can reproduce a different note than the original note your instrument is creating. Of course, the created note could be lower or higher. It just depends on to you.

Also, many octave pedals allow you to modify the blending of the notes. In this way, you can make new sounds that could improve your solos or any setup you have in the band. Moreover, the amount of blending is adjustable, too.

Therefore, the sound versatility doesn't end as your long as you keep your head running.

How Does An Octave Pedal Works

At seems, octave pedals are all about fun and games. With all the effects that you can create, everything so fantastic about it.

However, when you are already in the setup, you might scratch your head and wonder in which part you should use it. Familiarizing the utilization of an octave pedal is necessary. Otherwise, the application for this device becomes limited.

On the other hand, there are a lot of things you can do with an octave pedal once you know it down to the bones. The first thing you can do with it is pitching down the tone of a guitar by an octave.

Next, you can use a fuzz pedal to thick riffs that could shatter ears. You can hear such effects combination in the piece "Song Two" of Blur. A lot of metal and rock bands are using such playstyle, too.

Another useful application of an octave pedal is replicating the sounds of other musical instruments.

It can recreate the organic sound of a twelve string guitar. If you have a lot of volume pedal and a lot of delays, then you can pair them to an octave stompbox to create an organ sound.

How To Choose An Octave Pedal

Best Octave Pedals

If you are looking for an octave pedal, make sure that you are well aware of its tracks. Specifically, this is a form of assessment to ensure that there is no noticeable latency when you are doing fast plays.

Moreover, you should also check if the created note can keep up with the overall pace of your piece.

Meanwhile, a good octave pedal should allow its user to strengthen the intensity of octaves. If you have an octave pedal, your sound will be divided into three: the original note, the up one, and the down one.

Of course, some octave pedals can create more than three notes. Therefore, the device should come with individual controls for each note. In this way, you can be able to choose the right note that would fit with the voice of your guitar.

Of course, an octave pedal won't be of use when it doesn't provide deep bass or instant chorus.

If there are a lot of tweakings that you should do before you can achieve such feats, then such pedal is no good.Instead, it is a good sign to veer away to another product.

Aside from these factors, you should also know the number of pitch intervals that an octave pedal can provide. As we mentioned earlier, an octave pedal can give you a minimum of three notes.

But if you are a versatile guitar, you know that such amount is not enough. Therefore, you might need an octave that offers a gradient of notes. If you are just an amateur, then using a basic octave pedal is justifiable already.

The speed of the pedal should also synchronize with your instrument. A lot of cheap pedals cannot keep up fast-paced play styles. Because of that, they tend to produce dull and annoying sounds that could ruin your performance.

Thankfully, a lot of digital octave pedals today have mechanisms to fix such issue. Of course, if you will opt for a low-budget model, you might encounter such problem.

Lastly, you should not ignore the build of the pedal. Do not ever pick those units that are flimsy or doesn't give any form of responsiveness.

Instead, make sure that the octave pedal you buy is sturdy and has a decent amount of sensitivity. In this way, you can save your money from going down the drain.

Now that we got all of these things on the wrap let us proceed to our review of best octave pedals on the market. We know that you are excited so we will cut any dawdling. Let's get down to business!

Final Verdict

The best octave pedals is necessary for guitarists who want to put additional sizzle and spice to their sound. It is not exactly the sound that can blast you, but it is certainly the effect that can soothe your ears with harmony and rhythm.

If you find the mix too dull, then adding an octave pedal on the equation will solve the problem.

Among all of these units, we deem that the Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork is the best octave pedal. From design down to the performance, everything about this pedal is exceptional.

In fact, it will take some time before another pedal can surpass the Pitch Fork. But as of now, it is bringing home the bacon.

While we declared that the Pitch Fork is the best choice for octave pedal, it is not wrong to try the rest of our recommended products.

You would never know the ideal pedal for your setup if you don't try various options! So don't get afraid. Try them out now!

How To Play B Chord On Guitar: Things You Need To Know

Most people today are interested in playing an instrument but not interested in learning how to play it. That’s why varying “shortcuts” or alternatives are becoming more and more famous in the music industry.

As for the guitar, there are now semi-full chords you can play which sounds closely similar if not the same to the original music.

For instance, learning how to play B chord on guitar can be quite hard for beginners because of the number of strings involved. Nowadays, you can play the B major chord without having to touch all the strings involved initially. And it will sound closely the same!

However, do know that going through the long process of learning all the chords is crucial. When you know the first chords, and you memorize them, this will help you play easier. It is vital, especially for songs that require a lot of chord progression.

Best Transparent Overdrive Pedals 2021 – Ultimate Guide

The overall sound of your guitar and amp should be at the forefront, whether you are playing solo or with a band. Find out how you can get your hands on the best transparent overdrive pedals and discover the benefits of owning one by reading this article.

First, let me define what a transparent overdrive is. It is a kind of guitar pedal that specializes in overdrive tones or clean boost drives. It shapes the natural tone of your guitar and amp with a less compressed sound compared to a distortion.

To put this in the context of art, a transparent overdrive is a paint or color, you are the paintbrush, and your guitar is your canvas. The beautiful work of art created in this aesthetic ensemble is called music.

Now that you understand what it is and what it does, you probably get the picture of how this gear can benefit you as a guitar player. Let me list down some of the best benefits of owning the best transparent overdrive pedals below.

The information you will read here will help you find exactly what kind of transparent overdrive you need for your guitar.

Top 5 Best Transparent Overdrive Pedals

MXR 193 GT-OD Overdrive Pedal

This classic-looking overdrive could provide an excellent definition of your guitar tone. The sustain and gain functions work perfectly well with my Fender. This is my go-to overdrive for screaming lead solos as well as harmonicas.

I am a blues, funk, and rock musician and this one are so versatile. I simply adjust the gain control for a particular genre I play. Not to mention, this could be the most money-saving guitar overdrive I have ever laid my hands on.

It does not come with an adapter, but because it is not too expensive, you will not dare complain buying an adapter separately.


  • The robust, transparent tone that allows guitar lead solos to cut through the record or live mix.
  • Specializes in smoothness and warmth of sound.
  • Controls are super manageable - even for a beginner.
  • Bright, classic tones.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Best to use for screaming leads and harmonics.


  • May produce hissing sound when not properly setup.
  • The package does not include an adapter.
Foxpedal Kingdom Overdrive Pedal

This unit could be the best supplement to other dirt pedals on your pedalboard and could drive your tube pedal with exceptional sound quality.

Honestly, this is one of my personal favorites. It can be pricey, but it has an incredible set of controls including the bypass footswitch. Not all overdrives have this feature, which ultimately gives it an edge.


  • Powerful circuit design.
  • Allows for the neat signal chain because of its true bypass footswitch.
  • Audio chain is designed to have more headroom.
  • Durable hardwired build.
  • Standard power of 9 Volt DC.


  • No free adapter.
  • Not battery-powered.
  • Expensive.
Keeley Super Phat Mod Effects Pedal

The best transparent overdrive pedal has a simple, classic look. I would love to have this on my pedalboard. This transparent overdrive is capable of reducing bass response while enabling mid boost.

I would say this is perfect for guitar solos in blues and funk music, which are my kind of genres. It has just the right blend and cuts through even the noisiest mix.


  • Tonal coloration is very minimal and almost unnoticeable giving pure and natural guitar tones.
  • Sounds smooth so it is perfect for blues, jazz, soul, and funk.
  • May work perfectly well with single note solo leads.
  • Sturdy build.
  • Simple classic look.
  • Can boost at mid-range and reduce bass response for a more natural tone.


  • Does not have a free adapter.
  • Very expensive.
Messner Transparent Light-Gain Overdrive Pedal

The brand claims to be an authentic-sounding overdrive that is true to its transparency. It could be one of the best selling brands online because it can preserve the original voice of your guitar but enhances its gain.

This could be one of the best transparent overdrive pedals I would add on my gear board, but it is expensive. In all fairness, I have heard from other guitarists that the quality of the unit supersedes the price. You be the judge.


  • Low gain, which means is it not too loud. No overlay of effects and other noises.
  • EQ dials (output, color, and gain) dedicated for controlling the natural voice of your guitar.
  • Allows a wide range of subtle to dramatic breakup.
  • Adds just the right amount of grit to the guitar tone.


  • Does not come with an adapter.
  • Expensive.
JHS Morning Glory V4 Overdrive Guitar Effects Pedal

This unit might take your guitar and amp sound to a higher level without sacrificing quality.

It stays in the soft spot of the grain range, but allows you to manipulate the volume, tone, and drive, with ease. These controls are located just in the face of the gear, so it allows for ease of manipulation.

For me, this is one of the most transparent of overdrives I have ever used. The brand is also considered as one of the most trusted among guitar pedals manufacturers. It claims to have won several awards to developing this and other guitar pedals.


  • Circuit characteristics are similar to the classic Tubescreamer.
  • Easy to use.
  • High grain tone.
  • Perfect for on-stage performance.
  • Has a new boost mode.
  • Touch sensitive.
  • Supplements amp and other dirt pedals well.


  • Quite pricey.
  • Has a red remote switch but does not have a free remote controller for this feature.

The Benefits Of Owning A Transparent Overdrive

Best Transparent Overdrive Pedals

Boosts the Natural Tone of Your Guitar

You will not get too much noise from layers and layers of effect. The tendency of having too much effect overlays is that your guitar solo will not shine through the mix.

Thus, defeating the purpose of the overdrive, which is to emphasize the natural tone of the guitar by boosting its gain properties.

The best transparent overdrive pedals gives you a true tone color of your guitar. Depending on what your guitar specifications are, the sound may differ.

For example, if you are using the same brand, model, or quality of transparent overdrive, you will get a distinct sound for every pickup type. Some pickup types include P-90, humbuckers, and singles.

You can Benefit from Its Versatility

The best transparent overdrive pedals have many uses aside from giving a grainy transparent overdrive effect. It can support other types of dirt pedals and can even drive an amp.

Once this gear is set up on your pedalboard with a bunch of other dirt pedals, you may notice an improvement in sound quality.

This versatility contributes to its marketing value and popularity. Like pasta to an Italian pantry, this type of guitar pedal is a staple for guitarists.

This is also the reason why more and more brands are flooding the market by manufacturers from different parts of the world. Thus, you are spoilt for options.

However, this benefit also has a major drawback. With so many choices, you may become confused as to which brand best suits your guitar and your skill level.

Many manufacturers claim to have built the most durable, most transparent, and best sounding overdrives. Choose wisely.

Lets You Control Your Guitar’s Gain More Efficiently

Best Transparent Overdrive Pedals

Gain simply refers to the volume of your guitar’s tone. With the aid of a transparent overdrive, it is easy to adjust the amount of gain required for a particular type of music.

Compared to a distortion, which has more gain, transparent overdrives are pretty much in a softer spot. But not as soft as a clean boost. Hence, the gain feature of a transparent overdrive specializes in mid boost, which is appropriate.

I do not boost in full mode because some overdrives have the tendency to go beyond transparency. Often, I would get a distorted noise rather than a smooth, great sounding effect.

Choose a transparent overdrive that best suits your preference and perfectly matches your guitar tone.

Having full control of your guitar’s gain helps you to effortlessly play different genres of music from as soft as a ballad to as loud as heavy metal.

Adds Tone Color

This type of pedal is called “transparent” because its primary purpose is not to add tone color to your guitar. However, it does let the authentic tone color of your guitar by making it stand out. A transparent overdrive boosts the natural tone of your guitar.

Specifically, it retains the main quality of the sound. It just simply makes it sound louder and better.

In other words, it gives out just your color of preference. Many guitarists love to use this drive because it lets the lead solo cut through. Hence, it is perfect for both live performances and recording.

Allows For Easy Tone Shaping

You can easily tweak the sound and gain of your guitar using a transparent overdrive.

A classic has adjustable EQ knobs that you can use for tone shaping. Use this to supplement the tone of another pedal or play with the gain range of your tube amp.

But do not be fooled with the number of EQ knobs a transparent overdrive has. There is no need for you to waste too much time modifying or shaping the tone.

You should only be looking for the appropriate controls - the ones that will not produce too much coloration and layers of noise.

Just in case you think the above list is not helpful enough, take note of the things to do before buying your transparent overboard.

By understanding the significance of these actions, you will certainly find the best unit that suits your preference and level of expertise.

Best Transparent Overdrive Pedals Buying Guide

Transparent Overdrive Pedals

Save Up For the Best

First things first: be sure that you have an adequate budget before buying one. There are cheaper models in the market but watch out for quality.

If you have an ear for guitar gears and gadgets, you may want to invest more time, money, and effort choosing the best transparent overdrive pedals. But be warned as some of the best brands can be very costly. Always consider transparency as well as sound quality.

Assess Your Pedalboard Space

Make sure that you still have available space in your pedalboard for another guitar gear. If you do, consider the size of the overdrive you want to buy.

You will find miniature versions of your favorite brands, but minus some essential controls and effects.

Test the Sound Quality

When you decide to buy in physical stores, you have to test the sound quality of your chosen unit first. Simply request a demo from an attendant or test it yourself.

However, if you decide to buy online, you will find demo videos on Youtube and reviews on online stores.

These are helpful resources where you can base your decision to buy from. Always focus on sound quality while still keeping the budget at the back of your mind.

Remember that you are looking for a transparent sound to boost the original EQ of your instrument. If you want layers of effects on your mix, look for guitar effects pedals.

Finally, to help you find the best brand of transparent overdrive pedal, I have geared up reviews for my top choices below.

The Verdict

As a guitar player for almost a decade now, I would recommend MXR 193 GT-OD Overdrive. I highly discourage any guitar player of any level of expertise to go for the most expensive ones.

In the end, it all goes down to your skill and ear training. Train your ears to familiarize transparency and sound quality.

I still use this classic overdrive because it supplements the sound of other pedals I have on my pedalboard. Moreover, it still adopts the circuitry of the very popular Tubescreamer. It sounds great on the amp, too.

This transparent overdrive has all the requirements a guitar player needs in enhancing tone. It may produce a hissing sound when not setup properly, but that is a minor issue for me.

More importantly, this transparent overdrive unit could give you all the benefits presented in this guide.

If you find this content useful, please do not hesitate to comment and share.

10 Best Wah Pedals 2021 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

If you are a deemed solo guitar player, you might be thinking of ways on how to add flavor to your sounds. Of course, this is not an easy thing to do especially if you only have a guitar alone. Therefore, you got to have the best wah pedals on your arsenals.

Wah pedals are among the secret weapons of professional guitarists. Even legends like Kirk Hammet and Jimi Hendrix had used these stomp boxes for their live gigs and performances.

Despite such feat, regular players like you can still master the art of using a wah pedal. In fact, it doesn't take time before you fully materialize the benefit that this effects pedal can give.

At this point, you might be thinking already of buying a wah pedal. But wait! Do you even know which wah pedal brand you are going to buy? The selection is not a problem as there are a lot of choices out there.

However, we are talking about the pedal that can benefit you the most. Therefore, you should not settle for less.

Fortunately, in this article, we listed some of the best wah pedals on the market today. There are a lot of testing that was done before we concluded this list.

You can guarantee that we will feature here will certainly improve the game of your guitar. So what are you waiting for? Read on!

10 Best Wah Pedals: Gear Review Guide

Dunlop 535Q Cry Baby

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Versatile is the name of the game of the Dunlop 535Q Cry Baby Multi-Wah. This is the main selling point of this device and the main reason why many guitarists are so hooked on it. The tonal versatility it gives is something that you don't see every day.

If you are a guitar player who tends to shift between genres, then using this pedal will give you a lot of benefits. Specifically, it comes with various controls so that players like you could get varied playing style.

If you don't know, most of the best wah pedals out there don't have these complex set of controls.

At first, this pedal looks very intimidating. However, once you use it already, you will realize that this one has an intuitive interface. It doesn't require to be a professional just for it to unleash its full potential.

Just tweak this device, and you can hear the immediately the wonders it can offer!


  • Highly customizable wah pedal.
  • Comes with a built-in boost to make your signal louder.
  • Easy to use effects pedal.
  • Tonal range is pretty limitless.
  • Construction is robust as a tank.


  • The versatility sometimes serve as a distraction to which tone you should use.
  • Some guitar players think that this pedal needs a little more sweeping.
Morley VAI-2 Steve Vai Bad Horsie 2 Contour Wah

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One of the biggest contenders of the Dunlop wah pedals is the brand Morley. Particularly, you should out for their VAI-2 Steve Vai Bad Horsie 2 Contour Wah.

It is among the highly rated best wah pedals in the guitar industry due to its versatility, performance, and quality construction.

This wah pedal is using a switchless design. You can activate and deactivate this pedal by just stepping on it. Such feature is very convenient already, especially for that guitarist who are always on the go.

In this aspect, we can say the Morley is one step ahead of their competitors.

Meanwhile, you can use this wah pedal in two modes: the Contour and Bar Horsie. Each of these modes will allow you to control the intensity and warmth of the tone to a very fine degree. For advanced users, the said feature can change the game!


  • Construction and hardware are highly rigid.
  • The tension on the pedals are perfect for the feet.
  • Uses buffered bypass to boost any degraded signal.
  • Tonal variety is pretty excellent.
  • Intuitive design and interface.


  • Limited controls compared to Dunlop wah pedals.
  • The body is quite longer than Cry Baby (it might take time before you can get used to it).
MXR MC404 CAE Dual Inductor Wah

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Inarguably, one of the finest pedals out there is the MXR MC404 CAE Wah. The main reason for this is that the latter was created by Custom Audio Elections and the design team of Cry Baby.

With the presence of these prominent names, you can say that this pedal will kill the charts!

The biggest selling point of this wah pedal is its usage of the dual inductors. Specifically, such components condition the voicing and character of the wah. As a result, the pedal can generate a vast range of tonal variety.

And since this pedal comes with two inductors, you can assure that your sound options will never run out!

The emphasis on the high, mid, and low frequencies are excellent on this one. But it doesn't mean that it can produce subtle effects anymore. Meanwhile, you can also guarantee that this product can withstand the abuse of consistent usage!


  • Extremely robust construction.
  • Comes with dual conductors for better tonal diversity.
  • Produces warm and rich sound.
  • True bypass technology.
  • Comes with an AC adapter and 9-volt battery.


  • It is not as versatile compared to the Dunlop 535Q.
  • Not a good choice for practicing beginners.
Dunlop GCB95 Cry Baby Wah Guitar Effects Pedal

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Another Dunlop product that takes the limelight is the Dunlop GCB95. This one has the potential to sweep off the competition as well, thanks to its affordability and performance.

Although it doesn't have the true bypass circuitry, we can still say that the sound it produces is something that your ears will cherish.

Moreover, this particular wah pedal can generate the classic wah sound. If you are someone who grew to these sounds, you must get this pedal no matter what! Are you craving for that iconic Jimi Hendrix music in the 60s? Then this pedal is the answer!

When it comes to versatility, the Dunlop GCB95 Cry Baby Wah is not the best choice. It doesn't come with the adjustments and switches that are quite essential for a wah pedal.

However, since it can produce certain quality wah sounds, this product is still worth your money. Do not ask about the build quality. The Dunlop GCB95 is as sturdy as a rock!


  • Classic wah sound is an excellent selling point.
  • Robust hardware and body; can withstand multiple usages.
  • Functionality and interface is on point too.
  • Its price is more than reasonable.
  • Ideal for beginners.


  • Not a versatile wah pedal.
  • Not a bypass pedal; therefore you can't adjust it if you don't modify the internal parts.

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Xotic Effects is a special wah pedal. It can provide the "old school" vibe that you miss for ages. Despite its new interface and appearance, the Xotic Effect can still generate warm and smooth results without adding artificial flavor to your signals.

For the record, it is not true that Xotic Effects has a poor design. Even if you use this all day and all night, the Xotic won't just give up on you.

In fact, it is a good choice if you are always doing some gigs and performances.This wah pedal is just a reliable partner.

Unlike conventional wah pedals that suffer from alterations and gain injections, the Xotic Effects remain to be consistent with its performance.

Once you can pair this wah pedal on your guitar, all you have to think is the sweet music that you want to produce. Moreover, since its offer minimal footprint, this item will never be a nuisance on your pedalboard.


  • Highly tweakable and offers wide tonal variations.
  • Its default sonic sound is spine tingling.
  • Audio clarity is top notch.
  • It will never change the original volume of your guitar.
  • Pretty impressive construction and interface.


  • An expensive guitar pedal.
  • Not a good choice for amateurs and practicing guitarists.
Fulltone Clyde Deluxe Wah Guitar Effects Pedal

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A unique wah pedal that you should not ignore is the Fulltone Clyde Deluxe. Specifically, this device is a three-in-one stompbox. Moreover, it is a great alternative if products from Dunlop and Morley are not available.

In fact, Ed O'Brien of Radiohead and My Morning Jacket's Carl Broemel are using this pedal for their performances.

The three-in-one settings of this pedal are the following: Jimi, Shaft, and Wacked. The Jimi can emulate the legendary Vox Clyde McCoy sounds. However, this is just the default sound of the pedal, which you can categorize as typical in some sense.

Meanwhile, the Shaft setting can give you brighter sounds. If you want to add shrill to your funky pieces, then you should go to this mode. Lastly, the Wacked can create the muddy and bassy sounds.

Specifically, it is so profound and responsive that you listeners would get immersed in your performance easily!


  • Comes with a three-way mode switch.
  • Possesses an internal resonance control for altering the bass and gain response.
  • Customizable sounds and frequencies.
  • Extremely rigid and robust hardware.
  • Highly responsive wah pedal.


  • One of the most expensive choices for best wah pedals.
  • Produces noise when you crank the volume at higher levels.
VOX V847A Wah Wah Guitar Effects Pedal

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One of the pioneers of wah pedals is the company Vox. Therefore, we don't wonder anymore why their Vox Vox V847A sounds so good to the ears.

In fact, this particular brand is also aiming the pinnacle of best wah pedals, which is pretty dominated by Dunlop currently. Despite that, you can guarantee that this pedal can still offer you a satisfying performance.

Among the Vox wah pedals, the V847A is their primary opus. Aesthetically speaking, you can get involve with this pedal at first sight. Its casing has a sleek touch and emanates a professional appeal.

Of course, such kind of ambiance is also present when this pedal will go on the roll One of the biggest advantages of the Vox V847A is its responsiveness. It will complement your instrument throughout the mix. It doesn't take the spotlight really, but it won't let your solo run off dry!

The range of tone is pretty dynamic, too. If you are looking for a straightforward wah pedal, then you can bet your money on the Vox V847A.


  • A "pure" and "authentic" wah pedal.
  • Highly responsive to your signals.
  • Lets your instrument shine throughout the mix.
  • It doesn't come with unnecessary features that would serve as distraction.
  • Ideal for recordings and live applications.


  • Somehow, this wah pedal is quite sensitive to minor adjustments.
  • It is not a true bypass pedal.
Ibanez WD7 Weeping Demon Wah Pedal

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Ibanez is the latest brand to enter the world of wah pedals. But it doesn't mean that their products are subpar from the rest.

In fact, this company has a broad understanding of how sounds work, as they are a top producer of excellent electric guitars.

For now, we can say that the Ibanez took a different route for their wah pedals. Specifically, they added unique features for their wah pedals, which are not present even to the leading brands.

For example, the Weeping Demon Wah is using the "electro-optical" feature to improve its overall responsiveness.

Meanwhile, this sleek wah pedal is also tweakable. It is fully loaded with various control features and sound adjustment settings for the pleasure of its users.

Of course, it would not be as good as the other wah pedals if it has no variety or distinction to its sound. Overall, you can say that the Ibanez WD7 Weeping Demon is the dark horse of the game.


  • Highly durable wah pedal.
  • Comes with multiple control features.
  • High tweakable sounds but with no sound flavoring.
  • Lets your instrument shine, especially on high gains.
  • Can work in various genres.


  • Consumes too much space on your pedalboard.
  • Setup is somehow complicated, especially if you are new to wah pedals.
BOSS Dynamic Wah Guitar Pedal

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At some point, many guitar players would disapprove of the idea of dynamic wah pedals.

However, for us, it is just a test on how far you can go for your passion. Of course, many are reluctant on using them, considering that they don't operate like your regular wah pedal.

An example of such intricate wah pedal is the Boss AW-3. This particular unit is not something that could beat those Dunlop or Morley models.

However, if you want to go out of the box, AW-3 will certainly give you a hand.It is not a flashy pedal, but it is not flimsy either!

Among the noticeable features of the Boss AW-3 is its default sound presets. You can tweak the sound of your guitar without breaking any sweat.

Despite its unique interface, this pedal still uses the same myriad of controls that you can find on regular wah pedals. Moreover, this unit is extremely durable, too!


  • Tough construction.
  • Circuitry is certainly top notch.
  • Has a small footprint.
  • Its tonal versatility is pretty decent.
  • Reasonable price.


  • Not ideal for amateur players or for anyone who doesn't know to operate the controls.
  • It is not as intuitive as other wah pedals.
Behringer Hellbabe HB01 Ultimate Wah-Wah Pedal

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Behringer Hellbabe HBO1 is one hot model of a wah pedal. It is highly versatile, thanks to the availability of multiple controls and adjustment settings. Moreover, it is also an affordable choice.

If you are tight on budget, this particular wah pedal is the ideal candidate.

The aesthetics of the Behringer Hellbabe HBO1 is not as good as those sleek Dunlop and Morley wah pedals. However, despite its bland appearance, this pedal packs a punch! It does not color the sound of your guitar.

Instead, it just keeps it warm and right on the beat.

It also uses a switchless feature. Once you step on this pedal, it will work like a beast. Meanwhile, a circuitry with noise-suppression technology operates this device.

Even if you pump the volumes at high levels, this wah pedal will never add unwanted noise to the effects!


  • Affordable but offers quality value.
  • Comes with a 9-volt battery and AC adapter.
  • Highly intuitive design, has LED indicators for easier usage.
  • Tonal variety is already decent.
  • Produces exceptionally smooth and warm sounds.


  • The construction is not as rigid as other wah pedals.
  • Tuning and setting up this wah pedal is difficult.
  • Does not offer the "precise feel" that guitarists want.

The Best Wah Pedals: What You Need To Know

In this article, we have to clarify that we didn't cover auto-wahs. Although the latter and wahs have the same sound, they still belong to different worlds. Therefore, we just restricted our list to pure wahs and nothing else.

Moreover, we didn't also include volume pedals. Just like auto-wahs, their share the same nuances with the wahs. But their difference in construction and function are still clear like night and day.

What is the Function of a Wah Pedal

Wah Pedal

At downright definition, a wah pedal works as a filter for emphasizing frequencies. This means that in a particular band of frequencies, others would be cut off while some are maintained.

In short, it is following the same principle of tone controls on any electric guitar or pedal.

The word "wah" is the sound that this effects pedal produces. This particular device can alter the signal of your guitar by drastically changing the frequency response. Of course, the original "wah-wah" sound came from trombone and trumpets.

When you move the rubber mute to the bell inside and out, the "wah" comes off.

Most "funky" songs are using the effects of the wah pedal. However, if you are good at experimenting, you can use this accessory in a myriad of applications as well.

Different musical genres can certainly benefit from this stomp box, one way or another.

For example, you can use your wah pedal as an EQ. Specifically, you can configure the pedal itself so that it can create sharp and bright tone. Such sound modification is deal if you want to stand out in the mix.

Meanwhile, you can also configure it in a way that sound would become smooth and relaxing. If you want to improve the harmony of your rhythm, you will need such kind of feature.

Considerations in Buying Wah Pedal

There are two things that you have to consider before buying a particular wah pedal. The first one is reliability. Of course, you wouldn't want to throw you money on something that breaks quickly, right?

Moreover, you don't want your pedal to produce cheesy sounds as well.

Technically, a wah pedal operates by altering the positioning of its potentiometer. When the potentiometer (or pot) gets dirty and rusty, then the pedal will not work anymore.

At the end of the day, you will have to replace it with a new wah pedal. Therefore, you must look for a pedal that offers high resistance to these kinds of detriments.

The second consideration is finding the "sweet spot" of the wah pedal. Specifically, this is the nuances of sound that you are present in between the "very muddy" and "very harsh" frequencies. The best wah pedals can effectively generate the extremities. However, it is the little intricate details in the middle that counts!

The price of a decent wah pedal ranges from $100 and above. But it doesn't mean that cheaper brands can't make the cut. Some of them can provide satisfaction to their users. However, finding these gems is like searching a needle in the haystack.

Mechanical Wah vs. Optical Wah

Best Wah Pedals

If a particular wah is optical controlled, its just means that it uses mechanical processes to produce the effect. Components like the switches and the potentiometers are involved in these schemes.

Most marketing pitches for optical wahs describe the latter as immune to wear and tear. Therefore, they are a good choice if you want to free yourself from persistent issues that plague this device perennially.

Although this statement is true, you should not hold it as absolute.

Devices that are using better technology are quite more advantageous than the old ones. But on the flipside, fixing them would become troublesome as their parts have intricate designs.

We may sound skeptical upon stating that. But trust us. We don't have any problems with optical wahs. We are just reporting the possible predicaments that you can encounter when you get such type of wah pedal.

Meanwhile, mechanical wahs have inferior specs compared to its counterpart. However, when D-Day comes, you can just find spare parts quickly. Therefore, it poses less problem if ever there is a requirement for maintenance.

In short, choosing between will just be a matter of your personal preferences. If you don't have technical skills in dealing with wah pedals, you better go with the optically operated model.

Final Verdict

A wah pedal is for any guitarist. It doesn't matter if you are specializing in a particular genre. You can find use to the effects that this stomp box offer. It can let your instrument shine, especially if you are in a band.

Among the best wah pedals that we featured here, we consider the Dunlop 535Q Cry Baby as the best wah pedal. From the recommendations of professionals down to personal experience, this particular pedal remains to be consistent.

It is an excellent partner for your guitar. It doesn't break easily, too. With these, you can achieve those funky grooves anytime of the day!

Of course, we still recommend that you try the rest of the pedals that we reviewed here. Each of them is truly worth your money. Moreover, you wouldn't know which one is the best for you until you tested all the present options!

Best Compressor Pedals 2021 – Ultimate Guide

No pro guitarists were able to reach the pinnacle without having a good set of pedals on their pedal board. Of course, this should include the best compressor pedal. After all, the emulation of quality sustains is the forte of this effects pedal.

Unlike other types of guitar pedal, a compressor doesn't alter the tone of your instrument. For example, fuzz, overdrive, and distortion pedals can make a monotonous tone into an ear-shattering sound.

Compressor pedals are not like them. However, it doesn't mean that they are useless. In fact, they might be the missing piece of your arsenal.

Compressor pedals are for increasing sustains. While other pedals can do this, only the compressor can amplify sustains at a distinctively high level. Therefore, it is an ideal choice if you are into country, funk, acoustic, and jazz. However, its function is not only limited to those.

In this article, we will show the best compressor pedals that are on the market today. Moreover, we will also give you a buying guide that can help you to choose which pedal will suit your needs. So what are we waiting for? Let us get started.

5 Best Compressor Pedals in 2021 

Xotic Effects SP Compressor Pedal

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One of the best compressor pedals today is the Xotic SP Compressor. It has a compact design, which makes it ideal for different setting and usage. It doesn't consume too much space and leaves a small footprint. The chassis is commendable, too!

The Xotic SP Compressor is a replica of the Ross Compression (a legendary compressor pedal). Many tried to mimic the latter but failed. Only the SP Compressor were able to achieve feats that come close to Ross. Regardless of which angle you look this pedal, you can only say one thing: it is truly excellent!


  • Simple but ergonomic interface.
  • Comes with blending option for smooth transition.
  • Possesses three-way switch for high, mid, and low signals.
  • Tones are immaculately precise and articulate.
  • Dynamic sound attenuation.


  • It can get noisy during mid-to-high switches.
  • Sustains are pretty average.
Wampler Ego Compressor Guitar Effects Pedal

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Pedals can perform excellently are pretty rare these days. This is despite the fact that the proliferation of pedal manufacturers never cease. Luckily, the Wampler Ego Compressor is among those that can save the day. When it comes to polishing your guitar tones, you can trust to this pedal.

"Refined" is the word that perfectly matches the Wampler Ego Compressor. Although it has a bland appearance, its performance is simply breathtaking. The controls are straightforward and easy to learn. Moreover, it has quality features that make it versatile in any usage.

One of the best things that you will like about Wampler Ego Compressor is its price. Specifically, it gives value to your money, considering the features it offers you. In short, it is like getting more than what you have paid for!


  • All parts are hand-picked.
  • Quality film resistors and capacitors for superior responsiveness.
  • True bypass circuitry.
  • The blend control does not give artificial coloring to the tone.
  • Sustains are organic and warm.


  • Gives off a little noise when compressing distorted sounds.
  • It doesn't have a volume boost.
MXR M102 Dyna Comp Guitar Effects Pedal

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The MXR M102 is a descendant of the 1995 compressor pedal that the Dyna Comp released. The latter has still a good rapport even today, especially to pro guitarists. That's why when the MXR M102 became available on the market, almost everyone wants to hoard it.

As of now, the MXR M102 is among the most popular compressor pedals. It comes with advanced features that its predecessor lack, such as the "in-line" compression mechanism. Specifically, this one balances the signal for better sound attenuation.

Moreover, you will love the authenticity of its sustains. It can last long and emanates a genuine feeling. Of course, this compressor pedal won't make the cut if it is not that versatile!


  • Extremely rigid construction.
  • Highly balanced sound compression.
  • Tone reproduction is smooth and warm.
  • Minimal footprint.
  • Comes with intuitive interface and ergonomic controls.


  • Lacks fine adjustments for better precision in sound regulation.
  • It is not a good choice if you are using high-pick ups.
Boss CS-3 Compressor Sustainer Pedal

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If there is one thing that is constant in the universe of effects pedals, that would be Boss alone. From distortion pedals down to compressors, this brand has them all.

Other brands are inconsistent, but Boss is different. The excellence in the performance and features of their pedals remains the same throughout the years.

For example, the Boss CS-3 Compressor Pedal has an amazing sound attenuation mechanism. It is specifically a sustainer/compressor mix that comes with different frequency range controls. This pedal can keep your sustains alive longer than you expect it.

Moreover, the responsiveness of this pedal is something that you will certainly love. You can regulate any frequency without compromising the authenticity of the sound. You cannot see qualities like this every day!


  • Excellent sound control without losing the original sound.
  • This pedal is highly versatile; thus it is ideal for various genres.
  • Good construction (hardware are very rigid).
  • Can withstand constant usage.
  • Easy-to-learn controls.


  • Produces background noises.
  • It is better for Boss to integrate this one with the NS-2 because they are bound to be used together.
JOYO JF-10 Dynamic Compressor Pedal

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Looking for a compressor pedal on a tight budget is an ordeal. However, it doesn't mean that this one is an impossible task. As a proof of that, we will be presenting the Joyo Jf-10 Compressor Pedal to you. This unit possesses the features that those expensive brands flaunt.

Specifically, Joyo Jf-10 prides its simplicity but versatile performance. It is very user-friendly but is capable of regulating frequencies as if they are a piece of cake. Once you can get to hear the quality of this pedal, you would ask yourself why it is so inexpensive.


  • Rigid construction and compact design.
  • Ideal choice for beginners.
  • Overall performance can match those medium-priced compressors.
  • Capable of attenuating multiple frequency ranges.
  • Usable in studio recordings and live gigs as well.


  • The footswitch and knobs of this pedal have lesser qualities compared to other brands.
  • Skip this one if you need a heavy duty squash.

Best Compressor Pedal Buying Guide

Best Compressor Pedals

What Is Compression

The term "compression" in the music industry is quite a simple concept. Specifically, it is a type of volume attenuation. To put it simply, it can make quiet sounds loud and noisy sounds quiet.

The importance of attenuating volume can be heard on the sustains. Of course, every guitarist would love to improve the quality of the sustains they produce. A chord that can ring for a long time without diminishing is a pure music to the ears.

A compressor pedal is unique, even among the available effects pedal out there. It is the only pedal that doesn't distort the tone of your instrument. It can squish any unreasonable loud sound until such time it can be tolerable. Moreover, it can boost your signal to convert soft notes into something dynamic.

If your ears are craving for a clean, articulate sound without the punch of overdrives, then a compressor pedal is your top choice.

The effects that a compressor pedal give are ideal for genres that require clean sound output. As we mentioned earlier, these musical styles would be acoustic, funk, country, and jazz.

However, many audio engineers are using an advanced type of compressors (rackmount or software) for various studio purposes.

Why Do You Need A Compressor Pedal

We know that you are looking for a compressor pedal. But at the same time, we are quite aware that there still some hint of reluctance inside of you. Do you need a compressor pedal?

Compression is a huge plus in your arsenal. If you are seeking to optimize the volume of a particular part for it to appear on the mix, then you need a compressor. For example, harp harmonics, legato hammer-ons, and pull-offs are quiet by default.

These tones are fantastic. However, if they do not stand out, there would be no harmony in your piece.

Of course, compressor pedals are still useful on rocks and blues. The quality sustains that it can produce can certainly give you a satisfying performance. Don't get us wrong. Distortion pedals are good for sustains, too.

However, they have the tendency to lose sound articulation, especially if you spike them up at higher volumes.

Such instances are ideal for genres like metal. But for moderate musical genres, the loss of articulation is not acceptable. Meanwhile, bass guitars can also benefit from compressor pedals.

We all know that this instrument is susceptible to produce low-frequency sound. As a result, it usually leads to amplitude spikes, which are not good.

A compressor pedal suppresses those spikes effectively. Therefore, as long as you got this pedal, you can do all those fingerstyle and slapping techniques without worries.

Types Of Compressor Pedal

Here are the types of compressor pedals that you can see on the market today.

  • Operational Transconductance Amplifier (OTA) - The oldest type of compressor pedal. They are the ideal choice if you are looking for simplicity and sound color
  • Voltage Controlled Amplifier (VCA) - This type of compressor pedal are best for studio and recording purposes. They have the least tendency to add artificial colors to your sound. Moreover, they produce crystal-clear tones, too. A VCA is the best if you are looking for a responsive and transparent compressor.
  • Field Effect Transistor (FET) - Another type of studio pedal, the FET is quite similar to the VCA in regards to their features. However, FETs can somehow add color to your sounds, especially if you are using a power transformer. Sound coloring could also happen if you amplify the default controls.
  • Optical Compressors - This kind of compressor pedal uses photoresistor and light source to regulate your sound signals. Because of this mechanism, optical compressors tend to produce natural and smooth sounds. Moreover, they are notorious for making slow releases, too.
  • Tube - If you are seeking for smoothness, color, and warmth to your signals, then a tube compressor is the one for you.
  • Multiband - A multiband compressor uses compression software for sound attenuation. It can effectively sever your signals and arrange them into their respective frequency bands. For precise sound control and compression, a multiband compressor is the best choice.

A Piece of Advice

If you are planning to look for other compressor pedals, do not think that the price makes the cut. Instead, always be conscious of your budget.

Moreover, it is better if you are aware of your needs. In this way, you will be able to decide which features will you want for your pedal. Otherwise, you will just be wasting your money on something that is useless.

Final Verdict

A compressor pedal is an essential tool for any guitarists. Of course, aside from pushing your playstyles to the limit, you also need to learn about controlling the tones as well.

Otherwise, you will never be able to enhance your skills. Regardless of the genre, compressor pedals are necessary.

Among the featured best compressor pedals here, we deem the Xotic Effects SP as the best compressor pedal. It has the qualities that can suit for various purposes. It can cap off or boost any signal without losing the original texture of sound.

Moreover, it avoids artificial tone coloring, which makes it ideal for live performances and recordings.

Of course, we recommend that you should test all the compressor pedals on this list. You will never know which one will suit your taste until you tested them already!

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