Best Distortion Pedals Under $50

Top 9 Best Distortion Pedals Under $50 (February 2024)

The Best Distortion Pedals Under $50 (February 2024)

So you've set your budget and you're looking for the best distortion pedals under 50 dollars. Whether you're a newbie, an ageing rocker or a death metal god, we've got you covered.

When looking for a distortion guitar pedal it's best to first understand what exactly one is. Distortion is one of the most commonly used effects genres on the planet. They come in all shapes and sizes and each one offers something a little different to the next. It's a common pedal between guitarists. Often being the first pedal on a persons pedal board. It's safe to say that it's the guitar effect that every beginner should consider.

If you're a guitar player with a small budget, your options for finding something worthy of being considered the best distortion pedal can be limited. You may not know what to look for and there's no one to help you. The good news is that we're here to help. In this guide we've focused on distortion pedals, you won't (or shouldn't at least) see an overdrive pedal or fuzz pedal on this list. We've gathered up the best distortion pedals under $50 in this buyers guide. So you can have all the information you need, without having to spend hours of time footwork. So sit back and relax, we've done all the work for you.

We've compiled a list of the best distortion pedals under $50 to make your decision process easy. Whether you're looking for a straight-forward distortion with a classic sound or a versatile pedal with a wide range of sounds, there's something for everyone.

The Best Distortion Pedals Under $50 Buyers Guide (February 2024)

  • 1. JOYO R-03 UZI
  • 2. Behringer OD300
  • 3. Donner Morpher
  • 4. JOYO JF-03 Crunch
  • 5. Donner Boost Killer
  • 6. Koogo PDS-1
  • 7. Kimise US Dream
  • 8. AZOR AP-302
  • 9. Behringer UM300 Ultra Metal
JOYO R-03 UZI Image

JOYO R-03 UZI

  • ✔ True Bypass Switching
  • ✔ Features Gain, Volume, Low, Mid, High & Bias Control Knobs
  • ✔ Bias Switches Between 'American' & 'British' Modes
  • ✔ Tough Metal Chassis

The JOYO R-03 UZI is Specially designed for heavy metal, it's characterized by High Gain.

JOYO R-03 UZI - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

The JOYO R-03 UZI is a revolutionary device, designed to take portable tone to the next level. It features true bypass and the output can be used as a clean boost.

The Joyo JF-03 Uzi is a based on a classic circuit from the 70s. It creates a big, gnarly, and raspy distortion that sounds like something you'd hear ripping through a Marshall stack in a garage or arena. With controls for gain and level, you can dial in just the right amount of grit to satisfy your taste. It allows you to create a wide range of sounds, from subtle to extreme distortion. The JOYO R-03 UZI is ideal for live playing and recording. It is built with JOYO's proprietary IIC (Infinite Inverter Control), which allows the user to bypass the circuit without turning off the unit.

The R-03 UZI is a pure analog distortion with warm and powerful sound. It has a warm and scooped mid-range character which is great for crunchy rhythm work and also for holding down low-end in a rock mix. It has a unique personality that is unmistakably JOYO. The R-03 UZI sounds great and can be used with any instrument. As well as working great in front of tube amps. It is a professional device that is designed to deliver you the fat tone of an distortion effect.


Behringer OD300 Image

Behringer OD300

  • ✔ High Quality Components Used To Achieve Awesome Sounds
  • ✔ Designed To Compete With The Big Boys
  • ✔ Durable Metal Chassis To Help Ensure A Long Life
  • ✔ Designed In Germany

The Behringer OD300 is designed to cover a variety of song styles with two effects in one stompbox.

Behringer OD300 - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

The Behringer OD300 is not as expensive as some alternatives. It is a great sounding, well built pedal that is extremely affordable.

The OD300 offers warm, tube-like tone and has an intuitive control layout that makes it easy to dial in a great sound. Three controls, plus a Mode Select switch provide a wide range of sounds and features. It provides a tube amp sound in a stomp box format. It delivers an authentic, warm overdrive, with a full frequency response. It is ideal for blues, classic rock, and heavy rock. The Behringer OD300 has a true-bypass feature that lets you add a touch of sweet distortion to your clean tone. Yet leaves it unaltered when disengaged.

The OD300 is specifically designed to accurately reproduce the vintage overdriven tube amps of old. Its warm and crunchy distortions are created by a precisely tailored frequency response. As well as carefully selected components.

This colorful OD300 boasts a wonderful analog overdrive circuit derived from the legendary Ibanez TS808. One of the most versatile devices ever made, the TS808 has been a rock gods' favorite for decades. With the OD300's controls, you can tailor your distortion to best suit your guitar, amp, and playing style.


Donner Morpher Image

Donner Morpher

  • ✔ True Bypass Switching
  • ✔ Aluminum Alloy Chassis
  • ✔ Features Level, Tone & Gain Control Knobs
  • ✔ 3 Mode Toggle Switch - Natural, Tight & Classic

The Donner Morpher is affordable and well built.

Donner Morpher - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

Electric guitarists have been using distortion effects for decades to enhance their music. The problem is that most distortion pedals are expensive and require a lot of technical skill to operate. The Donner Morpher is the solution to these problems. You are getting a quality device. At a price that is less than half of what you would pay for the same unit from a big manufacturer.

The Donner Morpher offers up a wide array of sounds from an array of manipulation options. The three knobs in the center control distortion, tone and the amount of feedback or "wobble," which produces a Doppler-like effect. The "Gain" knob has a range of 0 (none) to 9 (extreme), while the "Tone" knob controls the high-end of the sound.

It can be run at low gain for warm, tube-like distortion, or you can crank it up for a heavy, grinding overdrive. It's also very well suited for leads, and can be fattened up with the bass boost. When you want to get dirtier and louder than ever, the Donner Morpher is the tool to do it. For those who like to get downright nasty, we've added an extra crunch to our already ferocious distortion.


JOYO JF-03 Crunch Image

JOYO JF-03 Crunch

  • ✔ Classic British Rock Tone
  • ✔ True Bypass Switching
  • ✔ Features Gain, Volume & Tone Control Knobs
  • ✔ Strong Aluminum Alloy Casing

The JOYO JF-03 Crunch has great response and sustain, and the controls make precision fine-tuning a breeze.

JOYO JF-03 Crunch - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

The Joyo JF-03 crunch has a serious attitude, delivering distorted sounds that generate a crunchy tone. It gives you the sound of a classic vintage amplifier. This tiny box can give your guitar a hard crunch or a full-blown, heavy metal distortion. Its tone knob allows you to customize the effect for your own taste. The JF-03 has a warm, compressed sound, with a round bass and a crisp treble, which is especially good for lead and rhythm.

The JF-03 Crunch has impeccable tone and performance, and is perfect for the musician seeking a distortion with rich, warm, vintage tones. It can be adjusted to a wide range of sounds from a light crunch to a heavy fuzz. Designed with guitarists in mind, it has a simple layout, easy-to-use controls and a solid build. This is so simple to use that you'll be up and running in no time, no matter what your experience level.


Donner Boost Killer Image

Donner Boost Killer

  • ✔ True Bypass Switching
  • ✔ Strong & Durable Aluminum Chassis
  • ✔ Features Bass, Volume, Treble & Gain Control Knobs
  • ✔ Small Size - Easy To Find Space On Your Pedalboard

The Donner Boost Killer is one that really deserves some attention. In fact, it's so versatile, you could make the argument it's one the best budget options on the market.

Donner Boost Killer - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

The Donner Boost Killer is a high-gain distortion pedal for electric guitar. It's designed to produce the classic distortion and sustain of a cranked up Marshall stack, but without sacrificing tonal clarity. It features controls for Volume, Tone, Treble and Gain providing you with the perfect blend and balance of clean and dirty signal. The Donner Boost Killer is a very smooth device, with a hint of grit. It's very variable and has a wide range of gain.

It is extremely powerful and flexible and has been developed by a master guitarist. Carefully tested by a team of professional musicians. It will enhance your instrument. One of the best options for metal players looking for a tone that is not possible to achieve with rival models. The Donner Boost Killer delivers the fat sound of overdriving a tube amp. Throbbing bass, screaming leads, and crunchy rhythms are all available at the twist of a knob.


Koogo PDS-1 Image

Koogo PDS-1

  • ✔ True Bypass Switching
  • ✔ Small Size - Great For Crowded Pedalboards
  • ✔ Toggle Between Natural, Tight & Classic Modes
  • ✔ Features Level, Tone & Gain Control Knobs

The Koogo PDS-1 works great and the difference in the tone is fantastic. For the price it is a real bargain.

Koogo PDS-1 - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

The Koogo PDS-1 takes your guitar's signal and distorts it to sound like crushing distortion. It's designed for heavy distortion and overdrive effects. Its high quality and has great sound at a fraction of the price.

Koogo have made it possible for guitar players to get the effect they want without paying the inflated prices of the boutique brands. The Koogo PDS-1 is affordable and that allows you to create your own unique sounds and tones. Known for its high quality and exceptional value, the PDS-1 is the perfect choice for any guitarist looking for a classic effect that can give them a boost. This is a distortion which will give you the sound you hear on many rock songs.


Kimise US Dream Image

Kimise US Dream

  • ✔ Strong Aluminum Chassis
  • ✔ Small Size - Easy To Transport & Accommodate On Your Board
  • ✔ True Bypass Switching
  • ✔ Features Volume, Distortion & Tone Control Knobs

The Kimise US Dream is a good quality budget distortion pedal that has some solid customer reviews to back it up.

Kimise US Dream - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

The Kimise US Dream gives you the sound of the classic USA made pedals of the late 60's and early 70's without the price tag.

The US Dream is the modern take on the original distortion. If you're into the roaring, then this is perfect for you. The Kimise US Dream is versatile and dynamic with a wide range of tone. It is capable of high gain, scooped mids, and tight lows. It delivers a more natural, more groovy, fuller distortion.

It's a great way to add some grit to your guitar. It can be used for blues, hard rock, and metal. A unique blend of traditional and modern sounds. It is a top drawer distortion that provides the ultimate lead guitar tone.


AZOR AP-302 Image

AZOR AP-302

  • ✔ True Bypass
  • ✔ Strong Metal Chassis
  • ✔ Features Level, Tone & Gain Control Knobs
  • ✔ Small Size - Will Fit On Busy Pedalboards

The AZOR AP-302 offers all-sided high-gain distortion with excellent dynamic response and definition.

AZOR AP-302 - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

The AZOR AP-302 is versatile, allowing the user to dial in a multitude of different distortion tones. Ranging in color from the classic rock of the '70s to the stinging, searing sounds of modern metal. A fuzz like device that gives you the tone and attitude of a classic pedal with a vintage-style design that lets you crank up to dial in your playing style.

This pedal's output is the result of a clipped sine wave, which is a much more natural effect than three or four diode clipping. It has a very bright sound when the volume is turned down, allowing for clean-ish crunch tones. With the volume up, the sound is full, rich and aggressive.

The AZOR AP-302 delivers a wide range of distortion effects. It is equipped with a high-gain amplifier and a tone control. It can be used for a variety of applications such as rhythm and lead guitar solos, hard rock and metal, etc. Making it the perfect companion to your guitar. It has a "Tone" control, which allows you to dial in the exact sound you want. This device is made with an all-metal construction, so you know it is made to last.


Behringer UM300 Ultra Metal Image

Behringer UM300 Ultra Metal

  • ✔ High Quality Components - Built To Compete With The Big Boys
  • ✔ Great for Heavy Rock & Metal Distortion
  • ✔ Features Distortion, High, Mid, Level, Low & Mid Frequency Control Knobs
  • ✔ Electronic On/Off Switch For High Signal Integrity In Bypass Mode

The Behringer UM300 Ultra Metal gives you the most extreme, sought-after hard rock and heavy metal sounds with super-thick, tube-like distortion.

Behringer UM300 Ultra Metal - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

The UM300 Ultra Metal features a unique circuit that emulates the legendary sound of the most brutal pedals. You can dial in the perfect amount with the Drive control, and add more by cranking up the Gain control. The UM300 Ultra Metal is compatible with virtually any amp or instrument setup.

The UM300 Ultra Metal recreates the sound of distortion boxes that are used in the studio and on stages the world over. A classic distortion pedal built to recreate the thick, high-gain, in-your-face sound of some of the world's most coveted lead and rhythm sounds. With its super responsive gain and master controls, the Ultra Metal is capable of conjuring up everything from breath-taking leads to crunchy rhythm tones.

The UM300 Ultra Metal is a heavy duty distortion pedal that gives your guitar the ultimate in high gain distortion. It has the guts to handle a full-on metal onslaught. From searing lead tones to crunchy rhythm riffs, the UM300 Ultra Metal is your one-stop shop. It is a powerful, versatile, and competitively priced metal distortion pedal. It offers everything guitarists love about the classic sound of heavy rock music, with extended headroom, increased output, and a killer dynamic range.


More Information Regarding Distortion Pedals Under $50 (2024)

What Is A Distortion Pedal?

It will color your tone and push your amp to give it a unique sound. The characteristics of which will depend on the device you use and the components within.

It's common for them to have 2 control knobs. These are 'level' & 'gain'. These straight forward controls give you what you need to adapt to your liking. However, the main thing to note here is that the higher the gain the dirtier your tone will become. Generating more feedback and harmonics the higher you go.

Having said that, the more expensive models on the market could have far more controls. For those who want to customize and adapt every aspect.

It's best to start with a clean tone. They can be part of an effects pedal chain but remember the cleaner the tone the better and more noticeable the distortion effect will be.

Choosing the cheapest you can find, just for the sake of having one isn't a great strategy. Some cheap distortion pedals can sound tinny and lack the warmth and depth of other more premium alternatives. We've done our best to avoid these tinny amateur devices and only recommend those that offer quality without our budget.

Why Do I Need One?

You've got a guitar, an amp & a decent clean sound. The problem is your amp is missing that sweet sound that will blow your audience away. You might already have a specific type of distortion but you're missing a 70's classic tone.

Each one has its own unique attributes, component setup & appeal. Someone who wants a more transparent gain boost will choose a completely different device than someone who wants to kick in a variety of distortions to make their tone entirely different.

They can be used in a number of different ways. You can use them to support an already overdriven channel. Or they can provide 100% of the gain into a completely clean amp. A distortion pedal can be placed anywhere in the effects chain however they are popular at the start of the chain with many guitarists.

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