Top 4 Best Overdrive Pedals On The Market (April 2021)

The Best Overdrive Pedals On The Market - 2021

The overdrive pedal is one of the most popular effects in the guitaring world. The purpose of the design is to give you the sound of a tube amp being overdriven. You can use the overdrive for a warm clean sound, or to give you extra gain for your distortion. There are many types available so the first thing you'll want to do is figure out what kind of sound you want. Overdrive pedals are commonly used to produce a warm, tube-like distortion. Traditionally, tube amps were used to get this sound. However, because overdrive pedals use transistors rather than tubes, they are less susceptible to the same inconsistencies.

What Purpose Do They Serve?

Overdrive pedals were created for the sole purpose of bringing tubes to the brink of breakup. They can add a gritty edge to your clean tone, and they're also great for making over-the-top, harmonically rich distortion tones. The overdrive effect is a very capable one. From grunge to crunch, overdrive is used across many genres.

Overdrive occupies a special place in the world of guitarists. Not an effect you'd buy for it's massive tone changing properties or drastic sound alterations. Instead the traditional overdrive pedal adds color to your existing sound. Like a driven tube amp, the overdrive pedals purpose is to add character to your sound.

Clean Boost

Some overdrive pedals can function as a "clean boost" for added volume or gain during solos. They have generally high headroom, low to mid gain and a frequency response that helps tighten up the sound of higher gain amplifiers. Many modern high gain sounds are achieved by using an overdrive pedal in front of a high gain amp.

Buying Advice

When looking for a new overdrive pedal, you will probably have noticed that there are hundreds of different models to choose from. What makes one overdrive different from another? This is where the details come in. From the circuits used within, to the pedal’s main objective, there are tons of small variables that have an effect on the tone the player hears.

Why Add An Overdrive Pedal To Your Setup?

Many seasoned veteran guitarists would agree that an overdrive pedal is essential on any pedalboard. Whether you're a blues player, jazz guitarist or a metalhead. An overdrive is capable of pushing front end, adding sustain to a killer solo or just give you that edge when you need it.

It's common for overdrive pedals to have 3 control knobs, gain, volume and equalization, also known as level.

Overdrives generally increase the input signal volume. It can push a tube amp into a state of saturation. Therefore pushing the volume high and gain low will give you the best possible level of saturation from your amp.

Finding the right overdrive pedal for you is a difficult task. Thankfully you're not alone, our review and recommendations should help. So we've found a selection of the best overdrive pedals on the market. Hopefully you'll be able to use this list to narrow down and decide which one is right for you.

MXR EVH5150 Overdrive Pedal Image

MXR EVH5150 Overdrive Pedal

  • ✔ Features Output, Bass, Mid, Treble & Gain Input Knobs
  • ✔ Boost Switch & Gate
  • ✔ Features True Bypass For Unaltered Tone
  • ✔ Designed In Close Collaboration With Eddie Van Halen

The MXR design team has collaborated with Eddie Van Halen to deliver a full range of powerful saturation and hyper-driven tones right at your feet.

MXR EVH5150 Overdrive Pedal - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

The EVH5150 Overdrive pedal gives you tube amp tone and feel with the touch sensitivity and response of a stomp box. This pedal is a must-have for any die-hard EVH fan. it is a faithful recreation of Eddie Van Halen's legendary MXR Phase 90, from the original hand-drawn circuit board to the exact same rare germanium transistors used in the original 1970s version. The EVH5150 Overdrive Preamp Pedal provides two channels of Eddie Van Halen's low-gain, high-gain and boost tones. The first channel features the original "brown" tone of the MXR EVH5150, while the second channel offers three different voicings of the revolutionary single-knob "dime" sound. That classic Eddie Van Halen "brown sound" with a transparent, amp-like overdrive.

The MXR EVH5150 is the only overdrive that you will ever need. It is the only pedal that comes with a Bass Boost switch that will help you to get a more powerful, fuller sound. This is the ultimate high-gain, super-saturated distortion unit for power trios, solo artists, and garage bands. It's also an amazing tool for guitarists who play in drop-tuned metal bands or just want to add a little more chunk to their sound. If you're serious about guitar, you need an overdrive pedal with the tone and performance to back up your dedication to your craft. The EVH 5150 Overdrive pedal does exactly that.


Fulltone OCD Overdrive Pedal Image

Fulltone OCD Overdrive Pedal

  • ✔ Great Sounding Overdrive Tones
  • ✔ Switchable Hi & Lo-Pass Filters
  • ✔ Switchable True Bypass Modes
  • ✔ Huge Palette Of Available Sounds

Fulltone OCD Obsessive Compulsive Drive Overdrive Guitar Effects Pedal

Fulltone OCD Overdrive Pedal - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

The Fulltone OCD was designed to be the final word in vintage overdrive. While there are an infinite amount of tweaks and circuit changes that can be made to an overdrive to produce different flavors, we felt that there was a need for an overdrive that was based on the early '60s sound. We also wanted this overdrive to be very flexible so that it would be able to cover a wide range of tones while retaining the classic sound.

The Fulltone OCD Obsessive Compulsive Drive pedal provides the best of the Tube Screamer and the Ibanez TS808 in a small pedal. The OCD has the same controls as the Ibanez with the addition of a Volume control, which allows you to set the level of the non-effect signal, which is useful when running into another pedal or into a clean amp. It is a classic overdrive pedal boasting a wide variety of tones. The OCD pedal will take your clean amp and put a little more "dirty" in it, making it sound like you have a cranked amp at your disposal.

This pedal will transform your ordinary guitar into a tone monster. It's the final touch to take your sound from meh to magnificent. A crazy, out-of-this-world overdrive that's unlike anything you've ever heard.


Wampler Tumnus Deluxe Overdrive And Boost Pedal Image

Wampler Tumnus Deluxe Overdrive And Boost Pedal

  • ✔ Boost An Amp Or Pedal, Use Standalone Or As An Always On Tonal Sweetener
  • ✔ Features Bass, Mids, Treble, Level & Gain Knobs
  • ✔ Bass & Mids Controls To Boost Or Cut Desired Frequencies
  • ✔ True Bypass Performance Can Be Achieved Via The Side Mounted Switch

The Wampler Tumnus Deluxe overdrive & boost guitar effects pedal has the same magic sounding buffer with all of the clarity, punch, and detailed breakup of the original Tumnus.

Wampler Tumnus Deluxe Overdrive And Boost Pedal - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

Tumnus Deluxe is a world class, boutique guitar effects pedal from Wampler. The Tumnus Deluxe gives you a range of overdrive effects and is considered to be a staple pedal in the Wampler family. It's small, portable size makes it ideal for those who travel frequently and want to take their guitar with them everywhere. With its high-quality construction and build quality, the Tumnus Deluxe is designed so that it will last for years to come.

Tumnus Deluxe is an outstanding choice for any guitarist looking to add some serious grit and character to their sound. The original Tumnus has been praised by guitarists around the world as being one of the top overdrive pedals ever made, and the Deluxe version boasts a stunning array of features that will blow you away.

It features a lush analogue filter on the front end, allowing for your guitar signal to be filtered through it before it hits the pedal. The time line knob allows you to adjust how fast your signal moves back in time from when you turn off the pedal. The distortion knob allows you to control how much distortion you want when it comes out of the amp. It is a top class overdrive pedal that takes the classic sounds of the 60's and 70's, and adds some modern twists to it.


Wampler Tumnus V2 Overdrive & Boost Pedal Image

Wampler Tumnus V2 Overdrive & Boost Pedal

  • ✔ Can Be Used As A Buffer
  • ✔ Slim, Compact Design - Fits On Anyones Pedal Board
  • ✔ Built In The USA
  • ✔ Features Gain, Treble & Volume Knobs For User Customization

The Wampler Tumnus V2 overdrive & boost guitar effects pedal is a versatile addition to any setup, any style. Built in the USA. What's not to love about that.

Wampler Tumnus V2 Overdrive & Boost Pedal - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

The Tumnus V2 by Wampler Pedals is a mini overdrive pedal featuring the Wampler Overdrive circuitry, specifically designed to be highly responsive and sensitive to pick dynamics, which gives it a very natural and transparent sound. The Tumnus V2 also offers two distinct clipping options, being a diode clipping mode and a JFET clipping mode, which are switchable via a toggle switch on the side of the pedal, in addition to a volume control knob. it is a hand-crafted boutique overdrive pedal featuring a soulful gain section and a 3-band EQ with a wide sweep mid-range. This unit is capable of achieving tones from a clean boost to a satisfying dirty overdrive. It's also a great sounding buffer for long cable runs and can be used with instruments and amps of all genres.

The Wampler Tumnus V2 is designed to deliver the same warm, creamy overdrive as the original Tumnus. It features a simple, straightforward design that is easy to use and requires little to no effort for the player to get a great sound. The Tumnus V2 is small enough to fit into any board and it is also lightweight, which means you can take it with you wherever you go. It is an overdrive pedal that is perfect for any guitarist who wants to get a creamy tone.

In short, The Wampler Tumnus V2 mini is a versatile pedal with a lot going for it. If you're looking for warm, mild, and open tone, It's the perfect overdrive pedal for you.


What Does An Overdrive Pedal Sound Like?

Overdrive manipulates your signal giving you a sound like an amplifier on the edge of cracking up. Overdrive pedals provide a clean tone that can be pushed to a crunch.

How Do I Use An Overdrive Pedal?

It's quite accepted throughout the industry to use an overdrive pedal in front of an amplifier. If you have any other pedals to add between your guitar and amplifier then usually the overdrive would go nearer your guitar. Usually straight after your tuning pedal.

What Are The Best Overdrive Pedals?

With so many pedals available today, it's a tough question to answer. Generally speaking it depends on your budget but we've covered all major price ranges in this article. Hopefully you'll be able to answer this question after reading our recommendations.

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