The Best Boost Pedals on the Market

Best Boost Pedal

This is a guest post by Stephen Rose. 

There are times during your playing when you need a little boost. Whether it is to accentuate a solo, cut through the mix, or just add a little heat to your playing. There are a number of great boost pedals on the market and I have selected a few that will give your tone a little something extra.

The following pedals range from well-known brands to boutique ones that you may not be as familiar with. I made sure to consider features for each and include pedals with a variety of price points to cater to every level of player.

best boost pedal - boss feedbacker boosterBoss Feedbacker/Booster –This is another fantastic pedal from the Boss lineup. This pedal features the ability to have controlled feedback just by keeping your foot depressed on the pedal for as long as you want the feedback. The pedal features a “Character” knob that allows the player to set the level of boost to either a standard volume boost or some considerable feedback that would make Jimi jealous. The street price for this pedal is $79.00. View this pedal on Amazon.

best boost pedal - Catalinbread Super Chili PicosoCatalinbread Super Chili Picoso – This is the pedal that put Catalinbread on the map and they have continued to impress ever since. The Super Chili Picoso is a clean boost pedal that allows the player to set the volume level so if you have one guitar that is a low output and a high output there won’t be a volume discrepancy when switching between. This transparent pedal adds up to 35db of boost and should be a considered addition to your pedal board. The street price for this pedal is 109.99. View this pedal on Amazon.

best boost pedal - Earthquaker Devices ArrowsEarthquaker Devices Arrows – This pedal gives your sound that little something extra and improves upon the tonal palette that you have already created. It enhances the clarity of your tone and also removes any muddiness that may occur with some overdriven tones. This one like the Catalinbread, is a single knob button pedal that is easy to use and well-built. The street price for this pedal is $95.00. View this pedal on Amazon.

 

best boost pedal - Keeley Katana Boost Mini

Keeley Katana Boost Mini – Keeley is known for making great pedals and this one can be added to that list. The Katana Boost doesn’t alter or change your tone at all; it just makes it louder. The versatility of this pedal allows it to be placed anywhere in the signal change depending on what signal you are trying to boost. Because of it’s size, this pedal won’t take up a lot of room on your board and it is also has a single knob operation. The street price for this pedal is $119.00. View this pedal on Amazon.

best-boost-pedal---MXR-Micro-Amp-Clean-Boost-Mini-MXR Micro Amp Clean Boost Mini – Who doesn’t have a MXR pedal on their board already? This pedal is simple, reliable, and doesn’t try to do too much. It will add boost to a clean tone or overdriven amp and can work well with guitars of differing volume like the Super Chili Picoso. There’s a reason why MXR products have been the go to brand for many players during the past few decades. The street price for this pedal is $79.99. View this pedal on Amazon.

best boost pedal - TC Electronic Spark Mini BoosterTC Electronic Spark Mini Booster – Here is another well constructed mini pedal that won’t take up a lot of real estate on your board but will have a big impact. The Spark Mini Booster features a 20db boost and “Prime Time” switching that allows the player the option to have it be always on or just to boost a certain aspect of a song. The street price for this pedal is $79.00. View this pedal on Amazon.

best-boost-pedal---Way-Huge-Angry-TrollWay Huge Angry Troll – Breaking from the trend of single knob pedals, this two knob booster offers up to 50db of clean gain which is the most out of any pedal on this list. The Angry Troll features an “Anger” knob with five fists of fury that gradually increase in size to indicate the type of overdrive. I have a feeling this is a pedal that you will like when it is angry. The street price for this pedal is $119.00. View this pedal on Amazon.

It’s important when looking for pedals of any kind to find ones that won’t negatively affect your overall tone. The best boost pedal is one that is transparent and helps enhance the guitar tone you already have.

Best Phaser Pedals

Today’s article will talk about the best phaser pedals on the market. There is nothing quite like a good phaser that makes your guitar sound like it is bouncing off the walls, sweeping from left to right, entrancing you with a hypnotic movement that words cannot quite describe. Used by many guitar greats such as Eddie Van Halen and Brian May, phase pedals have been around since the ’60s. Today, you can find bands such as Tame Impala using phasers to achieve their psychedelic sound. So lets get to, here are our choices of the best phasers out there.

Moog MF103 Moogerfooger 12 Stage Phaser reviewMoog MF103 Moogerfooger 12 Stage Phaser

The MF103 by Moog is an all-analog phaser that has that authentic vintage phase sound. In fact it is not even specifically for guitar and can be used with many different instruments. The controls on the MF103 are Sweep frequency, Resonance, LFO Rate and LFO Amount. The result really gives you a full, lush “whooshing” sound. The great thing about the MF103 is that it can do leslie/univibe tones very very well, so it is sort of a 2-in-1 pedal. View the Moog MF103 Moogerfooger 12 Stage Phaser on Amazon.

Red Witch Deluxe Moon Phaser

Red-Witch-Deluxe-Moon-Phaser-reviewThe Duluxe Moon Phaser by Red Witch is an excellent choice, especially since it is also all-analog. It gives a nice and warm sound that is very lush. The coolest part about the Moon Phaser is that you can also use it as a tremolo pedal.. so it is another great 2-in-1! It even has a setting called tremophase which combines the tremolo and phaser together to get some wildly mind-bending tones. The controls on the Moon Phaser are velocity, trajectory, and cosmology which is a selector between types of phase and tremolo. You can even use this pedal in stereo with it’s additional output. Definitely a great phaser pedal that does more than a typical phase. View the Red Witch Deluxe Moon Phaser on Amazon.

Diamond Phase Pedal

diamond-phase-reviewThe Diamond Phase pedal is a very transparent  phase, but can also do a heavy ’70s phase as well with it’s stage selector. With a Regen control, you can get some cool feedback sounds in the phase. One of the coolest parts of the Diamond Phase is that there is an input for an expression pedal, so you can control the speed with your foot. This really makes the pedal versatile as you can get some crazy sounds on the fly without having to change the settings with your fingers. Other controls on the Diamond Phase are volume, which allows you to make it match your bypass volume or even give it a boost if you like, and a control for depth which allows you to dial the intensity of the phase. There is also a switch to select a ‘vibe’ mode which changes it to more of a vibrato pedal. Very cool!

Best Budget Phaser Pedals:

 MXR Script Phase 90 – great vintage-sounding phaser!

MXR Eddie Van Halen Phase 90 – good choice if you’re after Eddie’s phase tone.
Malekko Omicron Phase – No frills, all-analog pedal!

Best Octavia Clones on the Market

From the time Jimi Hendrix used the octavia pedal on ‘Purple Haze’, there was something magical about the sound that he achieved with it. Of course we are talking about Jimi here, so he is always going to sound magical. But through the use of this pedal, he was able to reach new levels with his sound. Today, pedal makers are trying to recreate that sound with their own octave pedal. This article will focus on the best octavia clones available today.

Roger Mayer OctaviaRoger Mayer Octavia

If it is the Hendrix tone you are after, Roger Mayer is a good choice as he was there in the ’60s with Hendrix making pedals for him such as the axis fuzz. While this pedal can get that classic octavia sound from yesteryear, it is important to note that it is a very picky pedal. For one, it need a lot of push to get going, preferably from a fuzz pedal. Also a lead amp helps avoid it sounding thin. A good setting for the Roger Mayer Octavia is to set the drive to just a hair from being off, and the volume to taste. Going any higher than this will make the octave effect less noticeable.

Chicago Iron Octavian

While expensive, the Chicago Iron Octavian is probably the most faithful chicago iron octaviarecreation of the tycobrahe original. What makes this pedal great is that it works well with most setups. While some octave pedals will sound thin, the Chicago Iron always has a nice full sound that really gets the searing lead tone. If you have the dough and are looking to go the boutique route, this is your best bet.

FoxRox Electronic Octron

foxrox octronNot exactly a recreation of the classic octavia since you can also go an octave down, but can still do the octave up in spades. If you want the classic sound, but with versatility to do more, the Octron is a great sounding pedal from an excellent pedal maker.

Well there you have it.. These are our three favorite octavia clones. What is your favorite?

The Best Tube Screamer Pedals on the Market

Ah, the legendary Tube Screamer, first created by Ibanez was a benchmark pedal that really gave electric guitars great tone. They were designed to push your amp, and as the name suggests, it’ll make your notes scream out. This pedal was a big part of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s tone, which is a big reason why this pedal gained so much popularity. Today, there are many clones on the market, so this article will showcase the best tubescreamers out there.

Ibanez TS808 Vintage Tube Screamer Reissue

ibanez tubescreamer ts808

Of course the reissue of the famous Ibanez pedal needs to be on this list. But at the end of the day, it is not exactly like the original. That being said, it is still a very good rendition that many are very happy with. If you don’t know where to start, and don’t want to shell out a lot of money on boutique versions of the tube screamer, the Ibanez Reissue is a good middle ground. Ibanez also had a limited hand-wired run which I reckon would be even closer to the original sound. View the Ibanez TS808 on Amazon.

Maxon OD808 Overdrive

maxon od808 tubescreamer

Maxon did an excellent job of their rendition of the tube screamer. Some say that Maxon’s is closest to that of the original pedal. At a good price point, and vintage styling, it is a great pick. The Maxon is also true-bypass, which preserves your tone when the pedal is off. View the Maxon OD808 on Amazon.

MJM Phantom Overdrive

mjm phantom overdrive

Probably the best 808 replica on this list. The Phantom OD sounds very organic and maintain that vintage tone close to the original. MJM Electronics is widely know as a maker of vintage sounding effects, and this pedal is no different.  MJM used to have another tube scream style pedal called the Blues Devil, which was great, but it looks to be discontinued.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, if you want to get even closer to the original vintage pedal, Analogman offers a good mod kit that helps achieve this with modern day tube screamers. Definitely worth looking into.

Best Guitar Pedals

We are often asked, what are the best guitar pedals? Well there are really so many to choose from. So we figured we’d put together a list of the top 10 best guitar pedals, generally speaking that is. The ordered list will consist of types of guitar pedals and we’ll add some recommendations for each of the top pedals in that category.

1) Wah Pedal

Ah the famous Wah pedal. There is really nothing quite like it! Who would’ve thought that a pedal that lets you go from bassy to trebly on the fly via an expression pedal would be so innovative. It literally can make your guitar sound like it’s talking! Such a cool pedal and always a crowd pleaser, making this number 1 on our list. Check out our list of the best wah pedals on the market.

2) Overdrive

The overdrive pedal  makes its way into second place as it allows you to really shape and color your tone. It can be used in a variety of ways, and can literally give you hundreds of tonal variations. An OD will really help push your amp, giving you more touch sensitivity and gain. Maybe you just want to kick it on for solos, or keep it as an always-on pedal set to dirty. Check out our list of the best overdrive pedals on the market.

3) Univibe

Why is the famous univibe so high on this list, you ask? Well because of Jimi Hendrix and David Gilmour, thats why. This pedal can really take you on a trip through mind-altering states without any substance! Get a lush heartbeat chorus or switch to the eerie vibrato mode. Here’s our list of the best vibe pedals.

4) Fuzz/Distortion

Want your tone to go balls to the wall? Get screaming solos, and sustain that goes on forever. These high gain pedals changed the electric guitar world forever, allowing guitarists to get the craziest of sounds! Do your best dive bomb, and let the entire audience feel it! Check out our best fuzz pedals list.

5) Delay/Echo

With a nice delay or echo, you can achieve some other-wise impossible sounds. Get huge soundscapes like The Edge, or set it to a nice slapback to thicken your guitar tone. Lots of fun experimenting to be had with a delay/echo pedal. Check out our picks of the best delay pedal.

6) Octave Pedals

Add another octave on top of your current tone. This works great for solos. In the past, you could only go one octave up, but today there are many pedals allowing you to go up, down, both, more than one octave, etc. Some great octave pedals includes the POG, FoxRox Octron, and the Chicago Iron Octavian. Check out our picks of the best octave pedals.

7) Boost Pedals

Sometimes you need a boost in your tone, without it getting too dirty. Boost pedals are a great way to make your cleans more chimey, and adds a bit more sustain on tap. Great for a little extra umph to your tone. Check out the Xotic EP Booster.

8 ) Chorus

Sometimes you want that lush, watery type of tone that feels more ambient. It can really add more depth up your single notes as well, and makes a fun stack with distortion. There are many different chorus pedals on the market to choose from. Here’s are list for the best chorus pedals on the market.

9) Reverb

If your amp doesn’t have any onboard reverb, then trying a reverb pedal is a must! Get a surf tone from the 60s’, or the out-of-phase sound of the psychedelic era. Reverb really adds space and dimension to your tone. Take a look at our choices for the best reverb pedal.

10) Tuner Pedals

Why did tuning pedals make the list you ask? Well if your guitar is not well in tune, than you will sound bad no matter how good your tone is.  A tuning pedal allows you to tune during a performance. Usually it mutes your guitar so no one really knows that you are tuning at all. Check out the best pedal tuners.

Well there you have it, our top 10 of the best types of guitar pedals. Here’s some other great pedals to check out that almost made the list!

Best Tubescreamer Pedals

Best Guitar Looper

Best Compressor Pedals

Best Overdrive Pedals

The Best Looper Pedals on the Market

Today’s article will talk about the best looper pedals available today. Also known as loop stations, these pedals make it easy for one person to create an entire song on the fly. Basically you can record yourself by pressing the pedal with your foot. When you press it again, it will keep looping back to you. You can keep adding layers on top. Its great for recording  some tasty rhythm guitar on loop to solo over. It really is a fun pedal, and has its place in a live setting as well. So lets take a look at the some of the great looper pedals out there.

Boss RC-30 Loop Station

This is one of the best loopers out there and is the ultimate for the one man band. With true-stereo, you have access to  two foot pedals that lets you play two independent loops in sync. You can record an insane amount of tracks, so layering is excellent with the RC-30. With microphone inputs added, you don’t just have to use a guitar through it. Finally there is a USB connection to save your creations, and upload wav files to add to the loop station! Not cheap at $299 US, but it is one of the best out there and cheaper then the others in this caliber. View the RC-30 on Amazon.

Digitech JamMan Stereo

As the name says, another stereo looper for a more dynamic sound. Again, this is very ideal for the solo performer, but still cool to play around wiDigitech Jam Manth at home. You can store up to 35 minutes of loops on this pedal, which is more than enough. Like the Boss RC-30, there is a USB for managing your loops on your computer. They even include a software for this purpose. Features such as reverse playback, CD-quality sound, and mic inputs makes the JamMan a very versatile pedal. View this pedal on amazon.

Best Cost Effective Option

Boss RC-3 Loop Station

The baby brother of the RC-30, the RC-3 is much more simple, yet retains the same great recording quality. Impressively, this pedal is also true stereo. Tap tempo features helps you get the beat you want in seconds, so that you’re loops are perfectly timed. It even has some drum beats so you don’t have to just play to a metronome. Very pedalboard-friendly, and with USB features like the RC-30. The RC-3 is a great option for someone who needs a good loop station without all the bells and whistles. View the Boss RC-3 on Amazon.

Best Compressor Pedals

Today’s article will showcase the best compressor pedals on the market. There is something about a nice compressed guitar tone that has that undeniable warmth and endless sustain. And best part is that compression pedals stack well with many other pedals such as overdrives, reverbs, etc. So lets take a look at some of the top compressor pedals other there.

Mad Professor Forest Green Compressor

The Forest Green Compressor just has great dynamics that respond beautifully to your pick attack. It gives that sparkle to your tone that makes it sound addictive. This pedal can be set lightly, so your tone still sounds very organic. If sustain is your top priority, the Forest Green has a sustain switch that really gives you endless amounts. As well, there are controls for level, compression and tone. Nice and simple, but enough leeway to shape the tone the way you want it without spending too much time tweaking. While the price may be steep ($359), there is a cheaper PCB version that many are very happy with. You can check it out on Amazon here.

Pigtronix Philosopher King

Pretty big pedal here, not for those who are looking for the pedalboard-friendly option. But it is a pretty insane pedal because the possibilities are really endless. You can have backwards guitar solos, and tremolo effects as well. With enough controls to shape EQ, you can also control sustain, compression, volume, swell, and lots more. This is really a tweaker’s dream, so if you want to have maximum flexibility on a compressor, then the Philosopher King is for you! Check it out on Amazon.

Effectrode PC-2A Compressor

If you are looking for the warmest compressor pedal out there, then the Effectrode PC-2A is your best bet. It gets its warmth from an all-analog signal path and a NOS tube. You get a very organic and full sound from this pedal. Word on the street is that David Gilmore of Pink Floyd uses one. Not the most tweakable pedal as it only has two knobs (peak reduction and gain), but it really is all you need to get such a pure and spacey tone. If it is good enough for David Gilmore, then it is good enough for you. Enough said.

Keeley C4 Compressor

Another great, organic-sounding compressor that makes sure to preserve your guitar’s original tone. Very low-noise pedal, but with lots of output on tap if you need it via the level control. Other knobs are for sustain, attack and clipping. The C4 is really a great choice as Keeley is known for studio-quality boutique pedals. If tone is your top priority, then you won’t be disappointed with this one. The C4 is winner of multiple awards, probably because it uses high-quality components and also because Robert Keeley is a perfectionist. Take a look at the reviews of this pedal on Amazon.

Well there you have it, the best compressor pedals available!

The Best Wah Pedals on the Market

Deciding on the best wah pedal is no easy task, so we are going to use the late ’60s style wah as the benchmark to recommend which wah pedals are the best on the market/are available today. Here they are.. Continue reading The Best Wah Pedals on the Market

Best Guitar Tuners on the Market

The best guitar tuner is dependent on a few factors. Do you want it in a pedal format, or as a clip-on to the headstock? So to decide which guitar tuners are the best on the market, we will showcase them in both of these categories. Continue reading Best Guitar Tuners on the Market

The Best Chorus Pedals on the Market

Today’s article will focus on the best chorus pedals available. Nothing beats that lush, warm, watery, organic chorus that makes you feel like you’re floating. Finding the right chorus however is no easy task as there are many on the market that sound 2-dimensional, and having issues such as volume-drops. So lets take a look at the some of the best chorus pedals.

AnalogMan Bi-Chorus

No secret that AnalogMan has long created some of the best boutique pedals available. The Bi-Chorus is no different, creating a very pure and warm chorus. What’s really unique about the Bi-Chorus is that there are two speed controls and two depth controls along with an A/B switch. The benefit is that you can have two different chorus sounds set to your liking that you can switch between on the fly just by stomping on the A/B switch. I find this to be a great feature as you may want your solos to have one kind of chorus sound and your rhythm parts to have another. AnalogMan has long been known to allow customizations. The Bi-Chorus has an option to add an extra output for true stereo. Definitely a great pedal.

MXR Stereo Chorus

This made the list simply because it is the most cost-effective stereo chorus available! As well, Slash uses one to add even more mojo. A great feature of the Stereo Chorus is that there are separate EQ controls (Bass, Treble) allowing you to really shape the chorus exactly to your liking. As well with controls for speed, intensity, and width, this pedal really gives you unlimited tonal possibilities. With this amount of control, it can work well with any pedalboard. View the MXR Stereo Chorus on Amazon.

Effectrode Vibralux Tube Chorus

Made with real tubes, this all-analog chorus is undoubtedly the most organic sounding of them all. It gives that pure warmth that only real tubes can give. In some ways, it may be perhaps closer to a univibe, but it still gives some of the best chorus tones we’ve heard. This makes the list as being the most organic and pure-sounding chorus.

Red Witch Analog Empress Chorus

The Red Witch is a very deep and lush sounding chorus. It was something we noticed right away upon hearing it, that it just sounded really sweet to the ears. The Empress Chorus has a lot of controls to really tweak the sound, though it sounds great at just about any setting. The controls include a voice switch (chorus/vibrato), Mix dial (between chorus and clean), velocity, depth, and a bright switch. As well, there are dual outputs for playing in stereo between two amps. That’s how you really get a chorus with a lot of depth! View the Red Witch Analog Empress Chorus on Amazon.

Other Great Chorus Pedals on the Cheap

TC Electronic Corona Chorus – True Bybass, and sounds great!

MXR Analog Chorus – All analog and lots of controls for tweaking.

Electro-Harmonix Small Clone Chorus – No frills, but great analog chorus tones. Was used by Kurt Cobain.