Effects Pedals you need on your Board

Spend just 30 minutes trawling the internet for advice on effects pedals and you will quickly be overwhelmed by all the different opinions and recommendations out there, let alone effects pedal makers – we have 90 featured on our site with more added all the time. At the end of the day though, it is your sound and your choice of how you get that sound. Having said that a bit of basic advice on where to start, if you are building a pedal board or collection, shouldn’t go amiss.

With well over a hundred effect manufacturers out there, all producing new pedals on a regular basis as well their ‘classics’ you can be forgiven for being confused, particularly when prices go from £30 to £450 within each category. If you buy one though and don’t get on with it you should be able to sell it fairly easily as the market is buoyant at the moment.

There are many categories of effects pedals such as:
• Overdrive/Distortion
• Fuzz
• Reverb
• Delay
• Boost
• Compression
• Modulation – chorus, flanger, phaser
• Pre-amps
• Wah-wah
• Loopers
• Synths

The most common effects pedals that many guitarists use on their boards are:
• Tuner
• Wah-wah
• Compression
• Overdrive or Distortion
• Fuzz
• Chorus
• Flanger
• Delay
• Reverb
• Looper

Which order you put them in is up to you and how many overdrive and distortion pedals you have also, but the ‘default’ is:

From the input end: Tuner – Wah – Compression – Distortion/Overdrive – Fuzz – Modulation (chorus, flanger etc) – Delay – Reverb – Looper

If you can’t be bothered with all of this then you can always buy a MultiFX pedal where you can add and store different combinations of effects together to create specific sounds – all in one box!

Here is our rundown on some of the best and classic effects pedals around today:

TUNERS
Budget: Behringer TU300 c£23

Mid-Price: TC Polytune 3 Mini c£65

High-End: Peterson Strobo Stomp HD c£120

Also try:
Mooer Baby Tuner c£52
Boss TU3 Chromatic Tuner c£56

WAH-WAH
Budget: Vox Classic Wah-wah c£55

Mid-Price: Dunlop Cry Baby Multi Wah c£155

High -End: Xotic XW-1 c£249

Also try:
Dunlop Cry Baby c£75

COMPRESSORS
Budget: Mooer Yellow Comp c£54

Mid-Price: Keeley Compressor Plus c£129

High-End: Empress Compressor £249

Also try:
Boss CS3 Compression Sustainer c£70
Fender The Bends c£99
Wampler Ego Compressor c£170
Walrus Audio Deep Six V3 C£179
Empress Compressor c£249

OVERDRIVE
Budget: Mooer Green Mile c£45

Mid-Price: Fullton OCD c£129

High-End: Venuram Jan Ray c£339

Also try:
Boss BD-2 Blues Driver c£72
EHX Soul Food c£76
Ibanez Tube Screamer c£100
MXR Sugar Drive c£119
J Rockett Archer c£175
Origin Effects Revival Drive c£459 (Compact version c£315)

DISTORTION
Budget: Boss DS-1 Distortion c£52

High-End: Friedman BE-OD c£199

Also try:
Mooer Rage Machine c£54
Blackstar LT Metal c£69
Blackstar HT Metal c£185

FUZZ
Budget: EHX Big Muff c£65 – £100

Mid-Price: Way Huge Russian Pickle £129

High-End: ThorpyFX Fall Out Cloud c£185

Also try:
Dunlop Fuzz Face Mini c£99
Earthquaker Devices Hoof c£185

CHORUS
Budget: Mooer Ensemble King c£50

Mid-Price: MXR M234 Analogue c£97

High-End: Boss CE-2W c£189

Also try:
MXR M134 Stereo c£175

FLANGER
Budget: Mooer E-lady c£56

Mid-Price: Carl Martin Classic Flange c£119

High-End: Earthquaker Devices Pyramid c£319

DELAY
Budget: TC Electronics Flashback 2 c£99

Mid-Price: MXR Carbon Copy Delux c£199

High-End: Strymon Timeline c£399

Also try:
Boss DD-500 c£291
Boss DD-200 c£219

REVERB
Budget: TC Electronic Skysurfer c£29

Mid-Price: EHX Oceans 11 c£130

High-End: Strymon Big Sky c£449

Also try:
Walrus Audio Slo c£179
Mooer Ocean Machine c£195

LOOPER
Budget: TC Electronic Ditto c£79

Mid-Price: MXR Clone Looper c£159

High-End: Boss RC-10R c£263

Also try:
TC Electronic Ditto X2 c£114
Boss RC-1 Loopstation c£92

Links to other Guides, Reviews and Effect Manufacturers
Effect Manufacturers
How to choose an effects pedal
Choosing a looper
Polytune vs Mooer Baby
Skysurfer – bargain reverb
Mooer Chorus Pedal
Ditto Looper
Guitar Preamps