Best Distortion Pedals (Metal, Rock, Tube Amps 2018 Options)

Distortion is probably one of the most popular effects and I probably don’t know any guitarist that has never owned one.  Because of this, there are a huge number of different distortion pedals out on the market these days.  It can be a bit overwhelming!  Luckily, we did some of the hard work for you and choose some of our favorites and what we consider to be the best.  Now get ready to make some guitar noise!

Take a look below at our list of eight different distortion guitar pedals that should be just what you are looking for.  Be sure to check out each of the reviews too and our buyers guide below:

Best Distortion Pedals Comparison Chart

Ibanez Tube ScreamerRead Review

Wampler Sovereign DistortionRead Review
ProCo RATRead Review
Wampler Triple Wreck
Read Review
MXR M78 Custom Badass ’78Read Review
MXR Fullbore Metal PedalRead Review
BOSS DS-2Read Review
BOSS DS-1Read Review

What To Look For When Choosing A Distortion Pedal

The answers here may vary. However, it is good to take different feedback into account, as everyone has their own special qualities that they do look for in a distortion pedal or anything musical for that fact. However, in addition to, reviewing what others do seek in these pedals. It’s also crucial to keep into account just what you will be using one of these unique pedals for overall. Because, to be perfectly honest here, we each do have our own individual needs for things in life and distortion pedals are no different. If you are buying one, you must have a specific reason for doing so, and you should base that reason on the type of distortion pedal you did at the end of the day.

People like different kinds of distortion sound effects where these devices are concerned. Therefore, one of the first things, which you should consider is this fact. What the primary focus of these effects is are clear. They are used to make your guitar or bass sound a whole lot better from a musical aspect. With this said, you know now, what you do need to look for. You need to search for just the right sound effects that work the best creatively for your guitar or base. Sometimes, this may be easier said than done, because some musicians or those who have a guitar or bass can’t really define what sound effects they like the best or which they think do work the best. People that don’t know may have to try various sound effects on for size first before learning which are for them. The first thing, which should be adhered to here is, do look for the sound effects which best suit your musical playing situation in particular. Music also has different categories and these sound effects do have to fit in with these categories as well.

It doesn’t really matter if you are a seasoned musical professional or a fledgling beginner. You do need to experiment with numerous sound effects as a rule. It’s a given in the world of music and music production. Experimenting this way on your musical journey is a okay to do. Do feel free to openly experiment with the distortion pedal of your choice. After all, it is you and you alone, who will end up using the distortion pedal to make or play music in the end.

Another thing to think about where sound effects are concerned is this. There is both analog and digital effects. Many musicians do prefer the use of analog effects as opposed to digital ones. Analog effects don’t require digital conversion as do analog effects. Which form of sound effect should you choose? At the end of the day, the decision is yours to make here, in the very same way that the type of distortion pedal is. You, are the one in control here, and no one else. You should go with the one distortion pedal that makes the best sound for you and your musical instrument together. What to look for when choosing a distortion pedal from a wide range of choices? You should look for all the things, which you require most, and don’t settle for less than that.

How Does A Distortion Pedal Work?

If you are familiar with distortion pedals, you may already know how they work, but for those who don’t have a clue. Please continue to read on and learn more about in depth. How does a distortion pedal work? The answer is this. A distortion pedal is a device that is capable of creating unique sounds that are distinctly all its very own. Because, of the fact, that there are different music genres as a rule. There is also a wide array of various distortion pedals on the market. What each of these distortion pedals can do is clear. They each are capable of creating different sound effects that are created to work along with guitars and bases. A distortion pedal is known for producing modifications to audio signals and these changes are usually significant alterations that are one of a kind.

First of all, a distortion pedal does make one of a kind sounds, and these sounds are meant to go along with a guitar or base in a musical way. They are music production devices that create varying effects and the type of effect they do produce is dependent on the specific genre of music. A distortion pedal is designed to do one thing and that is to fully adulterate a guitar’s signal fully. It will also take that very guitar signal and use an overdrive to take the musician directly into varying areas. What are some of these areas? It can be anywhere from pushed to cranked up JTM45 and tweed Bassman. What these amazing pedals can do is lots. The lots being that they can take sounds and make them something totally different in sound from what they were originally. The distortion pedal can produce a distorted tone to your music in a good way and make it into something that is totally different from what you did originally have. It’s as simple as that.

A little bit into what a distortion pedal does has been highlighted here already. However, if one were to elaborate further, they could say that a distortion pedal doesn’t just create all new sound effects from a musical aspect. They also, are able to do something else, and this is that they will boost up the guitar signal as well. Nonetheless, exactly how much they will boost up the signal is dependent on other factors, and some of these factors are as follows. The factors are the volume, output, and the particular level settings. The sound that belongs to a distortion pedal can be said to be, a confluence of pedal and guitar amplifer combined, but one must also include the guitar too.

A distortion pedal is something that is versatile in description. They are designed and built to be this way. They are made to cater to numerous musical tastes and uses for them out there. Some distortion pedal brands are considered to be far more workhorses than other ones are. Nevertheless, if you look at the distortion pedal in general, you will see a musical device that does music effects very nice.

What Is The Difference Between Overdrive And Distortion Guitar Effects?

A lot of time and efforts are invested to generate killer guitar tones. With all the multi-processors and stomp-boxes out there today, the desire to attain the best guitar tones has become simpler as well as complicated. Simpler in the sense, it is most likely you will find an effects pedal that will help you to achieve the tone you hear. On the other hand, the quest to get the best tone is getting complicated because there are too many choices. You will find distortion as well as overdrive effects pedals for creating fuzzes and wah tones to suit your needs, but you have to figure out the difference between these two effects to make the right choice. So, what is the difference between overdrive and distortion guitar effects?

Overdrive effects

Most of the overdrive stomps are meant to generate the sound of traditional tube amps played loudly. They produce musical harmonics and overtones generated by these amps when over-driven. The introduction of overdrive effects coincides with the development of solid-state guitar amps that offered dependability, but lack the most desired overdrive guitarists long for.  Great for classic rock!

Quality overdrive pedals present a wide variety of effects from a more subtle breakup to a noticeable amount of crunch while responding to amp settings and playing techniques. These effects are ideal for producing rich tones in a warm and calming manner. In other words, they are best for generating subtle tones compared to aggressive voices. However, this doesn’t mean overdrives are not suited for high tonal range; it only means they create warmer, cold tones in a much better manner than harsh tones.

Distortion effects

Although distortion effects also produce wah tones and fuzzes, they differ from overdrive pedals in terms of magnitude and range of high volumes they create. In general, distortion effects generate much more crunch and gain than overdrive effects. Put simply, these effects are the best choice for producing aggressive tones.

They usually have multiple gain stages with stages delivering the greatest gain generating extreme breakup effects and huge sustain amount. They mostly include a boost circuit that allows you to step up sonically when performing solos. Usually, hard rock and metal guitarists prefer to use distortion effects due to the extreme sounds generated by these effects.

Note that both distortion and overdrive effects make a good choice for any guitarist. It all depends on the guitar you are using and the tonal range you wish to generate. Also, positioning the effects pedal in your signal chain can make a major difference in creating good sounds and great sounds whether you are using an overdrive pedal or a distortion pedal.

Bottom line

Finding the right effects pedal for your guitar’s metallic tone is imperative to creating best sounds and fuzzes. However, you should take into account a lot of points such as the type of guitar you use as well as the tones and tonal range you wish to create. Also, you should find out – what is the difference between overdrive and distortion guitar effects? These simple considerations will allow you to pick the right pedal for producing some of the best tones and fuzzes you ever wished at the prices ranges you can afford.