high gain distortion pedal

Best High Gain Distortion Pedal – Best Picks For 2021

Way back in the day, I used to play a lot of metal guitar and needed the best high gain distortion pedal that I could find.  I tried a lot.  While, if you look at my picture, I probably don’t look like a metal guitarist, I do love playing it!  Over the years, I’ve tried out a huge number of distortion pedals that are known to have a whole lot of high gain.

So what makes a pedal of the distorted variety be called high gain distortion?

What To Look For In A High Gain Distortion Pedal

There are many different things to look at.  Probably one of the most important things to consider is that just because the effects pedal has the word “metal” in the name, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are looking at the right thing.  I find that a lot of times, companies use the word mainly for marketing.  So don’t choose a guitar pedal just based on the name.

The other thing to consider is the amp that you are using.  Does it already have super gain in the first place?  Maybe you actually don’t need this type of pedal and can get away with creating the desired guitar tone plugging straight into the amp.

I also like something that has the ability to really dial in a good guitar tone.  Now, to be fair, I also like simple ones that are more plug and play.  So, when you see my recommendations below, you will see that I kind of choose the best of both worlds.

What Is High Gain Distortion?

Personally, I equate this to be a modern metal guitar tone.  Kind of like taking distortion to the extreme.  If you think about most metal guitar tones, this is probably where you are going to find it.

Our Recommendations

  • Wampler Dracarys High Gain Distortion Pedal
  • Xotic SL Drive
  • BOSS Mega Distortion
  • MXR M116 Fullbore
  • Keeley Filaments
Some more options for best distortion pedal here.

Wampler Dracarys High Gain Distortion Pedal


Xotic SL Drive


BOSS Mega Distortion


MXR M116 Fullbore


Keeley Filaments

Looking for more options?  Check out these best distortion pedals for classic rock options.

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