Are you considering purchasing an overdrive pedal and not sure which one might be best for a guitar that is equipped with humbuckers? The thing is, you want to choose the right chorus pedal for the job of working best with humbucker guitar pickups explained.
Quick Links To Our Top Overdrive Pedals For Humbuckers Recommendations
- Fulltone OCD Obsessive Compulsive Drive Overdrive – OUR TOP CHOICE! The overdrive guitar tone from these pedals is a perfect pairing with a good amp and humbucker equipped guitar.
- Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer – Classic – our runner up choice. Lots of gain giving an amazing sound. This effects pedal is awesome!
- Electro-Harmonix Soul Food Distortion/Fuzz/Overdrive Pedal
- EarthQuaker Devices Plumes Small Signal Shredder Overdrive
- Boss BD-2 Blues Driver Guitar Effects Pedal
- Quick Links To Our Top Overdrive Pedals For Humbuckers Recommendations
- Our Overdrive Pedal For Humbucker Pickups Recommendations:
- Some Other Things To Consider
Our Overdrive Pedal For Humbucker Pickups Recommendations:
Fulltone OCD Obsessive Compulsive Drive Overdrive
It has three different modes and can be used with bass, guitar or both at the same time. You can also use it as an EQ boost to make your sound stand out even more.
The Fulltone OCD Obsessive Compulsive Drive Overdrive is a versatile pedal that will help you create some of the most amazing sounds you’ve ever heard! We know once you try it, you won’t want to go back to anything else!
Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer – Classic
The Tube Screamer was designed with a single purpose – to give you the warm tube tone you get when your amp has just a little bit of distortion, but not too much. This way you can play at lower volumes without losing any tonal definition or clarity.
You’ll notice that it doesn’t have an EQ knob like some other overdrive pedals do, which means it won’t change your sound as drastically as something like the Boss DS-1 would if you were looking for more gain than what this pedal offers on its own. That said, there are still plenty of ways to shape your tone using different guitars and amps with this pedal!
Electro-Harmonix Soul Food Distortion/Fuzz/Overdrive Pedal
The Soul Food is a versatile, easy-to-use overdrive that delivers transparent tube amp tones at any volume. It’s the perfect pedal for blues, country, funk and rock players who want to add just a little color to their sound.
With its simple three-knob design and no switches or complicated menus to navigate through, it’s ideal for beginners looking for an affordable way to get started with pedals. But experienced players will love how this little box can cover so much sonic ground!
You’ll be able to dial in everything from warm bluesy crunch (think SRV) all the way up to full out screaming leads (think Billy Gibbons). And you can use it on both guitar AND bass! Use it as your main distortion or kick in the fuzz circuit when you need some extra girth. Or run them together for super thick tone!
The Soul Food runs on standard 9 volt DC power – 2.1mm center negative plug adapter included but not necessary if using with most modern effects pedals which operate at 9VDC 200mA minimum.
EarthQuaker Devices Plumes Small Signal Shredder Overdrive
The Small Signal Shredder Overdrive is just what you need to take your tone to the next level. With its three-band EQ, it lets you shape your tone any way you want it. And if that isn’t enough, there are also two different clipping options to choose from—one for tight crunchy tones and one for smooth overdriven sounds.
This pedal will allow you to get all those classic rock tones without having to carry around an amplifier or stack of amps! It has everything you need in one small package so that when inspiration strikes, all you have to do is plug in and play!
Boss BD-2 Blues Driver Guitar Effects Pedal
It’s a great way to get that classic overdrive sound, and it’s easy to use with just one knob.
You can use this pedal for blues, rock, metal or even country music! And you can also use it as a boost pedal if you want more volume out of your amp. This is an awesome guitar effect pedal for any guitarist who wants to add some extra flavor into their tone.
Some Other Things To Consider
Overdrive pedals are remarkable and they are among the quintessential elements on the pedalboard of any guitar player. When choosing an overdrive pedal for a guitar with humbuckers, it is important to consider how you want it to work for you. Below are some of the ways in which it could work for you:
Complementing Your Guitar Tone
Overdrive pedals can be used by players to complement or enhance an amplifier that is already overdriven. One reason could be to focus or fill in particular frequencies for a sound which cuts through the mix in a better way. Additionally, it is great for adding a larger and more intense sound and incorporating a new gain stage to the signal chain.
To achieve this, you should set the amp to your ideal overdrive level. After that, it will be left up to you experimenting with the controls of the pedal. There is a Double-Double Overdrive that produces lots of options via its two separate OD circuits and distinct Bass and Treble controls. You should tweak these until you get a sound that works well with the natural overdrive of your amp.
Sometimes, all that is needed is a touch of boost to give the signal some color. Simply put, you can bump up your guitar signal output so it is mostly clean but will have the slightest bit of tonal coloration. This is similar to producing the sound of a blackface kind of amp on “10” but the volume is lower.
You can produce a colorful boosted sound by setting the amp to your ideal clean setting. Use the Double-Double Overdrive to select Hi or Lo for the ideal tonal profile and let the Drive knob remain almost fully counterclockwise. After this, the Treble and Bass controls can be used to shape the signal sound and the Level control to set the amount of boost you want. Obviously, taste will differ but this is a good starting place.
From time to time, the sound of the overdrive pedal is so great that this is all you want to hear. Pretty much, this approach is the “plug in and go” but if your pedal is tweakable, you should spend time to determine the breadth of available options. When starting out with a clean amp, this also provides a clean slate. Set the amp and tweak the pedal to your liking.
The blackface and the plexi are two of the most popular styles of amp currently available. Blackface-style amps produce a sound that is more scooped and cleaner. Typically, plexi-style amps produce a more mid-focused gain. Similar to the different types of gear, you must figure out they type of sound you want before choosing the better amp for you.
If your guitar that has single-coil pickups is run through a blackface-style amplifier and the overdrive signal is sounding a bit thin, you should try to turn up the Bass and Drive on the Double-Double Overdrive. If your humbuckers guitar is run through a plexi-style amp, you can try accentuating and boosting the mids to produce searing solo that can cut through the band’s cacophony. Try to bring the Drive down and lower the Bass setting while allowing the amp to provide most of the distortion.
The majority of players use humbucking pickups or single-coil pickups. Typically, single-coil pickups produce more highs and lows (a more superior tonal range) with a lower output. Humbuckers produce a higher output and produce a more focused sound in the low mids and mids. But how does this impact the overdrive pedal settings? Well, a great-sounding setting configuration with humbuckers pickups, like those found in Les Pauls, might not sound that remarkable with single-coil and vice versa.
For example, to get a good baseline with the Double-Double Overdrive, the Volume and Treble should be set at noon, Bass should be off and the Drive set to very low. Pay attention to how everything sounds and make any necessary adjustment. If your single-coil signal needs beefing up, choose the Hi setting. You will also want to roll off the Treble, turn up the Drive and add some Bass. To tighten up the humbucker signal to produce a more focused lead tone, you should go for the Lo setting with Treble at 2 o’clock, the Bass off and Drive to taste. It ultimately depends on what goals you want to accomplish; for example, should the overdrive sound complement the tonal profile of the pickups or provide it with something that is missing?
More reading – What are overdrive pedals used for?