Best Guitar Pedals for Different Effects



Although the guitar never lost its appeal, it did experience a resurgence of interest in 2021. Last year, over 16 million Americans reported starting guitar lessons. According to reports, more people are rediscovering music’s ability to soothe, inspire, and revitalize. That said, with this new influx of guitar players, it’s safe to assume that guitar peripherals are also in demand. For guitar players who want to add depth to their playing, pedals are a must-have. If you’re looking to enhance your music by playing with effects, here are some of the best pedals on the market:


Maestro Fuzz-Tone


It may be a popular pedal today but when it was first released in 1963 the Maestro Fuzz-Tone barely sold. The first commercially available pedal of its kind, the Fuzz-Tone imparts a warm buzz that’s been a signature in country, pop, and rock. Allegedly, this sound was based on a transistor circuit. So what made this pedal famous? As music lore goes, Rolling Stones’ famously-opinionated Keith Richards is purportedly responsible. Having used the Fuzz-Tone in the band’s smash hit “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, Richards lent credibility to an otherwise overlooked pedal. Presently, the Fuzz-Tone is still a studio favorite, with five new releases introduced last year.


Fender Pugilist Distortion


For the uninitiated, Fender is just associated with iconic instruments like the Telecaster and Stratocaster. However, any research on pedals will reveal that Fender is also responsible for high-quality pedals. Though it’s not the most beginner-friendly pedal, the Fender Pugilist distortion can add impressive sounds to your rig. Thanks to the dual gain engines, the Pugilist lets you select several distortion variations so you can adapt them to any musician or rig. On a more aesthetic note, this pedal screams rock star with its brushed gold casing, LED-backlit knobs, and matching Fender amp Jewel LED. As mentioned, the blend control can be tricky for newbies. But for experienced players will enjoy getting to customize their cascading distortion and bass boost.


Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal


Despite having debuted in 1983, the Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal has been a staple for many death metal lovers. The standard distortion pedal for underground names like the “Big 4” Swedish death metal bands, this box can create some truly unnerving sounds. When applied at full capacity, the Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal can create distinct shredding distortions that add a dark layer to your music. Although the HM-2 was discontinued in the 90s, Boss has continued to release pedals in its honor. Last year, they released the Waza Craft HM-2W Heavy Metal reissue. Although not quite as flexible as the HM-2, the Waza Craft is a great option for those who want a newer take on the classic pedal.


Source Audio Vertigo Tremolo


If you’re looking for a pedal that marries the holy trinity of tremolo sounds, look no further than the Source Audio. Crafted with the 1967 Fender Vibrolux, Fender “brownface” Harmonic, and the Vox AC30, this pedal will ensure that you’re never just stuck with a redundant sound. With a simple adjustment, you can impart either a phase-like, pulsating, or optical-style tremolo. Because of its shape control, players can also jump between square wave, sawtooth, and more. If you’ve optimized the Source Audio Neuro app, you can even tap into alternative algorithms that can create filtered and mixed tremolos. This can be considered part of the new era of music that our previous post by Athena Gwen Chorley discussed before. With these new music-centered gear being compatible with online devices, musicians can more easily mix, produce, and share their music.


While it’s easy for players to be drawn towards the most popular or flashy brands, it’s important to study the true quality of each piece. Coming from various price points and designed with different specifications, the pedals on this list will satisfy the needs of both newer and more experienced players. For more information on music and production, please visit the rest of the site at Alt Revue.

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