“SOOOOOO MANY PEDALS SOOOOO LITTLE TIME…. AND MONEY!!! AGGGHHHHHHH!!!”
To wrap up our “Where to start rebuilding your pedalboard” saga I have decided to give you guys some suggestions of pedals and companies to check out! Now none of these pedal manufacturers… unfortunately… have given me free gear or endorse me so these are purely just pedals I have used or own and enjoy. Now remember these pedals are used with my amp, my guitars, my playing style so they may not be the best choice for you!!! So no hate mail please 😉 But I would love some suggestions for some more pedals so comment below!
So here we go….
Here are some of of my favorite pedal companies and ones that are listed below in no particular order:
Strymon, JHS, Compulsive Audio, Walrus Audio, Wampler, Pedal Projects, Voodoo Labs, Earthquaker Devices, Carl Martin, Neunaber, Xotic Effects, Electro Harmonix, Zvex, Mad Professor, T-Rex, Diamond, Fultone, Mr. Black, One Control and more!
- KORG Pitch Black Tuner: This is the tuner that I currently am using on all of my pedalboards. It is extremely accurate especially in strobe tuning mode and it is the easiest tuner to read.
- TC Electronic Polytune: This tuner is really neat because you can strum your guitar and see which string is out of tune immediately! Super cool pedal with also the option of the Polytune Mini which can save you a ton of space on your board.
*There are certain things I do not like about the Boss TU-2 as well as the Planet Waves PW-CT so that is why I did not list them. There are certain quality control issues with both of them that I feel make them NOT a good choice.
- Wampler Velvet Fuzz: Super cool pedal with a really sweet and smooth sound hence the name Velvet. Really worth checking this one out!
- Compulsive Audio Face Off Fuzz: This is a great true bypass and updated clone of the iconic Fuzz Face. There are a ton of options like vintage chips or colors your can choose from . John uses the best possible components and will also cater to your specs! DEFINITELY need to check out his fuzz pedals!
- JHS Mini Foot Fuzz: Very cool super small fuzz that just sounds plain fantastic! One of my favorites.
- Walrus Audio Jupiter Fuzz: Woah!!! You just have to check it out!
- Walrus Audio Janus Fuzz which has fuzz and tremolo. There is no other pedal on the market like it!
- Dunlop 535Q Wah: I own and love this wah! A ton of options with various EQ knobs and settings.
- Standard VOX Wah: This is probably the best “stock no frills” wah available. I personally prefer the VOX wahs over the standard Dunlop Wahs.
- Fulltone Clyde Wah: Super customizable and super clean sounding.
- Xotic Effects Wah: This is brand new and I have not tried it.. but Xotic effects always put out amazing stuff! Plus it’s got a smaller footprint than most wahs out there.
- T-Rex Gull Wah: Very unique wah that does not use pulley chains to make it work. Super cool looking, some great wah options and easy to use. Some really innovative stuff in this pedal! You really should check this one out!
- Electro Harmonix POG 2: More compact than the original POG pedals, this has some really crazy sounds in it! Tons of options and tons of presets to choose from. Definitely the leader in Octave pedals if you have the room and the cash.
- Electro Harmonix: Micro POG: Another great pedal by the EHX guys. It is a super stripped down version of the POG 2. This is really all you need unless you doing some super crazy octave things.
- EHX C9: I personally have not used this but have seen a ton of videos. This can give you a TON of awesome “organ sounds” and neat octave things. Check this out!
- Earthquaker Devices Pitch Bay: This pedal rides the rail of being a harmonizer or just an octave pedal. Some really great sounds to this one! Also check out the Organizer by Earthquaker.
- Walrus Audio Deep Six Compressor: This is by far the best Compressor I have owned. It just sounds great and has the really cool feature of coming with a blend knob to help you shape your tone.
- Wampler Ego Compressor: Another fantastic Compressor with a blend knob. I am definitely sold on this blend knob thing especially for “non country” music. The blend just makes it really diverse and customizable.
- Compulsive Audio Heavenly Boost: By far my favorite Boost pedal. It does color your tone a bit but in a really great way. It adds a really warm feel to your signal. I basically will leave this on 100% of the time.
- Xotic Effects EP Booster: Xotic effects can’t make a bad pedal. And this is one of the really great ones.
- Walrus Audio Plainsman Boost: I have not personally tried this but the demos look great and everything from Walrus Audio is awesome!
- JHS Morning Glory: Light really sparkly overdrive. Great for clear and clean bluesy tones.
- Compulsive Audio Texas Hold ‘Em: Very neat overdrive with a warm sound and pairs well with any guitar.
- Wampler Paisley Drive: Very light overdrive with some very natural overdrive. Worth checking out!
- Petty John Pre Drive Pedal: Really really great sounding transparent overdrive. It’s a great boutique overdrive/boost for those boutique collectors but it has a pretty monstrous price tag!
- Xotic Effects AC Boost & RC Booster: Xotic Effects makes some really great pedals. Both of these are worth checking out along with some of their combo pedals! Some of the best pedals I’ve heard.
- Pedal Projects Owly: This is probably the most transparent overdrive I have used. I own the Growly pedal by Pedal Projects which has a boost also in it. I LOVE this pedal! This is definitely one on top of my list!
*Some of you may have noticed that I do not have a Tube Screamer on the list above. There are so many clones of tube screamers out there that I feel the Ibanez models are not the best choice. They mislead consumers that they have the same “magic” that the old ones do but in fact they use totally different components than the originals.
- Walrus Audio Iron Horse: Super heavy almost fuzz sounding distortion. This one is not for the faint of heart. Really out there but great!
- Zvex Box of Rock: Really nice Marshall type distortion. This also has a built in boost which makes it very versatile. It’s built well and just a great sounding pedal!
- Wampler Plexi Drive: Great multi stage distortion. Has that Marshall Plexi tone. Very heavy!
- JHS Charlie Brown: If you looking for that fat “brown sound” then this is your pedal!
- JHS Moonshine: This is another fantastic pedal with some great grit!
- Electro Harmonix Small Clone: This is a classic! Very natural warm sounding analog Chorus. I am not a big chorus guy but this is one of the simplest and best sounding choruses I’ve heard. This has been heard on many of the Nirvana records as well as some other classic bands. Plus it’s really affordable!
- Fultone Deja Vibe: Great Vibrato and chorus pedal.
- Drybell Vibe Machine: This one seems hard to get but for the small tone print, this pedal really sounds great!
- Chasebliss Audio Warped Vinyl Vibrato/Chorus: This is now on the top shelf for boutique pedal enthusiasts. I have to say that this pedal is really phenomenal. Check it out!
- MXR EVH Phase 90: This is a staple of many people’s pedalboards. Great sounding crazy phaser along with a really cool look!
- Empress Effects Phaser: Great sounding phaser.
- Mr. Black Gilamondo Phaser: Really subtle but sweet phaser.
- Chasebliss Wombtone Phaser: Really neat boutique phaser with a ton of tones in a small footprint.
- EVH Flanger: Another staple for most pedalboards. Great sound and great look!
- Mr. Black Tunnelworm Zero Flanger: Sweet phaser that can be very subltle.
- Mad Professor Tiny Orange Phaser: Cool, compact, and fantastic tone.
- Wampler Latitude Deluxe Tremolo: This is the “new” hot tremolo that is out. I’ve seen quite a few demos of this and it looks amazing!
- Fultone Supa-Trem: This is one I have not used but I see it EVERYWHERE!
- JHS Honey Comb Trem: Again I have not used this but JHS is great and the demos look great!
- Dawner Prince Starla Tremolo: Very cool obscure boutique tremolo.
- Empress Effects Tremolo 2: Empress makes some really high end stuff and this is no exception. Check this out!
- Strymon Flint: This is one that is on my radar. Simply fantastic! It has tremolo and various reverbs to choose from ! Very very cool!
- Strymon Lex: This is a really fantastic sounding Rotary/Leslie style pedal. Super clear and high quality.
- Option 5 Destination Rotation: Really fantastic pedal as well!
- Neo Instruments Mini Vent: This one has quite the price tag but is really high quality and some of the best rotary sounds I have ever heard. Check out the demos!
- JHS Modded Ernie Ball VP Jr.: This pedal looks cool with it’s Green glow inside the pedal, has a built in little black buffer and is very smooth. It has a great footprint too. DO NOT BUY A NON MODDED ERNIE BALL VP JR. You’ve been warned!
- Goodrich Volume Pedal: I do not own a Goodrich volume but have used one. It has a really great feel to it and sounds super clean. Only cons are it is big, does not have a tuner out, and is expensive. But definitely a pro pedal!
- Strymon Timeline: Easily the best delay on the market. It has a ton of phenomenal sounds and is full of options. You NEED to check this pedal out but… you will have to spend over $400 for it. It’s a serious commitment but it is also a serious pedal.
- TC Electronic Nova Delay: This is one of the most versatile, best sounding and compact delay pedals I have owned. It’s got great noiseless and smooth footswitches and fairly easy to edit. Check it out!
- JHS Panther Cub: This is a really awesome analog delay with most of the options a digital pedal has. Really fantastic pedal and on my list of ones to buy!!!
- Strymon El Capistan: Great compact pedal with tap tempo. Although smaller than it’s big brother the Timeline, it sounds great and is a great delay that won’t break the bank!
- MXR Carbon Copy Delay: This is one of the best sounding analog delays out there. Super smooth and lush sounding. It does not have a tap tempo but you will use this more of a background delay or to add to ambient sounds.
- Strymon Big Sky: This is THE reverb pedal that everyone is going after. Now it is huge and a billion dollars but… if you are a reverb nut… this IS THE ONLY PEDAL FOR YOU!
- Strymon Blue Sky: This is a smaller version of the Big Sky. This can definitely be a huge staple to your rig! Great reverbs and beautiful shimmer sound. It’s a fairly reasonable size and has 2 reverbs you can switch back and forth. Really cool blue color too 😉
- Sky Pedals Cloud 9 Reverb: Really smooth boutique reverb. Really nice.
- Walrus Audio Descent: This pedal is awesome! I just got it myself. Really great sounding reverbs with 3 presets you can easily program. What I love is that for the shimmer sounds, you can add in an upper and lower octave and control the volume of each! Fantastic pedal with some really cool looking graphics on it.
- Neunaber Seraphim (WET) Reverb: The most popular Neunaber reverb is the Wet reverb. It is one of the best reverbs I have heard in a small package. But… the new Seraphim reverb has a great angelic shimmer sound added to it as well as a second preset that allows you to access the Wet Reverb pedal. So this is the best of both worlds and perfect for a smaller pedalboard. I am definitely going to purchase this for my small pedalboard.
- JHS Little Black Buffer: Small thin buffer that can fit anywhere! Works great!
- Compulsive Audio Line Chauffeur: You can do a straight buffer that is on all the time or John can make you one with a bypass incase the buffer doesn’t play well with a fuzz or wah you have. Very inexpensive and he uses the best parts that are out there and doesn’t skimp on anything!
- Pedal Projects Bufferlo: I’ve never used this one but it is one of the smallest buffers I have seen and it is super cool looking with a buffalo on it. If you short on space this is a great choice and it’s super cheap too!
- Wampler Decibel: This is a newer pedal that is a buffer but also a boost. I have not tried it but it does have me interested.
- Compulsive Audio Loop Switch: Great custom loop system. John the owner will build you almost any configuration that you can dream of.
- Carl Martin Octa Switch: Super easy loop switch with 8 loops. Cool looking but a little big.
- Walrus Audio Transit: They have multiple versions of this switch. They all are high quality and look super cool!
- One Control Crocodile Tail Loop: I personally own and use this. This is the best loop switch on the market. Has 10 loops you can use as well as the option to digitally make banks for various songs. More than you’ll ever need! It is expensive but is really worth it. Super easy to use and has an optional built in buffer. My top choice!
Well… I think that is enough for now 🙂 I can go on for 20 pages on great pedals that are out there but this is just to get you thinking and maybe looking at some other options that are out there! Now you may have noticed that there really aren’t any “standard” pedal brands on here like Boss, Digitech or Line 6. Now there is nothing wrong with these pedals. I actually own a few of these myself but I am trying to push myself past the standard mass produced pedals and go into more of the boutique realm. The fact of the matter is as long as you like the tone of a pedal… just get it! But make sure you do your research if it is the best option, if it’s using the best parts or
if it’s sucking your tone.
Please share with everyone else what are some of your favorites or ones I have not listed! As always happy exploring and we’ll see you next time!