Best Overdrive Pedals: Top 15 Models You Can Reach For!

Best Overdrive Pedals


The clear boost-style overdrive pedal is one that depends on you having a decent-sounding amp with a purpose to make the most of it. Often this is a process that takes the player some time in picking the right pedal and testing several options before they decide with which model will they go home.

The clear boost does precisely what it says on the tin; it pushes the quantity of your guitar’s signal up to drive an amplifier’s preamp part tougher – leading to a tighter and extra saturated tone when utilizing a distorted channel, or including grit and volume to a clear sound.

Overdrive pedals are one of many easiest of all guitar effects that everyone uses or has used at some point in time. They use transistors and filtering to emulate the sound of a guitar amp when its volume is cranked up, distorting the signal and including pleasing musical harmonics.

Totally different pedals use completely different circuits and various kinds of transistors to create completely different flavors of overdrive tone, however, at their core, any overdrive effect will normally have the same purpose as all of the overdrive pedals.

These may also be utilized in an amp’s effects loop, with this routing method inflicting the pedal to lift your volume without influencing the tone in any respect – as you are including post-preamp gain to the signal before it reaches the output stage (power amp). Dial this in with caution though – it may blow your speaker if set too excessive!

We just want to let you know that we’ll list these best overdrive pedal reviews in no particular order. They’ll be randomized as we don’t wish to sort them from best to worst.

Listed below are our Top 15 Best Overdrive Pedals for 2023:

1. Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive

With distinctive overdrive circuitry that’s asymmetric, the BOSS Super Overdrive pedal is a straightforward, highly effective booster to your electric guitar. The overdrive resembles a clean distorted tone produced by a tube amplifier pushed to its limits, and highlights the slight nuances of your playing type.

In case you’re accustomed to BOSS’ range of top-of-the-range, reasonably priced FX pedals, you’ll acknowledge the basic stompbox design of the SD-1 instantly. Recognized for their sturdiness, BOSS pedals are a preferred alternative amongst guitarists searching for premium tones without spending a fortune.

Onboard the Super Overdrive pedal is three customary controls. There’s the Tone knob that adjusts the color and frequency response of the pedal, the Level knob which provides or removes volume, and the Drive knob which provides extra distortion to the sound.

To be clear, this is not a distortion pedal nor one of the gritty fuzz pedals – it just drives the sound little harder resembling such sound.

The compact dimension of this pedal makes it straightforward to position on your pedalboard, and BOSS’s generous 5-year guarantee ensures that it’s going to stand the test of time.

If you’re searching for a simple overdrive pedal that may simply slot onto your pedalboard, the BOSS SD-1 Super Overdrive is a good choice. It’s properly-suited to rock n’ roll, blues, or any style that options warm, clean guitars. It’s additionally an excellent choice for individuals who are shopping on tight finances but nonetheless need genuine sounding tube overdrive.

Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive

  • Warm, soft tube amp-like distortion
  • Controls: Level, tone and drive
  • Power consumption: 6 mA
  • Foot switch: Bypass

2. Keeley D&M Drive

The Keeley D&M Drive is a pedal we fell in love with virtually immediately. Apart from sounding nice, the stand-out characteristic of this pedal is that it is both an overdrive and boost pedal in a single box.

The Keeley D&M can act as an overdrive pedal or increase independently – two soft-click footswitches manage which side you need on or off. The actually interesting half is you can have them both on concurrently, and a toggle switch controls which means you wish to stack the two.

And actually, this characteristic makes all of the distinction, permitting you to dial in almost any type and amount of crunch/drive you may think about – country twang, blues rock, classic rock, and so on.

The controls are pretty easy and equivalent for each side. Level, gain, and tone knobs act precisely as you’ll count on. The pedal has an exquisite paint job and is constructed to Robert Keeley’s exacting requirements (hand-built in Oklahoma, USA). The highest-mount jacks are a pleasant touch.

The headroom on this pedal is ridiculous and makes it ultimate for stacking with no matter what different pedals are on your board. It is also value noting that the D&M Drive is a true bypass. As a boutique pedal, it is not precisely low-cost, however, given what all you are getting, we will call it a steal.

Keeley D&M Drive

  • Drive and Boost channels can be separated or shared
  • Switchable sequence in signal chain
  • Drive footswitch
  • Boost footswitch

3. Xotic SL Drive

No guitar sound is extra iconic than the sound of the mighty Marshall Super Lead. Colloquially generally known as the “Plexi“, this legendary beast of an amplifier was created to do one factor: Go loud.

Nonetheless, as time goes by, an increasing number of guitar players are beginning to favor more manageable stage volumes and so the tone of the Plexi has faded to close obscurity. It is because the Plexi’s roar can’t be contained below polite stage volumes.

The Xotic SL drive was designed to recreate this famed tone. It does have loads of gain on tap however as you turn it up, the gain only will get thicker, just like pushing the power amps of the amplifier it seeks to copy.

Whereas many would suppose that this can be a distortion pedal and never an overdrive, the SL drive was meant to add the texture and character of the well-known Super Lead/Super Bass sequence to a present amp relatively than be a standalone pedal for gain.

The SL Drive is housed in one of the smallest enclosures out there. Regardless of this, it has nice tweakability due to its inside dip switches for Super Lead/Super bass mode, and different EQ choices to tailor your sound.

Xotic SL Drive

  • Small housing
  • Controls for: Volume, Gain and Tone
  • Mini-toggle (super lead/super bass)
  • True Bypass

4. TC Electronic MojoMojo

In the event you’re in search of a class tube amp-type overdrive that sounds pure and genuine, TC-Electronics’ MojoMojo is unquestionably worth considering. This small pedal offers a variety of overdriven tones, various from old-school blues breakups to seething lead lines. Just like a precise valve amp, the MojoMojo is responsive to the dynamics and velocity of your playing.

Certainly, the addition of analog circuitry provides the tube-like overdrive that the MojoMojo produces. One other standout high quality of this pedal is the sound-sculpting options you get with it. When you discover a tone that you simply like, the Bass and Treble knobs will be adjusted to have an effect on the frequency response of the pedal, supplying you with extra control over its output.

The MojoMojo has true bypass switching for guaranteeing your dry signal is properly preserved, and it additionally has a Drive parameter that modifications the threshold of the compression. It’s a dynamic possibility that won’t break the bank however gives you entry to high-quality tube-like overdrives.

The TC-Electronic MojoMojo is a superb worth overdrive pedal that sounds natural due to its all-analog circuitry. It’s extremely responsive to the human parts of guitar playing, with little or no pointless compression.

There’s a large number of tones obtainable with this pedal, starting from dirty low-end crunch to delicate warm layers. It’s straightforward to operate and it won’t take long to familiarize yourself with the controls and capabilities. General, we might say that is the most effective overdrive pedal for the money proper now.

TC Electronic MojoMojo

  • Gain – Level – Bass – Treble controls
  • 2 Different voice settings
  • Power supply: 9 V DC power supply or battery (both not included)
  • True bypass

5. Ibanez TS Mini Tube Screamer

The Ibanez Tube Screamer Mini is a streamlined and compact model of the favored Tube Screamer. As such, additionally, it is an extra inexpensive and accessible alternative. Being a center piece for many guitarists tells us the story of its performance and stage usage.

At its core is an identical Tube Screamer tone that is chargeable for shaping the sound of numerous well-liked guitarists, however since this one is smaller, it would not take a lot of treasured pedalboard real estate, making it a straightforward addition for any setup.

This pedal continues to exceed the expectations of many, particularly when contemplating its worth and dimension. Even those that owned older Tube Screamer pedals attest that this compact pedal feels like the true thing. And very similar to the original, it’s usually praised for the way good it sounds when used as a lift with good sounding amps.

This smaller iteration of the Tube Screamer is small, well-built, and very inexpensive. The controls are easy – only a tone, level, and overdrive. And it’s true-bypass so it won’t influence your tone. You need to use it so as to add dirt to a clean amp, push a grimy amp or even tighten up the tone of a high-gain amplifier. There are many methods you should utilize this pedal in your rig.

When you’re the kind of guitarist who multi-tasks and performs both rhythm and lead, then the Tube Screamer Mini is a superb selection. Its means to change between the two is what makes it stand out amongst the crowd.

Ibanez TS Mini Tube Screamer

  • Tubescreamer Overdrive
  • Controls for: Tone, Level & Drive
  • 100% analog signal path
  • True bypass

6. Wampler Tumnus

Relating to overdrive pedals, the Klon Centaur is king. The pedal has gone past being a chunk of gear to being a legendary piece of music history. Sadly, real Klon overdrives can value anywhere from $1500 to $3000.

Due to the pedal’s cost, quite a few imitators have come out of the woodwork to attempt to create a Klon Centaur that’s attainable for any musician. And it is hard to call a better choice than Wampler’s Tumnus.

The Wampler Tumnus is in the beginning a transparent overdrive pedal, which generally is a good or bad factor. A clear pedal is barely going to sound nearly as good as your gear, so it’s not a sensible choice if you happen to run a beginner’s setup.

Just like the Centaur, this pedal relies on the Wampler Tumnus can be extremely touch-sensitive. And that is mirrored in lots of reviews, with some stating that the pedal is analogous to playing through a driven tube amp, cleansing up and distorting primarily based on pick attack.

Paul Riario concluded his evaluation by saying: “The Tumnus delivered all of the hallmarks of magical overdrive: with touch responsiveness that accentuated my decide attack, delicate hints of compression, wealthy midrange, and warm overdrive.”

If you need nothing below the best-rated overdrive pedal within the affordable worth range, then get the Wampler Tumnus. The Wampler brand is not a new name in the game, so you are not diving into unknown water when getting this pedal.

Wampler Tumnus

  • Legendary Overdrive/Boost Sound
  • Compact size
  • Controls: Gain, Level, Treble
  • Foot-switch: Bypass effect

7. Friedman Amplification BE-OD

The BE-OD pedal by Friedman Amplification encapsulates the tone discovered within the legendary BE-100 amplifier, which has been utilized by world-class guitarists throughout a number of genres. Delivering genuine tube-amp model overdrive, this compact pedal has the entire mandatory controls for creating distinctive rock n’ roll tonality.

The stated controls include Volume, Tight, Bass, Treble, Presence and Gain Toggle Switch. The Volume management lets you regulate the general output when the pedal is turned on, the Gain impacts the quantity of distortion occurring while you play, the Tight control dials in a few of the extra noise and compresses your signal, and the Bass and Treble controls act as a 2-band EQ and at last, the Presence knob impacts the prominence of the overdrive inside the mix.

Friedman has impressively managed to seize the essence of the BE-100 on this detailed pedal. Its design is elegant and understated, and it’s constructed from sturdy metallic housing to ensure its longevity. Whether or not you wish to play lead lines at breaking point or simply add a touch of character to your guitar, that is the pedal to do so.

The BE-OD by Friedman Amplification is a superb recreation of their iconic BE-100 amp, and it options nearly as many sound-adjusting qualities. For such a concise and compact pedal, it’s wonderful how many parameters the producer has managed to squeeze onto this pedal.

Though it’s one of many more expensive choices on this list, for such a high-quality overdrive pedal it’s properly worth the price. If you are at the stage to purchase a new one, feel free to go with this one and we already are providing you with 3 easy options to go for if you want to do the shopping online.

Friedman Amplification BE-OD

  • Authentic Friedman tube amplifier sound
  • Controls: Volume, Gain, Tight, Bass, Treble and Presence
  • Power supply via 9 V-DC
  • True Bypass

8. Maxon OD808

Whereas the Ibanez Tubescreamer is the family name for low to medium gain overdrives, many individuals overlook the unique Maxon OD808 as the unique pedal. Designed by Susumu Tamura for Maxon and launched in 1979, the Maxon OD808 was designed to duplicate tube saturation in a pedal format.

Ibanez tailored the Maxon OD808 circuit into the Tubescreamer model title. Whereas there are lots of Tubescreamer clones, derivatives, and mods at this time, the OD808 was a trade first when it was launched.

The OD808 has the normal buffers, nevertheless, Maxon has deviated from the 808 methods by altering the two output resistors to scale back noise ranges. The result is that the brand new values make the OD808 electronically identical to an authentic TS9, rather than a TS808.

The OD808 is way nearer to the old TS9 and by matching management settings they’ll sound nearly identical. There’s the honk within the low mids, barely murky darkness, and the noticeable bass roll-off.

Many OD808 customers note that they like the Maxon authentic for its clarity and lower noise floor in comparison with the Ibanez TS808. Others additionally just like the enclosure and footswitch better than the Ibanez model. The legendary Maxon OD808 has discovered its home on the boards of many musicians of varied genres.

Maxon OD808

  • Often copied, never equaled
  • Identical with the original circuit and incl. the JRC4558D chip
  • Characteristics: Natural sounding overdrive, similar to a tube amp
  • Unbelievably clear

9. JOYO JF-01 Vintage Overdrive

This very inexpensive overdrive doesn’t hide anything about what it’s. An excellent low-cost copy of the legendary Ibanez Tube Screamer Pedal. From the color scheme to the title, every part of this pedal screams the traditional TS tone.

As with a lot of the different overdrive pedals in the marketplace, the JF-01 is extremely simplistic and straightforward. It options three features such as drive, tone, and volume knobs. It’s actually not troublesome to discover a setting that fits your needs with a little bit of tweaking.

There’s not too much more to say concerning the performance of the pedal aside from what’s been said. Even the guide that’s supplied with the product has only two paragraphs. This means that the pedal is simple to use without any hassle connecting it and getting the right sound.

The JF-01 may be very straightforward to pick up and use. It may be powered by both a 9V battery and a normal AC adaptor. The pedal additionally incorporates a brilliant red LED that signifies the state of the pedal. It’s helpful to know whether or not the unit is ON or OFF with only a glance. A dim light, or no light, signifies that the battery must be changed if you’re not utilizing an AC adaptor.

In case you’re unsure if you just like the sound of a TubeScreamer, the Joyo classic drive is a superb choice to dip your toes in the water without spending a lot of money, and it’s a nice-sounding pedal as well.

JOYO JF-01 Vintage Overdrive

  • Producing warmer overtones at quieter volumes
  • Aluminium-alloy housing classic stoving varnish finish
  • Controls: Drive, Volume and Tone
  • True Bypass

10. Keeley Super Phat Mod Full Range OD

Keeley has made their famed overdrive circuit even better, so meet the Super Phat Mod pedal. Identical to the original, it breaks up sweetly like a tube amp. And with an up-to-date JFET gain circuit, the Super Phat Mod is extra dynamic and responsive than ever. Your core tone stays intact, whilst you decide the breakup quantity together with your quantity management and choose assault.

Flat and Phat modes supply two distinct low-end response choices. In search of overdrive with a tube-like response that will not color your tone? You need the Keeley Super Phat Mod full-range overdrive.

After gaining recognition for modding existing guitar pedals for varied players, Keeley Electronics has turned out to be a guitar pedal producer themselves. The Super Phat Mod specifically stemmed from them modding the Boss BD-2 by including a Phat switch to improve its low-end response.

This model now comes with Keeley’s own designed JFET gain circuit which reinforces harmonic saturation and tube-like response. This pedal is rated extremely for its tone, which is usually described as clear and polished.

Contact sensitivity and flexibility are additionally typically commended in evaluations, impressing even experienced guitarists who’ve tried costlier overdrive pedals. It’s described as an “easy but snappy overdrive that sounds completely convincing all over its gain range”. The Keeley Super Phat Mod Full Range OD is right for those who need a smooth and polished overdriven tone.

Keeley Super Phat Mod Full Range OD

  • Tubular JFET gain stages
  • Reissue of the popular Phat Mod
  • Controller for Drive Tone and Level
  • Toggle switch to toggle between Flat and Fat modes

11. EarthQuaker Devices Plumes

The Plumes by EarthQuaker Devices is a huge-sounding versatile overdrive pedal that’s sure to grab the eye of viewers. It’s a hellishly loud pedal, however not loud within the respect of unwanted noise.

The problem with many distortion-based pedals is that the rise in gain and compression may cause them to be noisy, however not the Plumes – it maintains consistency even when pushed to ear-shattering ranges.

Of their description of the pedal, EarthQuaker Devices mentioned that the Plume was very “deliberate sounding.” We would positively agree with that assertion. Though it sounds gigantic, you may nonetheless hear all the slight nuances of your playing, and the character of your guitar nonetheless shines through regardless of the power.

The elements that have been chosen by EarthQuaker Devices when setting up the Plumes pedal are of the best order. They supply a sonic high quality that’s both distinctive and familiar at the same time. For those who don’t need your guitar to sound too overdriven, the pedals may be toned down by utilizing the varied controls to promote its hi-fi tonality.

The EarthQuaker Devices Plumes pedal combines harsh gain with warm overdrive to create a flexible pedal. The inside circuitry was particularly chosen to push the gain to its limits while conserving any undesirable noise at bay. For around $100, it’s a nice worth of the money.

EarthQuaker Devices Plumes - best overdrive pedals

  • Improved working range of the tone controller
  • Noiseless relay-based soft-touch circuit
  • Works as a latching and momentary switch
  • Level, tone and gain controls

12. Behringer Vintage Tube Overdrive TO800

Behringer is thought for manufacturing affordable gear that outperforms its budget price tag. Consequently, Behringer merchandise is often chosen by beginners or musicians who wish to experiment with a chunk of gear to see whether it is for them before investing in a more premium model.

We imagine that if we had been to carry out a blind test, where the participants had been unaware of how a lot the pedal costs, then few specialists would be capable of guessing that it is one of many least expensive on our list. The sound is reminiscent of far more costly tube screamers, though it’s a lot brighter than these pedals when it comes to tone.

Guitarists of all kinds and genres would profit from this pedal, particularly those that like to bag a bargain. We might primarily suggest it for band practices or for experimentation at houses, as we’re uncertain if the plastic would survive a tour.

Contemplating the low value, then the plastic casing needs to be anticipated, and it’s the only minor flaw of this in any other case distinctive pedal that gives excellent value-for-money. This is one simple pedal that will generate great sound

It is an absolute steal and delivers the identical high quality as costly pedals for a fraction of the value. It is a sensible choice if you wish to experiment with a good overdrive pedal before you spend a small fortune on an extra superior product made by an enormous brand.

Behringer Vintage Tube Overdrive TO800

  • Classic, biting distortion sound
  • Original 4558 IC and MA150 distortion diodes
  • Warm overdrive to biting tube sounds
  • Separate Drive, Tone and Level controls

13. Nady TS-30 Tube Sound Overdrive Pedal

This overdrive pedal from Nady gives good worth in your cash as it’s fairly low-cost but excellent quality. That nice tube drive you have been searching for? You’ve found it! It gives a warm, pure tone and it’s good for every kind of modern genre.

The design has a vintage vibe to it which makes it look a lot older than it’s. It’s blue with an all-metal casing which implies that it’ll most likely last more, irrespective of how a lot you travel with it. It can run on a 9V battery if needed. It is a good possibility if you wish to go for a durable however comparatively low-cost pedal.

A giant plus is that the footswitch could be very quiet, which in fact is essential when recording, however it is usually good to not eliminate as much noise as possible even in case you’re simply playing at home.

Though this is not one of the best pedals on our checklist it does take an expert to note a distinction, attempt to listen to this one as compared with a costlier model and see in case you hear any distinction!

Sturdy and durable, good design, good value, and better of all-good sound! We particularly just like the quiet footswitch and the blue coloration. The truth that it additionally runs on the battery is a plus as nicely. In different words, a superb budget possibility for every kind of guitarist.

Nady TS-30 Tube Sound Overdrive Pedal

  • Emulates the popular and musical sound of tube distortion
  • Perfect for all styles from blues to rock to heavy metal
  • Drive, Tone, and Level knobs offer optimum control
  • Operates with one 9V battery or the optional PAD-1 AC adapter

You Can Buy Nady TS-30 Tube Sound Overdrive Pedal at the Links Below!

14. Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer

The Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer is a reissue of the 1980s original and is preferred by the Tube Screamers. It was placed in the first place on Guitar World’s The Top 50 Stomp Boxes, Devices, and Processors of All Time. However enough with the trivia. Let’s talk about why the Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer deserves a spot on your pedalboard.

That is not a modern, high-gain type of pedal. That is extra of a classic tube-sounding boost that responds to your playing dynamics and might present further bite no matter what style you’re playing. With this versatile pedal, you will have the freedom to create and produce nice sounds from your instrument without any doubt.

Dig into your strings harder, and also you’ll hear its character come through, relying on where you’ve set the Drive knob. Talking of dials, you get three of them: Drive, Tone, and Level. Getting hold of the Tube Screamer’s operation couldn’t be easier.

With the Drive knob all the way down, the Ibanez TS9 gives you an excellent clear boost. There’s just a bit of grit, with the mid bump that this unit may be very well-known for. As you flip the Drive up, the TS9 actually begins to shine. One factor we love is how touch-sensitive the knobs are. It’s an easy pedal, but it surely has a whole lot of range.

The TS9 performs very well with an already distorted amp, and alongside different distortion pedals, letting you get that little further something and actually cut through the mix. Note that the TS9 is buffered bypass, although you will get it modded in the event you want it to be true bypass.

Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer

  • Legendary treble booster pedal with overdrive circuitry
  • Robust construction
  • Controls: Drive, Tone, Level
  • Power supply via 9 V battery (included) or via mains adapter

You Can Buy Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer at the Links Below!

15. JHS Bonsai 9-Way Screamer

With so many nice choices, it was troublesome to select a particular best pedal, however, the Bonsai got here because of its versatility and unequaled tones.

Based mostly upon the legendary Japanese-made Muffuletta pedal from the 1970s, the Bonsai produces screaming overdrive tones that convey your electric guitar to life. With 9 detailed textures to select from, you may create any variation of overdrive with this JHS pedal. Whether or not you need a boost in mids, a layer of thick filth, or a gritty low-end growl, the Bonsai can do all of it.

It’s fairly superb that a pedal with solely 4 parameters and a slimline design houses 9 distinctive overdrive tones. Maybe that’s Bonsai’s biggest attribute is its simplicity. Normally, for a pedal to be able to produce an array of overdrive sounds it might need to be crowded with knobs and pretty cumbersome in dimension. However, the Bonsai, with its all-analog circuitry, manages to drag it off.

The truth that this pedal makes use of no digital technology whatsoever is equally as spectacular. It stays true to the long-lasting Muffuletta, replicating the entire distinctive qualities that made that pedal one of many all-time greats.

To pay homage to the glory days of rock n’ roll, the JHS Bonsai offers 4 decades’ worth of pedals so you may travel by the eras to seek out the right overdriven tone. You cannot go wrong with this pedal for the price that it comes. You just need to plug your guitar and start jamming!

Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer

  • 9 Tube Screamer Overdrive modes
  • 5 Classic TS circuits and 2 popular mods
  • Analog operation
  • Volume, sustain and tone controls

You Can Buy JHS Bonsai 9-Way Screamer at the Links Below!


If you are after that familiar overdriven sound, you will be able to get that through an overdriven amp or overdrive pedals. Get your first overdrive pedal for both rhythm playing or solos with lots of tone control and versatility.

There are many other overdrive pedals, but we decided to provide you with details on those 15 we picked since they can give a great clean boost to the guitar tone and most definitively will benefit your signal chain. We tried to explain all the pedal features from tone-shaping to treble and bass controls.

All in all, if you compare two overdrive pedals, fuzz pedals, or even tube amps, you will be able to find distinction and search for the sound you are after. Sometimes simple boost on the guitar’s volume knob will not do and you will need to get something more to deliver the best out of your guitar signal.

In case you are having any questions in terms of this topic, do not hesitate to let us know in the comment section below, and we will be more than happy to answer your questions!

Charles Steinhoff

Charles Steinhoff

Charles is here and I am guitar and ukulele enthusiast. Been playing these instruments for over 10 years now and I decided to share some of my knowledge and expertise with the world in terms of these stringed instruments and it's accessories.

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