Top 5 Best Distortion Pedal You Must Buy New 2019!!!

BOSS Audio DS1 Distortion Guitar Pedal

I guess guitar is one of the most difficult musical instruments to learn, especially if music is not your forte. However, if you are inclined to it, the task would be easier. Your ears will be sensitive to every tune and key of a certain sound, and this is your edge of being able to play an instrument faster than anyone who has no passion for music at all.

But, whether you have penchant for music or none, technology has invented something that gives art to any sound. Yes, I am referring to distortion pedals, and this article will help you find the best distortion pedal your favorite guitar needs. But, what is a distortion pedal?

What is a Distortion Pedal?

A distortion pedal is a form of audio signal processing that is used to alter the sound of amplified electrical instruments, usually by increasing their gain. Most of the time, it is used with the electric guitar, but it can also be used with other electronic musical instruments.

However, do not mistake distortion for overdrive. Although they have commonalities, still, they are two different things. So, keep reading and discover their resemblance and disparity.

Top 5 Best Distortion Pedal Reviews 2019

  • BOSS Audio DS1 Distortion Guitar Pedal
  • Pro Co RAT2 Distortion Pedal
  • Boss BD-2 Blues Driver Guitar Effects Pedal
  • Electro-Harmonix Nano Big Muff Guitar Distortion Effects Pedal
  • Electro-Harmonix Soul Food Distortion/Fuzz/Overdrive Pedal


Distortion vs. Overdrive Pedal

distortion vs overdrive

These two are often being referred to as gain pedals. However, the latter has features that make it different from the former. Overdrive pedals emulate the sound of a tube amplifier when you increase their volume while distortion pedals give a harsher, grittier tone along with an increased sustain. To better understand what exactly distortion is, imagine genres like grunge and death metal. To distinguish which one is an overdrive, think of a warm but crunchy sound of classic rock and rhythm and blues.

More often than not, both terms are used interchangeably. And apart from having been developed in the 1960s, here’s something much clearer about distortion – it denotes a more extreme version of the effect than overdrive, and it is a musical effect that is often intentionally created. Also, “fuzz” is the word used to describe a specific form of distortion originally created by guitarists with the use of faulty equipment like a misaligned valve tube, for example.

On the other hand, sound engineers and musicians avoid using distortion when using a public address system or PA system, an electronic sound amplification with a microphone, loudspeakers, and amplifier used in delivering a speech in public.

Distortion is not advised to be used in amplifying vocals or pre-recorded music playbacks.

Essential Factors to Consider

Picking the right distortion pedal is no easy task. If you want your sound to be pleasing to the ears, you need to select the right tool to tickle your listeners. Now, this makes your choosing of the right distortion pedal crucial. So, choose wisely!

Initial step in Buying the right Distortion Pedal

It’s easy to get attracted to something at first glance. First, you have to determine the music genre you’re going to use it for. What genre do you always play? Will you be playing vintage thrash metal or modern country music?

Nowadays, distortion pedals are fine tuned to be attuned to a specific genre. Once you know the genre of music, you just have to match it with the distortion pedal you think is often associated with that type of genre.

Testing Your Distortion Pedal

The right to test your distortion pedal should be part of the package. So, don’t ever forget this privilege. Most of us want to test the product using our own equipment as much as possible. Make time to do this as there are many variables to consider in the pedal – the body and neck wood, string gauge, pick-up, among others.

Accessories Your Guitar Would Need

Providing your guitar with the right accessories is just as vital as getting its right distortion pedal. Take note that you’d need two cables of five feet in length – one cable should be connected from your guitar to your distortion pedal and the other from your distortion pedal to your amplifier. If you’re concerned about how much cable length should be bought, consider this: longer cables can be messy and might lead to possible tone loss while shorter cables can also limit your mobility.

How to Store Your Distortion Pedal

Knowing the magic a distortion pedal can do, from changing your sound between songs or verses to producing a more melodious sound effect, your distortion pedal deserves a little tender loving care from you. And a pedalboard can help you with this careful storage. With a pedalboard, you can manage and transport your pedal easier. It can help you stay organized, and it keeps your pedals in just one place. What is more, if your pedals are stored in one safe place, your effects lay out would be consistent.



If you want to go handy, there are pedalboards that already have DC power from the board to your pedals. With this, you don’t need to change your battery, and you won’t need external power adapters anymore. So, it makes your setup simple, and the use of power outlets is minimized. There are pedalboards that already have small built-in combo amplifiers, allowing you always to be on the go should there be jamming sessions on your way.

Are you a travelling musician? You can purchase a pedalboard that includes customized gig bags and travel cases. Setting up your tools would normally take time, yet, if you use pedalboards where your effects are already mounted, setups can be real fast. As soon as you arrive in the area, you can simply unpack them, plug in your guitar and amp, and you’re ready to hit the strings and play.

After you have determined your genre, tested your distortion pedal, bought your accessories, stored your pedals, and considered the factors before choosing your pedal, it’s now time to finally purchase the distortion pedal of your choice. We have rounded up the best among the best distortion pedals you shouldn’t miss!

Which is Best Distortion Pedal For You?


How to pick a Guitar Distortion Pedal?

how to pick a distortion pedal

Gain-staging Effects

Remember that to wrongly pick a distortion pedal would mean compromising the rest of your tone. So, here’s one thing that can guide you to pick the best one – considering its gain-staging effects. Make sure your pedal provides a clean gain boosts to fuzz effects. If your pedal has great gain-staging effects, you can already construct harmonically complex sounds.

Frequency Effects

A good distortion pedal should have filtering effects. This includes wah-wah effects, equalizers, pitch shifters, among others. This is the second factor you must consider after gain-staging. Considering that gain-staging effects tend to give a great deal of harmonic intricacy to your sound, it’s just right to neutralize your sound with your distortion pedal’s frequency effects.

Modulation Effects

Your pedal should have modulation effects that work on the gain-staging, time, and frequency. When something is changed over time, the modulation effect comes in. This is true of modulation pedals, too. A low-frequency oscillator or LFO regulates the change your pedal could face.

Time Effects

Make sure your distortion pedal should have time effects as its feature. You can find these time-based effects on pedalboards throughout modern music. They can be artificial or realistic. It’s just a matter of taste. You can delay the sound in your own perfect way, or you can just go with the flow.

However, time effects vary. The delay of sound in a surf guitar may be different from that of a metal lead. So, just take your pick. To control the delay pedal, you may do something about the delay time, the number of repeated delays (also known as the feedback), and the balance between the incoming and the delayed signals.​

Additional Advanced Concepts For Beginners

It seems that you can never get enough of information about distortion pedals. So, here are other concepts you need to know.​

  • True Bypass vs. Buffered Bypass

The argument on which between the true bypass and the buffered bypass is better remains debatable. If you are having a hard time grasping the difference between the two, then, just keep reading.​

True bypass cuts the circuitry of the pedal from its signal path when it’s no longer in use. This helps your signal path get rid of coloration brought about by the pedal’s circuitry. On the other hand, buffered bypass gives a minimal amplification which helps improve the signal retention. Here’s the drill – when you cover a small distance, just use the true bypass, if you opt for a packed pedalboard, then, buffered bypass is highly recommended as it will give you a better tone almost all the time.

  • Batteries vs. AC

It has been said that all AC power supplies create nuisance, specifically, noise, and can destroy your sound. Also, it is believed that bad power can greatly affect your distortion pedals and batteries can save them. However, little did we know that bad power is even more detrimental to your guitar amplifier than your pedal.

Although some power supplies can fight power-related noise, still, the wisest thing to do is to get your guitar a decent power conditioner where you can properly run your pedals and amplifier through. This is the safest way to get a clean sound without having to worry about getting 9-volt batteries should your pedals die in the middle of the show.​

  • Stereo vs. Mono

Time-based pedals require running the sound effects through mono or stereo. If this is the case, then, you have to know the advantages and disadvantages of a mono and a stereo first. With stereo, you can benefit from the dimension and depth of special effects like ping-pong delays and room reverbs. However, the stereo doesn’t work better for you unless you are using two amplifiers. Also, stereo effects can produce unpleasant sounds that get your tone lost while in the mix. So, choosing a stereo is quite risky than a mono. But, if stereo effects work properly, they’re also totally amazing.​


Does the Wampler Triple Wreck Modern Rectified Distortion Pedal include the AC power adapter?​

No, there’s no adapter included in the item. But, it comes with a 9-volt battery. Anyway, you can use any standard AC Boss adapter or any pedal brands. The unit has a socket for a 9-volt power adapter. If you want to buy soon, you may purchase single adapters at 10 bucks only.​

Does this Nano sound like the regular one?

Yes, it has the same tone with the Big Muff Pi. It’s noise is identical with the noise coming from the original. They only differ in size.​

Can I plug my guitar into the pedal and use headphones if I like to listen to the sound?

No, you need a guitar amplifier to be able to listen to the sound it produces. BD-2 is designed to be plugged into a guitar amplifier.​


  • BOSS Audio DS1 Distortion Guitar Pedal
  • Pro Co RAT2 Distortion Pedal
  • Boss BD-2 Blues Driver Guitar Effects Pedal
  • ​Electro-Harmonix Nano Big Muff Guitar Distortion Effects Pedal
  • Electro-Harmonix Soul Food Distortion/Fuzz/Overdrive Pedal

So, have you taken your pick? I’m sure this review has given you a hard time choosing the best distortion pedal that suits your needs.

But, let me recommend BOSS Audio DS1 Distortion Guitar Pedal to bring your second thoughts to an end. This must be your distortion pedal of choice as you can purchase this without spending too many a penny.

Customer reviews reveal that this device is highly recommended for its great features that you’ll surely enjoy as a guitarist. This item had long been marketed since 1978 with positive feedback from musician customers around the world.

Considering all these, not to mention its credibility in the market, isn’t this Boss Audio worth your try?

Back to our homepage

Check out more guitar pedals too!

Top 5 Best Distortion Pedal You Must Buy New 2019!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top