10 Best Guitar Overdrive Pedals (November 2022) – Buyers Guide 🥇

This post will be your definitive guide to the best overdrive pedals available on todays market. Here at Guitar Effects Pedalz, we have thought long and hard to find the 10 overdrive pedals that will be valuable to all guitar players, offering epic tone!

 

There are two stages to this guide that we have provided. Firstly, we have summed up our 10 best overdrive pedals in a table so that you can compare the features of each pedals back to back. Secondly, we explore each of the 10 pedals in more detail with videos to give you an idea of how good they sound.

What Is An Overdrive Pedal?

An Overdrive pedal is a very common guitar effect that mimics the valves in a tube amplifier distorting. Similar to distortion, overdrive pedals usually provide more volume and gain. The difference being that distortion pedal saturates the sound to change it completely, whereas an overdrive pedal pushes the amplifier tone harder.

Overdrive pedals are one of the most common effects that guitarists use to increase their guitar presence, particularly in rock genres of music. The quality of an overdrive varies dramatically between each pedal so this guide is designed to show you which overdrives are the best and you should own. In our list of the 10 best overdrives, we will tell you about each pedal, suggest who its for, and point you in the right direction to owning a new overdrive pedal.

Best Guitar Overdrive Pedals

Our Number 1 Choice
Fulltone OCD Obsessive Compulsive Drive Overdrive Guitar Effects Pedal
Our Premium Choice
Wampler Pinnacle Deluxe V2 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal
Best Value For Money
Boss BD-2 Blues Driver Guitar Effects Pedal
Summary
This pedal is perfect for for anyone who wants an ‘in your face’ overdrive that you want to keep a secret.. It’s that good!
If you’re looking for some real overdrive and premium tones, this is the pedal for you.
This pedal is also perfect for anyone looking for a more subtle overdrive that basically just complements your guitar and amp sound
Dimensions
5.1 x 3.3 x 2.4 in
89 x 114 mm
73 x 129 x 59 mm
Power
9V battery or a 9 - 18V DC power supply
9 V battery or via 9 V DC power supply
9V battery or a 9V DC power supply
Prime
-
-
Our Number 1 Choice
Fulltone OCD Obsessive Compulsive Drive Overdrive Guitar Effects Pedal
Summary
This pedal is perfect for for anyone who wants an ‘in your face’ overdrive that you want to keep a secret.. It’s that good!
Dimensions
5.1 x 3.3 x 2.4 in
Power
9V battery or a 9 - 18V DC power supply
Prime
-
Check Price
Our Premium Choice
Wampler Pinnacle Deluxe V2 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal
Summary
If you’re looking for some real overdrive and premium tones, this is the pedal for you.
Dimensions
89 x 114 mm
Power
9 V battery or via 9 V DC power supply
Prime
-
Check Price
Best Value For Money
Boss BD-2 Blues Driver Guitar Effects Pedal
Summary
This pedal is also perfect for anyone looking for a more subtle overdrive that basically just complements your guitar and amp sound
Dimensions
73 x 129 x 59 mm
Power
9V battery or a 9V DC power supply
Prime
Check Price

Fulltone OCD

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Fulltone OCD

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Now in its fourth generation, the Fulltone OCD is a versatile overdrive that effortlessly enhances the natural tone of the amplifier. It features a handy little switch which allows you to change between ‘high pass’ and ‘low pass’ modes. High pass mode gives you an aggressive tone perfect for rock guitar solos.

Low pass mode offers a more transparent overdrive effect to subtly enhance the your sound. This pedals offers that extra magic required to turn a good tone into a great tone, with more intent and clarity. The controls are simple, volume, drive and tone allowing you to easily dial in a great tone.

Here at Guitar Effects Pedalz, we never hesitated to include the OCD in our top 10 best overdrive pedals list. It’s a strait up rock overdrive by one of the best manufactures for drive pedals. It’s not the absolute cheapest pedal on the market, but for a mid-price pedal you can expect high-price quality.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

Mike Fuller has created one of the best overdrive pedals ever made with the OCD. Therefore We have to suggest that every guitar player should own the this pedal and see what it does for them, especially if they own a fender guitar. This pedal is perfect for for anyone who wants an ‘in your face’ overdrive that you want to keep a secret.. It’s that good!

Check out the full review of the Fulltone OCD

BOSS DS-1

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Boss DS-1 Distortion

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The word best associated with the Boss DS-1 is Classic! There are a few reasons for this. Firstly its Bosses oldest guitar pedal (first introduced in 1978) and secondly because many of the world best guitar players use this pedal. From Kurt Cobain to Steve Vai, the DS-1 has featured on so many iconic rock records making it the most popular overdrive/distortion pedal ever.

The Boss DS-1 is a simple yet indestructible stompbox with a simplistic three knob control system making it easy to dial in a tone. Over the years, it’s been a great introduction to the world of distortion for so many guitar players, which may have something to do with its incredible value for money.

Here at Guitar effects pedalz, we made a full detailed review of the Boss DS-1. Thinking of owning the DS-1? The video below will give you a great idea of what sounds you can achieve by owning this pedal.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

Considering it’s the most classic pedal on the market and under $50, probably everyone.. The DS-1 is as simple and raw as an overdrive pedal is going to ever get. We thing that for beginners, this is a must have pedal for getting a taste of the world of overdrive. Is it the best pedal ever made, no, but it certainly has it purpose and as we mentioned, the price is incredibly cheap.

Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9

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Ibanez Tube Screamer

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f you have never heard of the Ibanez Tube Screamer, then where have you been? Since the late 70’s, this has been a classic drive pedal used by so many of the worlds greatest guitar players. Now in a modern looking pedal, Ibanez present the TS9, featuring all the original qualities that have shaped the sound of classic rock anthems.

The Tube Screamer is seen by many as the most transparent and best sounding overdrive ever made, therefore its not surprising that so many other pedal manufactures have attempted to replicate this circuit. Crucially, the Ibanez TS9 doesn’t offer to much gain. This means you can use it to push amplifier or dial in a lead tone without the tone becoming horribly distort.

There are a few models of the Ibanez Tube Screamer that you should check out. However, here at GFXP, we recommend the TS9 model. Why? Because it’s essentially the original pedal at a fantastic price. Use it as a great stand a lone overdrive or implement it with other overdrive pedals to switch up your tone.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

If you’re looking for a natural overdrive that complements your amplifier perfectly, then the Ibanez TS9 is the one for you. Whats amazing about this pedal is the versatility of the tone control and how it reacts in shaping your tone. It’s no wonder that so many famous guitarists have used this exact pedal on their board. Not to mention the price is fantastic!

Checkout the full review on the Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9

Fulltone Fulldrive 2 MOSFET Overdrive

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Fulltone Fulldrive2 MOSFET

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The Full-Drive was the first overdrive pedal ever released by Fulltone. Packed with features, its possible to get a lot of different tones out of this pedal. Like any good overdrive though, it maintains a simplistic design with volume, tone, overdrive and boost knobs to adjust.

The tones from the Full-Drive 2 emulate all the classic sounds you would need, with a generous amount of gain available. In addition to most of the pedals on this top 10 list, the Full-Drive 2 offers a boost channel which allows you have two separate overdrives in one pedal!

Looking for a more vintage tone? The Full-Drive 2 offers a vintage mode which injects a mid-boost to the tone, switching things up from the transparent tones on the regular setting. If that wasn’t enough, switching to ‘compcut’ mode deactivates the clipping diodes so the pedal becomes a boost pedal rather than a gain machine.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

This pedal is certainly geared for guitarists who know their tone and deal with very high quality overdrive pedals. In many ways its an extension to the OCD and Plimsoul in the sense that it has more controls and versatility. Also for the live guitar player, this pedal is perfect for you as the boost feature allows you to add a new dimension to your sound with the push of a button.

Boss BD-2 Blues Driver

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Boss BD-2 Blues Driver

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Looking for some classic, bluesy overdriven tones? Then the Boss BD-2 is the pedal for you. With its robust design and tube amplifier like overdrive tones you can easily tell why so many guitar player love this pedal.

Turning down the gain will give a warm transparent boost to your tone whilst adding in the gain allow you to reach the heights of many full blown distortion pedals. Additionally, as with all pedals by Boss, the build quality is second to none! Meaning that this pedal will stay on you pedal board for years without fail.

The best sound from the BD-2 is when the level is pushed for a db boost and the gain is matched for classic tube amp breakup tones, all for a much cheaper price then a tube amp… Pushing the gain to its limits will unleash a delightful soaring lead tone emulating the sounds produced by classic blues guitar players.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

Simply put, any blues player! Yes the Boss BD-2 is designed to produce bluesy tones whilst keeping it’s routes as a Boss overdrive pedal. Many blues players have mentioned that their guitar ‘feels better’ when they use this pedal, a notion that we completely agree with. This pedal is also perfect for anyone looking for a more subtle overdrive that basically just complements your guitar and amp sound.

You can check out full review of the Boss BD-2 Blues driver

Electro-Harmonix Soul Food

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Electro-Harmonix Soul Food

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The Electro-Harmonix Soul Food is a Klon clone overdrive boasting incredible value and popularity. Incredibly, this compact pedal offers a near replica of the original Klon Centaur, which now exchanges hands for well over $1000!

The great thing about the Soul Food is that it works great as a overdrive and a boost pedal. You can easily dictate how what you use the pedal for by altering the volume and drive knobs to either add clean volume or drive. Adjusting the treble knob will allow you to dial in a great rhythm tone when rolled off, or a soaring lead tone when adding in the high frequencies.

Its easy to see why the Soul Food is so popular. The Klon Centaur circuit is perhaps the best ever made and the Soul Food does a great job in matching that original magic for a fraction of the price.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

Anyone who wanted to have Klon Centaur will love the Soul Food as it’s replicated it extremely well for a very affordable price. The Soul Food is a great option for beginners and serves well as a plug in and play guitar pedal. For more experiences players, we still recommend this pedal highly as it can be utilised as a boost pedal with great effect. Check it out..

Checkout the full review of the Electro Harmonix Soul Food 

MXR M77 Badass Overdrive

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MXR Custom Badass

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The MXR M77 Custom Badass Overdrive is a golden stompbox packed with brilliant overdrive tones due to its hot-rodded clssic circuitry. Featuring all the necessary features for a compact overdrive pedal, you can control the tone, output and gain to distinguish rhythm and lead tones.

Additionally, the MXR Custom Badass features a 100 HZ cut of boost control which allows you to dial in more low frequencies to your desired taste. Another great feature is the ‘Bump’ button which adds an all important mid-boost to you signal when activated. The sound of this pedal is often described as being similar to the Ibanez Tube Screamer, perhaps with a boutique edge!

Not only does the MXR M77 have an great appearance and sound, it also has an attractive price, retailing at under $100. With great low-end control and plenty of gain, be sure to check out the Custom Badass as it really does pack a punch!

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

If you’re a lover of MXR pedals than this is a must have for you. Often complimented for its amount of gain and mid control, it’s a very versatile overdrive that serves a place on your pedalboard. Price wise it’s under $100 and looks wise we cant fault it, looks and sounds like gold!

Check out the full review of the MXR Custom Badass Modified

Pro Co RAT 2

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ProCo Rat 2 Distortion

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The ProCo Rat2 is another classic pedal that you have more then likely heard about before… It consists of the standard three knob control, however this pedal is capable of of both distort and fuzzy tones. This is a very versatile pedal to say the least!

This pedal has been out since 1988 and features a robust and strait to the point setup, there is not mistaking this for anything other then a classic stompbox. Built to last, this pedal even uses military spec circuit boards inside, just incase you needed convincing that the Rat2 wasn’t tough enough. This pedal is truly built for the stage, and it has the tone to make it stage worthy.

The ProCo RAT2 does not do any tone by half measures. As soon as you activate the pedal, you get a huge tone with plenty of overdriven signal, even with the gain turned relatively low. Anyone whos into classic rock sustain will love this pedal, its definitely worth its place in the top 10 here at GFXP.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

It’s fair to say that the RAT2 is much better than people assume. It’s heavy, crunchy and packed with attitude. Perfect for guitarist who want to step on a pedal that gives that heavy tone instantly without being overly saturated. Any pedal lover who hasn’t tried the ProCo RAT should give it a try.

Checkout the full review of the ProCo RAT2 

Wampler Pinnacle

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Wampler Pinnacle

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Wampler have a fantastic collection of overdrive pedals all using the highest quality components making them well worth the investment. The Pinnacle is a warm overdrive that cleans up beautifully using the highly responsive knobs.

Amazingly this pedal is often described as giving an Eddie Van Halen tone, with plenty of sustain as a hint of fuzz, especially when flipping the boost switch. Those of you who have researched the Wampler Pinnacle before will have seen the deluxe version which uses an extra foot controllable switch for the boost. However, to save some cash we recommend the standard version as the features are all the same.

A vintage modify switch allows you to soften up the tone giving a vintage tone to your sound by offering more low-end. With plenty of gain and mid-frequencies available, the Wampler Pinnacle will not disappoint. At a slightly higher price point, we recommend Wampler pedals to the guitar player looking for the highest quality all round in a stompbox.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

Most people who buy this pedal say the ‘search it over’, meaning that the Wampler Pinnacle is the overdrive that gives them everything they need. Any passionate guitarist should know that Brian Wampler creates amazing pedals and they’re worth every bit of the price. If you’re looking for some real overdrive and premium tones, this is the pedal for you.

Check out our full review of the Wampler Pinnacle Overdrive.

Fulltone Plimsoul

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Fulltone Plimsoul

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The final overdrive in our list is the Fulltone Plimsoul, but by all means it isn’t the least brilliant! A simplistic pedal that allows for both soft and hard clipping, so you can be reassured that a host of overdrive/distortion tones are possible in this versatile pedal.

There are two stages of the Plimsoul. Stage one offers great bluesy tones with uncompressed sustain for a natural sounding amplifier breakup tone. Stage two, which is activated by a switch on the face of the pedal, uses an LED to display the amount of symmetrical clipping that is going on within the pedals circuit.

The best word to describe the Plimsoul would be dynamic. Thats because it reacts extremely well to light or aggressive picking allowing you to control the overdrive just the way you want it. Again this is another Fulltone pedal offering amazing overdrive tones at a fantastic price, be sure to check it out!

Who Should You Buy This Pedal?

‘This pedal lets you dial up everything from the crunchiest rasp to the creamiest sustain and everything in between’. Simply put, Fulltone have managed to produce another fantastic overdrive that is full on and rich in tone. This pedal is perfect for rock and blues players and certainly on par with it’s OCD brother.. Just with a slightly different flavour.

Check out our full review of the Fulltone Plimsoul Overdrive.

So there you have it! The top 10 overdrive pedals for guitarists. If you enjoyed the post and found its content useful, leave a comment below. If you are looking for different effects, then click here to see to see our other reviews here at GFXP.

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You can also find also find all guitar pedal reviews from delays to fuzz and everything in between!

If you are interested in reverb pedals checkout our guide to the Best Reverb Pedals 

Last update on 2022-11-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1 thought on “10 Best Guitar Overdrive Pedals (November 2022) – Buyers Guide 🥇

  1. Steve

    Nice article! From you experience, do you have an idea of what to use to get that Mick Ronson Suffragette City sound? I read him saying its just a 1/2 pushed down cry baby and turned up loud. That just doesn’t seem to work for me and my marshall and les paul which he used…

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