Guitar Pedals Review

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Why Buy a Guitar Effect Pedal?

One of the real beauties of the electric guitar is the ability to create a unique sonic signature by mixing and matching audio effects. This high level of customization establishes an intimate relationship between guitar and guitarist that shows through in the music they create together. That's why you recognize your favorite artists from their first introductory riffs – nobody sounds quite the same. Perhaps more than with any other popular musical instrument, the electric guitar is an extension of the mind and body. With the aid of a guitar effect pedal, you and your guitar can produce a tone that is as unique as your own fingerprint.

Unlike most electronics, the best guitar effect pedals age well. A thirty-year-old stompbox is a vintage delicacy among guitarists, and the more the merrier. To achieve a truly unique sound, stompboxes both old and new must be chained together. As you can imagine, this quickly becomes expensive. For new guitarists, we recommend a multi effect pedal. Some guitarists might argue that the tone quality of these digital devices is inferior to analog stompboxes, but they produce a much wider range of effects and effect combinations. If you don't know what sound you want quite yet, a multi effect pedal will give you the creative latitude you need to explore and find that signature tone. Veteran guitarists with already much-loved guitar pedalboards have good reason to own a multi effect unit as well – an all-in-one unit is essential when emergency gig opportunities catch you by surprise or require air travel.

We recommend the POD HD 500, DigiTech RP1000 and BOSS GT-10 for a great mix of durability, flexibility and tonal quality. If you want to know more, check out our learning center for additional articles on guitar effect pedals. Your search for the best guitar pedal comparisons and reviews ends here, because at TopTenREVIEWS, We Do the Research So You Don't Have To.™

Guitar Effect Pedals: What to Look For

Whether you are new or pro, you'll need a multi-effect pedal with a wide range of effect options and customization controls. It should also be durable (you will probably be stomping it) and portable. When choosing your guitar effect pedal, consider the case material, number of effects and connectivity options.

Effect Options and Features
Do yourself a favor and purchase an effect unit with an expression pedal. They give you the power to control and modulate the volume and other effects without bending down to twist the knobs. Also consider the number of footswitches: The more there are, the more control and versatility you will have in chaining different effects together to simulate one sound.

Durable Construction
You need an effects pedal that can take a beating because you'll be beating it if you are using it at all properly. Look for a metal chassis (the metal casing that protects the electronic innards) with metal footswitches. These pedals might just last long enough to become a vintage part of your collection.

Connection Options
The more inputs and outputs on your guitar effect pedal the better; you never know what you will want to run through it or add to it. As you supplement your multi effect guitar pedal with other stompboxes and accessories, you'll end up needing a wide variety of inputs. Custom-built pedal boards are notorious for their complexity. If you are not planning to supplement your effect pedal with other stompboxes (and you may never need to, with the number of effects you can accomplish with one unit), all you really need is an input and output jack.

With a guitar effect pedal, an amp and your favorite axe in hand, you have everything you need to design your signature sound. Whether you opt for crunchy or clean, ethereal or metallic, you can be sure that your sound will fit you.

 
 
Electronics » Other Electronics » Guitar Pedals Review
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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
POD HD500 DigiTech RP1000 BOSS GT-10 UTOPIA G300 ToneLab EX G2.1Nu Nova System X V-AMP DGFX1 Inventobox
POD HD500 DigiTech RP1000 BOSS GT-10 UTOPIA G300 ToneLab EX G2.1Nu Nova System X V-AMP DGFX1 Inventobox
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Lowest Price
Visit POD HD500
$499.99
Visit DigiTech RP1000
$399.95
Visit BOSS GT-10
$399.99
Visit UTOPIA G300
$321.19
Visit ToneLab EX
$299.99
Visit G2.1Nu
$199.00
Visit Nova System
$499.00
Visit X V-AMP
$75.99
Visit DGFX1
$99.99
Visit Inventobox
$399.00
Ratings
10.00
8.90
8.50
8.25
7.98
7.78
7.30
6.55
6.53
5.13
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
9.38
9.38
8.75
7.50
10.00
8.75
9.38
8.13
7.50
10.00
7.50
8.75
8.75
7.50
10.00
8.13
8.75
8.75
5.00
8.13
7.50
8.13
8.75
5.00
10.00
6.88
8.13
8.13
5.00
8.75
6.88
7.50
7.50
2.50
7.50
6.88
8.75
6.88
2.50
7.50
6.25
5.00
5.00
2.50
7.50
 
Features
Factory presets 512 100 200 64 100 100 30 16 48 3
User defined effects 128 100 200 64 100 100 60 100 48  
Footswitches 10 10 8 10 4 2 8 2 2 2
Built-in tuner
  
Sheet metal casing
  
Expression pedal
 
 
Amp simulators
 
 
Looper
  
    
Editor/Librarian software
 
    
Simultaneous effects
 
   
 
Stompbox signal chaining
    
    
Large display screen
    
    
Signal chain splitting
         
Dual tones
         
Effects
Distortion
Delay
 
Reverb
 
Chorus
  
Phaser
  
Flanger
  
Vibrato
  
Tremolo
  
Overdrive
  
Pitch
 
 
Volume
 
  
Wah
 
 
EQ
 
 
Noise Gate
 
 
Compression
 
 
Pan
  
  
   
Specifications
Weight (lbs) 16 11.5 10.8 8.5 6.61 1.76 4.1 1.65 1.95 2.5
Height (inches) 2.9 3.75 3.06 9 2.83 2.5 3.5 2.75 2.4 3.5
Width (inches) 21.5 19.5 21.37 20.25 15.51 6.53 11.2 9.25 10 7.75
Length (inches) 10.2 10.75 10.75 3.25 9.37 6.29 10.25 2.95 6.4 7
Sample rates (kHz) 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96 44.1 44.1 44.1 44.1, 48 32, 44.1, 48 41.8, 48 31.25 48  
AD Converter 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 32 24
DA Converter 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 32 24
Ease of Use / Hookups
1/4 inch guitar input
Unbalanced 1/4 inch main outputs
  
USB connection
    
Expression pedal jack
 
   
MIDI input
  
   
MIDI output
  
   
Stereo effects loop
      
Balanced XLR output
        
1/4 inch stereo headphone jack
 
 
    
XLR mic input
  
      
1/4 inch auxiliary input
         
VDI connection
         
CD/MP3 input
         
S/PDIF connection
         
1/8 inch stereo headphone jack
     
   
Help and Support
Warranty
 
Online manuals
  
Email
 
 
 
Telephone