Revealed: The 5 Best Distortion Effects Pedals Of All Time

You voted for your favourites, and here are the results   24-Mar-13

4. ProCo Rat


Despite being first produced in the late 70s, this pedal really started to dominate the musical landscape in the 1990s, with James Hetfield, Thom Yorke, Kurt Cobain and James Dean Bradfield all using the Rat to great effect.

The op-amp circuit is simple yet beautiful, and provides a dirty and powerful distortion which can be heard on thousands of hit records.

You voted it as the fourth greatest distortion pedals of all time.

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10 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
Louie    Said...

No way. You left out the great purple plexi 800 by lovepedal, the JHS Angry Charlie, the Brown pig by Piggiefx, and the JHS All american (rat clone). That's only 4. I guess the Wampler Triple wreck.

26-Mar-13 06:48 PM


GTRman    Said...

How about a Plexi cranked to 10. That is my favorite. For pedals I must say Catalinbread "Dirty Little Secret" because it sounds like a Plexi cranked to 10.

27-Mar-13 09:55 AM


Amped Bot    Said...

It was a readers' poll guys... They weren't chosen by us :)

27-Mar-13 02:00 PM


Ruggles    Said...

Where's the TS-808 tube screamer? If it wasn't for that pedal, pretty much none of the ones on this list would exist. I haven't even heard of or seen a couple of these ones.

24-May-13 07:13 PM


Simon    Said...

Ethos Overdrive. Good night and GOODBYE

17-Aug-13 08:21 AM


KodyXXVII    Said...

First of all, I must say that the Wampler Triple Wreck is indeed ONE of the best distortion pedals, in the world, hands down. Depending on what you're wanting to use it for, is the key to which distortion pedal is better than another. For all you classic rock musicians, the tube screamers and overdrives will be the reigning kings...but for modern distortion needs, the Triple Wreck does both actually...Anyway, second on my list would be the Amptweaker Tightmetal Pro. It was designed by an amp engineer, it's basically the only distortion pedal in the world, that I've heard of anyway, that can act as a stand alone preamp! That means you can plug it straight into a poweramp and have massive tone. Or you could just plug it straight into the return on your effects loop and not plug anything into the front input! It works, and it's perfectly safe for your tube amp. It also sounds just as good if not better plugged into the front of your amp like a regular pedal, but also the best feature about it is that is has 3 EFFECTS LOOPS IN THE PEDAL! So 8 inputs and outputs total! One loop stays on all the time, if you so choose to include a delay or reverb into a certain setting on the pedal, the other loop is a boost loop that is only activated with the pedal's boost mode, and the third loop is a sidetrack that you can do whatever you want with. One more, third on my list would be the Mad Professor Little Green Wonder. It is most comparable to the Fulltone OCD, but having owned both, let me tell you from experience that the Little Green Wonder is much richer, more responsive, more massive, more versatile (and more expensive!) pedal altogether. Seriously, it was made to stack with other overdrive/distortion pedals, it was made to serve as a chunky boost when the gain knob is all the way down and the level is all the way up. Turn the gain up a a little bit and you have a full fledged massive distortion pedal that responds delicately to your pick attack.

13-Nov-13 04:36 PM


Bon    Said...

Toneboys TBOD-100, sounds and plays like a vintage Marshall amp, hands down the best.

16-Nov-13 09:12 AM


Jesse Delaney    Said...

meh. Everyone's leaving their 'my fave dirt box is X pedal' comments.

Rat and DS-1 earn their spot. I would replace Rat with the Bixonic Expandora, which is a Rat with better touch sensitivity, and a cult following.

Tubescreamer is a soft clipping overdrive, so that's out. I would have included the Kingsley high gainers which are only now really developing a cult following.

Marshall Guv'nor needed to be there as it is the Grandfather of so many boutique dirt boxes out there.

Which leaves 2 (Expandora, DS-1, Marshall Guvnor).

I think you have to include the Fulltone OCD, an improved version of the Voodoo Labs Mosfet distortion. The hype surrounding this on the forums when it hit has never been replicated.

Leaving 1 left. For me it's the Kingsley Minstrel as a stand alone box, but I prefer the Jouster as it handles all shades with 2 stomps.

Maxon Distortion Master is criminally ignored - fantastic pedal.

Let's leave #1 open for each player to decide :)

That leaves 2 more. I

22-Nov-13 04:57 AM


Guitar Jr    Said...

Im using the Wampler Dual Fusion Overdrive/Boost pedal and it is amazing. It is essentially a Wampler Paisley Drive on one side and a Wampler Euphoria on the other side. What is awesome is that you can stack the OD/Boost either way to get incredible array of tones. Im sure the Triple Wreck is Wampler's pedal for heavy metal and grunge tones.

27-Feb-14 07:05 PM


Craig Runk    Said...

Hmmmm. These pedals aren't even comparable. If yo're searching for the ultimate distortion pedal, look no further than the Blackstar HT Metal pedal. This baby is a pre-amp in a box, complete with 12AX7 tube and three channels of everything from pushed clean, through classic OD and distortion to over-the-top metal insanity. No hype, the REAL DEAL.

07-May-14 02:30 PM


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