When looking at the number of “best pedal” posts we published in the last year, it might be surprising to you to notice that we haven’t done the best overdrive pedal yet. You could say we are saving the best for last, but it’s more like we are saving the most obvious for last. Why is it obvious? If you’re asking that question, then read on!
What Makes the Best Overdrive Pedal
Our main unit of measurement to objectively declare one pedal better over all others is of course the number of appearances on artists’ pedalboards. If there is a tie or near-tie, we take a more subjective look at how often it is used, how long has it been in use and other factors to determine just how important that pedal is to an artist. Though for the best overdrive pedal, there was no contest.
Though before we get into which one is the best overdrive pedal effect, let’s have a little chat about the difference between overdrive and distortion. We’re making the distinction as more particular guitarist will distinguish between them. Overdrive is a type of distortion, like Fuzz, though some distortion effects just get included into the distortion category without any particular subgroup. Overdrive refers to the particular effect achieved by distorting your sound with high levels of master and volume. Other distortion effects focusing into the more technical reason behind distortion, which is the clipping of the soundwave, and which delivers a slightly different result.
Without further ado, the best overdrive pedal…
Best Overdrive Pedal
The Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer is hands down, for us, the best overdrive pedal. It is used by many artists like Pearl Jam, Noel Gallagher, Trey Anastasio of Phish and Jonny Buckland of Coldplay, and much more so than any other overdrive pedal.
We even see the TS-9 Tube Screamer employed twice on many pedalboards, one for the effect and the second for boost, as works as a great boost pedal as well.
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