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  • Fulltone CS-OCD-GE Custom Shop Germanium Overdrive Guitar Effect Pedal

    Fulltone CS-OCD-GE Custom Shop Germanium Overdrive Guitar Effect Pedal

     
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    MSRP: Old Price $229.00 Discounted Price $194.65 Save: $34.35 (15%)

  • Foxgear Fenix Overdrive/Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal

    Foxgear Fenix Overdrive/Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal

     
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    Discounted Price $99.00

  • Foxgear Muffin Fuzz Guitar Effect Pedal

    Foxgear Muffin Fuzz Guitar Effect Pedal

     
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    Discounted Price $89.00

  • Foxgear Manic Fuzz Guitar Effect Pedal

    Foxgear Manic Fuzz Guitar Effect Pedal

     
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    Discounted Price $89.00

  • Foxgear Q-Boost Guitar Effect Pedal

    Foxgear Q-Boost Guitar Effect Pedal

     
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    Discounted Price $79.00

  • Foxgear Rats Distortion Guitar Effect Pedal

    Foxgear Rats Distortion Guitar Effect Pedal

     
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    Discounted Price $79.00

  • Foxgear Cream Overdrive Guitar Effect Pedal

    Foxgear Cream Overdrive Guitar Effect Pedal

     
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    Discounted Price $79.00

  • Foxgear Sinister Distortion Guitar Effect Pedal

    Foxgear Sinister Distortion Guitar Effect Pedal

     
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    Discounted Price $99.00

  • EarthQuaker Devices Plumes Small Signal Shredder Overdrive Guitar Effect Pedal

  • Xotic BB Preamp V1.5 Boost/Overdrive Guitar Effects Pedal

    Xotic BB Preamp V1.5 Boost/Overdrive Guitar Effects Pedal

     
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    MSRP: Old Price $210.00 Discounted Price $168.00 Save: $42.00 (20%)

  • Mad Professor Supreme Overdrive Guitar Effects Pedal

    Mad Professor Supreme Overdrive Guitar Effects Pedal

     
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    Discounted Price $249.95

  • Foxgear Ryder Doug Aldrich Signature Distortion Guitar Effect Pedal

  • EBS MultiDrive Studio Edition Overdrive Pedal

    EBS MultiDrive Studio Edition Overdrive Pedal

     
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    Discounted Price $199.99

  • EBS MetalDrive Studio Edition Distortion Pedal

    EBS MetalDrive Studio Edition Distortion Pedal

     
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    Discounted Price $199.99

  • EBS ValveDrive DI Bass Tube Preamp/Overdrive Pedal

    EBS ValveDrive DI Bass Tube Preamp/Overdrive Pedal

     
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    Discounted Price $349.99

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    Distortion/Overdrive/Fuzz/Boost Pedals

    While some players look to their amplifiers for their distorted, or dirty, tones, others look to guitar effects pedals. There are different types of pedals a guitarist might turn to for some crunch: Overdrive, Distortion, Fuzz, and Boost. These pedals, utilizing solid-state transistors, op-amps, and diodes, aim to replicate the sound one gets from an overdriven tube amplifier. Though these effects are similar, they each have their own sound, and you will find some guitarists with more than one of these pedals on their pedalboard depending on their genre or playing style.

    Overdrive & Distortion Pedals

    Overdrive and distortion, terms sometimes used interchangeably, are two very unique effects with different sonic characteristics. Overdrive is typically warmer and more subtle, while distortion is more extreme and really cuts through.

    When overdrive pedals were introduced, their goal was to replicate the sound of an overdriven tube amp. This is done using what is called soft clipping, which means less of the signal is being clipped, resulting in a more natural sounding breakup perfect for such genres as blues, indie, or classic rock. While there are many overdrive pedals on the market, some of the most iconic are the Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer, the Fulltone OCD, and the Boss OD-3.

    Distortion pedals, on the other hand, use hard clipping which creates a more aggressive, high-gain tone one would typically associate with punk, alternative, or metal. If this is more your speed, check out pedals such as the Boss DS-1, the ProCo Rat 2, and the MXR M104 Distortion+ just to name a few.

    Fuzz

    When it comes to guitar effects, fuzz is probably the most polarizing. Some guitarists love it, while other guitarists can't stand it.

    The fuzz sound came from musicians using faulty equipment, which resulted in an interesting form of extreme distortion. The most famous example of this is Dave Davies of The Kinks slashing his speaker cone with a razorblade, resulting in the fuzzy and distorted guitar tone on their 1964 hit song "You Really Got Me". While the initial goal of the fuzz pedal was to mimic an overdriven amp, it failed to do that accurately, but in turn created its own unique sound. Artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, and Billy Corgan have famously used fuzz in some of their most iconic songs.

    If you're looking to add some fuzz to your arsenal, a good place to start is the ZVex Fuzz Factory or the historic Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi.

    Boost

    Boost is the outlier of this group, as it doesn't affect your guitar signal in the same way that overdrive, distortion, or fuzz do. The main purpose of a boost pedal is to raise the volume, or certain frequencies, of your guitar signal, helping your guitar cut through a mix for solos or more guitar driven parts of songs. The other purpose of a boost is to drive the front of an amp, causing the amp to break up and distort. A lot of pedal builders will combine a boost circuit with an overdrive, distortion, or fuzz circuit in one pedal, allowing you to boost the signal for an even more dynamic sound.

    Your tone in need of a little boost? Check out pedals like the Electro-Harmonix LPB-1, Xotic EP Booster, or the Keeley Electronics Mini Katana.

    Looking to dirty up your tone with an overdrive, distortion, fuzz, or boost pedal? Not sure what type of effect would be best? Give us a call at 1-800-4SAMASH, or chat with us online, and speak to one of our experts today!
    What’s the Difference Between Boost, Overdrive, Distortion, and Fuzz?
    Before The Tube Screamer: Early Distortion Solutions