Updated: May 10, 2015

Guitar Effects Pedals Reviews:

If you've progressed beyond strumming the chords on your guitar, you may be interested in a guitar effects pedal to help you achieve a richer diversity and complexity of sound. And more importantly, you will rock. An effects pedal is just that: a pedal that allows you to add different sounds or variations to your play. You can get distortion, delay, chorus, compressor and a host of other types of guitar effects pedals; an easy way to experiment with sound or have the variety you want is to choose a multi-effects pedal. As Sweetwater (a leading source for audio and instrumental equipment and expert on all things musical) says, you can have all the effects that are available with the separated pedals as well as a "bunch of stuff that hasn't even been categorized yet." Saving room and saving money while producing outstanding effects make these a best choice. We'll show you some of the top models on the market to get you started.

Choosing the Right Guitar Effects Pedal - Choosing an effects pedal can be difficult because not only do you have to know what types of sounds and effects you'd like to create, you have to gauge your level of expertise and find a pedal that works for you. Some are very difficult to use and so complex that it takes professional musicians years to fully explore them. They can be intimidating to novice players to say the least. First we'll take a look at a good way for beginners to break into the world of guitar effects. You may want to take a look at a musician using a guitar effects pedal. There is a variety of demo videos for you to view so you can get a sense of how they work.

In terms of top brands, look for names like Marshall, Boss, Rocktron, Visual Sounds, MXR, Fender, and Behringer. Low end models like the Dunlop The Original Crybaby Pedal or the Boss DS1 Distortion Pedal are well under $80 and a great place to start. Higher end effects pedals like the Boss RC-20XL and MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay Guitar Effects Pedal are well over $150. You can browse the best selling electric guitar effects pedals here.

Best Guitar Effects Pedals for Beginners:

Multi-effects models are a definite space saver and can produce great complexity, but they can also produce great frustration for beginners. It is like taking someone who has never driven a car before and putting them behind the wheel of a foreign standard shift. While a great skill to have, it may be easier to start with an automatic and then progress when you have basics, like waving and staying on the road, down. A beginner may want to experiment with some single effects pedals to get a sense of how they work, what they can do, and how they affect their playing. AllExperts recommends starting with a wah wah or fuzz pedal. Wah pedals were used extensively by Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrixx (whose "Voodoo Chile" is often pointed to as an example of the sound you can create). Listen for a few seconds and you'll know exactly what it sounds like. ActiveMusician named the Dunlop Crybaby Original Wah Wah pedal as the best to start - and end - with. This is the original, the same used by Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, and David Gilmour, among others. It is very durable with a heavy die-cast build; it is also very easy to use. The foot pedal provides more treble when you put your toe down and more bass when your heel is down. You can create a variety of sounds and create feedback as well. It has a 100k ohm Hot Potz potentiometer for abrupt wah sound. A potentiometer is a transistor that establishes the level of output, adjusts volume, and can control the potential difference, or voltage, across a circuit. The Crybaby is easy enough for beginners to use and sophisticated enough for pros. You can find the Crybaby for about $70 on Amazon. An Amazon reviewer said that if you want classic wah sound, this is the way to go. See the single effects pedals here.

Best Multi-Effects Pedals:

As you progress and become more comfortable, and daring, with your sounds, you can opt for a good multi-effects pedal. Guitar-Site named the Boss GT 10 multi-effects pedal as a top choice. It was also the first pick of review site BestCovery. The G10 has incredible sound quality and a unique, intuitive user interface. It features great tone, advanced effects, natural musical response, parallel effects, sound-on-sound loops with onboard Phrase Loop function, large LED LCD screen which is easy to see in stage lighting or outdoors, custom Boss processor, COSM sound-modeling method, EZ Tone Wizard to quickly create top quality sounds, 6 dedicated footswitches, built-in expression pedal, and USB connectivity. Boss says it is friendly enough for beginners while providing high quality, professional effects. You can find the GT 10 for a bit over $400 (see top rated Boss pedals here). Another top pick from BestCovery, as well as Sweetwater, is the Digitech GNX4. BestCovery said that it would take far less time to list what the GNX4 could not do, rather than what it could. And what can't it do? Nothing. It is amazingly versatile with a built-in 8-track recorder, MIDI drum machine, USB connectivity, and Pro Tracks Plus recording software for PC or Macs with Bias Deck 3.5. It allows musicians to compose and arrange pieces and create your own signature sound. Though discontinued, this is still considered one of the best, and you can find it on Amazon for $390 - find the DigiTech GNX4 here. If your budget is lower, you can still get good quality, sometimes for under $100. Bestcovery named the DeltaLab DGFX1 Guitar Multi Effects Pedal and the Line 6 Pocket POD Express Guitar Effects Processor as the best budget choices. The DeltaLab features 54 built-in effects, up to 11 simultaneous effects, 48 user patches and 48 preset patches, dual function expression pedal, and built-in drum machine with 29 patterns. You can find it for $99. The Line 6 model is a compact little unit that has 5 adjustable guitar tones, 6 adjustable effects, user-friendly interface, and built-in tuner. This is not the most sophisticated model on the market, but if you are on a budget or are still figuring out effects pedals, this is a great choice. You can find it for $80. Guitar effects pedals are a great way to work on expanding your musical repertoire, experience, and aptitude - as well as creating sounds that are mind boggling and complex. Don't let effects pedals intimidate you; experimentation is the best way to learn, and you may just stumble upon a sound you didn't know you'd been looking for. RECOMMENDED - One of the top sellers on several sites is the award winning BOSS ME-70 Guitar Multiple Effects Pedal Board - It's priced under $300, gives you effects like Compressor, T Wah Up, T Wah Down, Slow Gear, Defretter, Solo, Boost, Natural Distortion, Blues Overdrive, Fuzz, is relatively easy to operate, and features 4 footswitches and an expression pedal.