The Boss SD-1 overdrive pedal is a great pedal for the price. It’s really well built and available in almost every guitar store. Also it’s very cheap, you should be able to find the pedal on the 2nd hand market…Read more
Guitar pedals are fun. They give a huge amount of extra possibilities for the electric guitar player. In this article we’ll discuss what guitar pedals are and we’ll go through the most common types of guitar pedals. We’ll also discuss analog and digital guitar pedals, and the difference between single effects and multi effects.
Guitar pedals are small electronic devices that are positioned on the floor in front of the guitar player. They are linked between the guitar and the amplifier. The signal goes from the guitar, through the cable, into the guitar pedal. From the guitar pedal it goes through another cable into the amplifier.
Guitar pedals usually have a footswitch. If the pedal is off, the signal flows through the pedal to the amplifier without any audible changes to the signal. If the effect is switched on, the effect comes in. The guitar pedal then changes the signal in a way that is desired by the guitar player. For instance, if you turn a reverb pedal on, your guitar will sound like you’re standing in a big cave. Or if you turn your tremolo pedal on, it will sound like your guitar amp is attached to a windmill…
Most guitar effects usually have 2 to 4 parameters that can be changed, depending on the type of pedal. Most pedals run on a 9V center tip negative power supply or a 9V batteries. However, there are a lot of exceptions. Be careful and read the manual before you attach a power supply to a pedal.
There are many types of guitar pedals. We will discuss the most common ones.
There is a distinction between analog guitar pedals and digital guitar pedals. In digital pedals the signal is converted from an analog signal to a digital signal. After the signal is modified it is converted back into an analog signal. In analog pedals the signal remains analog all the way through the effect.
Often it is said that analog guitar pedals sound warmer than digital effects. But both types of effects have their pro’s and con’s. Analog pedals are in my experience usually noisier than digital pedals. The current draw of digital pedals is a lot higher than analog pedals. Batteries in digital pedals usually don’t last long.
The quality of digital pedals is measured in sampling rate. The higher the sampling rate, the higher the quality of the signal. The sampling rate of audio CD’s is for instance 44,1 kHz. At this sampling rate, the digital converted signal cannot be distinguished from an analog signal by the human ear.
Overdrive, distortion and fuzz pedals are usually analog. These are relatively simple circuits and their characteristics are difficult to simulate in digital pedals. Effects like reverb, delay and modulation are more and more available in excellent digital pedal format.
Multi effect are larger floor units that contain multiple effect types in one unit. Multi effects are usally digital, although there are some exceptions. Multi effect pedals have a couple of advantages over single stompboxes: They are relatively cheap compared to the same amount of effects in single stompboxes. They usually have presets. There is no need for a pedalboard/power solution. The advantage of single guitar pedals is that you have more freedom to choose exactly the combination you want.
My top 10 of the best overdrive pedals Overdrive pedals are an important part of guitar tone. The ability to switch between different gain stages while playing live is extremely useful. And that’s probably the reason why the search for the best overdrive pedals…Read more