New Course - Comping with Triads -

Learn 6 common chord progressions.

NEW - T-Bone Walker Lesson

"You are simply the best teacher on the internet. Always cool, explain things well, and relevant stuff for beginners to advanced players. Even my kids are into your lessons now!"

I was chosen as the 2013 Next Top Guitar Instructor at Truefire!
Best Overdrive Pedal
Home Guitar Video Lessons Guitar Videos Music Blog Forums Running Download Store Contact Search Donate Advertise
December 12, 2009

Best Overdrive Pedal

What is the best overdrive pedal? Not an easy answer, since the number of good overdrive pedals available these days is mind boggling.

I have started a top overdrive list here, and I am trying to stick to pedals that deliver overdrive more than distortion, although many pedals cover both territories. It's also sometimes difficult to distinguish between overdrive and distortion. I have written about the difference between overdrive and distortion on this site, and you may want to check it out.

My personal favorite overdrive is the Maxon OD-9. It features a chip that creates ultra-smooth dynamic overdrive. The Drive and Level controls tweak the intensity and volume Hi Boost/Hi Cut tone controls adjust brightness. It is also True bypass, and it comes with a 3-year warranty. It is simply a smooth and rich sounding overdrive pedal, built to last a life time as well.

Some other good overdrive choices in my opinion are The CTO2 - Cool Cat Transparent Overdrive2 - low gain pedal with lots of dynamics. The Digitech Bad Monkey has been around for quite some time now, and it's inexpensive and quite versatile. I still like it and use it regularly. The eq on it is very handy!

Best Overdrives - the LIST

Here is a starting point for checking out some great overdrive pedals. Some may cover both distortion as well as overdrive tones, so keep that in mind. Feel free to add your comments if you think I missed some! Note: The order of the pedals listed has nothing to do with how good I think they sound, so a higher number does not mean it sounds worse than a pedal listed with a lower number. Only YOU can decide which you think sounds best.

  1. Maxon OD-9
  2. Way Huge Pork Loin
  3. LovePedal Eternity Fuse
  4. Lovepedal Amp 50
  5. Menatone Red Snapper
  6. Danelectro Transparent Overdrive
  7. Danelectro Drive
  8. Hermida Zendrive
  9. Radial Tonebone Classic Tube Distortion Pedal
  10. Hermida Mosferatu
  11. Analogman TS-9/808
  12. Keeley TS-9/808
  13. Maxon 808
  14. Ibanez TS9
  15. Ibanez TS808
  16. BYOC TS808
  17. Analogman TS-9
  18. Analogman TS-808
  19. Analogman King of Tone
  20. Electro-Harmonix XO Germanium OD Overdrive Guitar Effects Pedal
  21. T-Rex T-Rex Twin Boost Overdrive
  22. Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor Overdrive Pedal
  23. Krank Krankshaft Overdrive Pedal
  24. DOD 250
  25. Boss OD-3 OverDrive Pedal
  26. Carl Martin PlexiTone
  27. Plush Noxious Overdrive
  28. Fulltone GT-500
  29. Radial Bones R800-7110 Texas Overdrive
  30. Lovepedal Purple Plexi
  31. XOTIC BB Preamp
  32. TREX Alberta
  33. Digitech Hardwire Tube Overdrive
  34. Timmy
  35. Tim
  36. Delta Labs Tube Driver
  37. MI Audio Blues Pro
  38. Klon Centaur
  39. Fulltone OCD
  40. Barber LTD
  41. Damage Control Womanizer
  42. Visual Sound Jekyll and Hide
  43. Reverend Drivetrain 2
  44. Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive
  45. Keeley TS9DX FLEXI-4X2
  46. Boss Blues Driver
  47. Keeley BD-2
  48. Radial Tonebone Hot British
  49. Blackstar HT-DUAL
  50. Blackstone Mofset Overdrive
  51. Hughes and Kettner Tube Factor
  52. Banzai Cold Fusion
  53. Crowther Audio Hotcake
  54. Digitech Bad Monkey
  55. DigiTech Screamin Blues
  56. Vox Cooltron Big Ben
  57. Boss FBM-1 Fender Bassman
  58. Behringer VT999

Have a look at the list of best wah pedals too.

Musician's Friend has most of these pedals

Have a look at the selection from Musician's Friend.

By Robert Renman -

Comment on this?


Posted by Robert Renman on December 12, 2009

Comments on this blog entry

Rick said...

Hi: It´s a mistake to have the Danelectro Transparent Overdrive on number 6 and the Timmy onnumber 34!! Timmy is way, way better than danelectro transparent wish is a clone of Timmy!

Comment added on December 11, 2012
Jerry said...

I think it is a stupid question. This topic just proove it. Everyone like another overdrive. Hey who is the best player in the entire universe? Maybe you are or else. No offense, but this is girls talk ;)

Comment added on May 07, 2012
Thomas Tarnow said...

From looking at all the GregsGuitars videos on youtube it seems like the Okko Diablo Overdrive could be one of the best - sadly also very expensive.

Comment added on April 24, 2011
Sydney Dude Simon said...

From an Aussie, The KOT is great, the GT500 is horrible.I recommend the OCD,MI Tube Zone,Robin Trower overdrive,Mad Prof Sweet Honey OD.Some of the pedals on this list are distortions not overdrives.

Comment added on March 23, 2011
Stefan said...

I miss the Madprofessor Little Green Wonder. Handwired from Finland. A brilliant and sure one of the best oerdrives on the market.

Comment added on November 24, 2010
Tim said...

Waited 8 months for my Tim pedal, and it was worth every minute of the wait. It does sweet things to my lionheart L5t and modded BJ. It also plays well with others (OCD, Fuzzhead, TS9DX).

Comment added on August 15, 2010
Tom said...

What about MXR GT-OD, this one should be also on the top of the list

Comment added on May 30, 2010
nailll said...

Chris Custom Scream TS9 mod pedal is a true sound! MUST!

Comment added on April 23, 2010
seanathonedward said...

CMATMODS Signa Drive -- Best one I've used. The Luther Drive for me is #2, followed by the Time Bomb Boost (a DOD 250 clone by the same guy who makes the Luther.) All different, all GREAT pedals. DeltaLab TD-1 #4. Good choice.

Comment added on April 07, 2010
Jordan Dedo said...

Saw my 3 favorites on your list: Lovepedal Eternity, Fulltone OCD, Xotic BB.

The Luther Drive is amazing also.

Comment added on January 04, 2010
GE1 said...

I saw #36 by MI Audio's "Blues Pro", but what about their "Tube Zone" pedal? Excellent overdrive!

Comment added on January 02, 2010
Todd Rothenberger said...

You forgot the menatone working man's blues pedal. It is one of the best overdrives I have ever heard

Comment added on December 28, 2009
Csaba said...

I would also mention Behringer's VT999. Behringer says it's an overdrive, I use it rather like a distortion (as an overdrive I use a Boss OD3). I think it is on the thin red line between overdrives and distortions. On the lower gain settings it behaves more like an overdrive and when you crank it up it starts to be more like a distortion. It's a really cheap unit, but the original tube in it is rubbish, just replace it with something decent. I used a TAD tube and it really made a difference. Oh yes, one more good thing about it: it has a built-in noise gate and quite good one. Of course if you don't need it or don't want to use it you can turn it off too.

Comment added on December 13, 2009
Robert said...

Hi Steve, I added that pedal to the list. I have not tried it but Analogman makes great stuff, so I am sure it would be good!

Comment added on December 13, 2009
Steve Thompson said...

Robert: I am quite interested in the Analogman King of Tone, for getting drive and sustain but pretty clean, to get that Mayer sound. What do you think of that one? It did not make the list I see, and I wonder your thoughts. I love my Bad Monkey of course, which I purchased for next to nothing.

Comment added on December 12, 2009

All contents © Copyright 2001 - 2018 Robert Renman