The Best Guitar Pedals for Under $100

The moment you started playing the electric guitar, you immediately got hooked for life. While this is mostly a good thing, as the instrument provides a lot of expressive qualities, there's one important downside – you'll start spending a lot on new gear. In fact, there's a high chance you'll become a gear addict. While it all seems fun, this may actually be a great burden on your finances. However, you can always go with some of the more cost-friendly options out there. This is why decided to look more into the topic of affordable guitar pedals and find the best examples below the $100 price mark.

Of course, you can also go cheaper, even below $50. However, right below $100 is a safe territory both with build and tone quality. However, there's still some filtering to do as there are some of those not-so-good pieces to be found in this price range. After some consideration and our own analysis, we came up with what we consider to be the perfect examples of the best pedals under $100.

Electro-Harmonix Soul Food

Look, every single one of us would love to have one of the original Klon Centaur pedals from the 1990s. But knowing how insanely expensive these can get, we would rather go for a cheaper solution. And what's really surprising is that Electro-Harmonix's Soul Food is a viable substitution in this case. What's more, the pedal gets a great portion of the original tonal qualities right. All this for a very affordable price.

The pedal is really simple to use, featuring only three basic knobs. Nonetheless, there's an abundance of great distorted tones that you can get with it, even those hard clipping fuzz-like sounds.

Dunlop GCB95 Cry Baby Wah

There's nothing like a great wah pedal to round up your guitar setup. But what's really surprising that the legendary Cry Baby by Dunlop, the GCB95 model, is below $100. Nonetheless, it provides guitar players with both great tone and quality operation. At this point, it's the universal and go-to wah pedal for guitar players of all genres. To put it simply, you just can't go wrong with it.

Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer

There was just no way not to mention the good old Tube Screamer on this list. There were many variants over the years, and the TS9 version still remains as smooth and tasty-sounding as it was back in the day. Now, what's really exciting is the fact that this pedal is not expensive at all, at least for the tone quality that it provides.

We still have those three basic controls for volume, tone, and drive. But there's nothing else you'll need with this simple overdrive. And it can do so much stuff, anything from providing basic overdrive, up to boosting and shaping the distortion channel of your tube amp. After all, this pedal was initially designed to enhance tube amps to go into those "organic" distortion territories.

MXR M101 Phase 90

MXR's Phase 90 goes way back to the 1970s. The pedal is pretty simple to use since it features only the speed control knob and one footswitch. But while some may see the simplified operation as a serious drawback, it's actually what many guitar players are looking for. The most important thing is that the effect itself sounds really good and that the pedal is well-built. Knowing this, there's really nothing other than the speed knob that you'd need.

Ernie Ball 6180 VP-JR

While some might think that volume pedals are the most boring pieces of gear one can get, they're absolutely essential for any remotely serious setup. If you need to control the overall dynamic output of your playing, you can't go wrong with Ernie Ball's 6180 VP-JR volume pedal.

The most important thing to note is the pedal's great build quality. You won't need to worry about any flimsy parts – you'll set the desired volume level and the pedal will keep it there. It's built with simplicity and reliability in mind. There's also an additional micro tapper switch that toggles between two different swell rates.

In case you're using guitars with active pickups or electronics, it's a better idea to go with the 6181 version instead.

TC Electronic Hypergravity Mini

The mini version of TC Electronic's Hypergravity pedal offers the same tonal qualities as the regular version of the pedal. Although you'll have less versatility with fewer controls on it, the pedal will still iron out your dynamics and make your tone thicker for any setting. It's pretty versatile as well and it goes well for any musical style. It's also worth noting that this is a true bypass effect and that the pedal's compact size makes it easier for anyone to find room for it on their pedalboard.

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  • Think I would add the Big Muff Triangle. Same circuit as the early models and comes in under $100 … at $99! Just got mine last week. Still dialing in but sounds great. Mix with a phase shifter and you can get ‘that Ernie Isley sound’ on ’Who’s That Lady’ if you want to! My cover band just added that song … so I ponied up. LOL.

    Stephen Lennartz
  • Think I would add the Big Muff Triangle. Same circuit as the early models and comes in under $100 … at $99! Just got mine last week. Still dialing in but sounds great. Mix with a phase shifter and you can get ‘that Ernie Isley sound’ on ’Who’s That Lady’ if you want to! My cover band just added that song … so I ponied up. LOL.

    Stephen Lennartz
  • Want to get that bass sound, that the bass guitar player has on Saturday night live, iam assuming he is using a stomp box it’s a unique sound that I never heard before, if you watch SNL you know what iam talking about, your help would be truly appreciated

    Billy j

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