The Best Guitar Pedals for Under $50

Guitar tone is one of the most important aspects of one player's creative process and music expression. It's the very essence of what makes the electric guitar so great. Just imagine how many different ways are there to improve your tone. However, it seems that any kind of good-sounding setting requires a substantial investment. Bummer, isn't it?

Well, not exactly. Contrary to some popular beliefs, you still can create a good tone and have some decent functionality in your rig without busting a bank. In fact, there are some pretty cheap pedals that are actually pretty great. In case you were looking for a cheaper rig that will still be able to deliver a good tone, we did some research and have compiled this list of the best guitar pedals under the $50 mark.

Danelectro D-5 FAB Chorus

Danelectro makes some of the cheapest compact guitar pedals these days. In fact, there's hardly any pedal cheaper than $20, like their D-5 FAB Chorus. But what's really exciting about it is the fact that D-5 still gives some pretty great and spacious chorus tones. Yes, the casing is made of plastic and it might not be the best-looking thing. But it's really cheap, its tone is more than just decent, and it's not like someone is going to look into your pedalboard all the time and judge how your pedals look. There are three basic chorus effect controls on it, which is all you really need for any regular use.

Donner Morpher

Choosing the right distortion is one of the biggest concerns a guitar player might have. However, things can get a little complicated if you're looking for a good, cheap, and compact dirtbox for your needs. If this is what you need, then you'll definitely want to check out Donner Morpher pedal.

And although its dimensions are surprisingly small, it still has three basic controls and even an additional tone-shaping switch. So aside from the level, gain, and tone, you also get this control for three different clipping levels labeled as tight, classic, and natural. It's pretty surprising that you can get such a versatile, well-built, and small pedal for such a low price.

Behringer TO800

We're all familiar with the greatness of the legendary Ibanez Tube Screamer, along with its many iterations over the years. However, getting one of those older versions, like the TS-808 might require a substantial investment. Well, luckily, we have a surprisingly cheap take on the original Tube Screamer, made by Behringer.

While some may be discouraged to look more into the company's pedals due to their cheap prices and plastic casings, this one is a great representative of how well their gear can get. In fact, many who have tried it claim that there is no difference in tone between TS-808 and TO800. As far as cheap overdrives go, you won't get a better deal than this.

Boss SD-1

while we're at overdrives, Boss comes to mind with their amazing yet cheap SD-1 Super Overdrive. If you're a fan of those "ice-pick" sharp vintage-oriented tones in the style of Albert King, then SD-1 should be something to consider. And knowing that this pedal sits right on the edge of our price limit here, it's a pretty great deal.

Super Overdrive is a perfect solution for those who are fans of the simple and straightforward pedal design. There are three basic controls on it, and it features the standard Boss casing that's very well-known for its durability.

Boss DS-1

While we're at Boss stuff, there's no way not to mention the classic DS-1 Distortion. Present on the market since the second half of the 1970s, it's still the go-to choice for guitar players of many different genres. Almost unchanged over the decades, it's very well known for its unique hard clipping and "scorched" tone. Basically, it's a historically important guitar product that you can get for just under $50. How great is that?

Just like with Super Overdrive, DS-1 features only three controls. However, it's fairly versatile as the pedal changes its tone color at different gain setting levels. It can even get into some fuzzy territories.

TC Electronic MojoMojo

Speaking of cheap pedals, there's no way not to mention the wonderful MojoMojo overdrive by TC Electronic. First off, you can get that realistic tube amplifier feel, even when you plug it into a solid-state amp. In addition, the pedal shows some great versatility with its controls. Aside from drive and level knobs, there's a 2-band EQ and an additional voicing switch, toggling between regular overdrive and a "tighter" sound. There's a lot of stuff that you can do with it, but if you ask us, MojoMojo works the best when paired up with a vintage-oriented tube amplifier.

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