There's never enough of pedals in your collection. No matter how many you already own, you'll always find ways to keep the old ones and get your hands on the new ones. Yes, it may be a real burden on your wallet and your bank account, but the joy that you get from all the different tones is something that you cannot measure.
Of course, in most of the cases, overdrives and distortions are the centers of everyone's pedalboard. But while many guitar players out there really like the scorched distortion, overdrive gives a more mellow and controlled tone and can even be used as a booster for pushing tube amps over their limits. With this in mind, we figured to do some digging and find the best overdrive pedals to own in 2019. Now, all you have to do now is find a few dollars more to buy a new overdrive. Or two.
Ibanez Tube Screamer Mini
You can't ever go wrong with the good old Tube Screamer. Even the newer versions and different clones come really in handy and manage to capture the tone of the well-known original TS-808 Tube Screamer and sometimes add some functionality options.
Ibanez also has a so-called "Mini" version, with the same three basic controls – tone, volume, and gain – but the whole circuit is enclosed in a more compact casing. So compact that you'd be able to put two of these on your pedalboard and they would take space of one standard pedal. At the same time, it gives that good old classic Tube Screamer tone which comes in handy for anything from mellow bluesy tones to boosting your distortion tone for soaring heavy metal leads.
Whether you are a professional or an amateur, you just can't go wrong with the Tube Screamer and any of its iterations.
Although not exactly in the mainstream of the guitar pedal world, Strymon has some of the best products to offer. One of them is the Sunset overdrive, a pedal that's basically a two-in-one deal, thus the addition "Dual Overdrive" to its name.
Now, this pedal has so many different options on it that it would deserve an article on its own. It offers analog and digital processing and a combination of both. What's more, it is possible to connect the Sunset with an external expression pedal and add more functionality. A wonderful piece of gear that's more than just a simple overdrive pedal. However, you need to bear in mind that this is intended as a professional-grade unit for advanced users.
Analog Man King Of Tone
King of Tone by Analog Man reached a status of a mythical being that magically transforms your clean tone into the warmest and tastiest overdrive. This pedal became so popular among the guitarists that it started selling for a larger price used. The manufacturers also limited the production and you need to contact the manufacturer to get on the waiting list.
Just a bit larger than a standard pedal, the King of Tone has so many different possibilities and tone options. The basic controls offer two switches for two stages of distortion, with each having their separate controls. In addition, there are DIP switches inside of the pedal that allow even more customization. Definitely one of the best overdrive pedals of our time.
Fulltone OCD V2
Now, the only negative thing that could be said about this pedal is the Comic Sans font on its front panel. Aside from that, Fulltone OCD V2 is one hell of an overdrive. Despite its overall simplicity, it gives some versatility to your tone tweaking and some pretty great tones.
Aside from the volume, tone, and drive knobs, there's also a 2-way switch for low-pass and high-pass filter. But what makes the V2 version of the pedal so exciting is that you can choose between true bypass and buffered mode which really comes in handy for some large and advanced pedalboards.
Overall, it's a classic pedal with a very useful improvement. Similar to the Tube Screamer, it really comes in handy for boosting drive channels of tube amps.
Keeley D&M Drive
Although it features two switches for two stages, it's not as nearly as complicated as the Strymon Sunset we mentioned earlier. This pedal was made as a collaboration Keeley did with Dan Steinhardt and Mick Taylor. It features a drive and a boost and an additional switch that determines which of these two goes first in the signal chain. A very innovative solution that provides players with some exciting tone-shaping options. Of course, both of these stages, overdrive and boost, have their own basic standard controls – volume, tone, and gain.
One thing's certain – this analog overdrive is quite an innovative piece that adds a completely new flavor to your tone.
And, of course, there is our own Juneau which will release later this year. Our War Admiral Overdrive Pedal provides all of the sonic goodness of the much admired and missed Marshall Blues Breaker Stompboxes. It contains everything you love about the original but with modern improvements and enhancements, and is now available for pre-order.