Electric Guitar Distortion Pedal, my favourite ones.

Hi Everyone,
the Electric Guitar Distortion Pedal, in this post we talk about the more or less modern history of the guitar. The distortion has practically marked the turning point for all the guitarists. Distortion is a very important and delicate effect and can often make a difference. A small premise is a must: the best distortion for guitar is the one that is most similar to your way of playing and your taste, so often the choice is purely personal.  Having said that, I can safely say that getting the distortion you want and knowing how to adjust the distortion better is an art. Learning this art is a must if your musical taste involves the use of this pedal. Below I will list those that I have tried personally but logically the criterion for deciding which one can be the definitive pedal is strictly personal.

The genesis of the Distortion

The Distortion is considered the first true effect for electric guitar. Initially it was an annoying effect due to the need to increase the volume of the amplifier to bring out the sound of the guitar compared to the other instruments. The amplifiers of the time could not manage the volume. they use to go into saturation tending to shear the waveforms of the sound emitted creating precisely a natural dispersion.
Over time the musicians began to search for this type of his on purpose because the squaring of the signal enriched the sound of harmonics and gave it a particular timbre.

The distortion is the direct descendant of the overdrive with which it shares a fairly similar basic operation.  In fact simulates the natural saturation effect of a preamplification stage in which a signal is input at too high a volume exasperating its effect, thus creating the classic sound of rock. Often some guitar amplifiers include one or more channels to amplify the sound, generally the first one called “clean” and the following ones are distorted with different levels of amplification. It is difficult to attribute the authorship of the use of a real distortion device.

Among the blues and rock’n’roll guitarists who experimented extensively with distorted guitar sounds, Elmore James and Chuck Berry must be mentioned. Later the distortion took hold globally a bit in almost all musical genres and starting from the seventies the distortion was massively entered in the groups of the time. The heavy metal genre is probably the musical genre in which the distortion is the most used effect. In order to make the melody more raw and rough but it is not uncommon to find it even in punk and hard rock.

Tutorials

Before proceeding with my reviews I wanted to spend
two words on this online downloadable tutorial that
includes all the various effects and not just the Distortion.
This tutorial is well-structured giving a general overview
on all the effects. I consider it a bit like a vademecum for those
who want to start venturing into the fantastic world of effects.
Just click on the image or here if you want to have more info about.

 

 

 

Electric Guitar Distortion Pedal, my preferite ones:

Suhr Riot MINI

Very simple and intuitive distortion pedal, with the three very classic Level, Tone and Gain parameters. In addition, it is equipped with a three-position mini switch which gives the possibility to change the pedal sound. The first on the left gives a very warm and full-bodied crunch sound, great for blues. The central one offers in addition a boost on the middle frequencies which greatly increases the sound, slightly increases the volume and gives a boost to the gain. On the right we’ve the best part, here the Riot unleash even more gain, up to exasperated levels with a sound remarkably compressed. The sustain is almost infinite and the timbre of the pedal changes radically, becoming more open and bright. The thing that struck me most is the gain control, which remains extremely versatile on all three positions.

Specs

  • Versatile high-gain distortion with the sound and response of a high-quality 100-watt tube amp
  • Controls for Dist, Level, Tone
  • Handset: Voice
  • Footswitch: Effect Bypass
  • Connections: Input (6.3 mm jack), mono / stereo output (6.3 mm jack), – 9 V DC power supply connector (coaxial jack 5.5 x 2.1 mm – negative pole inside)
  • Power consumption: 8 mA
  • True bypass
  • Best place where to buy : amazon.com

Dark Matter Distortion

The Dark Matter aims to offer the first flavors of Plexi. This is a British overdrive / distortion device that offers a natural and tube sound. This pedal has a true bypass circuit and quality components. On board there are four knobs and a selector, called Voice which allows you to modify the sound drastically. With a small amount of gain it is possible to get a timber suitable for the rhythm, increasing the value of the gain the sound becomes ideal for good solos. In addition to the gain knob there is that of the volume level and another (bass / treble) that allows you to equalize the sound. Finally, returning to the voice selector, you can choose between 2 different tonal options. The Dark Matter is a nice pedal that offers an open and clean sound.

Specs

  • Distortion
  • Control: Gain, level, bass, treble
  • 2 Different voice settings
  • True Bypass
  • Power supply: 9 V DC power supply or 9 V battery
  • Best place where to buy : amazon.com

Fulltone OCD v2

The Volume control allows to increase the db at the level of a booster while the Drive control which, depending on how it is set, can generate a slight overdrive, excellent dynamic distortion or high gain. The Tone potentiometer which allows to perfectly equalize the sound starting from a flat position at 12 o’clock. The small HP / LP switch positioned at the top has a different function from the previous version: if we select HP we will have a more British sound while LP tends to do not change the tone of the guitar and the amplifier you are using, this is recommended even if you use it as a booster. Hard rock and metal guitarists love his sound for the performances with powerful riffs.

Specs

  • The Fulltone “Obsessive Compulsive Drive V2” (OCD V2) replicates the dynamics and harmonics of a fully-wound tube amplifier with its typical output stage distortion
  • Very dynamic
  • Reacts strongly to the volume control of the guitar
  • Controls: Volume, Tone, Drive
  • Switch: Mini Toggle HP (High Peak) / LP (Low Peak), True Bypass / Enhanced Bypass (internal)
  • Foot switch: On / Off
  • True Bypass
  • Best place where to buy : amazon.com

MXR 78 Custom Badass Distortion

No name was ever more appropriate, the MXR M78 Custom Badass ’78 Distortion offers a classic vulgar distortion circuit accentuated especially in medium. The tone control adds a sharp sound to the top, while the crunch button increases the dynamic range and the contents of the harmonic distortion by giving two tones actually. It responds well to the dynamics of the game, this is a really good distortion pedal and it has a lot to offer, especially if you are a rock fan of the late 70s. Although the name can take you back to the past, it is a very contemporary and versatile pedal.

 

Specs

  • Analog distortion pedal for electric guitar
  • Controls for output, tone and distortion
  • Selector switch for crunch mode
  • 2 Status LED
  • Robust metal housing
  • Operation with 9V battery or Dunlop ECB-003 AC adapter (optional)
  • Made in the USA
  • Best place where to buy : amazon.com

The Entry Level

A separate note I have to do on the pedals of the BEHRINGER. At first glance they may seem very similar to a toy due to the fact that they are made of plastic and seem to break in the hand but connected to a decent amplification system the initial fear vanishes. The pedals behave well as the most titled, logically you cannot wait for perfection but are suitable for the purpose with a very accessible purchase price, here below the complete range of distortions:

Logically these are just my recommendations for the electric guitar distortion pedal based on my personal experience. The market nowadays offers a myriad of different offers for all tastes and pockets.

I hope you enjoyed this post too!

Rock on

Benny

Best guitar to buy for beginners

What is the best guitar to buy for beginners?  There is no specific age to learn to play a musical instrument. I started when I was 14 year old, many friends started later others before.

What counts is the dedication in the exercises and the desire to always learn new things.  Many people ask me what is the best guitar to buy for beginners but the answer is always the same “get one, start to play and have fun”.This answer may be vague but it is an exhortation to start.

How to start: what choose first

We can’t talk about a real process that imposes the classic or the acoustics as a starting point, a lot of people prefer to go directly by holding the electric. Below is a general overview of the various types of guitars in circulation, also divided into macro-groups.

The Classical Guitar

Classical guitar is often refers to as the Spanish guitar due to its origin and almost all of them start with this model. They are considerably smaller than the acoustics. They have a thinner body that makes them much more comfortable to play while sitting. It differs from the acoustic guitar for the handle which is wider and for the strings. Strings are made of nylon rather than steel and produce thick and soft tones.

The Acoustic or Folk Guitar

The acoustic guitars is the ideal instrument for everyone: from beginners to professionals. It is versatile, rich in tones and resonance and is a must for every guitarist. The steel strings are what gives the acoustics its versatility to any musical genre. They are suitable to be played in very narrow spaces, but also in large ones. Pickups, built-in microphones and amplification are needed. A variant of this model is the 12-string guitar.

Obviously, this guitar doesn’t have six standard strings but 12. The second set of strings is thinner than the standard ones and their position is just next to the corresponding standard string, which produces the same note except for a higher octave, 12-string guitars are excellent for chord progressions.

The Electric guitar

A brief preface is a must for this paragraph because we are talking about a very important tool that has characterized entire generations of guitarists. Electric guitars have different body styles, they are made with different types of wood and each one adapts to the type of music you want to play. Although it is possible to tackle any style with the same model, it is also true that over the years some models have characterized real musical genres.

Solid Body

This is by far the most common type of electric guitar because it is the most versatile. Depending on the skill level of the musician and the extra accessories, you can play anything from jazz to indie, from blues to rock, from country to heavy metal. As the name suggests, the guitar is a solid piece of wood that lacks a hole, a characteristic of its acoustic related. For this reason it is less prone to feedback than semi-acoustic electric models, which emit a completely different sound. Pickups and electrical components are on front of the body.

Semi-acoustic

Semi-acoustics is probably closer to jazz and blues. Semi-acoustic guitars look more like a traditional solid-body electric guitar, but will have different shapes, sizes, body depths and splits. The empty or semi-empty chambers provide an acoustic fullness and a warm tone compared to the solid body ones, but they are more prone to unwanted feedback. A semi-acoustic guitar has stronger tones and volumes played in disconnected mode than a solid-body electric guitar, but it must be connected and amplified to project the best sound.

Archtop

Arched guitars, both acoustic and electric, look the same. They could appear as huge violins thanks to the violin-shaped holes or to the wings equipped on the guitar soundboard. The internal sound blocks have been integrated into hollow body guitars to offer a soft and warm tone that jazz musicians love. On an electric guitar, the arches have pickups. The full-bodied arches offer the warmth and tone of the acoustic equivalent when disconnected. But its thin twin can minimize unwanted feedback better than the full-bodied one when connected to an amplifier.

Few words on the Guitar’s cousin: the Bass

The standard bass differs from the guitar by the number of strings. Generally, they require four steel strings, but there are models with five or six strings. The sound is more precisely and together with the drums it ‘s the core of every song being an essential part of the rhythm part.

Most people who dedicate themselves to this instrument always choose the electric version, which will always need amplification. The electric bass has a solid body, hardware and the pickups are on the front. The acoustic bass is less common.  Instead of using amplified sound pickups and being slaves of electronics.

Semi-acoustics are the bass versions of semi-acoustic electric guitars, they require a source of energy to have a better sound. The semi-acoustic bass has a semi-empty body.

Finally there is the electro-acoustic bass, this can be called the ideal hybrid. It resembles the acoustic four-string bass and hollow body, but it shows the electric combos needed for amplification.

After this overview: what is the best guitar to buy for beginners?

As written before the important thing is to start, the market for musical instruments is vast.

You can start with a single guitar or consider complete sets that you can find on each site online but also in major stores. I always suggest starting with a classical / acoustic guitar to learn the basics and, as in my case when I started, to have fewer problems with the neighbors.

Once bases are sound, I suggest switching to the electric guitar. If the neighbors remain a problem, the best solution remains a nice pair of headphones. I hope I have made some clarity in your minds and not to have created even more confusion. I wish you all the right choice and start as soon as possible with your new guitar.

Click here to find a good compromise for the best guitar to buy for beginners.

Benny