Everyone loves a good deal right? Budget is especially important for guitar players since gear can add up quickly. Today we check out the best guitar pedals under 50 dollars, that will take your tone to the next level!
The Best Guitar Pedals Under 50 Dollars: Can Budget Pedals Really Sound Great?
I know what a lot of you are saying. NONE of the best guitar pedals under 50 dollars are worth checking out. It was challenging to find the best guitar pedals under 50 bucks, because a lot of them are cheap clones. But there are some hidden gems out there!
Guitar pedals are a huge market. Lately, expensive boutique guitar pedal companies have been the biggest market. It seems like people don’t mind paying expensive prices for a feature-packed pedal. But not all boutique pedals are full of features.
When we took a look at the best guitar pedals of all time, we saw that even some of the premium pedals may have a small list of features and functionality. That doesn’t mean they are bad, per se. That just means that they do one type of sound and they do it really well.
There are tons of pedal companies out there, and some of them cater to a very specific genre or style. These are often boutique companies, and guitarists will spend a fortune sometimes building the perfect pedalboard. There is nothing wrong with this approach. You like what you like!
But there is always a more budget friendly route to take! Today we are taking a look at the pedals that you may have overlooked because they are labeled as “cheap”. Sometimes a price can seem too good to be true, and it IS. Other times though, you might actually be getting a fantastic deal!
So lets look at the top 5 best guitar pedals under 50 bucks, and find the diamonds in the rough!
#5 Behringer Super Fuzz
Behringer makes gear for people on a budget. period. The entire model of the company is to give you an option that is similar to more expensive gear. Now this does not mean that Behringer makes “clones” or copies of popular products, as the company often puts it’s own spin on these. Behringer makes everything from recording gear to guitar stuff, and all of it is for the budget-minded consumer.
That being said, the Behringer Super Fuzz is a great example of what Behringer can do for guitarists on a budget. The Super Fuzz does a lot for a pedal that costs about 20 bucks!
- Bass Contour Control
- 3 Fuzz Modes: Classic, Grunge, and Boost
- Level/Mix Control
- Treble Cut/Boost
- Bass Cut/Boost
What seems kind of simple on the surface, turns out to be hugely versatile when looking at the Super Fuzz. The three different modes all have a unique character to them. The classic setting sounds like an old school fuzz pedal, heard first in the 60’s and 70’s. While the Grunge and Boost settings are a little more extreme. That being said, all of the settings from the switch are easy to tweak!
You can easily change the sound with the bass and treble controls. These don’t just act like your usual bass/treble controls, however. It changes the shape of the guitar signal and how the fuzz reacts to it. This is pretty unique and I have only seen these kinds of features on much more expensive pedals. This gives you tons of tonal options that you can use, whether you want a huge fuzzed out sound, or something more subtle.
This would be the perfect pedal for anyone into Doom Metal, on a budget!
Behringer has a whole line of some of the best guitar pedals under 50 bucks. I picked the Super Fuzz because it stands out as one of the most versatile and user friendly pedals in their collection. But we are just getting warmed up here!
#4 Harley Benton Extreme Metal
Harley Benton is a lot like Behringer when it comes to making budget equipment, although I would place the Harley Benton products a little bit higher in the echelon than Behringer, in terms of quality. The difference mostly being in the materials that are used, such as an all metal chassis. Also like Behringer, the entire line is some of the best guitar pedals under 50 dollars you can find!
I chose the Extreme Metal pedal because it has tons of features for such a budget price:
- Truetone Series
- Full Range EQ Section
- High Pass Boost
- Bypass Function
The Truetone series of pedals are all “unofficially” based on different amplifiers and my guess for the Extreme Metal pedal would be it’s based on a cranked Diezel Amplifier. Don’t quote me on that or anything. But it certainly seems that way. You have a lot of options here when it comes to high gain.
You have a full EQ section for your distortion here, which is something you usually never see on a “budget” style pedal. This allows you to control the entire spectrum of EQ without sacrificing tone. This is especially important with high gain pedal, since boosting the mids is so important with modern Metal styles.
You also get an awesome “boost” function that I believe was designed to kick the pedal into “lead guitar mode”. To be fair, it works really well as a feature for playing a solo. The boost switch adds a little more gain, a bit of compression, and it boosts the mid frequency. This means you can also leave the boost function always on and use it like an overdrive in front of your amp.
There is a lot to be explored with the Harley Benton Extreme metal pedal! No matter what you use it for, it’s without a doubt one of the best guitar pedals under 50 dollars you can find!
#3 XVIVE Dynarock Distortion
Going into this article, I had no idea who XVIVE was. This is a totally new company to me and I had never even seen the name before! So I had to do a little digging to find out what this company was, and who it was made by. Is this one of the best guitar pedals under 50 bucks? And if so, why? It looks so… boutique!
Turns out, the story is pretty interesting!
The XVIVE series of pedals are designed by Thomas Blug, a German musician who is pretty famous for doing his own thing, but even more popular in the artist community as being a great guitar tech. Thomas has spent his whole life working on pedals and guitars, and in 2014 he released his own designs to the public.
This is a barebones distortion pedal, so we won’t do a big deep dive into the features. This is a great pedal for people looking for simplicity and ease of use. The pedal has two knobs, one for volume and one for gain. But there is a secret weapon built into this little guy.
That secret weapon is the “mid boost” switch at the top of the pedal. This can make the Dynarock a perfect pedal for guitar solos, as it will not only boost your gain and signal, but it will compress your mid frequencies and make your guitar stand out even in a loud mix onstage.
I also found that when paired with a great high gain amp, The Dynarock is great for blending with amp distortion. I tried this with my Blackstar HT40 amplifier, and with the mi-boost engaged, I got a beautifully saturated distortion tone that didn’t sound flubby at all. The Dynarock tightened up the sound nicely. So while the features may not be versatile, the uses for this pedal definitely are!
#2 TC Electronics Nether Octaver Pedal
TC Electronics makes all kinds of audio equipment and specialize in modulation and vocal effects. But, TC Electronics also makes some really killer guitar effects as well, and the Nether Octaver is a great example of this. This is not only one of the best guitar pedals under 50 bucks, but it’s also one of the ONLY octave pedals in that price range!
I am a huge fan of using octave effects on my guitar, especially when recording. Sometimes that extra guitar guitar track with an octave effect is exactly what your song needs to add that extra “oomph”. It can also be a powerful trick live, and really make your guitar heavy as hell!
The TC Electronics Nether does something that most octave pedals doesn’t do though, and the two knob controls unlock all kinds of possibilities. You have the two controls, because one will add extra depth to your already lower octave signal. This helps correct the problem a lot of octave pedals have: it misses certain notes, especially low ones.
Well I can confidently report that the Nether Octaver does NOT have this problem at all. It picks up all of the lower notes just fine, without being too “glitchy”. It also “tracks” nicely. This means that there is no delay between you hitting a note, and the pedal picking it up and processing it. Which to be fair, is yet another common problem with octave pedals.
#1 Blackstar LT Drive Pedal
I have been using Blackstar products almost since the inception of the company. If you don’t know the story, Blackstar was created by some guys that worked for Marshall Amplification for several years. They had their own ideas as to what an amplifier is capable of doing. So they may have seemed like a scion of Marshall at first, but Blackstar is wholly their own company.
I feel like My Blackstar tube amps have some of the best sounds I have ever heard. So what if you could capture that sound in a pedal. What if you could make it one of the best guitar pedals under 50 dollars that you can buy? Where the LT Drive lacks features, it makes up for that in versatility.
- Circuitry Based on The Blackstar HT Series Amps
- High Visibility LED Status
- Easy 3 Knob Controls
- Space saving Housing
- All Metal Construction
The Blackstar LT Drive can be used a couple of different ways. We can start with what it is marketed as doing: replicating the HT Series Tube Amps. I usually don’t trust the “amp in a pedal” style products, but Blackstar nailed the distortion sound with this pedal as it sounds very organic. The gain and breakup stages are all very much like a tube amp. So you can use this in a clean amp and get a very usable distortion tone.
But…it also does something else. Though I don’t think it was intended to be used this way…
It blends really well with a tube amp’s distortion channel. So you could use it like a Tube Screamer in front of a high gain amp. BUT, you can also use it as an in between with your amp distortion to “color” the sound a little. I like to keep the settings at around noon, and then blend it in with my Mesa Boogie. This not only tightens up the high gain tones, it also adds a little something extra to your tone.
No matter how you want to use it it, there’s no denying that the Blackstar LT Drive is one of the best guitar pedals under 50 dollars that you can buy. So if you are on a budget, and need something like a Tube Screamer, this is your best option in my opinion. These also go on sale frequently!
The Best Guitar Pedals Under 50 Bucks: There Is Tons Of Great Gear Out There!
When I was compiling this list, I found more than 100 effects pedals that were under 50 bucks! This of course was only on one or two websites. I am sure that if you check other places, you can find all kinds of deals. I just picked the ones that I would implement into my rig.
There will always be people that prefer the more expensive boutique pedals and swear by things like “true bypass”. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. You do you! I understand that everyone has different tastes and preferences. Not to mention, every guitarist hears things differently as well.
But when it comes to myself, I really don’t have any bias or preferences when it comes to gear. There are things that I like more than others, of course. But I will literally try anything once!
If you are looking for the best guitar pedals under 50 bucks, these are a great start!
Who makes some of the best guitar pedals under 50 dollars?
Lots of companies are budget-minded and make great products. Companies like Behringer for instance, or Harley Benton make quality products for guitarists on a budget.
Do any of the best guitar pedals under 50 dollars have good tone?
Lots of budget guitar pedals are used by the pros all the time! Don’t be scared away by the budget price. Some of these inexpensive gems are used on stages everywhere!