Now to start, this is not a “THE BEST OVERDRIVE/DISTORTION PEDALS FOR 2018” this is just me telling you about my favorites and what is currently on my personal board!
#1 The Coppersound Pedals Foxcatcher OD.
This is a low gain OD pedal, possibly getting into mid gain. I would say it is a tweaked BluesBreaker style pedal. I use this one to push my Dr. Z Prescription ES and add a little hair in any situation where I can’t dime the amp and it handles this so well! It’s a simple pedal having Volume, Tone (which has a TON of range), Nature (basically a Presence control) and Drive. It also has a boost channel which I am not going to get too into here. What I love most about this pedal is that it doesn’t add anything extra I don’t want. It adds the gain while retaining the tone, dynamics and feel. Sitting down with this pedal and a Strat or tele is pure tone heaven for me. What I wouldn’t use this pedal for is to play into a clean amp, crank the drive knob and try to use it for a higher gain tone, that is not what it was made for. It DOES stack well though! I stack mine with:
#2 The Barber Gain Changer.
I would say this is a Medium Gain pedal possibly getting into high gain. (it also has a low gain mode on it). I generally run my Foxcatcher on and click this on for anything higher gain needed from Tom Petty to Blink 182. (cover band life..) I love this pedal for the same reason I love the Foxcatcher in that it adds what I want it to add but nothing extra. No weird midrange things, or fizzyness or anything like that. It has a 3 way mini toggle to adjust a flat EQ, a pushed EQ or a scooped EQ which is very useful when switching amps. When I used to use an old Fender Bandmaster i would use the Pushed EQ setting and on my Z, I run it flat. It’s like a chameleon pedal with that setting available! Using this pedal on it’s own just adds gain and the amount is up to you. If you have the switch on the lower gain setting it is a killer low gain OD. Switch it to the higher gain side and push the gain and you’re got a killer distortion pedal that remains clear and your amp still sounds like your amp!
#3 Vertex T Drive.
Based on the legendary Trainwreck Express amplifier this pedal has that cranked amp about to explode feel and best of all… it has 2 knobs! I’ve used this as both a lower gain drive at times or a higher gain drive and I am not sure which I like it for better yet! It’s super sensitive to your playing style and how hard you dig in which is something I need and love from a pedal. It’s not a tight sounding pedal, definitely more spongy but I am saying that in a good way! I’ve never really played another pedal that feels like this one so it’s definitely worth checking out!