If you are looking for a quality pedal for your guitar, you have come to the right place. We’ve reviewed some of the best guitar pedals the market has to offer, including distortion pedal models, delay pedal models, looper models, reverb pedals, compressor pedals, volume pedals and more.
Top Cheap Guitar Pedals Reviews
Here are a few of our favorite inexpensive guitar pedals in 2021.
1. TC Electronic Dark Matter Distortion Stompbox Effect Pedal
Pedal type: Distortion
- Perfect for metal and rock
- Highly responsive tone controls
- Packed with tons of gain
Let’s start off with TC Electronic’s ‘Dark Matter’ distortion pedal. This particular model is true to its name – it’s dark and offers plenty of Gain, making it perfect for heavier genres of music. It packs four main tone controls, including gain, level, bass, and treble, and a ‘voice’ switch. Using it is super easy, mainly because the control knobs are highly, but not overly responsive. You’ll notice clear, audible differences as you tweak with them. However, taming this beast might prove to be a challenge. Namely, it’s packed with drive even at the lowest ‘gain’ settings, so you’ll probably have some difficulties switching to cleans if needed. It might not be as big as the Big Muff, but it screams and roars like a bat out of hell. On the flip side, this isn’t so much of a downfall for rockers and metalheads since they typically avoid cleaner, mellower tones altogether. The Dark Matter pedal features a true bypass switch that you can use to single it out from your chain, as well as the ‘voice’ switch, which completely changes the way the bass frequencies respond to this pedal (and vice versa). It also has a tiny footprint and can fit into any pedalboard setup.
2. TTONE’s Double Channel AB Line Selector Looper Pedal
Pedal type: Line Selector
- Diecast aluminum housing
- True bypass
- Two channels
Next up is TTone’s double channel Looper pedal. It’s one of the best cheap guitar pedals on the market as it sports a huge variety of cool features, including true bypass, clearly visible LED indicators and a diecast aluminum housing.
What makes this pedal so great is the fact that it’s incredibly easy to use. This pedal doesn’t feature any volume or tone control knobs; it comes supplied with a single power on/off button, which makes it absolutely ideal for beginners.
This is a passive pedal that has a very straightforward learning curve; on top of all the beginner-friendly benefits it brings to the table, this pedal also provides two channels, which means that you’ll be able to create wild loops with a friend too.
Last, but certainly not least, this pedal is built like a house of bricks. Its aluminum casing can easily withstand years and years of use. It does pack a big footprint, though, and it will most likely take up to two pedal spaces in a pedalboard.
3. AMMON’s Mosky MP-51 Spring Reverb Mini Single Guitar Effect Pedal
Pedal type: Reverb
- One of the best budget delay pedals on the market
- True bypass
- LED lights
AMMON’s MOSKY MP-51 is probably one the best guitar pedals in the reverb section; it’s cheap, but its performance can easily go toe to toe with certain more expensive models, such as TC Electronic, for example.
There are just two control knobs onboard, including ‘mix’ and ‘dwell’, both of which affect how the reverb behaves. This pedal sports true bypass and LED light indicator, as well as a highly robust metal case.
It has one of the smallest footprints available and takes up the smallest amount of space possible. On top of that, it’s highly robust and remarkably easy to use, which makes it a perfect choice for beginners and guitarists who have some experience.
4. Andoer M5 Mini Delay Electric Guitar Effect Pedal True Bypass
Pedal type: Delay/Echo
- Very responsive
- Vintage delay sound
- Very high value
A delay pedal is essential in any guitar player’s rig. Here we are looking at Andoer’s M5 Mini delay for electric guitars.
It sports three control knobs, including ‘echo’, which affects the delay’s repetition pattern; the ‘F. Back’ (feedback), which introduces a bit of phasing reverberations; ‘time’, which affects the time of the delay.
It also rocks an aluminum alloy case and a LED indicator light that shows whether the pedal is turned on or off. In a nutshell, Andoer’s M5 Mini Delay electric guitar pedal is very portable, very easy to use, and quite durable. Moreover, it packs a miniature footprint, which means that it won’t stand in the way of your other pedals in your pedalboard.
Even though it might not be the most versatile effect pedal on the market, it’s actually pretty well-rounded for an entry-level model. If you own a cheap guitar and have little (or no) experience with delay pedals, we recommend that you check this pedal out; it does a huge bang for the buck, despite the fact that it’s a budget delay pedal.
5. Donner Digital Reverb Guitar Effect Pedal
Pedal type: Reverb
- Aluminium alloy construction
- Seven reverb modes, including room, hall, spring, plate, mod, studio, and church
- Easy to use
Donner is a brand that specializes in manufacturing budget low-end guitar pedals, and here we are looking at their digital reverb guitar effect pedal. Interestingly enough, this pedal is so versatile that it packs a huge variety of reverb modes, including room, hall, spring, plate, studio, hall, and mod.
There are three control knobs onboard, including Level, Decay, and Tone, all of which are pretty responsive overall.
All of the reverb modes are completely digitalized, even the ones that are originally analog by design. It’s powered by a standard DC 9 volt adapter; sadly, the adapter needs to be purchased separately.
On the brighter side of things, Donner’s digital reverb features a petite footprint and is incredibly compact. Furthermore, it’s highly robust as it sports an aluminum alloy casing. It’s very easy to use, it sounds quite good, and it’s available at a bargain price.
6. Joyo Multimode Wah-II Multifunctional Wah
Pedal type: Volume/Wah
- Features two selectable modes and a set of three volume-control knobs
- Massive value for the price
Wah wah guitar pedals are typically quite expensive; in fact, most models cost at least $150 or so. Joyo’s multimode Wah II is not one of them – it’s available at a very approachable price, and it boasts almost the same level of functionality as its more expensive counterparts.
It sports easily accessible volume controls on the right side of the construction, including Wah volume/bypass, ‘Min volume’, ‘quality’, and ‘range’. The prints on these knobs are somewhat misleading; the ‘quality’ actually refers to the complexity of the wah overtones while the ‘range’ actually affects the frequencies filtered through the driver.
The ‘Min Vol’ generally affects the minimum volume the pedal will output when turned on. Apart from that, the only controllable feature of this pedal is the wah foot-switch, which operates on the same principle as all wah pedals do.
The design of Joyo’s Wah II is quite interesting. It’s smaller than an average wah, and it boasts a robust aluminum casing. Overall, you couldn’t ask for more of a budget effect pedal.
7. Boss DS-1 Distortion
Pedal type: Distortion
- One of the best guitar effects pedals in the budget section
- Capable of producing slightly fuzzy tones and massive rock crushers just the same
- Suitable for both beginner and skilled guitar players
If you are looking for a quality guitar pedal, you should definitely check out this Boss pedal. The Boss DS-1 is a classic guitar distortion pedal that is favored by beginners and seasoned veterans alike.
Simply put, what draws most guitarists towards this pedal model is its vintage 80s tone. It’s very crispy and distinct, reminiscent only of other Boss pedals that have come at a later date. The DS 1 distortion is suitable for all kinds of heavier music, including hard rock, and most sub-genres of metal, but it could also work just fine in somewhat tamer music directions.
You’ll be able to use the three control knobs (tone, distortion, and level) to go from slightly fuzzy tones, across dirty overdrive effects, to massive chugs for the most extreme types of metal.
It comes in a classic Boss housing and sports a familiar small-footprint design. In comparison to most budget distortion pedals out there, it’s pretty safe to say that Boss’s DS 1 boasts the highest level of versatility.
8. Klon Centaur Gold Professional Overdrive Guitar Effect Pedal
Pedal type: Distortion
- Overdrive pedal made from top-quality materials
- CTS Custom-made pots
- Highly sensitive and responsive volume and tone control knobs
The Klon model here is one of the most popular overdrive effects available for this price range. It features a 2-band EQ integrated into its base and the ‘output’ control that basically governs the overall volume.
Apart from being easy to use, this overdrive pedal looks and performs absolutely great. It’s supplied with CTS custom CTS24 pots that are as sensitive as they are responsive. Furthermore, the potentiometers are highly durable, just like the casing itself, which is made from top-shelf metal and aluminum parts.
The tone of this overdrive pedal is unique, to say the least. It’s very warm and pronounced, and most importantly, it produces a very full and rich sound. There are people that compare the overdrive specs to TC Electronic pedals, although there aren’t many similarities between them.
The only potential problem you could have with the Klon’s Centaur overdrive is that it has a huge footprint. You might need to clear up some space in your pedalboard, but suffice to say, it will be well worth it.
9. Small-Lovely Guitar Effect Pedal Mini Noise Reduction
Pedal type: Noise Gate
- True bypass switch
- Completely analog signal
- LED indicator
Live performers and studio musicians usually have to deal with feedback, and that’s where noise gate pedals come into play. Although most high-quality noise-reduction pedals cost a small fortune, we’ve managed to dig out a couple of effects pedals that are actually available at a rather approachable price.
The Small-Lovely Noise Gate stays true to its name – it’s actually really small and quite lovely by design. The concept of this pedal is borrowed from MXR’s own noise gate pedal, which basically means that these two models share almost identical specs.
There’s just one control knob labeled as ‘Gate’, which governs the level at which the ‘gate will open’. Simply put, cranking the knob up will activate the noise gate sooner, as soon as even a small amount of feedback enters the fray, and vice versa.
One of the main features of Small-Lovely’s noise gate pedal is the true bypass, which aims to help guitarists achieve the clearest tone, no matter how distorted or overdriven it may be.
10. Fulltone 69 MKII Fuzz Guitar Effects Pedal
- Vintage-style fuzz that's fat and harmonic
- Cleans up like a vintage Fender amp
- Two hand-picked germanium transistors
Pedal type: Fuzz
- Jimi Hendrix’s Choice
- Very versatile; works great in symbiosis with other guitar effect pedals
- Built-in bias trimmer that adjusts clipping and tracking
Let’s wrap it up with a pedal that has retained its popularity through more than half a century. Fulltone’s pedals are held in high regard within the circles of professional guitarists, but what made the ’69 MKII Fuzz so famous is the fact that it was used by no other than Jimi Hendrix.
Although you won’t be able to achieve Jimi’s tone with the ’69 MKII Fuzz alone, it will certainly help you get a little closer to it.
There are two volume control knobs and two switches onboard; the Volume adjusts the intensity of the signal and the fuzz basically doubles as the ‘tone’ knob.
The ‘input’ interacts with other pedals in the chain and filters other effects (or let them pass through) in a relatively inconspicuous way. The ‘Contour’ switch is really interesting, as it practically eats a good chunk of the volume, allowing you to use this pedal in the home environment.
What makes this guitar pedal so special is that it comes supplied with a built-in Bias trimmer. It automatically adjusts clipping, tracking, and the dynamics of harmonics, preventing feedback and unwanted noises in the process.
Frequently Asked Questions about Cheap Guitar Pedals
1. What are the most popular cheap guitar pedal brands?
There are so many budget guitar pedal brands that you’ll probably need weeks to sift through their catalog and twice as much time to memorize their names. Additionally, certain pedals in the budget price range are considered as top-quality models regardless of their price labels, such as Big Muff or Boss’s DS 1, for example.
Some of the most popular cheap guitar brands are Mooer, Danelectro, Behringer, Joyo, Biyang, Ammoon, Donner, and Caline. TC Electronic also features a couple of cheap guitar pedals too, even though it’s a bigger brand.
2. Are Donner pedals any good?
Donner pedals might not be too creative or genuine, but that’s why they actually are a bit better than average cheap pedals. They’re replicas and clones of high-quality pedals made by industry leaders with a slightly different configuration and setup. While most budget pedal brands also dabble in replicating top-tier pedal schematics, Donner’s doing just a slightly better job for the price.
3. Are Donner and Mooer the same?
Donner and Mooer are two separate brands, so in that regard, they are not one and the same. However, most people who have used pedals from both brands have noticed a peculiar amount of similarities between them, which could make you think that they’re built by the same team of engineers.
The reason why Mooer and Donner pedals look, sound, and perform almost exactly the same is that they come supplied with the same type (if not even the same model) of circuitry and hardware.
4. Are Mosky pedals good?
We’ve included one of the Mosky pedals, the MP-51 Spring Reverb, in our review because it actually is pretty good for the money, just like most Mosky pedals. One thing in common with the vast majority of Mosky cheap pedals is that they’re all (almost exclusively) within the budget price point category.
Even though they’re dirt cheap, these pedals boast a huge level of performance. For example, the MP-51 is a strong, relatively authentic reverb; the Sho booster is simple but incredibly effective, and the Black Rat distortion is actually one of the strongest distortion pedals in this price range. In short, yes, Mosky pedals are quite great for the price.
5. Are Behringer pedals good?
Behringer does not only make great pedal guitar models, but they also boast a catalog of some of the best cheap guitar models on the market. Their V-Tone Acoustic Driver is easily one of the best cheap guitar pedals they have to offer, and the same can be said about their Vintage Tube Monster.