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Hear 7 affordable guitar effects pedals you should consider adding to your rig

Most guitar players get very excited at the prospect of new guitar effects pedals. And rightly so! It doesn’t matter if you’re buying your first pedal, or your 101st, the excitement still exists and this often leads to a burst of creativity. 

Pedals, and their use is often a debated topic. Theoretically they don’t make us play better, but they can make our playing feel and sound better to our ears. The new sounds and excitement of a new product at our feet can give us a different type of inspiration and take our playing to some new places. But that doesn't have to cost a lot. 

In this article we’re going to check out some cool pedals on the affordable end of the spectrum. Each of these pedals retails for under £100 in the UK and are all worth checking out. 

The pedals featured in this list range from overdrive pedals to modulations to delays and reverbs. Each pedal sounds great on its own, but also pairs well with other pedals on the market. 

If you’re a first time pedal buyer looking for your first pedal to kickstart the obsession, or you’ve been collecting them for years and you just want something cool you can bash around at gigs and rehearsals, check out this list!

Boss SD-1 Overdrive

The Boss SD-1 is an industry standard in the world of overdrive pedals. For such an affordable stompbox, it packs some serious punch. It sits in the same tonal family as pedals like the Tubes Screamer but offers you a more open top end and a touch more versatility.

With it being Boss, it’s also built like a tank and ready to take on any stage imaginable. These pedals are known for durability and you’ll have a hard time breaking one even in the most testing of on-stage environments.

Boss as a brand always offer reliable, but easy to use pedals. This is easy to dial in a great tone regardless of your experience with pedal tweaking.


Fender The Pelt Fuzz

Fender weren't a brand we often connected much with the pedal world, but in recent years the company has boldly ventured into that market and The Pelt is one of the highlights of its offerings

This is a very tweakable and versatile fuzz pedal that can take you from lightly broken up tones to glitchy, spluttery fuzz fun.

This pedal would make a fantastic introduction to fuzz for a player who wanted to experiment with a range of fuzz-based tones, or the perfect add on to any fuzz tone tweaker's pedalboard. It allows you to explore more low gain classic fuzz tones as well as some crazy, modern fuzz textures in one simple pedal.


Sonicake Cloud Chorus

Chorus is an effect that some players may find a touch on the dated side, after all, it’s very heavily rooted in '80s and early '90s guitar bands. When some think of chorus pedals they often imagine either '80s rock ballad tones, or '90s Nirvana Come as You Are style tones. But chorus can offer so much more as an effect. 

From subtle thickening of riffs and leads, through to some Leslie-style sounds. This Chorus is a fantastic and affordable way to check out some of the tones on offer.

If you play rock and want your rhythm tones to be fatter, try setting a very subtle chorus tone alongside your overdriven guitar. The chorus will give the guitar tone a wider and fatter sound, without sounding like there is chorus present. This is a trick that many big name players, including Joe Bonamassa, use to fatten up guitar tones.


MXR Phase 90 Phaser 

This bright orange pedal that is a staple on pedalboards worldwide. If you don’t already own one, you probably should.

Think everything from early Van Halen, to some Hendrix style Uni-Vibe-inspired swirly guitar lines. The Phase 90 can do it all. Many players enjoy using a Phase 90 on lead lines as the movement of the phaser wave can create a more fluid sound for single note  playing. Eddie Van Halen used this technique and more recently shred-master Paul Gilbert references this as part of his style too.

The pedal is simple with just one knob to control the speed of the phaser effect, but when it sounds this good, that’s all you need!


NUX Horseman Overdrive 

Based around the Holy Grail of all pedals, the Klon Centaur, the Horseman from NUX allows you to venture into those high price tag guitar tones, without needing to spend £5000 on an overdrive pedal.

To most of us, an original Klon pedal is unobtainable, and even most of the really good klones that exist on the marker are still over twice the budget of everything in this list. The Horseman however opens the door for us to get some of this flavour at a much lower, more reasonable price point.

If you love players like John Mayer, Joe Bonamassa, Joe Perry or any other Klon aficionado, the Horseman is a great way to get into that tonal ballpark on a budget. It even has a secondary mode that allows you to channel the tonal character of the Silver or Gold Klons.

You could buy 100 of these for the price of a regular Klon!


NUX Atlantic Reverb/Delay

Another Nux pedal – and this one offers two-in-one value with a great selection of reverb and delay sounds. 

One side of the Atlantic offers you three classic reverb styles (with Spring, Plate and Hall) and the other side offers you three different types of delay (named '60s, '70s and '80s and offering tape, analogue bucket brigade and digital delay-style algorithms). 

Both sides can be used together, or independently. You also have control over which order in the chain they sit, and the option to run the pedal in Mono or Stereo. Not bad for such a low-priced pedal.

Not only does it offer an excellent array of sounds with the order options, the reverb footswitch has a hold function to offer infinite sustain or momentary shimmer verb (depending on the type of reverb selected), and the delay footswitch has a built in tap tempo for nailing the perfect delay time. 


Blackstar LT Dual overdrive 

This pedal has been on the market for a while but is still readily available today. This is another two-in-one pedal, but this time we’re dealing with overdrive.

The LT Dual is two separate overdrive circuits in one, side one is slightly lower gain and the second side offers more saturation and compression, perfect for high-gain riffs.

Paired with Blackstars patented ISF, you can go from low gain bluesy crunch, to '80s British Rock to high-gain American metal tones in a single pedal!

Read more: 8 cheap but great guitar overdrive pedal alternatives to boutique classics

Leigh Fuge is a guitar player and content creator with a love for all things '80s. When he’s not creating gear demos for his Youtube channel (opens in new tab) he’s teaching students via his online guitar course Right Notes Music Tuition (opens in new tab). Off camera he spends most of his time travelling around the UK performing at functions and corporate events.  www.instagram.com/leighfugeguitar