Rabea Massaad rated three overdrive pedals highly in a blindfold test – and the winner was a tweaked '90s classic

Boss Blues Driver on a wooden floor
(Image credit: Future)

Andertons' blindfold gear shootouts are fascinating exercises because they remove preconceptions and focus purely on what matters; how something sounds. So when Rabea Massaad's discerning ears moved on to pick his favourite overdrive pedals after his last test with reverbs, we were interested to see what would happen.

And it's a true classic that won out; the Boss Blues Driver in its expanded Waza Craft edition remained in a winner-stays-on shootout involving the great and the very good. But surprisingly for a player who doesn't usually seem to gravitate to klones, he placed the Wampler Tumnus was second – following on from it from winning an Andertons klone-focussed shootout judged by 'Danish Pete' Honoré two years ago, and scoring highly again compared to a real Klon Centaur earlier this year. 

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Warm Audio Warmdrive

(Image credit: Future)

Warm Audio Warmdrive review

Coming in at third place was the Wam Audio Warmdrive – its take on the Love Pedal Zendrive that we rated highly in our own review. 

The good news is all three of these overdrive pedals are not nearly as expensive as some of the other competition that was on the Andertons table in the shootout, with the Tumnus priced at around $150 at Sweetwater and £139 at Andertons, the Warmdrive £155  and the Boss BD-2W Waza Craft Blues Driver Pedal $184.99 and £159.

Best mini guitar pedals: Wampler Tumnus Overdrive

(Image credit: Wampler)

Boss has proved again that class is permanent, and the rise in boutique pedals won't change that. Its Waza Craft range tweaks the classic by offering additional modes – in this case one with more body and sustain. Most of all, it cannot be overlooked that in two blind tests with two very different guitar players, the little Wampler Tumnus continues to impress so much. 

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.