10 Pedalboard Essentials on a Budget

Dunlop GCB95F Cry Baby Classic Wah

Dunlop Crybaby Classic

To start off we have one of the most iconic pedals of all time! It became the effect that took rock and roll to the next level back in 1966, and almost 60 years later it is still being used by just about every musician. The GCB95 is the modern interpretation of the legendary pedal, with a more focused high end and a more aggressive, in your face wah sound. Featuring a heavy duty die cast construction, this pedal is made to be used for years of stomping, playing and headbanging. This pedal board classic has a timeless sound that should be a part of every guitarists arsenal.


MXR Super Badass Distortion

MXR Super Badass Distortion

If you name a pedal “Super Badass” you need to make sure it lives up to the name. MXR for sure delivers on that promise. The Super Badass Distortion puts decades of 100% analog distortion at your feet. With its highly responsive Distortion control, the Super Badass covers a full spectrum, from early ’70s low gain overdrive to modern “scooped” metal distortion and every shade of dirt in between. Once you’ve dialed in that perfect amount of gain, the 3-band EQ allows you to sculpt your perfect sound! The Super Badass Distortion features true bypass switching and comes ready for the road with the sturdy housing and durable components that MXR is known for. MXR offers some of the most versatile pedals on the market and for a price that will blow you away. Whether you’re in your bedroom, in the studio, or on the stage, this pedal makes you feel like a badass!


Electro-Harmonix Soul Food Transparent Distortion / Fuzz / Overdrive

Electro-Harmonix Soul Food

Do you want the KLON CENTAUR but don’t want to pay the KLON CENTAUR price? That is exactly what EHX had in mind when making the Soul Food.  An affordable alternative that is a welcome addition to any pedalboard no matter your experience level. The Soul Food cooks up a beautiful transparent overdrive perfect for clean boosts to rich distortion. You can push your amp right to the point of breakup, or use it for it aggressive 70’s style overdrive. The boosted power rails provide a lot of headroom and increased definition. The rugged and compact design ensure that you won’t be using a while lot of precious real estate on your pedal board. This is the perfect pedal for musicians who want something simple to use and gets the job done!


Way Huge Smalls Swollen Pickle Fuzz

Way Huge Swollen Pickle

When you have arguably the greatest name for a pedal, you need to have a sound that matches. The Way Huge Swollen Pickle definitely doesn’t disappoint. Offering all of the intense fuzz you would be expecting, but in a smaller pedalboard-friendly enclosure, and with a much simpler control scheme. With the classic 3 knob control set up, you can customize your sound to you hearts content. In place of the Crunch and Scoop knobs, you have Crunch and Scoop toggles. Flip the Scoop switch to really sound huge, or flip the Crunch to toggle your compression intensity. Flipping both knobs down delivers the classic Swollen Pickle setup. Although this pedal may be smaller than those that came before it, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have as much fuzz!


Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Reverb

Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Reverb

It’s called the Holy Grain for a reason! Down from the heavens to make you sound like a guitar god, and for a price that will make you think there is some divine intervention. A compact digital reverb that captures the tone and ambiance of the classic spring reverbs that are found on so many iconic amps. The smooth Hall reverb that sounds like it was custom made for whatever guitar is plugged in to it. Finally the famous "Flerb" setting that combines Flanger and Spatial reverb for a unique ethereal sound. Achieve enlightenment with one of the best reverb pedals on the market!  


MXR M234 Analog Chorus

MXR M234 Analog Chorus

You can’t beat the magic of a real analog chorus, and that’s why MXR’s M234 Analog Chorus should be in everyone’s pedal chain. Tweak the M234’s rate, level, and depth controls to go from a subtle ambient shimmer to intense swirls. On top of that you have knobs for cutting high and low frequencies that allow for ultimate tone control. Like all MXR pedals, the M234 comes in a sturdy housing unit to ensure that this pedal can be used for years to come!


MXR M101 Phase 90

MXR 101 Phase 90

The pedal that gave Eddie Van Halen his legendary tone! For more than four decades, the Phase 90 has been a staple on pedal boards around the world and in any genre. This pedal became the icon of the Phaser category of effects pedals. With a twist of the rate knob you can take the Phase 90’s warm modulation from subtle to all out high velocity swooshing, this pedal can expand any instruments sonic capabilities. If this pedal is good enough for Eddie Van Halen, Dave Grohl, Josh Homme, and David Gilmour, why wouldn’t it be good for you?


MXR M102 Dyna Comp Compressor

MXR 102 Dyna Comp

The Dyna Comp Compressor is one of the most widely used compressors of all time. If you want to tighten up your signal, or add a touch of rich sustain this is the pedal you want to add to your rig. This pedal is straightforward and extremely user friendly! With only an output knob and a sensitivity knob you can get chunky cleans tones to shimmery sustained tones. This pedal has made it onto the pedalboards of guitarists such as Joe Perry and Johnny Garcia! MXR Dyna Comp has put classic compression into a compact, extremely affordable pedal!


MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay

MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay

Every guitarist needs a good delay! And the MXR Carbon Copy is without a doubt the most widely used delay pedal on the market! This was every guitarists first delay pedal, and there is a good reason for that. This pedal offers an unbelievable range of tones with a simplistic user interface. Using a three knob layout that controls delay, mix, and regen. The 600ms delay time means you can get a wide range of delays, plus the addition of the Bright Voicing mod button means you can accentuate high end frequencies for enhanced presence and clarity. Two internal tone pots offer user adjustable width and rate control of modulation for even more tone customization. All of this in a rugged compact pedal means that this is a must have on any pedal board!  


MXR M238 Iso Brick Power Supply

MXR Iso Brick

Getting away from pedals is a rather overlooked pedalboard essential. The MXR M238 Iso Brick is a power supply for your pedals. Rather than daisy chaining your pedals together and plugging them into an outlet, you plug all of your pedals neatly into the Iso Brick. Each of the Iso Bricks outputs are fully isolated, eliminating any ground noise. It doesn’t matter what pedal you have whether its analog or digital,  positive or negative, the Iso Brick covers it all. It also doesn’t matter what voltage you need, the Iso Brick has six 9v outputs, two 18v outputs, and two variable outputs adjustable from 6v to 15v. This little box with ensure your pedals run reliably and quietly for countless gigs!

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1 comment

  • Daniel Goldman

    I use pedals with my Eurorack. I am looking for a teaccher to give me private lessons on Zoom so I can better use the pedals
    thank you

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