In Part 1 of this two-part post, we looked at options for an affordable pedalboard, either DIY or a cheap pre-made solution by Harley Benton. Sticking to our €200 all-in budget, it’s time to splurge on some pedals! Here we present some combinations of pedals that are cheap yet still manage to deliver some great guitar tones.
The Pedalboard Challenge: Get a full-on pedalboard with effects for €200!
Depending on whether you opted to build your own pedalboard or buy a pre-made pedalboard setup, you’ll have €100-180 to spend on some new effects pedals. We asked some of the Gearnews crew to put together some combinations of affordable pedals, each with a slightly different focus. Depending on the FX available on your amp, you might be able to divert funds to other kinds of pedals, though.
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Jef’s Pedals: around €160
- Drive: Boss SD-1*: €56
- Flanger: Mooer E Lady*: €62 or Phaser: Mooer Ninety Orange:* €57
- Delay: TC Electronic Echo Brain*: €45
I like an overdrive and possibly some modulation, plus a delay. My favourite all round overdrive pedal is the classic SD-1. The build quality of Boss pedals is great and the SD-1 isn’t fussy with its power requirements. It gives a subtle volume boost with milder settings, through to kicking the front end of an amp hard to make it overdrive. Or use it as a faux treble booster. My two favourite budget modulation pedals are both made by Mooer. The e-lady flanger sounds great. The Ninety Orange gets some 70s-style phasing on your pedalboard for a low cost. I don’t use a lot of reverb at all, or use the reverb built into my guitar amp. But I like to have an analogue delay handy. The Echo Brain has all you need and it’s super cheap too.
Bob’s Pedals: around €170
- Delay: TC Electronic The Prophet €45
- Reverb: TC Electronic Sky Surfer €33
- Chorus: Electro-Harmonix Neo Clone €74
- Tuner: Harley Benton CPT-20 €18
I have almost always been someone who gets the bulk of the tone off the amp itself. So no drive pedals needed. Also, all my effects will be stuff I use via an FX loop. All I ever find myself using are Delay, Reverb and Chorus. Plus, I like having a floor mounted tuner pedal as it also acts as a nice mute pedal.
Asad’s Pedals: around €180
- Wah: Harley Benton Custom Line WP-60 Wah €59
- Overdrive: Harley Benton Vintage Overdrive €30
- Phaser: Harley Benton Vintage Phase €30
- Delay: Harley Benton Digital Delay €30
- Reverb: tc electronic Sky Surfer €33
My idea was to put together a combination that should provide useful tones for most players. Not everyone needs a wah, of course, but if you’re in a band that needs a wah sound, I’m not aware of any substitutes. If you’ve already got gain on your amp, the Vintage Overdrive can provide a bit of an extra kick. It’s likely based on a TubeScreamer of some sort which is a classic enough sound, and should do the job for most situations. And I can’t do the intro to “Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love” without a phaser, so that had to be on there. I think everyone should have a delay, especially if you’re playing covers. If the amp doesn’t already have reverb, sometimes a bit of reverb is nice for sparse parts, or just a bit of depth.
Angus’ Pedals: around €100
- Drive: Harley Benton British TrueTone €30
- Chorus: TC Electronic Afterglow €30
- Reverb: TC Electronic Sky Surfer €33
If you bought a pedalboard and power supply for around €100, then you have only €100 to spend on pedals to stick to our €200 limit. So I wanted to see how much you can get for €100. For a budget overdrive, I found the Harley Benton British TrueTone hard to beat on value, with a 3-band EQ and some nice tones for only €30 (not loving the colour, though). The Afterglow is a no-nonsense chorus, and the Sky Surfer does everything you can expect for €33.
What are your recommendations for budget effects pedals? Let us know in the comments below!
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