Frequently Asked Questions

The first question would probably be “What are distortion pedals?” A distortion pedal is a little box that creates the type of distorted guitar sounds that you hear in rock music. You plug the guitar into one side of it, and the amp into the other.  It’s powered by either a battery or an AC adapter.

Best distortion pedal under $100?

The cheapest pedals that I’ve found are the Danelectro Fab series which usually go for less than 20. There are a ton of pedals out there for less than $100, I’d probably say the Boss DS-2 going around $75 brand new. It’s a classic.

Do you know of any plans to convert a pedal board into a suitcase?

I found this one: How to convert a vintage suitcase into a pedalboard

What about the Joyo JF-02 Ultimate Overdrive Pedal?

It’s got a metal chassis and true bypass so it’s worth trying out. Edit, October 12, 2013: I recently tried the pedal and wrote a review on the Joyo JF-02.

How do you build a distortion pedal?

I’ve started blogging about building a distortion pedal here in the howto category.  In the meantime, google has a lot of information .. maybe too much to digest which is why I will doing the build step-by-step.

How do you mod a distortion pedal?

I will be blogging about modding a distortion pedal in future posts so stick around.  In the meantime, take a poke around google.

How do you fix a distortion pedal?

I recently wrote an article on how to fix a distortion pedal.

How do you maintain a distortion pedal?

I recently wrote an article on distortion pedal maintenance.

Does distortion include fuzz?

I would say, yes.  Definitely.

What’s the difference between a distortion pedal and the distortion on my amp?

If your amp is solid state and your distortion pedal is a regular solid state Boss type pedal, then there probably isn’t that much difference other than the circuitry on your amp’s distortion might be more elaborate depending on the model.  On the other hand, both amps and pedals can also have tubes supplying gain but that’s a whole different ballgame than what is commonly known as a distortion pedal.  Most classic amps have a large chassis that fits a variety of tubes, switches, knobs, circuits and wires. Some may even have a speaker built in. On the other hand, pedals are usually quite small and can be accessed using your foot or hand while playing. Many pedals nowadays, and even some amps, intend to (usually digitally) model a classic amp’s sound. So, in summary, I would say that there isn’t always a huge sound difference between pedal distortion and amp distortion but there is a wide variety of designs available for amps that can’t be put into a small sized pedal.

Are there other distortion pedals that do what the OCD does?

Take a look for the Joyo OCD clone. Update October 12, 2013: I recently wrote a review of the Joyo JF-02 and it is quite close to the sound and features of the Fulltone OCD.

(Updates October 12, 2013): The Joyo OCD clone was mentioned twice in this FAQ, which are a list of questions submitted to me by various readers of the site. I guess it is quite the mythical pedal!)

If you have any questions about distortion pedals in general, or a specific model of distortion pedal, please feel free to click the contact us button and submit your question to be answered on the site!

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