Top 4 Must-Have Effects Pedals Under $200

Tony Schreiber, co-founder of Pedal Genie, gives his top picks for the coolest pedals you didn’t know you needed.

Don’t be afraid to try anything, regardless of brand, looks or price. You never know what’s going to make your rig sing or surprise you with something you’ve never heard before. What we’ve done is taken a look at four must-have (and UNSUNG) guitar pedals that retail under $200. Check ’em out and let us know what you think in the comments!

Moog MF Chorus

Moog MF Chorus Minifooger Chorus Guitar Effect Pedal

The three position Mix toggle of the Moog MF Chorus gives you access to light and airy chorus, a thicker and syrupy version and in the last position, a rich vibrato. With delay times longer than most chorus pedals, and in true Moog fashion, you can get it into interesting slapback territory with ease. The extra controls let you coax wobbly and swelling sounds not usually associated with a chorus pedal. A nice touch.

Top Reason to Buy: from subtle chorus to wild feedback, this is a tweaker’s chorus pedal.

Pros: useful expression input, stereo output (TRS), LED pulses with modulation.

Cons: not the best choice for classic ’80s chorus textures.

Price: $189

 

Boss RV-6 Reverb

Boss RV6 Digital Reverb Pedal

The Boss RV-6 packs eight great sounding digital reverb effects into the classic Boss stompbox. The spring, plate, hall and room are all accurate and quiet. The modulate and dynamic (modulation) add creamy and dreamy effects to the mix, nearly worthy of their own pedal. But it’s the shimmer and +delay modes that push the RV-6 into boutique territory. In shimmer mode, pull back on the tone knob for a very pretty but not obnoxious octave effect. Couple the +delay effect with the 100% wet output and you’ve got ambient and shoegazing sounds on tap.

Top Reason to Buy: best shimmer reverb for the price.

Pros: stereo I/O, expression input, will do 100% wet.

Cons: traditional Boss side-mounted jacks.

Price: $149

 

Electro-Harmonix Cock Fight

Electro-Harmonix Cock Fight Cocked Wah Sound Effects Pedal

While it’s billed as a fixed wah effect, which admittedly has a limited utility, it’s the extra features of the Electro-Harmonix Cock Fight that push it into extremely useful territory. The Bottom knob lets you restore lost bass due to filtering. The wah toggle switch has a “talk” setting with formant characteristics. And then there’s the Fuzz switch, available pre- or post-filter. In talk mode with pre-heavy fuzz you can get near synth-like tones. Very cool.

Top Reason to Buy: wah, fuzz and filter effects in one box that also works well on bass.

Pros: expression input for near standard-wah functionality, bonus fuzz and “talking” wah effect.

Cons: no auto-wah, side-mount jacks.

Price: $112

 

DigiTech Dirty Robot

DigiTech Dirty Robot Stereo Mini Synth Pedal

Yes, the DigiTech Dirty Robot is a filter, but man is it expressive and controllable. Seven (!) knobs can change the sound dramatically: Mix, Mod, Start, Stop, Sens, Time and Drift. And yes, you may have heard Robot Voice before but there are so many other sounds available here. Small changes to one knob yield a myriad of possibilities from all the other knobs. This one is definitely for twisters.

Top Reason to Buy: great synth and filter tones for guitar and bass.

Pros: funky AF, stereo I/O.

Cons: side-mounted jacks, hard-to-read pedal text.

Price: $149.95

 

ABOUT PEDAL GENIE

It’s Pedal Genie’s mission to connect musicians with the right effects. Not just the ones they want, but the ones they never knew they needed because they didn’t have the opportunity to find out. For one low monthly fee, Pedal Genie offers musicians endless opportunities to evolve their sound, whether that means expanding, refining, making a subtle shift, or switching things up entirely.

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