Top 5 Guitar Effect Pedals 2021

Top 5 Guitar Effect Pedals 2021

You’d think that with all the advances in digital technology the demand for physical single-effect pedals would  fade. On the contrary, pedals are still as popular as ever, if not more, and they are just getting fancier and fancier. On the other hand, it is breathtaking to what extent the digital multi-effect guitar workstations have now set the bar: one device for virtually everything! Boutique pedals get bonus points for their undeniably cool graphics and housing aesthetics.

Enjoy our Top 5, take a look at the video below! 👟💥


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Keeley Compressor Mini

Compressors have gained a reputation for effects that are either too complicated to use with 50 settings, or too one dimensional with just one knob. That’s where Keeley’s Compressor Mini comes in! Most of the settings here are automated “under the hood”, so you’re faced with exactly two controls: Level and Comp (ression). What you don’t see are features like auto mix (for a bit of original signal) or tone recovery (for highs with heavy compression). Robert Keeley’s popularity was cemented by the creation of his compressor, and this mini version is a worthy heir.

Price: 147 €

Walrus Audio Eras

One of the supreme disciplines of effect pedal makers is overdrive and distortion. It’s not that easy to make a major signal error sound good! The Walrus Audio Eras belongs to the ranks of high gain pedals and is ideal for big lead sounds of all kinds, but it doesn’t stop there. A mode switch selects between five different sound or clipping settings, and the sound can be fine-tuned with two-band tone control, from boost to heavy distortion to all intermediates. And for those still losing definition, there’s the blend knob, which mixes some of the original signal into the output, making the Eras an ultra-versatile drive and also suitable for bass. 😯

Price: 205 €

Neural DSP Quad Cortex

There must be something in the water up there in Finland – or how else can you explain that so many high-tech products for musicians come from this country? Neural DSP’s Quad Cortex has sparked an unprecedented wave of reaction and anticipation in the guitar world. The crème de la crème of all-in-one effects processors in a simple, easy-to-use body with a large touchscreen and all the buttons you need for more control over your sound than ever before. And that sound… 😍🙌

Price: 1,849 €

Universal Audio UAFX Golden Reverberator

Universal Audio revolutionized mixing console and recording technology in the 1950s. So if the name “Universal Audio” lands on an effects pedal, we can expect something extraordinary – in this case, a digital stereo studio reverb unit that keeps its promises. It offers five different reverb sounds, all from internal UAD plug-ins, and of course specially selected for guitarists. And when I tell you that the spring reverb is one of the first to make us say “Oh, I must have forgotten to turn off the amp reverb” you will understand why this pedal remained on our pedalboard. It’s so convincing! Fantastic pedal!

399 €

Headrush MX5

Calling such a device a multi-effects pedal doesn’t quite do it justice: under the hood of the Headrush MX5 is a powerful processor that makes just about anything possible as a guitarist. These are of course the usual amp models and their drivers, but also the whole array of important and essential effects. You will also find an integrated looper and audio interface, a touch screen to navigate your sounds and more. Incidentally, the device comes from the famous Headrush family, already at the top of the market with their Pedalboard and Headrush Gigboard, but this time in an even more moderate format and budget.

499 €

Which pedal should absolutely find its place on your board? Which one would you have added to this list? Let us know in the comments!

Author’s gravatar
Joe has been singing since he can remember and started playing guitar when he was 10. He's been using it as a songwriting tool ever since. He is passionate about melody and harmony and admires musicians who create these in unique ways. Check out his alternative / indie projects Best of Feelings and Zef Raček.

One comment

    These pedals is really impressive to have should have love to have them in my collection. Indication how to place my order because I’m stay in South Africa.

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