A vastly underrated overdrive gets even more rating worthy.

Great capacity for balanced detail across gain range. Sweet growl in low mids. Silky smooth. Useful EQ section.

20 bucks more than the original—but who's countin'?

$79

TC Electronic MojoMojo Paul Gilbert Overdrive
tcelectronic.com

4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5

Were TC Electronic stomps not already abundant in our Killer Pedals Under $100 feature, the original MojoMojo would have been a shoo-in. I've had one for years, used it in recording situations, and watched other artists select it in place of more exotic and expensive overdrive fare. In general, the original MojoMojo's flexibility, liveliness, capacity for detail, balance, and organic amp-ish gain textures made it a hit. All of those qualities live on in the new Paul Gilbert version, but with more available gain, higher headroom, and a robust low-mid bump that impressively adds airiness rather than flab.


The Gilbert edition retains its silkiness and capacity for detail at the most saturated settings too.
Recorded with Fender Telecaster, black panel Fender Tremolux, Universal Audio OX with Marshall 4 x 12/Greenback cabinet emulation.
  • TC Paul Gilbert Mojo Mojo: all controls at noon for rhythm track, progressively advanced gain, treble and bass settings as lead track develops.

Played side-by-side and at equivalent settings, the original MojoMojo sounds comparatively boxy and thinner. But the Paul Gilbert version's extra low mids don't just add mass. They make the output sound more full-spectrum and a lot silkier—a tone picture that really flatters single coils but is just as detailed with all but the muddiest humbuckers. The Gilbert edition retains its silkiness and capacity for detail at the most saturated settings too—even with the toggle in extra-gain "11" mode and the gain knob up high. Predictably, such settings make solos sing, but it's easy to dial in acerbic early-Jimmy Page tones with enough treble. Full chords sound balanced and sparkling across the gain range too—exhibiting a deep growl in the low-mids and lots of assertive top end.


An overachieving overdrive that gets way bigger than its name suggests.

Sweet balanced crunch tones. Dynamic. Sparkling, full, and clean at attenuated guitar volume. High-quality build.

Pretty expensive.

$249

Great Eastern FX Small Speaker Overdrive
greateasternfx.com

5
4.5
4.5
4

Overdrive pedals don’t often set my world alight—even great ones. But I’ve spent a month with the England-built Great Eastern FX Small Speaker Overdrive, and it remains attached to the other end of my coil-y cable. Ostensibly, the Small Speaker is meant to be a variation on the tweed-Fender-Champ-in-a-box theme. However, both the pedal’s name and the Champ associations fail to do justice to how large and alive it sounds and feels tethered to a bigger amp.

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