overdrive pedal review

Easy on the wallet, with an abundance of fun tones.

Growly low-gain voice. Punchy. Sounds great at wide open tone settings.

Might be too compressed or too high gain for some tastes.

$79

Fender Hammertone Overdrive
fender.com

4
4
4
4

Fender’s most important gift to the effects cosmos is spring reverb. That legacy, however, tends to obscure other high points in the company’s effects history, which is dotted with a few classics—if not runaway commercial hits.

At appealing prices ranging from $79 to $99, the new Fender Hammertone pedals could easily be huge sellers. But what makes these effects extra attractive is that they don’t have the functional or operational feel of generic entry-level pedals. Most have a strong, even distinctive, personality—at least compared to other inexpensive effects. They each come with extra features and voices that stretch the boundaries of the foundational tones. And if the voices aren’t always the most refined or lush when compared to more expensive analog equivalents or expensive digital units, they are fun and prompt a lot of musical sparks.

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A bargain klone delivers expensive OD tones.

Nice clarity and detail. Well made for the money. Effective extra midrange seasoning.

Not quite as euphonic as some of the best replicas or original Klon.

$129

76Owl Owldrive
76owl.com

4
4
4.5
4

Mythical, magical, mysterious … overrated? Whatever praises or criticisms you slather on the original Klon Centaur overdrive, there's no denying the way it captured the imagination of thousands of guitarists—and inspired underwhelmed observers to question why originals are worth several thousand dollars.

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