Pedal Brand Ranking

In this post, I will share my subjective opinion on pedal companies. Obviously, every company has exceptionally good / bad pedals. The list below contains my impression of their average / common products.

Multi-effect units typically lack a high quality sounds; therefore, this article is limited with single effect pedals that I have personally used or tried.

The list is built from a bass players perspective.


Radial, ISP and Origin are in my list of the best pedals. They make very high quality and dependable products, and do their best to protect your tone and prevent hum/noise. If you can afford them, they are second to none.


Darkglass makes high quality modern pedals. If you are after modern sounds, look no further. Although I couldn’t saturate Alpha Omega hard enough (for my taste), Duality is my favorite fuzz at this time.

MXR is good. What I like particularly is, bass pedals of MXR typically gives you an option to set clean / wet levels independently. Blending clean signal is crucial for bass players, and having separate volume knobs makes settings easier (compared to blend knobs).

Boss is also OK because they provide a similar functionality on most of their bass pedals. I have a soft spot because of the (unfortunately discontinued) OC-2 octave. No other octave gets close in terms of tracking speed and sound purity, IMHO (including OC-3).

Earthquaker Devices, TC Electronic, Ibanez, Mr. Black, Neunaber and Orange are other usable brands that I tried. They work generally well without too much hassle.


Aguilar pedals are typically high quality and good sounding units. However; although their distinctive shape makes them easy to chain with other Aguilar pedals, I have a hard time chaining them with pedals from other brands. That being said, Aguilar Filter Twin is my favorite Envelope Filter at this time.

Electro Harmonix is producing some of the most unique pedals on the market; some of which I use on my atmospheric pedalboard. However, they require 9.6V of power. You either need to use their original power adapter / a big power brick, or use your standard 9V power and endure an irritating hum. I dislike crowded boards and hum equally, so I avoid EHX if possible.

Strymon and Pigtronix are among the strong players on the market. However; they typically need 12/18V of power for high quality & silent operation, which may lead to complicated pedalboards because standard 9V outputs don’t fit them.


Behringer, Digitech, Mooer, Joyo and Zoom typically provide a digital and inorganic sound. They are cheap, but you get what you pay for.

Many of their pedals are also notorious for tone sucking – your tone degrades even if you turn the pedal off.

That being said, some professional artists that I know use Digitech & Zoom pedals here and there.

Further Reading

Beyond the brand, you might wonder which type of pedal to get – check my effect pedal purchase guide

3 thoughts on “Pedal Brand Ranking

  1. Pingback: How I Use DI Boxes
  2. Pingback: Bass FAQ

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