Overdrive pedals have been famously used across all genres of guitar-based music, from blues to country to metal. With their popularity, there are a lot of options on the market. Sometimes it can be difficult to sort through the 100s of viable options of pedals, so we compiled a short list of some of our favorites!

Here’s our Top 4 Overdrvie Pedals for Metal!

1. Horizon Devices ‘Precision Drive’

Co-founded by Misha Mansoor (Periphery), Horizon Devices’ debut pedal, the ‘Precision Drive’, is an innovative overdrive pedal built by MXR, specifically with the modern metal musician in mind. The Horizon Devices team actually built the pedal around community feedback to ensure it was exactly what the metal community wanted.

It features 5 simple controls, an attractive design with blue LEDs, and a true bypass circuit.

The ‘Attack’ knob allows you to dial in your desired amount of punch, and the ‘Volume’ knob acts as a clean boost. The ‘Bright’ knob lets you fine-tune your high end to control how much your tone cuts. The ‘Drive’ knob is the level of saturation applied and finally, the ‘Gate’ controls the built-in noise gate to control how tight your tone is.

The Precision Drive’s unique design and feature-set will surely pave the road for how overdrive pedals will be designed in the future.

If you want to hear the Precision Drive in action, head over to the Horizon Devices Website, and take a listen to the sound clips provided by grammy-nominated musician Misha Mansoor.

2. Seymour Duncan 805

Created by the legendary engineers at Seymour Duncan, the 805 is seemingly based on the classic Ibanez TS808, but it stands on its own two feet with an impressive set of features and versatile sound.

While it wasn’t necessarily intended for metal, it’s ‘Drive’ knob can push your sound well into metal territory. The ‘Level’ knob works as a clean boost, and the well-voiced EQ knobs (Bass, Mid, Treble) give you plenty of control to customize your tone.

Let’s also not ignore the fact that the 805 is definitely one of the best-looking pedals on the market.

It’s sharp looks and precise EQ has definitely earned the Seymour Duncan 805 a spot on our list!

Head on over to the Seymour Duncan Website to hear some sound clips!

3. Walrus Audio Mayflower

Walrus Audio pedals are always instantly recognizable, and that proves to be consistent with the Mayflower. The attractively designed Mayflower is advertised as a medium gain overdrive pedal. It clearly wasn’t made directly for metal applications, but it sure does the trick, and quite well I might add.

The Mayflower offers a transparent boost with a low-noise level. While it doesn’t introduce a ton of extra gain for extreme metal applications, it offers a really nice, organic sound with just the right amount of breakup before the amp.

It’s ‘Drive’ and ‘Level’ settings work just like most OD pedals do, controlling the amount of saturation and the volume of the clean boost. The ‘Bass’ and ‘Treble’ knobs let you shape the upper and lower end of your tone to suit your amp.

The warm, natural sound of the Mayflower, while still being able to produce the right amount of gain is what made it onto our Top 5 Overdrives for Metal!

Check out the Walrus Audio YouTube channel for audio clips!

4. Ibanez Ts9

Between the 80’s and the 90’s, Ibanez’s Tubescreamer pedals (specifically the Ts9 and Ts808) were a tonal phenomenon. The Tubescreamer shaped the way we look at overdrive pedals now. In more recent times, Ibanez took to reissuing the classic TS9 and it still holds up to this day.

The Ts9 is famously used as a clean boost to push your high gain amp even further, by keeping the ‘Drive’ knob low and cranking the ‘Volume’ knob. The ‘Drive’ knob adds some clipping distortion that provides extra sustain and grit as well. The single ‘Tone’ knob is somewhat of a Low Pass Filter that can adjust the amount of treble in the signal.

It may not be the most unique anymore, but the TS9 is a timeless overdrive that we can thank Ibanez (and Maxon) for providing us. It is, and always will be a staple of the pedalboard.

Check out sound clips on the Ibanez Website!

While we only included a short list of our top favorites, as there are many great overdrives out there.

Keep in mind that while overdrive pedals are an integral part of metal tone, it’s important that you dial in a great tone on the amp for your overdrive to do you any good!

We hope you enjoyed this article! If you did, make sure to check out more, because we upload new reviews, technical articles, lessons, and more daily!

Also, we are a dealer for many beloved brands such as PRS, Ibanez, Mayones, Schecter, ESP, and more! Feel free to stop by our shop and we can help you find the right guitar for you at the best price possible.

This article was written by Zac Buras, our editor located in Louisiana