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8 Best Distortion Pedals Under $100 (CHEAP!)

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If you’re searching for some of the best distortion pedals under $100, don’t worry – you’ve come to the right place! In today’s guide, I’m going to highlight some of the coolest and most affordable distortion effects available on the market right now. Hopefully, this article will help you to find your next distortion pedal.

The truth is that finding a good sounding and reliable distortion pedal is not an easy task. There are a lot of cheap effects out there, but the vast majority of them doesn’t sound that good. But thankfully, there’s still quite a few budget models that definitely deserve a lot of attention!

That’s why I decided to create a list of 8 best distortion pedals under $100. Feel free to check them out below and scroll down to the next section if you’d like to read more about each one of them. Of course, the sound demos are included as well, so you’ll be able to hear how they all sound.

Best Distortion Pedals Under $100 – List

BOSS DS-1See on AmazonSee on Thomann
Flamma FC06See on AmazonSee on Thomann
Donner Dark HorizonSee on Amazon
Behringer OD300See on AmazonSee on Thomann
Pro Co RAT2See on AmazonSee on Thomann
JOYO Dark FlameSee on AmazonSee on Thomann
Behringer HM300See on AmazonSee on Thomann
JHS 3 Series DistortionSee on AmazonSee on Thomann

1. BOSS DS-1

BOSS DS-1 Best Distortion Pedals Under $100

BOSS DS-1 is one of the most popular distortion pedals of all time. Perhaps you’re not aware of it, but you most likely heard this pedal on a lot of records before. It was extremely popular among the rock and metal guitarists, especially in the ’80s and ’90s!

What makes it so good? Well, the DS-1 model offers a lot of versatility when it comes to tone. It has a very solid solid construction and it has three controls (Tone, Level, Distortion) that give you access to a really wide range of sounds. Whether you’re searching for a subtle bite or a really powerful crunch, this pedal won’t disappoint you.

In addition, it is also worth mentioning that this pedal was frequently used by some of the most legendary musicians of all time. That includes Kurt Cobain, Joe Satriani, Robert Smith, Steve Vai and many, many more! Personally, I think it’s really cool to use the same pedal as your favorite guitarists.

For those who are not aware, BOSS also created an another version of that pedal – BOSS DS-2. It offers a few cool features, but it’s a bit more expensive. If you’d like to read more which one of them is better, feel free to check out my other article about it – Boss DS-1 vs Boss DS-2.

Overall, BOSS DS-1 features an excellent tone at a relatively low price. I have no hesitation in recommending this pedal to all guitarists who are searching for an affordable and reliable distortion pedal.

Here’s the sound demo.

2. Flamma FC06

Flamma FC06 Best Distortion Pedals Under $100

Flamma FC06 is an another proof that a good distortion pedal doesn’t have to cost hundreds of dollars. This simple, yet effective guitar effect sounds surprisingly good and it’s actually one of the cheapest models on today’s list.

The pedal features two different modes: High Peak and Low Peak. The first one boosts your bottom-end and it works amazingly when you increase the level of your drive. On the other hand, the second one (Low Peak) can be used for boosting your clean tone. Overall, the pedal sounds a bit like a fuzz, but it certainly does the job.

Considering its low price, it’s definitely one of the best cheap distortion pedals under $100. I highly recommend checking it out!

Here’s the demo.

3. Donner Dark Horizon

Donner Dark Horizon Best Distortion Pedals Under $100

If you’re not familiar with Donner Pedals, I recently wrote an article about their gear – feel free to check it out. Overall, this manufacturer creates great sounding budget pedals that can be used in a lot of different genres of music.

Donner Dark Horizon is an another great distortion pedal that doesn’t cost too much. It features a unique look and it’s built very well, so it should last you for years to come. But most importantly, this particular model gives you access to a really wide pool of distorted tones.

The manufacturer equipped this pedal with a sensitive 3-band EQ, which is an absolute game-changer when it comes to distortion pedals. In addition, it offers two different modes, so whether you’re searching for a slight distortion or a powerful crunch, you won’t be disappointed.

Undoubtedly, Donner Dark Horizon is one of the best distortion pedals under $100. It’s cheap, durable and it sounds really good – who needs anything else? Honestly, it will be really tough to beat that at this price level.

Here’s the sound demo.

4. Behringer OD300

Behringer OD300 Best Distortion Pedals Under $100

Behringer OD300 is an another really cool budget distortion pedal suitable for both amateur and more advanced guitarists. This particular model features a low price and a very nice and versatile tone, so it’s highly recommended for all the beginners. If you’re searching for your first distortion pedal, this is the way to go.

What makes it so special? Well, the vast majority of pedals manufactured by Behringer sound pretty good. Their gear is cheap, but it does the job. It may not sound as good as some of the more expensive distortion pedals out there, but it’s more than enough for entry level players. And the truth is that even more advanced players will appreciate it as well.

The pedal features a simple construction and four different controls: Level, Tone, Drive and Mode. These four knobs give you access to a really wide range of guitar tones. So whether you’re searching for a subtle overdrive to spice up your tone or a really powerful distortion for heavier riffs – this model has it all. Although you have to be aware that it sounds a bit like a fuzz effect.

Surely, Behringer OD300 is one of the best cheap distortion pedals under $100. Although it’s not perfect, it definitely deserves a lot of attention. That’s why I encourage you to check it out!

Here’s the sound demo.

5. Pro Co RAT2

Pro Co RAT2

Pro Co RAT2 is an another proof that a great sounding distortion pedal doesn’t have to be extremely expensive. Although it’s not the cheapest pedal on today’s list, it definitely deserves to be ranked as one of the best distortion pedals under $100.

This particular model is a modern iteration of the classic RAT distortion pedal. That being said, it’s extremely versatile. Whether you like to play with a very subtle tube-like overdrive or a more grungy and fuzzy sound, this pedal is the way to go. It’s recommended for both amateur and more advanced players.

What’s important, Pro Co RAT2 features a very solid construction, so it should last you for years to come. It won’t be easy to break it, so you can definitely grab it with you on your next tour!

Overall, if you’re into the hard-clipping distortion and you like grunge, rock and metal – this pedal is for you. I highly recommend checking it out, even though it’s a bit more expensive than other pedals mentioned earlier.

Here’s the sound demo.

6. JOYO Dark Flame

JOYO Dark Flame

JOYO Dark Flame is an another great distortion pedal available at a relatively low price. Personally, I think that JOYO is a really underrated manufacturer of guitar pedals. Not many guitarists are actually aware of how good the JOYO pedals are!

What makes it so special? Well, the pedal features three different types of a crunchy distortion. In addition, there’s a few knobs that allow you to control the lows, mids and highs. This is extremely important, especially in distortion pedals!

It is also worth mentioning that JOYO pedals are also really durable. Surely, the Dark Flame will last you for years to come. Overall, it’s inexpensive, it sounds good and it’s really easy to use – who needs anything else?

Here’s the sound demo.

7. Behringer HM300

Behringer HM300 Best Distortion Pedals Under $100

Behringer HM300 is an another interesting budget distortion pedal suitable for both amateurs and more advanced guitarists. This particular model is recommended specifically for all fans of heavy metal. And in fact, it’s one of the cheapest pedals mentioned on today’s list!

The HM300 pedal offers a simple construction and a great distortion tone. It may not be the most durable pedal out there (it’s made of cheap plastic), but it sounds surprisingly good. In addition, it’s really easy to use. The pedal features four different controls: Level, Low, Mid and Distortion.

The only disadvantage of this pedal is that it sounds a bit like a fuzz effect. Some guitarists may actually consider that feature as an advantage, but if you’re looking for a more classic distortion, Behringer OD300 mentioned earlier may be a better choice.

Still, it’s definitely one of the best cheap distortion pedals available on the market right now. Considering how inexpensive it is, it’s really tough to be disappointed by this tiny pink thing. That’s why the HM300 model deserves a lot of attention!

Here’s the sound demo.

8. JHS 3 Series Distortion

JHS 3 Series Distortion

JHS 3 Series Distortion is an another great and affordable distortion pedal. It’s a bit more expensive than some of the cheapest pedals on today’s list, but it definitely deserves a lot of recognition.

I have to admit that I’m a big fan of JHS pedals. This manufacturer really cares about the quality of their pedals and their gear is always made with a thorough precision. The distortion pedal visible above comes from their famous 3 Series, which offers a lot of versatility when it comes to tone and a really nice, minimalistic design.

When it comes to sound, JHS 3 Series Distortion is ideal for all lovers of heavy distortion and fuzz tones. This particular model gives you access to a really wide range of guitar tones from subtle overdrive up to crunchy grunge tones.

Undoubtedly, if you’re searching for a reliable and versatile distortion pedal, you should definitely give this pedal a chance. I’m sure that a lot of guitarists will benefit from adding this pedal to their pedalboards. And what’s interesting, this pedal works amazingly with a bass guitar as well.

Here’s the sound demo.

FAQ

Are distortion pedals necessary?

Distortion pedals are not necessary, but they’re essential for all lovers of heavier riffs.

What are distortion pedals good for?

Distortion pedals are ideal for grunge, rock and metal music. If you like these genres, you should definitely think about adding a distortion pedal to your own pedalboard.

Do distortion pedals increase volume?

Yes, distortion pedals tend to increase the overall volume of your guitar.

How to choose the best distortion pedal?

Choosing the best distortion pedal is not an easy task. There are a lot of pedals out there, although your decision should be based on your budget and your own personal preferences. Ideally, you should stick to the most famous manufacturers of pedals such as BOSS, JHS or TC Electronic.

Do I need both overdrive and distortion?

You don’t necessarily need both overdrive and distortion pedals, although it’s definitely recommended, especially if you’re into rock and metal music!

Summary

As you can see, there’s quite a few great sounding (and cheap!) distortion pedals available on the market right now. I’m sure that no matter which model you decide to choose, you won’t be disappointed. I have no hesitation in recommending all of the pedals mentioned above to all guitarists who are searching for budget and reliable distortion pedals under $100.

Which distortion pedal would you add to your own pedalboard? Leave a comment down below and let me know what you think, I’m really curious to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for checking out today’s guide, hopefully it was helpful. If you enjoyed this article, you may also like: