Fender Santa Ana Overdrive – Is It Good? [REVIEW]

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fender santa ana overdrive pedal review

If you’re wondering if Fender Santa Ana Overdrive is a good pedal or not, look no further! In today’s in-depth review, I’m going to take a very close look on that popular guitar effect. A lot of guitarists absolutely love it, but is it actually worth the money?

The truth is that Fender Santa Ana Overdrive is a fantastic guitar pedal. Although it’s quite expensive in comparison with other pedals of this type available on the market, it’s definitely worth every cent, mainly because of its versatility.

Let’s dive deeper with research to find out what exactly makes the Santa Ana Overdrive so good and so popular among the guitarists all around the world. Firstly, we’ll have a look at the specifications of that model. Additionally, we’ll investigate the major pros and cons of that effect. Of course, there will be a few sound demos included as well!

Specs & Pricing

fender santa ana overdrive pedal review

Fender Santa Ana Overdrive is a high quality overdrive pedal suitable for the most demanding guitarists out there. It features an all-original circuitry designed by Fender, so it’s unlike any other pedal available on the market!

What makes it so cool? Well, the pedal features six individual controls: Bass, Middle, Treble, Presence, Level and Drive. As you can imagine, that means that you can easily shape and control the sound of your overdrive! You can also choose between the A & B Overdrive Voices, so that gives you even more versatility.

The sound Santa Ana Overdrive can be described as punchy, vintage and tube-like. It’s a fantastic choice for all lovers of oldschool rock music.

The pedal is built like a brick, so it’s extremely durable. It’s made of lightweight anodized aluminium, which guarantees a very high level of durability. On top of that, it looks great from the outside too, so it will really stand out on your pedalboard.

When it comes to pricing, this is not exactly a cheap overdrive pedal, but even though it’s a bit more expensive than similar pedals made by other brands, it’s still worth the money. That’s what I’m sure of!

Here’s the sound demo – feel free to check it out below.

Who Is It For?

Fender Santa Ana Overdrive is suitable for both amateur and more intermediate guitar players. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re an advanced musician or not – you will definitely appreciate its high quality.

Because of its versatility, the Santa Ana Overdrive pedal is a particularly good choice for all gigging musicians out there.

It is also worth mentioning that this pedal can be used in a lot of different styles of music. Whether you’re into blues, rock, grunge or country – you will definitely be able to find the tone that you like.

What’s more, the Santa Ana Overdrive is built like a brick, so it’s a perfect choice for all guitarists who are searching for a pedal with a high durability. It’s really tough to break it, so it will last you for years to come.

Overall, I’m positive that the vast majority of guitar players will really benefit from adding this pedal to their own pedalboards. It may not be the cheapest overdrive pedal in the world, but it’s definitely worth the money!

Here’s the sound demo.

Pros & Cons Of Santa Ana Overdrive

Just like any other overdrive pedal available on the market, Fender Santa Ana Overdrive has its own advantages and disadvantages. Don’t worry though – there are far more pros than cons in this case!


  • Great Tone
  • Highly Versatile
  • Built Like A Tank
  • Tube-Like Sound
  • Exceptional Look
  • LED-Backlit Knobs


  • Quite Expensive

As you can see, there are a lot of things that can be classified as major advantages of that model. It sounds great, it’s very durable and it looks great on the pedalboard as well!

But on the other hand, it’s significantly more expensive than some of the other overdrive pedals made by other brands such as JHS, BOSS or Ibanez.

Overall, the advantages of that pedal outweigh its disadvantages. What a great piece of gear!

Cheaper Alternatives

If you don’t like the sound of the Santa Ana Overdrive or if you’re searching for something a bit cheaper, that’s not a big deal! There’s still quite a lot of fantastic overdrive pedals out there which also deserve a lot of attention.

Of course, choosing your next overdrive pedal will depend on the size of your budget and your own personal preferences. But here’s a few more pedal recommendations that you may like.

other pedals

Firstly, make sure to take some time and check out the Fender Pugilist Distortion. This is a dual overdrive & distortion pedal, so it’s basically like having two separate pedals in one durable box. Just like the Santa Ana Overdrive, it’s extremely versatile and it gives you access to a lot of fantastic tones. However, it tends to be quite expensive too.

If you’re searching for the cheapest overdrive pedal available on the market, you can also consider getting the Behringer TO800 Vintage Tube Overdrive. Although it’s budget pedal, it actually sounds pretty good! It may not be as great as the Santa Ana Overdrive, but it’s a great alternative for those who can’t afford it.

Additionally, if you’d like to find out more about the pedals manufactured by Fender, I recently wrote a separate article about their pedals. The truth is that they have a lot of fantastic effects in their offer – including the Pugilist Distortion, the Marine Layer Reverb and many more!

Want to find out more about Fender?

If you want to learn more about Fender, make sure to check out their official website!


As you can see, Fender Santa Ana Overdrive is an excellent guitar pedal which exceeds all the expectations. I’m positive that anyone who’s searching for a high quality overdrive pedal will be really satisfied after adding this effect to their own pedalboard. That’s for sure!

What do you think of that effect? Would you get it for yourself or do you think that it’s overrated? Leave a comment down below and let me know what you think, I’m really interested to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for checking out today’s review, hopefully it was helpful. If you enjoyed this article and you’re searching for more gear recommendations, you may also like: