Distortion

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Distortion is an important part of an electric guitar’s sound in many genres, particularly for rock, hard rock, and metal. A distortion pedal takes a normal electric guitar signal and distorts the signal’s waveform by “clipping” the signal. There are several different types of distortion effects, each with distinct sonic characteristics. These include overdrive/distortion (or vacuum tube-style distortion), overdrive/crunch, fuzz, and hi-gain.MXR Distortion+ Power Distortion [edit] Overdrive Distortion
Overdrive distortion is the most well known of all distortions. It can be characterized stereotypically by the distortion of a Marshall JCM800 amplifier. Many pedals attempt to recreate this sound to provide a cheaper alternative. While the general purpose is to emulate classic “warm-tube” sounds, distortion pedals such as the ones in this list can be distinguished from overdrive pedals in that the intent is to provide players with instant access to the sound of a high-gain Marshall amplifier such as the JCM800 pushed past the point of tonal breakup and into the range of tonal distortion known to electric guitarists as “saturated gain.” Although most distortion devices use solid-state circuitry, some “tube distortion” pedals are designed with preamplifier vacuum tubes. In some cases, tube distortion pedals use power tubes or a preamp tube used as a power tube driving a built-in “dummy load.” Distortion pedals designed specifically for bass guitar are also available. Some distortion pedals include:
  • MXR ZW44 Zakk Wylde
  • Pro Co Rat
  • Boss DS-1
  • Marshall Guv’nor
  • Line 6 Dr. Distorto
  • T-Rex Engineering’s Bloody Mary
  • Digitech Hot Head