The 2022 Guitar Pedal Rankings Are Here

They look different than they did in years past, but they are still chock full of insights into the marketplace.

The Guitars For Idiots pedal rankings are going to look a bit unfamiliar this year. In 2022, I slowed down the pace of the website a bit, mostly because I was overwhelmed with new responsibilities at Ultimate-Guitar, where I was promoted to tech editor. Instead, I’ve refocused the website as a place where I can do two things; A) cover whatever I want, regardless of popularity and B) be a bit more subjective than objective. UG is a massive publication, that requires me to consider a lot of factors when reviewing gear. Here, I can be more focused and personalized.

So in following that trend, this list will contain ANY pedal I personally covered on Instagram, YouTube, Ultimate-Guitar, or this website, Guitars For Idiots. You can find my rankings for Ultimate-Guitar via this link, and see how they compared to what we’re working with here.

2022 was also the closest I’ve gotten to be able to do this full time, a dream of mine that one day I’d like to make happen. So please, if you want to treat yourself to a new pedal, please consider using the affiliate links for each pedal in this list! It is a huge way to support me at no extra cost to you.

So remember, these rankings are a bit more subjective, i.e. my personal opinions, and they include every pedal I’ve covered so far, including the Universal Audio amp sims that purposefully left out of the UG article (I consider them more amp than pedal on that website). This will also include the entrants from Klon-A-Thon project that I’m halfway working on for Ultimate-Guitar.

To read the review or watch the demo, just click on the pedal name in the table!

PedalCostCategoryBuy Your Own
Universal Audio Dream ’65$399Amp SimSweetwater
JHS 3 Series Octave Reverb$99ReverbSweetwater
Summer School Electronics Snow Day$179DelaySummer School
Heather Brown Electronicals Sensation Fuzzdrive$249FuzzReverb
Boss CE-2w $229ChorusSweetwater
Universal Audio Woodrow$399Amp SimSweetwater
Demonic Machines Homunculus$250DriveDemonic Machines
Boss RE-2 Space Echo$289DelaySweetwater
Rare Buzz Fuzz Bob-Omb$194FuzzRare Buzz
Poison Noises Gaia$129DrivePoison Noises
Catalinbread Soft Focus$209ReverbSweetwater
Benson Amps Preamp Pedal$249DriveReverb
Summer School Electronics Science Fair$165DriveSummer School
Browne Amplification Protein$299DriveReverb
Summer School Electronics Gus Plus$150DriveSummer School
Coffee Shop Pedals Affogato$185FuzzCoffee Shop
JHS 3 Series Harmonic Tremolo$99TremoloSweetwater
Heather Brown Electronicals Blessed Mother$220DriveReverb
J Rockett Audio Archer iKon$199DriveSweetwater
Walrus Audio Canvas Stereo$249DI BoxSweetwater
Wampler Moxie$149DriveSweetwater
Handy FX Muskrat$150DistortionHandy FX
LPD Pedals FIFTY5$199DriveReverb
Fish Circuits Model One$186DistortionFish Circuits
J Rockett Audio Archer$199DriveSweetwater
Fender Hammertone Flanger$99FlangerSweetwater
Maestro FZ-M Fuzz Tone$149FuzzSweetwater
Summer School Electronics Trash Panda$150DistortionSummer School
Wampler Tumnus$149DriveSweetwater
Fox River Devices Autumn $100DriveKick Starter
Caline Chamecho $50DelayAmazon
Summer School Electronics Stone Thrower$150FuzzSummer School
Haunted Labs Old Ruin Distortion$159DistortionReverb
Bondi Effects Sick As$229DriveReverb
Caline Brigade$59DriveAmazon
Nux Horseman$59DriveAmazon
Summer School Electronics Gladys$150DriveSummer School
Munnyman Pedals Panchito$200DistortionReverb
Caline Devil Fish$59Delay/ChorusAmazon
Fender Hammertone Space Delay$99DelaySweetwater
Summer School Electronics Bootster Boost$130BoostSummer School
Fender Hammertone Metal$80DistortionSweetwater
Caline Barn Owl Reverb$50ReverbAmazon
Mosky Golden Horse$31DriveAmazon
Steel Panther 1987$199Distortion/DelayReverb

So what are the big takeaways?

  1. Pedals are getting expensive. Yes, it is nice that Fender, Catalinbread, and Caline all launched new budget lines to join the JHS 3 Series, but generally pedals are increasing in price and the mid-priced options are shrinking. Check out Demonic Machines for an interesting line of ~$100 or less pedals made in the US!
  2. The Tube Screamer is still popular and in-demand. The Moxie, Science Fair, Brigade, and Blessed Mother all have various flavors of Tube Screamer in them, and that’s still not counting the many others unleashed on the guitar world this year like the JHS Screamer.
  3. I don’t really like Klons. Ironically the two favorites out of my Klon-A-Thon so far are the most versatile, least-Klon-like clones. The Demonic Machines Homunculus and Poison Noises Gaia are so user friendly and versatile, with options like clean blends, clipping reorientation, and different modes, Klons are just dialed in Tube Screamers without the mid bump, so clearly I like prefer pedals with more features than less.
  4. Big year for delay pedals. While many other major delay releases were not covered by me, like the Wampler Metaverse, Nux Tape Echo, or Line6 DL4 MkII, we still had plenty to talk about. The Snow Day, RE-2, and Chamecho all spent a lot of time getting use from me this year. The Snow Day and RE-2 are actually my go-to delays now, and used almost daily. People really loved delays this year!

Goals for 2023 will include reviewing less drive pedals so I can focus on sound scapes with modulations, delays, and reverbs more well represented. Additionally, I want to focus on some more cheaper pedals, closer to $100 or less. We will get the new year of pedal reviews started shortly featuring the Tiesco Fuzz, Delay, and Interface pedals. Then we’ll move on to the 5 new Maestro pedals!

Published by Matt Dunn

Guitar and music journalist for Ultimate-Guitar.com and Guitarsforidiots.com as well as a contributor for Guitarniche.com and Stringjoy.com. Reach out to talk about guitars, commission a partscaster, or ask for a review.

4 thoughts on “The 2022 Guitar Pedal Rankings Are Here

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