Top 10 Guitar Pedals for your Christmas Wishlist

We've had the chance to try out dozens of exciting guitar pedals this year. In fact, there were so many cool new stompboxes, we struggled to even narrow down the shortlist!

Nevertheless, we've fought our way through - here are our top 10 pedal picks just in time for Christmas.

Written by

Elliot Stent

With countless pedal brands constantly innovating and pushing the boundaries of stompbox design, the bar seems to be raised every year. We've tried out lots of fresh and inspiring guitar pedals that certainly peaked our interest.

To give you some inspiration for Christmas this year, we believe our top 10 list will help you decide on the pedal you’d like Santa to leave in your stocking. There’s tons of variety, so we’re sure you’ll find something interesting to add some Christmas glow to your pedalboard!

Landlord FX are newcomers to the large and competitive world of stompboxes, but over the last year they’ve already made a serious statement with their super-affordable mini pedals! Okay, so we know that these count as more than one, but their lineup is so diverse and inexpensive that we just couldn’t resist adding them to our list!

With the tiniest of enclosures, you can easily find a vacant space on your board for one of these petite pedals - or a few! With dirt pedals, modulations and time-based effects like reverb and delay available - Landlord FX has catered for just about every player. Oh, and their pedals are all true bypass too!

Landlord Pedals on Andertons T.V.

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Tone City pedals have been among our best-selling products for a few years - and there's a good reason for that! Much like their Landlord FX contemporaries in terms of their pedal sizes and affordability, Tone City boasts a bigger range that includes almost every effect type under the sun.

In 2019, Tone City released some new pedal designs - for the first time in over 4 years! All fitted in their large dual-stompbox chassis', the Flexo Drive overdrive/boost, Mad Stone fuzz and Metal Storm distortion pedals prove that Tone City still mean serious business.

Tone City also released an incredibly inexpensive pedal power supply - the Substation 1. With 10 high-current outputs, this all-encompassing pedal PSU can provide juice for power-hungry digital stompboxes and large pedalboard setups in general.

Tone City Pedals on Andertons T.V.

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Even if you’re new to the world of guitar effects, there’s a good chance you’ll recognise Boss pedals. Boss have grown to a legendary status thanks to their amazing array of sounds, that iconic compact design and nigh-on indestructible construction. They’re used by bedroom jammers and pro musicians alike and you would have heard them used on countless records.

Boss pedals are small enough to fit on a beginner’s pedalboard and offer a wide variety of tones – perfect for gigging musicians who need flexibility in their setup. They super easy to dial in a great sound and are guaranteed to last you a lifetime. There’s not much more you could ask from a pedal at any price.

BOSS BD-2 Overdrive on Andertons T.V.

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From the brains behind Chapman Guitars, the Snake Oil Fine Instruments pedal brand was officially launched at NAMM 2019. Kicking things off with two striking stompboxes that wouldn't seem out of place in a Clint Eastwood wild west movie, the Marvellous Engine distortion and Very Thing boost pedals are guaranteed to "cure all known bad tone". We certainly wouldn't disagree, as these gorgeous stomps offer sounds that match the beauty of their intricate enclosures!

The Marvellous Engine is a raunchy distortion pedal that features two separate clipping stages to achieve harmonically-rich overdrive, offering a convincing amp-like feel with plenty of dynamic range. Also sporting four versatile controls for precise tone-shaping, you can adjust the Marvellous Engine to suit the character of practically any amplifier.

The Very Thing boost is a much simpler affair, but equally as glorious when it comes to tone. Driven by a desirable 4558 dual op-amp for stunning symmetrical clipping, this pedal can be used as an "always on" pedal that adds extra spice to a dull-sounding amp, or to eek out more saturation from an already overdriven sound.

Snake Oil Pedals on Andertons T.V.

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Some of the year's hottest releases come from the 200 Series pedal lineup unveiled by industry leaders BOSS. If you're looking for a fun, inspiring pedal this Christmas, you can't really beat a good looper pedal.

Offering 6 hours of recording time, this compact looper is crammed with features that include 16 versatile drum sounds taken from Roland's popular TD-17 electronic kit. Able to bring your loops to life with percussive accompaniment, the RC-10R is even smart enough to trigger fills between sections!

Beyond the RC-10R, Boss' selection of looper pedals is enviable to say the least. The mainstay RC-1 is a simple design to get you up and running quickly on Christmas day. Meanwhile, the more advanced RC-3 can recall up to 99 loops and offers a longer recording time. If you're serious about looping, you'll love the RC-30, which contains extra effects to flesh out you loops - a great addition when playing live. And finally in the range is the monolithic RC-300, a full-on pedalboard sized looper ideal for creating sprawling tracks on the spot.

BOSS RC-10R on Andertons T.V.

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Robert Keeley is a true trendsetter in the pedal industry. His ethos for building functional effects that any guitarist can use has made his brand one of the most respected out there. And the DDR and Synth-1 stompboxes are certainly among those, both released in early 2019 to much acclaim and attention.

The Keeley DDR is a powerful 3-in-1 drive, delay and reverb pedal that covers all of the essential guitar effect bases. With two footswitches, the DDR allows you to engage its 'Drive' and 'Wet' sides independently or together for the ultimate lead guitar tone! But there's more. Each side has its own mode switch, letting you change up between 'Breaker' and Screamer' drive sounds or 'Vintage' and 'Modern' ambient voicings.

Keeley DDR Demo with Rabea Massaad

Things get really interesting with the Synth-1 pedal. Able to turn your plain old guitar tone into an otherworldly synth that borders on ludicrous fuzzy textures, the Synth-1 is probably the most fun pedal we've ever come across! Acting as a wave generator, this experimental stompbox offers three types of synth waves that vary from a smooth sine wave to an aggressive square wave. With plenty of controls allowing you to shape a raft of different tones, the 'Chaos' switch is arguably the most extreme - adding random octaves and unpredictable artefacts!

Keeley Synth-1 Demo with Rabea Massaad

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Walrus Audio is part of a new wave of American pedal brands looking to really push the envelope. Synonymous with shoegazers seeking absolute tonal nirvana, the Slö reverb pedal was a warmly-received addition to their lineup. Allowing players to create lucsious ambient soundscapes with its 3 reverb algorithms and effective control set, the Slö is an experimentalist's perfect pedal!

Put the Slö into 'Dark' mode and you'll add a creepy sub-octave to your reverb trails, while the 'Rise' setting is akin to an auto-swell that increases in pitch rather than volume. 'Dream' offers more of a string pad, synth-esque sound. These reverb engines, combined with the option to change wave shapes from smooth 'Sine' to pitch-changing 'Warp', makes the Slö a pedal tweaker's dream.

Walrus Audio Slö Demo with Rabea Massaad

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We've cheated here a little, as this particular pedal actually came out in 2018. But the ThorpyFX 'The Dane' has been so popular with our customers that we think it definitely deserves a mention! Andertons TV’s very own Peter "Danish Pete" Honore collaborated with the British pedal brand to create a signature 2-in-1 overdrive and boost pedal.

Finished in a stunning chrome and purple colour scheme, this pedal is also in a smaller enclosure than ThorpyFX’s other dual pedals. This allows you to easily mount the unit to your pedalboard, especially with the ergonomic top-mounted jacks.

In terms of how it sounds, the overdrive circuit has a responsive and high-headroom quality that excels for styles such as blues. Reacting beautifully to the placement of your guitar’s volume pot and your picking attack too, this pedal lets you play with loads of expression. The boost side is super-fat and warm, providing creamy lead tones and long-lasting sustain when used in conjunction with the overdrive circuit.

ThorpyFX 'The Dane' Demo with Peter Honore

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Jimi Hendrix tone in mini pedal form? Yes please. The Jim Dunlop MXR collection recreates the precise tones Jimi used back in the sixties in a pedalboard friendly format. Hendrix had a truly unique sound, a lot of which was down to his unbelievable ability. But these MXR pedals are the closest you’ll get to sounding like the man himself. All you need to do now is practice, practice, practice.

The range consists of his Band of Gypsys fuzz-cum-distortion – the foundation to his hard rock gain. You might get closer to his earlier sound with the Fuzz Face. Usually you’ll find this pedal in its circular casing, but the mini design creates all the same sounds in a more ergonomic fit. Hendrix was also a fan of more peculiar effects too; the Uni Vibe and Octavio will spice up your lead guitar lines with rich textures.

MXR Hendrix Mini Pedals on Andertons T.V.

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Hudson's Broadcast preamp is a modern classic among pedals, and a best-seller here at Andertons. Adored for its amp-like feel and sound, in 2019 Hudson teamed up with solo artist and occassional Andertons TV co-presenter Ariel Posen to unveil a tweaked signature version of this popular formula - featuring silicon transistors!

Providing a smooth yet powerful medium-gain tone that has plenty of low-end grunt, clear upper mids and airy highs; the Broadcast-AP gives open chords or single-note lines plenty of harmonic richness. The Broadcast-AP's OEP transformer is particularly noteworthy, as it keeps frequencies below 100Hz cleaner than the standard Broadcast pedal can; yielding a more unique tone.

Hudson Broadcast-AP on Andertons T.V.

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