Hi, guitar effects newbie here. Anyway, I've been thinking of starting to collect effects pedals, and I need advice on where to go first. I know that to start out I want a good reverb/digital delay pedal, and a decent distortion pedal as well...and in the future: chorus, a compressor, maybe a whammy pedal. Anyway, what are some good delay/reverb pedals and distortion pedals I should look at? My amp (Fender Deluxe Tube) has built in overdrive, but I don't like the tone of it too much...it's a bit too muddy, I'm looking for something a little bit sharper. My style of music is alternative rock (hard to narrow it down more than that, sorry...).

Thanks in advance.
For this distortion I think you should look into the Blackstar line of distortion pedals, they're some of the best ones I've ever tried. I've got the HT-Drive myself. Quite expensive though.
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i would suggest you look at the digitech hardwire series pedals, they're expensive, but well worth the money.
This is the best OD/Distortion pedal I've ever used.

Dean Icon PZ
Line 6 Variax 700
Dean V-Wing
Dean ML 79 SilverBurst
MXR M 108
H2O Chorus/Echo
Valve Junior (V3 Head/Cab and Combo)
VHT Special 6
Phonic 620 Power Pod PA
Wampler Super Plextortion
Line 6 Pod HD
For the delay: Boss DD-7(expensive but totally worth it)

For the distortion: Boss Blues Driver if you're into their particular kind of overdrive; EHX Big Muff if you're going for that early nineties alternative rock sound; however, I'd get both for diversity.
"...I cried. Just for a second. Then I thought, 'I must rock.' "
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I'm a big fan of the BOSS Giga Delay. its pretty versatile and does everything i need.

When it comes to overdrive, and distortion it's a huge matter of opinion and preference.

I like the Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pi, the BOSS SD-1 Super Overdrive is pretty nice and cheap, Tubescreamers are always nice to push your tubes, the Ibanez Tube King is a wonderful distortion pedal, and im a huge fan of blackstars distortion pedals.

In those regards you just have to try a few. The MXR Fullbore Metal isn't bad if you want a really gainy distortion. And you should also look into the Line6 Uber metal pedal. A lot of my buddies dig that pedal.
MXR Distortion III is pretty good... I used to have one, traded it--probably gonna buy another one after Christmas. If you like heavier stuff (Smashing Pumpkins, White Stripes), then an Electro-Harmonix Big Muff or Metal Muff w/ Top Boost would sound really good. For more classic tones like just basic natural overdrive (AC/DC, etc.) a Boss BD-2 Blues Driver or a Maxon OD9/Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer will do nicely. Just take your guitar to a Guitar Center and try out pedals before you buy them, preferably on a Fender amp (no two amps really sound exactly alike).

EDIT: The MXR Distortion III is basically just a power amp distortion simulator, so it gives a tone similar to the Foo Fighters or the U2 song Vertigo, for a couple examples. Very versatile. It can go pretty raunchy or pretty light and crisp depending on where the distortion/drive knob is. Have fun!
Doomsday Arsenal - alternative/progressive
Fender '08 Am Std Strat w/ CS69s > MXR Classic 108 Fuzz > JH-1B Wah > MXR Dyna Comp > EHX Big Muff Pi > Maxon OD9 > MXR Phase 90 > Ibanez CS9 > MXR Carbon Copy > Boss TU-2 > Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
Last edited by DoomsdayArsenal at Dec 19, 2009,
I've only got Youtube to go by right now, but here's what I think of the recommended pedals so far:
Boss DS1 - I didn't like the tone of this one at ALL, the natural OD on my amp sounds way better.

Blackstar - I looked at several of these, and I like the tone a lot, as well as the versatility, but they're also way out of my price range, and seem a bit overkill for what I'm trying to do right now.

Digitech Hardwire Series: I looked at the SC-2 Valve Distortion, and absolutely loved it. Beautiful tone, versatile, and the price is nice too. I might get this one.

Super Plextortion: again, really, really nice, but $199 is just way out of my price range. I might look into this one down the line when I have a bit more $$$.

EHX Big Muff: I checked out a few models of this pedal, mostly the Big Muff Pi. I like it a lot, actually, gives that heavy Smashing Pumpkins tone I crave. Not as versatile as I'd like (maybe a bit too overpoweringly heavy), but the price is great and so is the tone.

MXR: I actually rented an MXR Distortion+ for a while, and loved it, even if it lacked versatility. A fellow guitarist friend of mine has let me play around with his Distortion III and I loved that as well, so I might look into one of these.

Ibanez Tube Screamer - another pedal I've had some time to play around with, and really like. Good price too.


Hardwire DL-8 Delay/Looper - Great, but expensive and not exactly what I'm looking for.

Boss DD-7 - AMAZING, almost exactly what I'm looking for. I'm not looking for a wild, Tom Morello-esque range of effects, I'm just looking for more The Edge/Jonny Greenwood-type stuff...enhancing my tone with echo and reverb, and this pedal seems to do just that.

Boss DD-20 Giga Delay - Probably the best out of what I've seen, but it's also way out of my price range =/

thanks for the recommendations, guys!
Yeah to be honest the DD-7 and Distortion III, if you only buy two pedals, will make you the happiest. I have a Big Muff (and LOVE IT) but it doesn't give me all the tones I want. I also have a Tube Screamer, but it's like there's no middle ground, which is nice to have at your disposal.
Doomsday Arsenal - alternative/progressive
Fender '08 Am Std Strat w/ CS69s > MXR Classic 108 Fuzz > JH-1B Wah > MXR Dyna Comp > EHX Big Muff Pi > Maxon OD9 > MXR Phase 90 > Ibanez CS9 > MXR Carbon Copy > Boss TU-2 > Fender Hot Rod Deluxe