Wampler makes a lot of distortion pedals. In fact, they might make more than any other guitar pedal company out there. This is a page where we've curated those distortion pedals into a single table for comparison. Our table shows you price and basic features for each stompbox.
They're all from Wampler and they're all distortion.
Wampler is a boutique pedal company that maintains a strong presence in mainstream markets, including Sweetwater, Musician's Friend, and even Amazon.
All of the orange buttons link to a Sweetwater product page for each pedal. This helps us support our site but at no extra cost to you, so if you're planning to do some pedal shopping, consider using those links and helping us out.
We'll cover some more info about Wampler distortion pedals and answer some frequently asked questions below this table.
Wampler Distortion Pedal Comparison Table
Wampler Gearbox - Andy Wood Signature Overdrive Pedal
Wampler Tumnus Deluxe Transparent Overdrive Pedal
Wampler Belle Transparent Overdrive Pedal
Wampler Ratsbane Distortion Pedal
Wampler Tumnus Transparent Overdrive Pedal
Wampler Plexi-Drive Mini Overdrive Pedal
Wampler Pantheon Overdrive Pedal
Wampler Plexi-Drive Deluxe Overdrive Pedal
Wampler Velvet Fuzz Pedal
Wampler Paisley Drive Deluxe Overdrive Pedal
Wampler Hot Wired V2 Overdrive Pedal
Wampler Dracarys Distortion Pedal
Wampler Euphoria Overdrive Pedal
Wampler Sovereign Distortion Pedal
Wampler Clarksdale V2 Delta Overdrive Pedal
Wampler Pinnacle Deluxe V2 Overdrive Pedal
Wampler Tom Quayle Dual Fusion Overdrive Pedal
Wampler FUZZTRATION Fuzz and Octave Pedal
Wampler dB+ V2 Buffer - Clean Boost Pedal
Wampler Paisley Drive Overdrive Pedal
Wampler Pinnacle Standard Overdrive Pedal
What is a distortion pedal?
For those that don't totally understand this concept, a distortion pedal is a type of guitar effect that increases and shapes gain. Gain is the amount of volume going into a preamp, where the final output is limited. This increase in volume up front leads to the fuzzy or "distorted" signal coming out of a guitar's power amp.
Distortion pedals allow you to set those gain levels and shape them with an EQ, usually with two or three bands of control.
While this can happen at the amplifier level, a distortion pedal allows you to make these changes before your guitar's signal gets to the preamp, at which point gain could - potentially - be manipulated further.
How to Choose a Distortion Pedal
Choosing a distortion pedal is primarily a matter of preference. The biggest consideration (along with price and budget) is the style of music you want to play. Distortion pedals can generally be put in the following style categories:
- Modern rock/metal
- Light rock/blues
- Grunge/classic rock
Overdrive pedals tend to be better with blues and lighter styles while pure distortion pedals are better for heavier rock and metal.
The lower the gain, the less distortion or "aggression" you'll get from the pedal.
Some distortion pedals have their gain capped at a certain point (usually overdrive pedals), which means they won't get too saturated.
So consider the style of music you want to play, and make your choice based on that.
What to Know About Wampler Distortion Pedals
Wampler distortion pedals are a boutique guitar pedal brand that has had a lot of mainline success. And while most of their pedals focus on lighter gain levels and overdrive, they have enough variety that you can get a Wampler distortion for just about any musical style.
As we typically see with distortion pedals, most Wampler distortions offer a three-band EQ along with gain and volume control.
Many also have additional filtering options like a voicing switch.
While pricing changes depending on which pedal you're talking about, Wampler distortion pedal pricing typically runs in the $120 to $220 range.
Consider How Much You Want to Pay
As mentioned, price should be a significant part of your decision. Make sure you browse through the Wampler roster to get a feel for their pricing structure, then make a decision based on your budget. If you want something cheaper and don't mind missing out on the warranty, check the sites we recommended for used Wampler distortion pedals.
Which one is the best for metal?
While most of Wampler's distortion pedals are more of the bluesy, overdrive variety, the Dracarys is one of the few in the lineup that can handle a heavier metal tone. Moreover, it's one of the better metal distortion pedals on the market, and has consistently been one of our favorites.
Of all the distortion pedals we've tested, the Dracarys is in the top three when it comes to metal tones and overall sound quality. The AmpTweaker Tight Metal, Empress Heavy, and Dracarys are our three favorites.
Read more: Best guitar pedals for metal
Which one is the best for blues?
A lot of these pedals could be classified as blues distortions.
Any time you have "overdrive" you're probably working with a lower gain profile that's smoother, less aggressive, and more bluesy than a traditional distortion pedal.
From the Wampler roster, we're big fans of the Paisley, both the Deluxe and the regular version. While it's also a good fit for country styles, we really like it in a blues context as well. The Andy Wood Gearbox is another good option.
Which one is the best overall?
If we had to choose just one we'd go back to the Dracarys, just because it's so strong on higher gain settings and equally versatile. You can usually turn a distortion pedal's gain down and get a good result, but it's trickier to maintain that quality when you push the gain higher. As one of our top distortion picks overall, the Wampler Dracarys is an easy choice.
Where can I buy Wampler distortion pedals?
As we mentioned, Wampler pedals are available in most third party retailers, including the following:
- Musician's Friend
What about used options?
If you're looking for used options, you can usually find Wampler pedals on popular secondhand sites:
Warranty with Wampler Pedals
When you buy a brand new Wampler pedal it comes with a five year warranty that only applies to the original purchaser. Depending on where you buy, it will also likely come with a 30-day money back guarantee.
Most Wampler pedals are powered by a 9V DC power supply, or an included 9V battery.
Wampler certainly gives you plenty of choices when it comes to distortion and overdrive pedals. Decide on a style, a budget, and then watch some demo videos and take the plunge. We think this boutique company is one of the better pedal manufacturers out there, so you can't go wrong buying in-brand.
Questions and Comments
If you have questions about our Wampler distortion pedal comparison page, drop them in the comments section below and we'll have a look. See you there.