I can say that over the years I have been very picky and meticulous in choosing gears that work for me and intend to keep.

From the plethora of dirt pedals on the market that is saturated with redundant designs, I can affirm that there are really exceptional and extraordinarily good dirt pedals that stand out in terms of sensitivity to picking dynamics, responsiveness with the guitar's volume control, great clean up and string separation, and articulation even at high gain settings.

So which among all the dirt pedals such as overdrive, distortion, and fuzz you've acquired have the feel factor in your opinion? Those pedals that don't sound like pedals but sound and feel like amps or extension of your amps? Below is the list of dirt pedals I acquired so far, highlighted in bold are the ones who have the feel factor in my opinion.

Barber Electronics Direct Drive
Blackstone Appliances MOSFET Overdrive
BOSS OD-3 Overdrive
BOSS OD-2R Turbo Overdrive
BOSS ST-2 Power Stack
EWS Little Brute Drive
Fulltone FULL-DRIVE 2
Fulltone FULL-DRIVE 2 10th Anniversary MOSFET Edition
Himmelstrutz Fetto Custom
JOYO JF-04 High Gain Distortion
MI Effects Super Blues Pro
MV Electronics SHREDHEAD
MXR ZW-44 Wylde Overdrive
Paul Cochrane Tim V2
Pro Co Sound RAT 2
Rockett Pedals Flex Drive
VOX Satchurator
Wampler SLOstortion
Xotic Effects BB Plus
Xotic Effects EP Booster V1
Xotic Effects RC Booster


Senior Member
My go to light boost, just set a hair above unity gain, it's huge, but I would never take it out of chain. Last in drive chain, it's my 1 in 2 out tube boost going to 2 amps.

Picked up for $120 like new 3-4 yrs ago. With stock Sovtek 12ax7wb tubes was OK. But trying to use it as distortion was fruitless. It would hit some Valco type raw drive tones though fairly well. Kind of sat around unused for few months till I started rolling tubes.

Dropped a pair of old RCA cleartop 12au7 in it haven't looked back. Is absolutely just a extension of the cascading tube stages in the amps. By itself it just throws out that boosted Stones/Blackmore harmonically rich edge of crunch sound with HB. Responds to pick attack, PU select, vol/tone knob rolls on guitar just like it was part of amp.

When it's kicked in behind any other pedal, and I do mean any pedal, fuzz, OD, distortion its the same, it just blooms with a slight tube compression and a hint of drive that's very natural sounding and feeling and harmonically rich. It's those tubes that made it. I tried every tube type I have, 12ay, 5751, miniwatts, telefunkens and many positions, but with those RCA in light drive boost is where it excels superbly.

Another cool feature is you can insert another pedal in between the 2 tubes via the ins and outs. Love sticking my VFE Rocket parametric in there, when it's on your guitar is plugged right into 1st tube, then parametric EQ then 2nd tube. Many nice tones are to be had.
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Senior Member
dirt pedals that stand out in terms of sensitivity to picking dynamics, responsiveness with the guitar's volume control, great clean up and string separation, and articulation even at high gain settings.

The very underrated Roger Mayer Voodoo Axe ticks those boxes for me. Fuzz with feeling.
I just picked up a SM Fuzz and it's the first fuzz pedal that I've played that I felt that instant ability to command and manipulate. It's easily the best buzz I've ever owned.


I've owned 90% of the ops list at one time or other and I sounded the same on all. There are many flavors of dirt on this list and I can tell you one pedal can work good with one amp and not another. So its really bias on the guitar and amp. I'm sure the Boss od3 is killer with the right guitar and amp.


Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt
Double Platinum Member
somewhat along the line of DaveKs' suggestion:

Hot Chilis Tubester...run it with a 12at7

you want touch, it can do that.
you want b+ sag, it can do that.

sadly out of production for 6+ years (probably more), but it'll be around as long as any tube amp. "Robust" doesn't begin to describe it.


Senior Member
Anything Kingsley.
Simon's high voltage tube pre amps deliver feel big time.


I don't feel like I get the feel factor from any pedal. I get that from myself with whatever pedal I am using at the time.


Senior Member
I pulled out my old Eternity Burst yesterday and it definitely has the "feel factor".

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