Strat fans: what are your favourite high gain distortion pedals?


Yes, I'm stealing a lick from this thread, but tailoring it to the Strat-heads on this board.

I find Strats super-finicky with distortion pedals, especially since you need to crank the gain higher than you would for a Les Paul to get a super-sustained tone. That makes pedals like the Boss DS-1 sound like a bee in a bottle. :barf

Bright pedals are also problematic since the Strat has so much top end already.

I feel Strats play best with high-gain MIABs, such as the Xotic SL Drive and the Bogner Ecstasy Red. What do you think?


Silver Supporting Member
I've touched on this in another thread but I haven't a clue when it comes to Stratocasters and high gain or even medium gain for that matter. I just don't get them. I've played with humbuckers for too long :confused:


Silver Supporting Member
The Bearfoot Dyna Red Hot Distortion is my all-time favorite high-gain rock pedal. It's voiced a little on the dark side, which is good for you since you don't want it to be overly bright. It's my backup pedal that I take with me to every gig. My amp once fried a cap in the middle of the second set. My backup rig consists of the Dyna Red Hot into a $99 Crate Powerblock, lined straight out into the PA. My main guitar at that point was a Linhof Tele, and my band plays in-your-face rock n roll (Soundgarden, Chains, GNR). My tone, for what it was, absolutely slayed. I don't even bring my gigging amp to rehearsals. I just use the Dyna Red Hot straight into whatever cheapie solid state practice amp is there (one of the newer Kustom's, I think). In any case, the stuff sounds pretty damn legit for being basically a stomp box into a cheap amp. A lot better than a lot of tube amps, in fact.


Tweed Supporting Member
Gold Supporting Member
Another vote for the RAT. I am mainly a strat player, even though I have Les Pauls and other humbucker guitars as well. I almost always have my strat on the bridge/middle combo, and RATs sound great.


Weird.......I've just been having a ridiculous amount of fun with my strat and an MI Audio Super Crunch Box and wanted to find an excuse to post about it. Planets must be aligning or something! It has loads of options but with a touch of delay and a plain ol' Cry Baby GCB95 through a Laney LT5-112 I was in wailing, soarin' heaven. Early Frusciante (in manic soloing mode) to a certain E Van H (ain't talking bout love) - it gets pretty darn close.

Unfortunately I had to put my shirt back on and go cook tea for the kids.....the life of a living room rock star :rolleyes:


Depends on the amp too, of course. I have a Marshall DSL40c, but for the last almost 2 weeks in the shop, so I've been using my backup, a Fender Humboldt v2 (souped up Blues Jr.). Funny how much I miss the fuller tone of the Marshall, especially with the cleans, and using pedals. On that amp, I love the OCD, and my Honey Bee for lower gain stuff. The OCD does the medium+ stuff. For higher gain, a Bearfoot CAF and a ThorpyFX Muffroom. It seems to love strats (well it loves my LP too).

One quick edit, with the Fender amp and the OCD and Strat, I don't like this combo at all. I think it's the OCD really with the EL84 amp. Sounds completely different than with the Marshall. Whereas the Honey Bee sounds great with both.

I agree though, a strat with a brighter type pedal can be a problem. I like the Honey Bee a lot, with the nature control around 9 o'clock - more bass and less highs. THinking about adding a Uber Bee just for a bit more gain. Muffs and strats are great too, that full sound with the ability to control the high end. Great combo imo.

Trending Topics