11 Best Weird Guitar Pedals (2023) Find Your Unique guitar tone

Why play the guitar if you’re going to sound like everyone else? The guitar is about expressing yourself and finding your own unique guitar tone. And weird guitar pedals are a great way for guitar players to do just that.

weird guitar pedals

I’ve been playing guitar for over 25 years and have used and abused thousands of pedals. While I love a good tube screamer, sometimes you want to stomp on a pedal that makes something unexpected happen and bring the excitement. Sometimes it’s a weird guitar pedal that can unlock a sound that makes the song and creates a tone that no other band has played before.

But weird for weird’s sake is no good to anyone. That’s why the team at Guitar Mammoth have trawled through our collective experience and played dozens of pedals to arrive at this list.

There were many that didn’t make the cut. But every one of these unique pedals sounds awesome. Each one is a great tool to achieve something musical and magical.

Here is a list of the best weird guitar pedals that will ensure you don’t merge into the crowd of blues noodlers. Sorry Stevie Ray Vaughan fans, this one ain’t for you. You guys have enough of the guitar internet.

You might also want to read:

How did we select our weird guitar pedals?

All our selections tick these boxes:

  1. The pedal does something unique that you can’t find elsewhere. If there are many pedals doing the same thing, then it’s not ‘weird’.
  2. It has ‘usable’ sounds as well as weird sounds. By usable we mean something could fit into the context of a band.
  3. It’s widely available. We excluded the thousands of amazing weird pedals that are no longer in production, because what use is that to you?
  4. It inspired us to keep playing. Great guitar gear makes you want to keep playing because it brings seemingly endless possibilities.
  5. It sounds F-ing great. That’s what we play, right?

So, put on your weirdest underpants, and let’s take a wild ride through the world of the weirdest guitar pedals.

11 Best Weird Guitar Pedals

1

BEST FOR JOYSTICK FUNZIES

Janus Fuzz/Tremolo

WALRUS AUDIO

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2

BEST FOR GLITCHY SOUNDSCAPES

Particle V2

RED PANDA

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3

BEST FOR CUSTOMIZATION

ZOIA

EMPRESS EFFECTS

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4

BEST FOR CRAZY NOISE

Data Corruptor

EARTH QUAKER DEVICES

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5

BEST FOR SEQUENCING

Count to Five

PRODUCT BRAND

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6

BEST FOR SYNTH SOUNDS

C4 Synth Pedal

SOURCE AUDIO

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7

BEST FOR ANIME-STYLE VOCAL SOUNDS

Miku Stomp

KORG

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8

BEST FOR CLASSIC TAPE ECHO

RE-202 Space Echo Digital Delay Pedal

BOSS

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9

BEST FOR VOCAL SOUNDS

M222 Talk Box

MXR

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10

BEST FOR OCTAVER TEXTURES

Octasynth

SUBDECAY

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11

BEST FOR CHAOTIC & GLITCHY TONES

Super Weirdo

JPTR FX

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1. Walrus Audio Janus Fuzz/Tremolo Pedal

The Walrus Audio Janus is not your average fuzz pedal or tremolo pedal. It’s an amalgamation of both effects, offering a cosmic journey of swirling tones. The Janus features a dual joystick system, making it feel like you’re piloting your guitar through space. The left joystick controls the fuzz section, while the right joystick manipulates the tremolo. Did we mention it has dual joysticks?!

The fuzz is thick and aggressive, capable of producing everything from warm overdrive-like textures to full-on velcro-like fuzz mayhem. On the other hand, the tremolo can take you from a gentle, classic tremolo to choppy, chaotic waveforms that will set your guitar’s tone pulsating through the sonic stratosphere.

The pure sound quality of this pedal is what makes it stand out. The fuzz circuit alone is a real winner.

The combination of these two effects opens up endless sonic possibilities, making the Janus a creative powerhouse for any experimental guitarist.

2. Red Panda Particle V2

Red Panda is one of the best makers of boutique pedals around.

The Red Panda Particle V2 is a granular delay/pitch shifting pedal that transcends the boundaries of conventional time-based effects. With its ability to chop your guitar signal into tiny grains and manipulate them in real-time, the Particle V2 is perfect for creating glitchy, atmospheric soundscapes that push the boundaries of traditional delay and reverb.

The pedal’s various modes allow you to tweak parameters such as pitch, delay time, and filter settings. The “Freeze” function is particularly noteworthy, allowing you to capture and sustain a fragment of your playing indefinitely. This feature alone can inspire hours of creative exploration, as you build ethereal layers of sound that cascade and evolve in ways you’ve never imagined.

3. Empress Effects ZOIA

The Empress Effects ZOIA is not just a single pedal; it’s a programmable modular synthesizer in pedal form. This innovative device offers an open canvas for sound design, enabling you to create your own custom effects, signal routing, and even whole pedalboards.

The ZOIA boasts a grid-based interface that allows you to connect virtual modules and create intricate audio pathways. Whether you want to build a simple chorus effect or dive into complex multi-effects patches, the ZOIA can accommodate your every whim. Its flexibility is only limited by your creativity and understanding of signal flow.

Though it may seem intimidating at first, the ZOIA’s community and resources provide excellent support for learning and sharing patches. Once you embrace the ZOIA’s potential, you’ll discover a world of sound waiting to be explored.

4. EarthQuaker Devices Data Corrupter

The EarthQuaker Devices Data Corrupter is an otherworldly monophonic analog harmonizing phase shifter with a twist. This pedal excels at turning simple riffs into roaring, harmonically-rich monstrosities.

The Data Corrupter takes your input signal and runs it through three independently controlled oscillators: the “Master Oscillator,” the “Subharmonic,” and the “Upper Harmonic.”

By manipulating the knobs, you can summon a barrage of harmonies, dissonant tones, and odd intervals. The “Voltage Starve” control adds an extra dimension of chaos, twisting and mangling the sound further.

Whether you seek alien-like textures or anarchy-inducing dissonance, the Data Corrupter is a gateway to a realm of peculiar and extraordinary sonic adventures.

5. Montreal Assembly Count to Five

You can also read the full Guitar Mammoth Montreal Assembly Count to Five review.

The Montreal Assembly Count to Five offers unprecedented control over rhythm and sound. This versatile device features five independent channels, each with its own oscillator, envelope, and transient shaper. Combined with the on-board sequencer, you can craft intricate rhythms with ease.

The Montreal Assembly Count to Five is not just a delay pedal; it’s a tape echo, sampler, looper, and time-bending wonderland rolled into one. This pedal takes your guitar signal and divides it into three separate buffers, offering unique playback modes that bend and twist your sound in captivating ways.

The “Sample” mode allows you to capture a snippet of your playing and continuously loop it at different speeds, reversing directions or randomly skipping through the recorded audio.

The “Hold” mode provides an atmospheric freeze effect that gradually fades away. And in “Stretch” mode, the pedal slows down your audio, giving your playing an eerie and haunting quality.

The Count to Five thrives on unpredictability and is perfect for experimental musicians looking to take their playing to the edge of sonic exploration.

6. Source Audio C4 Synth Pedal

The Source Audio C4 Synth Pedal opens up a universe of synthesizer sounds and polyphonic tracking for your guitar. This pedal is designed to emulate the essence of classic and modern synthesizers, and it does so with impressive accuracy and flexibility.

With four programmable presets and a vast array of onboard controls, you can summon anything from funky, envelope-filtered tones to fat and evolving synth pads.

The pedal’s Hot Hand compatibility allows you to manipulate parameters in real-time using a compatible motion sensor ring, adding an interactive and dynamic element to your performances.

Whether you’re chasing vintage synth tones, experimental soundscapes, or simply want to add a new layer to your audio signal, the Source Audio C4 Synth Pedal is a versatile and powerful tool to have in your arsenal.

7. Korg Miku Stomp

The Korg Miku Stomp is undoubtedly one of the most weirdest guitar pedals you’ll encounter. Inspired by the iconic virtual singer, Hatsune Miku, this pedal transforms your guitar into a singing, anime-like vocal synth.

The Miku Stomp tracks your guitar signal and generates vocal-like sounds using Korg’s proprietary technology. As you play, the pedal’s virtual singer follows your guitar’s melody, producing a unique blend of human voice and synthesizer timbres. It’s worth noting that the Miku Stomp is more of a fun and gimmicky effect rather than a serious tool, but its sheer uniqueness and entertainment value make it an intriguing addition to any pedalboard.

This product is now discontinued, so look out for it on Reverb.

8. Boss RE-202 Space Echo Digital Delay Pedal

The Boss RE-202 Space Echo Digital Delay Pedal is a modern homage to the legendary RE-201 Space Echo. This pedal faithfully captures the warm and warbly tape delay sounds that have made the original unit a staple in many classic recordings.

The RE-202 offers delay times from 30ms to 800ms, with controls for repeat rate, intensity, and echo volume. The “Reverb” knob adds a lush reverb to the delay trails, enhancing the vintage ambiance. Additionally, the “Warp” function allows you to control the delay feedback manually, adding a real-time manipulation element to your performances.

While the RE-202 isn’t the weirdest pedal on this list, it brings an unmistakable vintage charm and character that sets it apart from modern digital delays. It’s a must-have for musicians seeking that classic tape echo sound.

9. MXR M222 Talk Box

Famous for its association with artists like Peter Frampton and Joe Walsh, the talk box is an effects device that can make your guitar “speak” by directing your signal through a plastic tube into your mouth, where you shape the words with your vocal tract.

The MXR M222 Talk Box replicates this iconic effect without the need for a separate amplifier and speaker setup. It comes with a built-in amplifier and speaker driver, allowing you to achieve the talk box effect with just your pedalboard and microphone.

While talk box effects might not be for everyone, they add a distinct and charismatic quality to your playing, making your guitar truly sing in a way that no other effect can replicate.

10. Subdecay Octasynth

The Subdecay Octasynth is a boutique, analog octaver pedal that defies traditional tracking and tonal expectations. This pedal offers a genuinely unique and quirky approach to octave generation.

Unlike a standard octave pedal, the Octasynth features two independent octavers, each with its own individual tracking and voicing controls. This allows you to create rich, cascading octave textures, gritty sub-octave rumble, and everything in between. With the addition of the “Filter” knob, you can shape the sound further, adding character and personality to your octaved tones.

The Octasynth is a wild ride that can take your guitar sound from familiar to extraordinary in just a few knob twists, making it a must-have for guitarists seeking sonic adventure.

11. JPTR FX Super Weirdo

True to its name, the JPTR FX Super Weirdo is the epitome of unconventional and strange guitar effects. It’s a chaotic, glitch-driven pedal that embraces unpredictability and sonic mayhem.

The Super Weirdo combines a bitcrusher, pitch shifting, and glitch generator, letting you create cascading digital artifacts and warped soundscapes. The “Havoc” footswitch unleashes a burst of sonic chaos, while the “Sample Rate” and “Bit Depth” knobs allow you to manipulate the digital resolution of your signal.

With the Super Weirdo, your guitar will transform into a glitchy, pixelated entity, challenging the conventional boundaries of music and sound.

Conclusion

From the cosmic fuzz-tremolo of the Walrus Audio Janus to the glitch-driven chaos of the JPTR FX Super Weirdo, each pedal on this list offers a gateway to a world of boundless inspiration. Whether you’re a seasoned experimentalist or just starting to dip your toes into the waters of unconventional guitar effects, these pedals are sure to spark your imagination and redefine your playing.

Ultimately, the best weird guitar pedal for you is the one that sparks your inspiration and allows you to create sounds that you love. So, dive in and start exploring weird territory.

Section 2: How To Choose The Best Weird Guitar Pedals For You

Now that we’ve delved into some of the most extraordinary and eccentric guitar pedals available, you might be wondering how to choose the best one(s) to incorporate into your setup. Here are some essential factors to consider when selecting the perfect weird guitar pedal for your creative needs:

1. Experimentation and Sound Exploration

The very essence of weird guitar pedals lies in their ability to push the boundaries of sound. Consider how adventurous you want to be with your music. If you’re open to sonic experimentation and uncharted territories, go for pedals like the Data Corrupter, Count to Five, or Super Weirdo. On the other hand, if you prefer a more controlled yet unique experience, options like the Source Audio C4 Synth Pedal and ZOIA might be better suited for you.

2. Complementing Your Style

While exploring the weird and wonderful can be fun, it’s essential to choose pedals that complement your playing style and musical genre. Each pedal on this list offers a distinct flavor, and some may be better suited for specific genres or playing techniques. For example, the Particle V2 and Octasynth can add an ethereal quality to ambient music, while the Miku Stomp might be a fun addition for experimental rock or pop.

3. Practicality and Usability

Although weird guitar pedals are all about pushing boundaries, it’s crucial to ensure they are user-friendly and fit seamlessly into your setup. Some pedals, like the ZOIA, might have a steeper learning curve due to their modular design, while others, like the Korg Miku Stomp, are more plug-and-play.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Weird Guitar Pedals

1. What makes a guitar pedal “weird”?

A guitar pedal is considered “weird” when it goes beyond the typical effects found in standard pedalboards. These pedals often introduce unconventional sounds, experimental features, or unique combinations of effects that challenge traditional guitar tones.

2. Are weird guitar pedals suitable for all music genres?

While weird guitar pedals can be used in various music genres, their suitability depends on the musician’s artistic vision and the specific pedal’s sonic characteristics. Some pedals may work better in experimental or ambient music, while others can add a distinctive touch to rock, pop, or even metal compositions.

3. Are weird guitar pedals difficult to use?

The ease of use varies among different weird guitar pedals. Some may have straightforward controls and be easy to integrate into your setup, while others, like programmable modular pedals, might have a steeper learning curve. Manufacturers often provide user manuals and online resources to help users get the most out of their pedals.

4. Can I use multiple weird guitar pedals at the same time?

Yes, you can absolutely use multiple weird guitar pedals in your setup. In fact, combining various eccentric effects can lead to exciting and unexpected results. However, it’s essential to consider how each pedal interacts with others in your signal chain to avoid overwhelming or muddying your overall sound.

5. Will adding weird guitar pedals affect the integrity of my core tone?

Weird guitar pedals are designed to be used as creative tools, and they often add new dimensions to your guitar’s signal. While they can alter your core tone, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will diminish its integrity. Choosing high-quality pedals and understanding how they interact with your gear can help maintain the essence of your guitar’s unique voice.

6. Can beginners use weird guitar pedals?

Yes, beginners can certainly use weird guitar pedals, but they may find some pedals more user-friendly than others. It’s essential to start with a pedal that matches your comfort level and gradually explore more complex options as you become familiar with the basics of effects and signal routing.

7. Are there any practical limitations to using weird guitar pedals?

Some weird guitar pedals might require additional power, especially those with digital components. It’s crucial to consider power supply requirements and ensure you have enough available power for your entire pedalboard. Additionally, pedals with complex controls might take more time to dial in the desired sounds, so patience and experimentation are key.

8. How can I find inspiration for using weird guitar pedals in my music?

Listening to musicians who incorporate experimental or unconventional sounds into their music can be a great source of inspiration. Additionally, joining online forums and communities dedicated to guitar effects can expose you to new ideas and techniques for using weird pedals creatively.

9. Can I use weird guitar pedals for live performances?

Absolutely! Many musicians use weird guitar pedals in live performances to add a unique and memorable element to their shows. However, it’s essential to practice using the pedals extensively beforehand and ensure they fit well within your live rig.

10. Where can I find more information and resources about weird guitar pedals?

You can find valuable information, reviews, and user experiences about weird guitar pedals on online forums, guitar gear websites, and social media groups dedicated to effects pedals and experimental music. Manufacturers’ websites also often offer detailed product descriptions and user manuals to help you understand and make the most of your pedals.