Top Guitar Synth Pedals for 2019 (Reviews)

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If you’re looking for a pedal that will help you (re)create synth sounds on your guitar, you’ve come to a right place. We’ve taken a gander at catalogs of some of the biggest names in the industry and have compiled a list of the best guitar synth pedals you can find on the market in 2019.

Without any further ado, let’s get straight to it.

Electro-Harmonix C9 Organ Machine

Click to compare prices: Amazon | Musician’s Friend | zZounds

Let’s start off with a big hitter. Basically, C9 continues where B9 left off, and even though these two pedals have a lot in common, they also have some striking differences between them.  If you’re not familiar with what B9 is, it’s essentially C9’s predecessor which came in a similar casing and with similar set of tones.

There are many improvements on the C9 model, starting with the extremely durable and rugged casing. Although this is not a ‘synth’ pedal per se (most people would classify it as a ‘piano’ pedal), it does feature several presets that can easily pass on as synth.

The genuinely intuitive design makes it very easy to use. The control knobs start with the dry signal, over volume, organ, mod (modulation speed), and click (level of percussive attack). You can use the big white wheel to switch between presets, even in the middle of the gig if need be.

Pros:

  • Huge range of strikingly different sound presets
  • Decent effect sustain
  • Intuitive design makes it easy to use
  • Durable casing
  • High value

Cons:

  • Quite expensive
  • Certain presets are more piano-based than synth-based

Earthquaker Devices Data Corruptor

Click to compare prices: Amazon | Musician’s Friend | zZounds

Apart from a hillarious name, Earthquaker’s Data Corruptor is a major pedal that will bring plenty of versatility to your tonal arsenal. Though it might not be as easy to use as your average effect pedal, Data Corruptor packs a plethora of synth-like controls spread across four sections (Voice Mixer, Master Oscilator, Subharmonic, and the Frequency Modulator).

Generally speaking, this is basically a fuzz pedal for as long as you stick with the Square line of controls, after which it becomes a synth pedal when you switch over to Subharmonic and Oscilator settings. The Glide/Vibrato switch adds even more wildness to it should you need a little bit of extra chaos on top.

This pedal also has the elements of pitch shifter pedals, meaning that you can shift your tone up or down for several octaves.

The biggest downfalls of this pedal are that it has a big footprint and that the controls aren’t so easy to get accustomed to. With a bit of practice, though, this might become your favorite pedal.

Pros:

  • Exceptionally versatile
  • Total tonal control
  • Perfect for live gigs and studio work
  • Combines the elements of fuzz, synth, and pitch shifter pedals

Cons:

  • Has a big footprint
  • Quite difficult to use

DigiTech Dirty Robot

Click to compare prices: Amazon | Musician’s Friend

DigiTech makes some of the finest guitar effect pedals, and one of the best things about the Dirty Robot is that this is both a guitar and a bass pedal in one.

It features ‘Drifth’ knob which allows you to blend square-wave with sub & octave effects, it has an integrated chorus & vibrato effects, an intuitive design, and plenty of other convenient features. The controls for wet and dry signals are blended as one, which means that you’ll be able to set your tone with additional accuracy.

What’s more, the brand offers a set of complementary features, including a Stomp lock and pedalboard hook and loop pad.

Pros:

  • Intuitive interface
  • Plenty of versatility to go about
  • Great tone
  • Complementary features

Cons:

  • Peculiar set of tones might require some time to get used to

Donner Digital Octave pedal

Click to compare prices: Amazon

Donner is pretty famous among guitarists for their cheap, yet high-quality pedals. Their Digital Octave effect pedal is the most straightforward effect pedal you’ll be able to get for the money. What’s great about it is the fact that it does the job and being so simple it’s best suited for beginners and intermediate level guitarists who’ve just started to explore the world of effect pedals.

Wet and dry sound controls are separate here, which means that you’ll get a different kind of sound depending on if you’re using it in a chain or as a standalone pedal. True bypass is also included, which makes it even better for live gigs and studio rehearasals.

There are seven mode effects at your disposal and a 3-way switch that allows you to easily switch between them. Overall, it packs a durable aluminium-alloy chassis, several effect modes, separate wet and dry controls, and a true bypass – it does quite a bang for the buck.

Pros:

  • Exceptionally easy to use
  • Decently good tone
  • Seven octave modes
  • Aluminium alloy chassis

Cons:

  • Minimal tonal versatility

Roland GR-55

Click to compare prices: Amazon | Musician’s Friend | zZounds

Even if we’re to completely put aside the fact that Roland makes some of the finest guitar gear, their GR-55 is absolutely astonishing. This is a big synth pedal which features over 900 tones onboard, 3 sound banks (a great deal of them are user customizable), and three sound styles.

Though it does have a big footprint, this pedal also has phrase loop and tuner features onboard, and its tremendous audio quality makes it perfect for both live performanced and studio work. The only downside is that it costs quite a bit.

Pros:

  • Nearly a thousand voices onboard
  • Three sound banks and three sound styles
  • V-link integration
  • Big LCD screen
  • Superb audio quality

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Has a big footprint

Eventide H9 Harmonizer

Click to compare prices: Amazon | Musician’s Friend | zZounds

Eventide’s H9 is a big, highly versatile guitar effect pedal that can help you achieve some of the most unique synth sounds possible. It packs nine effects onboard and some 99 presets that could help you build a base upon which you’ll play later on.

There’s a huge variety of additional effects, including delays, reverbs, as well as other unique combo effects. True bypass switch is also onboard, and the pedal is generally very easy to use and navigate, even by beginners. Fine tuning might be a little harder than you initially thought, though.

Pros:

  • Very versatile
  • Unique sounds
  • 99 presets plus various other spatial effects
  • Awesome audio quality

Cons:

  • Effects difficult to fine tune and customize
  • Pricey

Electro Harmonix Superego Synth Engine Pedal

Click to compare prices: Amazon | Musician’s Friend | zZounds

The SuperEgo Synth engine is an absolute must if you’re looking for the most exquisite synth sounds. It sports a plethora of unique features, such as the auto-mode, controllable glissando, FX loop, latch mode, and such.

There are only four control knobs, including speed, gliss, dry, and effect (from left to right), and a 3-way effect switch (latch/off/auto). Generally, this pedal is remarkably easy to use and it offers so much to a player who demands quality and versatility.

Pros:

  • Intuitive design
  • Very easy to use
  • Substantial versatility
  • Great audio quality

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • No built-in modes (not exactly perfect for beginners)

TC Electronic Sub ‘N’ Up Octaver

Click to compare prices: Amazon | Musician’s Friend | zZounds

Octavers are some of the finest sub-types of synth pedals, and TC Electronic’s made Sub’N’Up so easy to use that even people who’ve just picked up an axe can play around with it.

There are two ‘sub’ knobs, one ‘up’ knob, and a dry signal volume control knob, as well as a 3-way switch (poly, toneprint, and classic) onboard. Even without the ‘modes’, you’ll still be able to achieve superb polyphonic  octaves and simulate synth-like sounds with it. Try bypass is also included, but it’s not the most versatile of pedals in general.

Pros:

  • Great audio quality
  • Surprisingly easy to use
  • True Bypass
  • Several modes, including poly, toneprint, and classic

Cons:

  • Moderately versatile

Joyo JF-12 Voodoo Octava

Click to compare prices: Amazon

If you’re on a budget and are looking for a decent synth guitar pedal, Joyo’s JF-12 might just be what you’re after.

This is basically a fuzz pedal which features elements of an octaver onboard. Tone and volume control knobs follow ‘fuzz’ and 2-way mode switch, and even though you can’t go ‘down’ an octave or two, you can go up. This is definitely not a versatile pedal, but it’s among the cheapest, yet high-quality synth pedals you can find on the market.

Pros:

  • Superb audio quality for the buc
  • Combines fuzz and octaver effects
  • True Bypass
  • Exceptionally easy to use

Cons:

  • Low versatility

Earthquaker Devices Bit Commander

Click to compare prices: Amazon | Musician’s Friend | zZounds

Here we have another great pedal by Earthquaker Devices – the Bit Commander. Essentially, this is a monophonic guitar synthesizer which features 4 vintage square-wave synth tones, a small yet very durable housing, and a plain, straightforward interface.

Substracting or adding octaves is all too easy, especially if we compare it to our previous pick (Data Corruptor) – instead of having numerous controls spread out across different sections, there are only six control knobs which follow a logical pattern – level (volume), followed by filter, base, sub (substract octaves), down & up.

There’s also a true-bypass switch which you can use to cut out every other pedal in your chain should the situation demand it.

Pros:

  • Very easy to use
  • Superb tone
  • True bypass
  • Small footprint

Cons:

  • Not exactly as versatile
  • Pricey

Conclusion

There are all kinds of synth guitar effect pedals which only makes the process of finding the best for you more interesting. We’ve made sure to include pedals which feature elements of various other types of guitar pedals in hopes that you’ll use them to find exquisite, unique synth sounds. We hope that you’ve liked our selection and wish you all the luck in finding one that suits your needs.

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