Behringer has risen from relative obscurity to become something of a household name, mainly thanks to their huge line of budget priced pedals designed to compete with some of the most famous models on the market.
The brand was founded by Uli Behringer in the late 80s with a mission to provide affordable gear that was usable by players of all levels, despite its low price tag. In the years since, Behringer has gone on to make everything from audio interfaces, to amplifiers, pedals, and beyond. Their pedals have gained some notoriety in the years since, primarily for their (normally) plastic construction, and striking similarities to popular pedals from other brands.
In this KillerGuitarRigs Guide, we’ll be taking a look at the extensive range of Behringer pedals and aligning them with the models from other brands from which they drew their inspiration.
How Do Behringer Keep Prices So Low?
The Behringer brand is just one in a large group of companies under the Music Tribe umbrella. Even though Music Tribe isn’t a widely known name, their production capabilities are enormous – in fact, they own Music Tribe City in Zhongshan, China, a factory complex so vast that they even have residential facilities for employees on site. The sheer size of the Music Tribe operation ensures that production volumes are kept high, which in turn keeps costs low.
Because they manage their own production, Behringer is able to control prices more carefully than brands who lease manufacturing space in third party factories. This is an important key to their cost structure. As well as owning their own facilities, they loosely base their pedals on big name brands, rather than making 1:1 clones. For example, rather than making pedals with metal bodies like Boss does, Behringer will make pedals with the same functionality as their rivals, but use lower cost materials like plastic to drive down costs.
The net result is a pedal that performs as well as a big brand model, but with marginally less durability, at a much lower price.
Are Behringer Pedals Equipped With Buffers?
The more pedals you have linked up at any given time, the greater your chances of signal degradation are. When pedal circuits have buffers, they effectively boost the guitar’s signal, allowing it to pass to the amp without losing its tone.
As surprising as it may seem given the low cost, Behringer’s pedals do indeed feature a buffer in the circuitry, allowing players to stack pedals without significant loss of signal between the guitar and the amp. This is normally something seen only on premium pedals, so having a buffer on budget pedals like those from Behringer massively increases their appeal.
Remember, pedals from different brands don’t always play nicely with one another. Unless you’ve stacked your pedal board with just Behringer pedals, you might find that you begin to lose signal somewhere along the chain. You can counter this with buffer pedals. Ideally, you’ll have one linked up as the first pedal in the chain, and another at the end, as the last pedal before the amp. If you can only have one buffer, it makes sense to include it as the last link to boost the remaining signal after it’s passed through your entire pedal chain.
Do Behringer Pedals Have a True Bypass?
True bypass allows your guitar’s signal to pass through the pedal in a dry condition, completely unaltered by the pedal’s circuitry when the effect is switched off. If a pedal doesn’t have a true bypass, there is a chance that the signal will be affected, albeit slightly, by the pedal when it’s turned off.
This is one area in which Behringer has clearly cut costs. Behringer’s pedal range does not feature true bypass, meaning that your guitar’s tone could become colored by the pedal before hitting the amp, even if the pedal is off.
In our experience of these pedals, the lack of a true bypass isn’t a dealbreaker for day to day use, or even for gigging, but, if you will be recording, you want to have the purest possible sound, and any unwanted noise or altered tone has to be avoided.
Are Behringer Pedals Well Made?
As we mentioned above, Behringer pedals are made from plastic – and while this does make them inherently weaker than those made from metal, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re poorly made. If you understand the limitations of these pedals, there’s no reason they won’t perform well for years to come.
Some areas of design and engineering with Behringer’s pedals are inferior to the models that they emulate, however. One such element is the battery compartment. It’s great that Behringer makes it possible to use a 9v battery for power, but unfortunately, gaining access to the battery compartment is not a straight forward task. Because you need two implements in order to push in the release pins simultaneously, it’s entirely possible that during a gig, you could find yourself unable to gain access to the battery compartment if you don’t have any screwdrivers or other thin tools to hand.
Another downside to Behringer pedal design and engineering is how the input and output jacks are connected to the circuit board. Unlike more premium models, which feature additional brackets to secure the jacks in position, Behringer simply solders the jacks to the circuit board. This type of design has the potential to lead to breakdowns over time as the jacks work their way loose, even for players who handle their gear very carefully. Of course, at the price, these pedals are practically disposable, so if one breaks, it’s still affordable to replace it, but from an environmental perspective, this is certainly not a sustainable way to make gear.
Do Behringer Pedals Sound Good?
We will cut to the chase on this one – Behringer’s pedals sound excellent. This doesn’t just mean that they are good for their price, or that they’re good compared to other budget FX. They genuinely sound good in direct comparison with the pedals that they’re modeled on.
Of course, they aren’t perfect, and they aren’t putting Boss or Electro-Harmonix out of business any time soon. Behringer’s pedals tend to be a little noisier than more expensive models, but definitely never to the point at which noise is disruptive.
The bottom line is that for a fraction of the price, you can pick up a Behringer equivalent to a big name model, and get almost identical tonal results despite the fact that the Behringer costs 4 or 5 times less.
What Pedals Does Behringer Make?
Behringer makes a pedal for every player. If you can think of a famous model, Behringer almost certainly makes an equivalent. While the naming convention that Behringer uses is in many cases quite well aligned with that of the models that they are based upon, in others, model names can be a little more obscure. To help you to figure out which famous pedals have Behringer equivalents, we’ve put together this handy table:
|Behringer Model||Original Model||Original Brand||Type|
|Acoustic Modeler AM100/ AM300||Acoustic Simulator AC-2||Boss||Simulator|
|Bass Chorus BCH100||Bass Chorus CEB-3||Boss||Chorus|
|Bass Graphic Equalizer BEQ700||Bass Equalizer GEB-7||Boss||Equaliser (EQ)|
|Bass Limiter Enhancer BLE100/BLE400||Bass Limiter Enhancer LMB-3||Boss||Limiter|
|Bass Overdrive BOD100/BOD400||Bass OverDrive ODB-3||Boss||Overdrive|
|Bass Synthesizer BSY600||Bass Synthesizer SYB-5||Boss||Synthesiser|
|Blues Overdrive BO100/BO300||Blues Driver BD-2||Boss||Overdrive|
|Chorus Orchestra CO600||Chorus Ensemble CE-5||Boss||Chorus|
|Chorus Space D CD-400||Digital Space-D/Digital Dimension DC-3||Boss||Chorus|
|Chorus Space-C CC300||Dimension C DC-2||Boss||Chorus|
|Chromatic Tuner TU100/TU300||Chromatic Tuner TU-3||Boss||Tuner|
|Compressor Sustainer CS100/CS400||Compression Sustainer CS-3||Boss||Compressor|
|Compressor/Limiter CL9||CP 9 Compressor/Limiter||Ibanez||Compressor|
|Digital Delay DD100/DD400||Digital Delay DD-2/DD-3||Boss||Delay|
|Digital Delay DD600||Digital Delay DD-5||Boss||Delay|
|Digital Reverb / Delay DR400||Digital Reverb / Delay RV-3||Boss||Reverb/delay|
|Digital Reverb DR100/DR600||Digital Reverb RV-5||Boss||Reverb|
|Distortion Modeler DM100||Distortion DS-1||Boss||Distortion|
|Distortion Modeler DM100||Distortion+||MXR||Distortion|
|Distortion Modeler DM100||Rat||ProCo||Distortion|
|Distortion-X XD300||Xtortion XT-2||Boss||Distortion|
|Dynamic Wah / Human Voice DW400||Dynamic Wah AW-3||Boss||Auto Wah|
|Dynamics Compressor DC9||Dyna Comp M102||MXR||Compressor|
|Echo Machine EM600||Echo Park||Line 6||Delay|
|Filter Machine FM600||Otto Filter||Line 6||Auto Filter|
|Flanger Machine FL600||Liqua-Flange||Line 6||Flanger|
|Graphic Equalizer EQ700||Equalizer GE-7||Boss||Equaliser (EQ)|
|Heavy Distortion HD300||Mega Distortion MD-2||Boss||Distortion|
|Heavy Metal HM300||Heavy Metal HM-2||Boss||Distortion|
|Hellbabe HB01||Dime Cry Baby From Hell DB01||Dunlop||Wah|
|Hi Band Flanger HF300||Hi Band Flanger HF-2||Boss||Flanger|
|Instrument/Amp Selector AB100||AB-1 Active Selector||Nobels||Switcher|
|Intelligate IG9||Smart Gate M135||MXR||Noise gate|
|Noise Reducer NR100/NR300||Noise Suppressor NS-2||Boss||Noise gate|
|Overdrive Distortion OD100/OD300||OverDrive/Distortion OS-2||Boss||Overdrive/distortion|
|Overdrive OD400||OverDrive OD-3||Boss||Overdrive|
|Phaser PH9||EVH Phase 90||MXR||Phaser|
|Power Overdrive PO300||Power Driver PW-2||Boss||Overdrive|
|Preamp Booster PB100||Preamp/Booster Pre-1||Nobels||Preamp/booster|
|Reverb Machine RV600||Verbzilla||Line 6||Reverb|
|Rotary Machine RM600||Roto-Machine||Line 6||Rotary modeller|
|Slow Motion SM200||Slow Gear SG-1||Boss||Volume/swell|
|Spectrum Enhancer SE200||Spectrum SP-1||Boss||EQ/Booster|
|Super Flanger SF400||Flanger BF-3||Boss||Flanger|
|Super Fuzz SF300||Hyper Fuzz FZ-2||Boss||Fuzz|
|Super Metal SM400||Hyper Metal HM-3||Boss||Distortion|
|Super Octaver SO400||Super Octave OC-3||Boss||Octaver|
|Super Phase Shifter SP400||Phase Shifter PH-3||Boss||Phaser|
|Ultra Bass Chorus BUC400||Bass Chorus CEB-3||Boss||Chorus|
|Tube Amp Modeler TM300||SansAmp GT2||Tech 21||Preamp/DI|
|Tube Overdrive TO100||Tube Screamer TS9||Ibanez||Overdrive|
|Ultra Acoustic Modeler AM400||Acoustic Simulator AC-3||Boss||Simulator|
|Ultra Bass Flanger BUF300||Bass Flanger BF-2B||Boss||Flanger|
|Ultra Chorus UC100/UC200||Super Chorus CH-1||Boss||Chorus|
|Ultra Distortion UD100/UD300||Turbo Distortion DS-2||Boss||Distortion|
|Ultra Feedback / Distortion FD300||Super Feedbacker & Distortion DF-2||Boss||Feedbacker|
|Ultra Flanger UF100/UF300||Flanger BF-2||Boss||Flanger|
|Ultra Fuzz UZ400||Fuzz FZ-3||Boss||Fuzz|
|Ultra Metal UM100/UM300||Metal Zone MT-2||Boss||Distortion|
|Ultra Octaver UO100/UO300||Octave OC-2||Boss||Octaver|
|Ultra Phase Shifter UP100/UP300||Super Phaser PH-2||Boss||Phaser|
|Ultra Shifter/Harmonist US600||Super Shifter PS-5||Boss||Pitch shifter/harmonist|
|Ultra Tremolo UT100/UT300||Tremolo TR-2||Boss||Tremolo|
|Ultra Tremolo/Pan TP300||Tremolo/Pan PN-2||Boss||Tremolo/pan|
|Ultra Vibrato UV300||Vibrato VB-2||Boss||Vibrato|
|Ultra Wah UW300||Auto Wah AW-2||Boss||Wah|
|V-Tone Acoustic ADI 21||SansAmp Para Driver DI||Tech 21||Preamp|
|V-Tone Bass BDI 21||SansAmp Bass Driver DI||Tech 21||Preamp/DI|
|V-Tone Guitar GDI 21||SansAmp GT2||Tech 21||Preamp/DI|
|Vintage Bass VB1||Bassballs||Electro-Harmonix||Envelope filter|
|Vintage Delay VD400||Delay DM-3||Boss||Delay|
|Vintage Distortion VD1||Big Muff||Electro-Harmonix||Fuzz|
|Vintage Phaser VP1||Small Stone||Electro-Harmonix||Phaser|
|Vintage Time Machine VM1||Deluxe Memory Man||Electro-Harmonix||Delay/Chorus/Vibrato|
|Vintage Tube Monster VT999||Tube King TK999HT||Ibanez||Overdrive|
|Vintage Tube Overdrive TO800||Tube Screamer TS808||Ibanez||Overdrive|
|Vintage Tube Overdrive VT911||Tube Driver||BK Butler||Overdrive|
|Warp Distortion WD300||Warp Factor||Hughes & Kettner||Distortion|
Final Thoughts On Behringer Pedals
Behringer pedals have built a reputation in recent years as a way for guitarists to get hold of FX that sound and perform just like the big name models, without spending big name money. While you can absolutely buy better pedals, you’d be truly hard pressed to find better value. You could literally fill a pedal board with Behringers for the price of 2 or 3 big name pedals!