7 Best Weird Guitar Pedals (2023) Tools for Unique Tones

One of the highest achievements to which a musician can aspire is developing a personal and recognizable sound. The pedals in this list will help you explore uncharted territory in your quest to discover who you really are on the instrument.

Although almost all pedals on the market today deal with common effects that have been heavily used throughout recorded history, some guitarists long for having at least one piece of gear that allows them to be different.

Although some of the most unique and weird pedals come from boutique companies, there are few models that are produced by the usual suspects. And despite the fact that weird pedals may not be for everyone, there are tons of choices out there.

In this article, we help you sort through some of the best weird pedals on the market today. Keep reading.

Editor's Choice
Boss RE-202 Space Echo

Boss RE-202 Space Echo

Features: 12 Echo Combinations, Independent Stereo Reverb, 4 Onboard Presets

Benefits: Huge range of tones, Contemporary and vintage FX, Great build quality

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Best Value
Walrus Audio Janus

Walrus Audio Janus

Features: Dual joystick controls, Metal housing, Tremolo and Fuzz FX

Benefits: Fine tonal control, Excellent noise mitigation, FX work together/independently 

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Best Budget
Behringer Octave Divide

Behringer Octave Divide

Features: Ringer function, Dry signal blend, Metal construction

Benefits: Unique tones, Gig ready quality, Easy to use

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Our Top 3

The Walrus Audio Janus Fuzz/Tremolo Pedal is our Top Choice for this article. With an unusual yet effective design that features two joysticks on the top part, this pedal offers the user very different tones with a unique operation and overall feel. 

The Behringer Octave Divider is our Budget Choice. This pedal provides a sub-octave effect with a mix knob to blend with the dry signal and is inspired by the Mu-Tron Octave Divider effect that was popular in the ’70s.

Finally, the Boss RE-202 Space Echo Digital Delay Pedal is our Editor’s choice. This is Boss’ recreation of Roland’s iconic RE-201 tape echo unit. With a layout and operation that resembles the original, the RE-202 even includes the 12-position rotary mode selector to choose the head combinations.

Individual Reviews

Top Choice

Unusual design for killer and unusual tones.

Walrus is among the top names in boutique pedals, and the Janus is among their most unique units. In principle, it simply combines Fuzz and tremolo, but in use, it proves to be an unorthodox effect processor for folks that love experimentation.

We knew the Walrus Audio Janus Fuzz/Tremolo Pedal was a very different pedal the moment we saw the two joysticks on the top part. Both joysticks feature separate X and Y axes that control different parameters. The joystick on the left is for tremolo while the one on the right is for the fuzz effect. There are two switches to separately activate the Fuzz and the Tremolo side of the pedal.

With the help of our Gibson Les Paul in our Twin Reverb amp, we started exploring the Tremolo joystick. We began by controlling the speed of the effect, with up giving us a fast tremolo, while the down was for a slow tremolo. We then controlled the depth of the effect, going left to right, fast and slow respectively.

On the other hand, the fuzz joystick allowed us to change the amount of gain from low on the left position to high when we moved it right. By moving it up and down, we controlled the tone of the fuzz, with the treble being on top.

By quickly moving it up and down, the tone control started to act like a filter, and we got a fuzz-wah type of effect. We then added some tremolo over the fuzz sound and got a choppy and aggressive type of tremolo sound.

The Janus also features a 3-way switch where we could choose between different clipping diodes for different fuzz qualities. Our favorite of the three was the middle position, which gave us a severely aggressive fuzz sound with the overall quality of a broken speaker.

With this type of pedal, experimentation is key, as it is a bit challenging to describe the very different tones we got from the Janus. In short, a fantastic pedal that gives you a unique design and very different tones for wild experimentation.

Verdict: The Walrus Audio Janus Fuzz/Tremolo Pedal is a unique pedal that combines two effects and comes with two joysticks. You can conjure weird and out-there sounds from this pedal, especially when both the tremolo and fuzz are activated.

Budget Choice

A recreation of a classic.

Behringer is renowned for offering affordable solutions for musicians of all types and genres. The Octave Divider is this company's take on the Mu-Tron Octave Divider. It offers similar functionality but at a much lower price.

The Behringer Octave Divider gives the user a sub-octave effect with a mix knob to blend with the dry signal. It’s inspired by the Mu-Tron Octave Divider effect that was popular in the ’70s and its design replicates that of the original.

This unit proved to be intuitive during our tests, with just two knobs (Mix and Tone), three switches (Power, Ringer, and Stabilize), and two footswitches (Effect and Bass Only). We started by auditioning the Ringer function, which gave us a push on the upper harmonics for a richer tone. On the other hand, the Stabilize parameter produced excellent note tracking throughout our tests. 

The Effect switch engaged the pedal while the Bass Only switch cut our dry sound entirely. By pressing the Bass Only switch, we were left with the saturated, sub-octave-laden signal, which was great for creating different textures and pairing it up with other pedals as well. 

And just like in the original Mu-Tron, this pedal features an instrument input, as well as Amp and Aux outputs. This last output allows the user to send the dry signal to a different amp in order to have even more flexibility.

With a durable metal chassis that can take some road abuse and an included power supply, this pedal is a great choice for folks looking to get a unique unit for a low price.

Verdict: The Behringer Octave Divider is a much cheaper replica of the Mu-Tron Octave Divider effect that was popular in the ’70s. This sub-octave effect pedal allows you to blend with the dry signal and offers intuitive operation that can give you unique tones, and pairs well with other pedals.

Editor's Choice

Recreation of a timeless and unique pedal for today's professional guitarist.

Boss is among the most legendary names in guitar pedals, and with the RE-202 they continue to prove why. This is a homage to a beloved tape echo unit but made for the guitarist that values quality and convenience.

The Boss RE-202 Space Echo Digital Delay Pedal is this company’s attempt to recreate Roland’s legendary RE-201 tape echo unit. And Boss certainly took this task very seriously! Take for instance the right side of the RE-202’s control surface: it is an exact replica of a Roland RE-201, with an identical knob layout including the 12-position rotary mode selector to choose the head combinations.

The most important difference is that instead of having three virtual heads, the RE-202 has four. You get a total of seven modes with various options for the first three heads to be used individually or in combination, plus five modes that include the fourth head.

Armed with our Gibson Les Paul plugged into our Vox AC 30, we were able to dial in realistic modulation tones that came with a nice layer of warmth and depth. Although there are plenty of knobs on this unit, using it was an intuitive and straightforward operation, even if you’ve never even heard of a RE-201 before. 

With the help of the Saturation knob, we were able to add just a bit of grit to give your tone with compression and preamp coloration. This gave us an over-the-edge feel that was fantastic for a variety of uses. We loved the reverb available via footswitch, as it added yet another element to enrich our tone and give it a stronger spatial quality.

We also loved the Wow and Flutter knob, located right next to the Saturation knob. With this control, we were able to have different levels of tape modulation, great for everything from conventional uses to more outlandish textures.

In short, a superb delivery of the sound and feel of Roland’s famous RE-201, with the quality and durability that Boss is renowned for.

Verdict: The Boss RE-202 Space Echo Digital Delay Pedal is a recreation of Roland’s legendary RE-201 tape echo unit. Delivering quality multi-head echoes with expanded delay times, this unit provides the real feel and tone of the original, in a pedal format that is ideal for professional guitarists.

Also Consider

A unique effect from the 70s but enhanced for today's guitarists.

The talk box effect was used by some unique guitarists in the 70s but never became a popular tool. MXR now brings us the M222 making this unusual effect more manageable for today's guitarists that are looking for something outside the box.

The MXR M222 Talk Box pedal provides the talk box effect complete with a distortion circuit and tone control. Besides being unique, this effect was a bit inconvenient, as it typically required a second amp to run. However, the M222 Talk Box comes with a built-in amplifier so you don’t have to negatively impact your gear’s footprint, load-in comfort, and space on stage.

The 8′ of surgical tubing, included in the box, is a vital part of producing the talk box effect. We used the mic stand clip and attached one side to the tube and the other to the mic stand.

After plugging our Les Paul into our Fender Twin Reverb, we were ready for some fun! We started by setting the individual Volume, Tone, and Gain controls a bit past noon and started trying to match our vowels with the licks we were playing on the guitar.

This was a very unique experience that produced tones we had never gotten from our gear before. Although it was loads of fun, this process was not particularly comfortable. Trying to make consonants with a tube in the mouth while we played is not for the faint of heart.

With time and patience, we were able to obtain some very unique textures and tones. We also played with the gain setting, playing it from low to get just a bit of grit all the way to aggressive and otherworldly grind.

Our favorite sounds came at higher gain settings. It was here that our vowel sounds became far more pronounced, giving us a synth-like quality at times. The MXR M222 is a very well-built pedal with a simple principle. It gave us very unusual and weird sounds, but we loved it! That said, this pedal may not be for everybody, as playing with a tube up your mouth while trying to be musical is anything but natural.

Verdict: The MXR M222 Talk Box pedal gives the user the talk box effect with a distortion circuit and tone control. As opposed to classic talk box units, this one comes with a built-in amplifier so you can easily incorporate it into your gear.

Also Consider

A granular delay pedal that provides out-there tones and textures.

This pedal takes full advantage of granular delay technology to give the user uncommon tones and textures. Although it comes with regular features like a tap tempo switch, the Particle 2 is a great tool to go into unsuspecting tonal adventures.

The Red Panda Particle 2 is an improvement on the predecessor, the Particle delay and pitch-shifting pedal. This newer version ups the ante significantly by enhancing the granular function via deeper pitch-shifting, five distinct delay modes, and three separate pitch modes.

We started our tests by going straight to the heart of this unique pedal: the 8-position mode switch. Beginning at the top with the first mode Density, we got a “normal sounding” shimmering texture that worked with normal guitar playing. In other words, chords, regular melodies, and rhythms. 

We then moved on to the next mode, LFO. The speed of our delayed signal got expanded and contracted and by moving the Parameter knob on the right, we were able to go into wild and weird territory, while the Blend knob allowed us to control how much of the effect we wanted.

For even more unique tones, we really liked Pitch mode, which haphazardly detuned echoes and became a bit more unpredictable when we moved the Parameter knob around. On each of the eight modes, we were able to chop and freeze, using the knob right above the Mode knob.

One of the aspects we liked most about the Red Panda Particle 2 is that it comes in a pedalboard-friendly size and is even smaller than its predecessor. All in all, this is a fantastic unit for folks who like to experiment, but it may not be for everyone. Trying this particular pedal out for yourself is a must.

Verdict: The Red Panda Particle 2 picks up where its predecessor left off and gives the user far wider options with a reduced size. With an enhanced granular function, three-pitch modes, and five delay modes, this pedal is a great choice for very experimental folks.

Also Consider

A modular synth pedal to transform your tone.

The Source Audio engineers went on a mission to give the electric guitar a unique tool with modular synthesis but in a stompbox. With the C4, they succeeded, and in the process created a striking pedal that offers guitarists tones off the beaten path.

The Source Audio C4 Synth Pedal is basically a modular synthesizer in a stompbox format. Besides relying on onboard controls to achieve great results, this pedal also offers in-depth editing available via the accompanying Neuro App or Neuro Desktop Editor.

After plugging in our Strat to the pedal and going to our Twin Reverb, we were taken aback by how much our tone would change by manipulating just the four onboard knobs. We spent quite a bit of time changing from the three-position switch that allowed us to pick between sine, square, and saw oscillator wave shapes.

From vintage and traditional to modern and out-of-the-box tones, the C4 gave us fantastic tones with superior tracking. And once we found sounds that we really liked, we were also able to store them for easy recall.

In short, a well-built and fantastic modular synthesizer for your guitar. As good as it is, to make the most out of it you need an app or desktop editor, which may be a downside for a few folks.

Verdict: The Source Audio C4 Synth Pedal offers unique tones and textures, with vast sound-sculpting options. Besides 14 LFOs to control modulation of filter, vibrato, and tremolo, the user can also use the Neuro App or Neuro Desktop Editor for detailed control and profound tone-shaping capabilities.

Also Consider

A unique tonal beast to seriously transform your tone.

EarthQuaker Devices is among the top names for unique effect pedals, and the Data Corrupter is one of their most singular models. It allows you to take your tone to a truly weird place with just a few knob twists.

Although the EarthQuaker Devices Data Corrupter can be used as a complete harmonizer, its true power lies in the unique ability it has to radically transform your tone. With a modulated monophonic phase-locked loop circuit and three main voices, this pedal is truly unique. 

With our Les Paul going into our Marshall combo, we started our tests by intuitively playing with the three main knobs on this unit, labeled Square, Subharmonic, and Oscillator. These three options gave us tons of sonic possibilities, and we loved turning them aggressively to get wacky tones for deep experimentation.

With the Square Wave turned up high on the voice mixer, we got a grotesque and extremely aggressive fuzz tone. The sound we got can be used in a variety of contexts, from metal to experimental rock or jazz. 

The Subharmonic section of the Data Corrupter looks almost identical to the Master Oscillator section. Here, we also got well-defined intervals to harmonize our main note, but this time it was below the fundamental or start tone. Although we went all the way down to three full octaves, our favorite sound was down a fifth. 

The Data Corrupter also features a Glide/Vibrato switch conveniently located in the middle of the pedal’s panel. While in Glide mode, we got synth-like portamento effects that can create unique textures when the use of the three voice knobs above. With the switch on the low position, we engaged the Vibrato mode for fantastic frequency modulation that added yet another flavor for experimentation.

Another great feature of the Data Corrupter is the ability to operate on true bypass mode. In short, this is a well-built and cleverly designed weird pedal that’s an outstanding option for guitarists who aren’t scared to go way outside the norm and try something new. We recommend you try this pedal for yourself, as it’s so unique that some folks may love it, while others will not.

Verdict: The EarthQuaker Devices Data Corrupter is a harmonizer that can significantly transform your tone. With a modulated monophonic phase-locked loop circuit and three main voices, this pedal is truly unusual. Besides, you get fuzz-like and synth-like tones for ultimate experimentation.

How to Choose the Right Pedals for You

Weird guitar pedals can make you stand out by adding a different color to your tone palette. These tools can also be an open invitation to experiment for hours and come up with your very own sounds.

Therefore, weird pedals often demand a trial-and-error period where the user may go through a learning curve. Naturally, weird pedals won’t appeal to everyone because of their singular nature. And even if you are an experimental guitarist at heart, some particular pedals may not be your cup of tea.

This is why trying out these pedals before you buy is paramount. No amount of online research will truly let you know what a pedal can do for you like playing with it would. Below, we offer a few of the common effects that are often a central part of weird pedals.


Fuzz is often a go-to effect whenever experimentation comes to mind, particularly when combined with delays and others. Fuzz units are used to create a dirty, gritty sound. For experimenting, Fuzz tends to be used at higher levels in order to truly transform the guitarist’s tone. Additionally, fuzz pedals are often combined with weird pedals in order to add another layer that contributes to a unique sound.


As you probably already know, delay pedals produce a sense of space in a guitar sound and can add texture. However, “space” is a relative thing, and it can grow into a cavernous realm of experimentation with the right pedal.

This is particularly true with a granular delay that combines some pitch shifting. Your signal will be split into pieces that are then rearranged in real time. Depending on the level of delay and how it combines with other factors, you can conduct deep tonal experimentation that may lead to unique tones for later use. 


The price for a weird pedal will vary as greatly as the pedal itself. This is an area where, unlike with more standard effects, there is not much leeway. 

Choosing your ideal weird pedal is a very personal endeavor, more so than with other pedal types. After all, once you find that unique tool that can transform your tone just the way you want it, it’s highly unlikely you’ll find something similar at a more affordable cost.

That said, you may be able to find something different that you also like, and maybe that pedal has a lower cost. But if price is one of your main concerns when shopping for a weird pedal, your options may be severely limited.

Final Thoughts

Weird pedals are extremely unique pieces of gear that can add that “special element” to your pedalboard. In your quest to develop your own sound and approach, a weird pedal can provide a memorable go-to musical place that becomes part of your identity.

The Walrus Audio Janus Fuzz/Tremolo Pedal is our Top Choice for this article. With an unusual yet effective design that features two joysticks on the top part, this pedal offers the user very different tones with a unique operation and overall feel.

The Behringer Octave Divider is our Budget Choice. This pedal provides a sub-octave effect with a mix knob to blend with the dry signal and is inspired by the Mu-Tron Octave Divider effect that was popular in the ’70s.

Finally, the Boss RE-202 Space Echo Digital Delay Pedal is our Editor’s Choice. This is Boss’ recreation of Roland’s iconic RE-201 tape echo unit. With a layout and operation that resembles the original, the RE-202 even includes the 12-position rotary mode selector to choose the head combinations.


  • Rodrigo Sanchez

    Rodrigo is an award-winning songwriter (Best Popular Song Of 2018 for Ibermúsicas), and has worked with the prestigious EMI Music Publishing Latin America. He has production credits on artists such as Descemer Bueno, and has also composed alongside Grammy and ASCAP award-winners such as Sebastián De Peyrecave and José Luis Morín.