Ibanez Tube Screamer
It doesn't really matter if you have an original 808, a re-issue TS-9, an SRV-approved TS-10 or any of the many clones. Smooth overdrive, a nice mid-bump, works with Gain cranked and Volume down or vice-versa.
Analog or Digital, BOSS has been making great stompbox delays for decades. The gritty fade-out of an DM-2, the sparkly echoes of a DD-5. This pedal is all over studio and live tracks and it's difficult to find a serious player who has never owned one
BOSS Dimension C
The DC-2 was a four-button preset chorus pedal that add an extra shimmer most chorus boxes lacked. Whether it was a bit of Phasing or an Exciter, the Dimension C had extra movement that set it apart from other chorus effects. It was based on the rack-mount studio favorite Dimension D.
The elusive Bill Finnegan made the iconic Centaur in small batches and hid his handiwork beneath globs of epoxy. Whatever he was doing, it caught on and players from Joe Perry to Keith Urban never leave home without one. Fat sustain, never muddy..the sound of a cranked amp in a pedal.
Sounds so good, some players just turn it on and leave it on. Rumored to be head Heartbreaker Mike Campbell's staple, it ruled the Nashville session scene for years. Just turn the knobs so the white lines face each other and go.
Electroharmonix Deluxe Memory Man
Take a groovy analog delay and add some chorus to the repeats...and eventually become a preset in every digital modeling pedal ever made thereafter. The boxes always felt a little flimsy and the company vibe a little trippy, but nobody makes cooler stompboxes than Mike Matthews and the gang at Electroharmonix. I remember the day I bought my first one, after reading about them for years. I played along to U2's "Gloria" for hours.
Darkhorse pedal from Germany. Sounds amazing, a more urbane, less middy version of the Tube Screamer. A favorite of the Nashville session scene.
Line 6 DM Delay Modeler
When technology catches up to the past, suddenly you can get believable versions of every cool delay sound in history from one box...with a Tap Tempo to boot. Not perfect re-creations, but a Desert Island stompbox for any gigging player.
Dunlop Cry Baby Wah Wah
Clapton with Cream, Hendrix, Zakk Wylde, Slash. When the great ones want to spice it up, they hit the wah and start crying. Originally designed to mimic the sound of a fanned trumpet and featuring ads with trumpeter Clyde McCoy, the CryBaby is the first name in wah wha.
BOSS GE-7 Equalizer
A stealthy pedal, but those in the know have one handy on every pedalboard they make. Need a clean boost? GE-7. Push the mids on a solo? GE-7. Tame the steely tone of a Tele? GE-7. The Great Equalizer.