Best modulation pedals: our pick of the best mod effects from subtle to spectacular

Empress Effects Zoia modulation pedal on a wooden floor
(Image credit: Future)

From flanger to phaser and ring mod to rotary speaker, there are countless mod effects and variants available at the moment. So much so that it can be difficult to decide what you want. Many of the best modulation pedals put a whole host of sounds at your feet, allowing you to imbibe your tone with an extra dimension no matter what your style or taste.

From the swoosh and swirl of a phaser to the viscosity of a uni-vibe, modulation effects have been an integral part of guitar music ever since the DeArmond Tremolo Control arrived in 1946. The great thing about modulation is that it can be used subtly to enhance your base tone with a touch of seasoning, or you can add a healthy dollop of otherworldly resonances and totally blow your tonal tastebuds.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

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Matt McCracken
Junior Deals Writer

Matt is a Junior Deals Writer here at Guitar World. He regularly tests and reviews music gear with a focus on guitars, amps, pedals, modelers, and pretty much anything else guitar-related. Matt worked in music retail for 5 years at Dawsons Music and Northwest Guitars and has written for various music sites including MusicRadar, Guitar Player,, Ultimate Guitar, and Thomann’s A regularly gigging guitarist with over 20 years of experience playing live and writing and recording in bands, he's performed everything from jazz to djent, gigging all over the country in more dingy venues than you can shake a drop-tuned guitar at.