How Long Do Guitar Pedals Last?


It’s a question I get asked all the time: how long do guitar pedals last?

Guitar pedals can last up to 30 years depending on how much you use and take care of them. Some pedals will last anywhere from 5 to 10 years given normal usage before needing a repair or replacement.

In this article, I’ll explain what causes guitar pedals to stop working and how you can get the most out of your pedals.

I’ll go over why some effects pedal brands last longer than others, and I’ll also explain which parts of a guitar effect wear down quicker than other components.

Can guitar pedals go bad?

When it comes to guitar pedals, it’s not so much about the quality of the pedal as its durability.

When you first purchase a new effect like an overdrive or distortion pedal, there is no way to tell how long that particular model will last before needing replacement parts down the line.

That being said, here are some things to take into consideration when buying effects:

Finish – Overdrive and distortion pedals tend to wear down quicker than other effects. The reason for this is the finish on these types of guitar pedals.

Overdrives and distortions typically have a coating or paint that wears off over time, which means you’ll see more scuff marks and chipping around the knobs as well as on the sides of the pedal.

If you don’t mind having scuffed-up pedals, then this won’t be much of an issue for you.

If not, look for a model that doesn’t have as thin of a finish on it or consider purchasing another type of effect pedal.

Design – There are 2 types of guitar effects.

  • The first is the type of pedal that has a housing made entirely out of metal. These models are typically very durable and tend to last much longer than other pedals.

If you like effects with this design, look for brands like Electro-Harmonix or Boss because they make some of the most durable pedals on the market today.

  • The other type of pedal is the one that has a plastic casing. These models are typically much lighter than others and can break more easily if dropped or stepped on by mistake. If you like pedals with this design, look for brands like MXR because they have some of the most durable designs around today.

Magnets – The magnets on guitar pedals wear down over time and will need to be replaced.

If you notice that your pedal isn’t giving off the same tone it used to, then there’s a good chance this is why.

Take apart some of the parts of your pedal and look for signs of corrosion on the magnets or around them where they connect with the pickups or speaker.

Parts – The parts of your guitar pedals wear down over time, so if you notice any unusual rattling inside the pedal casing when it’s turned on, this is probably why.

If none of these components are corroded and something has stopped working altogether, then there’s a good chance that part simply needs to be replaced.

The parts of guitar pedals can last anywhere from a couple of years up to 30 depending on how much you use them and what types of musical styles or genres you play.

Why do guitar pedals stop working?

This is an obvious answer but sometimes, a guitar pedal isn’t connected correctly.

If the jack leads are not fully inserted, the pedal will not function. This is a power-saving measure.

A pedal won’t operate until your jack leads are properly inserted into the guitar end and into the Input.

If the guitar pedal is plugged into a power source, make sure that it’s properly connected and working.

Other times you might find your pedals aren’t turning on because they’re not getting any power at all.

This can be due to bad batteries or corrosion in some cases; however, using a voltage tap will solve this issue.

How much are guitar pedals?

The prices of guitar pedals vary depending on the type and brand.

Guitar effects can range anywhere from $25 to hundreds or even thousands of dollars, so it’s important to do your research before you make a purchase.

Some brands like Boss have more affordable options while other companies like Electro-Harmonix have more expensive ones.

Boss pedals are also very popular in the music industry because of their affordability and durability, so keep this in mind when you’re deciding on a brand to purchase from.

Can you damage guitar pedals?

Yes, you can damage guitar pedals.

Using the wrong type of power supply or improperly connecting your pedal to it will cause issues with its functionality.

This is why before using a new guitar effect on stage, practice using the settings and knobs so that you know how it works when playing live in front of an audience.

You’ll also want to avoid dropping guitar pedals since this can damage the housing and could even cause it to stop working completely.

It’s always a good idea when you’re setting up the stage equipment that you have backups for anything that isn’t too expensive or difficult to replace in case something happens during a performance.

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to buying a new guitar pedal, check out online reviews and forums for information about the most popular models.

This will give you some insight into which brands and designs are worth your time and money so that you can focus on playing music instead of worrying about technical difficulties onstage with your instruments or pedals.

How do you troubleshoot pedals?

First, identify what type of pedal you have.

If it’s an analog or digital guitar effect, then there are usually only two issues that could possibly be causing your problems: batteries and power supply.

Using a voltage tap to test whether the input is getting any power at all will solve this problem if the issue isn’t with corroded wires or loose connections.

However, if you have a pedal that doesn’t need a power source and it’s not turning on or working properly in any way, then the issue could be with your batteries.

Even after you change out the old ones for new ones, this can still cause problems so to solve this problem once and for all, you’ll want to clean out the battery compartment on your guitar pedal.

Using an electronics cleaner spray will do the trick and it’s also a good idea if you have metal or chrome contacts that are corroded.

If these tips don’t solve your problem then chances are there is something wrong with either the switch circuit or one of the internal components.

Your best bet would be to take it into a repair shop for assistance since this is not something you can try doing at home without knowing how to properly diagnose and fix your pedal.


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