Free the Tone Gigs Boson Review – Best Guitar Overdrive Pedal?

Free the Tone have sought out to create something as elusive as the Higgs Boson particle: an overdrive that sets the standard for great overdriven guitar tone. The Gigs Boson Overdrive is the result of this endeavor. With everything from warm and creamy overdrive and boost tones to full-on distortion thanks to its Gain Boost switch, the Gigs Boson looks like it might be one hell of an overdrive. Is it the best guitar overdrive pedal out there? We’ll try to answer that in our Free the Tone Gigs Boson review.

Free the Tone have certainly made a pedal that seems to stand out from the run-of-the-mill clones of overdrive pedals out there. The Gigs Boson Overdrive pedal features Free the Tone’s proprietary HTS (Holistic Tonal Solution) Circuit which is designed to prevent signal degradation even when the effect is bypassed. It also includes an impedance switch that’s adjustable between 1MΩ and 100kΩ, a feature unheard of before now. And the Gigs Boson was a Gain Boost on tap for even more saturation when needed. All in all, this looks like a very diverse pedal. Let’s run down what all the Gigs Boson offers and dig into the review.


Gain, Tone, and Level control knobs.

Input Z switch for variable impedance between 1MΩ and 100kΩ.

Gain Boost switch for increased gain and saturation.

Proprietary HTS (Holistic Tonal Solution) Circuit for consistent sound quality even when effect is disengaged.

Powered by 9-volt battery or 9VDC power adapter.

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Sound & Performance:

I plugged in my American Stratocaster and dialed in a flat, clean amp setting. I set the knobs on the Gigs Boson at noon and gave the pedal a stomp.

The Gigs Boson hits with a nice, gritty saturation that’s smooth around the edges. Typical of any overdrive, it kicks a clean channel into high gear, perfect for raunchy rhythms and biting leads. The Gigs Boson has a decidedly classic overdrive sound that’s dynamic and full-sounding, not overly compressed and clipped like some overdrive pedals.

Pushing up the Volume knobs delivers a massive increase in volume, perfect for a cutting boost when taking a solo. You can also push your amp into breaking up nicely with the Gigs Boson and combine the great drive tones of the pedal with your amp’s inherent character for some great saturation.

Free-The-Tone-Gigs-Boson-Review-Best-Guitar-Overdrive-Pedal-03The Gigs Boson also cleans up extremely well when you roll back the volume, even at higher gain settings or with the Gain Boost switch engaged. This pedal remains exceptionally musical and sensitive to your picking dynamics even at higher gain settings.

The Gain Boost is easily my favorite feature of the Gigs Boson. Pushing in the Gain Boost kicks up this pedal another notch, easily pushing it into the range of a great distortion pedal. The Gain Boost works very well for turning a single channel clean amp into a classic rock rhythm machine or taking your crunch channel into high-gain lead territory. While great for classic overdrive sounds, there’s just something about the craftsmanship and tone of the Gigs Boson that is decidedly modern and cutting edge.

The Tone knob performs as expected, although it’s best suited for bringing out more high-end if needed. The Tone control’s effect on the Gig Boson’s overall sound is generally mild although I find that it does let you accentuate the area of your sound that you like the best. It’s a subtle but essential tool for sculpting the sound of this great overdrive pedal.

The impedance switch supposedly allows you to roll-off a bit of high-end; however, it’s effect is so subtle that I could barely detect the difference. You will most likely notice it more with an all-valve amp at loud volumes. It’s a feature that separates the Gigs Boson from other guitar pedals and shows the level of detail that Free the Tone put into making this pedal completely customizable for your perfect overdrive sound.

I really enjoy playing the Gigs Boson and will be spending some time with it after this review. Let’s see the final result.



The Gigs Boson Overdrive by Free the Tone is one of the most versatile overdrive effects pedals available. This pedal offers a full range of useable overdriven guitar tones while remaining exceptionally warm and musical. Your picking dynamics won’t get lost, as the Gigs Boson preserves the nuances of your playing even at high gain settings. Features like the Gain Boost and variable impedance switch are further proof of Free the Tone’s attention to detail. If you’re looking for the best guitar overdrive pedal out there, definitely give the Gigs Boson Overdrive an audition.

That concludes our Free the Tone Gigs Boson review. Thanks for reading.


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Be sure to check out our reviews of the Free the Tone Silky Comp, Flight Time FT-1Y Digital Delay, and Free the Tone Matt Schofield MS SOV Special Overdrive!