Price paid: $ 60
Purchased from: Guitar Centre
Sound — 9
ODB 3 will provide any amount of Drive you will need and with good quality. From low natural Drive to high gain distortion, you name it! It nicely covers deep tones even with the lower tunings, and 2 way equalizer enables some more fine or radical adjustments. I play Yamaha RBX 1000 (with Seymour Duncan SJB3 and SPB pickups) through DigiTech Bass Squeeze and Boss ODB3 to Marshall JCM 800 Bass Series with 4*10" cab (Line 6 Lowdown LD 15 at my home) and I manage to set my bass sound similar to Bolt Thrower of Six Feet Under. (level: 12, hi: 12, low: 2, balance: 10, gain: 10 o'clock) Adding distortion with balance or gain knob is sure to add lots of noise but nothing that noise gate or muting your base and/or turning of this unit won't handle. It is an overdrive, it is supposed to make noise and it is up to player to use and control it! Remember to use a battery or a regulated power supply!
Overall Impression — 10
Of all my earlier mentioned equipment (Yamaha RBX 1000, DigiTech Bass Squeeze, Boss ODB3, Marshall JCM 800 Bass Series with 4*10" cab, Line 6 Lowdown LD 15) ODB3 is the last one I would change for something else! I think this unit's tone and gain range is god enough for death/thrash metal-grindcore music that I play, or for any metal, hardcore, punk style and more. I do not doubt that there are better bass overdrive stompboxes, but with this ratio of price and quality, Boss ODB3 gets to the top. If I, by any chance, run out of it, I would definitely get a new one!
Reliability & Durability — 10
I use this for more than 3 years on rehearsals, gigs and in studio, without any backup and it never let me down. Even as the battery gets weaker, the LED indicator will be less and less brighter, and so will Drive but it will not turn of and leave you clean as long as it can squeeze any juice from the battery (as will do many of Boss analog pedals). It looks solidly built, sturdy, and durable. Switch is hidden inside and there is no way dust or any liquid spilling can reach it. Good for crowded club, gigs with a lots o mohsing and beer and sweat spraying all around.
Ease of Use — 9
This unit is pretty easy to use. Level and EQ knobs are familiar to all. It took me some time to get the feeling about balance knob but once I got used to it, it came so natural (as with all the things) that I will feel crippled with any bass overdrive that doesn't have something like that. The manual is detailed and is worth reading. It gives you a starting clue of devices abilities. It also contains some useful presets witch may come handy for finding your tone. The 9 V battery connector is a bit hard to unplug. That smaller part (for negative pole) is a bit too wide. Not a big deal, just use your knife or something like that to carefully disengage it, rather than just pulling and ripping it off.