ODB-3 Bass Overdrive review by Boss

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8 (76 votes)
Boss: ODB-3 Bass Overdrive

Price paid: $ 45

Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 8
I play a Squier Jazz Bass through a Vox Pathfinder 10W bass amp. I also have a DOD FX25B and a Boss GEB-7 in my signal chain. Since it is a dirt box, it will inevitably add some noise when engaged, but it's not much. It's a very versatile pedal ranging from subtle overdrive to over-the-top, Around The World(RHCP) type fuzz. It can sometimes sound a bit metallic but rolling off the High on the EQ knob can solve that. The EQ knob is very helpful as it prevents any loss of high/low end. This is a great pedal especially for metal bassists.

Overall Impression — 8
I play funk, rock, punk and blues. I use overdrive/distortion/fuzz sparingly but when I do this one does the job well. I picked it up used for $45 but I wouldn't pay $100 for this effect if I had to buy new when you can get an EHX Little Big Muff for $70. I don't like selling my gear so I probably wouldn't sell this but if this gets lost I'd like to try the Little Big Muff since I've heard good things about it and just to try something new. But this get if you can pick it up used for a good price. For a first bass pedal, this is great.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This has been said countless times before. It's a BOSS. It's as solid as can be. Good battery life. I'd definitely gig without a backup. Of course, I'd keep spare batteries.

Ease of Use — 9
The Boss ODB-3 has 3 knobs (Level, Presence, Gain) and a concentric EQ knob(Low, High). I bought it used so I didn't get a manual with this. The knobs are wisely labeled. The EQ knobs are an advantage and disadvantage at the same time. They allow you more tweakablity but the added knobs also make, getting a good sound a little bit harder.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    good pedal except for 3 things. 1. battery dead in 30 minutes; 2. WAY too much noise/buzz through speaker when turned on; 3. only good when you play alone/solo. any guitar playing along will make you inaudible, unless turned up a lot, which causes more noise/buzz. tried to use it live, but havent been able due to reasons 2 and 3. Right now I'm looking for a pedal with a deeper/lower/fuller sound similair to sub-harmonics.
    Noisy, harsh sounding distortion, clean blend causes lots of volume drop and in general it just sounds like a DS-1 with a clean blend.
    Ron Howard
    Its mild overdrive effects and rock solid distortion sounds make bass guitar playing even more easy and awesome.
    IMHO As long as you don't use too much gain and keep some clean sound you get a good sound without loosing precious bottom end. If you only had the budget for 1 pedal I'd say the CS-3!