OD-20 Drive Zone review by Boss

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  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7 (49 votes)
Boss: OD-20 Drive Zone
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Price paid: $ 120

Purchased from: ebay

Sound — 6
My setup is Ibanez RG4 into the Boss OD-20, then to Ernie Ball VP Jr, Boss DD-20 and out to a Marshall MG100DFX and whatever other amp I have laying around to play stereo. Now on to the pedal... The sound out of this pedal is pretty good. Notice I said "pretty good." I've played on a lot of the pedals that this is simulating and I must say they're not all accurate representations. For example the MT-2 sounds very different. My friend owns one and I absolutely can't stand it. You can get such screeching distortion that's a completely flat, thin, trebley, hissing mess. The MT-2 setting on the OD-20 is so much more tolerable that i use it as my main distortion setting! On a less positive note... this pedal puts almost too much bottom end on your tone. Even with the BOTTOM knob rolled back a considerable amount it can get muddy. Also the distortions distinctly have that digital sound. When you roll back on the Drive it won't take away that crunchiness of your distortion (all of that added background hiss and crunch) it just takes away a lot of your gain, taking away a lot of your ease of playability. I'm giving this a 6 only for its versatility in sound.

Overall Impression — 7
I play progressive metal/classical and have been doing it for upwards of 5 years. I really enjoy a good ballsy thick distortion for rhythms, and a smooth gain with amazing clarity (when I want it) for leads. Sadly, this pedal does not deliver that. It does have excellent versatility because of its numerous dist. Settings but there aren't many of them that I enjoy so most of them go unused. I love that fact that you can save 4 presets. It makes switching settings so easy. But I still don't like the way it sounds overall even though I've been able to optimize my settings so I can cope. I own various other Boss products and I must say this one doesn't live up to the others.

Reliability & Durability — 10
BOSS... end of story. Almost lol. The only problem I've had is the tone knob is really loose and fell off when I turned it upside down. No biggie. The pedals still function perfectly but do have a little bit of a used feel compared to my brand new giga delay.

Ease of Use — 9
As far as ease of use goes, this thing is a breeze. Choose your distortion/OD mode, drive, bottom end, tone, attack shape, and octave (if you want it) SOOO simple. However... A couple of quick notes on the settings. Quite a few of the distortions are bad and I don't see why anyone would ever think of using them... ever. That's not just my opinion either, I've went over this pedal with a lot of my musician friends. The attack shape knob does next to nothing. It does have a larger impact if you use less gain but you really have to turn this thing to tell a difference. Programming is the easiest thing in the world and the manual will tell you everything you need to know and more.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    NathanRobbins
    Froggy7521 says: "I personally use the MT-2 model, with Drive at noon. Bottom, Attack Shape, and Heavy Octave all the way to the left. And Tone and Level all the way to the right. It gives me this insane distortion that I absolutely love." are people absolutely deaf or do they just enjoy ear-piercing tone... i have a friend who does the same thing and everyone i know makes fun of him for it. Do yourselves a favor and plop that tone knob back up to noon and that bottom knob to about 11 o'clock