OD-20 Drive Zone Review

manufacturer: Boss date: 12/24/2010 category: Guitar Effects
Boss: OD-20 Drive Zone
The Od-20 Drive Zone uses advanced COSM technology to model the sound of classic overdrive/distortion pedals, as well as creating new sounds of its own.
 Sound: 8.7
 Overall Impression: 9.1
 Reliability & Durability: 9.7
 Ease of Use: 8.9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (7) 12 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
OD-20 Drive Zone Reviewed by: mikiedaman, on september 13, 2004
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 229.1

Purchased from: Long and Mcquade

Ease of Use: This pedal is real simple, turn the type knob to the pedal you want, dial in the drive, tone, and volume and start rockin. The memory is pretty simple if you read the manual, but I don't like how it stores the volume you set it to, if you are playing quiet and just practicing and find a sweet tone and you want to use it later the level of the memory will be too low. Overall tho, very easy to use. // 10

Sound: I'm using a squire strat (dont' make fun) and a Marshall JCM900 dual reverb. It sounds amazing, the pedal modellings are great. The 6 Boss ones are beautiful, the homemade tones they came up with just for this pedal are really neat too, a great Overdrive and an over the top metal sound. I like the other pedals too, Ibanez Tubescreamer is great and the fuzz boxes are really cool too. You can get just about any distortion sound possible out of this pedal. The heavy octave effect is pretty good too, I don't like it on high levels it just sounds messy but I keep it kinda low and it adds a depth to the sound. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It looks pretty sturdy, the paint is a bit chipped but who cares, I would gig with no back up for this as the pedals seem solid and I can't see them breaking unless you reall stomp it which isn't nessesary. // 10

Overall Impression: I play everything under the sun, metal, blues, rock and roll, acoustic stuff and this pedal works for everything with distortion, I love having a blues tone and a heavy metal tone right there at the click of a switch. I've only been playing for jsut over a year and this is my second distortion pedal, but it destroys my old Danelectro. I'd definetly buy another one if it were stolen. This is the best distortion pedal out there no matter what your taste of music, even if it changes this pedal will still work for you. I recommend to everyone! // 10

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overall: 9.5
OD-20 Drive Zone Reviewed by: pencil364, on december 03, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 180

Purchased from: Kijiji

Ease of Use: If you know what the pedal models are based off of and have heard them, this pedal is very easy to use. Just select a model, crank or decrank your gain and have at 'er. The manual I received was in Japanese so I can't really comment on the manual. I wish the on off switch was something other than plugging it in because I often leave the patch cord plugged in and it goes through batteries like mad. Writing memories entries is easy as pie, and they are useful if you plan to switch distortions in the middle of a song. Overall the pedal is extremely easy to use. // 9

Sound: Sounds AWESOME. I had originally ran it into a Marshall MG30DFX, which sounded not so great but I recently purchased a Blackheart BH5 Little Giant and I'm in love with the pedal/amp combination. The tubes make this pedal sing (or scream if so required). I run an Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus into this pedal and it'll do anything but metal which is only limited by the guitar. I personally like the OD-1 and Tube Screamer models because I play mostly classic rock and Eagles-like stuff. The Boost function is good for solos too but not perfect. Many people say the attack shape is fun to play with but personally I've never touched it. Overall it sounds great and certainly matches the models closer than I expected. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Its a Boss. They might as well build tanks because that's how they build their pedals. The only problem I can see might be the batteries flying out if kicked on stage but if you're on stage it should probably be velcro'd down and using a power source. It shows signs of battery death far before the pedal actually cuts out in the form of blinking for a few seconds as it turns on so that's good if you're about to play somewhere and don't have a backup. I would use this pedal without a backup provided I had a power source instead of batteries. // 10

Overall Impression: I play all kinds of 70s and 80s rock sometimes venturing into Foo Fighters and stuff along those lines and this pedal can do what I need it to. My guitar limits my tone alot for certain things like metal and country just because the pickups aren't single coils and aren't designed for super high gain. Would definitely recommend this pedal to a friend. I wish something in my FX loop had reverb but that's not the pedal's fault. If lost I might just buy a TS9 and an OD-1 because those are the only pedal models I use. // 10

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overall: 8.5
OD-20 Drive Zone Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 04, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: 'Falcon music', Llanelli, Wales.

Ease of Use: The twin pedal is new, Boss' twin pedal (OD-20), it was released early January. It is relativley easy to use, just choose which effect you want, and hit the pedal. Also it has a memory pedal on it to, which stores 4 effects of your choice, to make it easier to change during play, rather than bending down and turning the nob... The memory stuff on it for me is quite tricky. The manual didn't explain how to work it very well. So I'll give a 4. // 8

Sound: Sound Is overall good, taking into account I use an Epiphone sg400 and a Leam 30 watt. It gives you the use of 22 diferent sounds, including 6 Boss pedals. OD-1 OD-2 DS-1 MT-2 HM-1 BD-1. And a range of Boss' homemade stuff. But the other effects really aren't that good, basically your buying it for the 6 built in Boss pedals. It's great for metal whethere new or old, I use the MT-2 alot for Metallica stuff. It has an Octave switcher also which alows you to lower the top four strings down an octave to give a 7 string guitar efect, but it tends to crackle on my amp. Also there is quite alot of feedback generated from this little box. But otherwise this pedal rocks! The sound is sweet. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This is built as solid as a rock, I think it is very reliable... I think I would feel confident useing it without a backup, but I always carry spares ;o) // 10

Overall Impression: This pedal is great for any music with distortion or Overdrive. I would have prob asked for the guy to let me try it out a bit longer, so I could figure out that its only worth buying for those 6 Boss effects, But for the price, you could only get about 2 of those Boss pedals seperatly, for the same price as the OD-20. If it were stolen, i'd probrably save for a bigger Boss pedal, like the GT thigy. The only thing I wish it had is a Wah pedal on the side, It'd be perfect for Metallica then. Overall its a class pedal, you get alot for the money. Definitely buy it if you're after a distortion pedal or Overdrive pedal. Od-20... Rocks!!! Literally :o) // 8

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overall: 9.5
OD-20 Drive Zone Reviewed by: GuitarFreak664, on july 09, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Online Dealer

Ease of Use: The OD-20 has 2 pedals, one to switch between clean/distortion and another to cycle through one manual setting and 4 user presets (a total of 5 distortions at a time). Since the only part of this unit that is digital is the memory, getting the sound you want is fairly easy. // 8

Sound: I am currently playing through an Ibanez SA160 and a Marshall 15 watt combo (don't laugh, its all I can afford). Let me just say that this pedal made my guitar and amp sound good, that's really saying something. You can get any Overdrive or distortion you want from this pedal. It can give you tweakable distortion for any kind of music from blues to classic rock to metal. This pedal is reasonably noisy when the drive is in the turbo region of the knob (but what's new). This pedal has some feedback but, its a distoriton pedal. What do you expect? // 10

Reliability & Durability: Are you kidding, this is a Boss pedal. Boss pedals don't break, they're built like tanks. I would be fully confident gigging without a backup. When nuclear war comes, hide in a bomb shelter made of Boss pedals. // 10

Overall Impression: I play anything from blues to metal and the OD-20 suits these styles well. If this were stolen I would definitely buy it again (I can't afford the GT-8 or anything). With my very small budget this is the perfect pedal, it offers many different distortions (22 in all) for the price of about 2 or 3 single compact pedals. // 10

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overall: 9.3
OD-20 Drive Zone Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 12, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 115

Purchased from: Spectre sounds

Ease of Use: It is incredibly easy to get a fantastic disortion out of this, no matter what your style, the controls are easy to understand and use. There is so much choice to choose from and all the different types of distortion on the pedal sound amazin. The manual was quite thick so it explained everything I got a feelin but I wouldn't know it's that easy to use. The only difficulty iv had with this is, when trying to Switch the pre set memory distortions you have to press both pedals at the same time and Live this is difficult to dobt this is nothing major and can be fixed with a bit of practice. // 9

Sound: Amazing! No other word for it guys. This thing can turn the crapest, tiniest, cheapest little practice amp into a great sounding piece of kit. I regularlly gig with this pedal so it has been thru a large number of amps, and all I can say is it delievered the perfect sound each time. As for the noise, I have found at very high levels of distortion there is a slight buzz, but this is present with distortion in amps aswell so this is nothing. There is a huge amount of variation between all the effects (and there's a lot of them) so you can always find the perfect setting for your style, from 60's fuzz to nu metal ear bleeding distortion. I enjoy playin metal such as Trivium, Bullet for My valentine, Avenged Sevenfold etc. I find that this pedal gives tonnes of distortion perfect for these styles. This pedal is amazin fos distortion. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This is a very solid pedal, tough and durable and I have used this at several gigs without a backup. The only thing is it doesnt't come with an adapter so it runs on batteries, which die without warning so they could just break up and cut out. I've never had this problem so far luckaly. With an adaptor it will be perfect tho. // 8

Overall Impression: This is perfect for any type of music you may play, and I wouldn't replace it for anything else. I'm fully happy with this. I tried a few pedals that they had in including the zakk wild distortion and a few DigiTech and other Boss's and this was the best by far.This pedal has everything you could need and I urge yo to try one! They're awesome // 10

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overall: 9
OD-20 Drive Zone Reviewed by: Froggy7521, on may 27, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 109.99

Purchased from: Music-Go-Round

Ease of Use: This was my first pedal, and I got a killer tone in less than a minute. It's fun to mess with the settings, and chances are, you'll get a good tone out of it. You don't need to know anything really to work this thing. I bought it used, so I didn't get a manual. Boss has all thier manuals online though, so it wasn't a problem. Everything is well explained in it. The one thing that should be noted, is that there is no ON/OFF Switch. It turns on when you plug into the input jack. I had to look it up in the manual to figure that out. // 9

Sound: My setup is an SG plugged into this, plugged into a Line6 Spyder ll 212. My poor amp is dying on me though, so I'm using this pedal to do the work, and run it through a clean channel. I suggest investing in a noise gate, that is, if you're using the higher gain models. I don't own one, and it's silent when bypassed, but feedback and hum are major problems for me when I have it on. It has a horrible squeal when I crank the Drive all the way up, but I can get a whole massacre of distortion without doing that anyway. The settings with less gain don't have that problem really. I can't crank my amp to see if those settings break to, because I Live in an appartment. 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. I'm not really one to imitate other people's tone though. I'm sure you could get just about anything outta this pedal, but I haven't tried. // 8

Reliability & Durability: It's Boss. You could make a bomb shelter outta these pedals. The paint might chip and whatnot, depending on how brutal you are with it, but I really don't see anything but cosmetic features ever wearing down. I literally could probably Drive over the damn thing, and it wouldn't break. Well, maybe the knobs, but that's obviously reasonable. The only problem is that it goes through 6 AA in 20 hours, but a power supply fixes that. It's a standard 9-volt jack. By the way, this could easily be taken to a gig without a backup, but I think it's always better to be safe, incase of a freak accident or something. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall, this thing is awesome. I love it, and it apparently loves me. I mainly play a Nu Metal, and just all out complete meltdown-like metal. I can nail that perfect tone with this thing. Occasionly I do play light stuff. I enjoy blues and jazz, and it's great for that too. I would suggest this for any playing style, and I'd definitly replace it if it was ever lost or stolen. Like I said though, DO NOT forget your noise gate if you want mid-high. Message me if you have questions, or if you want suggestions on some good tones. I'd be glad to answer to the best of my knowledge. // 9

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overall: 8
OD-20 Drive Zone Reviewed by: NathanRobbins, on december 24, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 120

Purchased from: ebay

Ease of Use: 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. // 9

Sound: 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. // 6

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 7

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