OD-3 OverDrive review by Boss

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (38 votes)
Boss: OD-3 OverDrive

Price paid: $ 97

Purchased from: guitar center

Sound — 10
I use it with my Fender HM Strat Ultra with Lace Hot Golds and Breed in bridge, and with my old Gibson SG, into a Music Man 112-50 equipped with Electro-Harmonix two 6L6 and one 12AX7 tube. I use the Boss OD-3, into a Boss DD-3 Digital Delay, into a Boss CH-1 Super Chorus, into a MXR Phase 90, and normally into the amp's clean channel. Sometimes I switch over to the gain channel, which I set on quite low gain and somewhat higher volume, compared to the clean channel. My Strat sounds beautiful on the clean channel with this pedal, it's soft, stratty, elegant, focused, think Carlos Santana with a brighter Strat, and it roars when switching over to the gain channel. My Gibson SG sounds soft, spacy and jazzy with these pedals on the clean channel, and goes Angus-over-the-top when I Switch to the gain channel. The OD 3 pedal on the clean channel give the best Strat sound I ever heard. The sound from the gain channel is not exactly what I wanted with my Strat, but good enough. The gain channel in this amp is known to be tricky for Strats, but great with Les Pauls, and that is obviously the case also here. I also tested a RAT pedal to see if it had better high gain options, but I couldn't hear any significant difference. The OD-3 on max vol and Drive gives a tone quite similar to the RAT on medium dist, at least in my ears. Absolutly no noise!

Overall Impression — 10
I bought this pedal mostly to get a elegant tube overdrive sound for my Strat when playing jazz and jazz fusion, and that is exactly what it delivers. Also use it for the same purpose with my Gibson SG and with the same result: it's exactly the sound I was looking for. I have been playing Strats since the beginning of the '70s, but I went over to Gibsons because they were softer and warmer to get a decent jazz sound from. Now I bought a Strat to get a more spacy sound for jazz fusion and the sound I now get from my gear is just perfect. There's only this somewhat broken sound, mentioned above, when using the OD-3 in the the gain channel that bothers me now, but it's still ok. It could have been, and has been, much worse, and as said: this pedal in the clean channel give the best Strat sound I ever heard. I would definitely replace it if it was stolen or destroyed.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I have used my Boss DD-3 almost every day since 1988 and never had any problem. Oh yes, the small plastic component at the AC-input was broken once, so I had it replaced. But no other problem, so I would not expect any from this new one either.

Ease of Use — 10
It's very easy use, just three knobs, tone volume and gain no need for a manual, really. Perhaps beginners can have some help of the pictures in the manual saying: this is normal overdrive (50 volume/50 drive), this is how to use it as a booster (100 volume/0 drive), and this is how to use it as a dist-pedal (30 vol/90 drive).

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    man i dont know about you guys but i find the super overdrive little more handy
    i got given one by my uncle for free but it sounds horrible with my guitar i use a encor witch has no drive but im getting a tony iommi g-400 and as soon as i get that i may never use my jackhammer again