Price paid: $ 39.99
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 8
The effect of the OD-3 always sounds great. Rich, convincing Overdrive is the result of tapping this baby on, whether you're looking for just a light growl on a clean channel for a bluesy-esk tone, or if you want an almost over-the-top, thunderous Overdrive. The only objection I have to the sound of this pedal is that it gets a tad hissy once the tone knob is turned up past 3/4 of the way, but, then again, this is normal when boosting the treble to such high levels. I run this pedal through a Line 6 Spider II 112 75W amp with either and Ibanez RG5EX1 or an Epiphone SG-400, and it sounds great. With a little tweaking, I can milk a punk tone, Satriani solo-ish tone, or even a more distorted, hard rock tone. Not quite fit for metal though, due to the high treble sound and no bottom end "oomph".
Overall Impression — 8
I tend to gravitate towards playing harder rock, and this pedal provides me with a good clean to dirty switch. More often than most, I utilize it for the boosting feature, for say, solos and such. Besides that, it is an extremely versatile pedal that can do most everything except provide for those on the hardcore/metal bandwagon. Plus, it's cheap! I picked mine up for less than $50. It's a steal, and will last you for a long while. I own a number of different pedals, and this is by far the one I find myself using the most.
Reliability & Durability — 9
It's a Boss. I've heard a story about a guy running over his Boss pedal with a semi-truck and having it pop the truck's tire. I've gigged with it numerous times with no backup, and was fine. I would suggest getting a PSA-120 9 volt adapter/power supply with it, just because of it's battery-draining nature.
Ease of Use — 10
Like every trusty Boss pedal available, the merch came with a manual and various other pamphlets on proper usage and preparation for getting the right sound out of it. Of course, no one ever reads the manuals, because, frankly, you shouldn't need to on a Boss. Simplicity is the name of the game on the OD-3. Three knobs, level, tone, and gain, control the overall sound. A twist of the gain knob left yields a through-the-wall fuzzy sort of tone, whereas a spin to the right brings about bright, jangly Overdrive tones. Turning down the gain knob and matching the volume knob with the volume on you amplifier can convert the pedal to a simple yet powerful booster, as well.