OD-3 OverDrive review by Boss

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (38 votes)
Boss: OD-3 OverDrive

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.

19 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Does anyone else notice how many people do reviews on here that have been playing for "almost a year" or somewhere in that neighbourhood? I think I trust more experienced players to give me tonal advice...
    I have nothing against people in Belgium but I'm not joking I have seen at least 70 people from Belgium, and over 100 from Norway. I live in W.V. and my whole family is redneck 'cept me. Again nothing against you but I'm just pointing this ou. May be I'll move to Belgium. Seriously why the f--k not?
    Anyone got any advice on how to get it so I can get my harmonics more....squeely?? I run a randall rg 100 212 tube combo. I desperately need a noise gate, but is that the missing piece to getting most out of my pedal?
    I agree with Vampire 255, Green day even uses OD pedals for a boost Anyway I tested this thing out today and im definitely getting it, It has such a natural tone and does not at all sound digital
    Cold Reader
    Can't stand this pedal any more. It gets in the way of your tone when it's not on and it has a nasty hiss to it. The only situations i've used it in is as a volume boost for solos.
    wolfgangb wrote: does anyone know what causes the volume to drop when i kick in the overdrive pedal? do i need to adjust the treble and mids on the amp?
    i'd just kick up the level.
    does anyone know what causes the volume to drop when i kick in the overdrive pedal? do i need to adjust the treble and mids on the amp?
    is it much better than the super overdrive? caus here in belgium it costs twice as much
    Mr. Tomnus
    bought one of these babies yesterday, friggin love it, cept might also invest in a heavier distorion pedal for other uses. any suggestions on what is a good pedal for VR type stuff, like halfway between metal and blues.
    Vampire 255
    liledman_76 wrote: playing punk with a pedal is a sin?
    i believe overdrive or distortion pedals r ok 2 use but any other effects is a sin in punk
    Blind In 1 Ear
    im not sure why someone said it doesnt have enough low end. it actually has more low end than most OD pedals. thats why i kept this pedal and took back my TS-808.
    overdrive is when the tubes on a valve amp get cranked and it makes the overdrive sound.
    overdrive is adding dB to push volume over unity gain and create distorted sound. Distortion lowers untiy gain so the volume stays the same.