Cost: $79.00, new. Want your own? Check HERE for the best prices!
Huge thanks to Ed from Osiamo for sending this for review!
How it Works and Final Score: 7.7
The ODR-mini is the smaller, more pedal board friendly version of its big brother, the Nobels ODR-1. Capable of going from overdriven tube amp to crushing distortion, the ODR-mini is a versatile, if unspectacular overdrive option for your pedalboard. Three control knobs allow for tone shaping with fairly simple parameters. Drive controls the level of the gain, while level controls the output volume of the mini pedal. The true bypass pedal also features tone control that is labeled as “spectrum” but is essentially normal bright/dark contour.
The ODR-mini’s best feature is that it is a strong sounding overdrive in a compact package. Before I get into everything I love about this pedal, I have to say that for the price, it is basically just an average overdrive that isn’t any cheaper than more trusted pedals such as the Tube Screamer. However, it sounds straight up good through a clean tube amp, especially with the spectrum knob at the 12 o’clock position. The drive is able to provide a great range from subtle dirty tones for country and pop to searing leads for rock and blues. I found the spectrum control to be a bit too bright for single pickup guitars when cranked, but otherwise all other control parameters were great and easy to adjust. The output was especially useful for breaking up my Vox AC15 when the gain was turned down for a real touch sensitive, and natural tube sound.
I’m always a bit more skeptical of mini pedals when it comes to lifetime, but this one seems to be an exception to the rule as it feels really solid and well put together. Furthermore, because it takes up so little space on the pedalboard and is affordable, I wouldn’t have any concerns about using it live or taking it on the road. Lastly, the pedal was quiet through my pedal chain, no buzz or hiss, except for at really high volumes, which is understandable. I have very few concerns about slapping this on my pedal board long term, and would trust it for live shows. While it doesn’t have the track record of my tube screamer, I’ll be watching these pedals closely going forward.
The pedal is fairly affordable as a sub-$100 option on a crowded market, which limits its ceiling a bit here. With so many great options out there, it is hard to stick out, even if it is a great pedal. Overall, I think the pedal would be incredibly popular if it was more well known, as many pedal buyers tend to trust tried and tested brands or truly boutique (and overpriced) pedals. But if you’re looking for something small, compact, and reliable, the ODR-mini is a phenomenal option, worth every cent.