Nobels ODR-1 Overdrive Pedal Review

A reliable overdrive with some nice, extra features such as a remote jack for complicated rig setups. Find yours here!

Cost: $99.00, new

Huge thanks to Ed for making all these great Osiamo product reviews happen!

How it Works and Final Score: 8.7

I have to start this review out by saying that this pedal should not sound different than the ODR-mini logically, but honestly, the ODR-1 sounds SOOO much better than the mini. It features the same three, simple controls: drive, spectrum (tone), and level. The pedal is German engineered, Chinese made, and covers a wide range of tones from thick distortion to more touch sensitive, natural overdrive. Furthermore, the remote control jack switching systems means you can control the pedal remotely, via something such as a footswitch or control board, for players who route all their pedals into racks, and then control from the stage. Or, if your guitar tech controls your effects, but you still want the pedal onstage, this input makes that possible.

Sound: 8.5

The sound is great, I’m impressed that the pedal earned the distinction as Nashville Guitarist’s #1 overdrive pedal, but I’m sure it has something to do with the mix of sound quality and durability. The spectrum knob works much better on this pedal than the mini, I don’t know, maybe I got a dud of a mini, but you could really dial in humbucker tones, single coil tones, and incredibly levels of clarity using the knob. The drive control goes from searing distortion, similar to some of the more tame Boss DS-1 tones, to cranked tube amp simulations favored by blues, pop, and country players. It certainly sounds versatile, and I would love to have this on my board.

Durability: 9

I’m a huge fan of pedals that have this type of build design, with one large, flat pedal instead of a single footswitch. I feel it makes the pedal more durable, something Boss has shown to great effect, and I feel I have more control over it, aka, there is no threat of me missing the footswitch in a dark club or basement (or while drunk). If that many of the music capital’s guitarists trust this pedal, than I am sold as I’ve seen nothing that would contradict that on my end. I have put a bit of a beating on it so far, and it just keeps coming back for more. I trust it.

Value: 8.5

For $99, you really can’t get much better unless you want to just use a run of a mill distortion pedal. Many of my comments on the ODR-mini are just not true for this pedal, it feels sturdy, it sounds almost boutique, and it actually is a great value here. It has way more bite than a Boss Blues Driver or Tube Screamer, but it isn’t quite a distortion pedal either. I like it a lot, and hope one of these finds it way back into my hands soon.

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