Overdrive Overview: A Look At Different Overdrive Pedals And Their Tone

Overdrive Overview

Overdrive is a classic effect that has been used for ages and still is relevant today. It can also be heard in most styles of music from pop to rock to funk. So, what is overdrive? Is it the same as distortion? The answer to that question is that yes, it is a type of distortion. Overdrive is achieved by saturating or overdriving the valves in your amp, or the simulation of this. It will generate less tone overall tone change than distortion would, so if you want a cleaner sound it is perfect for you. Distortion would add more of, you guessed it distorted sound. Now that we are all on the same page lets cover some different pedals to give you a better idea of tones.

Matthews Effects The Architect V3

The Architect V3 is Rick Matthews’ unique take on the legendary klon circuit, which has formed the tone of countless guitar players.

Bogner Ecstasy Blue

All that glorious, transparent, amp-like overdrive and distortion from the original Blue pedal but in a much more compact format!

Bogner Ecstasy Red

When it comes to tight, high-gain tones that retain amp-like response and clarity, nothing beats the Bogner Ecstasy Red overdrive. In fact, the only way Bogner could think to improve on our original design was to make the pedal size a more pedalboard-friendly.

Friedman Golden Pearl

The Friedman Golden Pearl is a transparent, lower gain overdrive pedal designed to push already overdriven amps into seductive saturation. This versatile pedal can also be used into a clean amp to achieve that elusive semi-broken up tone

Friedman BE OD Deluxe

The BE-OD Deluxe delivers authentic tube amplifier sound with the controls needed to shape your tone. These responsive controls will take you from mild overdrives to straight up gain nirvana.

J Rockett Audio Monkeyman

The Monkeyman by J Rockett Audio Designs brings back the classic Tweed amp tones and a little added atmosphere. The Monkeyman can go from a gritty clean to an exploding speaker sound just by turning the “Speaker Breakup” knob.

Positive Grid Distortion Twin

BIAS Distortion Twin integrates with BIAS Pedal’s Tone Match technology – it analyzes and compares your currently selected pedal and the sound of a target tube pedal. It then executes the tonal compensation and enhancements needed to make your pedal’s sound accurately match that of the target pedal.

Way Huge Smalls Overrated Special

Way Huge in conjunction with bluesman Joe Bonamassa has designed and created the Overrated Special Overdrive pedal. Producing a wide range of bold, punchy grit in a Way Huge Smalls housing, this little box of dirt will find an easy home on your pedalboard.

Wampler Pantheon

The Wampler Pantheon overdrive pedal was inspired by combining the long-discontinued original Marshall Blues Breaker pedal and a legendary derivative of that circuit – a pedal that became the “King Of transparent Tone”.

Fender Santa Ana

Armed with FET technology, this pedal lets you dial in sounds varying from “just a little hairy” all the way to thick, fully saturated overdrive. The flexible tone controls unlock a wide range of sonic flavors. This pedal cleans up with the guitar’s volume control, just like our famous amplifiers.

J Rockett Melody OD

The Melody OD from J Rockett is the ultimate overdrive for the pedal-geek in all of us! The pedal provides excellent overdrive characteristics and includes a 6-band graphic EQ with 18 dB cut and boost on each frequency so the player can really tweak it and find the perfect sound for their setup!

Earthquaker Devices Westwood

This mild-mannered light- to medium-gain overdrive will still knock the socks right off your trusty low-wattage combo amp, pushing it into anything from cutting, edge-of-breakup rhythm tones, all the way to articulate, singing lead tones stacked high with pleasing even-order harmonics and sweet, sweet sustain.

Wampler Tumnus Deluxe

The Tumnus Deluxe delivers all the string-to-string clarity, high-headroom output, and amp-like breakup that made this style of overdrive pedal so iconic. But its 3-band EQ will enhance your tone with warm low end, instantly identifiable midrange, and just the right amount of top-end sparkle.

So, to wrap things up, this gives you a wide overview of different overdrive pedals available. All of them will offer different tones that will cater to different styles of playing. So just remember overdrive pedals provide a gain boost and push your original clean tone providing a nice breakup. If you need any new pedals, come on over to American Musical Supply today!