My Boss OD-1

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builttospillbuilttospill Frets: 163

I'm not one for doing reviews, I'm not very good at it. I recently got hold of a 1980? Boss OD-1 from @rossyamaha. It's got the NEC 4558 8 pin chip and not the sought after 14 pin chip. It cost me £100. I've got a thing for Boss pedals at the moment 

My K-Line strat plugged into the OD-1 and my princeton reverb set clean, no other effects used. It was an instant fuck me! It's a highly addictive, beautiful, raunchy and nasty sounding pedal and yes! it sounds exactly like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6L0OOUcTm4. First impressions, I would definitely describe the OD-1 as slightly tweedy sounding. Chords and single note playing sound fantastic and really stand out. I was getting some fairly convincing Neil Young rhythm tones but also bits of R.E.M Monster, Pavement, Arctic Monkeys & Joy Division.  Many other 80's/90's alternative rock bands also exist in this faded banana yellow box, the faded yellow colour reminds me of Big Bird from Sesame Street.

It's got that sound I have been craving for in an overdrive and it's definitely got an edginess over a regular Tube Screamer. I've owned an original 1979 TS-808 and frankly the OD-1 pisses all over it, in fact I think it pisses all over my current drives including the ZVEX Double Rock.  It doesn't sound stuffy/boxy or thin sounding. it's got two knobs which I love, I'm not that fussed about tone knobs, I find they get in the way, I often find myself faffing around with the controls on the Double Rock when I should be playing. The Boss OD-1 is instant, quick to dial in and inspiring to play. I only got an hour or so with it last night but my favourite settings are level all the way up and drive at about 8/9 o'clock, this is great for single note playing, notes are fat and full sounding without being too distorted and again they really stand out. Level at 12 o'clock and drive up full is where I love this, just full on, raunchy nasty drive perfect for power chords, octave stuff and nasty sounding riffs. It also does the nice gentle creamy smooth stuff. Some may not like the OD-1 but I love it. Both level and drive at noon sound great too, nice and gritty a nice light overdrive.

I can't wait to boost it with the two SHO circuits in the DR or even pair it with my specially made RAT clone. I may just purge of all my other drives and buy another OD-1 as a back up. I'm also on the look out for a Boss CE-2/CE-2w.  

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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1408
    I love the od1.    Should never have sold my old one.    I’ve still got a ce2 and dm2 that aren’t going anywhere - I was very tempted by that od1 so it’s good to know it’s gone to a good home where it’s appreciated.   
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  • John_P said:
    I love the od1.    Should never have sold my old one.    I’ve still got a ce2 and dm2 that aren’t going anywhere - I was very tempted by that od1 so it’s good to know it’s gone to a good home where it’s appreciated.   
    Thanks @John_P ; I love it, and it's nice and intuitive. Which version did you have? I suppose it doesn't really matter that much regarding the chip? 
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  • Can an sd1 be modded to od1 specs? 
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  • thermionicthermionic Frets: 3859

    They're so close I don't think you'd need to, just keep the tone knob at 12 o clock. I have A/Bed my OD-1 with a newer SD-1 and the differences are minimal.

    Interestingly though, I swapped a capacitor in my OD-1 years ago because one of the high pass filter stages was a bit fierce and I was losing too much bass. Side by side and with the drive at zero and unity gain, the two are identical in terms of the amount of bass let through the pedal. Maybe the cap values had drifted on my OD-1? After all, I've owned it since 1982!

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  • They're so close I don't think you'd need to, just keep the tone knob at 12 o clock. I have A/Bed my OD-1 with a newer SD-1 and the differences are minimal.

    Interestingly though, I swapped a capacitor in my OD-1 years ago because one of the high pass filter stages was a bit fierce and I was losing too much bass. Side by side and with the drive at zero and unity gain, the two are identical in terms of the amount of bass let through the pedal. Maybe the cap values had drifted on my OD-1? After all, I've owned it since 1982!


    Amazing. I run my sd-1 at tone a bit above 12 so it's probably similar. 

    I agree with the above posters on sd-1 VS tubescreamer - looser, more top end and slightly fuzzier. For me, a nicer pedal. I'd like to try an old od-1 though, just to say I did :) such a cool pedal. 

    I feel the same way about my dd2 - just a landmark pedal that sounds excellent. 
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  • thermionicthermionic Frets: 3859
    When I have some time, I'll do a comparison video between these three:

    https://i.imgur.com/nRabHRR.jpg
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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 1704

    They're so close I don't think you'd need to, just keep the tone knob at 12 o clock. I have A/Bed my OD-1 with a newer SD-1 and the differences are minimal.

    Interestingly though, I swapped a capacitor in my OD-1 years ago because one of the high pass filter stages was a bit fierce and I was losing too much bass. Side by side and with the drive at zero and unity gain, the two are identical in terms of the amount of bass let through the pedal. Maybe the cap values had drifted on my OD-1? After all, I've owned it since 1982!

    I've had a couple of OD-1s in the past and they've both taken away too much bass for my taste, though I noticed they sounded better into a cranked valve amp. I've just got the new Box40 version and that has a much more even tonal response - I was wondering if they'd fine tuned it to match one of the original 14 pin versions.
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1408
    When I have some time, I'll do a comparison video between these three:

    https://i.imgur.com/nRabHRR.jpg
    Very nice collection there but you’re missing my favourite- the od2.     Back in 1987 running an od2 into my jubilee was great sound.   Another boss od I should never have sold.  
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