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Review: Fulltone OCD V2 Overdrive Pedal

(Image credit: Fulltone)

The Fulltone OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Drive), has been kicking around for more than a decade. Every so often its creator, Mike Fuller, introduces a newer version, and despite all the tweaking, many guitarists still consider the OCD one of the finest overdrive/distortion stompboxes.

And for good reason; it’s one of the few drive pedals that nails the sound and response of an overdriven tube amp convincingly. Fuller has once again tinkered with his classic circuit and released a V2 version, and it’s the best one to date.

The OCD V2 has controls for volume, drive and tone, a HP/LP (high peak/low peak) toggle switch and 3PDT footswitch. New features begin with a selectable true bypass and “Enhanced Bypass” switch, which returns dynamics and tone loss from multiple cables and effects, along with pop-free switching.

A new output buffer allows your sound to remain consistent no matter where you put the OCD in the signal chain and also reduces loading in its hard-clipping stage for more sustain. A new Class A configured 2N5457 JFET input section raises the previous input impedance from 330K to one mega ohms, which results in smoother response when switching between single coils and humbuckers.

The OCD V2 sounds like finding the “sweet spot” on your favorite amp. It produces overdriven tones that sound warm and full, with genuine tube-like response. There’s no shortage of usable drive, meaning it dynamically ramps up overdriven grit from dirty overtones to saturated distortion in the smooth range of its drive control.

Depending upon your pick attack, the tone control works best between noon and fully clockwise, allowing for more edge or clarity. The HP/LP switch is useful in sculpting your tone. In HP, the guitar has more distortion and presence, with pointed midrange that cuts like a knife. LP is subtler, where it retains a lot of your amp’s character, and it’s my favorite setting if I’m using it as a boost. If you’re obsessive over your tone, look no further.

STREET PRICE: $118.15
MANUFACTURER: Fulltone, fulltone.com

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Paul Riario has been the tech/gear editor and online video presence for Guitar World for over 25 years. Paul is one of the few gear editors who has actually played and owned nearly all the original gear that most guitarists wax poetically about, and has survived this long by knowing every useless musical tidbit of classic rock, new wave, hair metal, grunge, and alternative genres. When Paul is not riding his road bike at any given moment, he remains a working musician, playing in two bands called SuperTrans Am and Radio Nashville.