If you’re looking at the price tag, you may be wondering why an overdrive pedal you have to assemble yourself costs over 200 bucks.
A fair question – though the assembly part is a lot of fun if you like the idea of Lego for effects fans. Soldering isn’t required but a screwdriver and socket set is. It’ll take you 45 minutes at most.
While Korg are making synth and headphone amp kits like this too, here your end result is an overdrive. And plugging in, we were intrigued as to what we’d just made.
This is a very good overdrive pedal. Clarity and articulation are gain buzzwords that really do apply here with an easy-to-dial, versatile character – as opposed to idiosyncratic vintage-flavoured.
The OD-S is packing Korg’s Nutube 6P1 analogue triode vacuum tube – and we’re crediting it for the harmonic detail. It really brightens open chord work around eight o’clock, and will hold its weight in a band setting.
It can be taken up to thicker tonality that feels punchy and detailed for alt-rock and progressive fare, as opposed to chunky for older-school metal.
The Tube Gain control is the most intriguing feature in a pretty straightforward set of controls elsewhere; we dialled in subtle warmth for rhythm, and breakup for leads that does indeed sound valve-like. Inside the pedal there is a ‘Wide’ switch too to turn off for a more cutting character.
It’s a little noisy, but the only real snag here is the price - the OD-S is entering a market with dual circuit competition from big names costing less, which may deter players from this pedal’s sonic qualities that it deserves to reach.
- Price: $249.99 / £229
- Type: Overdrive pedal, self-assembly kit
- Controls: Volume, Tone, Tube Gain, Gain, Wide Switch
- Bypass: True bypass
- Sockets: Input, output
- Power: 9V DC
- Contact: Korg