The BOSS OD-1X is a new special edition overdrive pedal that builds on the classic BOSS Overdrive pedals that have been released over the years. The first BOSS Overdrive pedal was the OD-1, released in 1977 and discontinued in 1985. The OD-1 had just two controls, Level and Overdrive. In 1981 BOSS introduced the successor to the OD-1 called the SD-1, the Super OverDrive which added a tone control. In 1985 the OD-2 Turbo OverDrive pedal was released which had an additional Turbo switch which, as you can probably imagine, added more volume and gain when engaged. And fast forward to 1997 the OD-3 was released which looked very much like the SD-1 but utilises a dual stage overdrive circuit to create a fuller sound.
Now Boss have released the OD-1X which has an extended EQ control with separate Bass and Treble controls and also uses their new Multi-Dimensional Processing technology or MDP. This new DSP analyses the audio signal in realtime, separates it into several different parts or “dimensions” and applies the optimal effect to each part independently, treating each dimension almost as a separate input. Pretty clever stuff which automatically ensures optimal tone for both the low-end chugging and widdly solos without changing the knob settings.
Aesthetically the OD-1X has a cool metal flake finish and a mirrored control plate and chrome looking plastic control knobs and it comes in a pretty flash box which is a departure from the usual BOSS packaging. But none of that matters if it doesn’t sound any good right? Well in my opinion it certainly doesn’t disappoint!
As you can hear from my demo in front of a totally clean amp (my Ceriatone Chupacabra 50) the pedal sounds fantastic, instant VH style tones without so much saturation that it makes the tone muddy and that was with the gain set to maximum. Very impressive pedal. The OD-1X creates Smooth singing lead tones and riffs and if you want a bit more bite just increase the treble control, it never reached the point where it became ice-picky or unpleasant. Also this pedal was great as a boost using the volume to drive the amp and slowly increasing the gain to reach the sweet spot. In front of an overdriven amp this is even more evident.
If you are looking for a great overdrive tone from a clean amp or a great no-noise pedal to add gain and sustain to your overdriven tones definitely give this pedal a try.