When Spartan Music in the UK contacted me about the range of mini pedals by ENO (also known as Ex-Amp) that they sell for a smidgen under £30 each, I couldn’t resist the challenge of recording a demo of one of these super cheap Chinese mini effects pedals and making it sound good.
The pedal that Spartan Music sent me is a clone of the famous Fulltone OCD overdrive called the ENO Trouble Overdrive which is true bypass, despite its budget price, and is housed in a mini enclosure with no room for batteries so 9v DC only. Spartan Music say the Trouble Overdrive will make you sound like you’re playing through a Marshall stack, well I guess it depends on your guitar and amp but you can definitely tweak this pedal to get a very usable overdrive tone. The pedal has two modes, HP & LP which I assume stands for low pass and high pass? Basically it adjusts the voicing for either a dark sounding overdrive or as I used for my demo a brighter tone which has slightly more gain on tap.
I should explain my recording chain, I used my Cilia CGA7 guitar with a Seymour Duncan SH-16 Humbucker in the bridge position into a Ceriatone Chupacabra 50 amp in Plexi mode and set quite bright but very clean. I set the Trouble Overdrive with the gain and tone dimed and the volume set to around 1 o’clock. To be honest I expected more gain and it is a tad fuzzy but I tweaked the EQ and presence on my amp and got a rhythm and lead tone I was happy with. For the solo I added an Empress Vintage Modified Superdelay into the effects loop of my amp. The rhythm parts are double tracked as you will hear but I think it sounds pretty good. Check out my demo below:
I have never tried a real OCD pedal so this review is based off the many OD pedals I have demo’d in the past. While it clearly isn’t in the same category as my favourite OD pedals from MI Audio, Mad Professor and Suhr, for 30 quid in the UK including free delivery from Spartan Music ENO pedals are a bargain. One specific audience that should look into these pedals are young players with very little cash who want a myriad of sounds, ENO also make a Flanger, Chorus and various overdrive, fuzz and distortion pedals.