WHAT IS OVERDRIVE?
Overdrive stompboxes are the meat and potatoes of the gain pedal world. Alongside Boost, Fuzz and Distortion, this is what rock'n'roll is made of!
It was never meant to be this way. Electric guitar tones from the 1940s onwards were designed to be clean and clear… but we soon discovered that cranking up the amp pushed everything into a magic place of tonal and harmonic overload.
'Overdrive' was born.
With old-school master-volume amps, it wasn't always practical to crank them into overdrive – especially at home – so early OD pedals were geared towards achieving break-up and sustain and at lower volumes. Nevertheless, they also worked well with cranked amps to create a whole new plethora of new textures and tones.
Today there are seemingly endless OD pedals on the market. Most are intended for low- to mid-gain sounds and also pushing amps a little harder. OD pedals are often less aggressive sounding than fuzz or distortion pedals, and we think it's always worth having a couple of staple types at your disposal.
So many overdrive pedals!!! We'll help you choose the right one(s)...
Understanding Overdrive, Distortion, Boost & Fuzz With Josh Scott Of JHS Pedals
Want to understand where and how OVERDRIVE fits into the wonderful world of gain pedals?
This is not an exhaustive history of ALL gain pedals with EVERY gain pedal ever invented. It’s simply a gentle stroll through some technical terms and topics to help you navigate the kind of pedals you might like to try.