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Boss OD-3 Overdrive Pedal Reviews

4.5 stars based on 17 customer reviews
Questions about the Boss OD-3 Overdrive Pedal?

Questions about the Boss OD-3 Overdrive Pedal?

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  • from March 6, 2017

    Buy It

    I've had a lot of different overdrives, this is the one I kept. I'm running this through a handwired AC30, along with a big muff, a rat, a nuvibe, and a space echo delay. The day I got this is the day the my JHS Morning Glory came off the board, along with the noise it creates. Save yourself a lot of time and money, don't buy boutique, don't buy an sd-1, or a bluesdriver, spend $ on this overlooked pedal and you'll have the tone everybody is looking for.

  • from In May 12, 2013Music Background:


    I have had this pedal for 8 years and can tell you it sounds great. These reviews are hard for most of us to rely on because so many things can alter a persons sound and success with any given pedal. If it helps, I used this initially for a month, gave up and bought three rather expensive pedals trying to find that "sound". After keeping it in a box for all this time I dug it out the other day and was blown away. What changed? Amp tubes. Using the same Fender 65 Twin Reissue, but with new tubes (Tung-sol and Svetlanas) I finally got a great OD sound that doesn't sound thin or squashed, and retains my guitar's sound. Lots of volume, harmonically natural and great sustain. It sounds great with unpotted Gibson BBs and if I use a distortion pedal after it in the chain-at very low gain settings the two together are amazing. I can't believe it sat in a box for nearly 8 years, or that I spent so much money on other pedals that can't do what this does. I've never liked Tube Screamers and the Blues Driver by Boss is nice, but they just don't clean up like this can. I would recommend this above most OD pedals, especially if you are using something that is already hot like a Marshall, pushed Vox or the DeVille type amps. A twin at low volumes is hard to breakup by comparison.

  • from nw ohio April 24, 2013Music Background:
    bar band

    The overdrive you want

    i cant believe this pedal is not more popular. i own every Boss distortion, overdrive, and boutique pedal out there, but the od-3 is the top of the heap, especially for live performance.

  • from Twin Cities, MN April 16, 2013Music Background:

    Everything you know about BOSS is wrong!

    I've tried dozens of other pedals while the OD-3 was just floating out there. I assumed there was nothing special about it, and figured it was just an SD-1 with a new model number and darker color yellow.

    Instead, what I found with the OD-3 is an absolute keeper, and arguably the one must-have OD on my board, if I could only keep one. The key buzz words for the OD-3 are "transparency" and "versatility". Much like the SD-1, the OD-3 will let your guitar's original tone shine through. But unlike the SD-1, and many other "Tubescreamer" pedals, the OD-3 retains the low end presence and has some serious output on tap. I've used this thing as almost a "clean boost" with the gain down and volume up, or I've used it as a stand-alone overdrive pedal that can hit rock chords. Trust me, there are very few overdrives that can do both of those things well.

    If it were made by a boutique company and cost $200, it'd already be legendary. Lucky for us, though, the OD-3 has been hiding in plain sight since it came about 15 years ago. Even if you don't like other Boss dirt pedals, give this one a test run.

  • from United States April 10, 2013Music Background:
    Live gigs/Recording so I do all and adapt to all

    just stop reading and buy it now!

    I have been a faithful user of the Boss OD3 for a long time now, I've use overdrive/distortion pedals that were above $200 under $500 and I either ended up selling them or returning them for refund...

    I gig constantly on a weekly basis and this Boss OD3 has proven itself to be the most versatile,transparent,tonefull,spongy feel,everything for a solid state pedal! Weather its use for metal,hard rock, ,twang rock,,blues,etc... and of course that is with consideration of how hot your Bridge pick ups are! anyways its definitely a must have for under $80 you will not be sorry.

    This is the MOST UNDERRATED BOSS PEDAL! And this is coming from a tube amp snob! I have two of these cause I have two pedalboards all loaded with Boss pedals. The OD-3 is my main overdrive/distortion sound both for rhythm and leads sometimes I push the input stage with Boss SD-1 for serious solos.

    My live amp is of course Roland JC-120 loaded with two Jensen MOD 12-70 or Fender FM212 loaded with two Jensen MOD 12-70 depending on the situation and needs of the gig.....

  • from San diego,CA U.S.A December 29, 2011Music Background:
    live playaa!

    Brownsound lookin yellow!

    This pedal painted yellow should be Brown cause it definitely has that brownsound to it! The secret to this pedal is where to set the level and the tone knob, Level at unity gain(around 9.5 O' clock )with my clean channel of my JC-120 loaded with two Texas Heat, Tone knob around 10 O'clock ,drive is max,the EQ on my amp are all 12 O'clock except Bass is max .. During live or rehearsal with this set up and my DD-20 it sounds huge with some warmth and clarity it likes vintage wound bridge humbuckers alot.....

  • from OC, CA USA January 18, 2011Music Background:
    Rock, Blues, Jazz

    My go to pedal

    I enjoyed using my SD-1 until I started using the OD-3. It's much more transparent-sounding overdrive and bass response is just much better than the SD-1. Treble is very pleasant and it adds nice glassy chime to the sound. It's a VERY LOUD pedal - I usually keep my level knob around 10 o'clock. SD-1 has its place so I still like it, but during the live I can't help stepping on this one as a default overdrive because I just want to hear it again and again.

  • from Calgary, AB Canada October 21, 2009Music Background:
    I write, record and perform a lot... so, whatever that makes me. :)

    Quite surprised

    Wow! I am quite surprised by this pedal. I hadn't been impressed by Boss ODs in the past. I've tried the BD2, SD1, Dyna Drive... and couldn't find the sound I was looking for in any of them. I finally tried an OD3, and found it to be exactly as described - a nice relatively transparent overdrive. The lows are nice and thick, mids aren't boosted like a tube screamer, and highs aren't shrill or fizzy. Sounds nice and natural.

  • from Boston March 24, 2015Music Background:
    Been playing longer than I care to remember.

    Boss OD-3

    Great overdrive, boss quality, plenty of juice. Not a metal pedal.
    Dirty boost to nasty boost. Sweetwater delivered fast and well
    Packaged. Thanks sweetwater and Boss!

  • from tecumseh, MI January 19, 2015Music Background:
    hobo hobbyist

    Nice Over Drive

    This is an incredible value for an overdrive pedal. It adds a lot of nice over drive without taking anything away from your tone. It sounds organic and full and makes for a nice blues to hard rock sound. It could pull off some metal with the right amp and pick ups. I would highly recommend the pedal.

  • from Metro Detroit area, MI February 4, 2014

    This BOSS is "Boss"!

    Great natural sounding OD without that mid hump you get with that green pedal (you know which one). Very transparent, and makes a great booster too. Most people never give this one a second look, due to it not being from a boutique builder. You can save a ton of cash and be pleasantly surprised with this one! Definitely worth a look!

  • from Greensboro, NC USA August 29, 2013Music Background:
    Contemporary Christian guitarist/musician

    Boss OD-3 Overdrive Pedal - at last !!

    After using several other overdrive pedals over the last 15 years and not being completely happy with any of them (sound-wise) I am thrilled with the OD-3. I read many good reviews on it and decided to try one more. Glad I did !! It especially sounds great with the drive set at around 3 o'clock and the level at noon and the tone at noon. I am very pleased with this pedal and my long search is finally over!

  • from East Coast January 13, 2012Music Background:

    Very nice

    The OD 3 is my new favorite. No mid hump like a ts9. It has a nice full sound. Sturdy build like all Boss. Awesome used with a fender pro jr but it also sounded good as a lead boost with my marshall lead 12 solid state. It is better than many of the "better?" Overdrives out there. Very usable. Sweetwater is the best, as always.

  • from Virginia February 27, 2015Music Background:

    Boss OD-3

    I've tried almost all overdrive pedals, I have a bit of an addiction with ODs. The OD-3 is in the top 5 pedals in my collection, it is just an awesome overdrive. Simple and basic design, many have tried to improve on the Boss design, but it is what it is...a great sounding and singing overdrive right out of the box, perfect in a band mix or just noodling at home.

  • from Chicago, Illinois November 26, 2013Music Background:
    Former band member, these days a Hobbyist.

    Don't Let It's Sunny Yellow Color Fool You

    i watched and listened to countless video demonstrations of all the big name overdrive and distortion pedals out there before deciding on the OD-3 and I'm really happy with my choice. I play my 1976 Strat through a 50 watt Marshall Tube amp (a JVM 215C) which sounds pretty good on it's own, but adding the OD-3 really kicks things up a notch (or two or three if so desired). I was looking to get that kind of tight and focussed break-up that I hear on many of the classic rock albums from the seventies (Aerosmith ZZ Top, Zeppelin) and this little box of dirt really does a nice job. For me the sweet spot on this pedal is with the "Drive " knob set somewhere between 12:00 and 3:00. At 12:00 I get a fairly dirty tone and at 3:00 it just becomes a mean nasty little thing without sounding harsh or sloppy. Once again it gives you a really tight and focussed break-up. The recommendation is to set the "Level" knob to match your amp volume with the pedal off and then adjust the "Tone" knob for the desired amount of bass and/or treble and you're all set. The one criticism I have is that, like with many pedals, bent high notes tend to sound a bit pinched, but I'd say that over all the OD-3 has killer tone. Boss pedals are built like tanks so theirs no worrying about dependability and I've always thought the "three knob" configuration really makes for an easy to use and clean design. I've had the OD-3 for a couple months now and haven't disconnected it from my set up yet and don't think I will anytime soon. It's definitely a keeper.

  • from New Orleans, LA. May 28, 2012Music Background:
    Home recording enthusiast

    Best OD pedal Boss makes

    Out of the box this actually isn't a bad pedal at all. I was able to get a pretty decent overdrive going. Nothing too spectacular but not that bad either for a mass-produced pedal and pretty darn good for this price. I think this is the best overdrive pedal Boss makes.
    Now thankfully, most of the pedals Boss makes are still non-surface mount and therefore can be easily modified. Spend less than $30 for a parts upgrade kit and 1-2 hours of your time and you'll be blown away at the boutique-quality overdrive you're getting. After-Mod this will take care of every one of your overdrive needs.

    If you don't go the mod route, no problem as this is still a great pedal stock. Throw in a compressor and an EQ pedal and you're in for a treat.

  • from July 1, 2015Music Background:

    Sounds warmer than older models.

    Sounds better than the OD-2, better compression feel.

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