Greedtone Overdrive II (with demo)

Se7enHeaven Regular
Feb 14, 2018
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What guitarist doesn’t like effects? Certainly, there are some purists, including jazz or blues musicians (plug in an amp and play), but most of us like things that add some dazzle to our tones. My favorite are overdrive pedals, because they can make a good amp sound even better, and each OD pedal has its own characteristics and personality. The OVERDRIVE II by GREEDTONE is lip-smacking good, and in a number of ways, which I presented in the accompanying demo below, since words describe only so much.

First, the overall tone quality of the OVERDRIVE II is very raw and grainy, with some distortion qualities. It has a slight breaking up attribute, whether set low or high, thus giving it that ‘tube amp breaking up’ trait (which you can hear, even with modelers or other digital gear). Obviously, this sound is more apparent with the Gain cranked, but it doesn’t get messy or super-saturated. The result is more detail, liveliness and harmonics, whether working with a 6+string rhythm/lead or bass. Second, the Volume increase is huge (4V), and makes for an incredible clean boost, but is so clear (due to the silver mica caps) that the tone tends to lose a touch bass or low-mids. However, that is where the Greed knob comes into play, adding in some tight bottom end. And if you crank the Greed, you get more of that thick Doom and Sludge result. Amazingly, even with the Gain and Greed up full tilt, the tone remains rich and vibrant – not muddy! Of course, with those dark amps and pickups, you may not want to get too Greedy and rely on the clear, cleaning-up effect of the OVERDRIVE II’s circuitry to add in those sparkling high ends. Next, the More switch could be used to provide extra oomph to rhythm, but it’s best used for lead, whereby it adds further energy, sustain and a hint of decibels (not much… very light volume increase to my ears, but with the added aggression the More function allows lead to pop through the mix better and without having to boost the signal excessively).

The OVERDRIVE II does boast some other features, including being true bypass with built-in noise reduction circuitry, using a 4049 chip, high-quality pots and parts, and a rugged, yet lightweight, die-cast aluminum chassis. However, one of the best-selling features comes from the fact that it was designed and engineered by Greg Williamson, who has been an audio engineer since 1988, produced albums for over two decades, and has done live work with the Foo Fighters, Sunny Day Real Estate, The Presidents of the United States of America, Mike Watt, and others. Greg knows sound and it tells with the GREEDTONE OVERDRIVE II. This pedal plays well with cleans, but stands out in a huge way when coupled with a dirty signal, from crunch to hi-gain, thereby making it a real rock machine. For some, the price tag may seem a bit steep ($279.95 USD), but this is a boutique sounding and quality made pedal. If you already like your amp, wait until you hear the excitement and vivacity unleash with GREEDTONE’s OVERDRIVE II. The way I’m describing the OVERDRIVE II may sound like marketing, but it’s definitely a candid opinion from someone who has tried, tested and reviewed a few dozen ODs over the years – and the OVERDRIVE II definitely stands out.