I don’t like to write a review about a piece of gear before I use it for a period of time. I feel like it takes time to get to know a new tool. Just like a person, first impressions are important, but aren’t a perfect indicator of the behavior to come.
I’ve been using the Fullltone OCD for some time now. I’ve used it with a variety of guitars like:
Rickenbacker 360 12
I also used these amps:
Headstrong Lil King Reverb
Fender Twin Reissue
Fender Deluxe Reissue
Marshall JCM 800
Fender Blackface Princeton
Febder ’59 Bassman Reissue
Fender Blues Deville
Marshall JCM 900
Roland Jazz Chorus
I’ve been using this pedal on tour and during sessions so it’s encountered a lot of different combinations.
Nuts and Bolts
The build quality is very high on Fulltone products. This is not the first pedal I own by the company and likely not the last. Their pedals always do what they say and can take a beating.
The concept about the pedal is it’s supposed to act like an amp when overdriven. This is not new concept. Most overdrive pedals claim the same thing. I find at lower settings it does feel more like an amp then other pedals I’ve owned.
It does compress more then a real amp. It also attenuates the low end more then a real amp when overdriven. There is very small hint of that tube screamer midrange bump. It is slight though. I’m not saying it’s good or bad, simply that it exists.
I’m using OCD revision 4. I have found a difference between the different models. When I first heard the OCD, it was version 1. Revision 2 doesn’t sound too different. Revision 3 sounded the worst to me. Kinda fizzy and small.
Revision 4. Is a little more compressed then version 1 to my ears, but it’s an ok medium.
In general, I never turn the gain up past 9 o’clock on the OCD. Unless it’s version 1 or 4 running at 18volt (more on that later). I like subtle overdrive similar to power amp saturation. On version 4, anything above 9 starts to feel like a master volume amp which is great if that’s your bag. (not my bag)
I’ve also used the OCD as a boost. This means I’m trying to add almost no gain, simply volume. It’s does this duty well. It’s a colored boost though unlike using a Fat Boost or RC Booster.
Sometimes, I don’t know what I’m going to get in the backline. I always have a few pedals as a band aid in the event I get something too clean or not flattering. The Fulltone OCD has been a great swiss army knife.
I would say the only amp I had a hard time with was a Mesa boogie. In general, I’m not a big fan of their amps. When trying to use the OCD, I wasn’t able to tame the harshness. This wasn’t a failure of the pedal.
12volt versus 9 volt versus 18volt
I mentioned earlier that the OCD can be a little compressed. One cool trick about the OCD is that you can run the pedal at different voltages.
It wont hurt the pedal. Fulltone designed the pedal to run at 18volts. You may be wondering, why is this option important? Well, many feel that running the OCD at higher voltages allows more headroom. This means less compression!!
You essentially have 3 more variables for controlling the overall sound of the pedal. I think this is fabulous. It is a subtle but powerful option.
Personally, I really like the rawness of the pedal. When I need more gain and less compression, I run the pedal at higher voltages.
If I want a squishy sound I run it 9volts.
I like the design of the pedal for battery replacement. There are 4 thumb screws on the side that don’t require any tools. I mostly run my pedals off of a voodoo labs pedal power supply. Sometimes, I need a battery when the pedal leaves the board to fly solo. We’ve all gotten to a gig to have a battery die in soundcheck.
Within a few seconds, I can open up the pedal and swap the battery. I wish all pedals were like this.
Show Me The Money
The price point is really nice on the OCD. I’ve always thought Fulltone is pretty fair with their pricing. In reality, they could be charging more. Other companies do. I appreciate that they want players to be abele to afford high quality pedals.
You can check out fulltone at www.fulltone.com