First Impression: Bearfoot FX Emerald Green Overdrive Pedal

The photo is a top-down view of the Bearfoot FX Emerald Green OD guitar effects pedal.

Input and output jacks can be seen on the right and left side of the pedal casing, respectively. The power input jack can be seen on the right hand side, just below the input jack.

On top of the pedal, there are four black control knobs. Clockwise from the top left, these are labelled Volume, Drive, Treble and Voice.
The Bearfoot FX Emerald Green Overdrive pedal.

I recently picked up another Bearfoot FX pedal: the Emerald Green OD. Read on for my first impressions.

What Did You Buy?

I bought a second-hand Emerald Green Overdrive pedal (the EGOD for short). It was made by Bearfoot FX, and designed by Björn Juhl – hands-down my favourite pedal designer.

These collabs between BJFe and Bearfoot FX are no longer in production. That’s a shame, because it’s getting harder and harder to get the pedals that he’s designed.

Don’t You Already Have One?

Not quite. Last year, I picked up its more aggressive sibling, the Emerald Green Distortion Machine. At the time, I said that I’d be interesting in trying the Emerald Green Overdrive. And now I can 🙂

What Rig Are You Using?

Today, I’m using:

  • vintage-voiced Les Paul,
  • into the EGOD pedal
  • into a delay and reverb pedal
  • out to my Marshall DSL 20HR (running on the clean channel)
  • out to a pair of 1×12 speaker cabs, fitted with Celestion Blue and Celestion A-Type speakers

All the pedals are in separate loops on a Gigrig G2, so that I can switch them completely out of the signal chain whenever they’re not being used.

When I originally tried the Emerald Green Distortion, I was using my Blackstar Studio 10 6L6 amplifier. Keep that in mind if you refer back to that older article.

Easy To Dial In

I set my volume, found the amount of drive that I wanted, tweaked the Voice and Treble controls to suit, and then just knocked the low-mids down on the amp a little (by turning the clean channel’s gain down).

One of the easiest pedals to dial in and enjoy that I’ve recently tried.

A Lovely Rhythm Overdrive

Like the Emerald Green Distortion Machine (EGDM for short), the EGOD has its energy in the upper mids. It’s not a cold pedal – there’s plenty of low mids to be had – but those low mids quickly become too much. I felt that the pedal sounded at its best when I dialled the low mids back.

Just noodling in the room, I felt it produced a really nice rhythm tone for my Les Paul. Bright enough that I could easily play in my preferred middle position, without being cutting or too aggressive.

What’s It Like With Other Guitars?

For me, it was a bit of a mixed bag.

On the plus side, it seems to love just about anything with a decent bridge humbucker. Unlike the EGDM, I think it works well with guitars that aren’t especially mid-heavy.

With Telecasters … it wouldn’t be my first choice. I thought it made my Telecaster sound a bit thin on the bridge pickup, which surprised me. It was also a bit shrill with the tone control fully open. That might be a showstopper if you’re someone who doesn’t like to use your tone control.

With Stratocasters … it did sound odd. On the bridge pickup, I thought it sounded usable, but on the neck pickup, I found it a little unbalanced. I probably could have found a sound that I could use, if I’d put a lot more time into dialling in the amp for that particular signal path.

Does It Klon?

Yes it does.

I ran a JRAD Archer Ikon in front of the EGOD, with the Archer set as a dirty boost – so definitely not in the classic clean boost that I tend to use in these First Impressions posts.

There was a noticeable thickening of the mids, and a corresponding loss of bass and low mids. After a quick tweak of the amp to compensate, I got a rhythm sound that definitely put a smile on my face.

How Does It Compare To The Emerald Green Distortion Machine?

I think that deserves its own side-by-side post to do it justice. I haven’t tried it today.

Final Thoughts

Mmm. So far, I really like what I’m hearing. If it records as well as it sounds in the room, then this is a pedal that I should use a lot. It really does sound that good.

Problem is, it’s competing with my love of tweed tone, and the plexi & JCM 800 sounds that I grew up with. Is there really space for it in my palette? Right now, I don’t know.

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