First Impressions: Warm Audio ODD Box v1 Overdrive

I’ve just picked up an ODD Box v1 Overdrive pedal from Warm Audio.

Warm Audio ODD Box on my pedalboard

Is this going to be the Fulltone OCD clone that I’ve been looking for? Or is the original still the only real option for that sound? Here are my First Impressions.

Table of Contents

What Did You Buy?

I bought an ODD Box v1 Overdrive pedal, by Warm Audio. I got mine second-hand.

Even brand new, these are not expensive drive pedals by today’s standards. At the time of writing, you can buy one here in the UK for ¬£109.

What Is It?

The ODD Box v1 is Warm Audio’s take on Fulltone’s legendary OCD Overdrive.

There were many different versions of the OCD over the years (v1.1 through v1.7, and then the v2 model). Over on YouTube, there’s a comment from Warm Audio saying that the ODD Box is based on the OCD v1.4.

Perfect. I just happen to own an original Fulltone OCD v1.4 to compare it against ūüôā

Why Did You Buy It?

In short: I’m looking for an OCD clone that can replace my original pedal.

Back in 2020, Fulltone’s owner made disparaging remarks that led to Fulltone pedals being dropped by many leading guitar retailers. As a result, many people can’t buy an original OCD any more. There are also people who no longer want Fulltone’s products on their pedalboards.

Thing is, in my limited experience, the original OCD always seems to sound much better than the clones that I’ve tried. So I’m curious to hear how the Warm Audio ODD Box v1 does.

My Rig Today

Today, I’m playing:

  • my Les Paul
  • into my Axe-FX 3 (mostly for the tuner)
  • out to my pedalboard
  • back into the Axe-FX 3 (for amp, cab, delay and reverb)
  • out to my DAW.

On the pedalboard, I have three pedals in separate loops on my Gigrig G2:

  • Warm Audio Centavo Klon klone
  • Warm Audio ODD Box v1 Overdrive
  • Fulltone OCD v1.4 Overdrive

When I’m not using a pedal, it’s completely removed from the signal chain, so that it cannot affect the tone at all.

How Does It Sound?

The Standard: The Fulltone OCD v1.4

I think it’s impossible to review the ODD Box without comparing it to the OCD, so let’s start with the original.

Here’s the sound of my OCD v1.4 with my Les Paul:

Les Paul > Fulltone OCD v1.4 > Axe-FX 3

Every time I plug this pedal in, I wonder why I don’t use it regularly. Right out of the gate, I’m impressed by the sound. To my ears, it’s big, it’s thick, it’s saturated. It just fulls the room.

In a word, I think it sounds immense.

This is a high bar for the ODD Box v1 to reach.

The New Kid: The Warm Audio ODD Box v1

Here’s the sound of my ODD Box v1 with my Les Paul:

Les Paul > Warm Audio ODD Box v1 > Axe-FX 3

Try as I might, I couldn’t dial in the ODD Box to give me that same massive sound that I got from the OCD. To my ears, the ODD Box is brighter, less saturated, and has less output.

I’ve got a theory as to why:

To my ears, the ODD Box is shelving off a lot more low-end than the OCD does. I think it’s doing this before the distortion part of the circuit, which is why the ODD Box isn’t as thick and saturated.

(I’m going to put that to the test in a moment!)

Otherwise, I’m hearing all the character and tone of the OCD. It just doesn’t full the room in the same way.

Shaping The Tone With The Centavo Klon Klone

I’m going to test my theory about the ODD shelving more low-end than the OCD.

To do that, I’m going to add the Warm Audio Centavo in front of each drive pedal. This will reduce the amount of low-end going into each pedal. It’s not going to perfectly mimic what I think the ODD Box is doing, but hopefully it’ll be close enough. (It will also add a bit of a mid-range bump to the tone too.)

If both pedals sound quite close, then I think that’s good evidence for my theory.

First up, here’s how the Fulltone OCD sounds with the Centavo in front:

Les Paul > Warm Audio Centavo > OCD v1.4 > Axe-FX 3

And here’s how the Warm Audio ODD Box v1 sounds with the Centavo in front:

Les Paul > Warm Audio Centavo > ODD Box v1 > Axe-FX 3

To my ears, both pedals are much closer in sound now.

I think I’m hearing a little more in the top-end on the ODD Box over the OCD, but I can’t be sure. On repeated listening, maybe the ODD Box sounds a little more aggressive, while the OCD sounds a little more rounded in the top-end? That could easily be my imagination.

I doubt that I could tell these two pedals apart now in any sort of blind challenge. I think the Centavo has evened out the differences between them.

The Following Morning … And I’m Really Digging It

After recording the audio demos for this article, I left the ODD Box v1 on my pedalboard overnight. I wanted to see how I’d feel about it with fresh ideas (and fresh ears) the following morning.

I just grabbed my Les Paul, plugged in, and played. I had a lot of fun.

While it’s easy to dial in a really good sound, I found myself constantly tweaking both the controls on the pedal and the knobs on my Les Paul. I’m convinced that there’s even better tones to be had here. It’s just going to take me time and patience to tease them out.

Final Thoughts

To go back to my earlier question … the reason I don’t use my OCD regularly is because of the massive low-end that it produces. It’s a bit much for me, truth be told. Sure I can dial it out at my amp … and when I do, I get very close to the sound of the Warm Audio ODD Box.

So while the ODD Box v1 isn’t a straight-up clone of the Fulltone OCD v1.4, the changes that Warm Audio made to the circuit have resulted in a pedal that fits my overall signal chain much better than the original OCD does.

That makes me interested in exploring the ODD Box v1 a bit more in the future. More than anything, I wonder how it compares to Marshall’s The Guv’nor? Maybe I’ll get very lucky, and find that they offer two great complementary tones for recording with?

One for a future blog post!

2 Replies to “First Impressions: Warm Audio ODD Box v1 Overdrive”

  1. The warm audio odd pedal was born, according to the manufacturer, as a response to the OCD v1.4 pedal. If, as you say, the answer is different, if it has less lowend, less gain, less volume output, if it has less overall, what’s the point? It is clear that the manufacturer largely failed in its plan to recreate fulltone OCD. At this point, why spend 130 dollars (or 130 Euros) for something that only partially resembles OCD? If you consider that for a third of the price you buy Electro harmonix od glove or Mooer hustle drive which are really very close to the original OCD project. Or at least with a few dollars more and with a little luck you can find a used original OCD. Anyway, the news just came out that Fulltone will be releasing its OCD pedals again. Fulltone USA¬†returns to collaborate with¬†Brad Jackson¬†of Jackson Audio and his pedals will come from the Jackson Audio factory but with Fulltone material.

    1. How about the fact Mike Fuller is a dirt bag who has a history of crappy customer service? I would gladly give my money someone who is making good gear and not playing politics. Hats off to Warm Audio for making a good product at a good price.

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