Review of: Fulltone OCD
Reviewed by: Gabriel TanakaRating:4.5On June 6, 2013Last modified:September 26, 2016
If you’re a guitarist who’s obsessed with tone, then Fulltone might just have the pedal for you. The Obsessive Compulsive Drive, or OCD for short, uses a unique multi-stage distortion circuit designed to help you achieve the dynamic feeling and harmonics typical of high-grade tube amps. Will this guitar pedal become your new obsession? Is the OCD the best overdrive pedal for guitar? Our Fulltone OCD review hopes to answer those questions and more.
Drive, Volume, & Tone Controls: pretty standard fare one most overdrives for letting you dial in the gain, adjust the output volume, and find just the right tonal balance.
HP/LP Switch: The High-Peak function gives you increased distortion and low-end, thickening up your sound for a more “British” flavor. The Low-Peak mode gives you a more accurate rendition of your sound with very little coloration of your tone
9-Volt or 18-Volt Power: Use a standard 9-volt adapter or plug in an 18-volt power supply for even more headroom.
True Bypass Switching: This comes via Fulltone’s very own custom 3PDT footswitch which they swear is the best in the world.
Sound & Performance:
I started off with with a nice clean sound on my amp, setting the OCD’s drive and volume controls around 10 or 11 o’clock with the tone at noon. With the HP/LP switch set to Low-Peak, I hit the switch and was instantly in classic rock and blues-rock rhythm territory. Pushing the Volume past 12 o’clock had immediate control of the volume of my amp. The added headroom is astounding.
The pedal adds a smooth saturation to your sound, giving you a nice overdriven Tweed/Blackface vibe. I flipped the HP/LP switch to High-Peak and felt an instant transition to a more Vox-like sound. The crunchy distortion maintains a natural valve-like dimension unheard of in most overdrive pedals. You can’t help but feel like this is a serious pro-grade overdrive, in league with the priciest boutique pedals on the market.
The sound is smooth and dynamic. You really have to play through this pedal to see how much of a great “feel” it has. Digging in lets notes cut through while playing softly cleans up your sound nicely. When you need to punch through the mix, the OCD will make it happen.
I pushed the drive up to 1 or 2 o’clock and felt a surge of power and drive. This pedal is extremely sensitive to your knob settings. There’s plenty of room for carving out your signature sound with this little box.
I kicked in the lead channel and again fired up the OCD. This pedal absolutely sings. You can produce searing lead tones with a depth and dynamic range not found in more common diode-clipped overdrive pedals. This pedal will bring your sound to life. It even packs in sounds that are great for just leaving on with a high gain amp for hard rock and metal tones. Versatile indeed.
Sustain is ever present. With the Drive past noon the pedal can induce lush harmonic overtones and feedback with ease. Pushing the Drive up to 3 o’clock and beyond gets dangerous. Don’t let anyone tell you the OCD isn’t for ripping some shredding solos. This pedal absolutely burns when you want it to.
All in all this is one of the most dynamic and expressive overdrive pedals I’ve ever plugged a guitar into. From country and blues, to rock and metal, you can surely find a place for the Fulltone OCD in your sonic arsenal.
Let’s have the final word.
The realm of overdrives is saturated with options. But the Fulltone OCD is easily one of the best overdrive pedals I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. Whether you just want to add some life to your amp or find the perfect lead tone, the Fulltone OCD will add a new dimension to your sound. Its dynamic range and adjustable sensitivity are second to none. It’s like adding a custom mod to your amp. For the tone driven, your obsession is satisfied. An essential tool for serious guitarists.
That concludes our Fulltone OCD review. Thanks for reading.
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September 8, 2016 at 5:34 pm
This is my favorite all around OD 🙂
August 19, 2015 at 5:52 pm
I bought an OCD version 4 as so many people recommended it to me. I did two gigs with it and sold it off within a couple of weeks. Sounded like bees in a tin can and basically brought nothing to the table that a cheaper dirt pedal couldn’t do at a fraction of the price.
January 31, 2019 at 9:24 pm
I was also seriously underwhelmed. It works well as a light overdrive, but for distortion it’s awful. Muddies up the tone and has no sustain. Article sounds like it was written by a Fulltone employee.
April 9, 2015 at 11:39 pm
The OCD V1 I have is a keeper, an absolute keeper. People want it from me, but it will stay I am sorry for them.
I want all OCDs, a Pedal board of OCDs!
April 9, 2015 at 11:37 pm
I have owned 9 Fulltone pedals, and have sold my Grey GT500 and Fulldrive. Both too big for the pedal board. I dislike the GT500, it just did nothing for me. The Fulldrive I liked but it has been demolished by the Pallisades pedal. Now for the others, I initially like the Catalyst, then started to dislike it. Funnu enough, it has made a return and I do now see it as two totally separate pedals . Flame makes a great , raunchy, gritty drive sound and Spark, compliment my clean tone in so many ways.The problem however is the controls, and using it in either mode requires a total re appraisal of the knob position.
Look, I could go on about Fulltones, but to finish, they are Professional pedals and only sound their best when when at near stage volume, if that means a pushed 15 watt amp or a 100 watter, that’s it. STAGE VOLUMES. Finally, I absolutely love the Plimsoul and never, ever underestimate how great the Distortion Pro is, what a fantastically great low to mid drive pedal.
January 25, 2015 at 7:30 am
maybe it’s just me, but i always found this OD verging on the mediocre… it’s basically useless to tighten and/or push an high gain amp, so it will never substitute a TS. it’s fizzy (not in a nice Orange way), muddy and not gainy enough as a true distortion, and doesn’t sound “tubey” enough for blues. sure it has a wide range of gain, but i simply never liked its voice. surely a nice pedal, but i don’t get the endless praise it gets.
January 13, 2014 at 3:56 pm
Has anyone tried the new version 1.6 ?
January 13, 2014 at 3:55 pm
Very good overdrive pedal, especially with signle coil pickups.