Nobels ODR-1 Review – The most loved underrated pedal 

Introduction

Think of a famous green overdrive pedal. Are you thinking of the Ibanez Tube Screamer? Well, honestly, most people would! However, there is another massively popular green overdrive pedal—the Nobels ODR-1! Look at any session guitar player in Nashville, and they will likely be using the ODR-1. We have one in the studio to play with for a bit! So, let’s find out what all the underrated fuss is about!

Let’s go through a bit of history, the features, specs, and our thoughts, and decide if you should buy this green machine instead! Firstly, what even is the Nobels ODR-1? Let’s go over it, shall we?

Nobels ODR-1 Overdrive Pedal

Nobel ODR-1 Pedal - Top View
The "other" famous green pedal! Used by many for good reason!

The Nobels ODR-1 has three main controls. From left to right, these are: “Drive,” which controls the amount of drive/clipping in the pedal; next to this, we have “Spectrum,” which is a kind of tone knob with a twist. Turning it clockwise will increase both bass and treble together, leaving the mids untouched. This allows you to get a wide array of sounds with one control. To the right is the “Level,” which controls the output volume of the pedal. Inside, under the battery compartment (for easy access), is the Bass Cut switch, which alters between the original ODR-1 sound and one with slightly less bass, providing another easy way to sculpt the tone.

On the top of the pedal, we have your standard input and output and a 9v input for power. The pedal also features a “Remote” input, allowing the pedal to be switched on/off remotely.

More on the Nobels ODR-1 Pedal

There are a few small features added to this pedal. The first is some mounting plates on the underside. This allows you to screw your pedal down to a surface for a more “road-worthy” hold. Another nice feature that the Nobels ODR-1 has, which I haven’t seen on any other pedal, is the use of glow-in-the-dark knobs! The knobs on this pedal glow under low light to let you know where they are set—a really nice feature! The last little feature is the battery compartment on the top of the pedal, which opens with a clip. No need to unclip anything or take anything apart—just a simple clip door to access the battery (and Bass Switch).

The Sounds

In our sound demos, we put the Nobels ODR-1 through its paces using a Revv D20 amp, ensuring a clean and transparent foundation. To showcase its versatility, we used two iconic guitars: a Flying V and a Strat. The Flying V highlighted the pedal’s ability to deliver rich, heavy tones with plenty of drive, while the Strat demonstrated the ODR-1’s smooth, natural overdrive and dynamic response. Check out the demo video to hear the pedal’s full range—from crunchy rhythms to searing leads. Let us know your thoughts in the comments on YouTube!

Also, what do you think of our new video look? New camera, editing, and also some new extra features within the edit! Let us know what you think! Drop us a comment over on the YouTube video itself!

What are my thoughts?

Nobel ODR-1 Pedal - Controls
Simple yet powerful controls allows you to sculpt your sound however you want!

Firstly, I want to say that I think the Nobels ODR-1 is solid and well-built—a proper tank! Just holding it, you can tell that the full metal construction will hold up. The design and construction of this pedal have been thought out and executed to perfection!

The sounds? Well, I found the Nobels ODR-1 to be a very clear overdrive pedal. What do I mean by this? Well, it hardly colors your amp’s tone! If you have a nice tone from your amp, the ODR-1 won’t add much to it. Using the Spectrum knob, you can alter this a bit, but it does so in a very natural way. The overdrive is smooth, with no harsh high end or “rattle” top—much smoother and easier to work with!

One key thing about this pedal is the Spectrum knob. Using this (to the extreme), you can get two sounds. You can easily get that “scooped mids” kind of sound or go the other way and get a mid push! This allows you to kind of get the sounds of another green pedal everyone loves if you want!

Anything Else?

It is worth noting that this pedal has more drive than you would think! When you hear that most Nashville players use this pedal, you think of country and pushed cleans. However, this pedal has a lot of gain in it! This is one of the few criticisms most people have—the gain control is a bit “sensitive” to use. However, you can really get some nice, almost heavy tones out of it. Thanks to the amazing Spectrum control, you can really tighten it up!

A small feature, which is just a great example of German engineering, is the battery compartment! It’s in a great location, with an easy-to-access door to change the battery! There is no need to dismantle the pedal in any way to change the battery—a small but super useful feature.

Final Words

For £99 for the standard ODR-1 pedal, you can’t really go wrong! It’s a great pedal for the money—a killer overdrive pedal with a huge range of sounds for a super affordable price! Also, if budget and space are concerns, you can get the ODR-1 Mini for £69, a pedal that comes in a smaller form factor and costs a bit less! Maybe that should be our next review!

Which do I prefer? The ODR-1 or a Tube Screamer? Well, If you had to push me for an answer I would have to say the ODR-1! I do love a Tube Screamer, A Strat, Tube Screamer and a Marshall amp and you are in heaven! However, as a pedal you can use in your rig I feel the ODR-1 is way more transparent and useable! So I would pick the ODR-1! I will be trying out the mini pedal though!

Nobel ODR-1 Pedal - Battery Slot
This pedal is so well engineered! You can tell a lot of thought went into it! Everything from the easy switches and batter compartment to the added feet so you can screw the pedal down!

Conclusion

That is our review of the Nobels ODR-1! Do you own the ODR-1? What do you think of the pedal? I have absolutely loved my time with it and can see an ODR-1 appearing on the site again! Maybe we should check out the Nobels ODR-1 Mini!

If you want to check out some other overdrive pedal reviews we have done, you can check them out below! We have reviewed various styles of pedals—from Klon, to Tube Screamer, to Fuzz! We have a huge variety of pedal reviews!

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