At first glance, the Boss OD-3 OverDrive effects unit is just one more in the company’s wide range of distortion/overdrive pedals. It’s reasonably priced, it’s got the Boss brand name, and it’s a fresh iteration on an old classic. That’s a great starting point, but it doesn’t bring anything new to the table. After all, the Boss overdrive family is so large at this point, that one has to question whether or not this pedal can really hold its own alongside its predecessors. Bear in mind that Boss’s current lineup features such classics as the Blues Driver, the Super OverDrive and, of course, the now legendary OD-1 – the first-ever overdrive pedal.
The OD-3 aims to build upon its predecessors by having better response times, a wider range of tones, and a smoother sound. This analogue effects unit not only has an impressively dynamic range but, thanks to its two-stage overdrive circuit, it delivers a sound that is rich, powerful, and incredibly versatile. It also comes complete with a five-year warranty, which is always nice for your peace of mind.
Now, as we said before, the OD-3 is incredibly versatile, to the point where, if they wanted to, most guitarists could probably get away with using it as their main overdrive pedal. It can do hard rock, prog rock, rock’n’roll, and can even hold its own in the softer end of metal, but where this pedal really excels is blues.
This brings us back to that competition we talked about at the beginning. The Blues Driver, after all, is one of the most iconic pedals in the world and anything, let alone another Boss pedal, that seeks to supplant it is in for a tough competition.
So which is better? Why not give them both a listen and see for yourself?