Boss ODB-3 Bass OverDrive
Boss ODB-3 Bass OverDrive

ODB-3 Bass OverDrive, Bass Distortion/Overdrive from Boss.

  • Increase or decrease font size
  • Print
  • RSS

All user reviews for the Boss ODB-3 Bass OverDrive

  • Like
  • Tweet
  • Submit
Buy at Sweetwater

JeffTadashi's review"A great introduction to bass distortion"

Boss ODB-3 Bass OverDrive
The Boss ODB-3 Bass Overdrive stompbox is a simple, standard, yellow Boss pedal, probably one of the most common (and cheapest) bass overdrive/distortion pedals out there. It takes standard pedal power or a 9 volt battery (just like most Boss single pedals), and it has a 1/4 guitar line input and guitar line output.


The stomp pedal on the ODB-3, like most Boss pedals, is wide, large, and extremely durable. These pedals are built like tanks, and they are virtually indestructible. That's one good reason they are the industry standard for guitar pedals. The control knobs are all solid, and the pots behind them never get scratchy.


There are four main controls on the Boss ODB-3: Level, EQ, Balance, and Gain. Level controls the overall volume output of the pedal, and has no effect on the actual distortion levels of the effect. This is great for balancing your pedal-off sound with the pedal-on sound, so that the volume boost is minimal, or in some cases, there is a moderate volume boost, if the bass player wants to be louder during certain riffs. The EQ control has two knobs (one inside of the other). These control the bass and treble of the sound. If they are set straight up, they are flat, and this allows for both boost and cut of the highs and lows. This allows you to turn up the treble for thicker, more guitar-like distortion sounds, or turn up the bass if the lows are getting lost behind the fuzz. Next, there is a balance control, and this allows the mixing of the dry bass guitar sound with the affected, distorted sound. This is one of the best controls on here, and it allows you to crank up the distortion, if desired, but still retain the clarity of the original sound. This is the control that is missing from most standard guitar overdrive pedals. and what makes most of them unusable for bass. The last knob is the gain control, which controls how much distortion to add to the signal.


Overall, a great little pedal, that is cheap, but simply does it's job, if you ever want to experiment with bass overdrives, fuzzes, and distortions. Check it out!

yoTrakkz's review

Boss ODB-3 Bass OverDrive
The Boss ODB 3 Overdrive is a top quality pedal that you can use with your bass guitar. If you are familiar with pedals and especially with the pedals that Boss makes then this is no different. Meaning there is nothing outstanding about this pedal, its very basic but its great. Use the ¼ connection for input and output and it takes a 9 volt battery for the power supply. This is the old fashion box that goes on the floor that we grew up to understand, no mounting this. You will have to use your feet.


All of the Boss pedals are pretty much they same as far as their make up but im very excited with the sound of this pedal. You can control the sound of it extremely easy and change the parameters and see what you come up with. Everything is at hand with this pedal you will have full complete control with the Boss ODB 3 Bass Overdrive.


Sound is great on the Boss ODB 3 Overdrive pedal, it has a bunch of different bass tones as well as the distortion and or fuzz and overdrive, but most all pedals can do what the Boss ODB 3 Bass Overdrive can do. I have used this pedal with several different amps and bass guitars and it sounds great no matter what combination of different pieces of equipment it used with it will sound great.


Overall the Boss ODB 3 Bass Overdrive is one of the best on the market because of the price and quality of the pedal. But keep in mind there is nothing spectacular with this pedal and a downside is it can be a little strong on the gain. But besides that it worth the buy, but look in to some other pedals before making your purchase to make sure you are getting the most out of your money.

moosers's review

Boss ODB-3 Bass OverDrive
The Boss ODB-3 Bass Overdrive is a pedal designed for use with bass guitar. It's an analog pedal that has the standard make up for nearly all Boss pedals - 1/4" connections for input and output and both a battery compartment for a nine volt and a jack for a power supply of the same voltage. It's best to use the power supply if possible. It isn't rack mountable as it's a stomp box to be engaged with your feet.


The make up of the Boss ODB-3 Bass Overdrive is pretty easy to follow and at the same time there are a good amount of parameters to work with to control your sound. Included in this are knobs for level, balance (dry/wet mix), gain, both high and low EQ controls, and an overall gain parameter. That's all one will need to know, and it just takes so messing around with it to feel completely comfortable, so I don't think a manual is necessary.


The sound of the Boss ODB-3 Bass Overdrive is quite good overall and between the nice collection of controls it's possible to get a good amount of differing tones. It's a pretty fuzzy sounding overdrive that's not really any one of an overdrive, distortion, or fuzz, although I'd say it's more of a fuzz/overdrive than anything else. It's definitely possible to get a bunch of cool bass overdrive tones with the ODB-3 as it's versatile for a bass pedal. I've used the pedal with a Gallien-Kruger amplifier and a Fender Jazz bass with stellar results...


The Boss ODB-3 Bass Overdrive is definitely one that should be looked at for bass players looking for their first overdrive pedal. It's cheap enough where most will be able to afford it, but as is the case with most Boss pedals, they haven't sacrificed quality to bring this pedal to you at this price. I don't know if this is the best choice for those looking for something that will punch through more than anything, but it's a great overall overdrive for bass and at the very least a good starting point for those interested in fuzzing up their bass a bit.

iamqman's review"Little gainy "

Boss ODB-3 Bass OverDrive
For me I would much rather have an on board gain in my preamp of bass rather than use a bass OD pedal of some sort. This one isn't a bad one but it really isn't a good one either. I like Boss effects but their distortion boxes really don't live up to the standard IMHO. This pedal can sound a bit thin and metallic but used in a band situation then it can sound decent.

It is an analog pedal with basically four control operations. The layout as follows...

-Get mild overdrive to hard distortion, OverDrive pedal specifically designed for bass
-Works for four- and five-string basses
-Balance control lets you mix signals
-Can be used as a two-band EQ
-Onboard two-band equalizer
-Balance knob controls dry/overdriven sound
-One touch on/off
-AC adaptor or 9V battery operation


You are not going to find this pedal hard to use. It hooks up like all Boss pedals with a 9v plug in or battery. And it is a one touch foot switch.These Boss pedals to me sound best when not using the gain knob all that much. Use it to slam the front of your bass preamp and get a great pushed sound that naturally distorts the amp rather than the cheap pedal making the distortion.

The balance knob can be very helpful by either blending a full effected signal or just allowing some of the effected signal through. It acts like the volume knobs you would find on some effects loop on the back of high end boutique guitar amps. This enables you to blend the desired effected signal and creates a huge thick tone. Similar to a wet/dry set up you would see guitar players have.


Not a spectacular sound, but does give a decent push to your front end. The balance knob is a cool little feature that thickens up your tone without having to use much of the other dials. Not using the gain is a plus because it does more to harm your tone than help it in my opinion. Use the gain sparingly and dial in the EQ and balance to tailor your tone.

I used this with a Warick 4 string bass and a Raven Labs preamp with a QSC power amp going into a 4x10 Trace Elliot cab. I also had a Boss chorus pedal with this setup. I had a fantastic explosive bass rig that sounded a lot more expensive than it really was. I only used this pedal to push the front of my amp.


This is a decent pedal but I would try another pedal if I was not on a budget. It does the job in the band situation. It doesn't sound that great when you are only playing by yourself. I think the band and the drums really help to enhance the positives and cover up the negatives about this pedal.

It is were lost or stolen I would try something else and see if I come back to this pedal. I am not convinced that this is the end all be all of OD boxes for bass rigs. I think it did the job at that time for me when I was using it. However, at around $99 and about half that on the used market it will not be an expensive experiment to try it out.

I would recommend this to anyone try to figure out their bass tone. You may or may not stick with it but it can help you experiment on your tone.
Audiofanzine FR01/03/2011

Audiofanzine FR's review

Boss ODB-3 Bass OverDrive
Originally written by Chi Cheng on Audiofanzine FR.

Analog distortion bass pedal with five controls:
- LEVEL control (adjusts the effect's level). Use it to compensate
any volume differences between the original and processed signals.
- HIGH EQ control (amplifies/attenuates high frequencies)
- LOW EQ control (amplifies/attenuates low frequencies)
- BALANCE control (adjusts the mix between direct and distortion sound)
- GAIN control (adjusts the gain of the direct or distortion sound.
Provides a wide sound range from crunch to fuzz and distortion or a simple boost.
Very rugged yellow aluminum housing.
Battery or PSU operation (battery included).


Very simple overall configuration, effective controls and very intuitive use. The user's manual provides nice setting examples you can fine tune to match the sound of your amp and your bass.
Like with every Boss pedal, the learning curve is not very steep but you'll have to take enough time to find the tone you really want because the controls are precise! Precise equipment requires precise use!
The distortion sound is a variation of the clean sound, so you'd better find your own clean tone before setting the distortion sound.


Wonderful sound! It shakes the walls, but always with class.
It gives you everything you want from dirty fuzz to light crunch and heavy distortion.
I use it with a Cort B4 and a Trace Elliot stack (GP7SM-250 head) and it was a delight from the very beginning! Even with all controls in center position, the sound is good!


I've been using it for some days and I'm very happy. Great product for rehearsals and live gigs. Boss products have a very long life
Before buying it, I played with an Electro-Harmonix Big Muff. It' not comparable. The Big Muff had less lows, the sound was not deep enough and it was too dirty! I don't regret my choice.
The price is ok considering it's a Boss stomp box: good manufacturing quality and sturdiness. I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again!

mooseherman's review"Versatile Bass Overdive"

Boss ODB-3 Bass OverDrive
This is a bass overdrive overdrive pedal from Boss. It is similar in ways to a Boss DS-1 for guitar, but for bass. It does have a few subtle differences. It is a 100% analog pedal. It has no MIDI or USB connections and it is not rackable as it is a pedal. It does have a 1/4" input and output like most pedals do. It can run on a 9V battery or by power supply.


Editing the effects on this pedal is pretty easy. It has four knobs, one of which has two working parts. The level knob controls the overall volume of the signal. The tone knob has two parts, one for low end and one for high end. This helps maintain a lot of control over the tone of the bass, which is difficult to manage with some bass distortions/overdrives. There is a balance knob, which controls the balance between the dry signal and the wet signal, allowing for a significant amount of blend (and therefore not overdoing the distortion). The final knob controls the gain.


I am a huge fan of this pedal, because it has a lot of tonal variety to it. I think that the best sounds I got with this were with my P-bass, as it has the thick heavy low end necessary for such a pedal. The best thing about this pedal in my opinion are the EQs and the balance knobs. The eqs can control how much of the low and high end remain in the mix. The main complaint I often have of these pedals is that too much of the bass gets lost in trying to distort the signal. Another great way of avoiding this problem is the balance knob, which will provide the (already reasonably heavy) dry signal more room in the mix. I like this pedal because it doesn't annihilate the tone of the bass and amp you are using, just distorts it a little bit. It is rare that I find a distortion that can do this.


This pedal is really cool. I like the variety of tones you can get, and I really like how it doesn't color the sound too much. I prefer to use it on a lighter side, as a thick bass distortion is tough to hear in a mix and almost defeats the purpose of beefing up the bass tone. It's a good price and it competes really well with the pedals in it's price range. I highly recommend it to anybody who's been skeptical about bass overdrive in the past.

MGR/ctargia's review"Boss ODB-3 Bass Overdrive"

Boss ODB-3 Bass OverDrive
Yellow, small single pedal with hard metal casing.

I bought this in late 2002 at a local music store for about $80. I was looking for some good distortion. It was recommended to me over whatever comparable pedal was in the shop at the time, because you can mix the tone two have both distortion and clean sound coming out.

This very affordable pedal is great for simple rock distortion, and gain increase/reduction. The controls are real easy to configure

It only has a low/high frequency EQ adjustments, it would be nice to have a mid also to finer tune your Distortion. Also the batteries will drain as long as it is plugged into a 1/4' jack, even if the distortion is not on. When the batteries start to go the sound quality will suffer significantly, it is good to have an extra on hand, or even better have the adapter(extra charge).

High quality construction, this thing is made of metal and will survive a fall off a truck.

It's a great pedal, pretty versatile distortion, good value for the money; if you want a lot of crazy effects, then you need a different pedal.

This review was originally published on
MGR/Chris Jeffs01/03/2007

MGR/Chris Jeffs's review"Boss ODB3 Bass Overdrive"

Boss ODB-3 Bass OverDrive
I play electric bass in a band from Coburg. We play mostly punk and rock, but sometimes Jack (the drummer) and I like to play a bit of reggae.

I do all my shopping at Allans Music Store. They always give me fantastic deals - and I don't even ask! I picked up this handy pedal for $175.00. That's about half the list price.

I got this pedal because I needed something to completely change my sound, and provide an occasional lift.

The pedal provides you with a wide range of tonal options, from complete distortion, to an aggressive tone with a rough edge. It is of course an 'overdrive' pedal, for those who are unaware of what that means, it simulates an overdriven tube amp. Usually this would tae a range of different effects, but Boss have crammed it into one compact pedal.

If you roll back on the gain and the balance knob, and up te volume, the pedal can act as a simple volume boost.
The addition of a simple two band equalizer means you can change the level of bottom end, without dulling down highs or the lethal gain. If you like, you can simply turn back the balance and the gain, keep the volume even with your amp and use the two band eq to boost your bottom end.

I personally use it occasionally for long distorted intros to our songs, or as a light fuzz for a chorus or an outro.

There's not much I don't like about the pedal.

The only thing that annoys me sometimes is the two band eq. It's fine with a bit of gain, as you can boost or cut your bottom end for a more dimensional sound, but if you roll back on the balance and the gain, it sounds kid of flat and two dimensional.

I did say you could use it to boost your bottom end without gain, but it dulls down your highs and leaves a kind of muddy sound.

The build quality is absolutely fantastic. It may be made in Asia, but it's built like a rock. The steel construction makes it a lot heavier and more solid than it appears. You can drop it onto a hard surface, or down some stairs (I have) and it'll come through with absolutely no damage at all - and it'll sound exactly the same as it did when you first tried it out at the store.

Overall, this pedal is definitely one to stick next to your amplifier.

Anyone looking for something to boost their sound, or add some gain for the occasional distored bass line, should save up and buy one.

This review was originally published on

MGR/Anonymous's review"Boss ODB-3 Bass Overdrive"

Boss ODB-3 Bass OverDrive
I was having trouble getting hold of one of these. I told a friend about this and amazingly he had one that was in near perfect condition that he wanted to sell! I have been after a decent OD pedal for a while (Ibanez and Digitech don't cut it for me.) After I tried it out, I got it for £35. The normal first hand price is about £60.

I like it because it's... fuzzy. If I tweek the settings and ajust my amp/bass eq, I can get many different tones and sounds of it. I notted also that a did managed to get it onto a setting where it almost became a phaser pedal and sustain pedal! I like it because I've used it to do things like the star spangled banner and Cliff Burton solos! It's really useful for covering the role of a rhythm guitar as well. For example, the harmony part on "One" by Metallica. Two guitars playing harmony, clean bass doing rhythm isn't enough. Add a minute touch of growly OD for the bass during that part really makes a difference! Good for RATM + Audioslave songs aswell! The colour is cool... yellow and black. It's like a square banana brick shaped thingy-whacha-mu-call-it?

Funny colour of it can be harsh on the eyes, especially if your hungover! Ummm not much I can say really.

I can't really judge because it's not new, ummm, it solid and I've had no problems with it so far. Sound is awsome. The best OD pedal I've used.

A good pedal, and i'm glad that i got it cheaper second hand cause now ive got more money to spend on other stuff. If your looking for a good distortion, get this. After all, no-one i know dislikes BOSS pedals, and they are quite renound and sturdy (ROLAND company.) I also think that £60 is a fair bit of money so I recomend getting a used one if you arn't keen on forking out a wod of notes.

This review was originally published on
MGR/Mark Steenhuis12/05/2003

MGR/Mark Steenhuis's review"Boss ODB3"

Boss ODB-3 Bass OverDrive
I got it at Da Capo Nietap. Payed €75 for it so that was quite cheap.

I used maybe three or four times. Used it once while playing with my former metal band too bad we've split up. Or not but anyway I thought it sounded quite shitty compared to the Ibanez PD7 that had been smashed earlier. Some will disagree! When I hooked up the BOSS I noticed that the PD7 malfunction was just a cable problem and it was now broken because of my bad temper! That really sucked.

It sounds good but if you want a heavier bass distortion go for the Ibanez PD7!

It seems ok but it didn't go through the abuse that the PD7 did.

It's fine but not compared to the PD7!

This review was originally published on