« Incredibly responsive OD »Published on 05/19/11 at 08:49
- True bypass
- Powered by 9v battery or standard Boss style power supply
- Hand painted
- Bjorn style wiring
- Protected against reverse polarity
- LED battery indicator
A unique pedals in many ways, but pretty straightforward to use overall. The volume and drive knobs are standard. The nature control is an interesting tone control. It isn't a treble dial or tilt EQ. Turn it back and you have a more accentuated low end, smoother, with more harmonics. Past twelve, you start to dial in more presence and clarity.
The really incredible thing about this pedal is how well it responds to your picking and dynamics. Through a cleanish amp and with single coils, it will clean up completely to soft playing. Dig in, and you push it in to clipping. Even with high output humbuckers, roll the volume down a little and you are in clean territory. Really feels like an amp pushed to the bring of overdrive.
The paint chips very easily, I don't recommend using velcro on these directly. The wiring is...interesting to say the least. If it wasn't gooped up, I'd have some suspicions about its reliability.
Aside from the amazing amp like response, the pedal produces a really cool, distinctive OD tone. Its more of a gritty old school style overdrive, though it can get pretty smooth with the nature knob turned down. A little thin sounding for some, I definitely wouldn't use it as the only OD on my board. But for what it is, an incredibly responsive gritty drive pedal, it is fantastic.
This is without a doubt the most responsive OD pedal that I've ever come across. The major obstacle for most people is availability and price. These are hand made by Bjorn Juhl in Sweden, and he doesn't release a whole lot of pedals. You can get on a waiting list for these at customsounds or thesegoto11. Used prices have finally started to drop a little, but still are way out of the reach of many guitarists. I'd recommend against settling for the Mad Professor sweet honey, its really a totally different pedal. Bearfoot FX recently released a cheaper version of the HBOD, but with the strange wiring used and lack of goop, I'm skeptical about their reliability. There are also a few well built clones floating around.
But bottom line is, if you can afford it, and want a responsive OD with a unique voicing, this is a great choice.