Electro-Harmonix Germanium OD

Electro-Harmonix Germanium OD

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Germanium OD, Overdrive pedal from Electro-Harmonix.

8 user reviews
Prices starting at $110 Average price: $110

Electro-Harmonix Germanium OD tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Electro-Harmonix
  • Model: Germanium OD
  • Category: Overdrive pedals
  • Added in our database on: 07/15/2007

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Electro-Harmonix Germanium OD user reviews

Average Score:4.4( 4.4/5 based on 8 reviews )
 3 reviews38 %
 4 reviews50 %

mooseherman's review

Electro-Harmonix Germanium OD
This is a unique gain/distortion pedal, in the fact that it is designed to mimic the sound of a distortion pedal with a low or dying battery. In fact, it is so broad with its sounds that it can be used in a variety of contexts. It is a purely analog distortion pedal, one that uniquely adjusts the voltage and the signal bias to create a unique effect. This pedal is not capable being hooked up to a computer in anyway, nor is it rackable. There is simply the 1/4 inch connection.


There are only three knobs on this guy. One is for gain, which is normal. The other two are different than most pedals, they are named Bias and Volt. The manipulation of these sounds is usually only possible by opening the circuit board of the pedal. The Bias knob changes the signal flow up and down, which affects the sound in a way that is difficult to describe, but is very cool. The volt knob, as you probably can guess, adjusts the voltage which gives the sound a really gritty, really decayed sound. If these are the sounds you're looking for, you'll have no trouble using this guy.


The sound quality of this pedal is great, but only for people with a real interest in these very particular sounds. I've managed to get some really grainy, decayed sounds that really rock but are totally murky and thick. A good example of a song that features similar tones would be "Everyone Choose Sides" by The Wrens, for anyone who may be familiar with them. Other sounds on the complete opposite end of the spectrum include a great 60's style light fuzz that can be achieved by increasing the voltage and lowering the bias. This tone is great for adding a little grit to an otherwise clean sound, a little bit dirtier than what can usually be done with a Fender Twin when you crank the pre-amp. Overall, the sounds possible with this pedal are very particular, but can be used effectively in the right context. Also, I've used it nicely with my Strat/Twin setup, but I've seen it used with Les Pauls and it arguably sounds even better, especially with a good tube amp.


I like the uniqueness of this pedal, it definitely will help add a rough lo-fi sound to whatever you're playing. For this reason, I would have to recommend it for studio use over playing live. It might not be powerful enough to rock a venue (at least it wasn't enough for me), but it's properties will give your records a raw, gritty feeling that is hard to find in some of the more popular pedals. I have tried many distortion pedals but none really compare to this, except for those that have been doctored for the same effect. I'd recommend it to creative and experimental guitar players who care more about overall texture than purity of tone.

peterfuzz's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Vintage but unique"

Electro-Harmonix Germanium OD
classic pedal EHX
everything is already said


it would take almost three hands, both Volt and Bias controls interact - you can always phrase sampler guitar and hands free
Once the correct adjustment found, there is no reason to change it - it will change depending on the guitar used, output levels in particular


used with a jazzmaster or telecaster Vox 15 +
the coloring of the sound does not clearly distinguish the nature of the guitar or microphone
If we talk about sound quality, it is necessarily subjective: it is dirty, greasy, hot, it sizzles
but I love
- Like we're stuck in the British rock between 1964 and 1970 ... Kinks Zeppelin, what ...
for those seeking to balance the nervous riff, it responds much to attack, and the effect was not long sustain - this tells the ropes "unaffected" continue to resonate in a transparent manner. There is no compression of the overall signal, but what happens in the crunch is "fat" ... I recommend putting very little gain on the amp, but engage the drive channel to react to slightest jolt; the idea, anyway mine here: this is the pick that controls the effect


used for a few days, the first steps are weird: you plug it sounds Direct Garage: large color; then tweaking we realize that there is plenty of positions that seem unnecessary, even a slight boost a little warm, like lamps
the settings contrary to what I read on this page does not change the tone: they allow to find the level at which the effect occurs: there are plenty of positions where it nothing happens or the sound is muted . I recommend putting a max output volume guitar pedal reacts at: it takes a lot to the dynamics of the game and that's cool. With an amp drive system is engaged behind complete and extremely responsive, and it's still in front of the reverb (if the amp has one of course), very far / as it can become transparent if the strings caress. I also recommend placing delay or reverb pedals before, contrary to common sense that it will level the ridges which shall activate the crunch. I love his versatility not!

-Livingroom-'s review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" An original use alone indeed!"

Electro-Harmonix Germanium OD
This is an overdrive which can control the dose of current that powers the germanium transistors which compose it, a bit like the old fuzz used with dead batteries, it changes the tone drastically. It's electro harmonix designed in a vintage-modern spirit, which has its strengths and weaknesses as discussed below. The keg is made of brushed metal and seems solid (unlike the big muff which tend to break at the switch, after seeing how it fits in time!).

Powered by 9v basic jack in, jack out, and roll youth!


Three knobs, it may seem simple, but here it is relatively complex. Gain rises gain, nothing too hard here. Volts and Bias knobs are the two which give the effect its originality, failing to give him the versatility! Bias could replace the tone knob a normal OD, although it does not act on the same sound settings (it does not darken the sound but rather lowers the harmonics) and volts changes the timbre of the distortion.

Note that it only works well (a little breath anyway, but at EHX this is common), but coupled with other effects is a bit poo, I do not know if it comes from my diet (with germanium transistors beware), or placement of the effect in my chain, but that shit in the glue. Volume we regret this pedal, and possibly also to push the volts instead of only lessen (I have a memory of a Fulltone OCD really changed depending on whether the patch fed by 9, 12 or 18v!)


So for those looking for a basic overdrive, go your way, other pedals will do much better than it, it is not his interest. It is interesting in the studio, or for noiseux of all kinds! It helps make the sound boiled to kill attacks and sustain, it must grope between volts bias and buttons, and find the sound you need. This is a pedal hackers after it seems complicated to me to have live, already because a germanium transistor fears temperature differences (sound also changes depending on the time), and because it is not affect the "basic", on the contrary it is very typical, and do not chain well, so hard to live.

Its great advantage is to provide worthy sounds boutique pedals at a much more attractive price.

I have not tested with a base or a keyboard, but it is possible that it works too, why not?


I kept a few months, it does not suit my musical universe, however it's still a good pedal I regret now that I regularly recorded in the studio. EHX surprises us again and again, and it feels good inside (under the portfolio if we want all the catalog!)
Captain Savon04/08/2012

Captain Savon's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Well upstream of a distortion pedal"

Electro-Harmonix Germanium OD
Overdrive / fuzz, vintage typed. Purely analog / solid state transistor with germanium that task. It is not really designed to be used alone, but upstream of a distortion pedal "classic" to smear the sound.

This is an analog pedal pedalboard for everything from classic, In / Out mono jack, 9V power supply + ring, housing EHX standard 120x90x34 (kind http://radiospares-fr.rs-online.com/ web/p/boites-en-aluminium-non-peintes/3642225 / for those who are interested can). True bypass, robust.


Switch on / off in true bypass, controls "gain", "bias" and "volts". LED activation.

Very straightforward if one has incorporated the concept of this pedal.

The lack of volume control and tone can be detrimental depending on what is used as setup. It does not correct the sound of a guitar and an amp with it, must at least it sounds right off the bat In order to use upstream of a classic distortion pedal, correction of volume and tone will be on a distortion pedal.


This pedal does not work like conventional distos with gain / volume / tone. On classical models, we control the rate of saturation, volume, and most often the tone is a simple low-pass. Here is no dial tone and no volume. Instead, the polarization is controlled and the supply voltage of the transistors.

Interest is to be able to easily "simulate" a battery, and can create asymmetrical distortions very dirty. For grimey sounds to Jack White, it's ideal.

The bias "assymétrise" the distortion, and makes it more or less aggressive, and plays a little tone, too. The volt crushes his very efficiently, so much so that it is really only usable on 2/3 of the race of knob. Below, the sound is inaudible.

The overall volume is properly adjusted, so that there is no volume knob does not feel. The tone is also very neutral, not unpleasant treble boost, and slight boost mids / bass (logic, it's the fuzz), so the tone knob does not miss too. And we can vaguely play with the treble control bias, but it is not very efficient, which is not really a problem in itself.

This pedal does not have much gain, so it is best to combine it with a "real" pedal distortion, resulting avalanche of fuzz guargantuesques. Do not want to make lace with this pedal. the objective of "cradifier" sound by putting it upstream (or downstream, nothing is forbidden) another distortion pedal is well filled. Fuzze it, it "Magritte" is aggressive, do not worry at this level.

I tried it with my Jag 'ICJ and a DS-1, Big Muff or Jackhammer on tube amps and transistor. This pedal does its job. Not had a chance to try it with humbuckers.


I for two years. I use it just because I do not have the opportunity. And I'm not too into the White Stripes trip. I bought it to add a little more control over my sound distortion, and I have not been disappointed. Just in the context of my group (funk / rock with two guitars) this is not very suitable, and my pedalboard is so shielded that I do not have room for a pedal as big and more. But I would have found a solution for the return. It has a cozy ambiance ...

It's a bit pricey for just an overdrive "complementary", we pay expensive germanium transistors (straw!), But compared to other pedals "handmade" overpriced, it's hard discount! I do not regret having purchased. I resservirai surely in another context that my current group.

And to reiterate, I insist on it: this pedal is not designed for use only! We need another distortion with. Alone has little potato and is not very usable. So it can be expensive "extension" to an existing pedal.

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Other names: germanium od, germaniumod, Germanium Overdrive, Germanium Over drive

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