by Bob Malkowski | 4,3 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 4 Minutes | Our Rating: 4,0 / 5,0

 ·  Source: WARM Audio

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The WARM Audio ODD Box is an affordable clone of the legendary Fulltone OCD overdrive pedal. Bob Malkowski runs an ODD Box through its paces and finds it offers more than just a regular distortion pedal…

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WARM Audio ODD Box

The WARM Audio ODD Box distortion is the second of two pedals launched today by WARM Audio; check out the Mutation Phasor II if you fancy some vintage phasing.

Firstly, let’s consider the influence of the ODD Box, the infamous Fulltone OCC. The Fulltone OCC is what’s referred to as a “hard clipping” distortion pedal, which typically results in a more “amp-like” distortion tone. You may have heard people talk about the OCC as offering great touch sensitivity and dynamics. Unfortunately, if you want an original Fulltone OCC, Fulltone has closed its doors, seemingly for good. This has led to used units commanding more than four times their original price on the used market!

First Impressions

Pulling the WARM Audio ODD Box from the packaging, the build is hefty and encouraging. Battery access is, like the original, via four knurled thumbscrews, while external power is provided by a side-mounted jack. I confirmed with WARM Audio that, like the original OCD, you can power the ODD Box with both 9v and 18v, but more on that later!

I should state here, that I’ve never actually had my hands on an original Fulltone OCD; as such any comparisons would be pointless. Therefore any observations on the tone and character of this pedal will be judging the ODD Box entirely on its own merits.

Source: WARM Audio

Amp in an ODD Box

I plugged up the ODD Box into a very clean 100w tube head and kicked the pedal in. What greeted me was a gainy, harmonic-filled sound that was raucous yet utterly controllable. As you might expect from a hard-clipping pedal, the ODD Box behaves almost like an “amp in a box”.  There’s gain a-plenty here with a very effective tone control that does a great job of controlling the spikier frequencies in your guitar tone.

You have a choice of two distinct characters at the flick of a switch: “UK” mode, as you might expect, gives you a much more mid-forward guitar sound. “US” mode a much more scooped and darker tone.I found that the “US” mode resulted in a notable drop in level as well as a slight loss in clarity. However, this is largely subjective and it’s nice to have two distinct voicings in one pedal.

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Where I found this box instantly shone was in recreating high-gain alternative/indie guitar tones. I can see this being a superb pedal to have on your board if you veer towards clean amps as pedal platforms. Radiohead/Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins tones were all easily on-tap with the ODD Box.

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WARM Audio ODD Box

Danger! High Voltage!

Out of curiosity, I then tried running the pedal on an 18v power supply. Devotees of the original OCD pedal will wax lyrical on how you’ll be greeted by extra dynamics by doing so. I was deeply sceptical, but indeed, running the ODD Box on 18v changes the feel of the pedal. Suddenly the pedal feels more “tube-like” in the way you can get notes to clean up or saturate based solely on your picking dynamics. It’s a very, very subjective thing to describe, but in short, the pedal really comes alive when run on 18v.

Following this high-voltage experimentation, I then tried running the ODD Box as a dirty boost on an already overdriven channel. BAM! Instantly one of the best high-gain guitar tones I’ve ever had! In this application, the ODD Box serves up a double whammy: It tightens up the feel of your amp and accentuates your picking and muting. Additionally, it lends a deeply satisfying, crushing saturation to the tone. Absolute high-gain heaven!

Source: WARM Audio

Conclusion

After years in the industry, I will confess it’s sometimes difficult to get excited about yet another overdrive/distortion pedal. However, with the ODD Box, the proof is in the pudding, and it’s a tasty treat indeed! This is a much more versatile dirt box than I was anticipating. The ODD Box is capable of providing a great, self-contained high-gain channel to any clean amp. Additionally, it can push an overdriven, mid-gain amp into molten-metal-meltdown!

I can see this pedal being a “must-have” if you’re a travelling guitarist with nothing but your guitar and pedalboard from night to night. Having the ODD Box on your pedalboard will almost guarantee that no matter what amp you have to plug into, you’re assured of some superb high-gain dirt sounds.

With an MSRP of $119, the ODD Box is attainable and accessible to most guitarists. Without hesitation, I’d happily recommend that any guitarist picks one up and chucks it in their gig-bag or on their pedalboard!

LIKES

  • Great Build Quality
  • Affordable
  • Superb distortion tones
  • Switchable voicings
  • Incredible dynamics when run at 18v

DISLIKES

  • Would be nice to have the option of 18v mode off batteries perhaps
  • Volume drop in “US” mode

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