Updated May. 3, 2022

German pedal manufacturer Nobels has been in the game for a while, slowly building a cultish following. If you’re not familiar with this company, suffice to say it builds one of the best-kept secrets in the overdrive realm: the Nobels ODR-1 (now also available in Mini version).

The stompbox’s acid green color might induce you to believe this is a Tube Screamer clone but it’s not, or at least not entirely. Since its introduction in 1983 it’s become a staple on the pedalboards of many professional guitar players (Jerry Donahue, Michael Landau, Tim Pierce, Guthrie Trapp among others), and its release could be considered as the birth of the “transparent” overdrive craze.

The magic happens mostly through the Spectrum knob, which introduces an intriguing variation to the TS’s three-knob orthodoxy. Yes, that’s a tone knob, but it affects your signal in a very peculiar way: when the Spectrum control is set to 5 or lower it seems to slightly enhance the midrange, while between 5 and 10 it boosts the treble and bass frequencies. The pedal overall is extremely flexible and has an open sound that never gets too compressed, perfect for rock and blues tones.

ODR Mini

The ODR-1 Mini was introduced in 2018 and it’s an identical recreation of its older sibling into a miniature enclosure. You can increase the headroom by running it at 18v, and it features true bypass switching. Glow in the dark buttons help you find your way around it even in the darkest environments.

 

 

Nobels ODR-1, Builder’s Notes

ODR-1 – 2020 WITH BASS CUT SWITCH
Cult Classic Nobels ODR-1 gets an Update
Over the decades key artists such as Jerry Donahue, Guthrie Trapp, Carl Verheyen, John Shanks, Tim Pierce, Robbie McIntosh, Clem Clempson, Micky Moody and countless other amazing players have made the ODR-1 Natural Overdrive part of their sonic arsenal. While all single coil guitarists as well as most humbucker users and even bassists love the clarity and versatility of the full sound of the ODR-1 some heavy humbucker players asked for the chance to reduce the sub-bass end.

UNDER THE HOOD….

The new ODR-1(bc) now offers a bass-cut switch under the battery cover to preset original ODR-1 sound or to preset slightly reduced sub-bass.

Operation now is possible from 9V – 18V DC for more headroom, if you want it. The pointers on the knobs now are GitD Glow-in-the-Dark.
The ODR-1 has proved to be a favourite with pros, especially session players, as it works so effectively with guitars’ volume controls for on-the-fly tonal changes in songs. The pedal’s wide range is controlled by a SPECTRUM control tone pot. Turning the knob clockwise increases the bass and treble at the same time. Midrange stays untouched in either direction to offer transparency with a pinch of warmth.

FACTS:

• Analog Natural Overdrive Pedal
• Bass Cut feature – helps to tame the low end
• Accepts 18 V power – allows for additional headroom
• Glow-in-the-Dark Knobs
• Remote input jack – allows the pedal to be switched on/ off remotely (tempoary)
• Controls: Drive, SPECTRUM and Level
• Buffered Bypass
• Solid metal housing
• Low current consumption
• Overhead battery compartment – allows for quick battery changes
• Includes. 4x Mounty-P Mounting Plates preinstalled
• Powered by 9 -18 V DC PSU* or PP3 9V Battery (9 V DC, centre -, 2.1 mm, ~25 mA current draw)