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Custom Overdrive / ODR-C

The beginning and why do I copy myself?

ODR-CThe first project will be the improvement of my overdrive pedal, which I developed in 1992. In the first prototype phase the device was called OD-1. There are a few samples of this - but without the unique Spectrum control. I then called it ODR-1.

The basic idea was to develop an independent overdrive that changes as little as possible the basic sound of the guitar. Optimal of course would be "not at all", but since the distortion adds harmonics, this is technically (analogous) not possible. This was in complete contrast to the Tubescreamer, which has a strong mid character by nature.

A detailed description can be found here in my blog: Development of the ODR-1.

From the beginning I always had the ODR-1 in the setup. I had tested dozens of other overdrives or distortions - but I always returned to the ODR-1. The sound was the "right thing" for me even after many years. Well, not just for me. There have been quite a few companies that have rebuilt (copy) the ODR-1. As there were Wampler, Visual Sound, Rocket, Vemuram and maybe others. Of course, always with a "small" change, so it is not a 1:1 copy. Funnily, none of these "engineers" really noticed my little design flaw from 1992 in the device. He was diligently copied. But I do not say what that is. Treat me to my fun!

Known users of the ODR-1 are for example: Tim Pierce, Guthrie Trapp, Steve Sterlacci, Fletch Redwine, Bon Jovi's John Shanks, Tom Bukovac (User since 1993)


Why Custom?

I would like to keep the original sound of the ODR-1 for all lovers, but do not give up the extended possibilities. I designed these add-on options so that the ODR-1's original, but better-quality, sound sounds when the two knobs O.D.C., Lo-Cut are at the left end, and the mid-control in the middle clicks into place!

Of course, the housing also has room for a 9V battery. But honest? Who needs that today ...

What I have improved:

  • Conversion to True Bypass operation

  • Best components:
    • 1% metal film resistors
    • 2% and 5% film capacitors (Wima, Epcos, Kemet) in the signal path
    • solid 6.3mm Neutrik jacks
    • gold-plated PCB plugs / sockets
    • High quality potentiometers
    • Special footswitch with a lighter pressure point

  • Smaller solid and closed aluminum housing from Hammond Manufacturing. (Perfect shield against hum and EMC)

  • Higher output volume (without sound change!), So that even in low-gain operation enough level remains.

  • Solid construction with double contacts between main and controller board.

  • 18 volt operation. By operating at voltages between 9 V and 18 V, other timbres are possible. Hard to explain: Just give it a try! The feeling changes.


What was added:


  • O.D.C. Overdrive De-Compress:
    A special control for the overdrive stage. This is hard to describe, as this effect is best felt when playing! Overall, I can say that it sounds a bit more open and sounds less compressed. It also gets a bit louder and the proportion of center frequencies increases. At the same time, the harmonic harmonics are reduced and the sound becomes a bit rougher overall. This depends on the position of the drive - so it hardly works in the left position of the drive control. As always applies here: Make only small turns on the O.D.C. control and listen what happens!

  • Lo-Cut:
    So that it sounds less bassy. I follow the request of some ODR-1 users.

  • Mid:
    The frequency range is quite wide and is also a bit down to the trebles. Turning to the right gives a fat and assertive solo sound. When turning to the left corresponding to less centers. Due to the wide frequency range, the frequencies even intersect with the Spectrum controller. There is a lot of space to create good sounds!


  • Switch for the LED brightness: bright / dimmed (Std: Bright)



Currently (02.12.2019) I produce the first 30 devices. Here is a picture of finished four basic boards. Good to see: The trimmer for the LED brightness, as well as the gold-plated sockets and connector strips for the top board.



ODR-C Owner's Manual



Steve Sterlacci has released a great video for the ODR-C::
This Could Be the Best OD Pedal of 2020 ! - Nordland Electronics ODR-C

Sound Demo by: Menezes / Andy / Mendoza Trio

Erik Himel: Nordland Electronics ODR-C | Quick Look | Pedal Demo


To buy? While stocks last: Here in my online shop

Unfortunately I'm often sold out!
So that you will be informed in time for a new edition, recommend my Newsletter!


Here is my first video / picture show of an ODR-C serial number # 8

Or at YouTube

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