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Summary: Based on the classic Nobels ODR-1 circuit, Brian Wampler added his own touches (of course) making this one helluva a versatile pedal. You can use this as a transparent boost on up to an absolute crunch machine. And make no bones about it: This isn’t a copy of the other green overdrive. This circuit is absolutely unique and has been a mainstay on many guitarists’ boards.

Pros: Though there are five controls (including the clipping switch on the side of the pedal), it’s incredibly easy to dial in a great tone. For me, the Bass and Color knobs are what makes this pedal so amazing. And the sound? Fuggedaboudit! This is unlike the TS sound by a long shot.

Cons: Absolutely none so far.

Price: $129-$149 street

Tone Bones:

I was all set to get a regular Nobels ODR-1 Mini, but then I saw this pedal come up in my search. The variable Bass control knob did it for me. Having that sweep makes such a difference!

Getting Reacquainted with the ODR-1 Sound

Many years ago, I had an original Nobels ODR-1. I liked it then, but to be honest, I wasn’t playing enough electric guitar to know the difference between the different dirt pedals, so I just kept on using the MXR distortion pedal my brother gave me. Fast forward 25 years (or is it 30 now… sheesh) and I play all sorts of guitars. So when I saw a video of a guy using one, I remembered having that pedal and thought that it would be good to get this one as I have a bunch of TS808 derivatives already.

So I did a search for some videos on the ODR-1 and the Wampler Belle came up. Since I had already seen several ODR-1 videos, I loved the fact that the Belle had a variable Bass control. That sold me even though it’s almost twice the price of the ODR-1 Mini! But I’ve liked Wampler pedals for a long time and the build quality of Brian’s pedals are awesome, so I decided to pull the trigger.

Luckily, they had one in stock at my local Guitar Center and I was able to audition it. I only need five minutes. Everything that I had heard on the videos was pretty much confirmed when I played some chords and some scales. And yes, it was the Bass knob that sold me.

I was playing through an amp that I detested: The Fender Princeton Reverb. To me, that amp is just way too trebly, but I was able to tame that with the Bass control, then with a couple of tweaks of the Color knob, I was able to dial in a sound that was absolutely incredible. And I was playing a Strat! That was it. I unplugged it and bought it on the spot.

For those who are familiar with the ODR-1, it’s known to be popular with Nashville session players. I’m thinking it has to do with the tight bass of the circuit. Since a lot of those players use Telecasters and Strats, it’s not a surprise why it would be so popular. However, make no mistake about it. It’s not just a country or country rock pedal. Though it’s considered a lower gain overdrive, it can put out some serious crunch.

How It Sounds

I was going to do a few clips but I ran across this video that does a MUCH better job of explaining the sonic differences between the TubeScreamer sound and the ODR-1 circuit – plus Brian’s take on it with the Belle. Check it out:

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