I Built an Overdrive Pedal

As a guitarist, my general, loosely-held philosophy is the more tonal options you have at your disposal the more versatile and creative you can be. Now this doesn’t mean you have to assemble a rig that rivals The Edge or spend a ton of money on boutique pedals. You just need some pedals that do what they do very well and know how to use them effectively and tastefully.

But thankfully for a tightwad like me there are some great companies who sell kits from which everyday folks can build their own effects that are exact clones of some of the most famous effects pedals. After doing a few small projects (a tap tempo switch, a channel switcher, a Feedback Looper) I decided to take on a full-blown overdrive pedal. I chose the BYOC Overdrive 2 simply because it had the most options and the best instructions and was touted as a dead-on Tubescreamer clone.  After about 10 hours of work and some much-appreciated help from my friend Daniel (and his two hands) and my wife (and her paints), what emerged was a marvelous Tubescreamer clone that also features a few added tricks. To my ears (and I’m still making adjustments), the OD 2 (or Z Drive, as I call it) is very much like a Timmy or Fulldrive 2 and definitely reminiscent of a Tubescreamer. The smooth sounding overdrive dirties up my tone just right and the Boost side of the pedal REALLY boosts the volume. I’ll have to be careful with that one or I could pull a Marty McFly.

My plan is to build more pedals to get just the sound palette I need/want. I would encourage you to do the same. However it’s not for the faint of heart. Much patience is required. And some extra hands go a long way too. So brush up on your soldering skills and give it a go.

BYOC OD 2 Assembled


  1. David Falldine :

    When I first met Josh Horne I knew he was something special. Now, he has exceeded all my expectations. I know one day the name Josh Horne will be legendary.

Speak Your Mind