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Boost and Overdrive

Electro-Harmonix Shrinks its Super Versatile JFET-based Operation Overlord Allied Overdrive

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Electro-Harmonix has introduced a Nano version of its Operation Overlord Overdrive which manages to preserve most of that larger pedal’s functionality / feature set while there obviously have to be some compromises and concessions - and we loose the Stereo component of the original, as well as the Boost Level control and second Boost footswitch. I’m not sure why EHX hasn’t gotten onboard with the dual-footswitch compact enclosure style which is really fairly common nowadays - there are lots of brands who are still failing to capitalise on that.


In any case, and per the headline - you get a superbly versatile JFET 3-Gain-Stage overdrive with variable 3-way input gain to accommodate Guitar, Basses, Keyboards and other studio gear. For Bass and Keyboard players we also have that essential Dry control - which allows you to preserve as much of the original signal dynamics as you wish. On top of that we have the 3-Band EQ and a separate push-button Boost switch. I kind of expected there to be an internal trim-pot for fine-tuning the boost, but none of the instructional materials allude to that feature being available - so obviously a fixed value.


JFET overdrives always sound particularly richly harmonically textured and amp-like and this is certainly the case here. This is a fantastic engineering job too which also sees a reduction in price - the original Stereo version is $148/£140 while the new Nano version is a considerably more wallet-friendly $89/£85. This has been very recently announced, and has yet to make it through to UK dealers.


Whenever there is a new EHX release I always wonder when/if we will get a JHS Modded version of said pedal - which is typically my own preference. I’m still waiting to see if JHS do anything with the fairly recent EHX Flatiron Fuzz (Rat) - and a couple of mods on the Overlord would certainly make it more appealing.


Generally though I’m really quite satisfied with the format that the Nano has taken, while I would have infinitely have preferred the Boost on a second footswitch!

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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
Guitar Pedal X
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