How many Overdrives is too many?


Jan 23, 2022
Austin, TX
Gotta DS-1, OCD, full drive 2, and a rat on the board now.
OCD I think took up permanent residency there.
Quick look around I guess I got a soul food, Tumnus (got it a couple weeks ago from another member. ain't tried it yet), mxr classic 108 a few couple downstairs I think.
Then there's the board
Cept for that fz-5. I told ya that HADDA GO right?
Yeah, you told me you kicked the fz-5 to the curb. That's a great board. OCDs are awesome. Plus, the Fulltone mosfet. Sweet.


May 15, 2012
Tucson AZ
Wow, what a hot question, I guess we are OD fans. My favorites: Fulldrive2, OCD, SoulFood w/JHS mod, DS-1 and when you really need a gut vibe the Metal Zone Boss MT-2. It's sad, looking at my list you can tell I haven't bought one in a while. Lots listed I need to check out.


Strat-Talk Member
Jul 7, 2009
like many players I have shelves and shelves full of ODs. Just have never sold any-yet.

In use either two or one.
Into a fendery clean(ish) pedal platform, 2 ODs. One as the main, one as the stacked boost. EG: a Way Huge Overrated Special (boost) into a Barber Direct Drive (main). Or Archer JB (boost) into Gladio Dual (main)

for the already cranked Marshall just one as a solo boost. Usually the Archer or -at home/studio the Klon.


Strat-Talk Member
Jan 4, 2014
If you are talking about on one pedal board, probably 3 or 4 should be max, including a boost and a fuzz, if you have a single channel amp. Really depends on type of music you play. In a cover band you may need a fuzz, a boost, a light OD, and a heavier OD or distortion. Hopefully one pedal can combine 2 of those functions independently switched. I have a lot more than that and sometimes switch or swap one for another. You can stack them for more dirt.

Currently on my main board are a Wampler Velvet Fuzz, Wampler Euphoria, and a Jaurnig Gristle King. But I have a bunch of other pedals of various stripes of the OD variety.
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Jan 18, 2022
I have two drives the EHX hot tubes(Low End boost/warmer) and the Caline Pure Sky (Super transparent)These are in front of my Orange Micro Terror (Mid boost)

Having three different Gain knobs allows me to dial in any flavor of drive I want.

I have a clean boost first in my chain. Once Ive found the drive I want the clean boost acts as a master gain for the whole rig (and customized drive sound) to dial in the MAX amount of dirt i want. I then use the guitar volume to go down from there.

Good overdrives are incredibly nuanced especially when stacked.


How much gain on the first?
How much volume on the first to push the second OD?
Same for the second drive
How much gain or headroom on the amp?

The settings are VERY sensitive. move one of the volume,gain or tone knobs on one of the gain stages can create a very different sound.

The moment I dialled in my current strat tone for the first time I was blown away! Suddenly I was playing out of a large Fender tube amp pushed to its limit at a home friendly volume. Think Hendrix if 6 was 9.

One slip of a knob it was gone.

Needless to say I photohraphed the settings :))


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Highway Chile

Apr 19, 2012
At home, the sky’s the limit. When I played in bar bands, I used one or none. I got my basic sound from my amp and only occasionally punched it up with an overdrive (usually a TS type) or a fuzz. During the past 20+ years since I last played a gig, I’ve collected a number of OD pedals.


Feb 28, 2020
Hey everyone just wondering How many possible overdrives does one need? Is there a holy grail overdrive or do they all do different things? A lot of our overdrives are based off of three circuits the blues breaker the tube screamer or the klon. So I guess I’m just hoping to see everyone’s collection of overdrives is there a such thing as too many? Currently I have three!
I've had a Big Muff (NY version) and a Russian version. I sold the NY one and then got the Russian one and modded it with various circuits using germanium and silicon diodes for different tones. I modded the original Muff feedback loop and tone sections to get mid scoop variable to mid hump and where in the frequencies the hump is located. Very versatile and had great sound. It was part Muff and part ProCo Rat. I sold it and still have the schematics.
I have EH Double Shot distortion but its either nasal on the one channel or heavy metal bassy crunch on the other. It will drive an amp into feedback type sustain.
I presently have a Digitech blues type OD which lets me dial in varied OD with the volume knob on the guitar.
My answer is 1 OD pedal is plenty if it's one that works for you.
There's still no comparison with a good tube amp with a master or single ended (Princeton). I'm not fond of modeling tube amps because even the tube part of the circuit uses FETs and other SS components so it's not behaving like a real tube circuit.


Apr 4, 2014
Columbus, OH
Guys, I just bought another one, a JHS Andy Timmons AT+ Overdrive. Oops. What the heck is wrong with me lol? Although, this is one I've wanted for a while so I don't feel bad about it. I absolutely LOVE Andy's lead tone. I just got the shipped notice from Reverb so hopefully it gets here quickly :)

Houdi Elbow

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 9, 2021
UK, somewhere in the Midlands
I currently have
Rothwell Hellbender
EHX East River Drive
Tomsline Dumbler
+ Line6 M5, which has models of various od/distortion/fuzz pedals.
With the M5 I use ProCo Rat, EHX Big Muff, Chandler Tube Drive and Vox Tonebender sims, stored as presets. I had to spend a fair bit of time tweaking the settings to get them to sound close, but worth it in the end.
My go to, though, has to be the Hellbender. Cranked Marshall heaven.

Nate D

Most Honored Senior Member
Apr 2, 2016
Philly, PA
I have probably 6 or 7 OD pedals, but kind of have a rule to only have two on my board at a time. 90% of the time I’m playing guitar straight into my amp with maybe a boost.


Senior Stratmaster
Feb 2, 2008
southern NH