SviSound’a Overdrive OverZoid oz01
Price: $165 (list)
Tonally and aesthetically, SviSound’s Overdrive OverZoid is a study in good taste. Handcrafted in Bulgaria, the OverZoid matches a very natural-sounding gain with a distinctive steampunk design to earn its spot as the best-looking box on your pedalboard. A true-bypass pedal with point-to-point wiring and an all-metal enclosure, from the moment its blue indicator begins glowing behind its little copper cage, it reveals itself as playable and rewarding.
Gearheads know that a quality overdrive capitalizes on the natural tone of a guitar and amp rather than robbing them of character. Indeed, the beauty of the OverZoid is, first and foremost, its transparency, as the pedal enables a transition between clean and overdriven voices that you’d sooner expect to hear on a two-channel amp. The gain is soft, but not overly creamy like a Tube Screamer can be; crisp, but not harsh like a hard-clipping Rat.
With the Volume at 10 o’clock and the Gain at about 9 o’clock, the OverZoid adds body and warmth with little to no breakup, which for some players will make this a great “always on” pedal. At a Gain setting of noon (with the Volume dropped to maintain a consistent level), the amount of drive is easy to control with guitar volume and string attack, and a nice growl is available for chords. By 3 o’clock, the tone is definitely growing hair, and at 5 the sound is fully saturated – though not so soaking wet that the dynamics of a lead are lost or individual notes of a chord can’t be distinguished.
The OverZoid’s Tone dial sweeps something like a presence control, which we found more effective than a traditional tone adjustment for tailoring a setup. We could brighten up a humbucker or take the sharp edge off a single-coil bridge pickup without unwanted coloration. Additional EQ’ing is available via the Bass Boost toggle, which provides a very subtle bump of mid-low frequencies. Positioned at the front of the pedal, the Bass Boost can be flipped with your foot, which makes it usable for fattening a lead then drawing back the low-end for more low-string bite.
The OverZoid succeeds tonally where few others do (especially at this price), and its design is a cut above. Note that cosmetic details may differ slightly from one pedal to the next and you’ll need to provide external power. Anyone who prefers higher-gain distortion or fuzz to an OD would do well to check other SviSound boxes like the MetalZoid and Ge Fuzz.
This article originally appeared in VG June 2015 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.