In terms of tonal character, it should be noted that the OD-2 produces two types of overdrive, accessible via the Turbo On/Off switch. With the Turbo switch turned off, the sound is reminiscient of a darker-voiced SD-1. It retains the slightly aggressive edge of the Super Overdrive, presumably the result of asymmetrical clipping, rather than the smooth sound of symmetrical clipping a la the Tubescreamer.
However, turn the Turbo switch on, and this is where the magic really starts to happen. Suddenly, the pedal produces a very thick sound bordering on distortion that absolutely saturates both rhythm and lead playing. As with the SD-1, on most settings it's not so heavy that it drowns out the individual notes in a strummed chord, but it's definitely a much fatter sound than the Super Overdrive, rich with harmonic overtones.
But just when you're starting to fall in love with the pedal, things get sticky. The OD-2 has one major quirk that you'll probably discover pretty quickly if you spend even a little time playing through it. Finding "gain unity" (or the point where the volume coming out of your amp when the effect is on is equal to the volume coming out of your amp when the off) is a very tricky prospect. And just when you think you've got it figured out, beware: I've had this pedal set so it sounds exactly as I want it to, then transported it from a practice space to a show without changing the settings at all, only to turn it on and find that the effected signal's volume is dramatically lower than the clean sound when the pedal is off. Oddly, I've never found that the pedal seems too loud--the mystery problem usually results in not being able to wring quite enough volume out of it, to the point where the clean/dirty sounds feel totally out of balance... Read More
I bought this pedal in the mid 80's and by that time it was cool and a better option than the Super OverDrive from Boss since the turbo option gives you more versatility, and make your guitar sound sharp as a knife. Now I thing there are plenty of other options to chose.
Playing a Strat type of guitar into a solidstate ( used for busking ) amp I needed a lot of tube character from a pedal. I tried a lot of very well known go to pedals but they all failed miserably ( not enough character ). The Boss OD-2 and 2r worked brilliantly giving that Fender woody neck pick up sound and distinctive fat string tone. I used both pedals stacked eg. OD2, Level - max, Tone - 2 O'clock, Drive - 9 O'clock,... OD-2r, Level - 1 O'clock, Tone - 2 O'clock, Drive - 12 O'clock . I use a foot switch to activate the OD-2r's turbo setting. There's not enough gain in the OD2 with the Drive set low hence that's why it's maxed out.
This pedal used to belong to my dad and has been passed down onto me. The turbo setting is never turned off and it produces a great rich distortion. The only problem however is that it has a %70 chance of working (that's why they released the OD-2R) so I can never really rely on it as my main pedal. Never the less, it is still my favourite (though not the best) and I shall continue using it, maybe I'll even fix it...