[review] Dimmed Light Devices Odysseus - Radio Tube Overdrive (by Bieke)

Nothing escapes the pedal radar of Effects Database. I received an unopened box from Bart and he said : there's a pedal in it you might want to try. A handmade pedal, crafted at the foot of the Alps in Germany by Wolfgang Schwab, creator of Dimmed Light Devices...

Dimmed Light Devices Odysseus - Radio Tube OverdriveThe looks

Upon opening the box, indeed a pedal revealed itself. A kind of odd looking orange pedal, housed in a sort of transformer casing, a bit like the old Italian Mr. T pedals. But this time, it’s the DLD Radio Tube OD, with 3 controls for Level, Fuzz and Color. An orange on/off switch and a true bypass footswitch to engage the effect, In-and outputs on either side and a 9V positive center adapter plug on top. The pedal is fitted onto a baseplate made of perspex wood.

The sound

The Odysseus Radio Tube OD – as the name suggests - is built around a tested new old stock radio tube (I could not check it, but allegedly DLD uses NOS Westinghouse, RCA or Philco tubes) and is handmade using selected NOS components such as  silver mica, styro and PIO caps. As you can imagine, this is an old school pedal, 100%analog, tailor made for getting that old school sounds.Dimmed Light Devices Odysseus - Radio Tube Overdrive

It can be used as a raw and open sounding booster for pushing solos and leads or you can crank it up for thick and raunchy old school tones.

It is a little bit milder than your average overdrive pedal, but it oozes character and has a sound of its own. After you engage the switch and let the pedal warm up for about a minute, step on the switch and all of a sudden your sound becomes much more defined and glassy and well, a lot warmer. It works great on solid state amps as well. It has plenty of volume, but not as much grit as the standard OD pedal, but plenty of character and a really tasteful sounding overdrive, very dynamic, it produced a more barking overdrive sound the harder you strum. The color control adds a bit of low end if you turn it clockwise, counterclockwise it will go into treble boost territory.

The Radio Tube OD works just as good on bass as it does on guitar. Also, it works wonders to breathe some analog warmth in a digital synth, this actually amazed me the most about the pedal.

The verdict

Not just for classic rock tones on guitar, this pedal is also great tool on bass and synths.

A peculiar sounding tube overdrive. Nothing sounds quite like it.

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