[review] DOD 250 Overdrive Preamp (by Bieke)

In the 1970s, DOD was one of the big American pedal manufacturers. DOD Electronics Corporation was founded in 1974 by John Johnson and David O. Di Francesco. The first DOD pedal was the DOD Overdrive Preamp 250. This pedal was very similar to the MXR Distortion+, but due to the use of different capacitors, the DOD produced a mellower, more tube sounding distortion and the yellow DOD pedal became a classic. Later on a grey version was made and this one is more sought after and is supposedly even more tube sounding.  Also a reissue and modified version were made.  The older pedals have the OP741 opamp and the reissues had a 4558 chip.

Now after almost 40 years, Harman Digitech decided to bring the DOD Overdrive Preamp 250 back, and rumor has it that it is even better than before.  A review.DOD 250 Overdrive Preamp

THE LOOK

Still looks like a pedal that was made in the seventies, but now it is in a aluminum casing, much lighter. Also, it is not the classic bright yellow paint job, it has a more distinguished metal flake yellow, looks classy. The bottom lid is matte black. There is no battery lid, but one of the improvements is that the pedal now has the standard 9V adapter plug. Also it has a true bypass switch and a blue status LED. Controls are the same. Level and Gain.  Took a peek inside but the chip is not labeled, by the looks of it, it appears to be an OP741.

THE SOUND

Now I tested the DOD with my Telecaster on a Fender Vibroverb. This is not the best setup for this pedal, it sounds better with humbuckers and a Marshall amp for instance, it is also not the best choice for  solid state amps, it will not make those amps sound like a cranked tube amp.

It is best used on tube amps, to produce a smooth and edgy distortion, or to add sustain to an already overdriven sound. Capable of producing a great lead tone with both controls all the way up, even will get you some nice controllable feedback.

With a clean sound, it nails that classic seventies heavy rock sound. With the gain knob you can get from little bit of grit to crunchy distortion all the way to singing distortion. On an overdriven amp, it will add sustain and that trebly character of the pedal suddenly works like magic and becomes very musical and harmonically rich.

DOD 250 Overdrive PreampThe Overdrive Preamp 250’s output is significantly higher and cleaner than the original, so now it also capable of giving a crunchy clean boost or low gain overdrive, that is perfect for blues. It stacks well with other dirt pedals too, the DOD’s voicing is always a bit trebly and it can sound a little harsh.

THE VERDICT

I would have liked it better if it had more bass response. But indeed, this reissue is an improvement of the old yellow DOD 250, it is louder, has wider range of sounds, more volume on tap, sounds clearer,  true bypass, status LED, it will look great on a pedalboard, it is a limited edition and available for a limited period only, but the 250 will rock on for years to come.

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