[review] Smallsound/Bigsound Fuck Overdrive (by LievenDV)

LievenDV is a reverb nut and enjoys discovering innovating technology. Besides that he's a singer/songwriter; solo and in a band.

Brian Hamilton from Philadelphia was fed up with the numerous and quasi identical overdrives that got thrown at his head. Under his brandname Smallsound/Bigsound he introduced the Fuck Overdrive to the world. An overdrive with something else, something unique? Perhaps it is, as this pedal aims to be an overdrive pedal with a hint of breakup, a nice dose of desintegration.

You could say that on the more powerful settings, the fuzzy side of the pedals starts to kick in.

The most particular function of this pedal is the "crackle" function, that can be switched on or off with a switch. The threshold knob determines the point how soon the "crackle" gets part of the sound. To hear that effect on the more subtle settings, you'll need a more powerful playing if your gain isn't set very high.

Be wary of the gain on the pedal and volume settings on your guitar. This pedal has some fuzz characteristics and reacts in a different fashion when these parameters are varying.

A nice touch is that, when the crackle is turned OFF, you can turn the sound into "blown amp" mode with the momentary switch. When the switch is ON, the momentary switch works in the other way and gives you a temporary "normal mode" whilst holding the switch.

Very clever.

Smallsound/Bigsound Fuck OverdriveThe pedal also features a light/heavy toggle that makes you decide whether you want a light or heavy breakup and a highcut control that dims the higher frequencies in order to keep your sound from going to "fizzy". With my single coiled Strat, this highcut control was handy to dial in a good cutoff and keep it that way the whole testing session.

This is a very usable overdrive sounds that gets quite heavy on more extreme settings. The gain control gives you a lot of space between a shy, subtle drive pedal and a punchy roar so I'm sure you'll find what's there for you somewhere in between. I didn't get into using the momentary control a though. On my favorite, "more subtle but with an edge" setting, the kicking in (or out) of "crackle" didn't have such a great impact.

On heavier settings it will give you that extra to kick in on moments that you don't need a booster but just that extra character.

I think the stereotypical combo that people look for can be found here in a certain amount... I mostly remember: "saturation without too much loss of definition" and "edge without bing to fizzy"...

On most parts, I could agree that Brian has created "That Other Overdrive" but it just fell under the magical bar that says "This is it!". Don't get me wrong; I'm very enthusiastic about this pedal and its character.

  • Great for: Overdrive lovers looking for a balanced addition of control and edge, without losing the ease to operate the pedal.

  • Steer away when: You don't touch your pedals mid gig or think overdrive is a distortion pedal on the lightest setting.

(disclaimer: I do not declare that these types of people are the same group... far from :) )

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