Given how plentiful good—even great—overdrives are these days, it’s a treat to try a unit that can still surprise. And Chellee’s Odie Classic impresses with its depth, transparency, cultivated aggression, smoothness, protean flexibility, and price.
The Texas Instruments 4558 chip that takes pride of place on the tidy circuit board suggests that the Odie leaps from the same launch pad as the TS family. And it excels at those concise and purring overdrive tones. But those sounds are just the center of Odie’s much wider radius. Near-clean boost tones are particularly excellent—revealing an airy, oxygenated headroom that betters most TS-style pedals and even the reliably clean-ish Klon clone I used for comparison. (The Odie classic can also be run at 18V to maximize this attribute.)
Overdrive tones are ample and varied, thanks to wide-ranging controls, thoughtful EQ voicing, and silicon/LED diode switching. These options enabled me to dial up mid-gain overdrive sounds that were, at turns, more open, less boxy, louder, and more harmonically complex than my vintage TS-9. The EQ switch, meanwhile, is a bonanza of bonus tones, combining bass settings with heavy drive settings makes almost any amp a growling power-chord delight!
Test gear: Fender Jaguar, Fender Telecaster, Rickenbacker 330, Fender silverface Bassman, Fender Champ, Ibanez TS-9, Electro-Harmonix Soul Food