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UB8 – Nobels ODR Overdrive Mini Unboxing / Test & Review

The Nobels ODR Natural Overdrive Mini… is it any good?

Hello viewer, my name is Stew, if your new to the channel, as always, I recommend you go to my channel play-lists and start at Video number 1 (this gives context to my music gear journey) – Now…

In previous videos I tested the MXR Timmy Overdrive and the Ibanez Tube Screamer, and if you missed those – (do check them out),

I will also be unboxing and reviewing a number of amplifiers with built-in valve overdrive crunchy tones,

a multi-effects unit with variable overdrive/distortion tones,

computer software overdrive effects –

And in an upcoming video I’ll place them all side by side, and give my reasons… for why, I chose those particular products – and those I actually use in the recording studio…

Once again, its all been a journey for me, after a 40 year break and the fun of rediscovering what, if any, real changes there have been when choosing overdrive effects in 2023.

So… When this particular unit arrived it came in a sturdy little Green box, containing the pedal, little stick-on strips for feet, and a quick start guide with some very useful pre-sets which we will check-out a little bit further on in the video.

Nobels was originally established in Hamburg, Germany in 1983 and are well-known for their build quality.

The Nobels ODR Natural Overdrive Mini – comes in this bright green finish, and requires a 9 Volt adapter or a suitable power supply (see my review on the CIOKS Power Supply on my pedal-board video)

There are 3 small control knobs –

– SPECTRUM (changes the deep-mid and treble frequencies)

– DRIVE (sets tone from light crunch to full overdrive)

and LEVEL (Adjusts the volume)

And of course you have the actual foot-switch (on/off) and the input/output ¼” jack-sockets. All, very sturdy in construction.   

Now… I will at the end of all the control-knob tests, put this single coli Fender Telecaster next to a guitar with Hum-bucking pick-ups and just play quick side by side comparisons so you get to hear clearly the differences that makes when using this drive pedal. 

First off, here is a reference tone – using this Fender Telecaster through a cleanly set Fender Blues Junior with just a touch of reverb. Now it is worth noting, if you set the Amplifier to overdrive a little it does lend itself to the different pedal settings for increased crunch and sustain.

So – To start, the actual pedal controls –  We position the controls at 12 o’clock, switch on and by turning the SPECTRUM knob you can hear the difference in tone. (GUITARS)

Rotating the DRIVE knob you can hear the gradual change from light crunch to full overdrive (GUITARS)

Rotating the VOLUME knob does as you would expect – gives you separate control over your guitars overall volume. (GUITAR)

So, on the instruction guide we have been given some suggested pre-sets by Nobels – so lets go-ahead and hear how they sound. First with the Telecaster (Guitars)

And now I’ll do that quick side by side test as we go from single coil to humbucker.

Single coil…


While you can obviously dial in your own pedal settings, the suggested pre-sets are a great starting point. Once again its important to bear in mind the different results when using various guitar pick-ups, amplifier choices, and of course the type of music you’re playing. Adjustment being needed when playing live performances or within a recording environment.

So there you have it…

What do I think?

If your interested, you can check-out my previous drive pedal videos, in regard to what I’ve said about my love hate relationship with overdrive and distortion pedals when playing back in the 1970s.

In regard to the nobles ODR overdrive – for me… it’s a very nice pedal to use, as the name implies, it does have a natural sounding overdrive tone – which is nice. However, I don’t use it stacked with other drive pedals and that’s because – it appears to create more floor noise… OR HUM… which, while actually playing the guitar, you don’t notice, but once you stop, it’s loud, and in a live performance at high volumes that would need to be controlled, but I find in a recording environment, its just too much, and so I don’t use it stacked with any other drive pedal and for my tastes, where I would use this pedal, I find it doesn’t need it.

In regard to the hum… I considered that perhaps I had a faulty pedal, but I have heard others mention this, so – until I understand the situation better, I just re-arrange my small pedal board depending on what sound I’m looking for that day.

It’s without doubt very well made and feels as if it’s built to last, it has a good range of overdrive tones – its not too harsh which I find, can be a problem with this type of effect, the ODR definitely has a tone all its own, and certainly, its got many professional musicians that speak highly of it.

Once again, nobody paid me to review this product.

In the next video we do some more unboxing, so stay tuned.

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Once again, do check-out my channel play-lists where you will find ‘My guitar Video Series’ which covers my journey back to playing and recording guitar, after a 40 year break, lots of stuff on guitars, amplifiers, pedals and my on-going recording journey.

Please do share your own experiences below, whether a newcomer, an ongoing player or like me, an old hand returning to guitar playing, Thank you to those who do take time to comment or chat… I’ll always take time to engage with folks, who take time to comment. So…

Until next time… the journey continues… do take care…