OD-II

"Ibanez v1 OD-855 Flying Fingers Overdrive II"

 

 

The GT OD-II distortion rack effect module compares to the Ibanez v1 OD-855 "Flying Fingers" Overdrive II.  It is similar to an MXR Distortion + (RR+) without the well-known volume drop, but not quite a Tube Screamer since it doesn't have the input and output buffers.

 

Description

It's a little difficult to keep track of which Ibanez pedals have which circuits, and thus, which sounds.  For many years, Maxon made the pedals for Ibanez.  Ibanez was just a brand - they didn't make pedals.  Maxon released many of those exact same circuits under the Maxon brand.  They are 100% identical except for the cases and cosmetics.  Many of the Maxon model numbers are the same as Ibanez part numbers, but not necessary used for the same circuits.  They sometimes used similar part numbers for different circuits.  Adding further to the confusion, very different circuits were often used in different versions of the same model.  As if that isn't enough, there were also changes in cosmetics - labeling, graphics, color, etc - that didn't really correspond to circuits or models in any obvious way.  So if you have an Ibanez OD-II, you may have one of multiple circuits that had that label/model number. 

Many of the classic overdrive and distortion pedals were developed and refined during the 1970's.  At that time the manufacturers were freely copying each other's designs, sometimes almost exactly, and sometimes with some changes.  Many of these pedal designs started from some of the same circuits and evolved over the years.  One of those early circuits is best known as the MXR Distortion +.  As far as distortion pedals go, it is pretty simple.  It has a single op amp stage, followed by clipping, and a volume control.  But that design results in a low-volume output.  Some manufacturers added another op amp stage after the clipping to boost the volume back up.  Numerous pedals are based on that circuit, including v1 of the Ibanez OD-855 Overdrive II.  This is the circuit in our OD-II module.  The original v1 pedal does not have the "OD-855" printed on it.  The v2 and v3 versions do have "OD-855" printed on them, but they are a different circuit.  Since all three versions are called "Overdrive II", v1 became known as the "Flying Fingers Overdrive II" due to a graphic on the side of the case that was used on the early versions of some Ibanez pedals.  Apparently some think those graphics look like "Flying Fingers", but it looks more like a dragonfly... 

To continue the story a little more, v2 and v3 (GT-855) added an input transistor stage and an output transistor stage to the v1 design.  After the Overdrive II, the next pedal based on tweaks to that 4-stage circuit was called the Tube Screamer.  Of course, the Tube Screamer became wildly popular and was and still is cloned, copied, tweaked and released in many, many forms as other well-known pedals.  One of the popular mods to the Tube Screamer is to remove those transistor input and output stages, resulting in, yes, a circuit with a design much like the v1 Overdrive II of some 40+ years ago. 

There are a number of these old overdrive and distortion pedals from Ibanez in particular that command very high prices because they sound so good, yet are "very rare".  While it may be true that circuits in a particular color of case with particular graphics on the outside were made a long time ago in limited numbers, it is also true that you can get that exact same circuit and sound in a case painted a different color with different graphics.  In some cases, you can get identically the same circuit, built in the same factory by the same people, with the same parts, at the same time, but branded Maxon instead of Ibanez.  Open them up and they are identical and they sound identical.  In every case, you can buy a current commercially-available pedal that has that same circuit and sounds identical.  There is nothing whatsoever that is rare about the circuit or its tone or its components.  The are all widely available if you can sort through the confusing model numbers and brands to make sure you're getting what you want.  Check out our other overdrive and distortion pedals, as well as our Pi fuzz module, and you'll see discussions similar to this one.  You'll find alternatives for all those uber-rare and uber-expensive pedals, either in other vintage pedal models, other third-party pedals, and most definitely as GT modules.  You can get those tones without paying those outrageous prices, maybe finding that you actually bought the wrong model anyway!

Since the OD-II shares heritage with the Tube Screamer, you may be interested in some of the Virago module configurations we offer. 

You might think of the tone of the OD-II as falling somewhere between an MXR Distortion + and a Tube Screamer.  It has a bit more volume than the MXR, although still maybe not quite enough (see Options), and has more treble than a Tube Screamer.  It can be bright.  It is a good circuit for tweaking, so we offer a number options in case you want to change it up.

 

Configurations

  • OD-II - compares to the Ibanez v1 OD-855 "Flying Fingers" Overdrive II

 

Buffers

None

 

Options

  • Custom Op Amp - Comes with an MC1458P op amp by default, same as the original.  You can substitute another pin-compatible op amp if you prefer.
  • Smooth Mod - By default, lows are cut at the input of the circuit.  We can change this so that more lows are allowed in, smoothing the tone a bit.  This can be subtle, depending on the level of lows coming in.
  • Smooth Switch - Similar to the Smooth Mod, but switch between 2 or 3 different cutoff points for lows.  One value could be the original circuit value.  Again, this can be subtle.
  • Hi Cut Mod - This option adds a very high treble filter to cut back on noise, recommended.
  • Bass Boost - As you turn up the Gain in this circuit, the lows are cut, which may make the tone a bit too thin or bright for some preferences at higher gain settings.  Or that may be just what you want to cut through the mix.  This option allows more bass to be retained as the gain is increased.  If you have a lot of lows, then increased gain may lose some clarity.
  • More Gain - Increase the range of gain that is available.  The original range of gain is still there, just extended.
  • Soft Clipping Switch - Add soft clipping to the circuit.  There is no soft clipping in the original circuit.  This option is switched, with one position turning the soft clipping off so that you can still get the sound of the original circuit.  The second position is your choice of diode configurations.  You can also have a third position on the switch for a second diode configuration of your choice.  The circuit will also have hard clipping, which can also be customized.  The soft clipping comes before the hard clipping. If you turn both on at the same time, you'll likely get a significant volume drop.  That's OK, just something to be aware of.  Also, if you do want to turn them both on to create some new tone options, you'll need to choose your diode configs carefully.  Clipping diodes lower the signal voltage.  Depending on where you place the diodes that result in the lower voltage (remember soft clipping is ahead of hard clipping), your other diodes may have little to no effect.  You can't "un-cut" the voltage with the clipping diodes.  Of course that only applies when you have both hard and soft clipping switched on.  Clipping options can result in a good variety of sounds.  It is recommended that you choose diodes of different types (eg silicon vs germanium) and/or diodes with different forward voltages (Vf).  The clipping tends to sound the same if you pick diodes of the same type and/or similar Vf.  Check out Clipping Configurations and Diodes to get some additional details.
  • Hard Clipping - Like the original, the default hard clipping configuration is a pair of 1N270 germanium diode.  You can change them to something else if you prefer.  See the Soft Clipping Switch option for related information.
  • Hard Clipping Switch - Like the Soft Clipping Switch, but gives you diode choices for hard clipping.  You can choose 1 or 2 diode configuration, along with an "off" position for use with Soft Clipping.  The switch can have 2 or 3 positions.
  • More Volume - The default maximum volume is OK, but could be a bit more.  This might be helpful with some clipping diode configs that drop the volume more than others.  The increased volume settings may come with a bit more distortion.
  • Components - We use metal film resistors and a selection of capacitors that provide good tone and low noise. 

 

Front Panel

  • Level
  • Tone
  • Distortion
  • (optional) Smooth Switch
  • (optional) Soft Clipping Switch
  • (optional) Hard Clipping Switch

 

Rear Panel

  • Audio In
  • Audio Out
  • On/Off Footswitch
  • On/Off Override
  • DC Power
  • DC Power LED

 

Module Width

  • 1.5" standard
  • 2.0" with options
  • 2" left wing available for (3-4) control configurations
  • 1.5" right wing available for (3-4) control configurations

 

Power Consumption (aprox)

38 - 42mA

 

Base Configurations

Part # Description List Price
MOD-ODII D-II module $199

 

Options

Part # Description List Price
MOPT-ODII-OPA Custom Op Amps $0 - TBD
MOPT-ODII-SM Smooth Mod $0
MOPT-ODII-SMSW Smooth Switch $19
MOPT-ODII-HICUT Hi Cut Mod $0
MOPT-ODII-BBST Bass Boost $0
MOPT-ODII-MGN More Gain $0
MOPT-ODII-SCLIP Soft Clipping Switch $19 - TBD
MOPT-ODII-HCLIP Hard Clipping $0 - TBD
MOPT-ODII-HCLIPSW Hard Clipping Switch $19 - TBD
MOPT-ODII-VOL More Volume $0
MOPT-ODII-CC Component Changes $0 - TBD

 

Parts

Part # Description List Price
MPT-ODII-CA Replacement pot, switch, jack, LED cable assembly $19
MPT-ODII-KNB Replacement control knob $2
MPT-ODII-PB Replacement power board $29
MPT-ODII-SB Replacement switching board $29