Teledrive

"Clean boost to mild overdrive, popular in Nashville."

 

   

 

The Teledrive overdrive rack effect module compares to the Nobels ODR-1 overdrive pedal.  The ODR-1 has been a secret weapon used by many Nashville artists.  It sounds great with Telecasters and bright setups, but an available bass cut option helps trim the bass for use with other guitars, perhaps those with humbuckers in particular.  A second configuration, the Teledrive20, compares to the 2020 Nordland ODR-C Custom Overdrive pedal, an updated version of the original Nobels ODR-1 from the same designer, Kai Tachibana.

 

Description

The Teledrive and Teledrive20 compare to the Nobels ODR-1 and Nordland ORD-C overdrive pedals.  They provide transparent boost to mild overdrive, similar in function (but not design) to other transparent overdrives such as the Klon Centaur or Maxon GT 820.  They are probably at their best pushing a tube amp into breakup. 

The ODR-1 was originally a German pedal, but is now produced in China.  The current Chinese version is very similar to the original pedal circuit.  The originals were inconsistent in the transistors and op amps that were used.  In addition to these minor production differences, one production run had some controls connected incorrectly, causing a significant degradation in tone.  The pedal was produced for quite a long time, but didn’t achieve widespread fame, possibly due to the inconsistent performance.  But some people, particularly in the Nashville “in crowd” discovered that this pedal could be outstanding if you got “a good one”.  It has apparently been a contributor to the Nashville “more Telecaster” sound for some time.

The pedal went out of production for a while, but is back again.  The unusual op amp has been replaced with a standard 4558D op amp, very similar in sound to the original.  The transistors still seem to be of various types, but again, still very similar in sound and feel to the original.  Oddly, though produced in China, the new pedals still use through-hole components instead of surface mount.

The circuit is fairly transparent, but maybe tuned for brighter instruments, such as the Telecaster.  With other guitars, it might seem a little bassy unless you dial the tone up a bit.  Mostly though, it just gives you more of what you’ve got, nice for pushing a tube amp a bit harder.  Both the original pedals and our Teledrive can pick up a bit of noise with the Volume and Gain up, along with the Spectrum dialed to the treble side.  That’s true of most boost and gain pedals, though.

The original designer of the Nobels ODR-1 pedal, Kai Tachibana, released an updated version of the Nobels ODR-1 as the Nordland ODR-C Custom Overdrive in 2020.  There were actually a couple of minor variations on it with slightly different model numbers in 2021, but we'll focus on the ODR-C.  The Nordland ODR-C was designed to retain the sound of the Nobels ODR-1, with a few tweaks.  Our Teledrive20 compares to the Nordland ODR-C.  Many of the differences between the two are in components and technical adjustments that are not audible.  But there are some changes.  A Lo Cut control was added, just like the popular mod for the ODR-1, so the bass can be trimmed.  Setting it to not trim the bass gives you the original ODR-1 tone.  A Mids control was also added.  It does almost the opposite of what the ODR-1 Spectrum control does.  Instead of raising or cutting both the highs and lows at the same time, leaving the mids alone, it leaves the highs and lows alone and either raises or lowers the mids.  Spectrum and Mids thus accomplish sort of the same thing in different ways, giving you either a mids boost or mids scoop.  If you leave the Mids control in the middle position, it gives you the same sound as the ODR-1.

A third new control is the Decompression control.  It adjusts the soft clipping.  At one extreme, it gives you the same clipping as the ODR-1.  But as you adjust it, it blends in some additional soft clipping diodes.  Normally that would have a pronounced effect on the volume and the character of the distortion.  But you don't get that.  The soft clipping occurs before the hard clipping in the circuit.  Causing the soft clipping voltage to increase doesn't make a noticeable difference because the hard clipping is still clipping at the same lower voltage.  The manual for the pedal says this control provides a more open sound (less compressed), but notes that the effect is subtle unless the Drive level is high.  We struggle to hear any difference at all adjusting this control, no matter how all the other controls are set.  Perhaps something about our test guitar(s) and amp(s) are masking this control.  It may be more audible with a different setup.   We do provide an option for different/switchable hard and soft clipping configurations.  The Decompression control should be more noticeable with LEDs used in the hard clipping.  But that also changes the character of the circuit. 

The new features make the circuit just different enough that we decided to create a new board instead of jamming the new features into our old board.  As a result, we now have two configurations for the Teledrive.  The Teledrive configuration is the original Nobels ODR-1 circuit and you can still select any of our options for it.  By default it has Drive, Spectrum, and Level controls.  The Teledrive20 configuration uses the updated Nordland ODR-C circuit.  Most of the Teledrive options are available for this configuration, except for the Bass Cut option which is standard in the Teledrive20.  By default it will have Drive, Spectrum, Level, Lo/Bass Cut, Decomp, and Mids controls.  We also offer an option that gives you the Nobels ODR-1 "Plus" version.  We recommend the Lo Cut control to allow you to knock off some of the bass.  We're neutral on the Mids control, but it might be nice for small mids tweaks once you have Spectrum where you want it.  The Decompression control doesn't do much of anything for us, but YMMV.  If you've tried and liked the ODR-1 Plus version, then you may want that boost switch.  Overall, though, the original pedal with the Lo Cut option is our preferred configuration.  With four controls, it will fit into a 1.5" module, where the Teledrive20 requires 2".

 

Configurations

  • Teledrive - compares to Nobels ODR-1.  By default it will have Drive, Spectrum, and Level controls.

  • Teledrive20 - compares to the Nordland ODR-C.  By default it will have Drive, Spectrum, Level, Lo/Bass Cut, Decomp, and Mids controls.

 

Buffers

Input, Output

 

Options

  • Bass Cut - Only for the Teledrive.  The Teledrive20 already has it.  If you aren't using a bright guitar like a telecaster, you might find the circuit a bit bassy.  This option gives you a control to reduce the bass.  Full on is the same as the original circuit.
  • Plus Option - This adds a switch that does the same thing as the slider switch on the "Plus" version of the ODR-1.  It's a boost that gives you a bit more gain and volume while trimming the bass a bit.  Note that the Bass Cut option won't have much of an effect if the Plus Option is engaged, but will have an effect if the Plus Option is not turned on. (not available on Teledrive20)
  • Custom Op Amp - The original circuit used an unusual inline 9-pin 4558S op amp.  Those are a bit difficult to find, particularly working ones.  We try to keep some on hand.  In addition there are some inline 8-pin op amps that are pin-compatible, odd as that may seem.  We also added a socket for a normal 4558D op amp, which is what comes in the current version of the pedal.  Or you can use any 4558D-compatible op amp.  That gives quite a number of choices for the Teledrive.  The 4558S probably isn't the best, just due to dodgy quality of the ones that are available.  The best option is probably a 4558D or your favorite 4558D compatible op amp, particularly a low-noise one.  By default, we use the 4558D.  For the Teledrive20, only 4558-compatible op amps are supported.  By default you'll get 4558P like the ODR-C.
  • Custom Transistors - There were a few different JFET transistors used in the first stage (input buffer) of the ODR-1.  We will use one of the ones used in the ODR-1 pedals by default - BC264D is the default if we can get them, otherwise we'll use one of the other JFETs that were/are used in the ODR-1 pedals.  You can choose a different JFET if you prefer, but as long as it's a JFET it doesn't much matter.  There is another transistor in the tone stack section of the circuit.  Again, different parts were used in the pedals.  We will use the 2SC2362G or 2SC2362KG like some of the original pedals.  Other common BJTs will also work just fine, such as the 2N5088.  There are also silicon transistors used in the Spectrum and Mids control portions of the circuit.  The type makes little difference, and the originals used different types.  We'll use one of the original types when we have them, or a more common type if we don't have any of the uncommon originals in stock.  
  • Custom Teledrive Clipping Diodes - The standard circuit uses a pair of 4148 diodes for both soft clipping and hard clipping.  It's probably good to stick with silicon diodes.  However, red LEDs will be a little less compressed with a bit less gain and might also be a good option for you if you want to open it up a bit more. You can choose something different for either the hard or soft clipping or both.  You can also have 2 choices of diodes for hard and/or soft clipping.  We can also use a three position switch to give you no diodes in the middle position for hard and/or soft clipping.  Of course, different clipping diodes can make a considerable difference in volume and the character of the distortion.
  • Custom Teledrive20 Clipping Diodes - The Teledrive20 has the same clipping configuration and "Decompress" control as the ODR-C.  If you get other clipping configs, the Decompress control will only work on the standard ODR-C clipping config.  There are still several clipping options offered for this configuration, but we dropped a couple off to make room for the new controls.
  • More Gain - The circuit is meant to be used as a low gain boost or overdrive.  We can increase the range of gain if you want to drive your amp or chain a bit harder.  This is an extension of the original gain range, not an increase in the gain.  The original low gain range will still be available to you.  This is compatible with the Plus option.  Note that with higher gain settings, along with Volume and tone controls, you can end up with some pretty heavy distortion, not at all in character with the original gain range.  For that reason we don't really recommend this option unless you tend to play using the gain at the max and wish it had just a bit more.  Going to the end of the extended gain range is where the "too much" gain can happen, depending on the volume and tone controls.
  • Voltage - These configurations are normally run at 9V, which is our default voltage.  They can run at 12V or 15V for more headroom and a slightly different feel and tone.
  • Voltage Sag - This is normally offered to mimic the sound of dying batteries.  If you choose a voltage higher than 9V, this option gives you the ability to turn the voltage down to the original 9V (or other settings).
  • Components - We use metal film resistors and a selection of capacitors that provide good tone and low noise. 

 

Front Panel

  • Volume (both configurations)
  • Drive (both configurations)
  • Spectrum (both configurations)
  • Bass Cut (optional for Teledrive, included for Teledrive20)
  • Decompress (Teledrive20)
  • Mids (Teledrive20)
  • (optional) Plus switch (Teledrive)
  • (optional) Clipping switch(es) (both configurations)
  • (optional) Voltage (both configurations)

 

Rear Panel

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

 

Module Width

  • Teledrive configuration is 1.5" standard, 2" with options
  • Teledrive20 configuration is 2" standard, 2" or 3" with options
  • 2" left wing module and 1.5" right wing modules are available for 3-4 control configurations

 

Power Consumption (aprox)

15 - 22mA, depending on configuration and options

 

Base Configurations

Part # Description List Price
MOD-TELEDRIVE Teledrive module $209
MOD-TELEDRIVE20 Teledrive20 module $249

 

Options

Part # Description List Price
MOPT-TELEDRIVE-BCUT Bass Cut Control $19
MOPT-TELEDRIVE-PLUS Plus switch $19
MOPT-TELEDRIVE-OPAMP Custom Op Amp $0 - TBD
MOPT-TELEDRIVE-TRANS Custom Transistors $0 - TBD
MOPT-TELEDRIVE-CLIP Custom Clipping for Teledrive or Teledrive20 $0 - TBD
MOPT-TELEDRIVE-GAIN More Gain $0
MOPT-TELEDRIVE-VOLT Voltage - different fixed voltage (12V, 15V) $0
MOPT-TELEDRIVE-SAG Voltage Sag Control $49
MOPT-TELEDRIVE-CC Custom Components $0 - TBD

 

Parts

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