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JHS Pedals unveils the Overdrive Preamp, a clone of a DOD classic that “didn’t exist”

JHS Pedals Overdrive Preamp
(Image credit: JHS Pedals )

JHS Pedals has consulted its pedal archive to release clone a bona-fide pedalboard unicorn. Indeed, so rare was this first version of the now classic, out of production and extremely expensive DOD Overdrive Preamp 250, that the Kansas effects company's supremo Josh Scott initially thought that the pedal “didn’t exist”.

Scott picked up the pedal in 2019 and immediately looked different. It had a DOD logo and DOD Electronics Company sticker on the back, and yet it resembled an Electro-Harmonix pedal, and did not have the “250” designation on the front. 

This stompbox represented the genesis of ‘America’s Pedal. For a pedal historian, it was the equivalent of uncovering the Dead Sea Scrolls

Josh Scott, founder JHS Pedals

Only after interviewing DOD founder David Oreste Di Francesco did he realise that he had just obtained one of the first 10 DOD Overdrive Preamps ever made, and DOD’s 75th pedal overall.

(Image credit: JHS Pedals )

“This stompbox represented the genesis of ‘America’s Pedal,’ writes Scott on the JHS website. “For a pedal historian, it was the equivalent of uncovering the Dead Sea Scrolls. 

“The internals featured a floating/loose hand-etched PCB and the same DOD 250 circuit, but with a few changes. The internal parts dated as early as 1972 and, according to David, were harvested from old radios and electronics he scavenged when he started building his first effects.”

With that, Scott investigated further. In researching the origins of the pedal – aka  #75 “Big Box” – he discovered a second version with a different clipping section, and has included it in JHS Pedals Overdrive Preamp, with each version of the circuit available via a slider switch.

Otherwise, the pedal remains gloriously uncomplicated, with just two knobs for Level and Gain. Level boosts or cuts your signal and has been “corrected” from the original model so that there is much more volume on tap.

Gain, meanwhile, pushes the op-amp and hard clipping into overdrive. The Overdrive Preamp can be used as a tone-sweetening boost to make your amplifier sing, or as an overdrive pedal, capable of thick, saturated drive tones.

The JHS Pedals Overdrive Preamp is available now, priced £/$179. A vintage DOD Overdrive Preamp 250? Well, those will set you back north of 500 bucks and then some. See JHS Pedals for more details.

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.