What is it?
The Korg Nu:Tekt OD-S Overdrive is bit like rocking up to a yakiniku restaurant. You are hungry for barbecued meat – or in this case, overdrive – but you've got to do the cooking yourself. The DIY aspect is part of the pleasure.
This is the thinking behind Korg's series of assemble-at-home pedals, which include the synth and headphone amplifier kits. All in, the assembly will take you 45 minutes and you won't need to take the soldering iron out of the toolbox.
Perhaps this is a sign of our topsy-turvy present, where we happily shell out over 200 bucks and then have to put the pedal together. Why not buy a ready-made overdrive pedal? There are hundreds and thousands of them out there, or so we have read...
Well, hopefully, the answer lies in the tone. In the end, that is all that matters.
Performance and verdict
First off, the Nu:Tekt OD-S is a fine-sounding overdrive, maybe even exceptional. It is voiced towards the clear, defined crunch brand of overdrive. You know the type; easy to work with, partners well with guitars of different pickups, and so forth.
Perhaps much of its dynamic and harmonically rich response is owing to the Nutube 6P1 analogue triode vacuum tube in the circuit. Since its launch in 2016 the Nutube 6P1 has turned up in a host of Korg applications. It has an an anode grid filament structure and works well at low-voltages, making it ideal for a pedal.
If that is what's doing the Lord's work here as the "Tube Drive" control suggests then good on it. There's a lovely amount of articulation on the harmonic overtones, and it doesn't lose itself as you dial in more crunch. It is like a valve-amp. There is that responsiveness.
There is also a "Wide" switch inside the pedal's enclosure that can toggle between a fatter tone and a more trebly presence. It calls to mind the Fat switch on a Fender Blues Junior combo. Controls-wise, the Nu:Tekt OD-S is straightforward. You've got Volume, Tone, Tube Gain and Gain, and a sturdy footswitch.
The build quality is excellent, even if we do say so ourselves. There is a little bit of noise when you crank it (definitely nothing to do with our assembly, no siree!) but nothing too troublesome. The biggest obstacle for us is the price. Goodness, there are so many overdrives out there. Then again, there are few you can make your own, as in, literally make. And the Nu:Tekt OD-S is certainly worth the extra effort.
MusicRadar verdict: Building your own overdrive? Well if the price doesn't put you off it's a fun project, and you'll be rewarded with a some lovely valve-like crunch that's housed in a tough, no-fuss enclosure.
- TYPE: Overdrive pedal self-assembly kit
- CONTROLS: Volume, Tone, Tube Gain, Gain, Wide Switch
- BYPASS: True bypass
- SOCKETS: Input, output
- POWER: DV9V
- CONTACT: Korg