Are you a perfectionist or dealing with OCD? Then the Fulltone OCD, short for obsessive-compulsive drive, may very well be the overdrive pedal you’re looking for. It’s been around for over a decade and seen a few upgrades over the years, and it’s a popular modern classic.

More importantly, it’s among the most convincing “tube overdrive” pedals on the market. Mike Fuller’s stompboxes usually offer innovative designs that take the sound to new levels, and the OCD V2 distortion pedal is a perfect example.

So, what makes it so powerful and popular? Keep reading to find out.

Fulltone OCD Sound

The Fulltone OCD gives you the same sound that you’d get by driving a tube amplifier into warm distortion. It offers a full sound, rich in harmonics, that responds well to your touch and playing dynamics. You get that sizzle and definition without harshness. Whether you’d like some smooth saturation or wild distortion, the Fulltone OCD covers what you need.

Furthermore, the Fulltone OCD V2 has two modes called Low-Peak and High-Peak. LP is a transparent overdrive that doubles as a clean boost, while HP is a more extreme effect that colors your tone, making it similar to the classic British amp sound.

What about notable famous guitarists who use Fulltone OCD pedals? Country star Keith Urban is a great example, having two OCDs on his pedalboard. Don Felder, best known from The Eagles, also uses one. Another fan is The Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago. Paul Jackson Jr. played alongside superstars like Michael Jackson, Elton John, and George Benson. These days, you’ll see him playing on TV shows like American Idol and The Tonight Show with a Fulltone OCD in his pedal chain.

Hot overdrives like this work best with humbucking pickups, although guitars with dual single-coils can also sound good if you don’t push them too hard.

Fulltone OCD V2 Features

The original Fulltone OCD pioneered the use of MOSFETs as hard clippers for distortion. Further, the configuration of connecting the MOSFETs to v-ref rather than grounding was also unique. These designs caught on and you can find these influences in many of the best distortion pedals.

You can switch between true bypass and the signature Enhanced Bypass with an internal switch. While true bypass maintains signal integrity, there are downsides like signal loss in pedal chain , and a loud noise when you toggle the effect. Some manufacturers use buffered bypass to counter this, but that also squashes the dynamic range and cheapens the sound.

Enhanced bypass uses JFETs in Class-A formation for input and output, restoring both signal strength and dynamics, erasing the loud pop, and diminishing the influence of pedals later in the effects chain. Therefore, a Fulltone OCD V2 in this mode with gentle settings or even turned off will be a subtle and versatile tone-sweetening effect. Furthermore, the output buffer gives it a consistent sound that’s less dependent on its placement in the chain.

As for tone sculpting, you get the classic trio of dials. The tone knob lets you filter out harsh overtones to taste, and the Drive knob sets the amount of distortion. The volume knob speaks for itself. The HP-LP switch in between them toggles between the two sound profiles, and the diode next to it is a power light.

Technical Specs

  • Size: 2.5 x 2.1 x 4.5 inches
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Input impedance: 1 megaohm
  • Output impedance: 10 kilohm
  • Power requirement: 9-volt battery or standard DC adapter (not included)

All in all, the Fulltone OCD is a powerhouse overdrive with formidable specs. Everything about it is high-quality, with the possible exception of the graphic design on the tough-as-nails chassis. Learn more in the fulltone ocd manual.

Is Fulltone OCD V2 the Best Overdrive Pedal for You?

The Fulltone OCD is a modern classic that others copy for a reason. While this is true for all three generations of the pedal, the V2 is the most well-renowned. If you want a tone that’s both thick and able to get really rough without losing integrity, you’re looking at an excellent candidate. A Fulltone OCD won’t disappoint.

If you’re curious about other alternatives, take a look at my list of the best overdrive pedals. I hope you’ve found this article helpful. Stay tuned for more guitar pedal reviews.