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EHX Germanium OD - any love?


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I have one, and love it; but it's not a pedal that I was quick to warm up to. It takes some trial and error to find the setting that works best with your rig. It's not a fuzz pedal, though you can get a novel dying battery sound. It's an overdrive, and should be used as such. I highly recommend them.

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I really like mine. A clean amp with some reverb or tremolo and you have some early Stones.

 

One thing that you have to remember is that it is an OD. I think some people hear the "dying battery" sound and think that it is a fuzz.

 

It is a light to mild OD. The gain knob is basically a volume. The bias and volt knobs are very interactive too.

 

I also think that the original price turned people away too. Now that it is under $100, it isn't too bad of a hit, if you don't like it. I'm willing to bet that you could resell it easily.

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Had it-hated it-sent it back. It sounded way cooler in the demo than in person. Very finicky controls. I tried dialing it in like the guy in the EHX demo and at one point it just sounded like a volume booster. Try it before you buy it.

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Mini-review, repost #3:

 

I had been wanting to try an Electro~Harmonix Germanium OD for quite some time before recently scoring one in a trade deal. Given what demo videos suggested, I thought that the "bias" and "volts" controls would allow me to dial in buzzy, horn-like fuzz sounds (ala the Holowon Static Egg or DOD FX76 Punkifier). I figured that the pedal might not have enough gain on to accomplish this task on its own and would be able to achieve the desired results with a medium-to-high-gain preamp. After spending some quality time with the Germanium OD, I'd say my assumptions were 75% correct.

 

Though it can't generate the exact texture that I had in mind and generally sounds like sputtery, thin poo by itself, the Germanium OD has yielded a number of usable tones when used in conjunction with other gain sources. The sensitivity and interaction of the controls presented challenges during the tweaking process, but I was eventually able to stumble upon a satisfactory fuzz tone. With the gain at 3:15, bias at 11:00, and volts at 9:15 (and battery power), my 5150-style preamp erupted into touch-sensitive, intermodulating, torn-speaker-style fuzz. I was even able to create faint upper octave harmonics at other, more truncated bias/volts settings. I've also found that the Germanium OD causes analog upper octave/fuzz effects like a green ringer to sound even more extreme and can add midrange and spitiness to Muff-type fuzzes.

 

I'm not certain if the Germanium OD is a keeper at the present time. It adds a decent fuzz channel to my preamp, but has not met my initial expectations. I only used one preamp, and there is a possibility that others may interact differently with the pedal. Either way, Effector 13 users and classic shoegaze fans would probably enjoy the types of fuzzy textures that result from cascading this pedal into preamp gain.

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Good review.

 

As a clean boost, it really excels. Put all three knobs at 12 o'clock and use it to boost your clean signal or break up your amp. It has plenty of clean gain for boosting your amp to overdrive the tubes. Anyone who's skeptical or disappointed, keep in mind that they mislabelled it as an overdrive....it doesn't have much sustain when overdriven, and if you are using it for an overdrive, notice how the attack is crazy.....i'd use it to send other pedals through if you wanted to change the attack, for that velcro in the attack sound that Muffs lack with their silicon counterparts.

 

It is not a germanium fuzz, nor is it really that much of an overdrive. Alot of people expect the germanium fuzz or a really overdriven sound. It has a few really good sounds, but they take a real long time to dial in, because the bias and volts knobs are so picky, and there's a very, very small sweet spot of breakup before the sound is too fizzled out, or just plain non-audible. It may get thrown in the "junk" pile by most players--which I can understand-- and/ or EH may just axe it because it's too hard to dial in a decent sound.....but it definetely has some great sounds if you spend enough time with it, and is an amazing clean boost.

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I have one, and love it; but it's not a pedal that I was quick to warm up to. It takes some trial and error to find the setting that works best with your rig. It's not a fuzz pedal, though you can get a novel dying battery sound. It's an overdrive, and should be used as such. I highly recommend them.

 

I was very disappointed when I first gave it a test drive at a music shop in Seattle (not GC). I was expecting it to be more like a Germanium fuzz pedal than an OD. So when it sounded like an OD (really more like a volume boost with a bit of attitude) I was disappointed.

 

Germanium does not automatically mean "fuzz". I messed around with the dying battery tone for a bit -- it was hard to find since it lives in a narrow band where both the volt and bias pots have to be "just right".

 

If you're looking for fuzz, look somewhere else. However, as noted above, if you want a mildish OD with some Germanium spice, it's worth a look I guess. For my needs, I'd rather get an MI Audio Neo Fuzz.

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Good review.


As a clean boost, it really excels. Put all three knobs at 12 o'clock and use it to boost your clean signal or break up your amp. It has plenty of clean gain for boosting your amp to overdrive the tubes. Anyone who's skeptical or disappointed, keep in mind that they mislabelled it as an overdrive....it doesn't have much sustain when overdriven, and if you are using it for an overdrive, notice how the attack is crazy.....i'd use it to send other pedals through if you wanted to change the attack, for that velcro in the attack sound that Muffs lack with their silicon counterparts.


It is not a germanium fuzz, nor is it really that much of an overdrive. Alot of people expect the germanium fuzz or a really overdriven sound. It has a few really good sounds, but they take a real long time to dial in, because the bias and volts knobs are so picky, and there's a very, very small sweet spot of breakup before the sound is too fizzled out, or just plain non-audible. It may get thrown in the "junk" pile by most players--which I can understand-- and/ or EH may just axe it because it's too hard to dial in a decent sound.....but it definetely has some great sounds if you spend enough time with it, and is an amazing clean boost.

 

 

+ 1

 

Yep. Didn't see this when I replied above. This is exactly how I felt. Great review.

 

The EHX is basically a clean boost mis-labeled as an OD pedal. It also has some quirky (and cool) sounds in there, too, but they're hard to find and if you sneeze on the knobs, you'll lose the setting. If you manage your expectations, you may like it...or you may not.

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  • 11 years later...
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I’ve been using one for ten-twelve years. It plays well with small combos. Especially for that 60s garage/kinks kind of sound. That broken speaker thing. And, I’ve been using it lately more to push the amp a bit into breakup. It works as a relatively transparent overdrive, in that it is more of a boost pedal. I’ll hit a second drive, or slam the front of my big muff.

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  • 1 month later...
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I can't believe this thread is 12-years old. :facepalm: Is this forum dying?

 

Anyway, speaking of germanium fuzz, Benson has a new one out that has a thermostat-controlled heater to keep the diode at the optimum temperature - temp being germanium's Achilles heal. There are others that use a bias control so you can adjust to room temperature, not that they work perfectly. The Benson one is currently the bomb.

 

Tip, having just researched fuzzes: Check out the raunchy tones from Fjord. King Tone makes another good one. Among others, of course.

Edited by Hoot Owl
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