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The Singing Tree Overdrive has arrived (thoughtage abounding)


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I drive a long way to work. More or less an hour and ten minutes. This gives me a lot of time to think. Lately most of that thought has revolved around 98.7 WMZQ and how rad Taylor Swift's single "Our Song" is. Yes, I just said that. Today, however, that thought was all about the so-called Singing Tree Overdrive. You see, I was on my way out the door when I checked the mail. A singular box filled the chasm of my mail cave and I withdrew it apprehensively. Could this be the stuff woody dreams are made of? Maybe. I had, after all, taken somewhat of a leap of faith when I sent my payment. The clips were interesting but mostly, I wanted a pedal that looked like a tree.


Now I have played a lot of pedals and seen a great deal more. I dont know if Ive ever seen or held anything as uniquely cool as this pedal. The print is raised brownish ink and the whole pedal has a texture to it that feels much like a smooth piece of wood. Pleasing to hold and even more pleasing to look at.


I plugged the small box into the front of my board and did a little test playing through an eternity to set my base of what things sound like. All controls at noon and I stepped on the switch. The yellow light signaled that my tone was indeed being overdriven. Sort of.


Im not sure that this pedal has been aptly named. It gets above unity gain, but not by much and there isn't a great deal of gain to be had in general. The overall texture of the pedal with an LP-type guitar into a clean amp head is more fuzzy than overdriven. The sound of the pedal is actually very hard to describe. Thats why I spent most of my drive to work thinking about how to describe this pedal. I decided that the best way to describe it is to compare it to a picture.




The pedal sounds like the moon looks when viewed through a haze of ice crystals. Its soft and mellow unlike many overdrives which can be harsh or bright. Every note has a very soft attack and decay so the melody ebbs and flows. The low end is not loose but soft. Chording on the wound strings, therefore, is not particularly clear with this pedal.


The STOD also reminds me of the brass settings on old organs. At times, the pedal sounds like a trombone or a sax with its soft attack. A unique sound that I an almost say is synthy. But to call this a synthy pedal would be extremely misleading when something like the noise box is also dubbed "synthy."


Maybe the best word for the STOD is moody. Its soft and dark and warm. Single notes with delay sound pleasing and distinct. This is not a pedal that you could use on every song but rather a pedal that you may use for a solo or melody line.


The controls are simple but not particularly effective. The gain control, for example, does not provide a wide range of gain settings. The tone knob offers a nice sweep from brighter to dark although it doesn't get into bitey cutting territory like other overdrives. The clipping knob is somewhat of an anomaly. Neither extreme sounded dramatically different but 10:00 seemed to be a nice setting for some grit. I could not find a clean boost quickly so more time needs to be spent there before a final verdict.


Overall the STOD is a cool and well executed pedal but sort of a specialized effect. I would like to hear it with single coils as I suspect it was designed with a single coil in mind. I would also like to see a switch to lift the diodes for a better boost since the clipping section seems to be robbing a good deal of potential volume from what sounds like a mosfet boost section.


BTW - did I mention that it looks super duper rad?

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it definitely gets above unity. but its a low gain overdrive... on a lot of over drive pedals you can put everything on 12 o clock and pretty much expect to be pretty close to unity. unity on this pedal is aroudn 1-3 o clock on the level knob depending on your other knobs settings.

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