Review: Thunderdrive Overdrive Guitar Effects Pedal

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Boutique pedals with custom psychedelic paint jobs and wacky graphics have taken a grip with many guitar players.’s Thunderdrive is an overdrive pedal with boutique features (point-to-point wiring, pure analog circuitry, true bypass switch) sans the nutty paint job and stratospheric boutique price. But there’s a catch: it’s a kit.

Supplying my own cheap labor and using common guitar maintenance tools, the instructions walked me through, step-by-step, the process of constructing the Thunderdrive. There are no schematics, so no degree in electrical engineering is necessary to attempt this project.

Any questions I had with the instructions were immediately clarified when looking as the accompanied drawings. I consider myself a novice in terms electronics and found the project simple, though I felt clumsy working inside the confines of the small enclosure. Working slowly and methodically, I was able to complete the project in about 90 minutes.

Putting the completed pedal through its paces, I was pleased with the results. With the distortion knob turned all the way down, the signal still broke up nicely: however, this was due to the pedal’s circuitry and not overloading the amp’s front end as promised in the product description. Still, the results were musically pleasing.

The higher distortion settings provided all the girth and grind one would expect, never sounding shrill or brittle.

There were some features I wish the Thunderdrive had, such as an on/off indicator and the ability to use external power, but for a $29.95 kit price (available from ModKitDIY website) and these cool sounds, who cares?

Thunderdrive Overdrive Effects Pedal
Price: $29.95


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