Reuss Musical Instruments

Reuss Square One Overdrive (pre-order)

Ships from late April 2021. Available to pre-order now (limited availability)

Back to Square One

The Square One Overdrive is a throw-back to the Reuss Cab Drive pedal, which was my take on the unique, late 1970s Boss OD-1 quad opamp circuit

I released the Cab Drive in 2014 as one of my first pedals, after the success of the RSH-02 Rowland S. Howard pedal had catapulted me into business. The Cab Drive didn’t sell well, but I liked it a lot, and I’ve wanted to revisit this fine sounding circuit for quite some time

Since 2014 I have come a long way, and today Reuss is a team of myself and two brilliant electronics engineers, so we couldn’t help taking the OD-1 circuit a few steps further than a straight clone.

First thing you might notice is, that the Square One is a three-knob pedal. The OD-1 only had two knobs, and one of its characteristics was the lack of a tone control. So, did we add a tone control to spoil the fun and turn it into a SD-1 clone? No. The ‘HI CUT’ is not a tone control as you know it from a tube screamer or a Boss Super Overdrive. As the name implies, it is a high-cut which bleeds off treble frequencies as you turn it up. It is subtle, and all the way down, the knob has no function. You get pure OD-1 sound. The purpose of the control is to dial out harsh 'ice pick' treble.

Inside the pedal, you'll find a few ‘easter eggs’. There's a ‘fat switch’, which extends the original circuit’s frequency response one octave down, for better bass response. We also added the possibility of setting it to ‘symmetrical’ clipping, via a DIP switch inside, which moves the sound into tube screamer territory (original OD-1 clipping is asymmetrical). Maybe most importantly, we gave the Square One a completely new, switchable clipping option based on MOSFET transistors and germanium diodes. This setting has a bit more ‘hair’, and it sounds more dynamic than the ‘stock’ silicon diode clipping configuration. Personally, I think it’s superior sounding, so I am shipping the pedals in this mode – with the ‘fat switch’ on.

Still, the original circuit sounds amazing too, and I didn’t compromise with the silicon diodes, putting vintage new old stock 1S2473 diodes in it – the same as was used in late 1970s Boss pedals. These have a softer ‘knee’ than current production silicon diodes, giving a less harsh clipping.

How does the Square One sound different to a more traditional overdrive in the tube screamer / Boss SD-1 family, you might ask? Well, I hear the difference mostly in the sounds of the low strings, which are tighter and more focused. Overall it seems less muddy. Sharper and a bit more aggressive, but still very, very pleasant sounding. This might be why the old Boss version was a hit with the early 80s metal scene. It's possibly the best overdrive pedal you have ever heard. Very versatile, and great for all-round purposes, both at subtle overdrive settings and when crossing over into distortion territory.

The Reuss Square One is carefully handcrafted in the European Union in tiny batches. We have painted and silk screen printed 44 enclosures for the first run.

Demo coming ASAP (I am a bit behind in demo recording and editing due to higher-than-usual sales)!

Reuss Square One features and specifications:

  • 1970s OD-1 ‘quad opamp’ circuit featuring a vintage new old stock Made in Japan Nec UPC4741C chip
  • Vintage new old stock 1S2473 clipping diodes
  • ‘Fat switch’ inside the pedal for increased low-end response (pedals ships in ‘fat’ mode)
  • Switchable between asymmetrical and symmetrical clipping via a dip switch inside
  • Alternative MOSFET/Germanium clipping option via internal switch (pedals ships in this mode)
  • Extremely high build quality. Completely handmade in the European Union
  • Powder coated enclosure in 'sea foam green pearl' with real silk screen printed graphics
  • Runs on a standard ‘Boss-type’ guitar pedal 9V power supply or 9V battery (not included). The pedal handles up to 18V from an external power supply for increased headroom.
  • High quality Neutrik jacks
  • Rugged upgrade quality footswitch (good for at least 50000 stomps)
  • 24 months warranty against manufacturing faults
  • Packed in a cardboard box and linen draw-string bag
  • Fast worldwide shipping via DHL Express from Denmark. Your pedal is only few days away, no matter where you live.

PLEASE NOTE: Prices at the webshop are listed without VAT. For customers in the European Union 25% VAT is added at check-out.

Inside the Square One Overdrive prototype (built in a Backslide Overdrive enclosure):