If you’re wondering how the Fulltone Full Drive 2 vs OCD compare, then you’ve come to the right post!
When it came out, Fulltone Fulldrive 2 was considered a “boutique” pedal.
I’m not going to discuss whether that status is justified.
But what matters here is that we’re looking at a surprisingly versatile and game-changing distortion pedal.
We’re looking at a two-stage overdrive with some essential controls and a lot of tone-shaping potential.
The currently sold variant is V2 which brings some improvements compared to previous versions.
Most importantly, it comes with the legendary JRC4558 chip which a lot of overdrive users love.
There’s the basic on and off footswitch, along with the Drive 2 control.
You can use it as your regular overdrive or a slightly “dirty” boost.
There are its basic controls for volume, tone, and drive.
However, with the second stage, you get additional drive and volume parameter knobs.
The second stage further distorts the signal and allows you to set a different volume level.
Then we also have two more switches, each bringing three options.
It’s a simple dual-switch layout but brings a lot of different combinations.
The left switch has these three options:
- Comp-cut or CC – it avoids clipping diodes but it creates distortion through the pedal’s op-amp
- Flat mids or FM – this one gives a flatter mid response
- Vintage – slightly asymmetrical clipping
For the right one, we have:
- Wide – a clearer tone that’s not as compressed
- Standard – imitates the tone of the old 1990s Fulldrive with asymmetrical clipping
- Half-clipped – basically just does more specific clipping
To fully understand these, you’d have to try the pedal out yourself.
But one thing’s certain, and that’s the fact that Fulldrive 2 is an incredibly versatile one.
It could be a bit complicated for some users.
You’d need to know the history of older Fulldrives to know what these controls are exactly doing.
OCD, short for Obsessive Compulsive Drive, is, in a way, another one of those Tube Screamer clones.
However, from my experience, it brings a brighter twist to the tone.
But let’s start with its basic features.
In its essence, the current OCD version is a pimped-out 3-knob overdrive.
Aside from basic volume, tone, and drive controls, there’s also an HL/LP switch.
These stand for “high peak” and “low peak.”
Essentially, the “high peak” mode replicates traditional British tones, bringing more punch in the mids and harsher distortion.
The “low peak” mode is smoother and less noticeable, kind of like a slightly dirty boost.
It’s also worth noting that it comes with a 2N5457 transistor in the input section.
This increases the input impedance, which can, in practice, bring a more dynamic response from your pickups.
There’s also an internal bypass mode switch that can help you adapt it to your current signal chain.
As I mentioned, the pedal’s tone is predominantly bright.
Even if you set the tone knob low, you’ll still get that “thinner” feel to it.
Fulltone Full Drive 2 vs OCD: Which Is Better?
To sum it up, Fulldrive 2 is more versatile but complex, while OCD is less versatile but more specific and straightforward.
Of course, both are based on the classic Tube Screamer.
However, Fulldrive 2 brings a lot more options into the equation.
What you also need to bear in mind is that OCD changes more with each new version.
Generally speaking, OCD is brighter.
While you can do some versatile stuff with it, the tone of OCD can sometimes feel “thin.”
And I don’t mean this in a bad way, it’s just the pedal’s overall feel.
The HP mode can add some punch and thickness.
Meanwhile, Fulldrive 2 is a bit fatter, at least in most of its modes.
Personally, I’d go with Fulldrive 2 for its versatility and my preferences for a fatter tone.
But what’s interesting is that OCD can often help you achieve some higher-gain sounds.
At the same time, OCD is also better at keeping clarity in higher-gain settings.
Fulldrive 2 works incredibly well for milder to mid-hot kinds of tones.
However, it can get a bit muddy if you push it too hard, especially with British-style amps.
Getting the Right Overdrive or Distortion Pedal
Choosing a distortion or an overdrive pedal is far from a simple task.
The biggest issue here, in my opinion, is that you have to try it out yourself.
No YouTube video out there can fully help you realize how this pedal reacts with your amp and guitar.
Additionally, when it comes to overdrives, you have to know how to use them.
Sure, we all know how to set the parameters and stomp on them.
But using their full potential means that you need to pair it with a tube-driven amp and use volume and tone controls on your guitar.
With the right approach and a tube amp that reacts to your playing, even a 3-knob drive can bring a lot of versatility.
Sure, I mentioned some of the chips here, but you shouldn’t obsess too much with these features.
What you need to know is how every distortion pedal works for you.
And, a very important issue, you should also know its dynamic response or whether it has any at all.
Whether it’s OCD, Fulldrive 2, or any other drive pedal, it’s always important that you try it out yourself first.
To that end, you can always order both on amazon and return whichever one you don’t like!
Fulltone Full Drive 2 vs OCD: Conclusion
I hope this article has helped you think through which pedal is best for you!
And if you want to read more pedals on this blog, then check out:
Lastly, feel free to leave a message in the comments below if you have more questions about this or another guitar-related topic!