The Electro-Harmonix Nano Operation Overload is a paired-down, more-compact, and mono version of a previously released distortion pedal. This pedal relies on three JFET gain stages to give you a saturation similar to a tube amplifier.
In addition to its normal overdrive operation, the pedal offers a selectable Boost button, as well as a footswitch input to control the boost by means of your own separately available footswitch. You can use the Boost circuit with the pedal's inherent distortion to juice the distortion even more, like adding a stompbox overdrive pedal before the JEFT stage to increase the overall saturation.
The pedal offers a three-knob tone stack, as well as a three-position input level selector to better accommodate all sorts of instruments including single-coil axes, humbucking guitars, and modern and vintage keyboards alike. Along with the customary Volume and Gain controls, you'll also find a Dry knob to add unaffected signal back into the circuit. This is particularly useful with basses and keyboards, which often require that some of the original harmonic integrity to be preserved. A power supply is included.
Key Features at a Glance
- Compact yet feature laden overdrive and distortion pedal
- Create sounds ranging from boost without the grit and sweet crunch all the way to intensely saturated overdrive and thick distortion
- 3-position input level switch lets you set the initial input gain level for a variety of instruments including guitar, bass, and keyboard.
- Active 3-band EQ for superlative tone shaping
- In Normal Mode three amp-like JFET gain stages provide low to medium gain sounds
- In the switchable Boost mode, a classic pedal-style overdrive circuit is added before the JFET stages to increase overall distortion
- The pedal’s Dry blend control is especially useful for bass and keyboards because it lets you retain your instrument’s articulation, harmonic content and bottom end
DRY Knob: The DRY knob mixes a clean unaltered signal with the distortion produced by the Overlord. At the minimum position of the DRY knob, the output is 100% overdrive effect, and at the maximum position, the output is 100% clean. This function is useful for preserving the harmonic integrity of your playing, which is especially useful for keyboards or bass. For guitarists, this feature can be useful if you are stacking the Overlord with other drive pedals or if are playing it through an overdriven amplifier.
INPUT LVL Switch: This switch controls the overall input level of your instrument into the Overlord. Use it to set an appropriate gain level for a variety of instruments. Set the switch to HI for low-level instruments, like a single-coil guitar or vintage electric piano. Set the switch to NORM for humbucker guitars and most modern keyboard workstations. Use the LO setting for high-output instruments, like some synthesizers or boosted guitars.
BASS Knob: Controls the level of the bass frequency range.
MID Knob: Controls the level of the middle frequency range.
TREBLE Knob: Controls the level of the treble frequency range.
VOL Knob: This knob controls the overall volume output of the OVERLORD. As this knob is turned clockwise, the output level increases.
BOOST Button (Blue LED): This button toggles Boost mode on and off. When in Boost mode, the blue LED will be lit.
BYPASS Footswitch (Red LED): This footswitch selects whether the OVERLORD is engaged or in buffered bypass mode. When the effect is engaged, the red LED will be lit.