Washburn Blues Overdrive Pedal Review

UPDATE on March 21, 2021

It's been a long time since I wrote this review, now when I've checked the price for this pedal online, the cheapest I could find is around 50USD.

So it is not as an remarkably budget pedal as it used to be anymore.

What makes the 'Washburn blues overdrive' instantly stand apart from other overdrive pedals is its super affordable price. I've got mine for just 20$. Although this pedal is discontinued now, it can still be easily found on ebay.

The product descriptions I found on the net before the purchase were saying actually that the pedal brings the range of tones "from a light crunch to a full blown heavy metal sound".

My Blues Overdrive though deliveries a really mild overdriven tone that indeed sounds blusy in the right way, and differently from many other overdrive effects this one has this articulate harmonic bite that fits especially well for blues soloing. And as its name suggests it's what this effect was designed for, but gain wise, it really gets nowhere near heavy metal and has not enough crunch to play most of rock music, even when the gain knob is on max.

No matter what pickups I chose, and controls tweaked I never got any high gain tone, and the power chords I was playing always came out a bit skinny comparing to other overdrives like 'Boss BD-2' or 'Blackstar HT-5'.

The really good thing about the 'Washburn Blues Overdrive' though is that is has 'true bypass' that leaves the tone of your guitar completely untouched when the effect is off, the signal comes and go through the pedal without any modification that occurs with a pedal with buffered bypass. And the true bypass still works when there's no any power supply to the pedal.

Another great features the Washburn Blues Overdrive has is that along with the level and gain knob, there are both high and low tone controls for broader tone tweaking and they are especially usable when playing through a mini amp that has only one tone knob on its own, like Orange Micro Crush or VOX AC1.

The minus though is that these EQ controls are too small and the black dotes that show you "what time you are dialing at" are marked also on the black surface making them hardly visible.

The pedal can work from a 9 volt power supply with negative center that suitable for majority effects or from a 9 volt battery. The way to insert a battery is the most comfortable I've ever seen in a guitar pedal, in order to install a battery there's no need to unscrew anything, the battery cover can be easily removed by pulling it away like on most digital processors.

Washburn Blues Overdrive Pedal - battery compartment

The pedal is really lightweight and looks like made of aluminum. Although it doesn't feel as sturdy as a pedal made by Boss or Digitech and I think it wouldn't survive very long if one would be jumping on it.

The bottom line:

Overall the Washburn Blues Overdrive is a great narrow specialized pedal for playing blues solos, and because it has true bypass and costs so cheap, there's nothing to lose getting one yourself to your pedal board.

Very Affordable Blues Overdrive Pedal by Washburn - featuring true bypass and two EQ knobs

This article was last updated on March 21, 2021