Custom Audio Amplifiers OD100

The brainchild of rack guru Bob Bradshaw and guitar builder extraordinaire John Suhr, the OD100 (head $2,995 retail/street price N/A; cabinet $1,150 retail/$1,090 street) looks as purposeful as a piece of lab gear, is a breeze to use, and is armed with great sounds. Channel 1 sparkles with as much sheen and detail as I’ve ever heard from a 4x12 setup.
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The tones are decidedly Fender-like, offering a strong lower-mid component and glistening, yet muscular, top-end bite. With the Gain control halfway up, Channel 1 sounds clean, but inch this control upward, and the tones get richer and a tad crankier. Fortunately, the OD100 is dynamic enough that clean sounds are always just a twist of your guitar’s volume knob away. I was especially fond of Channel 1’s EQ flexibility, and the exceptionally voiced Bright switch helped make it easy to coax every last tasty tonal morsel from every guitar I used. Mucho credit also goes to the amp’s global Presence and Feedback controls, which enable you to fine-tune the OD100’s detailed treble frequencies. The Boost function on Channel 1 allows you to configure a lower Gain setting for a cleaner tone, and then kick the Boost on for some subtle, yet musical grind. Unfortunately, this feature is not footswitchable.

Channel 2’s M.O. is scorching, articulate distortion with enough volume and low-end mass to make your pant legs flap. These tones sport a lightning-quick attack, and they lay decidedly in the modern camp with their tightness and dense, saturated crunch. Even when running extremely high Gain settings, notes and chords speak with a brisk and revealing string-to-string clarity. I easily dialed in hyper-metal tones by dumping the midrange and running higher Bass settings, but this amp has low-end to spare, and rarely did I have to turn the Bass control past the halfway mark. When some additional tone control was needed for a particular guitar, the Channel 2’s similarly well-voiced EQ made it easy to dial in the sound I wanted. The footswitchable Boost function piles on more gain, making for an even more intense crunch. I had the best results by setting the Gain control about halfway up, and then using the Boost to really slather on the dirt. An internal trimpot lets you adjust how much gain is added via the Boost function, and suffice to say that the medium factory setting provides more than enough distortion.

The OD100 is a wonderfully voiced, versatile, and very modern tone machine. It’s simple to use, and it serves up great tones with disarming ease. If you’re the type who likes to plug in and play—and not have to fuss endlessly with the controls to get what you want—this is the amp for you.