It's the beginning of the rainy season in Japan, it's raining, and yours truly is under typically "Asian" downpours (for those who know the region). Only one solution, take refuge at a local retailer! Pure coincidence, there is one less than 3 mins away! :) So here I am in front of a showcase well supplied with effects, with obscure "golden" pedals that I don't know. Not even a mark on it?! A peak! It doesn't take much to arouse my curiosity! Small discussion with the staff... It's the story of a guy, who knows a guy, who makes pedals for a guy... Finally you see the picture! Quick test on site... Packed and weighed in less than 5 mins, I buy the OD and the Distortion for me, without even knowing who makes what and where! Being relational, I get in touch with H.Yagi who manufactures these superb pedals and we decide to offer you the possibility of acquiring what is for us a real favorite as we will see later.
Aesthetically, nothing to fall out of your chair, it couldn't be more basic! So we have the classic Volume, Drive (Gain) and Tone controls. And also two toggle switches, the left one activating a bass boost and the right one a bright. Everything exudes quality.
Test configuration, a Les Paul VOS 59 and a Suhr Classic (pure stratocaster) in a Two-Rock Crystal, so a very clean base. Once plugged in and whether with the LP or the Strat, the first thing you notice is the enormous attack from which the Fine OD benefits. All controls at 12:00, the pedal is ultra dynamic, punchy, but can also be soft and nuanced depending on the settings adopted. The attack is extremely detailed and clean, we hear very precisely everything that happens. The Tone knob is very, very responsive and really allows you to fine-tune the response of the pedal according to what you want to obtain while taking into account the specificities of your instrument and the amp. Let's elaborate on what's happening with the gain knob. Its race is very progressive, the range of accessible sounds is really very important, from the simple boost which colors slightly, to the OD thrust for fans of classic rock.
Cherry on top of the cake, one could say that... finally, after a few hours of play, the Gain knob is not very useful :) Indeed, what is huge with the Fine OD is its ability to "clean" in an extremely natural way without losing anything in the process. It's simple, even with your volume knob at 2, you have everything, with just the drive less! The Human Gear Fine OD is therefore a formidable weapon for those who nuance their game with the volume knob.
We can't talk about the pedal without mentioning the two toggle switches which are absolutely essential! Indeed, these bring an even wider vocabulary to the Fine OD. More thickness for those playing on the lower end of the spectrum. And a richer top of the spectrum, ideal for playing with one of the single pickups for the bright.
The voicing of the pedal is clearly vintage with a big "V", very British with a surprisingly organic grain and a fairly present upper midrange. This is in fact what makes the Fine OD an extraordinary pedal. A very dense, rich and at the same time perfectly defined grain, with top-of-the-line dynamics. Whatever the settings adopted, the Fine OD is extremely musical and fits perfectly into the mix (for those who play in groups). Finally, it is important to underline the fact that the Fine OD stacks wonderfully with its big sister the Fine DS, but also on any "quality" crunch channel. Its transparency and its great musicality allow it to pass on a maximum of amps and configurations.
To sum up, we can say that the Fine OD from Human Gear is a rare pedal in every sense of the word! We were stunned by its "touch sensitive" side, its extreme musicality, its versatility, and above all this totally unique vintage / ultra organic drive. The Fine OD will prove anyone who thinks a stompbox can't replace an amp drive wrong. A player pedal, which will reveal its full potential to experienced guitarists. A must of its kind!
Important note: The Special version is manufactured with selected components, at the lowest tolerance thresholds. It benefits from increased dynamics and a more complex top of the spectrum.