• SviSound OverZoid+ and Optical Phaser review

    Svisound Overzoid Optical Phaser

    Choosing the right overdrive for your amp can be tricky. The wrong pedal with the wrong amp can sound pretty shitty. However, if you do hit the spot, nothing sounds better. Bulgarian pedal makers, SviSound, recently released the OverZoid+, which promise to deliver anything from clean boost to fuzz. This review will also cover their Optical Phaser mini pedal.

    I did a review of the OverZoid about a year ago. It was my first encounter with SviSound and I was very impressed. They’re pedals looks amazing! It’s a work of art – both the insides and the exterior design.

    Both the OverZoid+ and the Optical Phaser are beautifully designed and, although design certainly isn’t crucial for the pedal’s tone, it sure is cool to have something like this on the board. It’s not all for show though. They’re extremely well built with high quality components.

    OverZoid +

    The OverZoid + is the new beefed up version of the OverZoid. While the standard edition feature three controls for gain, tone and volume, the OZ+ has a second gain stage for boost, switchable mostfet or germanium modes and a bass boost.

    As the OverZoid, and most of the SviSound pedals, the OZ+ has a lot of mid range and compression. There’s plenty of headroom here, allowing a nice clean, and fairly transparent, boost but the overall tone and character is close to the 808/Klon family of pedals.

    On a Marshall or Hiwatt, this might be a bit overwhelming but as we discussed in the “Knowing which Pedals to Choose for your Amp” feature, amps that doesn’t have that mid range and compression, needs pedals that can compensate for the lack of it and make the amp sound bigger and fuller, especially on lower volume levels and in a typical bedroom setup.

    As mentioned, the OZ+ is capable of providing a nice clean boost. Single coils and brighter amps, sound warmer and more chunky. There’s a lot of volume on tap here so you can easily boost the front end of your tube amp as well, for a natural tube break up.

    Switching between the mostfet and germanium stages reveals the versatility of the OZ+. The Mosfet is obviously more modern sounding, smoother and warmer. I prefer this for that clean boost and the milder overdrive tones. Increase the gain and you’re very close to a Tube Driver and OCD.

    The germanium stage takes the OZ+ closer to the classic DOD 250 and MXR Distortion+, with a more 70s sounding character, rich dynamics and a crisp attack. For high gain tones, and the boost engaged, you can easily reach some really awesome fuzz tones, with some amazing sustain.

    Like the standard OZ, the OZ+ also feature a switchable bass boost, which is handy for smaller amps and low output pickups or, if you just want more of that low end growl.

    The OverZoid+ is highly recommended if you’re in for a versatile overdrive work station for your Fender amps and bedroom setups.

    Optical Phaser Techno-FA

    The Optical Phaser, from SviSound’s Techno range, is based on both the classic 4-stage Phase 90 and the 2-stage Phase 45.

    In addition to the familiar speed control, or frequency as its called here, the pedal feature controls for range (controlling the width of the sweep), depth (amount of effect) and brightness (boosting the high end frequencies for more presence and clarity). There’s also switches for choosing either 4-stage or 2-stage phasing.

    The 4-stage is very close to the classic Phase 90. You got that warm, chunky analog phasing that’s spot on David Gilmour’s Wish You Were Here tones and of course all the other greats that have used it.

    I have always been a fan of the 2-stage Phase 45. It’s really one of the underrated pedals that should have gotten more praise and attention. The subtle phasing, almost Uni-Vibe-ish, adds a warm and subtle modulation to your tones, making overdrives in particular, more alive and dynamic.

    The Optical Phaser does a great job replicating both phasers and with the additional controls, this is probably the most versatile phaser on the market.

    See SviSound.com for more.

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15 Responsesso far.

  1. Walter H. says:

    Bjorn. Another fine review and write up, thank you.
    I was so intrigued by it that I went to the Svisound.com site and started communicating with the owner Mark. My Ozerzoid + is on the way from Bulgaria as I write this note.I own a Fender Solid State Cyber Deluxe amp. I’ve struggled to find Overdrives that don’t just work as clean boost pedals and when you bring up the Gain they just produce static :-(
    My Vick Audio Tree of Life will remain on my board thanks to your input, it works Great with my set up. I have an MXR Phase 95 which is close to the Optical phaser and it also offers a Script switch to reduce the feedback for smoother script version sounds. I placed it after my compressor and before my Ovrdrives also as you suggested.
    Which of the two Overdrives the TOL or the Overzoid+ would you put first in my line up? Also will it matter? Currently the TOL is my first Overdrive then my VFE Dragon. The TOL acts as the Clean Boost and I kick in the Dragon for the dynamics and extra growl. I can’t get any Fuzz or any OCD type distortion, I get that Static I’m referring to.
    Let me know your thoughts when you can as I’m sure you are way busier signing your new Albums!!! Good luck with your new solo album, I hope it’s you’re best release yet.
    Thank you for All You Do for All of Us!
    Walter H.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Walter! Thanks for your kind words! SviSound make some really good stuff and most of their pedals fit a wide range of amps, due to the emphasis on mid range and compression. Hard to tell which pedal should go first so try both combinations and hear what fits your setup. How you should combine and set up the pedals depends on your amp’s tonal character, how it’s set up and your pickups. By static you mean hiss and buzz? That’s the nature of adding high gain pedals and this will be amplified depending on lots of different factors. Check the Features section for tone guides and maintencance tips on how to deal with noise.

      • Walter H. says:

        Hello Bjorn, thanks for the bounce back.
        The Noise or static I’m referring to is not from the inherent noise sometimes associated with HighGain Pedals. I have a very quiet board as I play at bedroom levels and not much high gain settings or pedals are used. When you increase Gain and reduce Volume on an Overdrive it should sound and feel like a pushed amp and have some feedback and that special Overdriven sound. When I do that the solid state amp crackles or tries to distort. It sounds like crap! I only have really gotten the sound from a JOYO Vintage overdrive. Sadly that pedal only lasted two months so I haven bought anymore JOYO pedals. I’m hoping the Overzoid + that arrives tomorrow from Bulgaria will give me that missing magic of an Overdriven Tube Amp. As you know there are So Many Overdrives to pick from, I just want the one that will blend and work with my set up. I’ll let you know how it sounds.
        Thanks for All You Do for All of Us
        Walter H.

        • Walter H. says:

          Update: My Overzoid + arrived in only 10 days from Bulgaria to the US after Mark shipped it. Much faster than I anticipated. Immediatly I knew, as usual, Borj hit it out of the park! This pedal does an incredible job with My Set Up! As you always say finding the right combo is criticle to your tone and the Overzoid + is the right Overdrive + for me. In My experiments with placement I placed it After my Tree of Life as it just plain sounded better with none of the static cracklings I talked about in earlier posts. It is a Beautiful addition to my board too. The Steam Punk design and the placement of the controls are perfect and the look; nothing compares. Whatever’s I’ve asked it to do its delivers in spades from clean boost to as best I’ve gotten ever in distortion. An interesting and exciting addition is what it does to the overall tones of Every Other pedal on my board. After getting some initial time with finding those sweet spots, I engaged my Chorus pedal, I was dumbfounded by what I heard. Every pedal sounds new and revived with the addition of this pedal really. It adds a certain depth and character I never had before, Thank you Mark and Borj.
          On the phaser pedal, I own an MXR Phase 95 already and a Jam Pedals Ripple. The phase 95 is Before my the gain pedals and I placed the Ripple 7th out of 10 in my line up. This allows me to set the 90 on the 95 and go to the 45 (Ripple) sound without changing any settings, I Enjoy them both.
          I had gone though several failed attempts to match any Overdrive pedal with my 2003 Fender Cyber Deluxe amp. With your help I have added quite a few pedals that have helped me capture many of David’s tones and sounds thanks again…
          Mark was also kind enough to add a photo of my board to his Facebook page really nice of him, made me proud…Maybe you can check it out?
          Thanks for All You Do for All of Us.
          Walter H.

  2. Chris Filben says:

    Hi Bjorn, I have been following your awesome posts for a number of years now and have purchased a vast majority of the pedals that you have most highly recommended. I recently learned about SviSound and the pedals they have in their lineup.

    My question is: If you were to buy only one of the SviSound Overzoid, would you opt for the OverZoid 1, the OverZoid 1+, or the OverZoid 2? Solely based on reviews, it looks to me like the OverZoid 1+ offers many options that are most appealing to me, such as the mosfet/germanium boost. My goal is to purchase the best sounding OverZoid. Any advice you can provide is truly appreciated.

    Keep up the great work. Your guitar playing and reviews are beyond compare. I rely upon your reviews over any other reviewer. Including ratings on Bedroom setup suitability is absolute genius. Thank you for all you do! Many people, such as myself, really love your website and amazing pedal reviews.

    Regards, Chris Filben

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Chris! Thanks a lot for your kind words! Glad you enjoy the site :) I really like the OverZoid+. It has the transistor swap and boost making it incredibly versatile. Most of the SviSound pedals are fairly mid rangy, which makes them very suitable for Fender, Vox and similarly mids scooped amps. They can sound a bit too overwhelming on Marshalls and Hiwatts.

  3. Jason says:

    Hi guys. I’m looking for a nice amp to get Gilmour tone in a bedroom set-up is the REEVES custom 12 the right amp?

  4. KEITH says:

    Merry Christmas to Bjorn, and all in the Gilmourish community. Very nice review, the effects are just getting better all the time, as does your playing.

    Peace on Earth, Goodwill to all, KEITH

  5. Jonathan Thomas says:

    I havent tried the SviSound phaser but can really vouch for the MXR Phase 95. Its well priced, small, sounds great and has two extra modes to make it a real contender for versatility. Hope you get a chance to try one, Bjorn, it’s great.

  6. Brad Roller says:

    Man I absolutely love the phase 45. Definitely one of my favorites. I find a univibe can be hard to tame at times, and hard to blend with overdrives or fuzz, but all of my gain pedals blend perfectly with the phase 45. Why it is not as popular as the 90 I will never know. It also, doesn’t need to be played loud to sound good. Unlike a univibe. Rumors are lynyrd skynyrds guitarists used the phase 45 but other than them, I don’t know of any other guitarist using one. Id like to think David at least gave it a try. Bjorn, do you plan on using this version of the 45 or your mxr on any of your upcoming songs? Wouldn’t you say that its a great alternative not only to a univibe but a rotovibe as well? Cheers!

    • Bjorn says:

      Agree! I don’t think I’ve used one on our recordings but I might do that. I often use either a Phase 90 or RotoVibe in front of drives.

  7. Pete W. says:

    Nice!! Mark does some great stuff!
    Great review (as always), Bjorn!

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