Hello, welcome back to Guitarpedals.live presented by Skye Studios. In this post we are going to take an initial look at the Bondi Effects Sick As Overdrive. This is a nice swiss army pedal because it can go from a light transparent boost to a growling overdrive. It also carries a special vibe because even its name refers to is heritage “down under”. With origins rooted in Sydney the company name Bondi is actually an aboriginal word meaning “the sound of waves crashing over rocks”. I feel like this phrase really speaks into the heart of this pedal, because it has such vast tone options but still has a nice bite to it.
Next I want to dive into the pedals controls. There is nothing super out of the ordinary here for a klon type pedal, but that added bass EQ is a nice touch. Under the surface there are a few nice feature worth mentioning. While it takes a 9-volt power source the pedal internally doubles to 18 volts to give a little extra headroom. Another Great feature is the soft touch switch. This means no noisy clicks when turning the pedal on or off. This is such a simple feature but one I really love. I’m really hoping this becomes a trend with other builders.
What really sets the Sick As apart in my mind is that it is as far as I know the first of its kind. There are so many Klon clones out there but builder Jon Ashley took this great circuit and really made it into something of his own. This is something we have grown accustomed to with the Tube Screamer style pedals, but Its great to finally see this same spirit with the Klon.
This pedal has level and gain Knobs, Bass and Treble EQ, and a high gain and low gain toggle. Much like the newest Klon I believe the up position is almost always better.
At 12 o’clock The EQ is flattened out and the level is at unity, simply meaning the volume in is the same as the volume out. Turn the knob left for less bass or right to increase the bass. Same goes for the treble controls. This is helpful when compensating for switching from single coils to humbuckers or vice-versa These controls usually only need minor tweaking unless you are looking for a tone outside the norm. Last but not least is the gain control. All the way down is completely clean and turns pedal into more of a clean boost similar to xotic’s RC Booster. As you turn up the control you will increase the gain and blend in more and more overdrive. Finally you have the High Gain/ Low Gain toggle. Down has a more open feel and is a little more transparent. To me its a slightly thinner sound. The toggle up is a little more compressed signal with less head room. I prefer this setting as it seems to pack a little more punch to help you get through the mix
This is a great pedal that is well built and has limitless options. My favorite thing about this pedal is that it adds a brightness to my tone to really help stand out in the mix without being too harsh. I also like having both a treble and bass controls to really help dial in a good overdrive tone. I am really impressed with the sounds I keep finding through this pedal, and it has earned a permanent place on my board. If you are interested in trying out this pedal keep an eye out on reverb.