You know, a musician is always looking for some way to improve their sound, regardless of how good it is already. a simple way (other than studying 😀 ) is to use a new element in your chain, and which new element can we find better than a pedal effect (distortion)??

Many times I try something new even if I’m not really looking for a different sound, but just out of curiosity to see what each new piece can give me. So I try a pedal, buying it used, and if I don’t like it, I sell it (so at least I recover some resources to support G.A.S.).

Now it’s the turn of the Fulltone OCD, or rather one of its cheap versions, the Joyo (Harley Benton) ultimate drive. Furthermore, my friend Paolo Mazza expressly recommended it to me as the circuit is practically identical, in his opinion, to that of the Fulltone OCD version 1.2. Obviously I brought it to him right away and had it modified 😀

Technical features

The Joyo ultimate drive is pretty solid, and the paint of the case has a very pleasant rubbery feel to the touch. Obviously it can be powered at 9V via an internal battery, or with a classic 9V central negative power supply.

The only flaw is the switch, which is not true bypass. Too bad, a little gem that is missing. I’ve read around that many say it is, I don’t know, mine isn’t.


The great Paolo Mazza advised me to modify the Joyo ultimate drive to make it a perfect clone of the Fulltone OCD version 1.2, and he kindly did it. Big question: does the sound really change that much? To tell the truth I don’t know, I think the difference is marginal, I can’t say if it’s better or worse, it depends on your tastes. Certainly it’s about those nuances that make an iconic pedal unique.

Below you will find the diagram of the Joyo ultimate drive.

While here there is the Fulltone OCD v1.2.


And here we are: how are you doing? Well, very well indeed. For a truly negligible price on the second-hand market, you can take home a truly iconic effect. I honestly don’t know how the Joyo ultimate drive fares A/B compared to its direct rival, the Fulltone OCD v1.2, simply because… I don’t own one! 🙂

Therefore I will only tell you about the Joyo ultimate drive, without mentioning the real OCD.

Using the switch, you get a sound that enhances the bass at the bottom, while at the top… the treble! :D. The volume is very, very much, while the distortion… BIG! Really, it distorts a lot, in my opinion, at least for my taste, not like a fuzz clearly, but with really present bass.

In my opinion you shouldn’t go beyond half the distortion, 12 o’clock to understand each other, otherwise the Joyo ultimate drive really mixes a lot on the low frequencies, while for solos you can go even further, in order to create a more liquid sound. However, it also depends on what guitar you use it with.

Playing it at the input of a clean amp with a single coil guitar, like a telecaster, the sound is powerful and if you don’t overdo it with the distortion, not even flooded. However, if used with a guitar equipped with humbuckers… well, in my opinion it gets too heavy. In my opinion the resulting sound is overwhelmed and too distorted. But those are my personal tastes.

The dynamics by lowering the volume is all there, and allows the sound to be quite as well. Of course, the more you start from a distorted sound, the more difficult it will obviously be to clean it, so it also always depends on what saturation level you have set.

Below there is a demo:


The Joyo ultimate drive is a really good pedal for what it offers, especially considering the price range in which it fits. If you want to try an OCD-style overdrive but without breaking the bank, buying a Joyo ultimate drive (perhaps used) could be the right choice. If you don’t like it, you can always resell it.

On the music market it is found used on an average of 30 euros–&kw=joyo+ultimate+drive, while new on average 45 euros…

So, is it worth it? In my opinion yes, at least try it. Then I actually sold it, too distorted for my tastes, I realized it’s not for me. Probably not even the original OCD at this point, but for a little money I was able to explore a new world! 🙂

Published on on: 16/01/2023.