Mean but Sweet – The Soul Food Overdrive.

This is the Soul Food Overdrive by Electro-Harmonix. It’s a fantastic, multipurpose, overdrive pedal. You can set the drive down low and get a nice crispy bonus added to your amp’s clean setting, or crank that sucker up and blow the curtains off your next gig. There are many great things to say about this power house of a pedal, so lets dive in.

The Tone

One of the greatest traits in a pedal is being multi-talented. Not just that, but being good at it too.

If your looking for a clean boost, you’ve found it. Soul Food keeps all your notes clear while adding an audible bite. It adds enough grit to give you some spank, but doesn’t get too far into the country bumpkin range – which is a plus in my book. Letting the amp do most of the work, the Soul Food keeps it’s reserve until you ramp up the gain knob.

When you max out the gain, this puppy gets angry. The warm fuzz sounds truly dirty, but still allows for good articulation. The problem with some overdrive pedals is things tend to get muddied together, and this just isn’t the ideal type of dirt. The Soul Food has no problem giving you more without taking anything away.

Skip to (1:25) to hear the goods, starting in a clean boost mode


  • 2-1  (Clean boost & Overdrive pedal)
  • Offers some great fuzz, and keeps things clear.
  • Keeps a lot of the natural characteristics of the amp
  • Great price point


  • Could use a little more boost in the mids
  • Treble can get a little harsh if not dialed in right.



Huge Bonus

The Soul Food is modeled after a very expensive boutique pedal: The Klon Centaur. You can pick one up for just over a measly 2 grand – chump change. With the Soul Food priced in the medium range at $77.33 It’s a total steal. I want to use the word klon-centaur-gold“value” but I feel like that undermines the quality of the pedal. For it to come anywhere close to a pedal that’s more than 10x the price really does speak volumes about the craftsmanship they have over at Electro-Harmonix.







Compared the Ibanez Tube Screamer, the Soul Food makes a definite leap above the competition. While this little green guy Is a great overdrive used by many famous musicians, It lacks the audible distinction that you get with the Soul Food. The Tube Screamer isn’t a bad pedal if you are looking for pure power chord crunching distortion, but if you prefer a little bit more clarity with your grunge…..well the proof is in the Soul Food.



Verdict: 4.5/5

With only a few tiny setbacks, this pedal will not disappoint. If you’ve already got an overdrive pedal, it’s great to stack with another driver to get more flavor out of your rig. If you don’t have an overdrive pedal yet, this certainly isn’t a bad place to start. With a price point that raises the bar, it really can’t be beat by any other pedal in its weight class. Here’s the cheapest place I could find it . Also, there’s another demonstration video on there that’s pretty good. The Soul Food Overdrive could possibly be one of the best overdrive pedals that i’ve heard in years, but I’ll let you guys be your own judge.

Let me know in the comments what you like to use as your booster of choice!





Phillip Dahir

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