The Kernom Ridge Overdrive – A distortion that hits the note

Do you already know the Kernom Ridge Overdrive, dear music fans? Then hold on tight, because this distortion unit could give your sound that certain something. We took a closer look at it and present our findings today.

Technical details

Input level -20dBu to +20dBu
Output level -∞dBu to +20dBu
Power supply9V DC, 100mA
True BypassYes 
Housing Rugged metal case

The functions of the distortion unit at a glance

One of the standout features of the Kernom Ridge Overdrive is how feature-rich and powerful it is. Let’s start with the overdrive itself. Overdrive is a type of distortion, specifically distortion that occurs when the amp is pushed to its limits. The sound that results is warm, rich in harmonics and, most importantly, musical. Since the Kernom Ridge Overdrive is an overdrive pedal, it produces just that sound. The pedal’s overdrive stage is designed to cover a wide range from light to heavy overdrive, and the gain knob lets you determine exactly how “hot” you want your sound.

But the Kernom offers more than just overdrive. It also includes a built-in equalizer that consists of three separate bands. Bass, mids, and treble can be individually adjusted to give your sound just the right amount of body, presence, and sparkle. It’s not uncommon for overdrive pedals to include one or two EQ controls, but the fact that the Kernom Ridge Overdrive has all three is a real highlight.

In addition to this, the Kernom Ridge also offers the ability to adjust the Output Level. This is especially useful to make sure that your overdrive sound fits well with the rest of your signal chain. If you want to use the overdrive as a boost, you can increase the output. If you just want to “color” the sound of your guitar, you can reduce it accordingly.

Advantages and disadvantages

High-quality workmanshipPower supply only via mains adapter
Wide range of distortion possibilitiesNo settings for high gain levels
Built-in EQ
Affordable price

The workmanship

The workmanship of the Kernom Ridge Overdrive is nothing less than top-notch. Looking first at the housing, it is noticeable that it is made of sturdy metal. This means that it can withstand any stress, whether it is used on stage, in the rehearsal room, or on tour. Not only does the metal construction ensure the pedal’s durability, it also helps minimize interference from external electromagnetic fields that could distort the sound.

But it’s not just the big things that count. When you take a closer look at the pedal, you also notice the smaller details that indicate that nothing was left to chance in the design and construction of the Kernom Ridge Overdrive. For example, the pot knobs and switches are made of a material that not only feels solid and durable, but also allows for a firm grip, which can help when adjusting the sound. In addition, the pots and switches are positioned for easy access and operation.

The price

Compared to many other distortion units on the market, this overdrive scores with an attractive price-performance ratio. The investment is worth it when you consider the doors it opens for your sound.

Analog circuitry and digital control

When it comes to guitar effects, there is often a debate as to which type – analog or digital – is superior. Analog devices are often praised for their “warmer” and more “natural” sound, while digital devices are praised for their flexibility and accuracy.

The Kernom Ridge Overdrive combines the best of both worlds. What does that mean exactly? It uses an analog circuit to create the overdrive sound. This circuit is tuned to produce a wide range of overdrive sounds, from subtle to extreme. The result is a warm, harmonically rich and musical sound that only an analog circuit can produce.

Digital control comes into play when it comes to EQ and gain settings. Because these are controlled digitally, they can be adjusted much more accurately and quickly than would be possible with analog circuitry.

Combined, the analog circuitry and digital control of the Kernom Ridge Overdrive offer an impressive range of overdrive sounds with an impressive level of control and flexibility, so you can really shape the sound you want, when you want it.

In the practical test

In practice, the distortion unit proves to be surprisingly versatile. Compared to the EHX East River Drive, the Kernom offers a wider range of sounds and adapts better to different musical styles. Compared to the Keeley Super Phat Mod, the Kernom performs better due to its EQ capabilities. The Proco Rat, while extremely versatile in terms of distortion, cannot match the Kernom’s matching EQ.


The Kernom Ridge Overdrive is a distortion unit that offers a lot: Adaptability, quality and an attractive price-performance ratio. While it doesn’t go as far as some competitors when it comes to extreme distortion, it scores with a wide range of overdrive sounds and a convincing finish. With its combination of analog sound and digital control, it is an asset to any pedalboard and a clear recommendation for all music fans among you.