The Ixora Overdriven Preamp is an adaptation of the Dinosaural OPA-101 Overdriven Preamp, an extremely rare overdrive pedal designed by Dan Coggins (formerly of Lovetone). The OPA-101 was traced by Aion FX in 2020.
Dinosaural originally released the OPA-101 in November 2012. It was only available for direct sale, either via their website or Facebook page. It’s estimated that only a few hundred were made.
It was developed as an updated version of the Tube Bender, another original Dinosaural design from 2003. (The Tube Bender was also traced by Aion FX and is available as the Wyvern project.) While the Tube Bender was an all-discrete transistor circuit that bore some resemblance to silicon Tone Bender variants, the OPA-101 substituted the input gain stage and output buffer for op-amp stages. The middle two-transistor amplifier stage, responsible for the unique clipping characteristics, is kept the same.
The other major change from the Tube Bender was the inclusion of a JFET-based buffered bypass mode, identical to the one from the OTC-201. The Ixora has an internal slide switch that allows the selection of either buffered or true bypass mode.
The original OPA-101 did not have a tone control, only a fixed treble cut after the clipping stage. The Ixora substitutes a potentiometer for the fixed resistor, allowing more or less treble cut than the stock unit and greatly improving the versatility.