I've been a Full-Drive and Full-Drive II user in the past, including the various FDII and Mosfet incarnations.
So when I got the email from Fulltone that an FD3 was in the works, I figured it would be useful, and ordered one. It came early this morning, so I logged some time with it, and figured I'd file the tone report here. My pedal board is all true-bypass, and cabled with PRS cables exclusively. It's a little smaller than the older FDs, so it's a bit easier to get on a crowded board (I have loads of room, so not an issue for me). It's built to the same standards as the old ones, and is a nice creamsicle orange color that looks brighter in the pic. below.
What's nice about this one is that the boost and the OD circuits operate 100% independently. So you can engage the boost circuit without engaging the OD. You couldn't do this with the previous models. The boost circuit also incorporates a variable limiter, a nice feature.
The OD has two modes, one like the early 90s Full-Drives (a colored tube-screamer type circuit), and one that's more transparent sounding. There is a toggle for this. There's also a toggle for having the OD before the boost, or after the boost. Very thoughtful. It runs on a standard 9V battery or power supply with center pin negative. You can also run it at 18 volts, which is what I do to increase the headroom a little bit.
How does it sound? Very nice! Each OD mode is what you'd expect from this style of pedal, a very tightly grained overdrive that works well with my HX/DA, the 90s mode being a little more mid-forward, and the modern mode being more open. I like them both. The boost, to me, is the unexpected star of the show. I like it with the buckers on my A-V coil-tapped especially, and it's great for adding a little bit of clarity and warmth there. Just adding 3 db or so of boost makes for some nice richness, and the boost is very transparent
Both modes add nice color. Why would I put a pedal in front of the HX/DA, which let's face it, is a phenomenal amp with a killer overdrive? First, I like to play around with coloration in front of an amp. Sometimes I want a slightly different texture, too. Second, I like to put overdrive in front of certain modulation or delay pedals from time to time.
Bottom line: this has a fat and warm sound, and it'll have some cool uses in my work. And having a clean boost that operates independently means one less pedal on the board. I really didn't want to turn the boost off.