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Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by tclotworthy, Jun 25, 2019.
Yep, this’ll get him there. Run it straight to the power amp for best emulation.
Though to be fair, you could spend twenty bucks less, and still be really happy with this stripped-down, simpler version.
What guitar? I hear lot of bridge position humbucker on those old hard rock tunes.
I like the Durham Mucho Boosto.
It is not a “great equalizer”, meaning your guitar’s fundamental sound is not modified.
A Strat sounds like a Strat, Gibson like a Gibson, yada yada.
They’re not real expensive.
Made in town, (I think, they used to be).
In addition to the great recommendations already offered, I'd add the Wampler Plexi Drive and the Suhr Riot.
Do the Outlaw mod on a DS-1. Best distortion pedal. Ever. EVER.
I've owned and tried lots of MIAB pedals and none have done what as many Marshalls I've owned did.
For distortion pedals, I've liked the old BK Butler Tube Driver, the Soldano GTO (a two tube pedal), and the Metal Pedals Bomb Shell.
I've had a few other genuine tube dist pedals and they all seem squishy and not really amp like, including the Radial Tone Bone British and the Ibanez Tube King 999.
Other than a very few I'm in agreement that distortion pedals pretty much suck.
Barber Direct Drive
(in ascending order of affordability)
+1 Yup, and there are more options too. PM @11 Gauge. He has his own website and he helped me with very similar circumstance many years ago and the Outlaw mod was the answer. He has sound samples to help you find the sound that you are after and he has easy mod diagrams for the Boss DS-1 and or will do them for you. He is also a master at building pedals.
Rat. Better yet Chicago Stompworks Mr Vermin! or Jam Rattler! O/D to distortion to near fuzz. I would reach for a Rat for the Hot Blooded thing. Angry Charley or HAO Rust Driver might get you there as well.
This is what I've found. As cool as some of the MIAB thingies might be, they're still basically just a flavor of distortion pedals. IMO, unless they are intentionally altered to be more like an OD (which seems kind of pointless), the user who prefers an overdrive sound is probably not going to find them appealing.
...And even though the OP said he'd be playing "some Foreigner songs," I don't think he really needs to resort to some kind of MIAB. There's a ton of hard rock stuff that wasn't done with Marshalls.
IMO, a "hotter OD" is probably a much better choice, and something with a "bit of bite" to it is also do-able.
All "true distortion" pedals typically do the same thing, by design. They have that characteristic buzzy (or even fuzzy) thing going on in the treble frequencies, especially. Lots of upper order harmonics. You can add all the knobs and switches you want, but it won't change that. You can use a tube for the distortion, but it won't change that. You can make it sound sort of like a Marshall, or sort of like a Mesa Boogie, or sort of like "just about any gainy amp," and it still doesn't change the fundamental issue...
I've known lots of players over the years who preferred OD pedals. Many of them came to realize that "hotter OD" was what they actually wanted or needed. Again, to reiterate, very common distortion pedals can be altered to remove the excessive buzz and fizz, and IME, it's typically a better solution than trying to add more gain and distortion-like harmonics to an OD pedal.
...It might be worth it to start with a Nobels ODR-1, because it kind of straddles the fence between OD and distortion. It has both soft and hard clipping, and its spectrum control allows for dialing in of a "more biting sound," if that's what's wanted. Also, Boss has a few different dual mode pedals that can be found for very cheap used. One of the higher gain modes might be passable for the "hard rock sound."
If the above don't do it, I'd circle back to trying a modified distortion pedal that has the buzz/fizz/fuzz tamped down (and the mids brought up a bit).
I understand what you are saying @11 Gauge - but isn’t all of that resident in the KOT already?
Sort of. The probable issue is that the KOT mostly copies the version 1 Bluesbreaker, which is the lowest gain variant. To my ear, the V1 is mostly a lower gain animal, so it's mostly "a proper overdrive."
IOW, it's best suited for bluesier, lower gain stuff IMO, is voiced for that, etc.
For hard rock and similar, IMO, there are better choices than the KOT, even if you can basically stack two V1 BBs together.
Personally, I'd suggest starting with a Nobels ODR-1, or maybe something like an old Boss SD-2. If those seem to be close but don't quite hit the mark, I think a tweaked DS-1 could hit the sweet spot, or maybe a Rat with the distortion set (very) low, stacked with "something else."
@11 Gauge maybe @tclotworthy should chime in. My understanding is the KOT tends to come with one side set tweaked for higher gain. But not sure if his was.
You need a RAT.
Rats are great (they come in multiple flavors), DS-1 is also pretty ubiquitous in that vain.
Consider a TC Electronic Dark Matter - it is promoted as a distortion pedal but to me is a slightly gained up MojoMojo with better clarity.
I'll add the Xotic SL Drive to the list. Not bad if you keep the gain down. I also like the MHP mods mentioned above. Fantastic bang for the buck if you can swap a few components.
Just a thought, you might want to take your leader to the music store with you. "More bite" is pretty vague. It would be a shame to spend money on something that still didn't meet with his approval.
Great overdrive - Rat
Great distortion - Rat
Great fuzz - Rat
I own and love an old big box Barber direct drive but in my opinion it really doesn't come close to being strong enough Distortion it's more like a good overdrive just my opinion a rat is definitely a distortion that can cut through
I've owned rats just my opinion sorry for the voice activation
What happened to the OP?
One post and no return comments, I wonder what amp he uses?
And what guitar or guitars for that matter, might be helpful.