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Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by E5RSY, Oct 10, 2018.
Played one earlier this week. Wow! Perfect for what I want. Gonna have to track one down.
Those are basically the big three of dirt - and the ones that just about everything else is based upon.
So, between those two, leaning toward the DOD RI for it's relatively recent tweaking by Tom Cram and team, and true bypass. Good plan, or no?
Depends on what you want. The circuits are similar, but not exact. The D+ has a bit more fizz and less volume from the germ diodes. The 250 has less fizz and more volume from the silicon diodes. When used with humbuckers and Plexi, the D+ will give you the early Maiden sound. When used with single coils and a Plexi, you are diving straight into Malmsteen territory. I would try both and see that works best for your pickups and rig.
I think the TS should actually be replaced with the OD-1, which is the real ancestor, IMO. Both the TS and the SD-1 are based off of it (IMO).
250 is a great pedal. Warm, dynamic. Just the right bass cut as you crank the Gain. Starts out close to unity bass and cuts progressively as you increase Drive. I recall reading that at max Drive, the 250 has the bass cut inherent in the TS.
You forgot the Boss OD1. It came before the TS, and Ibanez based their pedal on it. But, the MXR and DOD came before both of those. Before them there were only Fuzz pedals.
That's correct. And the 250's drive circuit serves as the foundation for the Zen Drive's voice circuit - as the gain goes up, more and more bass gets cut.
It's kind of crude to implement both a gain/drive and variable high pass filter in a single circuit, but there's no arguing that there are some sweet spots in there. Some would argue that adding any other controls/circuitry would be unnecessary gilding, and I guess that would include adding a tone control, too.
I just built one on Veroboard for my son from a Tagboard effects layout, great sounding circuit. We spent a lot of time auditioning clipping diodes, we liked green 3mm LEDs(!) the best. Opened up the sound over the stock silicon diodes with a little more headroom. We tried everything from old Soviet D9x germanium types to every silicon diode type I have in my parts stash. The green LED's were just for a laugh especially after we had tried regular old red ones and didn't hear as much a difference over the 1N4148's
It's an easy build with low parts count too, definitely a gateway into making your own pedals.
That's a Chicago Stompworks "Gray Speck" on the right.
Good article on the OD-1 back in the third issue of Distortion Ltd.:
However, the author claims the OD-1 was the first to use the term "Over Drive". Wasn't the 250 a few years ahead of it?
First, but not as commonly known or played. It was quickly replaced by the SD-1 and then you'd have to go down the rabbit hole of tone circuits and clipping. It was just easier to say TS.
Chicago Stompworks makes a great 250 for low bucks....just sayin’...$50 for a plain enclosure. When I crank it into a cleanish tweed I get Springsteen Darkness tones....and those are wonderful.
As far as the big 3 are concerned...probabl should make it big 4 and add the Colorsound Overdriver to the list. Came out in what 1969-7-? It’s own circuit and an awesome one at that...a shame is is often forgotten or overlooked...though a lot of boutique builders do them now. The do-everything dirt pedal.
Surely should be on the list of originals, but what about descendants? Does it have and continue to have a progeny of subsequent models based on it? I think that's what "the Big 3" is about.
I got one and liked it. Didnt last long. Bad switch.
Yeah. The heart of every fuzz and dist is the diode, either in the gain feedback loop (TS, rat), or on the output (250/D+). Not until I dug into these circuits a bit and experimented with different diodes and combinations did I gain an understanding of what I really like and what works for me.
For the DOD250 circuit, 2 Si in series, and 1 Ge. That's the magic formula right there, friends.
EDIT: two Ge, and 1 Si. I can never remember.
OD-1 - 1977
DS-1 - 1978
TS808 - 1979
250/D+ - late '70s
SD-1 - 1981
Guess I thought the 250 was older from reading the release notes from 2013 (which are probably a bit misleading):
"The legendary analog DOD Overdrive Preamp 250 is back, with over 40 years of history and experience behind it."
My big three wasn't a comment on what pedals came first - or an endorsement. It was more about where we are today in regards to the zillions of mods, clones, etc., etc. available on the current market. The OD1 was before the TS, but the addition of the tone control and change in clipping made the TS circuit more "popular". Most players probably haven't played a real OD1, but they probably all know TS - or a modded one. Heck, the SD-1 was basically an attempt by Boss to keep up with Maxon/Ibanez. That said, there are loads of great pedals that came out a generation ago - not even attempting to look at fuzz boxes. The Colorsound is a great pedal and the Crowther is simply brilliant, but they aren't are well known or widely used as the three I listed above. Its just a numbers game.
Great pedal and odd that more players don't use it.
Maybe the lack of a tone control confuses players?
I have an original ('80s) yellow and a Chicago Stompworks gray spec, but like the more snarly sound of the yellow better than the slightly smoother sound of the gray.
Same circuit but different chip, not sure if the assumption is that older is better or if most players prefer smoother dirt, but the snarl of the original yellow is just so prefect- not SS fizzy at all, just snarling like an old metal panel Marshall.
I got a used yellow in 1980 with a Bandmaster head and cab, but then found it awfully bright, so a few years later added a tone control that was pretty much a guitar tone control; ran a wire from the hot side of the input to a 250k pot to a .022 cap to ground. Might have been a .01 cap but it worked fine and didn't mess up the character of the pedal.
I've read in various places that adding a tone control will mess with the character, and am not sure why mine worked to my satisfaction. Dumb luck or just plain dumb?
I've also read that the gray was still being made when I got the yellow used in '80, so it must have been pretty much brand new when the first owner sold it to me in the package deal.
It's funny, my other favorite "vintage" OD is the Voodoo lab Overdrive, which also has no tone control but tends to be on the dark side.
Is there some electronic advantage to having no tone control?
I've had quite a few MXR Dist + and have an old block logo now, but never liked them at all. Such a similar circuit yet one is great and the other isn't even a challenger in my particular signal chain.
Yeah I never played an OD-1 but missed an auction for one at a really cheap price and was pretty bummed that I didn't get it.
At the time I didn't know it was another damn TS though so I would probably not have liked it anyhow!
I wonder how few were made before they discontinued/ replaced it?
And how much different does it sound than the replacements?
I thought of suggesting the Voodoolab Overdrive as one of the classic (3-4-5) circuits, and would certainly consider the Muff to be on the lists, but I guess the list is exclusive and the Muff doesn't qualify circuit wise, while the VLOD doesn't qualify era wise.
I have two original VLODs, one OCD, and recently got a used Oddfellow Caveman V1.
Not as early but certainly a legit lineage in the classic circuits we can't stop buying the next versions of...
The amazing thing to me about the OD250 is it was so darn close to perfect in its first version. But I guess even more players feel that way about the 808.