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Dumble type pedal??? Which is the best?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Tele-Monster, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. kludge

    kludge Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 30, 2006
    I agree there, but it seems love for the Rumble Mod isn't universal. And it definitely has its own unique thing going, separate from the Robben Ford fetishism that seems to come with other D-style pedals. And it's hard to dial in and not very gainy compared to some of the competition. That said, it IS the best OD pedal I've ever found for my tastes.

    For a somewhat more gainy sound with a Telecaster, I've become completely enamoured with the Skreddy Screwdriver. It's not at all a "D-style" pedal, but does the same sorts of things right, and it's incredibly flexible. In one band I'm in, I usually play all evening with nothing but a Tele, the Screwdriver, and an old Boogie amp.
  2. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 21, 2003
    Near BWI Int'l
    No, not at all. Quite subjective, I'm certain. But then again, how many true double blind tests do you see for guitar gear?

    Martin is an interesting guy - he worked for Weber VST for awhile, amongst other places. He's had a hand in designing their attenuators and beam blockers, amongst other things (IIRC). He's also built personal tube amps with a plethora of info garnered from working for places like Weber. I also seem to recall some special beam blockers that weren't offered for sale to the public. He seems to have an ear for making stuff sound really good. JMO.

    So while the chip thing is subjective, it's kind of worth a shot, since lots of folks want a ZD, but many tend to spring for a clone to save some $. I only offered it in the event that someone has a clone, but the pedal kind of seems to be missing that last little bit of elusive stuff - a 40 cent chip might help to snap it into focus!
  3. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    Just had an interest in this thread subject...thought I would read....and a question came to me. How can a solid state gain device palced in front of V1 have the same effect as the changes that Dumble made to the basic FEnder circuit when said gain and tone changes take place after V1? Klasaine's observation makes sense to me. Whatever a pedal can do, it isn't in the right position in the circuit to do what Dumble's tricks do. I am not commenting on the quality of any of these pedals. I just don't see how they can 'clone' the sound if the entire circuit isn't cloned...meaning you need to build the whole...or modify a FEnder in a Dumble manner.
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  5. Tonemonkey

    Tonemonkey Poster Extraordinaire

    Dumble Karai, anyone?

    I guess its likely making a Curry:

    Traditionally (Dumble) Ghee and spices are added to the pan, cooked, then other ingredients are added in an order that best produces the preferred output, be it Jalfrezi, Tikka Massala, Rogan Josh etc

    Now not everybody has all these spices available, or the time, skills/knowledge to make a traditional curry. Last night I made a Jalfrezi using a prepared sauce in a jar (using many of the same ingredients). My Jalfrezi was therefore made with some compromises, the chicken and veg not cooked slowly in the cooking spices, in the right order, for the requisite time to add certain nuances to the flavour etc.
    However, the makers of this cooking sauce, have prepared a product, with this in mind, which they tell me that when I put these ingredients with the sauce into my pot (amp) it gets as close as possible to the flavour of a traditionally prepared Jalfrezi, without having to do it traditionally.

    I'm sure 11 Gauge, as a more highly qualified chef than I, might tweak the recipe or the metaphor. ;)
  6. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 28, 2006
    NELA, Ca
    My wife is quite the Italian cook - she's from Italy.
    Even when she 'tweaks' a good store bought sauce ... it isn't the same as her homemade version. It's OK, sometimes even pretty good (by her own admission) ... but it ain't the real deal. That's how I feel about the various amp styled pedals. Good to great tones depending on player, guitar, amp and application. But never like the real thing. Usually it's some 'idealized' version of whatever tone that's on said classic record ... after said amps been mic'd, recorded through a pre and a comp ... to tape, mastered and then listened to on a home stereo system.
    I'm not ragging on 'amp' styled OD's. I love my Zen and Howie but in reference to Wally's last post - in order to get them to sound pretty close to the venerated ODS, I have to play a 335 into a vintage BF Fender. Playing Robben Ford licks help the overall vibe too.
  7. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 21, 2003
    Near BWI Int'l
    Actually, Wally is spot on in his analysis, but he has the knowledge of intimately understanding what goes on within an amp circuit.

    Since pedals can employ some techinques that fall well outside the realm of how any amp was designed, it's possible to introduce characteristics that mimic what would typically be integrated into an amp build. But the two will never be synonymous. The "big trick" is to get something that works with a pedal that is pleasing and/or acceptable to the human ear, with pretty much a disregard for what is happening on paper.

    We just went through this whole debacle with the Les Lius being a "tweed amp simulator" in another thread. Human hearing is so subjective.

    ...All of this said, it's my "job" as a pedal designer to attempt to reverse engineer some near caveman technology to get it to pull off this hat trick. Then again, I never claim for my own designs to be amp sims of any sort - I typically aim for getting them to be more akin to the right amount of "additional circuitry" to augment a good amp in pleasing ways.

    The aforementioned Skreddy Screw Driver is a pretty good example of that, as it's almost an entire preamp in itself. Marc combined three types of transistors to do it - a MOSFET (like in a SHO) into a germanium (like in a Rangemaster) into an ordinary silicon unit. These three "key ingredients" are almost synonymous with the careful gainstaging that occurs in a good guitar amp.

    I'll wrap up with this. I was analyzing a schematic of the Mesa Studio Caliber preamp the other day. The lead channel is a funny animal relative to the clean channel in that piece of gear. It almost has some "redundant" stuff that looks akin to what might happen if you put a pedal in front a few less tube stages (if done right), or at the least it looked like a pair of rhythm preamps cascaded together, and tweaked to work as one.

    The solution need not be an orthodox one to pass muster. Guitarists have been "breaking the rules" with how they use and combine gear since the early days.
  8. don jon

    don jon Tele-Meister

    Aug 5, 2009
    Hi Tele Monster,
    I am surprised no one has mentioned the Creation Audio Labs Holy Fire. It is one of my all time favorites because of its signal clarity and versatility. Something else that might help you decide is to go to You Tube and search for Thaddeus Hogarth. Here is one link to a video of him A-B'ing the Holy Fire and Zendrive. He also compares about twenty different "Dumble Tone" type pedals and several amps.
    Anytime you bring up the "D" buzzword on these forums you get an instant plethora of opinions because just the name evokes emotion from passionate players everywhere. The important thing to remember is it doesn't matter if you have ever played a Dumble, or a clone, or met Dr. D himself, or have never even heard a recording of a Dumble, you have to find the gear that plays out the tones in your head. Dumble has made and modded so many different amps and his circuits have evolved so much over the years that I think its ironic that people argue so passionately over what "Dumble Tone" is when it can actually vary greatly depending on what amp or recording you hear not to mention the guitar and the picker.
    I do think that Thad's You Tube videos are very helpful if you are searching for your Holy Grail though. Unfortunately you can't just run to Guitarget and play and compare all the pedals that have entered into this conversation. So It's great that a pro with all the licks took time to compare them all for you. Check it out and happy hunting. The constant search for "THE" tone is what keeps us all going.
  9. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 21, 2003
    Near BWI Int'l
    I think that you hit on something that is really a fundamentally critical aspect.

    Since the vast majority have not, they have to go with what they experienced. This kind of gave me a revelation of sorts, as well :idea:. IMO, many players seem to equate the "Dumble sound" as part and parcel with the famous players who use them. Most (if not all) of these guys are "touch" players, who can extract some fantastic qualities from just about any gear that others cannot. Not to say that we aren't all "touch" players, but I'm hoping that the connection can be made. If Slash or Buzz Melvin used an ODS, I don't think that too many guitarists would be trying to ape that tone. I could be wrong, but call it a hunch...

    Not to minimize the greatness of Dumble amps, and for the "touch" players, they seem to be the solution of choice. However - there are other such guitarists who don't use an ODS and IMO can get a synonymous sort of effect, even if it isn't the Dumble specific tone.

    ...There are two folks that come to mind, because they are staunch pedal users. The first is David Gilmour, who can get fluid, dynamic, blooming, etc. etc. tones by using a basic OD pedal set in front of a tweaked Big Muff, and get lots of those "touch sensitive" aspects through a painfully clean HiWatt amp. I will admit that it isn't ODS tone, but I'm hoping that again that my point is being made.

    ...Second player is Oz Noy. He never knows what is going to be in the backline when he shows up for a gig, so his pedalboard has to provide it for him. He is another "touch" player, even though he rarely goes for the singing sustain or similar types of methods. But he carefully crafts his OD tones so that one isn't aware that he may be using a "sub par" amp, or at least one that wouldn't be optimal if your tones were dependent on it alone. Oz always sounds (IMO) like he's using the best amps available for his awesome technique.

    Clear as mud, eh?
  10. don jon

    don jon Tele-Meister

    Aug 5, 2009
    Well stated 11 Gauge. Most players, like myself, have never played a Dumble and probably never will. And I agree that most people searching for that tone are going after what they have heard from Ford or Santana on an album or at a live show.
    I have found that Gilmour's philosophy works best for me. Crank up a perfectly clean tube amp with a balanced tone stack, use lightly wound single coil pickups, and give your guitar all its distortion, voice, and unique character with effects that you can quickly change with a stomp of your foot and adapt to any situation. For that reason any tube amp with a sweet clean channel that will stay true at high volumes will work for me.
    However, all the Gilmour fanatics out there like me, could duplicate to the letter every single effect, preamp, amp, and setting he uses and still be dissatisfied with the tone we are able to coax from the setup. Even among skilled players everybody's attack and theory is individual. And I always preach that it's best to find the gear and setup that brings out the strengths in your playing, helps minimize your weaknesses, and inspires you to keep playing. Forget about chasing a fabled tone no matter what the famous name behind it is. Chances are you will spend more than you have to and still not "nail" the sound of your guitar hero.
  11. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    tonemonkey, your analogy is interesting....and points out exactly what my question was about. There is only one way to get a good curry or a good ITalian sauce or any other good recipe to come to true fruition. All of the ingredients have to be applied in the right order in the correct amounts..or the recipe doesn't bear the true taste. Without folowing the recipe carefully, the result might get close.....but it won't be for real. Same with amplifiers and associated gain stages and placement of tone shaping devices.
  12. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 21, 2003
    Near BWI Int'l
    +1,000,000. :p

    IMO, guitarists simply aren't best served by chasing abstracts. Developing a sound method for evaluating good gear for subjective purposes and needs is the way to go in almost every situation.

    ...But like they say - you can lead a horse to water. It's so easy to show where the water is. It's what should happen next that is so hit or miss...
  13. Durango Twango

    Durango Twango Tele-Meister

    Nov 24, 2005
    11 Gauge - I've seen the notorious posting about the build quality of the GSR and know where this is coming from. I've also opened up my Jetdrive and it is a very tight build, nothing shaky from my perspective at all, and I'm very fussy. I never saw early Jetter pedals, but if there WAS a problem I think it's more than rectified.

    Reason I bring this up is that I see rumors flying around that can really damage a small builder. Brad has responded to emails very quickly, seems really quick to help his customers, and is putting out some great sounding stuff. Can't say I've heard of any unusual amount of failure of his pedals either. Just my two cents.

    To add to the discussion about D-Voiced pedals - I just picked up an Ethos and it's a helluva thing. This one is NOT a typical gain pedal, really more of a little amp sitting on our board. Once I got my head around it, there are some awfully good tones in there (phenomenal clean boost) and it has more EQ potential than I know what to do with. Sounds great direct as well, so my board has a built-in amp backup/direct option. Awful lot of function and tone for one outlet on the Pedal Power.
  14. Uma Floresta

    Uma Floresta Tele-Holic

    Jun 23, 2008
    The Jetter GSR and the Fuchs Plush Drive are pretty much clones of the Zendrive, with one or two minor changes.
  15. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 21, 2003
    Near BWI Int'l
    This is true - easy to damage the small guy's rep.

    Glad to hear that he has cleaned up the build quality since the well documented GSR was opened up. That said, this small guy has been making 2 bills on someone else's design, with no mention.

    The disassembled GSR is not a rumor - it's documented online. Even if the build quality is now stellar, the GSR is not Brad's creation - it's Hermida's, IMO. For this reason, any damage to Brad's reputation is a reckoning of sorts, IMO.

    Odds are that Jetter will not be tarnished at all. The Jetter fan club could care less, and quite a few guitarists don't seem to care when one guy takes another guy's design. I oftentimes don't even care myself, as long as the builder gives credit where it's due. Something along the lines of "thanks to Alfonso Hermida for a great foundation to a better overdrive, etc."

    ...But the chances of any of them fessing up (even the big boys) is slim to none, so if they're willing to gamble with potential rep. damages, they are aware of the risk.

    The Ethos is cool, but not for everyone, and IMO is much better for D.I. purposes. It also helps to have some deep pockets if you want one, as it costs more than half of my guitars did! :p
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  16. LarryAB

    LarryAB TDPRI Member

    Mar 24, 2009
    new york
    Look at the Tanabe Dumkudo (see the Youtube demos), own this one and like it very much.
  17. Durango Twango

    Durango Twango Tele-Meister

    Nov 24, 2005
    Yeah, I would agree with all of that. Of course all of this stuff is derivative - Hermida didn't invent his tone, just came up with a circuit to cop it, Leo didn't design his own circuits, GE did, lots of guys are selling Fender/Vox?Marshall amps as well. So commonplace that nobody seems to notice any more.

    You're right about the Ethos being a good DI device, I think that may be its strongest role, but tuned in right, it's pretty stellar through and amp. It's not cheap, but if you add up what it does it would be a two stage gain pedal and an amp sim like a Tech 21 so it comes out pretty much even.
  18. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 21, 2003
    Near BWI Int'l
    FWIW, I found this video of the Umble:

    I'm not saying that I agree with anything said in the video, but was a little surprised to find one for this specific pedal, because it's basically a DIY design.

    If nothing else, it's about 10 minutes of entertainment, given the right frame of mind.
  19. Uma Floresta

    Uma Floresta Tele-Holic

    Jun 23, 2008
    Someone needs to take him aside and help him understand why he shouldn't post videos of himself in shorts.
  20. sssteeve

    sssteeve TDPRI Member

    Feb 3, 2010
    Concord, CA

    I got mine in November and if you look at all of the money I have wasted on pedals I don't use anymore, $400 is a real bargain. As you said it is not just your typical gain pedal; I consider it to be a floor-mounted two channel preamp- a Dumble Overdrive Special in a can, so to speak. In some ways it is even more versatile than a real ODS or clone since you have separate tone controls for each channel. While many people only talk about its OD capabilities, the clean channel is awesome. It really adds a lot of sparkle and presence to the clean channel on your amp.

    As you mentioned it is quite versatile: you can use it ahead of a guitar amp, you can use it for recording and you can plug into the PA if your amp craps out. There are two output jacks so you can choose between a normal output or a speaker simulator output (which actually delivers what it says). There is also a GAC switch (Guitar Amp Compensation) which you normally leave on when you are playing through an amp, but may be turned off when you are plugged in a PA or a mixer for recording.

    The Ethos is a work of art and its designer Rob is a real genius- he has been working on emulating the sound and response of tubes with solid state devices for something like 20 years.

    With all of that being said, many people consider the Zendrive to more accurately capture the sound and response- the vibe- of the ODS overdrive channel. But for a real treat trying plugging the Zendrive into the Clean channel of your Ethos- that is reportedly "heaven on earth" and I have plans to get a Zendrive one of these days.

    Steve Ahola

    P.S. On other forums many people have posted their favorite settings for the Ethos overdrive channel. There is one that I have been using that has worked really well. (I will add the settings later tonight.) You have absolute control over your guitar sound by adjusting the volume and tone knobs. When your guitar volume is dimed you get a nice overdrive sound. As you turn it down to 5 the volume pretty much stays the same. As you turn it from 5 to 0 the volume drops and you start getting some really nice clean sounds. Other amps and boxes have a similar response, but with this "patch" you get really nice usable sounds from the point of audibility all of the way up to 10. To take full advantage of that I put together a small pedal board with the Ethos plugged into my volume pedal. When I crank the guitar up to 10 I might back off on the pedal; when I turn the guitar volume down I will usually turn turn the volume pedal up.

    All that and I still have the Ethos Clean channel to add some different sounds to the mix. Now if I just had a Zendrive to plug into the Clean channel it would indeed be heaven on earth...:D

    P.P.S. A quick run down on the "magical" settings:
    - gain maxed
    - all of the switches down
    - treble 10:00
    - mid 2:00
    - bass 10:00
    - presence 10:00
    - volume (set to match the clean- or however you like)
    - cut (set to whatever works for you)

    It might sound like mondo-distortion with the gain maxed but with the rock/jazz switch set to jazz there is a big drop in volume. Also use the boost switch at your own risk (the boost switch minimizes the effect of the rock/jazz switch. I was going to cut out a piece of cardboard or plastic tube and place it over the Boost footswitch so that I can't hit accidentally.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2010
  21. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 31, 2004
    Hackettstown, NJ
    Holy Crap! Steve Aloha! Dude, thanks for all the Peavey mods over the years... turned my C50 into something special... AND got me into modding my own stuff.

    As for the Dumble pedal thing, I've been reading for days, watching & listening to demos, have already owned a Zendrive in the past (didn't bond with it), and have decided I'm going to get an FET Dream. They're sold out at the moment tho, so it's a waiting list at the moment.
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