stackin pedals or one at a time?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Wrong-Note Rod, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just curious.

    I have a very simple working board... I've found a simpler thing always works better for me at a gig than a more complex one.

    I have one pedal for blues mild overdrive and another pedal for hard rock. They are never used at the same time. I also have a Soul Food I ocassionally use as a boost for whatever.

    But I know a lot of you stack pedals to get harder rock/overdrive sounds.

    My mid-mild overdrive is either the good old Boss blues driver or the Pure Sky pedal. I like those, especially with my strat's middle pickup. The Soul Food is not set up to push the crap out of the other pedal into hard distortion, altho I suppose I could.

    Other pedals I often use - just basic stuff - OCD (I have two models) - Zoom powerdrive (good Klon clone), Torino Overdrive, - Moer black secret, and some small pedal called Golden Brownie - both those are pretty good but hiss like crazy at higher distort setting - also an old Bad Monkey but the switch is iffy

    oh and an old green Nobels overdrive

    out of all of those, which two would you set to stack - one being the milder overdrive and the other push it all into hard rock territory?
     
  2. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Tele-Afflicted

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    A BD-2 works well with a mid boost OD in front of it, like a TS-9, SD-1, or a Klone. If you're running a clean amp, stacking helps in getting you closer to a more authentic cranked amp tone.
     
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  3. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire

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    thanks.

    what about hiss? I hate hiss and noise. Thats one of my things about not stacking. Everytime I tried, I get extra noise from both pedals being on.

    Does it create hiss using both pedals on at the same time?
     
  4. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have SOOOOOO many pedals, I really should experiment more with stacking, but the few times I have, it always just seems like too much , and things get fizzy/flabby/muddy.

    Seems like something to keep in mind is that for a good stack, don't expect to be happy with the sound of either pedal on it's own?
     
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  5. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire

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    tonight i might try cranking the soul food gain setting higher and turn it on with the blues driver, just to see what happens. interesting thought.

    One reason why I like distinct pedals for distinct purposes - the blues driver is set up to use more or less with a neck or middle pickup - and it helps to have a separate tone control for that specific purpose - then the bridge pickup gets its own pedal, so a different tone control for that purpose

    but I also might go back to tele where its all gonna be bridge pickup for the most part.
     
  6. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't really notice a problem, but I'm almost always playing live. You're always going to get more noise when there's more gain. That's just nature of analog signal paths. You could add a noise gate if it really bothers you, but then you're just adding another layer of complexity.
     
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  7. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire

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    OK

    I can try it with the soul food tonight and see if it generates an unnacceptable amount of hiss for my purposes. If not, then I might ask to borrow somebody's tube screamer and see how it works.

    Thanks!
     
  8. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .



    I had a DS-1 that I decided I should try some of the hundreds of mods out there ... then figured it would be a good idea to have one stock and mod a second to A/B ... but then when I got the second (I spent only $40 for the pair total since they are 'so hated') I stacked them and messed around -- realized I actually had a six knob boutique pedal.

    While a single DS-1 will get fizzy above "7", especially with humbuckers, stacking them and keeping both below "5" actually works. I tend to even run one near zero gain with the level up and the second with 4-5 on the gain. Together better than apart.


    Roll off the 'tone' knob on the pedal if you get hiss. It can knock off those upper frequencies.

    .
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
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  9. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Holic

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    I have five different OD/boost pedals, each with its own flavor, and each set to fairly light gain. By stacking them in various combinations I can get a very wide variety of sounds. Basically like the video posted above. Almost never more than two on at a time. Works great. I suppose I could get most of those same sounds with two pedals, but then I'd be fiddling with knobs all the time.
     
  10. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I agree. Seems like folks really get excited about stacking 2 or more drives set to low gain to achieve high gain. I'm super K.I.S.S. at this point. So I have only one drive - an SD1 - on my board. I guess I'm fine with one amp sound I'm happy with, then modifying that with pickup selection and volume knobs on guitar. Step on the SD1 when I need more. If it's a song where I feel like I need more drive for a specific part than can be achieved by rolling up the volume and/or stepping on the SD1 (somewhat rare) I just turn up the drive on the SD1 for that song. Otherwise if I need more drive for the whole song I just turn up on my amp.

    The whole stacking thing - just doesn't work for me. Even if I could I could find ones that both sound good on their own and stack well, I can't seem to remember live, when to hit which, in between singing, engaging, and being in the moment. I'd rather do the other things well with one tone I'm happy with, than worry about having the perfect level of drive, I guess.

    Happy hunting.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
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  11. teletimetx

    teletimetx Poster Extraordinaire

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    I usually stack, use different combos with different amps. I'm playing only single coils, mostly telecaster or sometimes a strat into either a BF Tremolux or a SF Princeton no-verb. Currently for the Tremolux, I'm using a MXR Torino as always on very mild OD. I've had no problems with hiss. I run that into a Way Huge Fat Sandwich, which I kick on for a more saturated OD. Seems like I have to fuss with the amount of gain or volume on the Fat Sandwich a little, just to get the hair and volume I want. Just use for different songs on the set list.

    For the Princeton, I use the Torino or a DOD OD 250, same sort of mild OD and clarity, and stack that into a Boss SD-1, same sort of more saturated, more hair.

    I then have a DD-3 set just to fatten the signal a little, that I use just for certain songs. Sometimes just one, or two or sometimes all three. I rarely change mid song, but sometimes I'll back off on one pedal just to see what happens.

    I can guarantee that no one in the audience cares one way or the other - but it's fun for me...

    Either way the first pedal is always on and the second is used to kick into more dirt. And either way works for me, but I have a residency type, once-a-week gig at the same venue, 5-piece band, with a widely varying set list, so can't just "plug straight into the amp" - too much variety to cover and I'm the only lead guitar.
     
  12. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    @Wrong-Note Rod - I am curious. You are an experienced live player. Could it be that stacking is a solution in search of a problem for you?
     
  13. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

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    Using clipping from a pedal to clip the clipping in other pedals seems like a lot of clipping for clip's sake.
     
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  14. beninma

    beninma Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Klon circuits seem like they can have a fair amount of hiss and that if you want to use it for gain as opposed to just boost they might not be a good choice. They've got a lot less hiss if you minimize the use of the pedal's gain and use it more as the boost.

    Granted I have not owned an actual Klon or a KTR... I have owned a Soul Food and right now I have a Tumnus Deluxe.. the Tumnus Deluxe has the "hot" switch and it maybe works better for gain without noise with the Hot switch turned on.

    I haven't spent a whole lot of time fiddling with stacking.. but if you're boosting a dirty amp you are kind of stacking. But nothing about stacking strikes me as simple, it's definitely complex.

    One thing that worked for me recently.. I have an OD808, that is relatively low on the hiss but can provide some decent gain of it's own. I stacked it with my Orange Two Stroke... the Two Stroke is very quiet in terms of hiss.. I set the Two Stroke up as a clean treble boost.. boosts at like 1K and 2K on the parametric EQ. It was a pretty nice stack on top of the dirty amp. But do I actually need to do it? No definitely not. And my OD808 if you keep the gain low, volume up high, and then start turning up the tone towards 1-2 o'clock it can do something awfully close to that treble boost sound too. I think that idea of one overdrive + one clean boost is a setup that can be easier to get working though.

    Fuzz/Distortion can have a lot of hiss.. not necessarily easy to stack without noise.

    I would much rather have a dirty amp option and just stack one single pedal on top of that for my setup I guess.
     
  15. jondanger

    jondanger Poster Extraordinaire

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    I like a mid boosted pedal at low gain into a RAT set to crunch. Gives you three good usable options: low gain, crunch, then a singing sustaining high gain sound for leads. It really works for me, but to each her own.

    That Black Secret is a RAT clone, right? You could maybe try one of the Klon types into the Black Secret and see if you like it.
     
  16. Urshurak776

    Urshurak776 Tele-Holic

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    If playing hard rock, what amp? Most of the hard rock guys use a TS (or some variant) in the front end (Kerry King...SLAYER) and the guitarists for Chelsea Grin also. Doesn't get much heavier than that.
     
  17. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    I rarely have two OD's on at the same time usually. But I have discovered a couple things which weren't intuitive about doing it:
    -Two "on" isn't necessarily louder or more "in your face".
    -Two "on" will give you more sustain .
    -Sometimes when I'm keeping volume low, I turn the second one "on" and it just blooms the notes, they are smooth and not piercing.

    My OD's are :
    -TS9DX on Turbo mode.
    -Zenkudo
    -Barber Gain Changer
     
  18. King Creole

    King Creole Friend of Leo's

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    I use an OCD with the drive knob low, and a Prince of Tone with a little tiny bit of drive but lots of volume before the OCD. I use them alone or together. But I'm not getting loads of hard rock distortion either, so I can't answer your question about noise.
     
  19. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not crazy about stacking. My dirt pedals seem to lose their personality when combined. Like Mark, I mostly use an SD-1, although mine has a couple of simple mods. It's usually set for mid-gain. I'll roll back the guitar for less.
     
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  20. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've narrowed it down to two dirt pedals on my main board. Gain Changer for "clean" and Ibanez Jet Driver for overdrive chores. I never need to use the two together. On my travel board however, I use a Timmy for cleaner sounds and a Rat for bluesy overdrive. Both are set very mild, but boosting the Rat with the Timmy gives a great heavier overdrive. So it depends on the combo.
    Not much help I know. :oops:
     
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