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"Always On" light gain pedal

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Marc Morfei, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I am trying to settle on a great pedal for light gain, something to add some balls to rythym playing. A transparent pedal that might be left on most of the time. I have been using a Sparkle Drive for this for the past year, which sounded great through a Blues Jr with CRex speaker (the "sparkle" balanced out the CRex very nicely). But now I am playing through a Vox AC15 which is a lot more sparkly on its own. Even when I dial out the highs on the pedal, the Sparkle Drive now sounds too thin and "compressed" somehow. I have room for 3 boost pedals. A TS9 set for medium gain that sounds good for leads and certain types of songs. A Boss BD2 that I have set up for high-gain fuzz (sounds great for that). So the third and last pedal is for light raunchiness. The pedal needs to get a warm low end to balance the Vox (but not make that pronounced TS mid-boost sound). And I need to be able to get it used for under $100. Been doing lots of research, and these seem like some that might fit the bill: Fulltone OCD, Rockett Flex, DOD Looking Glass, Timmy (probably too expensive). Any opinions? Thanks,
     
  2. Lawdawg

    Lawdawg Tele-Afflicted

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    What you're describing is basically what I use my OCD for albeit with a Twin Reverb. To be clear, the OCD has a ton of gain on tap and it's probably more known for higher gain type tones, but I love using it for "light raunchiness." To my ears it's far more transparent and touch sensitive than the Sparkle Drive which I also have.
     
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  3. Urshurak776

    Urshurak776 Tele-Holic

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    Have you tried a KLON?
     
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  4. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    MXR Il Torino will do this
     
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  5. Seasicksailor

    Seasicksailor Friend of Leo's

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    With my AC15, I use a TS type pedal always on just to give it a bit of oomph.

    I typically set the amp itself pretty clean with a bit of 'hair' if played hard (master at 12 o'clock, channel vol at 9 o'clock - I use both channels with ABY switch). The gain of the TS is really low (close to 0 actually), but I have the level past noon (or even higher). This makes it easy to clean up with the guitar volume, at an overall reasonable volume. For more gain, I just use another boost before the TS (Boss FB2).

    Since, you already have a TS, it might be worth trying out.
     
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  6. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Need to keep it under $100 used.
     
  7. the tool

    the tool Tele-Holic

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    then I'd get a Timmy, if its available under 100
    or the Hot Cake (harder to come by maybe)

    Edit: Oh... and don't underestimate the good ol Boss OD pedals... not the BD-2, the OD ones
     
  8. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    When I use a blues junior I leave a ep booster always on.
     
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  9. scout2112

    scout2112 Tele-Holic

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    I'm not a big fan of OCD - to me it sounds more like a fuzz pedal than an overdrive. Check out Vick Audio Tree of Life - at lower gain settings it sounds like a Zendrive, and more OCD-like at higher gain settings. Also a very good choice would be a Fryette S.A.S with the gain up at 9am... or a Wampler Tumnus. Grab them if you can find one used in your price range. Otherwise check out the Mosky Golden Horse, EHX Soul Food, Boss Blues Driver, Emerson Paramount, or even a Behringer Vintage Tube Overdrive would fit the bill.

    Review of the Vick Audio Tree of Life: http://www.gilmourish.com/?p=6720
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
  10. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    I use a TS9DX on Turbo mode for this. Gain on 0-1. The Turbo mode adds bottom end other OD's dont have, so it's richer and not all middy. I also have a Barber Gain Changer that will do it which is my go to clean boost.... again.. gain way down.
    Timmy too thin sounding for me.
    EP Booster too dark and compressed.

    My TS9DX never goes off unless the GC is on.
     
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  11. MountainTwang

    MountainTwang TDPRI Member

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    FullTone Fulldrive non-mosfet would bring a little darkness to that AC15. I love mine and keep it on most of the time.
     
  12. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't have an AC15... but I have an OCD and a Timmy.

    For what you are describing, I use the Timmy on all of my amps (all Fenders).

    It might be a bit pricier... but I would save your nickels and make it happen. It is a great pedal.

    I would not recommend the OCD for this purpose, I just find it a little 'brittle' or 'fizzy' and I definitely don't think it adds 'oomph'.
     
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  13. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Poster Extraordinaire

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    For always on with a Vox AC-15...
    Hot Cake...the pedal for Vox tube amps
    Timmy...excellent for low gain with an AC-15 (Reverb is selling used ones for 110 and up)
    Barber Gain Changer...great range of options, low gain/flat mids setting is sweet with Vox (100 bucks used on Reverb)
    Mad Professor Sweet Honey...mild low gainer, great for always on chores (100 and up)
    Visual Sound Open Road...sounds awesome with a single coil bridge pickup (80 bucks on Reverb)

    I've used all of these with my AC-15. Also tried a OCD, but it can be a tad bright with my setup.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
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  14. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

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    I don't play a Vox, but just FYI the DOD Looking Glass struck me as very similar to a Timmy (which I had a cheaper clone of.) Both were very good at adding a bit of grit while letting the amp do its thing... I guess that's what people mean by "transparent?"

    Maybe a DOD OD250 might also be an option?
     
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  15. BluesGuitarMart

    BluesGuitarMart Tele-Meister

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    I love the Boss OD3 for exactly this. Kept on all the time at low gain, gives a great lightly driven sound. Worth a try and if you don't like it you can probably sell it for what you paid.
     
  16. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Friend of Leo's

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    I have a TS9DX and I've used that on low settings for my home noodling. I also have a Keely Compressor + which also seems to have the effect of a slight boost and helps to break up the signal when pushed a bit.
     
  17. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Poster Extraordinaire

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    Forgot about this one. It's a great pedal with a AC-15. You can probably get a used one for around 50 bucks or less.
     
  18. archtop_fjk

    archtop_fjk Tele-Holic

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    I also concur with the choice of a Klon(e). The EHX Soul Food fits in your budget. I've built my own klone using the Aion Electronics Refractor PCB, and generally keep it on as a preamp and buffer at the top of my pedal chain. My klone settings are: Gain at 9 O'clock, Volume at Noon, and Tone to taste (usually 3 O'clock).
     
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  19. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    I have a looking glass and can agree with your characterization. I took it off fairly recently and put an OCD on, maybe I need to spend more time A:B comparing them. They are different but it seems like the OCD can do a lot of what the DOD does if you keep the gain down and use the volume knob instead.

    I understand the desire to want to do this with a Blues Jr. but I don't quite get it with an AC15.

    I think since the AC15 can be very much made to do this on it's own if you're going to leave it on all the time why not just adjust the AC15 to do it? I've played with the AC15 and it seems like in a lot of ways it is like an Orange or something.. it's not that hard to make it do this stuff on it's own without a pedal. Then leave the pedal as something to temporarily kick on when you need a "sometimes" effect.

    I don't own an AC15 but I played with one at one point and it seemed very easy (like my Orange) to dial it into this kind of zone all by itself.
     
  20. 6BQ5

    6BQ5 Tele-Afflicted

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    I use a Way Huge Saucy Box for this. Same amp. It's tone circuit is a passive treble cut, so you can dial out the highs without making it sound thin. Gain range is anywhere from clean boost to medium gain, so you can definitely find the right spot for you. No mid hump or heavy compression. Can almost definitely find it for under $100 used.
     
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