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Always on versitial overdrives

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by GuitarsBuicks, Sep 7, 2020.

  1. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Holic

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    I am currently looking for a lightish overdrive that I can just leave on for live stuff.

    Currently I have an EHX Hot Tubes nano, and a Truetone/Visual Sound Route 66 American Overdrive/Compressor. Both of them are great pedals and I just leave the Route 66 on all the time. But sometimes I need something that's relatively mild to give me a different flavor.I'm just looking for something to add a little more flavorful overdrive. The Hot Tubes although an awesome and extremely versitile overdrive, tends to be just a little overbearing when it's paired with the Route 66.

    I'm currently looking at Danelectro The Breakdown, Wampler Paisley Drive, Greer Amps Lightspeed.

    I'm open to any suggestions you guys might have under $300.

    I'm not looking for a lot of distortion and maybe a little but if fuzz. Not a lot just a little to add some hair to the high end. I have tried Klon clones in the past and was not overly impressed. They seemed to not be what I was looking for. I'm also not looking for a tube screamer as I don't like how muddy they tend to be...at least the settings I use they tend to be rather muddy. I want that natural sound without boosting the amp to ear shattering levels. I also want something that responds to the way I'm playing like an amp does.

    Thanks

    GuitarsBuicks
     
  2. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude Tele-Afflicted

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    For that application, I have been really enjoying the J ROCKETT silver Archer.
     
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  3. Bluego1

    Bluego1 Tele-Afflicted

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    I love this little dude...er....girl. Give er a listen.
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Doctor of Teleocity

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    Save money and get a Boss Blues Driver!

    An amazing 'always ON ' OD pedal for me as there is so much transparency ( I said it!) and range in three simple knobs
    And ( the reason I use it) real dynamics that do really cleanup with my guitar Volume knob.

    When I have my guitar Volume down to say 60% ( with my amp volume set to be loud enough for clean rhythm or lead with guitar Volume set at 60% ) you cannot tell I have the Blues Driver on.

    Then I just roll into overdrive>saturation from there on my guitar.
    I set the pedal Gain knob at how much distortion I want to hear when I do turn guitar volume all the way up.

    Notes:
    -This is not ( on its own) a high Gain pedal, but it stacks well with others to boost, or just a clean ( or dirty boost) to amp
    - you do have to work with it- in that the Tone control is very sensitive to your amp's tone, and the Gain knob is very sensitive to the output of your guitar -
    But these are GOOD THINGS! - great features to have.

    - I personally find it easier to use BD-2 in this manner ( always ON control from guitar) than to kick it on for a lead break.
     
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  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I've been doing this lectric guitar thing for a long time and have more than a hundred pedals.

    I guarantee you with 100% certainty that the only pedal that "responds to the way I'm playing like an amp does" is the pedal that's in TBP mode.

    The harder lesson is "how do I figure out what amp has the light overdriven AMP sound I'm looking for?"
    If you're willing to buy a $300 light OD, how much did your amp cost?

    The Rt66 is hard to beat and I have IIRC three old versions.
    Note that it's a TS which you don'tlike, and I also don't like TS sound but the 66 is a little different.
    The muddy sound you don't want is to a large degree exactly what a light OD adds when it tries to make an amp sound turned up.

    The fact that it's so easy to buy yet another OD in hopes of getting your amp to sound turned up louder I think gets in the way of our search for the right amp.

    Another thing I think misleads us is the fact that the best tube spring reverb comes in amps designed to not distort.
    That made a vast industry serving the need to make an amp designed to not distort sound more lika an amp that does what we really want: a little distortion.

    What I had to do to find amps with the bit of dirty edge was to let go of my love of sproing.
    I'm very happy to have dropped tube/ spring reverb and switched to AD for my bit of verb, because it opened up a whole huge world of amps that are free of restraints in the circuit, designed by guys who only wanted clean sounds.

    It gets harder to match an amp to a volume requirement, and may require a more mature drummer who can maintain their volume and not get louder when they get excited (or drunk).
    But once you shop around and buy some smaller amps with a range of working volumes: 5f1 champ, tweed Deluxe, 18w Marshall, tweed bassman, and maybe something between the 18 and 45w; you get OD that responds like an amp because it is an amp.

    Take a guess at how many years you will play music before arthritis robs you of that privilege.
    Skip the expensive little SS grit maker and buy an amp every few years.
    Maybe save a little longer and get some boutique amp that covers a wider volume range, lots of ways other than preamp dirt including power scaling, switchable fixed/ cathode bias etc.

    All this really needs to at least be looked into if you're serious about finding the perfect playing response, as opposed to just wanting to try more pedals. I like trying more pedals too but sorted out the response thing with an open mind that didn't assume my "natural amp response" was to be found in a ss pedal.
     
  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    There's the Bad Bob one knobber that was huge for a few years then Bob stopped making them and they all turned to gold then a big brand took over after they got a little less expensive then us crazed buyers moved on to the next natural/ light/ transparent OD craze.

    Light/ transparent/ always on/ natural amp OD has become much like tonewood.
    Some of us chase it while many just shake our heads.

    I still like the DOD250 family for sort of emergency light od to keep on hand for times when I need to turn down and still sound loud.

    I would never CHOOSE an amp that sounded wrong without an always on OD though.
    Check out the Oddfellow Cave Man od which has a handy second boost switch, sorta like the used-to-be-awesome-now-passe Fulltone Fulldrive. Not at all the same, the fulltone was a TS and the Cave Man is from the 250 family but adds a useful tone control and dials in a range of amp like light OD sounds. It's my only favorite for that purpose and has been for several years.

    I looked for a Bad Bob but before I found a fair price on one they stopped being seen as the latest holy grail always on OD.
    The grapes were probably too gritty...
     
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  7. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Afflicted

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    Timmy
     
  8. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Holic

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    While I don't disagree about finding the right amp, I have two amps that are perfect and one that leave something to be desired. My backup is a Peavey Heritage VTX that doesn't need pedals of any kind. My main amp is a '68 Super Reverb Reissue. This one is perfect with a Phaser in front of it. There's one simple problem...at ten you can't be in the same county and it's still not breaking up... It's awesome for everything until I get to the Brad Paisley, CSNY, Lynryd Skynyrd, ZZ Top thing. Then you need more than the Route 66 can push out on its own.

    As far as price it was marked down to half price because it had been in the shop so long. So about $800

    I also don't disagree that the Route 66 is a tube screamer, however like you said, it's a different sound than the ones of Ibanez, Boss, and the others. Personally, I think it's a littler brighter and less muddy and more natural sounding than its traditional tube screamer cousins. I think the clean mix knob on my V3 is what sets it apart from other tube screamers. In my search to land at the Route 66 I played almost every single version of TS I could find at local shops (pre-covid at least) combined with intensive research and YouTube demos. And I think the Route 66 will be the only one I will ever truly like the sound of. Although I could always be wrong.

    I just need something to give me more without boosting volume and adjusting knobs mid-song or mid-set...

    As far as arthritis is concerned I will play music until they amputate my arm no matter how bad it hurts. My dad has played guitar for 15+ years with arthritis, and carpal tunnel and an number of other ailments including a major stroke 5 years ago. It has never stopped him and it will never stop me. It's actually saved me from myself several times. And if God-forbid they ever have to take my arm I will learn to play with some other part of my body.
     
  9. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    15995016844586428561574414842542.jpg

    Hughes and Kettner Tube Factor. I love this a the beginning of my pedal chain. Dial in as much or little as you like. Plays well with every pedal on my board.
     
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  10. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's

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    Depending on the day, I may use one of the following as an "always on":

    NUX Horseman
    MXR Raijin Drive
    Danelectro Billion Dollar Boost
     
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  11. hotraman

    hotraman Tele-Afflicted

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    Sarno Earth Drive.. it can act as a nice clean boost, when set that way.
    I own the Wampler Paisley.. even when you back off the volume, it doesn't clean up as well as the Earth Drive does.
     
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  12. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Holic

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    Does that have actual tubes in it?!?!?!?!?! That's cool if it does!
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2020
  13. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    One 12ax7
     
  14. D_Malone

    D_Malone Tele-Holic

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    +1. The Timmy excels in this application. Save a few $ and get the MXR is my advice. It’s great.
     
  15. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Blackstar made ( still make? ) a range of pedals based around a 12AX7. They use their own PSU and charge-pump voodoo to run the valves at their correct operating voltages. They respond like an amp because they're quite close to being the front end of an amp. Using the guitar volume control, clean to mean and all points in between. The stock power supplies are a bit, err, not so good. Every second hand one I've had has had an aftermarket PSU with it.
    The booster is very good as it's clean(ish) and can push the heck out of an amp. Front it with an overdrive and wonderful chaos emerges.

    Vox had the 'Garage' series of voltage-voodoo valve based pedals too.

    Behringer manufacture the VT999. This is bit of a curates egg pedal. Small it isn't. Good it is. Hybrid it is too. The valve is used as a clipper. The stock 12AX7 isn't so good. Swap it for any non-JJ 12AU7 and run it from a 12V supply and it becomes so much more. TMB tone controls, gain and level controls plus a noise gate. Rather good. Another one that responds well to guitar control use. Note the VT911 makes a good fuzz pedal :)

    Build one. There are kits aplenty. Op-amp, transistor, hybrid and valve types to choose from. The Valve-e-tiser is a simple build and works very well. You can change the valve and set the bias to suit your needs.

    Joyo/Ammoon/Aroma/Tom'sline/Hotone and a host of others make very good mini-pedals. There'll be something there to suit.
     
  16. Bigpernz

    Bigpernz Tele-Meister

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    A bluesbreaker type pedal is great for low gain flavor. I leave mine on all the time as my "clean tone" going into a deluxe reverb.
     
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  17. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes. It has a decent high gain tone, but I prefer my pedals for that. I use it to warm the signal up for playing blues. It only works this way with a tube amp. Through the mixing board, it only makes it louder.
     
  18. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Danelectro the Breakdown is what I'm looking at next. I have a Klon clone and am quite happy with it, but I like the sound of the Breakdown, as well as its simplicity, which is a perfect fit for my Tele-into-a-few-pedals-into-a-Champ outfit.

    I used to have a TC Electronic Spark Boost which was quite nice too...a VERY versatile pedal ranging from clean boost to mildly fat overdrive.
     
  19. Big Twang Theory

    Big Twang Theory TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Xotic RC Booster if you're looking for REALLY low drive to clean boost. It adds just the perfect amount of that "something" not sure how to describe it. Maybe Sparkle. I leave that always on. Another great option is the JHS Morning Glory if you're looking for a little more gain.
     
  20. gridlock

    gridlock Poster Extraordinaire

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    It’s not always on, but if I had to pick an “always on” a OD pedal, it would be my Greer Lightspeed. Super transparent, but only low to medium overdrive.

    D9FF9694-018D-42C9-8B93-DFFE69E95876.jpeg
     
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