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Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Collin D Plonker, Feb 13, 2021.
BOSS ME5, BOUGHT IN NEW YORK, MANY YEARS AGO, STILL HAVE IT, RETIRED NOW,
BOSS RV-500 reverb,,,
I needed a reverb pedal for praise and worship. I discussed different reverbs with a fellow guitar guy at church, we threw around a lot of ideas, brands, models. Without sitting down with one at a store, I made the purchase solely on many seemingly great YouTube demos.
I have a favorite store that gives me good discounts, and lets me do a layaway for online purchases. Paid the still super huge price for this ONE pedal... Made payments over 90 days and shipping day was here... yay... anxiously waiting the Big Brown Truck...
The pedal arrived and I plugged it in... picked one of the 12 settings at random and... EWWWWWWW -- stink-o-la for sound. Moving on, I needed the "shimmer" setting for church.... EWWWWWWW (again) the shimmer was so out of control it was completely un-use-able...
Then as I turned the settings knob to try all of the 12 factory settings... EWWWWWWW
Did they pack a skunk in this box or a reverb pedal???
Absolutely the 12 worst preset factory sounds they could have possibly chosen to add.
AND... the front face of buttons, bells and whistle is in no way intuitive.
AND... the ONLY way to even get started with any what might have been "decent" sounds like in over a dozen YouTube videos would have been to spend massive buttcheeks time pilfering through the terribly written owner's manual (which was really another marketing tool telling you the "pedal can do this"... and "the pedal can do that")
Thinking "this is BOSS, they are bound to have how-to videos"... Oh, they do actually. Videos with no audio whatsoever, that have red arrows and red circles circling buttons and switches which don't have any text or anything telling you what the buttons and switches do, etc, etc...
Something I learned by buying this pedal is... there are 2 types of videos on YouTube...
1) The "this pedal can do this and this pedal can do that" demos that have stellar recording quality and are created by some guy (or girl) who has spent (evidently) hours and houtrs and hours with the manual to prepare for the demonstration. These videos have ZERO "how did you do that" or "how to" factor at all.
2) Videos that don't exist for this pedal that are "how to" or "twist this knob like this, push this button, and get this exact sound"... NONE, ZERO, ZIP... not even one after hours of searching.
I also realized for the first time that some of the pedals on the market promise the world but you most likely have to be born in the generation that had a cell phone attached to your head where you get every Apple device known to man by your 2nd birthday...
That's NOT me...
I rapidly dumped the RV-500 at the local Sam Ash store for wholesale just to get rid of the horrible thing... good riddance...
Enter Source Audio... IMHO< the greatest pedal manufacturer to ever exist...
I had heard or read here and there that their stuff was "very user friendly"... so... I found their Nemesis Delay used locally for $100 off new price so I bought it. Brought it home, plugged it in (ahh-AHHHHH) (the sound of angels). The very first sound that came out of it was spectacular. So I ran through the 12 presets... (ahh-AHHHHH) (times 12). EVERY factory preset was outstanding... I was so thrilled and inspired I wrote a couple new songs the first day I owned it.
So... I still had a reverb dilemma... having been so blown away with how simple and outstanding the Source Audio One Series Nemesis Delay was, I found one of their Ventris Dual Reverb pedasl used for $100 less than new price and bought it.
(ahh-AHHHHH) (times 12) (again)
Easy to use right out of the box, spectacular sounds right out of the box, intuitive knob lay-out... and if you want to go deep, SA has a free Neuro Desktop Editor that is also EASY TO USE !!!
Just goes to prove I HATE BOSS PEDALS !!! I always have and I have boycotted the BOSS brand for 40+ years and this experience (for me) was just like Lucy telling Charlie Brown that THIS YEAR she would hold the football so he could kick it... AAHHHHGGGGGHHHHH
There will certainly be a very hot and stuffy room down in hell filled with BOSS 500 series pedals to torture any naughty guitar players that earned an eternal home down in Satan's lair... managed by the idiots who were the electrical engineers of these BOSS pedals...
The Rat isn't for everyone, but a lot of folks assume it's just for playing '80s hair metal squeallies but it isn't. I like it a lot as a lower gain dirtbox, but as always YMMV.
Honorable mention to the Peterson Strobostomp strobe tuner pedal (earlier blue box version - circa 2007-ish). It was advertised as "true bypsss" -- NOT. With the pedal OFF it was major tone suck. Sold it and got a KORG Pitchblack pedal tuner and never looked back. IMHO, the best pedal tuner out there...
Honorable mention to the MXR Micro Amp... white box, one knob, one switch... yeah that guy... When the pedal is kicked in, all of the guitars tone is there, works great... turn the pedal off and its like turning the tone knob down on your guitars. aka "ssvere tone suck" when the pedal is OFF... It was not advertised as "true bypass"... Later I replaced that boost pedal with a Cusack More Louder... chiclet-sized boost that has plenty of headroom if you want BOOST its got BOOST... Its now been on my board for many years. Zero tone suck...
Back when I had the MXR Micro Amp I didn't know anything about "true bypass" versus "buffered bypass" -- The Micro Amp was sort of my introduction to the world of learning about buffered bypass. My ears could definitely hear the difference. When the pedal was ON... full tones including all highs/treble tones from my guitars. When the effect of the Micro Amp was turned OFF, I learned a new phrase "tone suck"... notice-ably the treble produced by the guitar had disappeared.
At the time, I was giving guitar lessons and so my students could learn about effects I had bought several (cheap) effects types from the "Digitech X-Series" line
- Digitech Turbo Flange,
- Digitech Digidelay (with printing so small you'd need to turn the hubble telescope on it to read the font size),
- Digitech CF-7 Chorus Factory,
- Digitech Hyper Phase
I had all of these from Digitech (around the year 2007-2008) and they all had "tone suck" when the effect was OFF... thus I learned the difference that year about "true bypass" versus "buffered bypass"...
Then it was like searching for steel in the Conan the Barbarian movie... I was on a quest for "True Bypass"... and as I watched the world around me erupted into advertisements that "...and this pedal is true bypass"... Pretty soon it was the catch phrase of the millennium...
Until articles came out stating that you needed ONE buffered bypass pedal on your board so you could have a bit longer cable run... hahaha... so tone suck pedals are back... and now companies even make a single doo-dad pedal thing that is JUST a buffered bypass contraption... hahahaha... who-da-thunk-it
JHS Double Barrel V4 (this one actually broke my heart)
Fulltone OCD. Tried one three times, Sounds great on demos with other rigs, just couldn’t bond with it.
Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone. Maybe I just got a bad one but it was awful. Noisy and the distortion was worse than the cheap Danelectro distortion I had twenty years ago.
The demos I heard of it were fantastic though so maybe it was just me. At the time I had a Blues Junior amp and a Highway One Telecaster so I don't think it was the rig. Anyone else have some experience with this pedal, good or bad?
Edit: Also glad to see I wasn't the only one who didn't care for the Fulltone OCD. I gave it to a buddy and he loved it, it just didn't work for me.
I bought a Keely DDR Drive Delay Reverb. I figured it would be perfect for band practice. All my absolute necessities right there in one pedal. I didn’t expect it to be the worse boxy sounding POS ever. But that’s just what it was.
Some observations, lessons learned, and comments on everyone’s “bad pedal” experience. Like many of you, I had that experience that certain pedals work killer for Andy Martin or the Anderton’s guys, but not for me. So, I conclude that it’s not a bad pedal, per se. It must be something about me or my rig. Some things I’ve learned a long the way that really helped me get the most from ALL my pedals. They won’t all sound good with a Tele, but instead may require a guitar with humbuckers or a certain type of humbucker. I should start there, since this is a Tele forum.
I was disappointed with the EHX Soul Food for the longest time, and then I discovered I wasn’t using it correctly. I’ve read everyone’s comments on various gain pedals they didn’t like and I bet your disappoint was similar to mine. You were judging that pedal on its own merits alone, not how it interacted with other pedals.
I’ve learned that most gain pedals give much better results when stacked with other pedals, and stacked in the “correct order”. This can take some time, understanding of each pedal, and just hours of trial and error to find out which order works best with your guitar and amp.
Okay, so I’m drawing ire from some of you, but hear me out.
For example, Klon type pedals are great for pushing other pedals that need some help. Mesa Boogie figured this out in the 60s, stack gain stages and wow, what killer sounds you can get. Same with all gain pedals, I’ve decided. The Blues Driver is another pedal that’s good pushing other gain pedals to new heights and bringing out the harmonics.
Some of you said the pedal rocked for your buddy but not for you. What kind of amp are you using and what kind of amp is your buddy using? Fender amps have mids scooped where Marshalls really push the mids. And the Vox is another EQ entirely. So the amp could be one of the reasons particular pedals aren’t working well with your rig.
More on pedal placement in the signal chain. One pedal I really messed up with at first is the Catalinbread SFT. I put it in my signal chain just like it was any other overdrive or distortion pedal. WRONG!! I was so wrong on this pedal. After watching a bunch of Howard’s videos on the Foundation Series pedals, AND, re-reading the User Manual for the SFT, I finally got it. Treat it like an amp in a pedal, or at least the preamp stage of the amp’s they’re emulating. As soon as I moved the SFT AFTER all my other gain pedals, and in fact, it should probably be at the end of my pedalboard, even after modulation pedals, it finally rocked my world!
Going from the 1Spot daisy chain to the 1Spot Pro CS-12 isolated power brick makes a HUGE difference, too. No more unwanted noise, or crossover in DC power lines and ground noise from other pedals. Some gain pedals when stacked will amplify the heck out of the signal noise from the preceding pedal(s). The BOSS NS-2 Noise Suppressor solves that problem, provided you put all your gain pedals inside its Send and Return loop.
I’m glad I didn’t give up on the SFT, as I would have been missing out on a really great Ampeg amp emulator (amp model even?).
When I was a kid I bought an E-H pedal that was a Big Muff and a compressor in 1 box.
I thought it would make me sound like Carlos.
It's good to learn these lessons early.
I have found every effect I buy requires lots of EQ adjustments to match my guitar and amp to the effect being used. Nothing ever seems to sound good straight out of the box without lots of tweeking.
That’s a pedal that I push with the EHX Soul Food. Have you seen the video on Sweetwater on Eric Johnson’s rig? Check out how Eric uses the DDR pedal. He stacks both the gain and the delay with other gain and delay pedals. A good transparent type of overdrive in front of the DDR really makes a big difference.
Possibly controversial, but the DryBell Vibe Machine. I was so vibed for the small-sized univibe pedal, but in all honesty, it doesn't sound much like what I envisioned a good univibe sounding like. It was either too weak or too in-your-face, and it was too warbly, or unbalanced in its warbly-ness. Couldn't get the just-right.
Ended up selling it, getting almost all the money I spent on it back, and got a Jam Retrovibe, which is juuuuust-right!
Good advice. Example: probably don’t want a tube screamer or other mid-forward pedal if you’re rocking a Seymour Duncan JB or Duncan Distortion. The pickups already put out a lot of that frequency. Something more like a PAF works better with a tube screamer. At least for me. Can’t always blame the pedal.
All of them.
Add me to the OCD doubters list. I give it a “meh” rating. Really well built unit but I can’t seem to find a use for it.
Old FUZZ pedals do not mix well with high output pickups.
I really like the Mel9. It was expensive and I don't use it very often, but when I do it delivers. Here's a quick test I recorded with my cellphone.
I tried one of those two in one cascading gain stage pedals. Ditched it within 24 hours. Was just too noisy.
I love Boss pedals but I wasn't very happy with the DS-1.