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Boost Recommendations?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by nathanteal, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. luckett

    luckett Banned

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    How is the EM Drive a rip off at $159 while the Bad Bad is not at $149?

    I use my zendrive like this most of the time also. It works well as a boost with flexible tone shaping ability.
     
  2. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I guess they are both rip-offs. Like most of the pedal market. I bought the Bad Bob for $80 used though so my perception is skewed. It is better than a $20 LPB-1 but not $120 better.

    At the risk of getting into things I don't know too much about, the Bad Bob is famous for requiring the builder to sort through jfets to find ones that would work well.. the em drive is just another electra distortion type basic silicon overdrive
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
  3. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a Danelectro Transparent Overdrive v1.
    Its the definition of a Rip-Off.
     
  4. hongaku

    hongaku Tele-Afflicted

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    RC Booster or Timmy would be my first choice for what you're after (I personally prefer the RC for the specific application you cited - and the RC IMO is the most transparent of the ones you listed; YMMV), followed by the Fat Boost and then the Spark Booster. Also, although not as "transparent" and not having quite as much in the way of tone manipulation controls, the Barber Gain Changer could do what you're looking for too.
     
  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Not sure what super light overdrive means to you, but if it's a bit of thickening without any grit then I'll suggest the OCD. (current production)
    This may sound ridiculous, but with the drive all the way down I get some thickening without ANY gravel or grit. Plenty of drive available with gain all the way down, and all usable range on the tone control.
    The Fulltone Fat Boost OTOH is a bucket 'o' mud, all bassy and muddy.
    My taste may be off, but many light ODs I've tried seem to not do much until the drive gets up into some sort of unpleasant grit, or the mids are too reserved, or I just wonder why everyone raves about them.

    How the boost is used of course determines how "it" sounds.
    A boost with scooped mids and cut bass will sound thin at lower boost settings, but if it's cranked up to boost the amp a good bit the amp will add some mids and bass of its own, possibly giving the impression that the pedal imparts these cool tonal enhancements.
    I don't tend to turn up a light OD pedal that much, so I want more fat in the stomp.
    Again, my taste may be off.

    I really want to try a Bad Bob, but missed the boat 'till they got pricey.
    Still, BB comes with grit I believe.
     
  6. akukulich

    akukulich Tele-Meister

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    You might want to check out the Durham Sex Drive. I've been using one for about a year now and I dig it.
     
  7. nathanteal

    nathanteal Tele-Holic

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    "Super light overdrive," I would define as a low gain that has less available gain than a low gain overdrive...if you know what I mean. A lot of low gainers still get pretty hairy when cranked. For example the Helium side of the Gold Standard. Defined as low gain, but can compete with most any mid gain pedal. A Barber LTD is a gooder example...or pretty much any of the pedals in that list. Yes...gooder.

    Some context: I play a MiM Tele soon to be upgraded with Cavalier pups, a 4-way switch, a vintage 3-saddle bridge, and possibly a Bigsby...maybe not. I've yet to decide on that one. My amp is currently a Blackstar HT-5, but I plan on upgrading to a Vox AC15C2 within...a little while anyway. At the church I go into a Blackstar HT-40 until I can get ahold of an AC15. Recording varies. Usually a Fender amp, or a Univox. My preference is an amp with some midrange presence. The overdrives I use are the notorious Barber twins, Gain Changer and Direct Drive Compact, which are a good mate with practically every amp I've tried them on, from Peavey Classic 30s to 50W PRSes to Fender HRD 3s. They are incredibly versatile, so it's hard to screw those two up. I play a lot of pop, rock, and folk based music. Mostly a blend of all three. The boost...I would like something that is basically transparent, but not entirely necessarily. The RC does seem to do a good job at what I'm after, so I don't know what the dilemma is...I guess my mind has been blasted with a slew of viable options that can all do the job, but I can only select one, even though I like (or could potentially like) them all the same.
     
  8. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hey Rod, early on I gigged a Klon with an AC30 many times. It's a cool tone with the pedal's gain at minimum and the amp itself not really breaking up much. Up the gain on either the amp or the pedal and the mids begin to be a bit much for my tastes. As you know, an AC15 has less headroom than a 30 and will begin compressing sooner, emphasizing those mids even more. As I said in my previous post, I think you can get pretty decent tones from pairing most anything with anything, but a really good match just offers a lot more range.
     
  9. luckett

    luckett Banned

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    Circuit board components...$5
    Enclosure, jacks, switches, pot, knobs...$15
    Willingness to pay for unicorn toan...Priceless

    The necessity to match JfeTs for a mini booster is hugely exaggerated by people who "read it on the internet" and continue to promulgate this inaccurate info. You can even build one with two completely different TYPES of jFets and it sounds just fine.
     
  10. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I think this is the crux of it. Particularly for low gain use. OP, can you maybe explain a bit further? I'd think your needs are covered with your "Barber twins" as you put it. Both sound very good and impart very little grit at the lower end of the dial in certain toggle settings, as I recall. So it might be helpful to understand what you are missing - though with their versatility, it might be hard to find a low gain sound they can't do well.
     
  11. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

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    Okay, AC15.

    Not a dedicated clean boost per se, but Crowther Hot Cake is a swiss army knife with this amp. Definitely a live performance tool though, it kinda sucks at low volume - it has a splatty decay, but it's a non-factor at real world gigging volumes. Does a cleanish/slightly dirty boost, Stonesy crunch, and even faux fuzz at higher gain settings. The "Bluesberry" version of the Hot Cake tightens up the bass a bit and is my preference over the stock/original circuit.

    I'll again wave the flag for the sleeper Prescription Electronics Germ, easily my fave boost w/ AC15 & AC30. Yes it's expensive but I just saw a used one go for 90 clams on the bay. It does a dedicated clean boost and has a separate switch to kick in moderate overdrive. A Klon for Vox.

    Timmy & Z Vex SHO sound pretty cool w/ VOX but I'll take the Germ & Hot Cake ("Bluesberry") personally.

    Yes, Xotic RC Booster will work, but again, not my fave with this tone stack.

    I could never justify the size myself, but I'd like to try that tube-based EHX LPB-2ube pedal that DaveKS is a fan of.
     
  12. nathanteal

    nathanteal Tele-Holic

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    Yes, and no. In a recording situation. I think I could easily get away with just the two. But in actual live/gigging situations...here's what I do....

    Gain Changer: Lower gain overdrive with some scruff, gain about noon. This is my favorite pedal for just kicking back in my spare room and plucking away.

    Direct Drive: Additional hair. I keep the harmonics switch high and gain switch low, with the drive about 2:00-3:00. Sweet edgy percussive sound.

    Stacked: Imparts a serious lead tone, not to trifled with.

    Here's what I'm lacking: something to use similar to the Gain Changer, but at a higher volume, with maybe a touch less grit. Application would be those times when I want cleaner lead sound that has a little attitude, but not too much attitude. Another application is when I want to boost either of the Barbers without adding a whole lot of extra gain to it like I'd get when stacking them.

    I'll be honest...a nicely set up Vox amp really doesn't need an "always on" pedal. If you can successfully get your signal to the amp without losing life along the way, it is THE best clean amp sound I have ever heard (that is a subjective "best" and not meant to be universally applied). I may not ever necessarily need the "always on" function when I move to an AC15. So we can set that notion aside for now.
     
  13. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Thanks. I think TDPRI sort of breaks down into volume knob twiddlers (me) and stompers (sounds like you). Nothing wrong with either approach. Just a matter of preference. I could never get dirt to stack well or handle multiple pedals, so I can't help on the stacking/selecting aspect.

    I will say that with a mid-forward amp, to me it's hard to beat a straight up BD-2 with the tone knob rolled back enough, gain off or almost off and level up to the volume jump you need. Or (and no one ever wants to believe this) a RAT with the gain way down low and the Filter up. But how either deals with stacking and whether there are better options are beyond me, so I should probably just stop typing. Good luck!
     
  14. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Poster Extraordinaire

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    I do believe in Rats. I do believe in Rats. I do, I do, I do believe in Rats! (Rod says in his best Cowardly Lion voice) :lol:
    Seriously though, I can't wait to try this trick with my WF Rat. :cool:
     
  15. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    A RAT is a brilliant low gain boost. There. I said it. And you get some nice "tube style" compression and great dynamics, plus some extra sustain to boot.
     
  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You make an important point about knob twiddlers vs stompers.
    There's a point where the goal of a super transparent OD is pretty much wanting the sound of turning up the amp.
    That's a lot of the problem I have with ODs and such, is they rarely sound as good as just turning up the amp, but they're more convenient than keeping track of exactly where my volume knob is set.
    My hearing is shot, and given free reign it's hard to not get too loud.
    Really the best most transparent OD is a passive volume box that sounds exactly like a good cranked tube amp.
     
  17. nathanteal

    nathanteal Tele-Holic

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    I've never been a huge fan of natural tube od unless it was a Tweed or a Marshall stack, neither of which have a fantastic clean base sound, which I kinda need. So when it comes to overdrives or boosts, "super transparent" is not really my cup of tea. A little color goes a long way (I call these "translucent" overdrives). I'm not personally a big fan of huge mid humps like TS or Klon based circuits, but a tastefully sculpted EQ can work wonders.

    Anywho, I'm not looking for an overdrive per say, but I've already laid that out. I am curious about all this babble about the Rat. It seems to me counterproductive to use a high gain distortion as a light boost. If I wanna buy a Rat or an OCD, I'd make use of it's higher gain range rather than lower. If I have to turn the gain down to practically 0 in order to use it as a semi-clean boost, then it just feels like it's not fulfilling it's purpose. Which is why something with a very low gain ceiling seems more appropriate for a boosting application. Because there is less territory to be explored I don't feel cheated out of it's true purpose.
     
  18. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Interesting. I guess I think of it another way. Those ultra-low-gainers are just taking AWAY functionality/possibilities by in effect taking a small piece of the the entire RAT range (for instance, 7:30-8:00 o'clock on the Distortion dial) and expanding that into the entire available range. On ones like that I find that I can't get a useful sound other than about 3 o'clock to max on the Drive knob, and before that they are taking away from my tone. Bluesbreaker is a nice example (and maybe one you should look into). To me, it's useless until 3:00 o'clock on the Drive knob but pretty great thereafter. But in effect you still get a very small useable range, maybe not bigger than on a RAT use for low gain applications (but with plenty of horsepower in reserve). Anyway, we all bring different mindsets, predilections, etc. So to sum up, maybe add a true Bluesbreaker clone to your list (Snouse does a really nice one).
     
  19. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

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    Necessity is the mother of invention. Or, use whatever works.
     
  20. nathanteal

    nathanteal Tele-Holic

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    I was eyeballing the CMatMods Butah earlier, which is a BB clone supposedly. Nice sounding pedal and well priced. I discovered Snouse a week or two ago, but only found demos for the Blueline, which sounded good to me as well. That may be a road I venture down.
     
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