Distortion Pedal for Overdrive Guy (or best distortion pedal ugh..)

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by tclotworthy, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. tclotworthy

    tclotworthy TDPRI Member

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    Hi,

    Never thought I would be doing this but I need a good distortion pedal. I am a guy who has had a love/hate relationship with even overdrive pedals for years. I am now in a band situation where, for the first time in my life, I am sometimes playing hard-rock songs (like Foreigner). So the guy who leads the band says he would like a more "biting" tone on my hard-rock song leads. In particular he likes the tone of the guitar on "Hot Blooded". Don't know what the Foreigner dude played 40 years ago...

    I have various awesome overdrive pedals like AnalogMan KOT and a couple of others, but they are for more subtle overdrive character.

    I am not going to go out and buy a marshall amp. I have to switch between various tones to accommodate the wide variety of songs the band I am in plays.

    I typically have a pretty clean amp signal and rely on my quality overdrive pedals to get my heavier tones. So, I am hoping I can find something similar that will sound like the Foreigner/Hot Blooded sound.

    Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. grolan1

    grolan1 Friend of Leo's

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    I most of the time feel the same way as you do... an overdrive guy not so much distortion - but I found a pedal that really fits my ears and yes it's a distortion, highly recommend - T-Rex Mudhoney Danish Collection - just a fantastic distortion pedal!
     
  3. D_Malone

    D_Malone Tele-Meister

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    The guitar in Hot Blooded doesn’t have a ton of distortion. Surprised the KoT won’t get you close.

    You’re going to get a million different recommendations in this thread.

    Maybe check out some demo videos of pedals on YouTube. See if you can’t narrow it down to a few choices.
     
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  4. schenkadere

    schenkadere Friend of Leo's

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    Mick's tone is likely a Les Paul into a Marshall Super Lead. I'm not a big fan of "distortion" pedals. Hard to find one I gel with. Thankfully my amp has that covered now. How about boosting your KoT? As someone said, there's not as much gain on those guitar tones as you may think.
     
  5. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    You will get as many answers as there are players. So my contribution is to keep it simple: Ibanez Tube Screamer. Less than $100, proven performance, and it will get you that compressed-sounding overdrive you want. I always have thought if it as my “80s” pedal. It is one of the most popular pedals in history for a reason. And Malone above is right - you don’t need much distortion.
     
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  6. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Agreed, you're going to drown in recommendations. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing.

    My two cents: Keeley-modded Boss DS-1. The DS-1 is supposed to get you "hard-rock Marshall" tones, and the Keeley version makes it sound much better. It's also more sensitive to dynamics, and has two modes (one more "open" sounding and "crunchy", the other more compressed).

    Keeley doesn't modify pedals anymore, but they were popular enough I'd imagine they're easy enough to find used. I don't know the details of the mod, but I know there are other versions out there that basically do the same thing. You might even be able to score a cheap stock DS-1 and mod it yourself.
     
  7. Mexitele Blues

    Mexitele Blues Tele-Holic

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    Sounds like you need a MIAB style pedal. Marshall Guv'ner, Dano Daddy-O, Angry Charlie, etc.
     
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  8. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Holic

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    Marshall in a box is what you're looking for and yes, as posted above you will get as many recommendations as you do replies as as everyone has their favorite.
     
  9. marcflores

    marcflores Tele-Meister

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    Would two stacked overdrives get you there? I figure if you're an overdrive guy, you could get two overdrives that you really like, then stack them--especially if the distortion is going to be used for this one band only. For the rest of your stuff, you'll have two overdrives that you really like that you can use independently, or stack for less gain the a full distortion sound.
     
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  10. basher

    basher Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Oh boy, I get to be the first one to recommend a Rat. Get a Rat!
     
  11. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Afflicted

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    The Xotic BB is good overall distortion pedal that works with many different amps. I am more partial to the Bogner Wessex and Burnley pedals. Both are great distortion pedals. The Wessex is more of an overdrive pedal though. I have played their Uberschall pedal and it is also a great sounding distortion pedal. The amp being used also will play a part in how a pedal will behave.
     
  12. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    If you're not really a distortion person, I'd actually recommend trying a common distortion that's been modified to be more like an overdrive:
    • reduce the hard clipping (or the overall gain)
    • re-voice it to bring up the midrange (and possibly attenuate the bass)
    ...Believe it or not, the above can be done to common pedals like the DS-1 or Big Muff, and it's almost amazing just how "un-buzzy" they can be, after what are typically some very straightforward alterations.

    I've got a scratchbuilt Big Muff variant which sounds (to my ear) a lot like the early Black Sabbath stuff. You'd probably say that Tony Iommi's tones weren't particularly OD-like, but I wouldn't call that stuff super heavy distortion, either. Nor have I heard any older B.S. stuff that sounded even remotely like a Big Muff was used.

    ...Alternatively, an OD pedal could be transformed to attenuate the mids a bit, and that might take things as far into distortion as an overdrive person may really care for. You might want to investigate a Nobels ODR-1, as it has a bit of bottom end in stock form (and it has hard clipping in combo with soft clipping, too).
     
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  13. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    As noted, your KOT should get you there easily. It’s a modded Bluesbreaker pedal supposedly.

    Should be easy to dial in one side (or cascade the two sides) for that biting 70s Marshall tone.
     
  14. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Holic

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    The ProCo RAT - the one with the LM308N chip. I consider that circuit as one of the best ever designed...

    Here's mine - it's a Vintage RAT that I returned to 1981 Rev. B specs :

    [​IMG]

    I use the LM308N inside, instead of the OP07DP - a GREAT difference :

    [​IMG]

    I also built an evolved version, using a switchable overdrive-booster in front :

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I even integrated a RAT circuit in a DIY Wah-Distortion pedal :

    [​IMG]

    You may also consider the Tone-Benders MKII Professional or MKIII 3-knobs, excellent too, with their Ge transistors. I built a funny one for a friend as his anniversary gift :

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    All of them will give you a good hard rock tone, like a big tube amp maxxed...

    But it's me, OK ? :D

    -tbln
     
  15. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yup. I've had Digitech, Boss, DOD, and a few more over the years. Rat is by far the best distortion I've ever had. Get a Chicago Stompworks Mr. Vermin and it'll be better quality than ProCo for half the price.
     
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  16. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Holic

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    Another vote that you can get there with your KoT. You could throw a booster or another low gain in front of it for a little help. If you're going to buy a new pedal, check out the Wampler Tumnus or Keeley Oxblood. Both are based on the Klon circuit.
     
  17. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Friend of Leo's

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    Marshall Jackhammer JH-1. Cheap and sounds great. It has an OD mode and Distortion mode. The distortion mode is a bit muddy but the OD mode does a great distortion with plenty of gain on tap.
     
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  18. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    The Joyo British Sound is a 'Marshall In A Box' type pedal. The range is based on ( polite way of saying ripped off ) the Tech 21 range. Very flexible in use, with a wide range of gain and a 3 band EQ. I settled on the American Sound model, but they're much of a muchness. Great sound into a fairly clean amp, not bad into an amp that's beginning to growl either, plus, they respond well to a boost before them.

    I'm not a distortion fan, preferring overdrive and/or fuzz, or better yet, a screaming amplifier. Stacking what you've currently got may get you there. Tweak the EQ if it gets screechy.
    My one and only distortion pedal is a Danelectro. It doesn't get much use nowadays, but it used to, and for a chump-change stomp box, it performs very well indeed. There's only so many op-amp and diode clipper circuits out there. I don't know which pedal the Danelectro is a clone of, but it is a fine thing indeed. Gain, tone and level. All you need if the manufacturer got it right.

    A left field suggestion is the Behringer VT999. This is a large pedal that features gain, treble, middle and bass tone controls ( and very effective they are too ) and level. There's a basic noise gate built into it should the need arise. The stock valve is best removed and stored for future generations. Replace it with a 12AU7. Spend some time tweaking it to taste and it can really lift a solo.

    Blackstar make some great valve based overdrive and distortion pedals too.

    Fuzz. I make no apologies. I like fuzz. A fuzz pedal, dialled back from the brink of madness, can make a great sound.

    EQ pedal. Maybe an all over boost with a lift to the upper mids and treble will get you there?
     
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  19. Frontier9

    Frontier9 Friend of Leo's

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    I'll pile on... graphic eq pedal in front of your KOT. Shape tone as required - probably boost the treble and maybe a little on the low end.
     
  20. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    You need the MXR Super Badass.

    The best overall distortion pedal on the open market.

    And you can adjust it to make it a boost pedal, a fuzz pedal, or a 'kick it up just a notch' pedal.

    But to your original posting, it NAILS Foreigner's Hot Blooded.

    It's a hundred bucks at Sweetwater.
    Get it.

    :)

    SuperBadAss-large.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
    schenkadere likes this.
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