DOD GUNSILNGER disappoints at GIG

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Chiogtr4x, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    OK, nothing catastrophic, but just a bit bummed.

    I just got a DOD Gunslinger ( because of TDPRI thread) for $40/free shipping- so no complaint there.

    I was only able to demo pedal at home ( now apt.) very quietly thru my Vox Pathfinder, but really liked the sound of the distortion, as well as the ability to tweak EQ with separate Low and High knobs.

    So the reason I bought this pedal...

    ( as I like to only use a few pedals so only ONE dirt pedal)

    ...was to just try something different, which for many years has been to use my 'always ON' Blues Driver' into amp, control everything from guitar ( which I think I do really well), to going back to turning amp volume up a bit ( as I always relied on BD-2 for a big volume jump+ Gain) use clean amp volume sound more, and then kick on a real distortion pedal for maybe a more focused rock lead tone ( than what I get from BD-2)

    So, when I tried GUNSLINGER at home, I really heard the sound ( and shaping) I was looking for.

    But when I did gig last night ( my trio dies R&R/blues/Dead) when I went to setup and dial in a sound here was my frustration ( I used Dano and my old Blues Jr., which has been tweaked):

    - I had to put pedals Low knob at 3-4 clock to be even with bypassed sound- no big deal, but surprised me.

    - But this is what bugged me:
    since I really wanted to hear a serious grind/sustain from DOD, I set pedal's Gain at about 2 clock ( so pretty advanced), but the Level control was so loud ( at its lowest rotation from OFF) that I couldn't use it- not gradual at all! Now, this may be because, I did have the Gain up there, but I just could not go for such a jump on Level knob- from OFF, to too loud. ( and I did NOT want to lower Gain setting)

    So I did not even give it a shot ( just did not want to fight with it during a gig), went back to BD-2, and had a great gig!

    Now I know that this pedal may be great for someone that plays bigger venues, and rocks harder than me.
    But if the Level knob issue could have just been more gradual, it would have been very good.
    Any ideas?

    ** sorry for long winded narrative, just like being thorough in this stuff
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
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  2. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just bumping for any input
    Thanks!
     
  3. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I just pulled mine off the shelf to look at where I had set the knobs the last time I used it.

    I've got the gain just a hair above 12:00, but I do indeed have the level way down at just under 9:00. And yeah, it looks like I have the low knob set to almost 3:00.

    This is probably an issue of a linear taper pot for the level, where it really should have had a log (audio) taper pot. DOD/Digitech no doubt sources those dinky little pots in huge bulk quantities, and it probably makes economical sense to try and use the same values and tapers for any given pedal circuit, if they can get away with it.

    ...I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the Gunslinger used four 100K linear taper pots, or maybe 100K linear for level and gain, and 50K linear taper for low and high.

    I honestly haven't really analyzed how gradual the sweep is with the gain knob, but if it's most likely linear taper, it would potentially benefit from being log taper, too.

    Edited to add - I don't remember what the pots in the Gunslinger looked like when I had it opened up, but I'm assuming they're similar to what you see in many mass produced pedals these days, which is probably like this:

    [​IMG]

    ...Point being that if someone can find a source that has suitable log taper mini pots (which probably have the "D" shafts in the picture above), they could be subbed in place. It might very well be worth the effort and cost to have that done.

    That reminds me - something like the Biyang Rat clone uses the same log taper pots as the original ProCo deal, just with the mini pot style. And since they don't wire the filter knob backwards, they actually use a reverse log taper for that. So the mini pots, with the PCB-mount pins at a 90 degree configuration, with the "D" shaft, absolutely exist in tapers other than linear taper.

    ...Also, Boss has been using mini pots for years and years, just not with the 90 degree pin mount, and not with a D shaft.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
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  4. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    PM Sent.
     
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  5. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    Isn't this pedal one of Tom Cram's babies? Surprised he would make such a "mistake" with the pots.
     
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  6. cyclopean

    cyclopean Poster Extraordinaire

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    put it before a clean boost?
     
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  7. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I wouldn't consider this to be a mistake. IMO, it's really just a practical decision WRT something that's mass produced.

    ...I have a really strong feeling that the Gunslinger's tone circuitry is Baxandall, and those use linear taper pots. You can typically make a linear taper pot work for gain/drive, too, so I'm assuming that's indeed what DOD/Digitech did.

    I mentioned the Biyang Rat clones being an instance of using log and reverse log pots, but probably should have also mentioned that I have their Fuzz Star, which is a Big Muff copy, and it has three 100K linear taper pots. IMO, the linear taper works fine for the sustain control, and is a necessity for the tone control, but for vol/level, it requires setting that knob to like no higher than 9:00 or so...

    Tech 21 SansAmp GT-2 - that's another example of a pedal that has four 100K linear pots, and I'm pretty sure they pulled off the same thing with their Character series too, and possibly the XXL, too.

    Regarding the GT-2, I wouldn't be surprised if the tone circuitry in it and the Gunslinger weren't either similar or the same.

    Also, using the same value and taper pot for all four actually is great for QC, because it eliminates the possibility of putting the wrong taper or value into any given location.

    ...I got my Gunslinger for $32. In order for Digitech/DOD to make a profit at such a low price means their costs to produce it obviously have to be a fraction of that. Commonizing components in the circuit is one acceptable way to reduce costs.
     
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  8. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks for replies guys !
    Appreciated. I bet it's been 10 + years since I got a pedal.

    The 'audio taper pot fix' may be cool to explore as this could make a good sounding pedal more useable for me.

    No big rush- I seem to be playing more acoustic gigs, ha!
     
  9. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had a bunch of DOD pedals back in the '80s because they were inexpensive. My tone stunk and I don't do DOD anymore.
     
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  10. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had some in the '80's a few good a few bad.
    The Gunslinger is a recent design ( or maybe a redo of sorts) IMO has a quality distortion tone- I hear '70's hard rock muscle, no fizz, and good EQ CONTROL- 20191225_211007.jpg

    I'm OP and I misspelled GUNSLINGER! In the title!
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
  11. patient81

    patient81 TDPRI Member

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    The level knob is pretty sensitive on mine as well and I typically have it set around 9 o'clock but it is finnicky to get it just right.

    My only other complaint about this pedal is the overly stiff switch, i thought about trying to replace it with a softer 3PDT but it was too much of a pain to de-solder the other one. Anyone tried this?

    It's my favourite distortion pedal by far and gets plenty of live use.
     
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  12. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm the OP and my Gunslinger is brand new, my switch is like Goldilocks ' just right' , so no issue there.

    I do really like the sound of the distortion, but I need to maybe futz around with it at a jam ( as I can't do this in our apt.). Get a better balance between clean amp tone ( pedal off) and tweak settings of Level knob, relative to Gain knob, with pedal on.

    I thought I could work this out quickly before starting our last gig- but was really surprised by such a volume jump. ( lucky I was able to abort quickly and go back to S.O.P)
    But I won't give up!
     
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  13. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have one. Its a mosfet thing, and I like that sound. I believe its trying to be, or maybe in the same realm, of the Fultone OCD. I like that pedal too, but the tone control isnt great, so I got the DOD Gunslinger.

    Yes the tapering is weird and for some reason, I didnt like it as much as the OCD, even with its limited tone thing.

    I am using the Gunslinger as a "clean to instant grind" thing on one small pedalboard. It does a fine job for that specific purpose.

    One issue with pedals I've always found - if you are using a tube amp, the amp will react very differently to a pedal, with the amp volume way up.

    for that reason, I always check the pedals I'm using for a gig, at the volume I think I'm going to be playing - and then let it go. It will sound differently at a lower volume when practicing, but, thats the reality of it.

    One trick I use - one board is set up for a gig. Its tested with an amp at a healthy volume. Then I have a second board, with similar pedals, not exact, but close - and its used with an amp at a low volume - for at home practice.

    The pedals are stacked the same way and in identical order and places on both boards, so I can used to thinking "push this one on for this song and use the middle pickup" or whatever. Then I get to the gig and the pedals are different but serve the exact same purposes.

    If at all possible, turn your amp UP and get the Gunslinger (and any other pedal) to where you like it and leave it there.
     
  14. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    I have noticed a lot of dirt pedals have this massive volume jump thing going on.

    My impression is if you're getting a massive volume jump to the point you can't control it that you have your amp set too quiet at your clean setting. The pedal was designed on the assumption the amp was turned up loud enough to be going into it's natural compression.. than the boost in signal from the pedal produces more compression and more amp saturation rather than a huge spike in volume.

    I think they are also designed with the intention you're playing pretty loud too as if you're at a gig with > 1000 people or something, where it's totally fine if you're base tone is 90-95dB and the pedal kicks it out to 100dB+.
     
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  15. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think you're right about amp volume and maybe who the DOD might be targeted for which is not my ( say, louder rock club) environment.
    And maybe not really for the music I play- but it's good to try a changeup( OP here)

    I play a lot of gigs but mostly bars, smaller lounges. So my old Blues Jr. is my ' big' amp, which with 120W Neo Emi is pretty loud (never up past half)

    So when I got the Gunslinger ( to try out at gig) I deliberately turned BJ to a louder clean volume than what I usually do ( which is a lower amp volume, goosed with Gain and Volume from always ON Blues Driver)

    So I'm thinking, " no BD-2, play louder rhythm/clean lead , then step on DOD for a strong sustain/crunch at pretty much same volume ( or ittle jump). It just didn't work that way ( and I did not want to turn pedal Gain down, as that sound was just right)
    Note: I was kind of prepared for reality that the GS distortion may not be right for my older R&R, but not the volume jump.

    But as stated before, did not want to mess more during gig.
     
  16. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    Sounds like you did a good job adapting on the fly when it didn't work out.
     
  17. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I find the "knob needs to be set near zero" issue pretty often and it's annoying as hell, especially since even if it's possible to set a workable sound all it takes is the guitar cable dragging across the board and brushing the knob to kill the setting.

    If it's as simple as the wrong taper pot @11 Gauge suggested all we have to do is source a different pot and solder it onto the SMT board! That sucks!

    One reason I try to stay away from SMT pedals when there are builders like Big Knob and Chicago Stomp works and up in price from there.
    But OD with T&B isn't so easy to find in a US made case mounted jack through board construction full size components under $80 pedal.

    I can't say I've ever had a pedal where it was impossible to set the level in a workable spot between off and too loud, just a very short fiddly area between those two extremes.
    I now have a nice old 18v Ibanez AD80 I use for reverb chores but the mix knob is like that, the worst one I've ever had in terms of the tiny adjustment between off and too much.
    On my board the AD900 has a piece of angle stock covering most of the mix knob so it won't get knocked out of place which is around 8 o'clock.

    It's also interesting how some gain pedals work with a knob at zero while others are silent with a knob at zero.
     
  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Does your amp have two channels?
    Or even a low and high input?
    Run the OD into the low input or a second channel turned down?
    Requires a second cable to the amp and an A/B switch but if a second channel it allows overdriving that input a bit and might even sound better than an OD not overdriving the amp.

    I can't seem to get good dirt sounds at unity gain into a clean amp turned down.
     
  19. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire

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    that was a wise decision.

    You could stack the two pedals, lots of guys here do that. Have your Blues Driver on all the time, as you are used to - and then step on the DOD for whatever.

    But you really need to have the amp up at a gig volume before you try this. All kinds of hiss or noise or feedback might show up. Or it might be great loud, and not great at a lower volume. Only one way to tell.

    FWIW, I have an older Blues Junior that I've used for years in small clubs and jams. Great little amp. Use a BD-2 with it often.
     
  20. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire

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    I dont know of anybody who has a Blues Junior that gets a good dirt sound into it turned way down. That little devil needs to be turned up more to start breathing its particular fire.
     
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