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Fulldrive users: is the FD good for clean BF amps?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by RadioFM74, May 10, 2018.

Will a Fulldrive into a clean BF give me “TS-into-cranked-BF” tones at lower levels?

  1. Yes, it’s great at that job!

    60.0%
  2. Not the ideal application but it can do it well

    20.0%
  3. No, other pedals do it better (please name it)

    6.7%
  4. You ask for the impossible: get a smaller BF amp!

    13.3%
  1. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    Hello everyone,

    I love the classic “Tubescreamer-into-cranked-BF amp” tone, but I’ve realized I’m not going to get it with my own Tubescreamer clone (an EHX East River Drive).

    At the last gig I’ve realized that I’ll basically never run my amp (a BF Tremolux) hotter than on “5” on the volume dial. And my amp stays clean right up to 10! This makes it impossible to use the TS (or other classic ODs) as intended, i.e. to push the amp into overdrive.

    Listening back to the recordings, the TS (with gain ≈ 1.30 o’ clock) sounds pretty bad – a veil of dirt over the clean “plunk”, and otherwise thin. My Distortion (a DS-1 clone) pedal sounded just better.

    Question: is a Fulltone Fulldrive the right pedal for the job? Could it give me that “TS-into-cranked-BF-amp” tone when plugged into a BF running clean (say, “3”-“6” on the dial)? In the terms used by the great @Silverface here on TDPRI: can a Fulldrive 2 be used as a distortion pedal to give that special flavor of dirt?

    Cast your votes! If you vote other pedal, please indicate which one. Choose other amp only as a very last resort… I am not willing to part with my T-lux!

    Thanks!

    PS: I use teles and strats
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
  2. Lars F

    Lars F Tele-Meister

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    Don't know about the Fulldrive, but it sounds like you need to stack you TS into another drive pedal if you wan't the TS to push at lower volume..

    Regards,

    Lars
     
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  3. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    That’s an interesting option, and any suggestions as to which pedal would be super welcome (Timmy? Soul Food? BD-2? OCD?). I have done this in the reverse order (Timmy --> TS) but the results were not that different.

    The only thing I dislike with that kind of set-up is that you end up having to do quite a lot of pedal dance if you want to go from clean to dirt and reverse. Kicking one pedal would be preferred.

    But I’ll certainly give it a shot. Thx!
     
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  4. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't think a FD2 will be any better for you than the ERD, as it's basically just a TS type too. Overdrive pedals can sound good as a low gain distortion with a clean amp (the ERD sounds good to me with my amp), as many use a TS or Klon type with a clean BF amp. But if it doesn't work for you, then just stick with your DS1. Or maybe try a Rat.
     
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  5. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks Doug. I guess that my hope was/is that the Fulldrive is a TS-type or SD-1 type of OD with added “muscle” and different characteristics. In particular, that it does not do the typical TS thing of letting the clean signal through alongside the dirty signal.

    FWIW I do have Mooer Rat, OCD and Dumble clones on their way for testing… I’m pretty determined to test out a few drive pedals and see what really suits my purposes (then resell the redundant ones… I am buying strictly second-hand in order not to lose money in the process).

    The only thing is that the FD2 has no reputable “clones” that I know of and so is a bit of a bigger investment. I’d like to be sure I’m not going to have just another ERD/TS808 before shelling out the money. From answers so far, it seems the this would just be my fate – but I’ve yet to hear from FD2 users I think, so the jury’s still out :D

    But thanks a lot for chiming in!
     
  6. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Caline Crazy Cacti is an FD2 clone.
     
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  7. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks! I’ll see if I can source one locally for significantly less than a FD2!
     
  8. Iago

    Iago Friend of Leo's

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    I don't think the FD2 (or 3...or 1) is the answer. Just watch all the demos, it doesn't have that much drive over a regular TS9/808, no matter the clipping mode. TS into Timmy (or something like a Bluesbreaker based pedal) would work better to what you want. I dont know much about other TS variants. Maybe you would like a Zendrive...
     
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  9. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks Iago. So far all the answers have been in this direction – both here and over at Strat-Talk.

    I have all the ingredients here at home to try what you suggested and more besides (TS and BD-2, TS and Soul Food……), so I guess I am going that way before shelling out 100€ on a pedal that might leave me exactly where I am.

    Of course, if there are other FD (1, 2 or 3, Mosfet or Non-Mosfet) users with different experiences, I’m all ears!
     
  10. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    It’s so funny how some pedals are “tele” pedals and others are more “strat” pedals. Speak the word “Full-drive” on the strat-talk, and you get a fair number of replies. On here, not that much. But I guess the reverse would be true for some more quintessentially tele pedals… I got me a Mooer Hustle drive, and it sounds good with a strat but just phenomenal with a tele. I wonder if the OCD is perceived as more of a tele overdrive?
     
  11. bigben55

    bigben55 Friend of Leo's

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    I had a 1965 Tremolux for a while. Weber ceramic 10s. I put a NOS JAN GE 5751 in the V6 slot, bridged the 2 channels(short cord from normal ch input 1 to vibrato ch input 1, plugged guitar into vib 2), had both volumes at 7, and hit it with my old FD2(circa 1998) and it was AWESOME.
     
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  12. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Afflicted

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    I am not a TS9 type of player(I love fuzz more), but the Fulldrive 2 really works great with clean Fender amps. Mike Fuller designed the pedal for clean Fender amps as that was his main amp that he used in the early days of Fulltone. As a result many Fulltone pedals sound great with Fender amps. I really liked the boost part of the Fulldrive 2 best, but that pedal is also made for stacking with other pedals. I used to own an OCD and Fulldrive 2 and both are well done pedals. The FD2 is more versatile, but the OCD is more open sounding with even more level. I simply preferred the tone & versatility offered by my FoxRox ZIM Drive pedal more. You might want to give that one a look as well-they are seriously underrated pedals. They don't come up used very often though.

    http://www.foxroxelectronics.com/ZIM.html

    What do you mean by the V6 slot? You mean where the 6L6 power tube is? In terms of layout, the preamp tubes would be v1-v4 on that amp. The flow of electrons obviously goes to the rectifier tube first, but in terms of tube amp nomenclature, the first stage preamp tube is usually thought of as the first tube because the audio signal goes to the input stage first. I suppose you changed the tube on the vibrato channel from a 7025/12AX7 to a 5751, but couldn't really tell by how you are referring to it here. That era of FD2 is really the best(the one with the comp cut & flat mids switch)
     
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  13. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    When people ask these types of questions, I always point them to this great YT vid for a frame of reference:

     
  14. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks a lot guys!
    @bigben55 Yes, I’m sure that once I determined that I might make some little tweaks to lower the headroom of the amp. Good advice there! I’ll explore it with my tech!
    @Obelisk I’ve determined that if ever a Fulldrive1 or a non-mosfet 2 comes up in my vicinity I’ll grab it. Your confirms this choice…
    @Obsessed Thx for the vid. Haven’t seen it yet and will look at it asap.
     
  15. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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  16. bigben55

    bigben55 Friend of Leo's

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    Sorry. Meant V4, the phase inverter slot. That 5751 has been my go to PI tube for every BF Fender I've owned and it's awesome. A well known amp tech named Big Cookie out of Texas recommended it to me years ago. I don't think he's with us anymore, RIP.

    My FD2 is the pre flat mids, no mini toggles, push pull comp cut model. 5/1998 build date, got it for Xmas 1999. It's STILL my #1 OD for Fender amps.
     
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  17. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Here’s my experience.

    I’ve got a ‘77 Pro Reverb (known for a clean sound), a couple of vintage Teles and Strats, a vintage TS9, and a couple of old FD 2s.

    Neither the Tube Screamer nor the Fulldrives sounded good to me through the Pro Reverb. Sounded like I was playing a pedal not an overdriven amp. Also the Fulldrives didn’t stack well for me.

    The best I’ve found—as I’ve said ad nauseum—is a pedal designed to work with a clean amp.

    I use a Blackstone Overdrive. It’s a MOSFET design and all the overdrive comes from the pedal. Responds very amplike and cleans up from my guitar’s volume control. It’s a Marshall sound and has two channels of gain plus controls to adjust between single coils and humbuckers.

    Back when I got it, it was about the only pedal of its kind but I expect there are others out there now.
     
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  18. Lawdawg

    Lawdawg Tele-Afflicted

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    I also play strats and teles through a very clean Silverface Twin Reverb. I used a Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive (another TS based OD) and had similar problems. I've since settled on a combination running a Zvex Box of Rock through an OCD and it has been a vast improvement.

    In particular, I find that running the BOR as a clean boost into the OCD at low gain settings is just about perfect for low/medium gain tones and far superior to what I was getting before. Of course, using both of these pedals opens up a ton of other options -- especially for higher gain tones which is pretty critical for a clean amp like the Twin.

    Lots of overdrive pedal options out there, good luck!
     
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  19. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    Thx @Lawdawg @Bill . Yeah I'm heading that way too. The Mooers I got me are really promising. I also think that I'll find good uses for my low gainers (soul food, TS) by stacking - just not as gain generators for a clean amp...
     
  20. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    double post
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
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