High gain distortion pedal that doesn’t sound “metal”?

loopfinding

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Try a passive bass cut or high pass filter, (either bass control on the guitar, or boxed up in a pedal) before the fuzz face (or any fuzz really). It will turn it into a really aggressive distortion.

Something like this:

 

D_Malone

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Try a passive bass cut or high pass filter, (either bass control on the guitar, or boxed up in a pedal) before the fuzz face (or any fuzz really). It will turn it into a really aggressive distortion.

Something like this:


I've tried all sorts of passive pedals (EQ, overdrives, Naga Viper Treble booster, etc.) in front of my FFM3 Fuzz Face (silicon) and it doesn't like any of them. Gets really thin and raspy. I'm assuming it's an impedance issue? I love the FF sound, but have never been able to make it work for me.
 

JohnnyCrash

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I’d suggest just about any “amp in a box” type pedal.

Looks like Adam mostly used a ‘70s Marshall SuperBass that has one channel cascaded into the next (like a JCM800) with an MXR Micro Amp in front.

If you’ve already got a nice gainy amp with good bottom end, you might get this tone by throwing a clean boost in front of it. Clean boosts can make for big bottom end, depending on tje application.
 

loopfinding

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I've tried all sorts of passive pedals (EQ, overdrives, Naga Viper Treble booster, etc.) in front of my FFM3 Fuzz Face (silicon) and it doesn't like any of them. Gets really thin and raspy. I'm assuming it's an impedance issue? I love the FF sound, but have never been able to make it work for me.

oh those aren't passive (unpowered). those are active and going to incur some impedance wonkiness.

a passive pedal would just be resistor/pot and cap (or just a series cap, acting as a coupling cap), totally unpowered. you'd get some loss of volume, but that's an advantage in this situation if you're looking to dial the dirt down from fuzz to distortion, since the fuzz gain is so high and you can afford to lose a bit.
 

D_Malone

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oh those aren't passive (unpowered). those are active and going to incur some impedance wonkiness.

a passive pedal would just be resistor/pot and cap (or just a series cap, acting as a coupling cap), totally unpowered. you'd get some loss of volume, but that's an advantage in this situation if you're looking to dial the dirt down from fuzz to distortion, since the fuzz gain is so high and you can afford to lose a bit.

Ah, I understand now. I will look into this. Thank you!
 

11 Gauge

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Looks like Adam mostly used a ‘70s Marshall SuperBass that has one channel cascaded into the next (like a JCM800) with an MXR Micro Amp in front.
Yep. While he kind of tried to sort of misdirect about the nature of the amp, I've kind of just assumed that it got something not unlike a variation or enhancement of the '1 wire mod'.

Adam has never been big on gain pedals of any sort, so I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't even use the Micro Amp that much, or at all.

So really the only other thing in the gear to factor in is that Adam is a longtime user of the Seymour Duncan Distortion in the bridge of his LPs. I don't think he'd get the same thing from a humbucker with a more vintage PAF wind, like a SD 59 or similar.

----------------

As far as how to get that with pedals? I think that's probably the answer - probably will require stacking the right pair. I don't think I've personally heard anything sufficiently close from just a single box. Also not sure I really have good suggestions for pairs to stack, because I personally always seem to end up going for more of a 'classic rock' tone. Adam's tone on that album seems to have more bite to it, regardless of the actual amount of distortion.
 

bendercaster

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Have you tried the Wampler Plexi Drive? I used to use a Rat as my high gain pedal, and it is still one of my favorites, but I switched to the Plexi Drive because I wanted a tighter, less ragged distortion, especially for stuff like double stops on the higher strings (the Rat would give me weird, dissonant overtones on that kind of stuff) The Plexi Drive does the trick.
 

JohnnyCrash

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Yep. While he kind of tried to sort of misdirect about the nature of the amp, I've kind of just assumed that it got something not unlike a variation or enhancement of the '1 wire mod'.

Adam has never been big on gain pedals of any sort, so I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't even use the Micro Amp that much, or at all.

So really the only other thing in the gear to factor in is that Adam is a longtime user of the Seymour Duncan Distortion in the bridge of his LPs. I don't think he'd get the same thing from a humbucker with a more vintage PAF wind, like a SD 59 or similar.

----------------

As far as how to get that with pedals? I think that's probably the answer - probably will require stacking the right pair. I don't think I've personally heard anything sufficiently close from just a single box. Also not sure I really have good suggestions for pairs to stack, because I personally always seem to end up going for more of a 'classic rock' tone. Adam's tone on that album seems to have more bite to it, regardless of the actual amount of distortion.



I added a resonance option (a simple low pass cap in-series with a resistor) to a 3-way Negative Feedback switch on my old 2x10” 2204 JCM800 combo build. Sounds like a freakish Super Bass a bit (they have those large output coupling caps at the Phase Inverter, and I’ve slapped SB PI and output sections on several previous Marshall type builds with similarly deep and controlled lows). Everything else standard Marshall circuit (except a footswitchable solo volume boost control — a simple 100k pot between the 1Meg Master Volume and ground - switched in/out using a 5v DPDT relay powered by my Power Transformer’s unused 5v rectifier tap).

I should drop D tune one of my Les Pauls and try to piss off my neighbors’ neighbors with this thing… you know, just to see if we can get us in the ballpark :D




7246A55F-9F4B-48D4-9019-A7F536A82A0E.jpeg
 
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ahiddentableau

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I've tried all sorts of passive pedals (EQ, overdrives, Naga Viper Treble booster, etc.) in front of my FFM3 Fuzz Face (silicon) and it doesn't like any of them. Gets really thin and raspy. I'm assuming it's an impedance issue? I love the FF sound, but have never been able to make it work for me.

As far as the FF is concerned, yes, it's an impedance issue. With those pedals (any buffered circuit) in front of your FF it's pretty much always going to sound terrible.

You should try it with either an EQ after to tighten up the low end or a treble happy pedal after. I've had good results with a Timmy and a modded ODR-1 (has a bass cut), but I think most any pedal that lets you cut bass (or possibly drastically pump up the treble) can work. You would also consider cutting volume from the guitar in order to clean up the input. With a humbucker equipped guitar you can run into trouble with your pickup being too hot for the FF and blowing out the input. Some designs (like Analogman in some of his Sun Faces) put a voltage divider in front of Q1 to make it tolerate humbuckers/hot pickups better. So that's another factor to consider.

Pretty sure the Tool sound is from cranked high gain amps like Mesa Dual Rectos and the like. To get close I'd want hard clipping and a lot of bass attenuation to keep things tight. Rat, modded DS-1, Shredmaster, Maxon distortion are the ones I have in my cabinet I'd try for that, I think.
 

bluescaster72

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Boss overdrive 2. is a good choice as is a Rat pedal. I have a couple of different kinds of overdrive distortion pedals . Some mild to wild. Sometimes blending of two pedals set differently can give you the sound you want. What I have found is that you have your rhythm tone and then you have your lead tone and often your lead tone is more wild sounding than your rhythm tone So first get your tone for rhythm set where you want it and then figure out your lead tone so you may have an always on pedal for your rhythm and then a second pedal for your lead . I once saw a blues singer use two tube screamers and that was how she had set them up. Works great and you have a sound that blends well as you are not fighting two different sounds .
 

blowtorch

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I've been on the lookout for one of those forever. Very hard to find-there was one on Reverb for a long time, for like $400 from Sri Lanka or somewhere- no thanks
I finally gave up and went with this, for that same concept (Malcom switchable to Angus)
1665056632502.png
 

JohnnyThul

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I've been on the lookout for one of those forever. Very hard to find-there was one on Reverb for a long time, for like $400 from Sri Lanka or somewhere- no thanks
I finally gave up and went with this, for that same concept (Malcom switchable to Angus)
Funny enough, I bought 2 of them here in Germany during the last 8 weeks and both were at about 200€ each. I think, they are pretty rare here, but on the other hand Barber is not very known or regarded here, as they never had a real good distribution in Europe.

Still looking for a second 1/2 Gainer and an UnLTD and a GCX :)
 

TheCheapGuitarist

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Another option might me a Marshall Guv’nor, some say it was “the first amp-in-a-box” pedal - I used one a lot back when they were new plugged into a keyboard amp (when I was in a band where I was primarily a keyboard player), and it managed a nice range of crunch tones on its way to full-on-Marshall. The originals are hard to come by (as the second hand price can be steep), but there’s a few clones using the same circuit that people have recommended to me (see: https://www.tdpri.com/threads/tell-us-your-single-favorite-od-pedal.1092443/post-11456150)
Adam Jones' tone (which I love) on that album has "Marshall" written all over it. I don't hear high-gain, more like mid-gain.
 

11 Gauge

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Adam Jones' tone (which I love) on that album has "Marshall" written all over it. I don't hear high-gain, more like mid-gain.
He's actually stayed to pretty much that level of gain on the albums that followed as well, even though he's added amps other than the old SuperBass used on Undertow. I think it's the dropped tunings that make things sound deceivingly more distorted than they actually are.

Adam has mostly settled on using a Diezel VH4, always on channel 3, at least for the live stuff. And TTBOMK, he's still using the old SuperBass, too.
 




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