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Muddy/dull drive

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by badhead, Apr 4, 2021.

  1. badhead

    badhead TDPRI Member

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    I play my Tele through an AC15, and it sounds fine clean, but many pedals I try make it sound horrible, and I don't know why.

    Everyone and his dog raves about the 808 Tubescreamer, but it sounds a bit harsh and nasty to me, nothing like the mild overdrive I hear in demo videos.

    Same with an OCD pedal. Sounds dull (especially around the bass) unless a Treble Booster pedal is used first, but that adds a ton of gain.

    The only drive pedal that seems to just sound good with minimal effort is the RAT.

    Am I doing something wrong?
     
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  2. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    To me most pedals are best used for boosting the amp to get more natural amp drive than using a completely clean amp and all the drive coming from the pedal. I used to use tube screamers but i set the output on them way up and the distortion low or even all the way down to hit the amp input harder and drive it into distortion. But to use the pedal as the sole source of distortion never sounded good to me. There are now pedals that are built to do a better job of that but in general amp OD sounds bet to me. But funny you mention the RAT because that was the only pedal i ever used that i liked the pedal's distortion by itself thru a completely clean amp and not boosting the level way up to drive the amp harder. RATs can sound really good as the only source of OD, but not real versitile. Not a sound i would use as my main OD.
     
  3. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    Too much Mud? Is that even possible? :cool:

    OIP (2).jpg 1401x788-GettyImages-535799291.jpg 579a3e7ab31d0b59073c743b3cc508b0.jpg
     
  4. smuc

    smuc Tele-Meister

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    Do you play with the Guitar tone on 10? If so, cut it back to a 6-7.

    Also, have a read here: https://www.gilmourish.com/?page_id=262
     
  5. srblue5

    srblue5 Tele-Holic

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    As an aside, happy heavenly birthday to Muddy Waters!

    +1 on using overdrive pedals to boost an amp rather than solely relying on the pedal for overdrive sounds. I only just recently figured that out. I used to think my Boss Blues Driver sounded thin and fizzy through my PRRI but now that I set the amp so it’s on the verge of breakup (with attenuation), it sounds a lot better.
     
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  6. Bluego1

    Bluego1 Tele-Afflicted

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    Try putting a TC Spark Booster after your OD. Put the toggle on clean. Adjust EQ to taste. That’s where the Spark shines.
     
  7. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    AC15 is a picky beast when it comes to pedals. Tim / Timmy is the one I've found that works best with them. No mid-hump, and easy to control the amount of bass.

    I mainly use a compressor instead -- light compression but a lot of gain, hit the front end of the amp hard, let the tubes do the work.
     
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  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    IMO Tube Screamers only sound good with mid scooped BF/SF Fender circuits, but others disagree.

    IME the OCD sounds nice and clear with plenty of bright clarity if you run the gain knob at zero.

    The AC has less mids than a Marshall but I believe is not scooped like BF/SF mid scoop.
    You just need to find the right OD for your amps and ears, and our preferences mean little or nothing.
     
  9. Alex_C

    Alex_C Tele-Holic

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    I never bonded with the OCD style circuit. The Timmy is a great circuit and can help shape the sound. The Xotic BB-Pre is the TS circuit, evolved. It has an active EQ and the mid-hump isn't as pronounced.
     
  10. PigBoy

    PigBoy Tele-Meister

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    No, a RAT is always the answer.
     
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  11. beanluc

    beanluc Tele-Holic

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    Even more effective - either cut bass with an EQ before the OD, or, use a guitar with a bass-cut tone control (al la Reverend's "bass contour," G&L's "passive treble and bass," or Joe Gore's "focus knob").

    The loss of clarity is a separate phenomenon from unwanted fizz, and is due to bass-frequencies overpowering the mids in the overdriven signal.
     
  12. blue17

    blue17 Tele-Meister

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    although not what most people go for in a boost pedal, I love the tiny bit of top end that the spark adds for exactly this reason
     
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  13. Deeve

    Deeve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I run YellowJacket EL84 on my black deelux.
    And the Rat is probably the only pedal I actually know how to use.
    :cool:
    Glorious simplicity.
    Peace - Deeve
     
  14. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not every dirt pedal gets along with a Vox. Some overdrives that sound good with my Ac-15...
    Hot Cake
    Rat
    Boss Od-3
    Boss Blues Driver
    Visual Sound Open Road
    Timmy
    Sweet Honey
     
  15. D_Malone

    D_Malone Tele-Holic

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    In my experience the AC15 doesn’t take dirt pedals well. Have you tried a clean boost?
     
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