Must-have overdrives/distortion

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by JohnnyCrash, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. johnniegoat

    johnniegoat Tele-Meister

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    depends on how you are using the pedals; knowing your how you want to get your tone would make recommending a lot easier

    if your main gain comes from your amp you'll use your dirt pedals differently than if your use the pedal for your main gain tones

    i have loads and they all have different characters

    a good starting point is the Boss SD1. its inexpensive, can cover a lot of ground (clean boost to driven) and is easy to mod

    i use a pedal into a clean amp, so i use at least 2 drives - a low/ mid gain to boost into a more gainy drive. some people prefer their main drive into a cleaner boost to lift the overall volume for solos.

    you can also boost or change the character of your tone using clean boosts, eq and compressors. its a bit of a rabbit hole if you go to far

    one main point - you can get good noises from inexpensive kit now days. don't feel you have to drop hundreds of £/$/€ tone chasing

    my living room board is relatively straight forward - a keeley comp into a king of klone into a zendrive clone - which pretty much covers everything

    IMG_20191102_172845423.jpg

    my big board is frankly over complicated

    doverdrive -> P'rock -> Overrated ->Manticore -> jubilee -> GE7 (the GE7 is my first real venture into post gain volume boosting/ tone shaping)

    gives loads of options individually and blended. shame i am not playing madison sq gdns anytime soon...

    IMG_20200102_122552042.jpg

    here are some other messes from over the years.

    2013-07-30 19.02.28.jpg 2013-01-21 18.40.41.jpg IMG_20170113_200400464.jpg 6b2a679b-21a9-4bb5-a602-b15bfe7d54cd.jpg DSC00350.JPG IMG_20170113_200352740.jpg b37e5cef-9181-4374-ae50-1a14bf26766f.jpg 48fd29f3-8c8b-4715-b7f1-c3f45c189c6b.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
  2. Ash Telecaster

    Ash Telecaster Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I've cycled through a lot of dirt pedals. I've ended up being a Wampler fan. I've met Brian a couple times briefly and he was a real nice guy but ultimately it was the pedals themselves that sold me.

    I use a Pantheon with the gain on 0 for a basic crunch tone. I love the Catapulp for higher gain stuff. I also keep a Euphoria around for when I need a mostly transparent bump. Love it with my Princeton.

    Different amps seem to favor different dirt pedals so I keep some alternatives on hand, like an OCD, a Marvel drive, and a few others.

    One that I used to have but miss is the Rat. At some point I would like to find a clone that uses standard 9v negative center pin power and pedal footprint.
     
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  3. Steve Jeffries

    Steve Jeffries TDPRI Member

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    So this is my first post after joining this great forum, but seems a good a time as any to begin.
    The OD pedals that Im currently running are:
    1. Ibanez Tube Screamer(w drive super low) mainly used as a boost for the next 2
    2. Rockett Archer Ikon
    3. Analogman Prince of Tone
    Absolutely love this combination and don’t really see a need to change(unless anyone’s got any pedals for sale!)
     
  4. j5jarod777

    j5jarod777 Tele-Meister

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    Nobels ODR-1
    BOSS BD-2
     
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  5. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I gang a pair of used DS-1s stacked as a $40 six-knob boutique pedal. Like many use a TS+DS1. Neither pedal goes above half on the gain.

    Rat-like-object that switches between classic and Turbo-Rat-like-object

    Joyo American Sound

    Boss MT-2 with the Waza mod (stock pedal with the cap clipped), and it doesn't go above half on the gain either. Stacks with one of the DS-1s sometimes.

    At some point I'll add more fuzz.

    .
     
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  6. Syrinx

    Syrinx Tele-Meister

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    I dont really use them, more into single ended amps, and to me pedals are like master volumes. That being said of the ones I have used, I liked the danalectro daddy o- which I think was a clone of the original marshall guv`nor
     
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  7. Hatfield92

    Hatfield92 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I think “must have” really depends on the tonal character of your amp. I’d consider a TS-style pedal must have for a BF/SF amp, but not for my 6G2 clone. They don’t play well together.

    I use a cheap Timmy clone for my 6G2. It’s sonic perfection.

    Conversely, that pedal doesn’t sound nearly as good with my 79 DR as my TS knockoff does.
     
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  8. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

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    I think the question is dependent on the amp your going into.....personally, I have the need for Tweed and my must haves would be:

    Blues Breaker style pedal
    Zendrive, or the like (OCD-Ge is nice)
     
  9. Tornado

    Tornado Tele-Meister

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    Ibanez tubescreamer mini. A subtle difference compared to other screamers. But a subtle diffrence can mean lots more enjoyment.
     
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  10. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    i have one board put together for using with my band, and the rest of my pedals are in a box and i pull them out as needed.
     
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  11. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Holic

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    I’ve been through so many it’s hard to nail down specific ones. There are so many pedals that sound similar and do the same thing that you can pick any one of that breed of choice.

    But I always need a full frequency drive and a lead boost. Completely depends on the amp and application, but with a clean platform I’ve got a Signa Drive into a Conspiracy Theory currently.

    Also consider how pedals interact with each other. Ever try a treble booster into a MIAB? Awesome. Just depends what someone’s going for sonically.
     
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  12. wulfenganck

    wulfenganck Tele-Holic

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    There is no "must have" for me, i.e. I get a decent tone out of most of my pedals.
    The most reliable overdrives are my Fulltone OCD and my TC Electronics Dark Matter. I switch between those two on my main pedalboard.
    I use them mostly in low gain settings as my main overdrive comes from my amp.
     
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  13. OttoCorrect

    OttoCorrect Tele-Holic

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    Must haves are hard for me, as I like trying out lots of different kinds of dirt. Big Muff for sure, with the current (and likely last) Muff being a Stomp Under Foot “The Pi” which is seriously sooooooooooo good. It’s modeled on the later period Ram’s Head Muffs, which have a lot in common with the 80’s post op amp Black and Red Muffs.

    And the humble Boss SD-1. It works great into an amp, and it works great into a Muff, the combination of the two creates a great giant wall of 90’s alt style distortion.

    I also really love my Outlaw mod DS-1, so I guess I have three that I’ll likely never get rid of.
     
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  14. Schredd

    Schredd TDPRI Member

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    Since I have a Fulltone Catalyst I barely use my other od, dist or fuzz pedals. Various kinds of distortion are possible within a turn of its gain knob. Bass/mids and treble knobs are also very effective.
     
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  15. eddiewagner

    eddiewagner Poster Extraordinaire

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    Voodoo lab sparkle drive
    Tc mojo mojo
     
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  16. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    Boss OD-3
     
  17. schenkadere

    schenkadere Friend of Leo's

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    RC Booster or cheap clone like me.
     
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  18. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    A weird thing that happened recently—for years, I almost always had an overdrive pedal on...usually a TS-9RI Tube Screamer, but sometimes others (see below)...but recently I installed a Dr. Z’s Brake Lite on my Vibroverb, and after some judicious tweaking of the volume/attenuation settings, I was very comfortable running straight into the amp without an overdrive. When I added in a boost pedal, it was glorious...I’m not saying that I’ll quit using overdrives—but this is an awesome option.

    My first effects pedal was a Ibanez Soundtank TS-5 Tube Screamer…

    After 30 years of playing, I still look at the Tube Screamer as the perfect overdrive pedal. I have owned and used other Tube Screamers, such as the TS-9 (reissue), TS-10, TS-808 (reissue) and the oddball TS-7.
    A TS-9RI still graces my Big Ol’ Board of Sonic Bliss (aka BOBoSB).

    I have owned/used other ODs:

    -The criminally underrated overly-large heavyweight creme-colored Danelectro DO-1 Daddy-O is super flexible, especially with that 3-band EQ. I’ll pick used ones up cheap and give them as gifts (along with a copy of the setting suggestions from the manual)—and almost every person has made a space for it in their rig. I still have my original one in the Reserve Drawer of Extra Accessories.

    -MXR M-66 Classic Overdrive.
    A GC-exclusive pedal that has a hidden surprise—an internal personality switch that switches from the MXR ZW-44 Zakk Wylde OD to the MXR M-193 GT-OD...I called it the “sister-in-law” switch.
    I bought two of the M-66’s, and added a toggle to one of them so I could access that feature without taking it apart (I later gave that one to a friend), and kept one in original condition...it’s still in the Reserve Drawer as well. It looks cool, too—a flat Tube Screamer Green with white hot rod/Von Dutch-style pinstripes. :cool::cool::cool:

    -Boss DS-1...hasn’t everybody had one of these? I gave it to my drummer, who loved it more than I did.

    -MXR M-86 Classic Distortion...another GC-exclusive pedal...very 80’s hard rock/hair-metal-ish tone. Looked super cool (flat black paint with Von Dutch-esque pinstripes? I’m in!). It’s great if you’re using humbuckers, but very “meh” with single coils...and I use single coils 80-90% of the time, so I sold this on eBay (or Reverb?).

    -MXR M-69 Prime Distortion...yet another GC-exclusive design. Looked cool (more pinstripes—I’m a sucker for them!) and a good price. Good crunchy sound for 90’s hard rock, almost into grunge territory. I sold it to a hard rocker/metal player who was delighted.

    After playing through/owning a half-dozen distortion pedals, I finally realized that the effect just doesn’t work for me unless I’m using humbuckers.

    -Dunlop JH-2S Jimi Hendrix System Classic Fuzz...a relic of the pre-Janie-control days of Hendrix products...basically a red Fuzz Face in a Phase 90-sized enclosure. Great fuzz that goes from mild to wild, but never gets too extreme. Pairs well with overdrive, whether from a pedal or from the amp.

    -Something that gets almost continual use is an MXR M-133 Micro Amp boost. It’s the “more of me” pedal—doesn’t change any tones, just enriches everything that’s happening. Coupled with the recent addition of an attenuator on my amp, it’s absolutely glorious...so much so that the second Micro Amp that’s in the Reserve Drawer might be added to the BOBoSB.
     
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  19. 0utputXfmr

    0utputXfmr Tele-Meister

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    Well, my pedal collection is just starting out. I've played through a number of different dirt pedals, but the pedals that I currently *own* are the Boss SD-1, Maxon OSD-9 and the EHX Big Muff Pi with Tone Wicker. I love them all! The OSD-9 has that Tube Screamer look, but it works a little differently. I haven't been able to get a look at its schematic, but I have a sneaking suspicion it would be fairly similar to the DOD 250 Preamp-- at a minimum, the two circuits are based on the same LM741 Op-Amp. Sound-wise, the voicing seems to be a touch "warmer" (a little thicker in the low-to-mid midrange) to my ears than the TS-9, TS-808, or Boss SD-1. It is housed in a very solid chassis and has a high-quality feel.

    I think my next "dirt" pedal would be something like a Rat, so that I have the "overdrive", "distortion", and "fuzz" categories effectively covered. If I feel the impulse to get any dirt pedals beyond that, it would probably have to be something off the beaten path to grab my interest.
     
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  20. AngryTiger

    AngryTiger TDPRI Member

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    Easy - Plexi in box. My must have. Don't care about the rest.
     
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