My Transparent OD Quest is Over ~~ Twist Ending!

Telecaster88

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Back in my rock n roll days I never used pedals, just the onboard reverb and OD in my amps. When I got back into playing four or five years ago, I picked up a Vox Mini3 G2 to mess around with and I got hooked on all the built-in effects. Over time I picked up a bunch of basic but nice pedals that work for me and my playing style. Even so, nowadays I play clean and quiet, so I didn't have any use for overdrive. That changed when I heard about the Nobels ODR-1, the "secret weapon" of many of my favorite Nashville Cats. Wow, as soon as I plugged it in I was taken back to my old loud, revved up days. It sounded like an overdriven amp, moreso than a pedal. I started mainly using it at very low gain, just to give a bit more bite to my cleans, but it led me down a mini rabbit hole of transparent ODs.

Next I checked out a Wampler Belle. I loved the ODR-1 on the bridge pickup of my Tele, but it was a little grumpy on the other PU positions, even with the bass cut engaged, and I thought the Belle might be more useable across the PU range. Well, it was alright, but seemed to be missing some je ne sais quois that the Nobels had. Next, I plunked down for a Boss OD-3, and that was really great. Maybe my overall favorite. Nice and smooth and more useable outside the bridge than the ODR-1. Maybe still missing some Nobels magic, though.

Last week I saw Sweetwater had a TC Zeus on sale for $60. I liked the demos and thought I should check out a Klon/e -- the King of Transparent Overdrives (?). It arrived Saturday and I plugged it in yesterday, and... it just didn't do anything for me. Maybe it's the circuit, or the brand (the few TC pedals I've tried have seemed pretty sterile to me). But anyhow, it slapped me out of my transparent overdrive reverie. What the heck was I doing? I was TOTALLY happy with my sound before hearing the ODR-1, and even if I found the perfect OD, I would still be playing clean 99% of the time. So... all things considered it was an interesting diversion, but I reset my "classic" pedal chain last night: Dyna Comp Deluxe > Formula 5F6* > MXR Analog Chorus> Carbon Copy Deluxe > Topanga > TR-2, and there I was-- back in tone heaven.

TL;DR - I play clean, and I like playing clean.

*Set low gain as a foundation/tone-shaper, not an OD.

Thanks for listening!

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arlum

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Nice reset. One question. I'm wondering why you've place the Tremolo at the end of the chain. In most chains it would be somewhere before the delay and reverb. Just asking.
 

Telecaster88

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Nice reset. One question. I'm wondering why you've place the Tremolo at the end of the chain. In most chains it would be somewhere before the delay and reverb. Just asking.
Because I don't really know what I'm doing?? :)

In my mind I figured you can often get Trem and Reverb from the amp, so I put them at the end, figured that's where they'd be if I was getting them from the amp. I may be very wrong! What is the benefit of putting the trem in earlier? Thanks!
Isn’t the Formula 5F6 an overdrive?
Yes, but for most of its sweep it stays clean, and even maxed out it's a very mild OD. I keep the gain around 10-11 o'clock and use it mostly to shape things EQ-wise through the Champ. If I'm playing through my other amps I'll often switch it out for a Mojo Hand Mister-O.
 

Edgar Allan Presley

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Nice reset. One question. I'm wondering why you've place the Tremolo at the end of the chain. In most chains it would be somewhere before the delay and reverb. Just asking.
I like tremolo at the end, too, just like in a Fender amp. I don't want the delay repeats and the reverb washing out the tremolo. Where you put it depends on if you want to tremolo your echo or echo your tremolo. I would think tremolo after delay and reverb would be more common than the other way around.

Edit to add: I'm glad you found your sound, OP. Looks like a great lineup.
 
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Sparky472

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Yes, but for most of its sweep it stays clean, and even maxed out it's a very mild OD. I keep the gain around 10-11 o'clock and use it mostly to shape things EQ-wise through the Champ. If I'm playing through my other amps I'll often switch it out for a Mojo Hand Mister-O.
I might need to try one of those out…
 

E5RSY

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Nice reset. One question. I'm wondering why you've place the Tremolo at the end of the chain. In most chains it would be somewhere before the delay and reverb. Just asking.
I did it this way forever, trying to mimic the signal path in a BF/SF amp, for no other good reason than that's what I was used to when playing those amps.

A few months ago I realized it might not be best for me, especially when playing an amp that does not have its own trem and reverb. I still want reverb when the trem is running and I don't want the trem messing with delay repeats. So, now it's trem first (SA Vertigo), into delay (DD-3), and ending with reverb (RV-6).
 

Chiogtr4x

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I did it this way forever, trying to mimic the signal path in a BF/SF amp, for no other good reason than that's what I was used to when playing those amps.

A few months ago I realized it might not be best for me, especially when playing an amp that does not have its own trem and reverb. I still want reverb when the trem is running and I don't want the trem messing with delay repeats. So, now it's trem first (SA Vertigo), into delay (DD-3), and ending with reverb (RV-6).
All of my amps ( small amps) have good Reverb except my Monoprice
5-watter.
And despite its low wattage is 'almost loud' in its clean/Volume knob range.

So I made an all-cheap board for the cheap 'fake Champ' - and all sounds very good!

A Caline dual pedal that is their Orange Burst OD paired up with a clean Boost ( both switchable)> a Donner multi-modulation that I set for Tremolo or 'fake Leslie' organ > Donner Reverb and Delay ( both separately controlled)
 

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arlum

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Reverb is always last in line. Most folks recommend delay to be second to last so that all the modulation effects share in the pace set by the repeats of the delay. Sending a repeated signal through some modulation effects, (Chorus, Tremolo, Phaser, Flanger, etc.), can over whelm them with the repeats needing to be processed. There's no real right or wrong. I actually go against the majority by running my Wah Wah first in line ahead of my gain pedals. It's whatever sounds best to your ears. The most common signal chain would probably be, (and skip what you don't own or use), Guitar > Compressor > Fuzz > any other Gain pedals > Wah Wah > Volume > ( Modulation effects including Tremolo, Vibe / Univibe, Chorus, Phaser, Flanger, etc.) > Delay > Reverb > Amp.
 

Telecaster88

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Sending a repeated signal through some modulation effects, (Chorus, Tremolo, Phaser, Flanger, etc.), can over whelm them with the repeats needing to be processed.
Perhaps I get away with using trem after delay because my delay use is limited usually to either slapback or one soft repeat? In that capacity I haven't noticed any weirdness running trem last. But, as noted, I'm a novice when it comes to this stuff!
 

Ben Harmless

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Not too sure where all these rules came from. There are a TON of major artists running trem after reverb, and quite intentionally. I do it myself, because it highlights the actual effect of the tremolo rather than smearing it. For the purists, it also does absolutely mimic at least a bunch of popular Fender amp circuits.

I think using it after slapback delay makes sense as well.

More to the point, I also take an OD-less approach, and when I've dialed in my amp, my guitar volume becomes the only thing I really adjust throughout the set.
 

Askwhy

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I'm a clean freak too. Do yourself a favor and try a Gain Changer. Yes it can do OD, but also can do a slight boost with a little fairy dust on cleans you already like.
 

Jack Clayton

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You never know till you go through the process. I've still got a few transparent ODs left, but the only pedal that's always on in my rig is the JHS Clover preamp. It can give my amp just the SLIGHTEST bit of extra juice while still feeling nice and responsive to my touch. I also play with a fair bit of chorus/flanger, and I prefer breakup, if there is any, to come after modulation, so having a clean boost works for me in a utilitarian way. I'm with you. Mostly clean is a great way to live.
 




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