Overdrive or Distortion pedal suggestion for my 5F2-A build...

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by tubedood, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. tubedood

    tubedood Tele-Meister

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    Hi all!

    I recently finished a nice little 5F2-A style amplifier, it has two selectable mods to brighten the tone when wanted and they do add a slight gain boost. I love the sound, it is clean till 3 or 4 then a slight natural drive starts. I am wondering a good pedal to get some bluesy drive at those early volumes just before the amp starts to clip (and the wife shuts the door hahaa).

    Are the "Tube Screamers" still the rage? There are so many pedals out there these days.

    Dale
    5F2-A Front.jpg
     
  2. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's

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    There are many overdrives of different flavours to choose from. Some good, some, perhaps not so. If what you're hearing that you like so much is the sound of the whole amplifier having to to deliver the sonic goodness, a plain overdrive may not suffice.

    Doesn't hurt to try though.

    I tend to run my Champ-a-like just on the verge of breakup. If I really dig in, it breaks up in a most satisfactory manner. If I back off, roll the guitar volume down, caress rather than bludgeon the strings, it's clean. I really like the sound when the power valve starts compressing. Nothing compares exactly to that. I use an attenuator to allow me to keep the amp in that sweet spot. 3~4 on the dial, as you say.

    A clean boost into the front is one sound. Gain down, volume up. An EQ pedal can get great results doing that too, plus the EQ can help overcome, to a limited extent, the effects of Fletcher-Munson.

    The Joyo American Sound can get you a long way down the path you seek to travel. Careful manipulation of the voice, gain and volume controls can make it make the sound of the output stage getting sweaty, and the three band EQ can control any flub or shriek. All this without volume levels that will irritate She Who Must Be Obeyed. My AS is set to sound like the amp sounds when the volume control is hovering around 7, but without the volume boost. Very pleasant.

    Blues Drivers, Tube Screamers et al will work. What's your budget and what do you have already?. Sometimes, feeding one boost pedal into another can yield pleasant results too.
     
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  3. Nickfl

    Nickfl Tele-Afflicted

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    Why not start building pedals? For the price of one sought after overdrive you can build half a dozen clones at least one of which should light your fire.

    As for actual suggestions, sounds like you want a "transparent overdrive". People seem to love the Timmy, but the clone I built has never done much of anything for me. I like the king of tone/ blues driver much better. A rangemaster style treble boost of some sort may also be a good option.

    If you are up for something that will add a little more color of its own to the amps tone, the zendrive has consistently remained one of my favorite builds.

    You also probably need a good fuzz pedal or 10... Muffs, tone benders, fuzz faces, etc.
     
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  4. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Meister

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    My main amp is a nice 5f2 clone which I dearly love. When I play at home, I cannot turn it up past 3. At this volume it is still clean, but since it is not too far from the point it starts to break up, it is already compressing a bit: in a word, it takes drive pedals very well.
    Thus you should have a large choice of drive pedals that could work well for your needs: all you have to determine now is what you like!

    That being said, I personally use:

    - a Hudson Broadcast (on low gain setting, volume just above unity and drive between noon and 2:00 for a nice breaking up tone. The low cut control is really useful because it can prevent the small 5f2 to fart out on the bass (especially when I use it with PAF type humbuckers - not necessary with the telecaster I think). And the germanium transistor of the Broadcast provides a very good clean up response to the guitar’s volume: quite like the sound of plugging directly into the amp.

    - a J Rockett Monkeyman when I want more drive. This pedal emulates a tweed amp crunching and it works great with an actual tweed circuit played clean. I set the volume just above unity too. On this pedal you do not have a drive knob (the amount of drive is pre-set) but you have a « speaker breakup » knob, which I keep fairly low (around 9:00). This way it gives a tone that is really close to my 5f2 at 7 on the volume.
    The pedal has spring reverb too, which gives me a nice option in addition to the short delay I usually use.

    I personally did not like tube screamer circuits with the 5f2: too much midrange. Can be nice for some lead or riffing though, but not for the things I play.
    I find that a low gain full spectrum pedal works best with a small tweed amp played clean.
    Of course a good clean boost is really nice too, but the problem is you won’t have the same amount of breakup at unity volume since at 3 the 5f2 is not compressing enough yet. The headroom left will give you a healthy volume boost which I find is too loud for playing in my living room.
     
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  5. wrathfuldeity

    wrathfuldeity Tele-Afflicted

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    VFE Dragon is my fav
     
  6. tubedood

    tubedood Tele-Meister

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    Thanks all for the ideas! I am eager to check 'em out.
    I have looked into a possible pedal build with the "Queen of Bone" (King of Tone clone) or a "Zen" style build. That could be fun and informative.

    I also am looking into the usefulness of an attenuator to reduce my output volume, I am a lil leery on them due to the amount of mixed emotions on them. I don't think my ears would be that concerning but others either love or hate what they do to tone.
    A trip to the local GC is in order to try a few pedals and get a feel for the market. It has been a decade since I went pedal shopping!
     
  7. ICTRock

    ICTRock Tele-Afflicted

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    single-ended amps love boost pedals ... js
     
  8. Bristlehound

    Bristlehound Friend of Leo's

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  9. twangjeff

    twangjeff Tele-Afflicted

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    +1. Why not look at something like a Z Vex SHO, or a Xotic RC booster?
     
  10. Bristlehound

    Bristlehound Friend of Leo's

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    The Xotic RC and AC work really well. I have clones of them both (Donner Boost Killer and Caline Highwayman respectively). The SHO (I have a DIY version) is less good with a 5E3... but quite cheap as a veroboard build!

    Horse for courses, etc etc.
     
  11. srvbluezz

    srvbluezz Tele-Holic

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    Look into klon and bluesbreaker type pedals. I got a tumnus.
     
  12. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Holic

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    I've been watching several handmade pedals from small companies on Reverb. I plan on buying all of them as a hobby when I finally win the lottery....

    But aside from obvious stuff, drive pedals aren't always more awesome for more money. Current tube screamers aren't better than joyo jf01 or Biyangs x drive. Klones are everywhere, but soul food from EHX is cheap enough to ignore most other copies. Joyo sweet baby is also on my to buy list.

    If you want to know what OD pedal isn't a copy and is actually worth finding, just for tone and range alone, the MHP 72 degrees has a lot to it. I need one, but it's off budget until next year.

    Otherwise, BB, Klonez, and transparent stuff should be great with a 5F2
     
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