Pedal Games - Chasing Tone and Fell in the Rabbit Hole

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Ducerro, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. ICTRock

    ICTRock Tele-Afflicted

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    at first I just established a sound that I liked with what I could get my hands on ... then youtube happened. for a while I was chasing tone, building clones of the same tools others were using, gathering amps and pedals like baseball cards ... which got really boring and expensive but I did figure out my wants/needs. I downsized all of that down to just my guitars. right now, I've got a mixture of off the shelf pedals I've tweaked to my liking along with some homebrew clones/tweaked clones for use with my one small amp to get my sound(s). I play more, watch youtube less, and don't spend as much time hunting down obscure sources of out of production electronics anymore.
     
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  2. rough eye

    rough eye TDPRI Member

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    i have a line6 M5 that is a pedal emulator and emulates like a hundred other pedals. if you pick up one of those you can try a bunch of pedals and if you really like one you can buy the actual pedal.
     
  3. Ducerro

    Ducerro Tele-Holic

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    I wish I was there... Can't seem to shake the GAS, but I know - down deep - that "my tone" isn't going to be found there.

    Spent the last several days since first posting (it seems like a month, but it was probably yesterday) arguing with myself and obsessing over the vast number of choices out there. I'm a "buy it once" kinda guy - I absolutely HATE buying something twice. So I stuggle with getting it "right" the first time. As such, I keep coming back to the Okko Diablo Gain+ Overdrive. I had myself convinced this morning to just go ahead and pull the trigger, but when I placed it in my cart the photo reverted to a newer model instead of what I clicked on. So it seems a "new" Okko Diablo Gain+ Overdive is no longer an option. At least on Amazon - and I had a $150 gift card there making my out of pocket costs $100 plus tax. Now I need to decide if I want to go $250 for NOS some where else and use the $150 on Amazon for something else.

    Still looking for options...

    BTW - checked out some Boss options - the Blues Driver in particular, and then the SD-1 and the OD1X. Just not feeling the love there. The Fullertone II looked to be a good fit, but it's out of production too (and almost as expensive). Found a video of GH A/B'ing his Okko Diablo Signature against an Ibanez Tube Screemer - and they were close... really close... until he hit the boost switch on the Okko - then it was "game over"...
     
  4. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    "Motorcycles don't need pedals. Someone steals the pedals off your moped... you be walkin'."

    I have come to believe there are two essential tones and that the same two essential tones will work for nearly everyone.

    You need an interesting clean tone that stands up by itself. You're not getting a good clean tone if you need reverb.

    You need a juicy overdrive tone. If you get your overdrive by pushing your clean tone you will usually achieve what you want.

    It's that simple.

    For example last night I was getting a killer ZZ Top "Eliminator" tone using my fifty buck Salvation Army guitar. If I were to believe the hype I need to emulate Billy's priceless Les Paul. Good thing I don't believe the hype.
     
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  5. Stardog75

    Stardog75 Tele-Meister

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    I have a similar tone preference as you.i get there with a fender deluxe reverb and a twin wld have been better but the deluxe is awesome.with that I use a fulltone OCD and a tumnus deluxe for overdrive.then I have a boss dd7.those 3 pedals are always on.the rest are cool but i rarely use.but those 3 pedals are freaking awesome.if i didnt have a deluxe reverb i would have bought a strymon big sky but I dont need it.also the dd7 is awesome but the memory man might have been better idk.the dd7 works pretty well.i think they are only 90 bucks right now at g center because the dd8 is either out or coming out
     
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  6. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    The music industry love GAS- gear acquisition syndrome. Everyone is telling you that a specific, expensive pedal is not at all necessary
    to achieve the tone you seek; and your rational mind has acknowledged that we must be right-- and yet your gut keeps making you
    want to buy the more expensive option. But for GAS the gear industry would sell much less gear at much lower profit margins.

    Let's put it another way. The guy in your benchmark tone video could play through just about any decent Fender tube amp with just about any decent overdrive, reverb,
    delay, and decent Strat and he would still sound the same. Exactly the same. He might have to tweak a few knobs a bit differently, but he would get there.
     
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  7. Switchy

    Switchy Tele-Holic

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    Totally agree.

    That being said, telling me to use a compressor and an equalizer pedal was really good advice I got from you guys. You just have to sift through the bad to get some good.
     
  8. Ducerro

    Ducerro Tele-Holic

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    Well - i'd agree with you except for one little thing... reviews. Y'all have done a fine job of convincing me that an Okko Diablo isn't necessary and I can get by with a less expensive alternate - I get it! No need to yell... or whisper... ;)

    But what I've run into is a severe lack of quality control on the "low end" pedals. Review after review with 10, 15, even 20% one and two star ratings. Crappy pedals that break with little use AFTER the warranty (if there is one) or return period. And I'm not interested in saving a buck at first and then buying a different brand because the last one was crap - then having to do it all over again. As mentioned earlier - I'd MUCH rather cry once when buying a pedal. I don't have a fortune to spend, but $250 ain't gonna break the bank either.

    Still looking...
     
  9. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you go super cheap then yes. Boss, mxr, way huge, truetone, TC Electronics, and ehx are all very good quality and very reliable. All are much more affordable because of economy of scale— but made with same quality of components in terms of reliability and durability. I didn’t mean to seem like I was lecturing or yelling: my computer put in a big font and I didn’t know how to fix it....
     
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  10. Ducerro

    Ducerro Tele-Holic

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    I was just yanking your chain! All in good fun!;)

    Been looking at TC Electronics for the last hour or so. Saw one called Dark Matter that caught my attention. It's described as a mid to high gain distortion pedal and I was thinking a low to mid gain would be better for my needs, but in the online reviews I'm watching I honestly can't tell a difference between the Dark Matter and it's low-gain sister the MojoMojo. They're inexpensive, so I might just pop for one of these.
     
  11. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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  12. neilybob100

    neilybob100 Tele-Meister

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    I know how you feel regarding chasing tone.

    I've had many a good word with myself while my finger has been hovering a Buy it now button.

    I love this tone by Chris Buck.


    It inspired my to purchase Chris's signature pickups by Radioshop.

    Love this tone also of a player playing Chris's signature pickups.


    Currently waiting for my Chris Buck Radioshop pickups to be installed into my Strat.

    Sent from my CLT-L29 using Tapatalk
     
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  13. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Holic

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    Perhaps this might be an option for you:

    https://pedalgenie.com/?SID=05f9262eabdc4b4ae0bea1ef8f7e2827

    A monthly subscription service built on the old Netflix model. You choose a pedal, they send it to you, you keep it for as long as you like, then exchange it for another. The top tier sub lets you keep three at a time. Their selection is fairly huge.
     
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  14. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    Just have realistic expectations and go for your own thing. And realize when you're wasting time that could be spent practicing or playing with others.

    If you meet your idol and he or she lets you play their rig you won't sound like them even though it's their guitar & pedals & amp. We all sound different, and there are countless anecdotes about this.

    I think it's also semi-silly to try and set up a rig to emulate lots of different players tones. I have a British voiced amp (Orange) I feel absolutely 0 need to buy a Fender amp for when I play songs by players who play Fender amps. Nor do I feel I need to have a Strat to enjoy playing Hendrix songs or a Les Paul to play something Eric Clapton played on a Les Paul. You see that come up in forums all the time, "But I play covers, I need to cover all the tones!". Nope, you don't. You need to play the song well and be in the right ballpark and everyone will notice the quality of your playing. I'm not saying you should go play classic country on a high gain amp with a Big Muff. But you don't have to go duplicate the classic rig.

    Also go REALLY slow on swapping out pedals. Some of them take a long time to figure out how to use right. Your amp, guitar, and pedal settings all matter, and then it matters what material you play through it. I know I sold a lot of pedals that I would have figured out how to use better if I'd been more patient.
     
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  15. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Holic

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    Greg's playing is in his hands. He has great dynamics in his touch. I'm sure he could plug into your current rig and sound pretty similar. Pedals won't give you this.

    One good exercise is to turn up your amp quite loud, then practice coaxing pleasing tones out of your setup by playing very gently. Do this on a Tele bridge PU with amp turned up sot that harsh ice pick can only be avoided by soft touch in your picking hand.
     
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  16. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    My suggestion would be to buy a bunch of used Boss pedals on Reverb or someplace. For the $250 cost of that one boutique pedal, you can assemble a whole pedal board. Boss makes good pedals at reasonable prices, and if you buy used you can resell it later and get your money back. This way you can try lots of pedals and see what you like. I tried a ton of different ones until I found a combination that covers all the bases, and I have not bought a single pedal since.

    I learned a few things during that search, mostly corresponding to the advice already posted above. There is almost never one specific pedal you need to get a certain sound. Lots of pedals sound almost exactly like lots of other pedals. And the subtle difference you might notice doesn’t matter anyway. Maybe if you’re in the recording studio. But probably not even then.

    If a buddy of mine asked, this is what I’d tell him to get:
    - delay
    - compressor
    - Organic-sounding boost like a blues driver (boss BD-2)
    - compressed sounding boost like a Tube Screamer
    - graphic EQ

    start there, then add and subtract to taste.
     
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  17. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    There are some pedals that are easy and others that are trickier.

    I think once you get a ballpark idea of what you want the following are relatively easy, there are lots of good choices and they are forgiving with amp/guitar choices.

    Almost all of us seem to end up with Reverb either in the amp or a pedal. You need to decide what type of sound.

    Delay is the same thing, and you decide whether you like an analog sound, digital sound, tape sound (which is usually digital), etc..

    Almost everyone likes some modulations and dislikes others. Decide whether you like Chorus, Vibrato, Uni-Vibe, Flanger, Phaser, etc..

    A lot of the "easy" FX I think are easy to try out with a digital multi-effect or a modeler (like a THR) that has them built in.

    The hard ones:

    - Over drive
    - Fuzz
    - Boost

    All of these can be cranky with amp/guitar matching *and* have tricky side effects where they sound good unless all of the following line up:
    - The amp is adjusted a particular way
    - The pedal is adjusted a particular way
    - The guitar volume/tone might need to be adjusted a particular way.

    For Drive/Fuzz/Boost it's really easy to get frustrated and sell a pedal that actually would have worked great in your rig once you end up with more playing experience.

    edit: Compressors are relatively easy I think.. more like a delay, compressors fall into certain families. If you want a squishy country compressor that puts you in the Ross/Dynacomp family, and there are tons in that family that will probably work fine. If you don't like that sound than you'd probably be interested in a more studio style compressor, and there are lots there that are good as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2020
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  18. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Friend of Leo's

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    I just use a comp, chorus, 'verb and delay. Used to run a few more but decided it wasnt really all that useful so I purged

    Everything stereo except comp, that only runs to one amp

    Amp OD and I'm good
     
  19. Ducerro

    Ducerro Tele-Holic

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    OP here... Thought y'all might like an update.

    I did NOT buy the Okko Diablo Gain+ Overdrive pedal. As much as I "wanted" it, in the end I just could not pull the trigger. Main issue was I could not find the pedal NOS (new old stock). Whenever I "thought" I found one and placed it in my cart the photo/description always reverted to a newer version. Decided if I couldn't get the exact same one, then I'd rather chase my own tone. THIS thread bought me a wealth of knowledge and for that I'm grateful - I learned a lot. In the end I didn't "save" any money - but that's not what the thread was meant to do.

    So - what did I buy? Well - my search led me down many a rabbit hole, but I eventually popped out on the Keely website. After watching a few YouTube videos I decided the overdrive on the Keely D&M matched the music/tones playing in my head - and the boost function sealed the deal. So off to Amazon to buy - or so I thought. I found a good deal on one on Amazon that allowed me to use points for the purchase. But before I could pull the trigger the offer simply disappeared! The only other Keely D&M on Amazon was $70 higher, so I figured I'd lost out again. Two days later - while still looking for a D&M at a decent price - the original offer on Amazon popped back up. This time I didn't wait - threw it in my cart and hit the BUY button. After using my points I scored the pedal for $90. Just delivered today!

    Keely DM 2.jpg

    Keely DM 1.jpg

    I figure it's a good start to my first pedal board! Also have a new Boss TU3 Waza tuner and a Boss RC-1 looper on the way - both due in on Tuesday or Wednesday. All I need to do now is order some power for the new gang.
     
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  20. dswo

    dswo Tele-Holic

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    Gilmourish.com is a great site if you want to sound like DG, and many do. Bjorn, the creator of the site, has tried a lot of things and shares his experience freely. Not creepy at all. On the contrary, I'm grateful. I'll go further and say that site is a way to save money, because you don't have to learn everything yourself by trial and error. That's expensive. Nor does he only recommend pricey gear or gear that DG himself has used. For example, his standard delay recommendation is a TC Flashback, which most would not classify as boutique. He also shows how to approximate a range of DG tones using common Boss pedals, such as the BD-2:



    If that is creepy, then everyone with a hobby is creepy. Now here's some Telecaster content from my favorite Gilmour DVD:

     
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