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recommend good overdrive for SS amp please

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by JimmyPeteKeith, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I just got my old Peavey Backstage Plus out for practice and was at first pretty disapointed with the dirt pedals on my cheap-o board with a First Act Distortion and TS-5. But with a little tweaking of the amp EQ, the tone controls on my Strat and the knobs on the pedals I got some decent tones. Good enough for a jam or a non-critical gig.

    I have a slew of other pedals to mess with and if something stands out, I'll post it.
     
  2. Lunchie

    Lunchie Poster Extraordinaire

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    Big Peppermill fan myself. http://www.jpguitarworks.com/ (not affiliated but have bought a few things from him) builds a version called the Subtlety Drive. It has 3 gain stages: 1st being a peppermill, 2nd being a little heavier gain peppermill, and the 3rd being high gain & heavily compressed version. 1st stage is mostly a clean boost, some real light gain when dimed. Second reminds me a lot of the TC Spark Boost in the mid position and 3rd I rarely use but would be good for Modern Hard Rock and Metal.

    I cant remember the price, I want to say its $125. However, this guy isnt getting rich off the pedals he builds. He is a dad working out of his basement. Good guy, knows his stuff and he guarantees them for life.
     
  3. czech-one-2

    czech-one-2 Friend of Leo's

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    I dont see the subtlety drive on his websight? Sounds great though as I've wanted to try a peppermill circuit since .011 G first recommended it for solid state amps.
    I'm using a Red Snapper clone which is a very transparent Tubescreamer based pedal with no mid hump at all, [probably very similar to a Timmy.] I also recommend a non-transparent compressor like a dyna comp/Ross for giving an unforgiving clean SS amp a little tube like compression. I use the Red Snapper as a clean boost, and hit it with the compressor for overdrive.
    For distortion something with plenty of low end works for me.Lots of folks say the OCD is too bassy but that works well with SS amps.

    Oh, I should mention the Red Llama/Tube Sound Fuzz also. It sounds great with SS amps, very tweedy.
     
  4. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    For a solid state amp to have valve-like qualities, it generally needs a FET stage (Field Effect Transistor) somewhere near the input because these /can/ have similar gain response properties to valves. Many chips have FETs but are not configured to provide a valve-like response, just having a FET doesn't do it. Good solid state guitar amps will be configured to do this and will operate satisfactorily with pedals intended for valve amps.

    Plonking an OD box in front of the amp can vary from merely extending the front-end of the amp to introducing distortion there. Boosting the signal into the front-end of a solid-state amp can result in heavy clipping quite unlike the sound of a valve being pushed to the top of its gain curve.

    What is wanted is something that simulates the soft over-driven qualities of a valve and then reduce the output signal back to normal level so the solid-state amp does not clip - a 'tube-drive'. Many conventional and old school OD boxes are intended to operate by raising the output signal high enough to push the front-end of a valve amp into over-drive (rather the point of the name really).
     
  5. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    that's pretty much my experience with it too. i have a bassman 100 for all my tube happiness... and a fender fm100 SS amp for when the bassman is having issues or in the shop or whatever. the pedals i love for the bassman almost 100% always sound like crap through the fm100. a good tube OD pedal will add a little grit to the natural overdrive of the tube amp. with SS, you want as pedal that has a softer, more tube-like attack than what you would use on a tube amp. my ts808 sounds okay on the fm100... but not really a natural sound. a FET-based pedal would be a good way to go. also, a decent emulation pedal will probably give you more useful tones from your SS. those tech 21 pedals or even the boss "fender" series are designed to give you a tone into a direct input... and would be better suited to liven up your SS rig.

    if you have the cash for it, something with a tube preamp in the pedal would be beneficial for a SS rig also. that way you'd have some tube grit in your otherwise very clean SS circuit. seems like there's not much consensus on what pedals work the best with SS amps... so let us know what you end up liking and we'll have to take notes :p
     
  6. JesterR

    JesterR Tele-Afflicted

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    Barber pedals sounds good into SS. I had Small Fry and Super Sport, and both sounds good into SS amp. And sansamp character sounds really great.
     
  7. Seance

    Seance Tele-Meister

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    I agree that the design of the SS amp has a lot to do with how it takes pedals.

    I have a Lab Series L7 and I feel like it sounds great with any of the
    overdrive/fuzz pedals that I have (each one providing a slightly different
    version of awesome). I think part of the reason they work for me is that I also
    like the overdrive I'm able to get out of the amp itself. The pedals just allow for
    different flavours and/or levels, which I can kick on or off as needed.

    The pedals I use (and like) with my SS amp:

    Barber Dual Unlimited, ProCo Rat, Barber Trifecta, Dunlop EJ signature Fuzz Face.
     
  8. Gary Mitchell

    Gary Mitchell Former Member

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    I had a Roland JC 120 and the best OD pedal I found for it, was a Marshall BluesBreaker II. The pedal worked real well with the USA Red Line Peavey Bandit I once had, I sold it and the guy also bought the pedal.
     
  9. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    Thanks for that info, as I'll use it to pass onto others.

    Even though the PM is a very simple circuit, IMO $125 is a steal. Also, he adds 2 extra modes that could potentially make the pedal "redeeming" for those who find a stock PM to be too subtle/mild (although I think that is what makes it as great as it is - just the slight tube amp'ish OD and literally nothing more).

    ...I've seen a "gained up" DIY version of the PM, but don't remember where. The circuit is deceptively simple - a mosFET driving a jFET (mosFET doesn't clip in this circuit). Some have said that a simple rebias on the mosFET will obviously make it clip, and I guess some would consider that to be pleasing. And the jFET can obviously be biased so that it clips harder as well.

    IMO, the T.O.D.D. version is nice in that it adds a tone control, but IMO the PM doesn't really need one. And the clipping diode switch (IMO) subtracts something nice from the PM. But at least it's available as a PCB that can be quickly and easily put together.

    Kudos to JP Guitarworks for offering a PM variation at a more than reasonable price.

    Edited to add - if anyone has used a Super Duper, that could probably be configured similarly to a Peppermill - one "FET" driving another one. But the SD has big input and output caps, and the input impedance is very high WRT the PM. But it's the same principle - just a pair of "FETs", no clipping diodes, literally "nothing extra." And - "pound for pound," a jFET will mimic a tube triode stage more than a mosFET will (IMO) - more even order harmonics, especially that "signature strong 2nd order."
     
  10. GaryOsborne

    GaryOsborne RIP

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    I found a used stock sparkle drive at music go round for like 65$. Plugged into my cube with my tele and it sounded great. Then I hooked my boss cs-2 up with the sparkle drive and it was amazing. The OD pedal search is over, for now lol. I'm really happy with it. Like a tube screamer with a clean boost. And with the cs-2 it was such a thick and full tone. I love it! Really appreciate all the input from all you guys. This is what these sites are for. Not arguing and bickering, but helping another person make the right decision. I made sure to try it thorough a blues jr to make sure I liked that as well and I did (I have a BJ on hold in nashville).
    Thanks again guys.
    Gary.
     
  11. teleprompted

    teleprompted Tele-Meister

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    Before I got a tube amp I used a vox ad15 for years which sounded great with the ocd on lp mode. I still use the ocd as my main drive tone, very versatile for me and what im currently playing
     
  12. Dave_O

    Dave_O Friend of Leo's

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    I use my Catalinbread WIIO as my "signal warmer" in front of an SS amp. A useful part of my "fly-away" rig, when I don't know what kind of horror I'll be playing through...:D
    Last in the chain, gain on 0 and as neutral a tone as possible (toggle it on and off to get as close to the "Off" sound as possible). Hit it with a lot of level and it breaks up, back off the guitar volume and it cleans up.

    I also have a cheapo Danelectro FAB distortion that works just as well in this role, for a lot less $$
     
  13. Lunchie

    Lunchie Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah, I don't know why he doesnt list his builds on his website but he builds them. ?If you contact him he gets back to you quick usually within a couple hours if its during the day. He will do any graphics or text on them you want as well or opt for his standard.

    Yeah he is a really good guy and knows his stuff and is also willing to share his information. In just the couple times I have gone to his house to pick up a pedal, I have learned more about them talking to him then anything.

    These are the two builds of his that I still have, I did have a phase 90 but I sold it when I got my vibe.
     

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  14. pryde

    pryde Tele-Meister

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    Hey thanks for the props lunchie. Stumbled on this thread and noticed my website linked here :)

    FWIW: I found the peppermill circuit years ago from the runoffgroove site and really fell in love with it for its simplicity and great sound. Over time I added a couple simple tweaks/mods including adding a couple extra diode clipping options and various tone circuits just for fun. I created a vero of it and built a few for local musicians, etc.

    Then a while ago found the TODD pcb which is nearly identical to my workup. I have used it on a build or two as well as I can "drop in" my replacement parts and make it identical to my vero.

    Anyway, the TODD/peppermill (stock or modded) is a great little box. If you are handy with a soldering gun you can build up a TODD for yourself. If not, I could help you out as I have a few, or my own vero as well.

    -JP
     
  15. JimmyPeteKeith

    JimmyPeteKeith Banned

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    POW POW POW POW POW!

    lots of suggestions, practical advice, electronics education here. thanks much to all who replied, i've got some comparing and maybe soldering to do.

    anybody else wants to chime, by all means have at it. thanks again to all.
     
  16. JohnSS

    JohnSS Tele-Meister

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    My "go to" pedal for warming up SS amps is a Hardwire SC-2 Valve Distortion. Gets a great 70s sound ala Stones and Faces.
     
  17. leonard d rock

    leonard d rock Tele-Afflicted

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    even if the sd1 is pretty good for an ss amp, modding it by changing one of the clippers with 1n400x will be better than the stock clippers for more drive IMO. but i'm looking to get a bd2 to warm up the ss amp.
     
  18. 52BIGSBY

    52BIGSBY Tele-Meister

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    Hi there, I am experimenting with a Barber Tone Pump 2 into the clean channel of my Bandit transtube. It is similar to the overdrive channel, but a little brighter at even settings. I need to try and use it as a boost giving just a bit more weight to the tone, so plenty for me to play with yet. Good pedal.
    Richard.
     
  19. barnbustud

    barnbustud Tele-Holic

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    Hmm seems like Jeff's email is no longer working , is he still around? I'm interested in the subtle drive.
     
  20. Golem

    Golem Tele-Holic

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    I've used my Jekyll and Hyde on both solid state and tube amps. It works great on every amp I've tried whereas other pedals I have are more temperamental
     
    blowtorch and valvestate like this.
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