The Opposite Direction

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Paul in Colorado, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    R.I.P. 2019
    I realized that most of my dirt pedals are in the Tube Screamer family. Low to mid gain, smooth, not a lot of bite. What are some good distortion pedals that have nothing to do with Tube Screamers that I should try?

    For the record, I have a Rat-clone, a Maxon SD-9, MXR Distortion + and a fuzz or two. Maybe I just need to stack them. ;)
  2. chippertheripper

    chippertheripper Friend of Leo's

    Dec 26, 2010
    Fhvn ma
    I might get shot for saying this, and I really don't even use distortions anymore, but I always really loved the digitech hot rod.
    It made exactly the kind of noise I wanted a distortion to. And can be had almost free used.
  3. strat89

    strat89 Tele-Meister

    Jan 3, 2012
    Try the box of rock/distortron. Very different feel than a TS.
  4. thinkdifferent

    thinkdifferent Tele-Meister

    Jul 11, 2013
    Good ol' Europe
    Sorry, but if you come from a Tube Screamer family, I would have suggested some of these pedals for a little more "bite"... :eek:
    The Rat, if not set like MilwMark describes here (wonderful setting btw):
    has plenty of bite in my book. And IMHO the Distortion+ bites quite mightily as well. Depending on which Fuzzes you have (and which transistors are in there), same thing there.

    So I believe my suggestions are not that helpful, because you already have the pedals I would have suggested. Sorry for that. You could give some of the more "metal" distortion pedals a try.

    Btw. your Signature is hilarious :)
  5. Lowbassnotes

    Lowbassnotes Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2012
    Pacific Rim USA
    I have one of those I picked up used for next to nothing in a trade for some CD's a long time ago. Actually a pretty good sounding versatile source of dirt, claims to have Rat, DS-1 and Fuzz Face within. Underrated pedal IMO.
  6. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 21, 2003
    Near BWI Int'l
    I would call that "implicitly defined."

    The opposite of:
    Is more in the vein of being explicitly defined, IMO.

    Taken separately, I don't think we could arrive at anything more than nebulous suggestions.

    ...So - let's try and make some of the TS qualities that are implicit be explicit:

    - no strong bass

    - no strong treble

    - no fuzzy characteristics (relatively speaking)

    - singular tone control that tends to sound either like just the treble is removed (counterclockwise), or the treble approaching max might not really open things up all the way (because it can't - there's treble rolled off even when the tone control is at max)

    The hard part - which of the qualities are more important? And how overt should they be? There's lots of stuff that may put a drive box kind of somewhere along the spectrum.

    ...That said, I think it's the things that are "absolutely missing" from a TS that might want to be tried:

    - more bass (at 700Hz and below)

    - more treble (at 700Hz and above)

    - some fuzzy characteristics

    - a tone control that isn't always removing treble at max, or...

    - a tone control that adjusts treble and bass, or...

    - more than a single tone control type of circuit

    Now - what are the opposites from the explicit list?

    - higher gain

    - "not smooth"

    - a lot of bite

    ...Admitedly, "not smooth" might not be the best characteristic to look for with any drive box (unless it's being chosen for the sake of that :lol:). So I'll take a leap and substitute in terms like less polite, more edgy, more cutting, and maybe even less forgiving. In a sense, I feel like TS-type ODs can make a lot of dirt tones sound pleasing simply because they are very forgiving sounding, IMO.

    Anyway, armed with the above list, the two pedals that immediately jump to mind would be the DS-1 and the Big Muff. Admittedly, lots of folks will probably have experiences with those particular two that might be a bit too much at odds with the TS-type range of appealing drive box sounds. In that case, there are more derivatives of the above than you can shake a stick at, so it could just be a matter of something having tweaked to be more mild, less fuzzy, have more mids, or whatever.

    ...And I guess that while we might be focusing on archetype-derived stuff, things that are based on the Marshall Guv'nor, Drivemaster, and Shredmaster (and would obviously include the real deal :)) would also fit most or all of the criteria. So you could add Crunch Box, Riot, Daddy-O, (Joyo) High Gain Distortion, Visual Sound (Truetone?) Son of Hyde, and Barber Dirty Bomb to the list, too.

    It's hard to really nail things down beyond that, IMO. There's just too many pedals that couldn't be excluded without tightening up the criteria a lot more.
  7. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    R.I.P. 2019
    Yeah, I know I'm not giving a good description of what I'm going for. I'm still fuzzy on what I want to hear. Mostly I just want to experiment in a different direction. I'm going to pull out the D+ and Mouse pedals and play with them again. I took the Mouse off as I only had room for two dirt pedals on my board, and the TS and the MXR MBAO work real well for my band.
  8. pete-strych

    pete-strych Tele-Holic

    Jun 19, 2012
    Joyo makes great dirt boxes...and they're cheap. Treat yo'self & buy a couple to experiment. The US Dream is a Suhr Riot clone. The Ultimate Drive is an OCD clone with a stupid paint job. The Sweet Baby OD is a Sweet Honey clone (low gain & great for stacking). The Deluxe Crunch is a Marshall in a box with a presence control. They all sound really good for under $30 each.
  9. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

    Jun 19, 2009
    Nashville TN
    Here's a few less common pedals I've had some luck with:

    ROG Umble- TMB tonestack and gobs of gain.

    Maxon D&S- Muff derivative that works well in the distortion range.

    Machine Head 98 Degrees- think Rat with stronger lows.

    I'm also very impressed with the Xotic SL Drive and have several modded DS-1's.
  10. Andy B

    Andy B Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Mar 16, 2003
    Castle Rock, Colorado
    Red Llama fits the bill. My favorite is a modded Peppermill for overdrive.
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