Thicken Clean Sound At Stage Volume. Fulltone Fat Boost?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by charlieBravo, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. charlieBravo

    charlieBravo TDPRI Member

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    What would you recommend to "thicken" the clean sound of a tele going into a Bandit 65 at stage volume (4-5 volume). I do not want it to add distortion or clipping. Think, bell-like pedal steel sound/timbre. I was thinking of a Fulltone Fat Boost but wanted to ask first.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Afflicted

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    I swore by a Fat Boost 3 for years for that very application. It was my always on for just fattening things up a bit and adding a little bit of high end.

    You could also try a compressor, I’ve liked both the Ego and DOD 280 in the past for that type of application.
     
  3. joe_cpwe

    joe_cpwe Tele-Holic

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    how about an EQ pedal?
     
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  4. Ron C

    Ron C Tele-Meister

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    I'd experiment with a few things before opting for a pedal. Here's what worked for me to get a thicker clean tone at gigs. Seemed to help overdriven tones, too.

    First: tweak the amp's EQ settings: Bump the mids up, maybe knock the treble and bass down a touch.

    Second: turn the volume on the amp up plenty so that the volume on the guitar doesn't always have to be all the way up. One of the great lessons my brother gave me about 45 years ago was to leave the guitar's tone all the way up and volume down a bit when you wanted a thinner sound (like when comping) and then roll the volume up and tone down some for a thicker tone (like during leads). You need some extra volume from the amp to make that work.

    Third: adjust your attack. Jack Pearson has some lessons and interview on this where he talks about the tonal impact of using a really light attack. That was a game-changer for me.
     
  5. Twang Deluxe

    Twang Deluxe Tele-Meister

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  6. 63 vibroverb

    63 vibroverb Tele-Afflicted

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    I had a Fulltone Fat Boost 3 for a week. No matter what the settings were, it always added a cold metallic sheen on top of everything.

    I agree with turning up the amp and working the guitar knobs.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
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  7. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    TS9DX Tube Screamer set to Turbo mode, Gain on 0-1, volume to suit. Adds big bottom end. No other TS will do it.
    Like those huge clean sounding low E notes played by SRV.
     
  8. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    no advice to share, but I loved your description:

    "bell-like pedal steel sound/timbre"
     
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  9. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Boss GE7
     
  10. Antmax

    Antmax Tele-Meister

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    I just use a trusty old Hardwire CM2 Tube Overdrive. Basically a fairly transparent TS circuit with independent Lo and Hi EQ knobs and classic/modified switch.

    Nothing fancy and you can get them use for about $50.
     
  11. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Afflicted

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    Xotic EP boost is a must on an SS Peavy. Put it in the effects loop and never turn it off.
     
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  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Yeah!
    Really that's been my clean tone target since 1980.
    The first pedal I "bought" came with a BF Bandmaster head and 2x12 cab I paid $150 for.
    It was a yellow case DOD Overdrive 250, and it was 1980.

    Since then that circuit has been modded into the Voodoolab Overdrive, the Fulltone OCD, more recently the Oddfellow Caveman and a few others.
    IME that circuit does a great job of pushing an amp toward a fat bell tone like pedal steel sound, at low gain settings.
    That circuit can also be set for some grit, but the four or five versions I listed all do a clean bell like setting quite well.

    The amp makes a difference though, and it's been years since I quit trying to get a fat mids tome from scooped mids BF Fender amps.
    I suspect a lot of players buy pedals that promise to fix the mid scoop of their Fender amps, instead of buying amps with the mids they want.
    Too bad for those players, I can sympathize as I fought that battle for a decade before I smartened up.

    What I didn't like about the Fat Boost IIRC is the extra bass.
    What I don't like about a TS is the nasal mids, but with a mid scooped Fender it helps a little without going all the way there.
    My sense is that if you boost the mids in a dirty SS device, then send it into a tube preamp that cuts the mids, you get overly processed mids that can't quite return to bell like, because the TS frazzled them up.

    The idea of a pure tone might actually relate to how much the signal gets processed.
    I also find cutting up the signal into many bands (of a graphic EQ), EQ'ing each band, then recombining them into a summing amp, then sending that Frankensteined signal to the guitar amp preamp where the baxandall or whatever amp eq design is once again changes the EQ, that just never returns to "pure bell tone".

    For my money I want fewer changes to my target eq.
    Players in search of fat mids should just not buy mid scooped amps!
    And players in search of pure bell like tone should not run them through multiple EQ processers in search of greater "purity"!

    I've been back on fat driving clean sounds recently, and have an OCD with gain on zero and level all the way up, which is a minimally altered fat tone, plus in the other loop I have a V1 Caveman set for a similar fat clean minimal processed boost.

    The only reason I don't have my old yellow OD250 on the board is the non TBP, no led, and old style power plug.
     
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  13. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Tele-Afflicted

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    This is, of course, the correct answer. Sometimes I think people who can't do this -- like me can't do this -- are the reason pedal makers keep selling compressors. LOL!
     
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  14. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have the original fat boost. I've been using it since it was first offered. Back in early 200 or so a friend who is very big into pedals and I had that same conversation about being able to retain that depth of boom with a crisp treble side. I was looking for something to help me retain my sound going from a 4X10 Hot Rod DeVille to a Blues Jr. while at the same time allowing me to use my DeVille at lower volumes when permitted. Now I'm mainly use the Blues Jr that Fat Boost and as someone mentioned a Tube Screamer(drive set very low). I get enough push that I cut through even playing with a loud drummer (I know the majority are;) I can play clean or distorted and you can still hear my articulation or lack there of when playing with a group. So I'd say yes, Although from my experience I'd look for the first version they put out.
     
  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Attack is absolutely essential, I depend more on attack for my tonal range and only use a single bridge pickup.
    I even go so far as to eliminate the guitar tone knob, getting all the darkening I need from my RH technique including muting and where I pick.

    I also like the treble cut that comes with a straight volume pot and never use a treble bleed.

    Forum suggestions are as much about the product industry as about playing guitar!
    A few will answer with techniques to accomplish the goals in a posted question, while most answers will be to buy a product that does the players job.

    Like @soundchaser59 said about compressors.

    In my experience a really light pick attack is a perfect compressor that you can turn on and off from one note to the next.
    At my most extreme compression, I turn the amp up to feedback volume and mute all the strings except the one i want to hear, and the attack is barely brushing the string with the pick, or even in some settings I just have to unmute the note I want to hear and it blooms on its own.
    Since there tends to be more and less resonant notes, I may need to pick some and release others at the same setting, which is a bit of a PITA to remember, but it becomes natural with time.

    Controlling runaway volume is then the problem, where some frequencies bloom louder than others, but that's only at highest volume with a lot of gain.
    In the end I think some variation in note volume comes off as an expressive spice, rather than a detrimental lack of sounding like a keyboard player or adding machine.

    Relax and let the guitar and amp do their thing, then deal with any problems in the moment.
    Do something that's musical and the audience won't be bothered by some note variation.

    Really how many times does an audience member come up after a show to compliment you on your perfectly consistent note volume?
    Listen to great singers and they generally have a varied dynamic range, not electronic keyboard flattened dynamics.
     
  16. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Afflicted

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    +1 on the Xotic EP Booster. Makes the signal louder and fuller and adds a little sparkle, kind of like what the Wampler Ego does minus the compression. Gobs of headroom, mine rides about 9:30 and that adds LOTS of volume. It's amazing how much more sound it pushes out of my Princeton on 4 without pushing the preamp into overdriving. Can't say how it'll interface with a Peavey, but it's a great match for a BF Fender. Small (half size), solid/heavy, American.
     
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  17. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    When you boost the bass with the fat boost into the smaller BJr, does the amp stay clear?
    I find that boosting the bass tends to reduce clarity with volume, relative to the given amps max clean headroom or ability to produce clear bass. Saturate the OT with bass, and the OT cannot reproduce clean mids and highs.
    Not a problem unless your goal is maximum clarity.

    I've had two BJrs but none now, and it seems to be an issue with any small amp asked to produce big clear bass.

    I think we tend to come from two camps.
    Those who like big dirty bass.
    And those who need the bass to be clean and clear.
    Big dirty bass is R&R though.
     
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  18. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Fat Boost works great for that. I’ve also used a Boosta Grande with great success. For the past few years I’ve been setting my board up with multiple gain stages. So I can add and subtract and mix and match for a whole palette of gain and volume levels.

    I don’t ever turn my guitar volume down unless I’m not playing. IMO passive pickups don’t sound their best unless they’re wide open. Riding the knob gets you either a compromised clean or a compromised dirty. One of them is gonna suck.

    My gain stack goes guitar- comp- OD- clean boost. I can mix and match those three pedals to get all the different gain and volume levels I need. It’s fun, and super versatile.
     
  19. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    just out of curiosity - have you ever tried a very simple, low-output amp like a tweed Champ or a Princeton? You might be able to find the tone you seek there; then the power-amp could be scaled up easily enough. The preamps are dead simple, and they do not have the scooped-mid of later Fender amps. The do not distort hardly at all, in the preamp; though most guys "crank" them to get all kinds of distortion at the output stage.
     
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  20. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    In truth not to the extend that it did with my DeVille. To me it's very clean but probably more in the dirty area as you say because of BJr. being a single speaker with that tendency to add a little grit to even the clean sound.
     
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