Timmy or Pure Sky?

Brent Hutto

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When a pedal is described as transparent, does that mean that it doesn't cut the lows? Every drive pedal that I have tried (not that many, admittedly) significantly cuts the low end.
I can't speak to the "transparent" definition but MXR Timmy has cut-only Bass and Treble knobs. At the fairly low Gain setting I used, I've experimented to find the sweet spot where I don't perceive any cut or boost to the lows and it's somewhere in broad range from about 12:00 to 3:00 on the Bass knob. Below 12:00 it cuts a little bass (which makes since for a cut-only control) and if I turn it all the way up it adds just a bit of bass, subjectively. But between 12-3 it really seems to mostly affect how Gain-y the Gain is without much changing EQ.

Dang, that sounds confusing. Take it with a grain of salt, I truly know not of which I speak...
 

Slim Chance

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OK. I'm definitely seeing why people have drawers full of pedals. Until you have them on your board pushing your gear you will never know exactly how they will sound. Nor will everyone agree as to what that sound is.

After listening to the video comparing a Klon Centaur to a Should Food posted by @GGardner, I'm throwing the Soul Food back into the mix. I'll be doing a bit more research, but it's getting time to fish or cut bait (or that other thing we can't write here). As I said in my initial post, this pedal is for a small vintage practice amp at my other house and may be the only pedal I use there for a while. My main board has a Machine Head 72º and EH East River Drive that I am happy enough with. The 72º is usually on, while the ERD is used for specific songs sometimes with the 72º.

I really appreciate everyone's opinions/knowledge/insight and am happy to hear more.
 

KC

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The genius of the Time / Timmy pedal is the way it controls their bass. The cut-only control is before the clipping section, so you can dial up as much bass as you want but keep it from turning to mud. The treble comes after clipping & is useful for keeping things from getting shrill. I don't think there's a real mid-range boost in this pedal so mach as that with cut controls on treble and bass, you're effectively boosting the kids when you use them. Klons & Klones cut bass by a fixed, predetermined amount, I believe, which may or may not work with your rig. It does work for most people, keeps the guitar out of the bass range & pokes your guitar sound through the mix.

The Zvex Distortron also has a 3-position bass cut before the clipping section, I think, as does the Amp 11, about which there is Kontroversy.
 

schmee

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I’m in the market for a transparent overdrive for a small rig I have at another house. A Tele with Fender Original Vintage pickups into a Kalamazoo II amp with a 10” Weber Blue Pup speaker. I’m looking to add some grit to the sound, especially at lower (but not to low) volumes.

There are quite a few overdrives marketed a transparent, so I narrowed it down to two or three. I’m not interested in high end pedals for big money. My goal is under a $100 US. Used is fine.

The two biggest contenders are the MXR Timmy and the Caline Pure Sky. The Pure Sky is a Timmy clone with a few build differences. Then there is the EH Soul Food, which might not be totally transparent.

A used Timmy cost three times as much as a New Pure Sky at about $100. Online reviews like the Pure Sky a lot, but conceded it’s not quite as nice.

I read a lot in forums including here and have pretty much decided to get the Pure Sky unless convinced otherwise. Please keep in mind that I have already considered others but have ruled them out and I don’t want the thread to be a general discussion of transparent overdrives. Thanks.
I've had both the Timmy and the Pure Sky. I might still have the Sky laying around in my shop. I couldn't sell the Timmy fast enough. Personally I found them both "thin" sounding. Not full and robust while clean.
I got a Barber Gain Changer and never looked back for 'transparent OD minimal grit'. It's not a super full sounding pedal either but much better. But then everyone has something different they want in their head.
 

KokoTele

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When you get down to this level of granularity on pedal comparisons, online discussions are almost worthless (and I have engaged in many of them). Direct A/B comparison videos sometimes help, but the reality is that nobody else has your ears and your hands (and your rig), so you gotta just try something and see how you like it.

I haven't tried the PureSky, but I have both a Paul C. Timmy and an MXR Timmy. I have not found enough audible difference between the two of them to worry about. Any time I think I hear a difference, I can tweak a knob and even it out.

I have bought a double handful of the cheap pedals and tried a bunch more. My experience is that they're usually pretty good, but in a more limited range than the pedals they're copying.

You can find a used MXR Timmy for around $90, and if you don't like it you can sell it for about the same amount. Maybe you'll be out shipping, but that's a cheap price for the time you get to spend with it on your hobby. If you buy a PureSky, you probably can't sell it if you don't like it.
 

Slim Chance

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I've had both the Timmy and the Pure Sky. I might still have the Sky laying around in my shop. I couldn't sell the Timmy fast enough. Personally I found them both "thin" sounding. Not full and robust while clean.
I got a Barber Gain Changer and never looked back for 'transparent OD minimal grit'. It's not a super full sounding pedal either but much better. But then everyone has something different they want in their head.
Well the Barber isn’t in my $100 or less parameter. Probably costs more that the Kalamazoo is worth.
 

TokyoPortrait

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Hi again.

Part II.

How does it color the sound?

You know, I might have to take that back. By and large.

So much for "...it defiantly colours.." (which I just now realise is not 'definitely' - so, I'm safe ;) )

I've just been messing around (50's Blackguard styled Tele into a Vox AC4HW1), and I can get it to sound essentially the same, but like it is just 'overdriving' more. I guess that's 'transparent?' The guitar's character is def. still there.

Of course, less and less so as you crank the Gain knob. But still surprisingly present until you almost max out. And single notes stay very much in character, esp. on the thinner strings. Also, it sounds pretty good still cranked right up - a usable sound still.

In the past, I've had it adding a very 'sweet' (for lack of a better word) element - thick and syrupy as I remember it. That tone was definitely (& defiantly) coloured. Today though, it's not really that way. Maybe if I had the amp itself driving more + the pedal Vol. pushing the amp more?

It's hard, as it's all so subjective. And there are so many variables. Plus, what do we really mean by transparent. In some ways any change at all could be considered colouring the tone. But, I now think the Pure Sky is a safe bet for being able to be set up as pretty non-colouring / character retaining.

Also, I've just discovered, following after my Tone Bender style fuzz, I quite like it. More than the Klon clone I have been stacking the fuzz with. The Pure Sky might stay now. But, if it does become semi-permanent, I will probably end up getting the MXR. Simply for space considerations on my 'go out of the house' board. I don't quite have the space to squees a full sized pedal in there if I swap out the Klon clone, which is a mini.

I'm definitely seeing why people have drawers full of pedals.

I basically have 'one of each.' Either the actual brand, a (so-called) boutique version, or a clone. Rat, RC Boost, Timmy, TS, Blues Breaker, Klon, Blues Driver, Fuzz Face, Tone Bender, Big Muff, & Uni-Drive types. Cos, it gives me stuff to mess around with and vary at times when I'm bored with a certain sound, and it also gives me options if I go out and use other amps.

Pax/
Dean
 

Blackmore Fan

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To me, that last 10% is what matters.

That's where I'm at with most pedals these days. There are lots of "affordable" pedals that let us test whether we really like the effect we're interested in. But once we decide we like the effect, its worth it to me to spend the extra money on something we'll keep for a good long time.
 

Brent Hutto

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Hi again.

Part II.



You know, I might have to take that back. By and large.

So much for "...it defiantly colours.." (which I just now realise is not 'definitely' - so, I'm safe ;) )

I've just been messing around (50's Blackguard styled Tele into a Vox AC4HW1), and I can get it to sound essentially the same, but like it is just 'overdriving' more. I guess that's 'transparent?' The guitar's character is def. still there.

Of course, less and less so as you crank the Gain knob. But still surprisingly present until you almost max out. And single notes stay very much in character, esp. on the thinner strings. Also, it sounds pretty good still cranked right up - a usable sound still.

In the past, I've had it adding a very 'sweet' (for lack of a better word) element - thick and syrupy as I remember it. That tone was definitely (& defiantly) coloured. Today though, it's not really that way. Maybe if I had the amp itself driving more + the pedal Vol. pushing the amp more?

It's hard, as it's all so subjective. And there are so many variables. Plus, what do we really mean by transparent. In some ways any change at all could be considered colouring the tone. But, I now think the Pure Sky is a safe bet for being able to be set up as pretty non-colouring / character retaining.

Also, I've just discovered, following after my Tone Bender style fuzz, I quite like it. More than the Klon clone I have been stacking the fuzz with. The Pure Sky might stay now. But, if it does become semi-permanent, I will probably end up getting the MXR. Simply for space considerations on my 'go out of the house' board. I don't quite have the space to squees a full sized pedal in there if I swap out the Klon clone, which is a mini.



I basically have 'one of each.' Either the actual brand, a (so-called) boutique version, or a clone. Rat, RC Boost, Timmy, TS, Blues Breaker, Klon, Blues Driver, Fuzz Face, Tone Bender, Big Muff, & Uni-Drive types. Cos, it gives me stuff to mess around with and vary at times when I'm bored with a certain sound, and it also gives me options if I go out and use other amps.

Pax/
Dean
You've done more pedal experiments than I'll do in a lifetime but I'll share my conclusions so far based on my first little baby steps using MXR Timmy.

1) I don't think it is going to get me any full-on distortion sound that I like. Turning up the Gain and going with the hardest clipping setting on the toggle makes it distort but the character is kind of rattling/raspy no matter what I do with the EQ cuts.

2) If I turn Timmy's Gain down too far (and turn up Volume instead) I can force my Katana's clean channel to distort slightly but I could do the same thing by just upping the Katana's Gain knob. So I don't need a pure no-Gain boost from Timmy.

3) The good news is, there's one sweet spot (actually a narrow "sweet zone") with Gain around 10:00 and Volume turned way, way down to keep Timmy at about unity gain. If I leave Gain there I can tweak Bass and Treble to keep Timmy pretty neutral EQ-wise. I think that's my transparent thing. What's cool about this is the three toggle settings. In the middle high-headroom setting there's almost no crunch at all unless I'm playing chords that use the lower strings. But I can reach down and flip to the left settings and get a bit of edge going when I dig in or flip it right and get a somewhat dirty tone full time.

Never would have thought I'd do this but I think I'm going to keep Timmy engaged as "always on" effect in that middle toggle setting (high headroom, not much clipping). It is definitely adding a little character to my basic sound that I like. It's kind of like turning the Gain all the way to 100 on my Katana clean channel except a more subtle effect.

But I'll probably go down the rabbit hole and look for some outright distortion pedal that gives me another, dirtier sound beyond what I get from Timmy with Gain at 10:00 and the max-clipping toggle setting. You've got RAT and fuzz and who knows what all to handle that sort of thing.
 

NoTeleBob

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Since you've narrowed it to two pedals, I'd suggest some YouTube videos that do back-to-back comparisons. Not because the YouTube sound is going to be all that accurate compared to what you will get, but because they'll give you a good comparative view of differences.

Or just try the Pure Sky. Stop worrying about whether it's exactly the same as something else. Instead see if it gives you sounds to you like. And it will.
 

Chiogtr4x

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I've had both the Timmy and the Pure Sky. I might still have the Sky laying around in my shop. I couldn't sell the Timmy fast enough. Personally I found them both "thin" sounding. Not full and robust while clean.
I got a Barber Gain Changer and never looked back for 'transparent OD minimal grit'. It's not a super full sounding pedal either but much better. But then everyone has something different they want in their head.
The closest I came to a Timmy, was getting twice ( buying and selling twice) the Dano V.1 Cool Cat clone ( tried to like it, but design drove me nuts, plus just had better-sounding OD's)

I've always been kind of put off by how the Tone controls are described with a Timmy, or how you are supposed to use them. I feel stupid when 'boost' and 'cut' terms are used, when it comes to describing EQ, Ha!

So I just use OD's with one Tone knob.
Dumb, but happy!
 

Slim Chance

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And the Winner is . . .

None of the above. After spending more time than anyone should listening to demos, this happened from the comfort of my bed:


Screen Shot 2023-01-25 at 10.34.56 AM.png

My decision is based on how the pedal sounded, especially in this demo. Yes, it's not transparent, but it's not a TS or distortion pedal either. The pedal is used "excellent condition" and can easily be returned to GC if it's not up to the mark. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread. I will post a follow up once I have had the chance to try it.

 

TokyoPortrait

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Hi.

Ha - on my phone, before I scrolled, I thought you’d bought a red Strat.

Good choice. I think. :)

That’s the exact pedal I’ve decided to buy, second next. I’ve been enjoying my Timmy and Klon clones so much, I’m planning on getting the real (MXR) version and the Way Huge as a decent higher quality Klon based one.

Nothing wrong with the ones I have, just I want to rest easy. I always have that slight, tiny nagging doubt tucked away in there, about whether they’ll hold or fold at a crucial moment. I’m sure they would more than likely always be fine, but that doubt is still in there, and psychological peace of mind is a thing.

Have to wait a while though. Other, more practical and less glamorous things first.

Pax/
Dean
 

SlideGuy123

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I have a Timmy (v1 - it's built on breadboard, internal dip switches) and love it. I use it as an always/mostly on, and it just gives me some extra grit without the mid-hump of my other overdrive. So my instrument and amp sound like themselves, only more. It takes a while to figure out where to set the treble and bass knobs, because everything is so interactive, but starting with setting the bass where the gain knob is, then adjusting from there is a good way to begin.
 




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