The Amps/Overdrives Thing

Discussion in 'Amplifiers' started by LSchefman, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    20,898
    Likes Received:
    10,880
    As we all know (I hope) overdrive designs can have very different frequency response curves; many are tube screamer variants that have a midrange hump, but there are many other different types.

    I've been through a boatload of the damn things, and of course have also been a guitar>cable>amp guy at times. I prefer an overdriven tube amp to a pedal for most things, but there are times I need an overdrive.

    I recently went back to the OCD because it's fairly neutral, that is, it works with Marshall, Blackface, and Tweed style amps.

    At one time I would put an overdrive up with a given amp, and think, "this overdrive sucks." Then I learned that it's really important to get the right one for a given type of amp.

    Just thought it might be an interesting topic for discussion.
     
  2. aristotle

    aristotle New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    772
    Likes Received:
    171
    I posted this some time ago, but seems appropriate to this thread. I ran the MDT and HX/DA through a Radial Headbone head switcher. Set the amps up as close as possible with a clean setting. Then ran a couple of overdrive pedals while switching between heads. Surprisingly different tones. Unfortunately I was overdriving the mic preamp a bit, but I tend to stink at recording, so there is that....

     
  3. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    20,898
    Likes Received:
    10,880
    This was a GREAT post!!!

    Exactly, yes, definitely, perfect! It shows precisely what I was talking about.
     
  4. WeFixFlats

    WeFixFlats Respect The Clave

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2014
    Messages:
    1,253
    Likes Received:
    732
    The only 'overdrive' I've got in front on my HX/DA is an EP Booster, but now I'm thinking, 'What's the point'?...Guitar-->Cable-->HX/DA. Done.

    Update: Though I am considering a Wampler Tumnus as a replacement, it's not going to happen.

    Update: Sold the EP Booster.
     
    #4 WeFixFlats, Aug 23, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2016
  5. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Messages:
    1,969
    Likes Received:
    1,828
    I actually match different drive pedals to different guitars or moods, as much as amps. I also use drives as tone shaping tools as much as anything.
    A good drive pedals should have enough adjustment to work with most any amp or guitar if not I would move on to something different.
    Even a great amp can benefit from a drive pedal even just for a different tone , like adding a second channel or clearing up a muddy high gain tone. or a boost you name it.
    That being said I make my own pedals so its a bit unfair .

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    LSchefman likes this.
  6. dkilpatrick

    dkilpatrick Makes guitar faces

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    Messages:
    871
    Likes Received:
    961
    I liked the MDT better clean, and the HX/DA better overdriven.
    Great to have both!
     
  7. andross182

    andross182 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    106
    Well being that I own a dual rectifier I have an od808 on my board (and honestly any dual rec player that doesn't should be sanity checked :p ) but I also have a full time OCD and a mesa flux drive. Some work better than others, out of the 3 I have I don't really gel with the flux drive. I have watched a zillion videos but can't seem to get it into a solid "stomp and play" mode, and there is no way I am going to EQ my amp around a single pedal because I still love in amp distortion.

    I really want to check out the new BE-OD pedal as Pete Thorn did a lustful review on it!
     
    LSchefman likes this.
  8. Screamingdaisy

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Messages:
    504
    Likes Received:
    568
    As a Mesa guy, for years I just assumed overdrives sucked. I kept messing with them at home, but I was never really enthused about them and generally didn't use them live.

    It took me a long time to understand that most overdrives are built with Fender and Marshall in mind. After ignoring Mesa's line of pedals for a few years assuming they were "just another overdrive" I decided to give them a shot figuring that maybe they'd work well with Mesa amps. I was pleasantly surprised. The big thing for me is that their mid peak is in the correct frequency to produce a natural sounding pick attack, whereas most every other pedal I tried produced a not-quite-natural midrange.
     
    LSchefman and Boogie like this.
  9. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Messages:
    3,222
    Likes Received:
    1,519
    What's interesting to me, is that if you take an amp or pedal with a lot of bass, we'll call it "fat," and then an amp or pedal with a bass cut, "skinny," a skinny pedal into a fat amp does not equal a fat pedal into a skinny amp, if that makes sense. And, I suppose that goes for all frequencies to a degree.

    I tend to think of my tone like water coming out of a garden hose. If you're trying to pump too much of it through the hose, you're going to get a violent, ugly spray, and if you don't pump enough water through it, you'll get a weak stream (and I know some of you guys are old enough to know that's no good either). What you really want, is to be putting just enough in to get that nice, full, uniform stream of water out of the end of the hose. So if you're pushing too much treble, or bass, or gain, or whatever, and your "garden hose" can't handle it, you're going to get a nasty tone.

    It seems to me that some pedals are designed around a Deluxe Reverb tone, with subdued highs that the amp will compensate for, and if you play them through something more akin to a Bassman, they sound dull on top. For example, I have a Garagetone Drivetrain (based on the Reverend Drivetrain) that sounds pretty cruddy with my amps as I normally run them, but flip a bright switch on and the thing just comes alive, and sounds heavenly for single coil blues tones. I've tried some Earthquaker Devices and JHS pedals recently, and they sounded that way to me as well, whereas my Wampler, Bogner, and Visual Sound pedals all have that extra bite that meshes with my amps more the way I set them normally.

    I used to always prefer amp breakup over pedals every time, but I'm glad to have found some pedals that I prefer given the right circumstance.
     
    LSchefman and Boogie like this.
  10. Screamingdaisy

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Messages:
    504
    Likes Received:
    568
    I call that "fuzz".
     
    LSchefman and Dusty Chalk like this.
  11. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Messages:
    3,222
    Likes Received:
    1,519
    True, I guess it can be useful in the right context!
     
  12. The Fight

    The Fight Long Hair Demigod

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2015
    Messages:
    908
    Likes Received:
    305
    I like the Xotic RC booster for both clean and dirty style amps, meaning a Fender style or Marshall. It seems with Fender clean style amp it really adds to the headroom, also pushing to break up. With Marshall's it kinda hits this interesting wall, especially when the volume is rolled all the way up, but sound very sustained and lead like. With the volume rolled down, adds more bass to the notes, with a touch of singing quality. The RC has always been my to go pedal.
     
    LSchefman likes this.
  13. Boogie

    Boogie SuperD

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    4,451
    Likes Received:
    3,814
    Yes! This was me, too. Why the hell would I mess with the perfect amp??!! :p Well, the answer is, to give me a new amp. Sculpting ch1 and ch2 on the MkIII became a game and I discovered so much more about a piece of gear I had already played for 20 years! It made it possible to be in a modern-ish rock cover band as a trio...the only guitar. Bouncing from Jet to Weezer to Cake to Jimmy Eat World was easy.

    Changing amps meant changing ODs - tons of them! You can see my evolution in my Pedalboard Evolution thread.
     
    #13 Boogie, Aug 24, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  14. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Former Lyricist for Calhoun Tubbs

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2013
    Messages:
    4,200
    Likes Received:
    5,389
    Totally agree. I was a big time pedal flipper when I was a "clean amp plus pedals" guy. But once I started going more for amp OD, I quickly found out how one pedal was great with one amp, average with another. Just as every amp sounds different, every pedal works differently with every amp. My Barber Gain Changer has a bad footswitch, and I need to get it fixed because it is GLORIOUS with the clean channel of my Custom 50. The OCD I loved with so many amps, doesn't work well at all with my Mini Rec and is better but not great with my Mark V. (this is a V1.7 though, which is by far the brightest OCD out of the 4 versions I've owned). But, that OCD sounds really good with the clean channel of the Custom 50.
     
  15. andross182

    andross182 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    106
    I can attest that the fulltone OCD can go fill on icepick status with my archon if the bright switch is on!
     
    LSchefman likes this.
  16. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2016
    Messages:
    1,521
    Likes Received:
    1,624
    I found that a little bit of overdrive goes a long way. On a clean channel, a bit of drive with my OD808 is nice and bluesy, just slightly crispy with a nice mid boost that cuts through anything. On a drive channel, it adds presence and a bit of sustain. I run my BBPre with a bit more drive and a little bass boost, so it turns a clean channel into a dirt channel and a drive channel into a lead channel with lots of sustain and a nice vocal quality.

    This has worked on several amps, though I've had to adjust the settings quite a bit from amp to amp. My Archon takes the pedals VERY nicely. As does my Electradyne and Mini Rectifier. The RA100 was a disaster with overdrive pedals. It sounded like a flanger unless I had barely any drive at all.

    I generally set my clean channel VERY clean, which is one reason I love the Archon. So a tiny bit of drive gets me to where most people set the clean channel, or the equivalent of what my Electradyne or Shiva sound like clean. Alternatively I could dial back the volume to get both of those tones, but I've always been an "add" rather than a "subtract" guy. I also like to stack overdrives, so I can get a lot of variations from my amps with just a couple of pedals.

    For drive channel, I like to run the minimum gain that I can stand, and then push it a bit with the OD pedals when I want more.

    I am only lately working on dialing back the guitar volume. I have found that clean with a touch of OD and dialing back the guitar is pretty amazing. Still mostly clean, but VERY touch-sensitive. And I dial back on the drive channel to get some nice bluesy tones. Still trying to grow as a player.
     
  17. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    20,898
    Likes Received:
    10,880
    Great insights and posts, guys.
     
  18. HANGAR18

    HANGAR18 What Would Evel Knievel Do?

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,688
    Likes Received:
    871
    Just chiming in to say that while I don't use pedals currently, I own a lot of them just in case I ever need one. The pedals I do own I have selected through a whole lot of research on the Internet and I currently own two which fit this category. 1. A classic (original) RAT pedal. 2. A remarkably good Klon clone called Fish Food. I feel like if I ever needed one of these pedals, I've got that base covered as good as it gets.
     
    Dusty Chalk and LSchefman like this.
  19. andross182

    andross182 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    106
    I wanna check out the new Friedman BE-OD pedal, with any luck ill replace my Flux Drive with it.

    Of course the wife gave the ok for an AX8 as well as a P24 so I may just scrap pedal dreams all together!
     
    Dirty_Boogie and LSchefman like this.
  20. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    20,898
    Likes Received:
    10,880
    You could always sneak the BE-OD into the box with the AX8 and P24...
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice