ALl my OD's sound similar

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by jtindle, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Senior Member

    Jun 5, 2004
    Yes, this is why you just need 2 Bad Monkeys. One set just as a boost, the other with gain cranked. Oh the money and space we could save.

    2 Monkeys, one distortion (Crunch Box) a chorus, and a delay and you are done.
  2. gitpicker

    gitpicker Silver Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2005
    "When you say you have the TIMMY pushing other OD's, do you have the TIMMY first in your chain? Should I have low gainers first in the chain and more to medium and then high or does it matter where they are at in the chain?"

    Generally speaking, I run my OD's low --> high gain. One of the reasons is that the lower gain pedals tend to have less noise - boosting a high gain pedal (with its extra "hiss") increases the hiss - sometimes to unusable levels. Also, it generally sounds better to my ears set up this way. My advice would be to try setting up the OD's in different ways until you find the way that sounds best to you.

    "If the amp is hitting a headroom brick wall and is quite overdriven then less of the feel and the distortion/compression characteristics of the pedals will be discerned. It'll be more just the differences in EQ...which if you dial them to be similar could be minimal."

    While this is often true, I find that driving the amp hard and then adding an OD seems to yield a more natural tone. Yes, that brick wall is always there, but there are advantages:

    1) Not as much volume boost when engaging a pedal - probably not a big deal to most, and probably desirable to others, but I like to have more control over volume boost, and often dialing back the OD's volume knob messes with its tone.
    2) Sometimes I like to really push the amp into natural compression - adds sustain and makes lead playing much easier.
    3) And this is the big one - allows me to dial back the OD's drive knob, which, in my experience, brings out the individual character of the pedal. I have found that the higher you run the drive knob on OD's, the more they tend to sound alike. The EQ sections of OD's also seem to work better with the gain dialed back. I try to keep my gain knobs in the 9:00 - 12:00 range, preferably closer to 9:00.

    Because I am getting a lot of dirt out of the amp, I am asking the OD's to provide less of my tone - just adding or subtracting something to alter the tone and (hopefully) get what I am after. Bottom line - to my ears my amps natural overdriven tone cannot be duplicated entirely by a pedal (heresy here at TGP, I know...), which is why I avoid setting my amp clean and then use a dirt box to achieve all my higher gain tones. I want that great natural tone of an overdriven amp (in my case a '65 Super Reverb... so good..), to shine through, and use my OD's to get me places the amp can't go by itself.

    In the end, I would say that the more gain you achieve using pedals, the more the pedals will sound alike - conversely, the more OD you get out of your amp, the less dirt you will need to add using a pedal, and the more the individual character of each pedal will shine through

    just my opinion...
  3. ruger9

    ruger9 Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2006
    New Jersey
    There's the answer. In my experience, I have found that when a tube amp is already pushing the tubes pretty good, breaking up on it's own, you tend to use LESS of the "drive" knob on the ODs, simply because it takes so much less to "kick it up a notch" since the amp is already overdriving. Less drive knob = less individual characteristics of the different ODs.

    If you were feeding these into a CLEAN amp, and using the ODs as your ONLY source of drive, I'll wager you would hear quite a difference in the diffrerent ODs.
  4. Uma Floresta

    Uma Floresta Senior Member

    May 23, 2006
    Interstellar Wossname
    Well, the Timmy, Eternity and Zendrive do share some design characteristics - diodes or diode substitutes in the op amp feedback loop, for one. They're all quite different, but sort of in the same realm, generally speaking. Maybe you could try a mosfet or jfet type overdrive to mix things up a bit.
  5. oxtone

    oxtone Member

    Sep 14, 2005
    Edina, MN
    I've noticed some similer tones from my distortion pedals:
    Barber Burn Unit EQ and Small Fry (Duh!)
    Keeley TS-808 (bluesy)
    Xotic BB - (in polished Copper - looks great!)

    But, the one that is used the most now is:

    Carl Martin PlexiTone - makes all the others sound weak and dull.
    Sounds HUGE with great harmonic content!

    The PlexiTone is now my go-to pedal, but, I have a Zendrive on order.
  6. Marcello

    Marcello Member

    Jul 15, 2004
    Man you need to get a fuzz. Stop buying those wimpy OD pedals :D
  7. modernp

    modernp Member

    Dec 12, 2007
    Thats why I always keep a 9 volt pedal and a 110 volt pedal on the board completely different types of drives. Burn unit and the butler tube driver will always be on my board.
  8. Free

    Free Member

    Jun 18, 2005
    Well said. I've always noticed a very fundamental similarity too. And, I'll go further by stating player kicks the pedal on and there it is - whatever the overdrive setting: the homogenized fatness, more mid or high-mid forwardness and a slightly more compressed and clinical tone. Any 808 or the like type OD pedal gets clicked on and whatever the EQ, with the gain anywhere above 9:00 or so, they all sound about the same to me too - in the way I've detailed but also in a sort of intangible way.

    IMO that extra fatness that OD pedals impart and seems to turn many players on is not a tonal virtue. Even when used in the lowest overdrive setting with the volume at unity. It just stopped making sense to me why to use one a few years ago. A great OD pedal can be very useful and good sounding if you need a decent OD tone at lower volumes, but if you can open up a great amp, an OD pedal becomes useless and inferior in tone.

    Fuzz and certain germanium treble boosters are a different story - those are in a class of character all their own, of course. Love using those once in a while for added coloring. But, the traditional OD pedal - not for me.
  9. soldano16

    soldano16 Member

    Oct 7, 2004
    British Columbia

    A turned down fuzz makes for a wicked OD.

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