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Anybody here hates stacking OD/Dist pedals?

lightningsmith

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
929
I do. Never seems to work for me. To my ears, they sound too compressed, sharp, processed and borders on digital. Even when it's others who stack their own dirt pedals into their personal setup, I still get the same impression.

And I'm talking about boutique dirt pedals (Pedalworx, Skreddy, Keeley, Xotic etc.). On their own, they're phenomenal. Stack 'em up... blehhh. But hey, that's just me.

Anyone here with the same opinion?
 

Free

Member
Messages
1,304
+1

I've thought that exact thing for as long as I've played guitar. I'm always surprised to read how many like cascading OD pedals, and it's gaining in popularity at TGP for some reason. I've had the same experience with that compression and artificial sounding tone from stacking OD's - always sounded like hell. I mean one OD pedal can have slight tonal compromises when compared to going direct (though some pedals do sound great used alone), but two pedals cascaded? Dynanics are compromised (however slight) as it is with one OD.

I feel that if you can't get your overdrive tone done with one OD pedal and the right amp, somethin' ain't right - whether it be the pedal or amp...
 

Garygtr

Almost as good!
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,434
As a general rule I don't like it, unless it's something like OD followed by clean boost for additional solo volume. The only way I think it works for me is if neither pedal is anywhere near it's max gain, or one OD set for grind followed by another set for basically a slightly dirty boost.
 

Lolaviola

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,531
Never bother with it myself. The longer I play, the more I want a clean, unprocessed sound. Clean Fuzz or Distortion is what I want. Something that still feels bouncy and dynamic. If I want to get more sustain, or louder, I have amp controls for that.
 

sgs

Member
Messages
182
Yeah... I've never really liked it. Rather just have one killer overdrive with a clean boost or compressor if i need to jam it even more. i use the volume knob on my guitar to control the amount of grind anyhow...
 

guitardr

Member
Messages
970
Chi-Town Free only speaks the truth...
One player's 'cascading" is another's clash of variated sine waves (LOL).
There IS a limit to stages/levels of pre-amping, overloading, et al. In the late 60's there were the guys who played a Pignose barely plugged in or a Kalamazoo amp into a larger amp for weird distortion, not realizing that two tone circuits gave you cheesy tones to begin with. Stacking distortion units or, worse yet, before an amp with 'sleaze to please' is utter crapola.
But certain guys like Randy California had a smooth/creamy tone that was rather pleasant.
 

Unburst

Member
Messages
4,215
Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

The only time I will do it is if both pedals are very different sounding, i.e. an RC into a BB.
 

johndara

Member
Messages
307
Ditto on most of the above..I never understood stacking OD on top of OD until I got an N.O.C.3 Pure Drive and the N.O.C.3 Firefly. Two Od's but putting the Firefly (or any OD really) before the Pure Drive and then using the clean knob on the PD to control how much dirt you want really made a lot of sense and it sounds great...nice fat, thick & creamy lead tones. My search for the ultimate tone is now (finally) over. Thanks Nick, can't say enough about your pedals!!
 

DeuceII

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
737
I rarely stack dirt pedals. When I've tried it, most of the time I have the same results others have expressed. The exception to the rule is when a pedal is designed that way, such as the ZIM with default cards. The VT into the H9 always sounded good to me, even better when I flipped them. But my OCD into my Crunchbox, say, was sort of like chewing on tinfoil. I've never understood those that have a bunch of low-med gain ODs on their board then stack them all up.
 

TimH

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,184
I think the results are entirely dependant on the pedals and their order and the EQ's being used when stacking. For instance yesterday I was stacking my RC booster and FD2 Mosfet. The FD2 into the RC produced the kind of tone you're describing. However, doing it the other way around produced great FAT tones and gives me an option for tones that I wouldn't otheriwse have. Some pedals don't stack well either...so for some people stacking is bound to work and for others it won't. Saying that you're doing it wrong is probably too bold a statement...but there may be things you're doing that could help you do it better...or maybe your pedals just aren't good stackers...
 

erksin

Senior Member
Messages
23,130
Hah, okay, how do you do it?
For one, you have to come up with complimentary drives - they don't always play well together.

I also don't use any overly gainy or compressed drives - low to med OD/treble booster/light fuzz/booster is as high gain as I go.

Having the pedal with the most flexible EQ come last in the the chain of drives is also key IMO. Helps to shape the overall drive character.

I have 4 different drives/boosts on my board - they all play together nicely and I can stack them in any combination with killer results.

It takes a ton of experiementation but I find that I get much better sounding higher gain tones stacking low/med ODs together than I've ever had from a single high gain box. They are less compressed and way more dynamic to boot.
 

rkeaton

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,982
I don't like it either, it's too much tapdancing for ONE tone. I don't like anything into a TS because it rounds it out too much for my tastes. If we're doing it wrong, don't just tell us we are, tell us how to properly.
 

erksin

Senior Member
Messages
23,130
I don't like it either, it's too much tapdancing for ONE tone. I don't like anything into a TS because it rounds it out too much for my tastes. If we're doing it wrong, don't just tell us we are, tell us how to properly.
I kinda just did. :BEER
 

Rob Eadgbe

Member
Messages
490
Hah, okay, how do you do it?
Light, and I mean barely there OD into higher gain OD. Too much gain produces the results you're talking about, but low gain in front smooths out any rawness, and increases sustain. It also eliminates the need for a higher gain OD for leads. Lastly turning on an extra pedal for leads is much easier than turning one on and one off to get your lead tone.
 

Rob Eadgbe

Member
Messages
490
Oh and also, it depends on what your doing with your amp. I run pretty clean so I have all kinds of room for dynamics in front of the amp. If I was running semi-dirty, or more saturated, it'd be a different story.
 
Messages
232
I hated it for the longest time and never understood why people liked it. Then I found how to do it right and some combination just cant be beat (or duplicted with only 1 pedal)

I love stacking now and it gets some very interesting tones. Like a fuzz factory into a synth wah gets me a really nice synth sound that sustains and has has an octave down effect. Sound nothing like either pedal sepearate.
 




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