Barber Direct Drive Any Good?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by matthornet, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. matthornet

    matthornet Member

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    Anyone who owns/owned one before? I have seen some videos on them but would like to know what the guys at TGP think of it. I'm basically looking for a low gain pedal to go next to my Diamond J-Drive Mk3 and BOR. Am I looking at the right pedal for the job?

    I found one for going for $116 used. Am I looking at a good price? How much do these go around for in the used market lately?
     
  2. oldhousescott

    oldhousescott Silver Supporting Member

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    I had one and it seemed IMO to be more of a thick, mid-gain pedal than a low-gainer. Too thick for me, I moved it on down the line. I have a Barber LTD silver that does a great job for the low-gain stuff.
     
  3. Bob Pollock

    Bob Pollock Supporting Member

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    Great pedal! For me anyway. Paid $80 for mine, used but minty.
     
  4. yerbluesrob

    yerbluesrob Supporting Member

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    I had one for a long time and it was great, I actually wasn't using it for a while and I sold it. I regret it now and will probably pick up another on in the near future. I used to stack it with a TS or a TS variant and it was pretty magical. Keep the gain low on the DD and stack it with the J-drive and you will be pleased.

    They usually go for around $80-90 on the used market.
     
  5. batsbrew

    batsbrew Member

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    my favorite pedal in the barber lineup.
     
  6. princeton

    princeton Member

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    I own several Barber pedals (LTD, DD, DDSS, Small Fry) and i find the DD along with the LTD the best ones.
    I have ordered a Dual Unlimited, maybe that one will kick the LTD/DD combo of my pedalboard.
     
  7. Bluedano1

    Bluedano1 Member

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    The LTD may be a better fit as a low- gainer, as it really can give an amp a nice clean push with a little bit of breakup- great detail and leaves your guitar.amp tone pretty flat, just a little mid-bump....The Direct Drive (I own one and love it) even at low Gain, has a great tone but is kind of thick, even at low Drive settings. It's a good sound, but maybe not what you may want However if you set the Level high, the Tone high, and the Drive OFF on the DD, you really can get a very nice cleanish boost too...

    BTW these are $129 new, so $80-$100 used would be a better deal, IMO
     
  8. southpaw pete

    southpaw pete Member

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    I love the Direct Drive. It sounds so natural - nice and thick with lots of mids content without being nasal. I've got it next to my LTD (Or Half Gainer, depending on my mood), which complement each other perfectly. LTD for lower gain, DD for mid gain, and stacking beautifully for solos.
     
  9. schrom81

    schrom81 Member

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    Wonderful pedal. One of my all time faves
     
  10. matthornet

    matthornet Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. From the video demos I agree with you guys that it is a thick OD. As some of you guys might already that the Diamond J-Drive is a really thick & even dark drive. So do you think it would be redundant to add the Direct Drive with it?

    Next question; so it possible at all to get a good lower gain drive from this pedal at all?
     
  11. 78deluxe

    78deluxe Member

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    OP seems to live in Malaysia....I bet the market is different there.

    All of Dave Barbers pedals are great. The Direct Drive is no exception. The real question is the tone and characteristics you are after.

    It is a compressed, mid gain, thick drive.
     
  12. FatTeleTom

    FatTeleTom Member

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    Everyone seems to have a different definition of low, medium, and high gain, so it's really hard to say how well it would work for you in a low-gain application, but I agree with 78Deluxe's assessment.

    I have 3 Barber pedals: the DDSS, a Small Fry, and a 1/2 Gainer (basically the same as a LTD).

    Of those, the LTD is really the best choice for open, transparent, low-gain stuff--that's what it's designed to do.

    The SF is the most flexible, in terms of low to pretty high gain, but generally leans much more towards medium- to high-gain stuff than the LTD.

    The DD is probably the least flexible choice for low-gain use, as the gain comes on pretty quickly. There is a low gain "LG" version of the DD, which might be your best option if you're looking for that kind of thicker tone but at lower gains. I've never tried one, but videos sound great.

    The DD is a great-sounding pedal, and very flexible, but I'd agree with the "compressed, mid-gain, thick" assessment of its basic flavor.

    I do think it sounds good (really good) with the gain set low, but it's pretty crunchy even with the gain set very low (9:00 or less) with humbuckers, and even with single coils there's a pretty good amount of grit there.

    With the gain up around 11:00, you're talking serious bluesy lead territory on a strat style guitar, and significant crunch with humbuckers. With the gain around 1:00, you get smooth, long-sustaining leads (think Warren Haynes for example) or Van Halen-style rhythm tones with humbuckers. And that's all when running into a clean amp.

    I will say the DD responds nicely to your guitar's volume control, so if you're used to pulling back on the volume knob a lot for rhythm tones, the DD might be a good option.

    But particularly if you tend to run the guitar volume full up, the LTD or DD LG are probably better low-gain choices.
     
  13. sshan25

    sshan25 Supporting Member

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    As an owner of three Barber pedals (Super Sport, 1/2 Gainer and DDLG) and having owned the Small Fry, LTD and DD in the past, I can say that the DD is a great pedal. What I'd also say is that it is not what I'd choose for low gain use. I would suggest either an LTD (I prefer the v2. A lot of TGPers like the SR which is more open) or the DDLG (Low Gain). I like the DDLG for an early Marshall sound and the LTD works magic with Strats. Either would be a great choice.
     
  14. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    I agree, everyone has different definitions of "low gain". I'll add my 2 penny's to say I think the Direct Drive (normal one) does great low gain sounds. I can get basically only volume with narry a hint of clipping from mine.

    And it's my favorite overdrive I've ever had...
     
  15. rhoydotp

    rhoydotp Member

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    i completely agree with these :agree
     
  16. sshan25

    sshan25 Supporting Member

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    You can but IMO, the range is very narrow for low gain. It goes from "zero to 100" pretty quickly. Hell, David Barber even thought there was a need for a low gain version. In any case it is a great sounding pedal.
     
  17. afterburner

    afterburner Supporting Member

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    Awesome pedal. Thick, singing sustain and powerful crunch. Has a nice 'bounce' and lively feel to it.

    Wouldn't be my first choice for low gain either. Either LTD or DDLG would be better.
     
  18. charless

    charless Member

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    I use the Direct Drive Super Sport as a mid/boost for leads and heavy crunch. I also have the DDLG (lower gain and with more pre-gain bass than standard DD) and IMO the DD circuit is not idealy suited for low compression always on applications but rather excels as a boost into another pedal or overdriven amp. Also could be used for heavy compressed rock music etc...
     
  19. batsbrew

    batsbrew Member

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    i have DDSS and Tone Press tones all over my new album....
    listen to...... anything.

    i have a clip up in song forum now, that features Tone Press on everything...
     
  20. mjt335

    mjt335 Member

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    I had a DD for a while. Sounded good but I really didn't bond with it. Still, Barber makes great pedals and their pricing is very reasonable. I'm a fan even though I didn't stick with the DD.
     

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