Best boost/od for PAF into Blackface?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by buellwisner, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. buellwisner

    buellwisner Member

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    Hi guys,

    I'm really looking to buy anything, but I just wanted to have a discussion on this topic. I like to play anything with a vintage style humbucker into a blackface amp. Right now that's a an old Les Paul Studio w/ Wolftone Dr. Vs into a Vibrolux Reverb and a DRRI/attenuator for smaller gigs. I don't dig on distortion pedals too much, because most of them I've tried sound unnatural through this setup. Also, I don't really need the gain.

    However, I like boost pedals pretty well. I've got a sweet Durham Sexdrive and am fairly content. It adds a good bit of compression even on the soft setting, and really turns the front end into a smooth, sparkly cream machine (I know, sounds like an oxymoron).

    I also really liked a Full Drive 2 in comp cut mode, especially on the Vibrolux, which needs no extra compression. I couldn't dial in a TS9 RI quite well enough.

    What does everybody like as a boost/light OD between a LP/ES-335 and a blackface? I'd like to try some more out.

    Obviously, the Klon is the "classic" pedal for this use. The pri$e doesn't really scare me; mostly I'm afraid that I'll be "that guy" with a $350 pedal in a bar band. I mean, how can I explain that to the other (better) guitar player in my band, who uses a Blues Jr.?

    What else works and why? I'd like to hear experience over conjecture.
     
  2. bluejaybill

    bluejaybill Member

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    I really like the King Of Tone pedal with humbuckers, it is a light to medium OD with nice clarity. To my ear it sounds like there is a slight upper midrange boost, as opposed to the low mid hump a TS type pedal has. It's perfect for humbuckers (I have original PAF's in a reissue) into a BFDR. Even the neck pickup sounds good, very Bluesbreaker-era Clapton or Mike Bllomfield.

    Plus there's a nice tone control to dial it in.

    Unfortunately it takes 2 years on the wait list or $$$ on ebay! But I'm just saying that something like this works well with humbuckers. You might try out a Timmy.

    Don't be too concerned about having a better pedal than your other guitarist, for years my bandmate had a Klon and I had some crappy OD.

    Plus he had an original '52 Tele! But I was the lead player...
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  3. zenfreud

    zenfreud Member

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    It'll be tough to find one, let alone one at a reasonable price, but keep an eye out for an S. Hawk Ltd. boost/eq. They made three different versions, the one I had had three eq sliders, a treble boost rocker switch, and an overall boost rocker switch. One of the best rock tones I've ever gotten was a '61 Les Paul to Hawk III to BF Vibrolux Reverb. Rory Gallagher was known to use a Hawk, probably one of the reasons they're expensive now.
     
  4. Wheeler004

    Wheeler004 Member

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    The King of Tone is a really sweet pedal for this (especially with 'buckers). It may have a little more gain on tap than you need. If you are going for more of a dirty boost, the Timmy is great because it is so transparent and adds just the right amount of girth, sparkle and grit.
     
  5. Willdance

    Willdance Member

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    mi audio blue boy deluxe. I love a lester into a blackface a preferably straight in, but I've had great results with the bbd over more "expensive" boxes.
     
  6. fast ricky love

    fast ricky love Supporting Member

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    Original Marshall BluesBreaker (as long as you're not a high-gain player) into a Fender is a magic combo.
     
  7. KBN

    KBN Member

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    It has been a few years since I have played blackfaced Fenders, but I really liked both the Red Snapper and the Smart People Factory Greenline for overdrives and I had a Super Hard On for boost. As far as distortions go, the T-rex Mudhoney was really quite something. I went through a bunch of other stuff to varying degrees of success. I suppose it would be helpful for you to know that I had a bandmaster and a bassman and played both through Fender closed back 2x12 cabs.
     
  8. buellwisner

    buellwisner Member

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    So what are the characteristics of the pedals that suit the purpose?

    I'm gonna say low compression. What kind of EQ curve?

    King of Tone and Klon appear to be made for the purpose (AnalogMike, for instance, talks about the KoT with reference to Weider's DR, and 75% of your Klon dudes appear to be buckers-->blackface).

    What more realistic pedals get you there? Should I give the TS another shot? Maybe combine something with an EQ?

    I would need no more gain than the guys who used to go straight through Showmans, etc.--Peter Green, Toy Caldwell, Jon Cipollina, early Garcia, some Allmans.

    The biggest thing is that most pedals are too smooth. I just want it a little bigger, a little hotter. Not creamier. Got enough cream from the guitar!

    Tonight I'll try the Sexdrive in its compression "off" setting. I like the hi-fi sparkle, but it makes the amp into a fusion machine.

    These are great suggestions, btw. Most of you who've played this setup probaby wonder why I'd want a pedal at all, huh?
     
  9. buellwisner

    buellwisner Member

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    Apparently, the best pedals for this are wait-listers, huh? :)
     
  10. bandofthieves™

    bandofthieves™ Member

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    Try a Boss SD-1.You will recognize the sound when you hear it. One of the most recorded sounds in the World of Music and available for peanuts.
     
  11. buellwisner

    buellwisner Member

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    You mean there's no wait list on it? ;)

    Seriously, though, how does it differs from the TS circuit?

    I guess I don't want to recognize the sound when I hear it. Can it do that, too?
     
  12. KBN

    KBN Member

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    Topographically speaking, they are very very similar, but the SD-1 is more "open". A couple of simple mods make some significant changes as well. Not necessarily in the whole character of the pedal, but you can tweek them to your liking. I modded mine for more bass, a little more "glass" on the top end, and changed the opamp. The fulldrive 2 is based on the SD-1.
     
  13. shark_bite

    shark_bite Member

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    A good friend of mine plays blues on vintage Gibsons (a Barney Kessel and an L5) into cranked BF Fenders (Deluxe Reverb, Pro Reverb). Usually because he uses a wireless he puts a Keely Katana in between; he claims it's just to boost the wireless signal. I don't think he's losing much though - it does really come out sounding like more of a clean boost that overloads the amp a little more... but either way it's some of the best tone I have EVER heard, even on a bad night.
     
  14. bandofthieves™

    bandofthieves™ Member

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    No.Sorry. For that you will have to wait at least a year and pay $200-$300. But you can usually flip it for $500 which adds to it's forgettable sound.;)
     
  15. buellwisner

    buellwisner Member

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    Interesting. It might be worth picking one up and learning about components.

    I had the FD2, but it was just too big, with a useless (for me) boost switch. And the basic sound was too "creamy"--rendered my neck pickup almost worthless. I wonder if I cut find a mod to get an SD-1 to sound like the comp-cut mode on a FD2?

    That would be cool.
     
  16. buellwisner

    buellwisner Member

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    :) That's rich!
     
  17. KBN

    KBN Member

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    Here are mod instructions for converting an SD-1 to something that is suppose to sound like a Fulldrive 2. They claim it came from Brian Wampler. http://www.geocities.com/overdrivespider/SD1/stepfive.htm Not an expert by any means, but I would bet comp-cut mode would include removing the clipping diodes.
     
  18. cameron

    cameron Member

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    I'd say you want something in the TubeScreamer family, as the FDII is. The Cusack Screamer, or Screamer Fuzz might be worth looking at (the latter just because the fuzz control adds some interesting flexibility.)

    Really, the mid-hump of a Tube Screamer works very well to counteract the inherently scooped sound of a BF Fender type amp.

    Another option is an EQ/boost pedal. I have a Catalinbread Varioboost, which I use to help cut through situations where my keys player is really putting out a wall of noise; that might be worth looking into.
     
  19. buellwisner

    buellwisner Member

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    I agree that the TS-style pedals go great with a BF Fender, especially with a strat, for just the reasons you mention.

    But I'm pretty happy with the way the humbuckers match up with the blackface. I just want it bigger. The TS9 and FD2 I had were overly middy and overly creamy with humbuckers, and I'm wondering what could add volume/grain without drastically re-EQing the signal or being overly compressed.
     
  20. Blue Bee

    Blue Bee Member

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    it sounds like you need a timmy!
     

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