design me a tone manipulation system

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by rorschah, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. rorschah

    rorschah Member

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    I've been buying pedals singly, ones which I like, but never bought them together.

    I've been looking at all these cool looking pedals recc'd to me on this board - Timmy, Gainster, RC and AC Booster, BJF Honey Bee, Barber LTD and Tone Pump, Fulltone Fat Boost & OCD, MI Audio Blue Boy and Pro, Menatone Red Snapper and Dirty Blonde, EQ pedals, etc - and a lot of them seem to have lots of overlap. I'm freakin' lost, especially on how they'd work together, and what does what exactly.

    I have a blackfaced Pro Reverb and an old Ampeg 1x12. Mostly this is for the Pro.

    What I'd like the setup to do is, from most important to least:

    1. Fatten the tone of my strat so it can play clean, live, in a jazz setting, sound rich while retaining sensitivity. It's so thin right now in any band context it depresses me. I'm like, "What's that noise that sounds kind of like a squirrel rattling the cages of its tin-foil cell? Oh, that's me."

    2. Make the Pro Reverb respond sort of like a Tweed Bassman. More interested in the touch-and-feel dynamics then the exact sound. Sweeten it up from its current super-clean-super-clear mode. I gather this would involve subtle compression, EQ manipulation, and other wizardry.

    3. Introduce subtle levels of grit without necessarily overdriving the amp. (my boss blues driver already does this, but if I could fold that function into this setup and take it out of the chain, all the better)

    4. Introduce massive amounts of manipulable, distortion. (I'm less interested in nailing specific distortion tones then being able to play with stuff.) Though preferably by overdriving the amp into a tasty roar than some sort of Tonebone like wizardy.

    Right now I have a Keeley Tubescreamer, which I actually hate on my Strat but dig for one context only, which is slide on my Tele. I think, except on the Tele, I kind of despise Tubescreamer type stuff. Boss Blues Driver, nice for low levels of grit, but terrible at high levels of distortion, and could be more transparent. Fulltone Full-drive 2, which is super clear and transparent, but makes the Strat seems thinner and sharper, not fatter. Overdrive sounds like velcro, which I like in some situations, but hate in others. I would sell it for funds if there was something closer to my dig. Fulltone '69 Fuzz, which I love to pieces and would fight a sumo wrestler for.

    I tend to like the really touch-sensitive, transparent stuff, like the Fulltone.

    For reference, some favorite tones include: Jim Hall (Undercurrents) and Grant Green for clean, Charlie Christian radio stuff, Cobra-period Otis Rush, Albert Collins, Television, Booker T & da MG's, for mildly distorted, and for heavy stuff: Howlin' Wolf, Neil Young, Link Wray, Boris (Japanese noise-rockers), Bikini Kill, and that new Sleater Kinney album.

    Again, not so interested in nailing specific tones, more interested in having lots of room to play.

    Guitars: Yamaha ES335 copy, strat, tele, soon maybe a p90 hollowbody.

    Budget is like $200 or $300 total. This could be one awesome pedal or a few more affordable ones. I could also buy one really nice pedal that would do a lot of this stuff, wait a year, and buy another totally awesome pedal to complete this. I can hang and poach used stuff one-by-one real slow-like.

    Thanks!

    -thi
     
  2. slowburn

    slowburn Supporting Member

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    I have no experience with any of the pedals you mentioned, however, I have experience with a lovepedal eternity. this is one awesome do-everything pedal. it totally fattens up my grosh, which uses stacked single coils. it's very touch sensitive. plus the "clip" knob allows you do dial in a fair amount of gain (or none at all, if you're just interested in a clean boost). this pedal ends my searching. about the only other pedal I'd likely get in the future is a cot50 just for shiggles to see how it would react with the eternity. be sure to ask sean for one with a blue LED, like mine, cause it looks cool:
     
  3. theHoss

    theHoss Member

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    Hmm, the price point is a bit tough, but I gave it some thought.

    I use a Toad Works Meat to beef up my strat. It is a clean boost with two independent channels (fat / clean) that you can blend. Plus it has a global boost level control. It's new for $106 bucks. So, that would still leave you a $100. You could then look at a Timmy. Read about it on the board, but nothing but greatness. Transparent and goes from a clean boost to a mid overdrive. Also, it has a great EQ and its about $100. If you could find a used barber tone press for $100ish, then you would have a really nice compressor. So for about $300, you get a nice beefable boost, a great versitile mid overdrive, and a great compressor for sustain and squish. That is how I would spend $300 on pedals. If you are looking to spend $200, I would love out the compressor.

    My $.02, your $300 :D
     
  4. jcshirke

    jcshirke Silver Supporting Member

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    First, Re: Your thin sounding Strat. Have you changed the pickups? If you haven't, that'd be the first thing I'd do. I highly recommend Fralins, but, of course, there are other options, too.

    Second: Menatone Dirty Blonde for the Bassman sound. It nails it. I use one with my Tone King Meteor II and it kills.

    Other thoughts to follow later, when I have more brain power (and time).

    Jeff
     
  5. derek_32999

    derek_32999 Member

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    your strat shouldnt sound like that through a pro reverb. what volumes do you play it at? what kinda strat have you got? i think a timmy would be nice cause with it's eq you could not only boost your signal (fattens tone) but the eq would be very effective in doing the same... get on the list resale prices are insane(well reasonable depends on how you look at it from a buyer or seller prospective :) ) dirty blonde sounds good too, what i dont understand is how the fulldrive can thin out your sound. especially in comp cut mode. maybe you should go old school and sell everything (effects etc) and get an old tweed bassman :) or a good clone. sligoamplification on ebay has some real nice stuff cheap.
     
  6. stekks

    stekks Member

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    1: Timmy or BJF Honey Bee
    2: BJF Honey Bee or Menatone Dirty Blonde
    3: Timmy
    4: I dont see a high gain pedal in your list, but I would recommend a Fulltone Soul-Bender (or maybe the OCD stacked with an OD like the Timmy or HB)
     
  7. rorschah

    rorschah Member

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    The Strat is 1997 American Standard, totally stock.

    I'd love to get a set of Fralins, but this is an expense/flexibility decision. Fralins apply only to the Strat; the pedals could work on all my guitars. I could maybe swing a set of RI Fender pups.

    Lots of reccs for the Menatone Dirty Blonde. That changes the feel/softness/sweetness of the amp also? I remember the one Menatone I played (Workingman?) seemed much more of a tone-simulator than an amp-feel-changer, if that makes sense. But totally different pedal, I know.

    Toad Works, hmmm? Totally new name to me. Must research...

    Thanks guys. Keep 'em comin'.

    -thi
     
  8. theHoss

    theHoss Member

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    Yeah, the Meat is a very cool pedal, and I love what it does with my Strat. With my Les Paul I simply use the clean boost, with my strat I use the Fat. Very cool, and inexpensive!

    Reviews on

    harmony-central

    Here is their website...they have some cool stuff you might consider the Death Rattle....I have been looking at it as well.



    ToadWorks
     
  9. theelectic

    theelectic Guest

    Agreed. Get the amp checked out first, if it's not working properly/optimally, all the pedals in the world won't help.
     
  10. Dajbro

    Dajbro Member

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    For items 1 - 3 on your list I would check out an Xotic RC Booster and a Barber Tone Press. That's what I use.

    David
     
  11. flicker180

    flicker180 Member

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    along the toadworks bent, i REALLY love my Mr. Squishy compressor. gives punch and sparkle and if jiggered around correctly, it can be an awesome clean boost.

    re: menatone dirty blonde...whaddaya know? i've got one for sale!


    dave
     
  12. dave s

    dave s Member

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    Throwing pedals at a bad sounding guitar and amp rig will serve only to accentuate what is currently bad with your sound. Plus, the pedals will make 'more bad' ... just louder.

    I'm assuming you have a decent, stock strat for this example and that your Pro is in good operating condition and you are running out of the reverb side of the amp? If this is correct, read on.

    First, set all the tone controls to straight up '5' on your amp. Turn OFF the reverb for now. Dial in current gig volume. Plug in your strat and see what it sounds like. Now, move away as far as your cable allows and listen again. Is it thin? Does it sound like a strat? Good balance when playing chords? Single notes clear or lost in the air?

    Next thing I would do is drop the treble and midrange controls down to about 3-4 range and turn UP the amp volume. This should provide a thicker, clearer tone. Increasing the volume will bring back the top end to the tone. Move away from your amp and see what you have.

    Continue to make adjustments to the tone section of the amp until you are pretty sure you have a guitar tone that sounds thick and full and sounds natural through the amp.

    If you're not happy with the results, call another player that you know and trust to work on your guitar >>> amp only setup. Who knows, there may be something wrong with your amp!

    It's my firm belief that you have to coax the best sound from your guitar and amp BEFORE throwing $$ at the rig.

    all the best,

    dave
     
  13. derek_32999

    derek_32999 Member

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    i have rio grande pickups in my strat and they sound real nice, you can gget a set on ebay fairly priced.
     
  14. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    on my boss eq-20, the preset on memory setting 5 is an archtop sim. Completely blew me away (though I use a les paul with humbuckers).

    Check out the soundclips over here: http://www.bosscorp.co.jp/demos/en/EQ-20_sound/demo.html

    to fatten up your tone and add grit, check out the sagrado poblano picoso:
    http://www.catalinbread.com/poblano.html
    keep in mind it is NOT an OD pedal, just pushes your amp.

    for a cleaner boost (will still fatten your tone with the knob set at minimum), yet one that can still add grit add higher settings, check this one out:
    http://www.catalinbread.com/picoso.html
     
  15. rorschah

    rorschah Member

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    I'll check out the amp, as suggested.

    So, how close would that meat boost/Timmy/compressor combo get me to the effects of the Honey Bee or the Dirty Blonde? Same range of thing? That's all I need.

    -thi
     
  16. theHoss

    theHoss Member

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    I couldn't answer that one, haven't tired the Dirty Blonde. Although, I am thinking about getting one know. I just like the Meat/Timmy/Tone Press becuase it gives you a lot of versitility and a reasonable price.

    Meat - Two independent blendable boosts (Love how the Fat channel thinkens up my strat)

    Timmy - Great pedal, with transparent power ampy drive, and wonderful EQ. Use it for some dirt, or use it as a boost, or simply use the EQ to shape your tone.

    Barber Tone Press - Parallel comp that is very versitile.

    That is my 'Blues Board' for the local Wed blues jams.

    I know zero about the Dirty Blonde (well, at least the pedal). I know well enough to stay away from the woman.
     
  17. fyler

    fyler Member

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    i agree with the "make sure your guitar and amp sound good" advice...
    but if you want a multitude of overdrive/distortion options check out the foxrox zim. it has interchangable cards so you can end up with the two channels you want. (don't get scared off by the "cards", it's all analog, and it sounds amazing).
    also, i think you could use either a compressor, or a boost acting as a gain staging preamp before your amp to fatten up your amp...
    also, try cranking your amp way louder than you would normally have it, but roll your guitar volume down a lot - i find this can fatten things up a lot at the same volume because it gets the power tubes cooking.
    finally, bonus points for mentioning Boris - i love that band.
     

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