DISTORTION needed for Bright, Clean, NOT cranked vintage Super Reverb


World Heavyweight Champion
Gold Supporting Member
So, I know variations on this topic have been done to death and I have read the threads and tried a lot of the pedals, but I wanted some specific input.

I have a pedalboard that I use with my 67 Super Reverb. I use it clean a lot, so it is rather bright and I can't compensate by rolling back the treble or anything like that without killing my clean tone.

I have a tuner, MXR DynaComp, Nocturne Brain (for my Gretsch), KOT (for more "cranked classic fender" sounds), a Chorus, and a Delay.

What I am missing is a Distortion.

These are the important factors
-Plenty of gain and sustain (I'm not looking for a heavy metal sound, but definitely the ability to do leads that are TONALLY reminiscent of Santana, Journey, EJ, Carlton, and other rock stuff.)
-Ability to NOT sound super bright despite my bright amp (simply rolling back the tone on other pedals doesn't always sound good)
-Ideally good sounds with a variety of guitars

Pedals I've tried:
-Fulltone OCD (too bright, not enough sustain with this particular amp)
-TS9 variants (just not enough drive)
-JHS Angry Charlie (more in the MIAB vein and jives better with less bright amps, I couldn't tame it)
-Pedal Pal 800 (same as Angry Charlie)
-MXR Super Badass Distortion (I could EQ this one reasonably well but it doesn't sound great unless you are running it full distortion and that was a little overkill for my purposes)
-Big Muff (just not the right EQ fit, either too bright or muffled)
-Tube Driver (too bright with this amp)

So, ideas?

EDIT: I bought a Red Dot Zendrive and it scratched the itch. Thanks!
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Silver Supporting Member
Suhr eclipse. It’s what I wanted the ecstasy red to be, and you get basically a two in one with it. plus the global voice knob can change the gain structure a bit and tailor to your amp's tone really well.
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It has some of the most powerful tone-shaping controls you’ll find in a pedal


Gold Supporting Member
I used to use my RAT thru a drip-edge Twin… it worked well as long as the Filter knob was somewhere between 3 o’clock and fully clockwise

A Suhr Riot (or clone) would probably work too… or maybe a Dumble-style pedal at higher gain levels

DOD Gunslinger too, with the highs turned down some (also has a bass control to keep from getting mushy)

With a Silverface circuit - especially set clean and bright - it’s important a dirt pedal has good mids as part of its inherent tone
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I was going to say JHS AT+, but that's just an Angry Charlie. It does have the headroom wattage switch, so maybe that might tame it to your liking. If not, how about a distortion you like with an EQ pedal behind it?


Gold Supporting Member
I'd second the Zendrive, except it's more of an overdrive than a distortion. For that you need it's cousin the Mosferatu! A little darker, a lot more sustaining and capable of some rough edges if needed.


Yeah I find most dist pedals can be a bit on the shrill side for leads but I’m having good luck with Dover drive set on low gain and a Jan ray after it as a boost.

Big in Japan

Silver Supporting Member
I’ll often use a SIB Cuda through a clean Princeton. It’s kind of like an OCD, but warmer, and with more sustain available.

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