Distortion pedal throw down! Xotic SL Drive vs. Walrus Audio Iron Horse vs. Fulltone Plimsoul!

Mr2D

Member
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1,814
I'm a long term lurker on here, and am finally seeking some advice...

So, I've been playing guitar 20 years on the 31st of March and also have a bit of OT coming through so I'm going to by myself a present - I'm pretty happy with my rig (US Tele/Epi Dot/Parts Jazzmaster/Gretsch Baritone -> a Genz Benz Black Pearl 30 3x10 [AC30 based]) and my drive section (Blackout Effectors Twosome -> Dod 410 Bifet Boost -> Dod 250 OD) but I'm missing a straight up distortion pedal. I'm an alternative/indie kid, favourite guitarists are Graham Coxon, Ed O'Brien and Joey Santiago, but I don't necessarily want to ape/copy them.

I've narrowed it down to the three above, done all the YT research I can, but would appreciate a bit of advice!
 

MemorymanDL

Member
Messages
622
The three of them are pretty radically different.

The SL Drive is a Marshall-in-a-Box type pedal, and a bloody good one at that. The Iron horse is an out and out classic, fat sounding distortion. The Plimsoul is a unique little beast, and I'd say the most versatile of the three.

I'm a big fan of the Iron Horse. I throw it on my gigging board every now and again to mix things up from using fuzz for my heavy rhythm sounds.

 

afterburner

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,548
I'd go with either the Iron Horse or the SL. I've had the Iron Horse and it's a nice, fat distortion pedal. I've not owned the SL but based on what you're looking for it should also do the trick.

I've also had the Plimsoul but was quite disappointed by it. It's a sweet sounding overdrive but I don't think it will really do full-on distortion sounds. Definitely can't do what the Iron Horse does in my experience. It's better for different applications.
 

jwny72

Member
Messages
2,842
I have no experience with the others, but I have and love the PlimSoul. I use it as a low gainer myself, and hit the front end of it with a fuzz for loads of saturation. But it's sustain knob has a broad range. Full up it's, pretty gainy (think Van Halen levels of distortion). The hi-cut knob is a really powerful tone shaper that attenuates volume too as one rolls it back. Lastly, there's the second gain stage, which adds more bite and edge. The pedal is capable of a broad range of overdrive and distortion sounds. I think it's marvelous.
 

Mr2D

Member
Messages
1,814
Thanks all - I went with the SL drive as I found a killer deal (about 50% off for the chrome edition with the voltage doubler, new!).

I figure if I don't like it, I'll probably be able to flip it for minimal loss and give one of the others a go!
 

Lt_Core

Member
Messages
2,899
I gigged with a Plimsoul for years as my main Marshall tone through a Classic 50 and 2x12 cab. I have a Lovepedal Purple Plexi out for delivery today, can't wait!

SL Drive has intrigued me, though.
 

BluesBUSTER

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,751
If you're strictly limited to the 3 pedals on your list, I would buy both the Plimsoul and the SL. The Plimsoul is very versatile and sounds great, like most Fulltone pedals. You'll always find a place for that pedal in your chain. The SL drive sounds amazing and would complement your sound quite well.
 

jimijimmyjeffy

Senior Member
Messages
12,633
I have a Plimsoul but am not enamored with it, as it, for me at least, removes completely the original sound of my guitar, and substitutes its own sound. I prefer pedals that are transparent enough to at least leave some of the guitar and amp sound intact. So for me, it's a special effect to be used only when I need a ton of gain on something. It has wonderful gain stages, but just isn't even partially transparent.

Maybe that's the price you pay for having a "stand alone" pedal that elimenates the need for extra gain, even with a totally clean amp. That's the Plimsoul. It has a nice sound, friendly enough, but the mids are nothing to write home about. They are boring mids, sort of like an 80s pop record, I guess.

Too big a compromise for me. I ended up with a new high gain amp instead of using the Plimsoul.

The Plimsoul is a great name for a pedal. I like Fulltone products. The pedal sounded consistently good in the store. But it had shortcomings in my case. For some it would be great.

By way of contrast, Fulltone's Trower OD is very transparent to the guitar. A strat sounds like a strat through it. Better low mids. A Klon is transparent in relation to your guitar. The mids are tastier with the Klon too, IMO.
 
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Mr2D

Member
Messages
1,814
I have a Plimsoul but am not enamored with it, as it, for me at least, removes completely the original sound of my guitar, and substitutes its own sound. I prefer pedals that are transparent enough to at least leave some of the guitar and amp sound intact. So for me, it's a special effect to be used only when I need a ton of gain on something. It has wonderful gain stages, but just isn't even partially transparent.

Maybe that's the price you pay for having a "stand alone" pedal that elimenates the need for extra gain, even with a totally clean amp. That's the Plimsoul. It has a nice sound, friendly enough, but the mids are nothing to write home about. They are boring mids, sort of like an 80s pop record, I guess.

Too big a compromise for me. I ended up with a new high gain amp instead of using the Plimsoul.

The Plimsoul is a great name for a pedal. I like Fulltone products. The pedal sounded consistently good in the store. But it had shortcomings in my case. For some it would be great.

By way of contrast, Fulltone's Trower OD is very transparent to the guitar. A strat sounds like a strat through it. Better low mids. A Klon is transparent in relation to your guitar. The mids are tastier with the Klon too, IMO.
I've done the Klon thing (KTR and a Fredric Zombie) not a massive fan, and I have a timeline and a mobiüs, which cause issues with high pitched whines when combined with a Klon.

Might try a Saucy Box, which I know has a similar flavour, without the noise problems.
 

mattymel

Member
Messages
1,415
When I first read about the Plimsoul I was intrigued. Heard it and thought it sounded like a good OD but nothing extraordinary. The way it is described it sounds like the perfect OD. Drives the signal...then drives that (compresses) similar to the way a good, old Marshall does.

But that is where the idea stops and it just sounds like another TS circuit OD, to my ear.

To me, the SL does more of what the Plim sought to do. It doesn't go about it in a authentic way. But I'm not sure that way can even exist in one pedal.

I have heard similar interactions between two or more pedals, but never from one yet.

Having spent some time with the sound these pedals are trying to replicate (a Marshall 4 hole cranked), there really is no pedal that will ever do that.

Try any good (or two) OD and a good boost though...and you are getting a little taste.
 




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