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Do I need a Boost?

pattste

Member
Messages
1,657
I'm using Gibson guitars (ES-335 and LP) and an Allen Old Flame 2x10 amp. The Old Flame sounds great overdriven (master volume) but is not a channel switcher, so it's not practical to go from clean to rhythm crunch to solo in a live setting.

I have a Keeley (Boss) Blues Driver, which sounds great for rhythm playing (with the amp set clean). But for soloing, I'm not entirely satisfied with the tone. I think that I'd like a little more gain and sustain and a small volume boost.

Would a boost pedal get me there or should I look at a different OD pedal (stacked?) for soloing? I should add that I don't like messing with the volume knobs on my guitar.

The pedals which I'm considering more specifically are:

  • The Keeley Katana, which appears to be very flexible but is quite expensive.
  • The MXR CAE MC-401, which gets great reviews everywhere and sells for less than half the price of the Katana.
Opinions?
 

Lolaviola

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,483
Why no volume knob changes on the guitar? You should not make any hard and fast rules for yourself. I think that with a pedal like the Katana, you will have a lot more control over the sound by playing with different knob settings. A good boost is interactive. Unfortunately I don't have any experience with the BD or the Katana, but I love boosts. My favorite is the PCE Ranger, and that's really very dependent on how my guitar vol is set.
The sound you're getting (bd buzzer blues) is quite good right now. The TRICK is to have a switchable rhy/lead sound. I put 2 pedals close together and step on both. I have had some luck w/ "stacking" but it is trial and error. Good Luck.
 

droptrd

Member
Messages
177
Would a boost pedal get me there or should I look at a different OD pedal (stacked?) for soloing? I should add that I don't like messing with the volume knobs on my guitar.

Opinions?
That depends on the amount of gain you are looking to add.
 

TenneyThe2nd

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,147
Try a Lovekraft Mojo Drive in the Boost Position. It adds the perfect kind of even compression and a smooth gain and is plenty loud enough to be used as a lead boost.
 

sanhozay

klon free since 2009
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
11,612
Most boost will fatten the tone a little - most overdrives do it too. A tube screamer type pedal, like your BD should get you there with the volume up and the drive totally off. Also consider adding a simple compressor like the new reissue vintage MXR dyna comp, or the barper press or the keeley comp. Fantastic at lifting your sound up, bumping the lows so they are clear and also provides a clear & transparent boost. People often think Gibby's don't fit with with compressors but I like how they define the low end and sweeten the sound.
 

TorpedoVegas

Member
Messages
98
MXR CAE MC-401.... awesome pedal. I traded mine for a fulltone fatboost 2 and totally regret it. I'll be buying another one pretty damn quick. That pedal into my Vox AC30 was the best sound I ever got from that amp
 

pattste

Member
Messages
1,657
Why no volume knob changes on the guitar? You should not make any hard and fast rules for yourself.
I do make small adjustments to tone and volume but only during a song when I find that I don't have the sound I need (not cutting through, too loud, not loud enough) and can't walk to the amp and make adjustments in the middle of a song. Adjusting one or two volume controls every time I need to take a solo isn't practical.

The sound you're getting (bd buzzer blues) is quite good right now. The TRICK is to have a switchable rhy/lead sound. I put 2 pedals close together and step on both. I have had some luck w/ "stacking" but it is trial and error. Good Luck.
Thanks. That song was recorded with my old amp, a Hot Rod Deluxe with a Celestion V30. My new amp sounds even better and is much easier to dial in. A switchable rhythm/lead sound is exactly what I'm hoping to achieve with the boost pedal. I'm not sure that I want to try stacking two ODs but I remain open to the idea.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions so far.
 

secretchord53

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
412
I've had great luck stacking ODs. The nice thing about stacking ODs is that you get multiple sounds. So if you have 2 ODs together, then you get 3 sounds: OD1, OD2, and OD1+OD2. The different combinations are great.

I've found that CMATMODS pedals stack really well. I own both the Butah (which is probably pretty similar to the blues driver) and the signa drive, and they both work great as stackers. I have the Butah at the end of my OD chain, and the Signa at the front to goose the pedals coming after it.

But I also have a Lizard Leg Flying Dragon as a dedicated solo boost. It's about the most transparent booster I've ever played. It won't really add anything to your sound except more volume. It's great to just get on top of the mix for a solo section, without having to set your amp super loud and then back off in quieter sections.
 




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