Do I want a Barber Gain Changer?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Nathan, May 10, 2015.

  1. Nathan

    Nathan Member

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    Hey all, I have tried a boat-ton of dirt pedals and have a real good idea of what I'm after. Lately I've been thinking maybe a Gain Changer could be"it".

    My main dirt pedal is a Kingsley Jouster. That's not going to change. It covers the majority of what I want/do/crave. However it lacks a bit in tonal shaping, so I've tried a bit of stacking. I have a Barber Gainster that does a lovely job at what it does, but it's mostly an alternative which is not that versatile on its own.

    I've had a Timmy which was close but Gainster was better. A germanium Rangemater (Red Rooster clone) was also very good but limited. I even had a DDSS which didn't cut it even with all its tone-shaping (mainly because the trim pots are so hard to access). I do crave a Klonlike authority but not expecting the GC to do that.

    The GC has been on my radar for years, but I never took the plunge. I've watched the videos but not convinced until I can hear it in person with my own gear. So convince me. I want something that will offer an alternative to the Jouster but stack with it and offer multiple EQ options. That seems like what it was meant for, but hard to tell how effective it is. I'd love if the harmonic content could be affected So I can get a tight metal-esque riffage going as well as smooth bluesy stuff. That's what I've been after really: a (single) pedal that melds with my Jouster to take it up or down. I've been able to do it with 2 pedals, but it defeats the purpose if I need 3 pedals on my board! Two should be plenty. I want a single pedal that has enough range to give convincing metal and offer a light drive of its own. The Jouster is GREAT but doesnt entirely satisfy all the flavors I think up.
     
  2. CEFlint

    CEFlint Member

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    I put a GC on my board a while back for low gain use. Have replaced with a Timmy, RC Booster, and AC Booster and keep coming back to the GC. I still use the RC to fatten up single coils, but the GC will do that as well, and it always seems to find its way back to the board.

    I paired it with a Barber Compace Direct Drive and they're a wonderful combination. The CDD has a switch to adjust harmonics, as you indicated. It's a great sounding pedal that I use for the mid-heavier distortions. No metal, but classic rock tunes. Roll back the volume to about 8 and neck pickup is a very nice blues tone. Occasionally I'll swap it out with an Xotic BB Preamp. They both do a nice job in the same territory.

    But back to the GC. I recently began exploring the mid and higher gain settings and I'm convinced that I could use the GC alone for all of my drive needs. The higher settings have a robust, full tone with lots of sustain. I've found one setting that lets me toggle from low gain to mid-high very quickly using the switches. But usually, I prefer the simplicity of two separate pedals, and I've got the pedalboard space to handle it. Not a big one (PT Jr.), but big enough for what I need.

    For blues and classic rock, I believe the GC could handle 90% to 100% of most folks gain needs.

    Do you want a Barber Gain Changer?
    Yes.
    Next question.
     
  3. Nathan

    Nathan Member

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    Yeah I had an RC booster years ago and it was great, but strictly clean as I recall. There's a video on YouTube that I had missed with a Brit playing a Tokai 335 is got me just about sold. Keep em coming though.
     
  4. DecoWaves

    DecoWaves Member

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    The Barber Gain Changer is a fantastic pedal -- I just added the Barber Tone Press to my board as well.

    I use the Gain Changer in two main ways ... 1) On the low gain setting just at the point of break-up. Great for blues/classic rock sounds. 2) Keeping the same exact settings, I kick on the Iron Bell for some soaring lead tones. The Iron Bell is a super clean muff-based circuit so the Gain Changer adds just a bit of bite on the attack, giving the Iron Bell some more growl even when I have that pedal's gain dialed down. They stack nicely.

    I had made some quick recordings when I first purchased and Gain Changer .. feel free to take a listen. As I shared then, please excuse the playing: http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showpost.php?p=18802329&postcount=37
     
  5. transmission

    transmission Supporting Member

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    One thing to consider is the Tone knob on the GC cuts bass as you turn it up. So the EQ shaping, in terms of bass at least, is not as versatile as some.

    You could also consider the Mad Professor Royal Blue overdrive. Has bass and treble knobs and a large gain range. I had this and a GC at the same time and the Royal Blue won in the low gain battle. It's very dynamic to pick attack.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2015
  6. ClintWells

    ClintWells Member

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    The GC was the first thing to bump my Timmy in almost five years. Got the CDD as well and the two of them together knocked off my KOT. Now, all of this is ultimately subjective, but IMO that is a hell of an endorsement.

    Yes, you want a Gain Changer.
     
  7. fossilfuel

    fossilfuel dismember

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    Get the GC, you won't regret it.

    I've had a GC on my band board for a good while now for low gain.
    There's a lot more gain on tap too, if needed.

    It took me a few O/Ds to find the right one, the GC is staying.
     
  8. ndtealmusic

    ndtealmusic Member

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    ....is this a rhetorical question?
     
  9. ndtealmusic

    ndtealmusic Member

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    Alright, so now that I've read the OP and each successive comment...yes. Yes, you do.

    Bearing in mind that I am of the opinion that everyone should—at the very least—TRY a GC. I've been using mine for a little more than a year now. Used to run it with a DDC, which I sold and recently repurchased. I'm not a metal guy, but with just the two of those, I was able to get my guitar from dead clean to a massive, thick fuzz sound with careful manipulation (IOW, gain cranked on both). I'm not familiar with the Kingsley pedals, although the frequent lauding of Kingsley here kinda makes me want to be...but with the GC's extensive range of gain and EQ options, I'd be surprised if it can't get you where you want to go.
     
  10. rhoydotp

    rhoydotp Member

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    regardless what people say, you will never be convinced. :jo
    just try it and be done with it! :)
     
    Pixies2005 likes this.
  11. annostyle

    annostyle Member

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    Nearly everyone that has owned a Gain Changer has nothing but praise for it. It is, in my opinion, the best overall drive pedal in existence. Its the one pedal I could never get rid of.
     
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  12. Pizzaking

    Pizzaking Member

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    I originally purchased the Gain Changer for the role of low gain OD, but it consistently beats every other dirt pedal I team it up with, even for higher gain.

    I'm having a hard time convincing myself I need anything but a Gain Changer.
     
  13. deadlands

    deadlands Member

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    I fixed mine with a 12k resistor against the outside lugs of the tone pot. It's the "bass-in-place" mod. Works wonders.
     
  14. Redrum

    Redrum Member

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    Yeah, another GC fan here. Sweet little box for sure. Use mine almost exclusively for higher gain applications with great results. Lot's of lower gain options available as well, but I'm pretty happy with my Bondi Sick As in front of the GC for lower gain duties. Could easily live with the GC as a stand alone OD though.
     
  15. The Villano Dude

    The Villano Dude Member

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    Awesome pedal that can do all kinds of tricks.
     
  16. David B

    David B Silver Supporting Member

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    Lately I've been using a 47k for the mod. I also have been setting it up so the center EQ toggle and either the right or left can be stock and the MOD is a toggle setting.
     
  17. deadlands

    deadlands Member

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    Oh nice! I might try that. I'm still experimenting with the values, I haven't had a chance to really crank my amp to see if I need to go higher.
     
  18. Nathan

    Nathan Member

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    Hey while we have Dave himself on the thread (or anyone whoknows): do you think the GC could cop the Gainster sound? That would seal it for me. I'd probably do the bass mod too...
     
  19. Nathan

    Nathan Member

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    Bump for expert opinion: does GC get a Gainster tone?
     
  20. charless

    charless Member

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    Huge Barber fan here! I have around 10 or so, a few duplicates.

    That being said ...

    When I compare the GC to my LTDs I hear a thinness in GC I don't hear in the big box LTDs. The LTDs (SR + v2 MOD PCB) have much fuller sound.

    I've been meaning to phone David and ask if he could adjust it somehow to make it sound a little fatter/fuller. Perhaps mine is not typical and the internal components are somewhat off? Maybe he will chime in on this thread?

    Anyone else do the comparison and feel the same way?

    Charlie
     

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