Fantone Brooklyn

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by cander328, Mar 11, 2006.


  1. cander328

    cander328 Member

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    Anyone using using one of these? One followed me home yesterday with an HBE Big D and I am really diggin' it!
     
  2. Realfi

    Realfi trying to re-MEMBER Silver Supporting Member

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    I've never tried a Frantone Brooklyn Overdrive but I was having an email conversation with Eric "Roscoe" Ambel from Steve Earle's band and he loves his. He says he loves the bottom end it has and the way it interacts with his Dr Z's (Maz Jr, Z28).

    It has become his number one overdrive ahead of his Aramat modded FD2.
     
  3. autopilot

    autopilot Member

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    what's the relantioship betwen the hepcat and the brooklyn?
     
  4. eric-d

    eric-d Member

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    I've tried all of Fran's stuff.... It sounds great when you're at home but on the "big" stage, it just didn't cut it. It was weird! They sounded nothing like they did at home... I personally found the Brooklyn to be glassy and brittle...
     
  5. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    That's weird... that's the exact opposite of what I found. I didn't like it at home into a clean amp, but at band volume through a very-slightly dirty amp, it sounds fantastic. I found the same with Fran's other pedals I have - the Cream Puff and the Sweet. I really like her sort of 'distortion with a touch of fuzz' or 'fuzz with a touch of distortion' voicings.

    The Brooklyn is very much not a 'normal' overdrive - I would definitely describe it more as a mild fuzz with a hint of overdrive or a fuzz-boost. I actually don't like 'normal' overdrives, I find them too nasal and boxy. I tried the Brooklyn because I wanted some sort of overdrive, and knew what I didn't like... and expected it to be different. I was right, but it sounded really quite bad into my Mesa Blue Angel at home volume, and I nearly sold it (in fact I tried, but luckily no-one bought it :)). I thought it sounded both too harsh and edgy, and oddly thick, and also very 'touchy'... difficult to set right. Then - I really don't know why, since I was ready to write it off - I tried it at a band practice with the amp slightly dirty, and it sounded amazing. It's now permanently on my small-gig board and it isn't going anywhere. I may need another one for my other board now ;).

    It absolutely is not a Tube Screamer though - if you're wanting that kind of compressed smoothness and sustain you won't like it at all. It's much more lo-fi and to me has a character a bit like a small and slightly ratty amp pushed too hard. I also think it could be extremely amp-sensitive - I hated it through the Blue Angel clean, but it actually sounded quite good at much the same volume through a friend's tweed Deluxe.

    (From the description on the Frantone website, I think the Brooklyn is the same as the Hep Cat but with more gain and a tone control... which I think would make the Hep Cat quite limited, but I've never tried one.)
     
  6. sstweed

    sstweed Supporting Member

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    From your description of tone and application, this pedal sounds like it might be somewhat similar to the Blackstone. Another lo-fi, almost to the point of being a fuzz, non-TS pedal.
     
  7. autopilot

    autopilot Member

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    thanks, i found taht the hepcat was too bright for my taste.
     
  8. cvansickle

    cvansickle Member

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    I have a Big D, but I use a different overdrive with it. The two pedals together really do get a massive sound. Hard to believe that a distortion with as much to offer as the Big D could be made to sound even better, but there you go...
     
  9. mcknigs

    mcknigs Supporting Member

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    I went looking for old posts on the Brooklyn because this morning I hauled mine out of the closet and started playing with it for the first time in several months. When I used it before I was unable to *really* enjoy it, but I think I started to come to terms with it this morning.

    I got it largely because of an email conversation with Eric Ambel in which he said it was his current favorite. I do remember him saying that getting plenty of bass from the pedal was important to him. I started leisurely keeping an eye out for a good deal on one. Around Christmas my wife and I decided we would each buy $100-worth of stuff for ourselves and call it our Christmas present from the family. Around that time a friend offered to sell me his Brooklyn for $100. Sold.

    I agree that it has a sort of ratty sound to it, sort of like a speaker being pushed to the limit, and that it's not like a TS-clone. This was something I *sort of* appreciated, but was trying to figure out how to make it work for me.

    This morning I think I made the following discoveries re: the Brooklyn:

    It seemed to sound better with humbuckers through my closed-back EL-34 Traynor YBA-4 than with the Telecaster through a Deluxe Reverb I used it with last winter.

    My standard operating procedure is to set the tone about 12 o'clock and go. That's all I did with it last winter. Playing with the tone this morning I started to feel that this pedal doesn't really like that setting. It sounded better to me at pretty much any setting *but* 12 o'clock. Something around 9 or 10 o'clock was pretty good. Any bassier than that sounds good but probably wouldn't cut through a mix.

    Trying to use it the way I use a TS, with a little bit of drive, is not where this pedal shines. Turning the gain up got it sounding better. With the gain up in the 2 - 4 o' clock range gave me a pretty good classic rock, cranked Marshall stack sound.

    So - before I wasn't using it because, with the settings I tried, it sounded OK and different than anything I have, but not something I necessarily had a need for given what I usually play. Now I feel like I know how to make it sound significantly better, and it's still different, but I still am not sure that what it does best is something that I really need.

    -Scott
     

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