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Fulldrive II MOSFET vs. Barber Tone Pump

popsongsmith

Senior Member
Messages
742
I just picked up a FDII MF, basically because I got a good deal on a mint condition used one. I've owned the OCD, which seemed harsh to me, as well as the ChoralFlange, which also seemed to lack something, but I'd heard good things about the FDII MF, so I thought I'd give Fulltone pedals another shot. Here are my initial impressions.

The Barber Tone Pump EQ--along with the Burn Unit--has been my main boost/low-mid gain box for a while now. Ever since I first tried the Barber pedals, I felt they added a certain sweetness to my tone that I hadn't encountered before in other stomp boxes. Very inspiring, with great clarity and harmonics.

While I admire the quality and design features of the FDII MF, it simply lacks the sweetness of the TP EQ. The "vintage" setting sounds like a good tubescreamer, and the "FM" setting sounds like a tubescreamer with added highs and the mids scaled back.

To be fair, the FDII MF is a very nice pedal, but everything's relative, so for now I'll stick with the Barber due to it's sweetness and clarity. By the way, if you haven't tried the Burn Unit, you're missing out on a real treat.

That being said, I'm coming up fast on the KOT waiting list, so the KOT will get a fair shot at the title. Until then, the Barber Tone Pump EQ is still my go-to pedal for boost/low-mid gain magic.
 

screamingduck

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,056
I still dig my FDII especially since I sold it and bought the FDIIMosfet.
I must be in a minority here but I think this pedal rocks.
 

JUSTJOB

Member
Messages
2,404
I don't think your in the minority, the FD2 is a great overdrive with many a great tone in it. It is not my only OD but it has remained on my pedalboard longer than anything else! It is just very versatile for me, and for my needs I prefer it over the Barber. Tone is a subjective thing indeed.
 

lifeinsong

Member
Messages
1,844
I've owned many OD pedals over the years, including most versions of the Fulldrive. I think the FD2 Mosfet sounds better than all the previous versions, and it's one of the best sounding and most versatile OD pedals out there. It seems that an awful lot of great players think so as well, so we're definitely not in the minority.
 

TimH

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,186
Yup I just got my FDII Mosfet last week and I love it. I've done a rehearsal with it now and it just gives so many great tones especially when goosed with an RC booster :)

IMHO...the tone pump is an entirely different pedal. we're comparing apples with alvocados here.
 

popsongsmith

Senior Member
Messages
742
I find this all quite encouraging. It seems we can respect each others' varying opinions and agree to disagree. Would that we Americans could adopt such a conciliatory tone in our political dialog.

Nevertheless, as soon as the KOT arives, I'll put it to the test against the FDII and the TPEQ for a final dual-switch OD shootout.
 

vgm

Member
Messages
86
I tried the FDII and liked the clean boost, but didn't care for the overdrive. Seemed to loose too much low end and was a bit to bright for my needs. Recently, I've tried the Barber Burn Unit and have been very pleased with it. Even for light overdrive it seems to really excel, while retaining a good low end signal. Very tweak-able and works well with my RH Eternity pedal.
 

DeuceII

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
737
I tried the FDII and liked the clean boost, but didn't care for the overdrive. Seemed to loose too much low end and was a bit to bright for my needs.
Clean Boost? I thought the boost was only engaged when the pedal was engaged, ie there is no separate clean boost. It only gives you OD, and boosted OD. Am I missing something here?
 

revgsmall

Member
Messages
2,106
Clean Boost? I thought the boost was only engaged when the pedal was engaged, ie there is no separate clean boost. It only gives you OD, and boosted OD. Am I missing something here?
There is the comp/cut switch, pull knob (depending on what version you have) that gives you a clean boost. At least its clean to my ears, I am not sure if it technically is compared to say an RC booster. Sound wise I can't hear any significant difference.
 

popsongsmith

Senior Member
Messages
742
UPDATE: Gave the FDII another shot at the TP EQ, and sorry, no cigar. The Barber just flat out sounds better. It's fuller--no joke intended--sweeter and more natural, with no harshness. The Barber makes all my guitars sound bigger, while the FDII makes them sound brittle.

Funny, that's exactly what happened with the OCD. I had the first version, so maybe that's it. Or maybe it's my gear. I play Hamer Slammers into Crate solid-state amps. Just kidding.
 

JUSTJOB

Member
Messages
2,404
I would refuse to use a pedal that made my guitar sound "brittle", that would just be plain stupid! Imagine....striving for "brittle" tone. ;^)
 

DreamTheaterRules

Former Lyricist for Calhoun Tubbs
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,511
this would be the first time I've ever heard that a Fulldrive was brittle. I've had a number of quality OD pedals and it's still the SMOOTHEST pedal I've heard. And I have LOTS of Barber stuff (and love it) BTW. But a Fulldrive, brittle? :confused::confused::confused: I actually sold my Fulldrive II because I thought it was TOO smooth, and was hoping the new mosfet would be more open and have more top end.

Edit: Frank, interesting. Can you elaborate?
 

DeuceII

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
737
There is the comp/cut switch, pull knob (depending on what version you have) that gives you a clean boost. At least its clean to my ears, I am not sure if it technically is compared to say an RC booster. Sound wise I can't hear any significant difference.
But are you saying with the comp cut switch engaged, you can use the boost function alone? Or that it boosts the OD cleanly?
 

MoPho

Formerly tripp2k
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,656
FDII Mosfet knocked the Barber DD off my board.
Interesting. DD knocked the FD2 MOSFET of my board and I know a cool guy who was on at least 1 side of this trade. DD is about to knock the Crunchbox off as well as soon as I compare both with a Lizard Leg boost & TS Silver mod shootout. I didn't dislike the FD2 MSOFET, it just lacked the umph I was looking for. I'm running into a DRRI which might explain my preference.

Spend some time with the pedals and tweak.
 

Wesman61

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,314
I've owned 3 FDII Mosfets and a Tone Pump EQ. I would take the TPEQ over The FDII any day. The FDII just makes Me yawn. It is just so generic sounding while The TPEQ is sweet and smooth and gives a cool bluesy to Classic Rock tone that is a kick to play.
 

princeton

Member
Messages
326
I had a Fulldrive, couldn't get used to it.
I brought it back to the store and orderd a Barber DD and LTD.

It's bin 3 years since then and I'm still glad i did !

Tried the FD Mosfet, hopin it sounded better, but the combo DD/LTD is still a winner !!!
 

twangbanger

Member
Messages
1,492
I've owned 3 FDII Mosfets and a Tone Pump EQ. I would take the TPEQ over The FDII any day. The FDII just makes Me yawn. It is just so generic sounding while The TPEQ is sweet and smooth and gives a cool bluesy to Classic Rock tone that is a kick to play.
It took 3 FDII Mosfets to figure out you didn't like them? Do you work in a Guitar Store!:)
 




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