Fulltone - Is It Best To Wait?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Upgrade, Jan 23, 2008.


  1. Upgrade

    Upgrade Member

    Messages:
    193
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    It seems many threads about Fulltone overdrives praise the latest versions as big improvements. Makes me want to wait on any new pedal he brings out. Even the latest TTE is supposed be better that the early ones. What's up with that? Like so many software programs I use (Protools,Altiverb, BFD, etc.) they release it then gradually fix it and when it finally works, they bring out a new version!
     
  2. starfish

    starfish Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,126
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    This phenomena doesn't seem to be exclusive to Fulltone. FWIW, the early silver and orange Fulldrives sound the best IMO. Bells and whistles get added, but sometimes there's nothing like an earlier version. There are so many examples of this with guitar gear. :)

    I say if you like the pedal after hearing or trying, get it.
     
  3. improv4

    improv4 Member

    Messages:
    271
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    The concept of revisions is part marketing and part research and developement. Pedal makers seem to be tweakers by nature and I would be disappointed if they didn't constantly build on current designs.

    I have the OCD, originally v1, and modded to a v3. I like the sounds of both versions; for me, one wasn't necssarily better than the other. In the case of the different versions of the Fulldrive, I've read plenty of opinions supporting each version equally.

    So, I think the subjective nature of sound mixed with band wagon mentality is very much responsible for the trend of "the latest versions as big improvements."

    Let your ears be the decision maker when it comes to which pedal is "better". Ultimately, its got to be the pedal in front of you that sounds best. So good luck on your quest; its a hell of a great time!
     
  4. Curly

    Curly Member

    Messages:
    1,402
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Location:
    SoCal
    there was a lot of talk about the different versions of the OCD, but so what? I don't mind at all someone improving their product, and the phrase "new and improved" shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who's seen a detergent or car ad in the last 20 years.
     
  5. Twanger

    Twanger Member

    Messages:
    541
    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    There are many things that are constantly being 'improved' upon...cars, computers, software etc.

    I will say that I think that just because it's the newest version, it doesn't always mean it's the best version for you. I have a 2002 FM Fulldrive 2 with the push/pull pot for comp-cut and I personally prefer it over the versions that followed. The voicing is darker, and since I'm primarily a Tele player, it works best for me.

    It must be frustrating for Mr. Fuller as well. When the OCD first came out everyone was saying "Not enough mids". Then when he got up to version 3 many people said "Too much low-mid, too dark". You can't please 'em all....but look at it this way, the more versions that there are, the better chance that you'll find one that's perfect for you.
     
  6. Brien

    Brien Member

    Messages:
    1,122
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    I love my original version OCD. All ODs are different, not necessarily better.
     
  7. popsongsmith

    popsongsmith Senior Member

    Messages:
    742
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    W. Mass
    I'm not buying it. There are plenty of pedals out there--plenty of gear in general, for that matter--that sounds fantastic across the board right from the get-go. Maybe I've been unlucky and gotten my hands on some of the "weak" versions of Fulltone's gear, but I've dumped every pedal I've owned by them within days, because they sounded sterile, stiff and completely un-musical.

    On the other hand, I've owned several different versions of the same Barber pedal, and they all sounded phenomenal.

    I guess different strokes...
     
  8. gregory49

    gregory49 Member

    Messages:
    2,339
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    Newfoundland, Canada

    welcome to technology my friend. Its the way the world works. You ever notice when you buy a new TV or Computer ... a year later there's something twice as good! Its the way the world works :crazy

    and thank god for it that it does work that way, maybe they'll finally get a toaster that will make toast and cure cancer.
     
  9. Brien

    Brien Member

    Messages:
    1,122
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    I love my original Barber Burn Unit as well.
     
  10. WailinGuy

    WailinGuy Member

    Messages:
    1,268
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Location:
    Silver Spring
    Exactly!!

    Although I still may occasionally hop on board the waiting list as soon as something new is announced (e.g., OCD v1), I'm now more likely to wait a while and let the kinks get ironed out of a new product before ordering it. Being one of the first on the block to own the latest sensation does have its drawbacks. It's like the old piece of advice about buying a new car: always wait until the 2nd year before purchasing a model that was just introduced, or risk owning a lemon.

    Example: I'm now glad I didn't order an Ethos as soon as Robbie announced it here at TGP. Yes, I'm still waiting for mine (should be ready in a week or so), but it will have the TLE mod, which I know I want. Sure, I could have gotten an earlier one and then sent it back for modification, but I like the idea that maybe some other improvements have been made that don't necessarily affect the tone, but maybe improve reliability. It's common for electronic products to undergo slight changes in construction or brand/type of some of the components inside, as the designer discovers minor or potential issues.

    I have to wonder how many other pedal makers implement small improvements in their products over time and just don't bother to say anything, because the changes these make to the tone are subtle.

    In other words, I don't mind remaining at a comfortable distance behind the bleeding edge.
     
  11. popsongsmith

    popsongsmith Senior Member

    Messages:
    742
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    W. Mass
    I'm not buying the car analogy either. A modern car is a staggeringly complex machine, with computer controlled systems, thousands of moving parts, and considerable amounts of friction and inertia to contend with. A distortion pedal, on the other hand, is a simple electronic device that is almost always based on one of two or three classic circuits. Once you plug it in and hear it, that's it. That's how it sounds. No need to wait to see if the engineering is sound. Either it sounds good or it doesn't.
     
  12. JZG

    JZG Member

    Messages:
    1,040
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Location:
    Michigan
    I think a lot of this is done to generate sales. In the case of the OCD, those that bought the first version will want to dump their pedal for the newest version, or those that didn't like version 1 and sold it, may be inclined to try version 2. If I'm not mistaken, Mr. Fuller even plays on this with his magazine ads. Something to the effect of "Worth trying again."

    Whether you should wait or not is up to you. Personally, I wouldn't lie in bed awake at night wondering if I should wait for "V2." More than likely V1 is plenty good enough.
     
  13. JZG

    JZG Member

    Messages:
    1,040
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Location:
    Michigan
    +1 on that. Something different in those early FD2's.
     
  14. kenoflife

    kenoflife Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,397
    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Location:
    somewhere in Oregon
    Fulltone products?

    wait forever....:)
     
  15. starfish

    starfish Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,126
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Correct with the important qualifier - everyone has different preferences. There are many here, myself included, who own Burst Eternitys, multiple BJF, Crowther, Timmy/Tim, etc., and some of us like some of the Fulltone stuff too. Whether you "buy it" or not doesn't mean the gear is flawed or un-musical. It's just your subjective opinion which some others may share, and some others may not. I'm not taking a dig at you personally. I have my own subjective opinions on certain gear too. When all is said and done, people prefer different things based on their rigs, ears, and numerous related minutiae. But sweeping generalizations don't apply to how everyone perceives Fulltone gear.
     
  16. somedude

    somedude Member

    Messages:
    6,698
    Joined:
    May 30, 2004
    Location:
    South of Heaven
    If that were the case we'd all be using TS-9s instead of the 'improved' versions marketed by many boutique builders.

    The simple fact that you're participating in this forum underscores the hypocrisy of your statement.

    If others can build a better Tubescreamer, Fuller can build a better OCD.
     
  17. WailinGuy

    WailinGuy Member

    Messages:
    1,268
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Location:
    Silver Spring
    I wasn't trying to make an analogy between pedals and cars. Just pointing out the philosophy (which you can choose to subscribe to - or not) of waiting a while for things to settle out when purchasing a very recently introduced product. Sometimes it's hard for a manufacturer (of pedals, cars, corkscrews, or whatever) to know if they've really "nailed it" until the item in question has been out in the marketplace for at least a little while and some real-world feedback has been received. And beta testing (we who work in the software world especially know this) often doesn't uncover all the issues.

    I wish everyone would chill out!
     
  18. Curly

    Curly Member

    Messages:
    1,402
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Location:
    SoCal
    a rather ironic example ...

    I returned an early Barber Direct Drive because I thought it lacked character.
    Of course, that was before Barber came up with a mod board and several other versions ... "low gain, flat eq, etc ..."

    ain't nothin' wrong with improving your product ... in fact, I'm thinking about trying one of those other versions.

    as you said though, different strokes
     
  19. vegetablejoe

    vegetablejoe Member

    Messages:
    781
    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Location:
    Manila
    The latest Fulltone FD2 pedal incorporates the "special" 10th Anniversary MOSFET model's features at a price US$60+ less. So yes, that is already an improvement, imo. Certainly, new prospective FD2 buyers will not even have to look at the Anniversary model for complete features.

    Purportedly, the newer pedal has improved gain and clarity (or is it bass?). I am not sure, as I haven't tried it. That would be a bonus.
     
  20. popsongsmith

    popsongsmith Senior Member

    Messages:
    742
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    W. Mass
    ok, ok. maybe I exaggerated. But my understanding is that the different versions of the Barber stuff were introduced in order to provide various "flavors" of the same pedal. In other words, the original is still available, along with a few variations. not so in the case of the OCD. the original two or three versions were lame, so they attempted to "fix" the problem. imho, these are two completely different phenonmena.

    and sure, there are a multitude of "improved" versions of the ts-808, which incorporate premium components, wider range of tones, etc. but again, this is not the same thing as saying--in effect--"oops! sorry that expensive, over-hyped pedal sucked on the first two tries...I really NAILED it on the third try."

    give me a frickin' break.
     

Share This Page