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Fulltone Robin Trower Overdrive

MaxBoogie

Member
Messages
700
Ah that's pretty cool!
And there were some other ones that came up too, played with a Vibe that really seemed to nail the classic Trower sound!
 

charless

Member
Messages
615
I hear you, it's great because it HAS a bit of that swissarmyknife tubescreamerish workswithanything charm. But it's bigger sounding, it sustains more, it cleans up better, it sounds REAL.
I just went down to a local music store and brought 3 overdrives to A/B test with the RTO they had there. They also got in a barely used OCD v4. I took that with me also to the DRRI and grabbed an American Standard Tele.

The pedal is beautiful and and the quality is just ace, I wanted to buy it just by the construction. I had to keep the amp so low it was a bit sad but nevertheless I forged on. Anyway I ran it against the Boss OD-3, a RAT 2 and a VL Sparkle Drive. It sounded so close in tonality to the Sparkle Drive it was almost silly. I ran the RTO at 18v BTW. I was looking to hear if I could get some of that great OCD dynamic quality out of the RTO but it wasn't really there. Its really a standard overdrive pedal and the clipping part seems (and from reading the manual) to be like most other units in the market. It sounded nice and had maybe a bit more bass than the SparkleDrive but I already have that mid-hump tubescreamer tone in the SparkleDrive so I passed on it. Maybe the volume on the amp was a huge factor and possibly clouded my decision in passing on it.

I then hit the switch on the OCD v4 and 5 minutes later was off the counter to purchace it. I already have v3 but this one sounded really open and dynamic, nice gain tone! Oh well ..!

Charles
 

Jet Bycraft

Member
Messages
1,431
I just went down to a local music store and brought 3 overdrives to A/B test with the RTO they had there. They also got in a barely used OCD v4. I took that with me also to the DRRI and grabbed an American Standard Tele.

The pedal is beautiful and and the quality is just ace, I wanted to buy it just by the construction. I had to keep the amp so low it was a bit sad but nevertheless I forged on. Anyway I ran it against the Boss OD-3, a RAT 2 and a VL Sparkle Drive. It sounded so close in tonality to the Sparkle Drive it was almost silly. I ran the RTO at 18v BTW. I was looking to hear if I could get some of that great OCD dynamic quality out of the RTO but it wasn't really there. Its really a standard overdrive pedal and the clipping part seems (and from reading the manual) to be like most other units in the market. It sounded nice and had maybe a bit more bass than the SparkleDrive but I already have that mid-hump tubescreamer tone in the SparkleDrive so I passed on it. Maybe the volume on the amp was a huge factor and possibly clouded my decision in passing on it.

I then hit the switch on the OCD v4 and 5 minutes later was off the counter to purchace it. I already have v3 but this one sounded really open and dynamic, nice gain tone! Oh well ..!

Charles
Where did you get your 18V adapter?
 

kurt1981

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,548
Man, only on TGP wold I need to read 5 pages of petty fights to get to the actual meat of the thread I clicked on!!! I'm off to try one of these out, hoping it'll contrast nicely with my zendrive.
Kurt
 

alguit

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,838
Gentlemen,

I write as a Trower enthusiast, so that's where my bias lies, and want to be up front about it.

As a lead guitarist, I've always heard a quite different thing going on with Robin's style and Jimi's -- and both are thrilling to me! If you listen to the playing and the sound at a "surfacey" level, Jimi's influence on Robin's work is obvious. But as you move to a more fundamental level of how the solos are constructed, the role of improvisation, the role of effects and feedback, to my ears one begins to hear (and feel in the fingers) the different "feel" and "sound" of the two players.

It's admittedly difficult to put into words, even for a wordy person like me. Jimi's style is so highly improvisational; I think of his guitar as constantly "groaning" and "grunting" -- like an extremely expressive African American singer would be. He moves instantly from a very high tessitura to a very low one. There's a "breadth" and "openness" to his approach to the guitar that is exciting, unpredictable, often similar but still different.

Trower's playing, on the other hand, is more "concentrated," more "studied" or "refined." Even the tone is very different: From my hearings, Jimi had a more "trebly" top end sound -- perhaps a bit "thinner" -- while Trowers guitar sound is fat, more midrangy, "focused."

I would point, for example, to Trower's solo on "Too Rolling Stoned." It's the ideal example in Trower's playing of how much attention he lavishes on the details of a solo (in contrast, Jimi pays attention to the "larger sweep"). "Too Rolling Stoned" is, of course, about getting loaded. And as the jam at the end goes on, Trower's playing becomes more and more as if it was a stoned person playing -- and yet it "develops" this way. He creates a solo that, in sound, pictures what happens when you get loaded.

Riffs repeat, detune and go in circles. Half steps -- they sound so "unsteady" -- predominate. The vibrato on certain figures gets more intense, as if the player is just trying to hold on to the neck. I think it is a brilliant portrayal -- in sound -- of someone "too rolling stoned." And the subtlety of it all! When you have heard and absorbed the essence and details of his other solos -- even on that same record, Bridge of Sighs -- the uniqueness of this solo stands out like a tree in the desert.

In sum, I think Trower has gotten a bad rap for being a "Hendrix knockoff." He's an extraordinary player who, while freely admitting his debt to Jimi's style, moved forward from that to shape his own sound and style. Try to play one of his licks as nicely as he does them sometime -- his is a style that is very hard to imitate. He is certainly one of the great players alive today.

Anyway, my two cents. Best wishes!

Doug
This is a very articulate and revealing comment-even as a longtime admirer of both Jimi and Robin, I came away from this with something new-thanks!
 

madisonaudio

Member
Messages
692
Hendrix was a blues player that made a lot of noise. Trower surpassed him with bridge of sighs. Better songs, better technique. Just sayin
 




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