Good RF tone at low volume

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by bmetelits, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. bmetelits

    bmetelits Member

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    Often players comment that OD pedals sound great when the amp is already being pushed. I have rarely, if ever, played where my amp was turned up enough to get natural overdrive.

    I play an Alessandro Working Dog, 1x12", 2x6L6. On a scale of 1-10, I usually have the amp set: Volume=4, Treble=6, Midrange=7, Bass=2,Final Output(think master)=1. I prefer to play with my guitar volume set between 7-10 and vary my picking. The small bars, restaurants, beer joints, country club event rooms, etc., will not handle more volume than that.

    The clean headroom is good for cocktail jazz, pop and country. However, I want to get those nice Robben Ford sounds and the Santana sounds. Based on the threads in this forum I am considering the Dumb Box, Zen, Ethos, and Plush Drive. I'm leaning towards the Plush Drive.

    What would you do?
     
  2. arnie65

    arnie65 Supporting Member

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    You can't go wrong with any of the pedals you mentioned, although I've never tried the Dum Box. They all put you in RF tone area, just depends what kind of tone you like, some are more sensitive to pick attack, some have a thicker tone, darker, brighter and some are more versatile. Consider what's your budget and choose accordingly. I think the Ethos is the most versatile of the bunch, but also the most expensive, I'm currently playing the Plush Drive and I'm staying with it, just a matter a personal tone preference. Listen to as many sound clips as you can before dishing out hundreds of dollars. Cheers.
     
  3. cbpickin

    cbpickin Tweed Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    I would also check out the Jetter Gain Stage Red. It was my favorite over the Howie and Zendrive. I honestly haven't tried the others you mentioned.
     
  4. james russell

    james russell Silver Supporting Member

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    I've had the Zen, and currently have the Ethos. The Ethos is expensive, but I found it to be so much more versatile than the Zen. For lower volume playing I found the Zen to be buzzy sounding. The Ethos can get that verge of break-up sound that sounds like a real amp working, but with no buzzyness, and at very low volumes. The Ethos just sounds more amp like to me. Also, as has been said before, the Ethos clean channel is more useful than you might imagine. I wasn't initially interested in the clean channel, but now use it more than I thought I would. If you go for the Ethos, get it in the TLE version. I've had both, and like the tighter low end.


    James
     
  5. Sniper-V

    Sniper-V Member

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    Get an Ethos and be done with it.

    I've already been through a few D-inspired pedals and the Ethos was the best. It is pricey but worth it.

    For less $$$, the Zen and Zen 2 are great options as well as the Howie. I actually have the Zen and Zen 2 FS in the Emporiums.
     
  6. drolling

    drolling Member

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    Zendrive's a great choice for smooth, medium-gain OD but just doesn't work AT ALL with humbuckers - for me, anyway.

    Haven't listened to Carlos much lately, but that liquid sustain he's known for's delivered in spades by the Mesa V-Twin - Turned my small 6L6 combos into fire-breathin 1/2 stacks:RoCkIn!!
     
  7. johan

    johan Member

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    That's odd. Zendrive is a "humbuckers" pedal to me. I never use it with Strats although its ok with Teles. With a LP or 335...whao!
     
  8. bmetelits

    bmetelits Member

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    BTW, I have a Mesa Bottle-Rocket pedal. It uses two preamp tubes. I usually run a pair of 12AY7/6072. The sound is not bad, but it's tough to get a good sound without raising the pedal output higher than the amp without the pedal, and the good sound does not clean-up when picked more lightly. Also, the pedal cannot be powered by battery.
     
  9. jimfog

    jimfog Senior Member

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    I've owned an Ethos, Zen, GSR, Howie and Small Fry..........

    Ethos is the one you want for smooth.......whole different level than the others.

    Zen is the next choice....as long as you are running 'buckers.

    I still want to try the Plush.
     
  10. amphead777

    amphead777 Member

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    I'm sold on the Zen. I've bought it 3 times. For me it works well with Strats as well as my Les Pauls. There won't be a 4th time.
     

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