HellBilly - share your settings...

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by BillyK, Jan 9, 2006.


  1. BillyK

    BillyK Supporting Member

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    I've had the HellBilly for a while now and I haven't settled into any particular settings on it. I know a bunch of you guys use it stacked in front of other pedals. I have not had great success in this area. What are the settings you use when stacking? What are some of your favorite settings when using it non-stacked?
     
  2. Don Rusk

    Don Rusk Gold Supporting Member

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    Favorite setting is On :AOK

    when stacking usually lowering the drive level of the first one is important as its going to be redistorted by the second one ---

    you can either boost the driven pedal with something infront of it,,,, or amplify it with something after........


    or you can think of them as a pre amp and power amp .... it sounds different when you crank the preamp and turn down the master volume than running t he preamp clean and cranking the power amp...... same with stacking ODs......:hiP
     
  3. dognmoon

    dognmoon Supporting Member

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    I usually keep the left knob (whatever it is- TONE?- I don't have the pedal in front of me) at about 9 o'clock or else it feels a little flabby and the right knob (DRIVE?) at about 3 o'clock, give or take, depending on what amp and guitar I'm using. I like it for that hi-fi drive when I'm trying to cop the tones from Landau on that Live At The Baked Potato double disc with Abe and Vinnie. I think it you go too much higher than 3 o'clock on the drive knob, it gets a little spitty. I prefer subtlety to "what is that sound?!?" so you may actually wanna go lower on the tone and higher on the drive. And because I'm a compressor junkie, I always run it into a compressor with a tone setting to smooth it out and take some of the fizz off the top. Doing this makes it feel very similar to a Red Llama (IMO).

    Good luck with it. The HB is a great pedal.
     
  4. erksin

    erksin Member

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    I always stack mine into a Timmy or Blue Boy, mostly because I'm primarily a low-volume player. I use mine mostly as a Treble Booster.

    Settings:

    Tone - 3:30
    Volume - 11:00
    Gain - 3:30

    Into the Timmy with medium drive, it's full-on Rory Gallagher/Beano - max the Timmy's gain and I'm in Brian May land. Into my MI Audio Blue Boy I can get '70s/'80s Blackmore, UFO, and Scorpions tones. It's a great lead booster and really adds some cool overtones to the distortion.

    I don't really used the Fuzz side, but it's nice to know it's there if I need it!
     
  5. Phil M

    Phil M Supporting Member

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    I know this has been posted, but can this pedal more or less take the place of a treble booster and/or a germ fuzz? In other words, can I get reasonably close to the sound of one of the Rangemaster clones and then fiddle with the knobs and get a sound like a germ Fuzz Face?

    For fuzz reference, I had a Sunface and loved it and I had a McFuzz Standard and did not care for it.

    Thanks.
     
  6. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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    That is correct, unless you want to run the two into eachother. It is an either/or/cross-between solution.

    Possibly due to humidity, putting the tone knob to the FAR extreme in either direction will result in noise (germanium is sensitive- and I want to stress that this is only when you turn the knob to the extreme limit of physical rotation, not just "turned up or down"- the rest of the range is just as you'd expect), but there is a very wide range of flavors. From the far left, we start with bass boost, to the extreme right we have a treble boost. There is a gain control, I like it in many different settings. I usually keep the level control at unity gain if I'm using it with my other boosts, set higher if it's my only boost. The gain control is what brings it from "boost" to "drive" device (simply put). With the gain low, you get somewhat of a cleaner boost (but good sounding), with the gain turned up, you're into ZZ Top territory (also good sounding!). In between the fuzz face/rangemaster sides of things, with the tone knob closer to the middle, is really probably the most balanced sound the pedal has, which is great, because it's more like a normal drive pedal that has all the basic sonic characteristics of the germanium Fuzz Face and Rangemaster pedals, with adjustable drive and range. It does work well as a boost on its own, as well.

    There is also a silicon transistor to clean up the output or something, so it's not 100% a clone of either pedal, but it does a great job at what it does. Of course, it's true bypass, and it's also got a 9v DC jack- which I have sort of experimented with my PP2's SAG control- I figured if any of my pedals would benefit from this special lower-voltage-level output, it would be the one with a germanium front end, right? Well, it sounds OK, but I usually just leave it set normal on the PP2.

    Overall, I think it's a great pedal. I've got a Hellbaby as well, great for the Clapton From The Cradle sound with a darker amp. The gain on that pedal is like a "chunk" or "thwack" rather than a "finished" sounding gain. It is a pedal that can really wrestle with your amp with the gain up, in a good way. What's next? Possibly a Squeeze Factor, because I like the design and I think there's room for both the Sqeeze Factor and my AM Ross clone to do different things in different places- that's a great-sounding pedal as well.
     
  7. derek_32999

    derek_32999 Member

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    Definately one of my fave's. I like to set it at
    Tone - 1:30
    Level - 1:00
    Gain - 2:00

    I really like the sparkle this gives my strat's neck pickups. I usually set my overdrive pedals volume knob at unity, but I find that I rarely really turn this sucker off. Just roll back at the guitar, actually just picking softer REALLY cleans this pedal up. Turning the volume knob up seems to add a fullness to the hellbilly kinda like the EGDM.
     
  8. cvansickle

    cvansickle Supporting Member

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    All three knobs at 1:00 is my favorite for a good boost sound, and I'll roll the gain up to 3:00 or 4:00 if I want more grit. I have mine late in my chain, and I'll push the HellBilly with either a HellBaby set for overdrive, a JangleBox compressor, or my Fulltone Clyde wah (my favorite).
     
  9. derek_32999

    derek_32999 Member

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    I use my hellbilly first in my chain so as to take advantage of the awesome pick sensitivity of this pedal. It truely makes you a better player.
     
  10. BillyK

    BillyK Supporting Member

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    Thanks Steve, great feedback.

    Geez, I've gotta revisit this pedal. For me, it seemed to complain bigtime if it's not first in the chain. With even the slightest of boost in front of it, it seems to get thin, raspy and nasty - it seemed to be a matter of impedance sensitivity not gain sensitivity. On it's own it seems kinda scratchy, with a metalic attack. With drives after it I seemed to fair no better.

    Actually, I spent only about 30 minutes with this pedal when I got it and then I put it aside, as I really couldn't dial it in. But the feedback in this thread leads me to believe that I need to fiddle with this thang for a while.
     
  11. Phil M

    Phil M Supporting Member

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    This is what I loved so much about the Sunface. If the hellbilly gets me most of the way toward that sound, I'd like to get one.

    I'm surprised I'm not sick all the time because I love germs!
     
  12. jops

    jops Member

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    Hi Billy,

    I got mine recently and have/had the same problem as you. I find I have to roll my volume off a notch to use it otherwise it sounds plastic with a layer of crackle on top. I put it up for sale a couple of days after I got it. I'm glad it never sold. It likes it best when you run your amp hot and loud. Fantastically dynamic first in line, works a treat with your volume control, not much sustain though. I run mine into a Hotcake which gives it quite a bit of meat. On it's own it can be dry, thin and raspy. If thats the way you run it I find it's best used when your amp is breaking up.

    My settings;
    Tone 11 o'clock
    Gain 2 o'clock
    level 11 o'clock

    Stick with it as it can be quite a rewarding pedal.

    Jon
     
  13. derek_32999

    derek_32999 Member

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    I dont know about the sunface, but I have a dreamtone fish fuzz which sounds like a very smooth thick fuzz, and if I dial the tone almost all the way down on the hellbilly then I can almost get that sound, however the hellbilly is VERY pick sensitive and volume sensitive, but the fish fuzz is much more volume sensitive, but not so much pick sensitive so I put it after the hellbilly so i can take advantage of the pick sensitivity of the hellbilly. I use the hellbilly for either OD for my Rambler, or treble booster with my classic 20. I leave the fuzz to the fishy.
     
  14. derek_32999

    derek_32999 Member

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    LOL, I almost sold mine too as mine sounds thin if I dont keep the volume of the pedal around 1 o clock or 1:30. Once I found that out I was in heaven. My 2 yr old screwed around with the knobs last night. When I went to play a/b it again with my EGDM today it lost BAD.... then I noticed the volume knob was down to 11:00 ooppps. Up to 1:30 and ahhh yessss thats more like it.
     
  15. erksin

    erksin Member

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    I've got mine right after the wah, before any other dirt boxes or buffers. What made me keep the HB is the fact that even when it's stacked with another OD and both are at or near max gain levels, you can still get great note definition within chords when dialed in as a treble booster. That was a first for me - being able to get high gain with no blurring or mush.
     
  16. sabby

    sabby Member

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    +1. I like the "lack" of sustain. To me, it keeps the pedal open sounding. It's best goosing a juiced amp.

    Usually mine's somewhere 'round:
    TONE: 11:00
    Level: 3:00
    GAIN: 10:00
     
  17. BillyK

    BillyK Supporting Member

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    GREAT feedback. Seems like I am not completely alone with my first impressions with this pedal!!

    Tomorrow I'll give it some time. Cranking the Level seems to be a consistent theme here.
     
  18. empty71

    empty71 Member

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    I'm using a Reverend Kingsnake combo.

    For slight dirt at the U.S. setting, I set TONE @ 10:00, LEVEL @ 9:00 and GAIN between 9:00 and 10:00

    For scream at the UK setting, I set the TONE @ 2:30, LEVEL @ 12:00 and GAIN between 4:00 and 5:30

    I used to stack the HellBilly into a Barber DDSS but I have since sold the DDSS and am waiting for a Skreddy Screw Driver ;)
     
  19. BillyK

    BillyK Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the addtional info.

    I hope to spend some time with the HB today.

    I'll report back!
     
  20. BillyK

    BillyK Supporting Member

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    Here's the report:

    The HellBilly is one unique pedal. The controls are amazingly interactive.

    The most important feedback I got in this thread was to crank the middle knob (the pig dude - level, apparently!). IMO, it has to be at 3:00 or dimed. At the low end of it's travel, it really inhibits this pedal - it's less dynamic and more spitty. It appears that this is a level knob, but it really doesn't entirely act like one, as it seems to control level up to a point, then it seems to change the voicing of the other two knobs for the rest of it's travel.

    The tone control really doesn't act entirely like a tone control either. It actually controls some aspects of "fuzz" in the counterclockwise direction, then tone, kinda, in the other direction.

    The gain also has multi-dimensions, as it seems to control gain to a point, then it modifies tone.

    At this rate, why bother putting knob labels on this freak'in thing!! Everything seems to contol everything, at some point!!

    Eventually, I figured out this thing, at least for me:
    The pig dude: 3:00/dimed
    Tone: 12:00
    Gain: 10:00

    This setting really imparts a great warm drive with subtle break-up that is controllable by the pick attack - very cool. I think the Germanium tranny really gives this thing it's weird dimensionality - but I really like it when dialed in as described above.

    Thanks for the schooling guys!
     

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