"High gain" Overdrive advice (poll)

Which overdrive pedal do you recommand ?

  • Fulltone OCD MKIV

    Votes: 11 15.7%
  • Barber Gain Changer

    Votes: 6 8.6%
  • Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret MKIII

    Votes: 9 12.9%
  • JHS Angry Charlie

    Votes: 32 45.7%
  • MI Audio Super Crunch Box

    Votes: 12 17.1%
  • Wampler Plexidrive

    Votes: 2 2.9%
  • Zvex Box Of Rock

    Votes: 8 11.4%
  • Wampler Plextortion

    Votes: 5 7.1%

  • Total voters
    70

cutonio

Member
Messages
453
Hi everyone,

I just sold my Whammy 5, my EHX Small Stone Nano and I'm selling a Mooer Eleclady, and with the money I got, I think about getting a new OD pedal.

What I have now :

TS808 Clone : Joyo Vintage Overdrive
Klon Clone : EHX Soul Food
RAT Clone : Mooer Black Secret

I have on my main board the EHX and the Mooer. I love the Soul Food as a low to medium gain (drive at 2 o'clock) and stacked with my MXR Dyna Comp, and I also love to stack it with my Mooer Black Secret for big riffs or solos.
I like the Mooer Black Secret, but I find that the "RAT sound" is not what I need these days for what I play. I like how extrem (and fuzzy) it gets when the gain is high, but for extrem fuzzy sounds, I prefer my Zvex Fuzz Factory.

The new pedal will replace the Mooer, or get beetween the Soul Food and the Mooer. But why not use it as a mid-gain overdrive and use the Mooer as hi-gain. Everything is possible.

As you can see, I'm more a "Marshall" guy when it gets to overdrives or distortions. But I'm not looking for the EVH, Angus Young or Slash sound. My favourite guitar sounds are made by : Muse, Radiohead, Queens Of The Stone Age, Biffy Clyro, Bowie (early records from the 70's), Dinosaur Jr, The Smashing Pumpkins. But I don't want to copy thoses bands.

I've made this list considering what I can buy used on the french market. All those pedals can be found here. And I already had a lot of other pedals (Boss SD1 and BD2, Wampler Velvet Fuzz, Mooer Cruncher, Solo and Hustle Drive, ProCo RAT2 and modded RAT2, Blackstar HT-Dist, Fulltone Catalyst, ...)

I already had two of them : the Wampler Plexidrive and the Zvex Box Of Rock. I sold the Wampler because I wanted to change my sound (what I mistake). I liked it very much, at stage volume it was a lot better than at home. The Zvex Box Of Rock didn't like the Whammy before it (strange noises) and doesn't like buffers before it. But it sounded very good and had a good boost.

Last thing : I can only run my pedals at 9V or 12V with my Carl Martin Power Supply (no 18V), and I play a Telecaster with humbuckers and a "Neil Young" Les Paul on a Vox AC15 on normal channel (volume at 10:30 o'clock). All of the dirt comes from the pedals.

You can chose 2 pedals when you vote ;)
 

cutonio

Member
Messages
453
Too hard to find in France. The only one is twice the price of any pedal of my list.
 

phazersonstun

Member
Messages
3,118
Having the voicing a of Rat, TS & a klone onboard, I suggest a good marshally deal.

Truetone V3 J&H is a killer dual pedal with Marshallish dist & open sounding OD options.
Amp tweaker stuff wasn't listed but sounds fantastic.

The 3 you have can do quite a bit very well with stacking options.
 
Last edited:

reo73

Member
Messages
1,246
I just bought a Mesa Flux Drive and it definitely has its own thing going on with its voicing. Lots of gain and can be very bass/mid heavy similar to a good Mesa Mark amp. A really good pedal for lead lines.
 

KeLynne

Member
Messages
952
What about a used bogner red? It can do high gain and has the most amp like response of any overdrive I've heard or played in my opinion. I vote for that and an ocd.
 

OotMagroot

Member
Messages
8,090
I like using 808s to boost Marshally sounding pedals. It also sounds great boosting an OCD. So, in my opinion it's a toss up between the DLS, the PD, and the OCD. It's probably hard to go wrong with any of those.

Edit: Just read that you had the Hustle Drive (OCD clone) and the PD before. Try the DLS then.
 

Kid Casseroli

Member
Messages
801
The Zvex Box Of Rock didn't like the Whammy before it (strange noises) and doesn't like buffers before it. But it sounded very good and had a good boost.
The Box of Rock will respond best when receiving the signal direct from the guitar. This way you will be able to control the gain by rolling-off the volume on the guitar. It seems to have the best response to the guitar's volume knob than any other O.D. I've tried.
So, if you like the tone of the pedal, why not keep it?
 

cutonio

Member
Messages
453
I like using 808s to boost Marshally sounding pedals. It also sounds great boosting an OCD. So, in my opinion it's a toss up between the DLS, the PD, and the OCD. It's probably hard to go wrong with any of those.

Edit: Just read that you had the Hustle Drive (OCD clone) and the PD before. Try the DLS then.
I forgot to write about the 2 clones I got. Here it is :

Mooer Hustle Drive (OCD Clone) : I found it too much bright sounding for my tastes. I liked its compression that made it sound very clear. It had a lot of precision, when you hit a chord, you can hear precisely every string.
Mooer Cruncher (MI Audio Crunch Box clone (JHS Angry Charlie clone ?)) : I had the Plexidrive at that time, and the Cruncher sounded like a Plexidrive with a lot more gain and less dynamic. I kept the Plexidrive. I don't know if the MI Audio or the JHS Angry Charlie sound dynamic or not.

The Box of Rock will respond best when receiving the signal direct from the guitar. This way you will be able to control the gain by rolling-off the volume on the guitar. It seems to have the best response to the guitar's volume knob than any other O.D. I've tried.
So, if you like the tone of the pedal, why not keep it?
I had a Fuzz Factory and a Whammy before it, and I couldn't use the BoR + Whammy, so I had to make a choice. There are a lot of good overdrives, but there's only one Whammy. Now that I don't have the Whammy anymore, I think about the BoR again, but I still have the Fuzz Factory, a tuner, the Dyna Comp and the Soul Food in my chain that will go before the BoR.
 

Goku13

Member
Messages
619
I don't know if the MI Audio or the JHS Angry Charlie sound dynamic or not.
I have a crunchbox that I used for a bit in my rig, but I always felt like it sounded pretty flat through my Twin Reverb. Kind of a weird response of not enough bass, too much mids, but also treble that was voiced too "high." It just sounded pretty flat and fuzzy to me. Maybe it's better with a different kind of amp, but it was not a winner for me.

I liked the OCD a lot, but it is dangerously close to not having enough volume on tap. I know there are multiple versions of it, so no clue if they fixed this in other versions?
 

cutonio

Member
Messages
453
Thank you for your review of the Crunch Box. Which version of the OCD do you have ?

A lot of votes for the JHS Angry Charlie. It seems to be the "must have". Every pro has one these days.

Fun fact : 3 days ago, I was about to buy a Barber Gain Changer that wasn't expensive for a boutique pedal. Today it has 0 vote.
 

Kylote

Member
Messages
4,692
Thank you for your review of the Crunch Box. Which version of the OCD do you have ?

A lot of votes for the JHS Angry Charlie. It seems to be the "must have". Every pro has one these days.

Fun fact : 3 days ago, I was about to buy a Barber Gain Changer that wasn't expensive for a boutique pedal. Today it has 0 vote.
My understanding is that is a good low-mid gain pedal, but not necessarily the best high gain OD
 

cutonio

Member
Messages
453
The good thing about buying used pedals is that the money goes to the bank account of the previous owner :D
 

mdrake34

Member
Messages
18,269
I liked the OCD a lot, but it is dangerously close to not having enough volume on tap. I know there are multiple versions of it, so no clue if they fixed this in other versions?
The OCD v1.7, the newest version, absolutely fixes that, I had one briefly and it almost had too much volume on tap.
 

BluesBUSTER

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,753
It looks like the winner at this time are the JCM800 MIAB pedals: MI Audio Crunch Box and JHS Angry Charlie. Since there's many opinions stating that the Angry Charlie is similar (if not a copy) of the Crunch Box we can lump them together as far as the sound they generate.
 




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