Hiwatt guys, Please help me choose a low/med gain overdrive.

KBN

Member
Messages
1,087
Ok, so I am playing a 335 into Reeves C50 into a Hitone 2x12 and I am in the market for a new low to medium gain overdrive. I am not trying to sound like Gilmour or Townshend (I'm not against their tones, just don't have them as a goal). The number 1 requirement is that it needs to sound fairly flat and retain the low end. Things that I have tried that I have liked include the AC Booster, Blue Collar, and LTD SR. I am quite curious about the NOC3 Pure Drive though. Anyone use that with a Hiwatt? What else should I look at? Thanks.
 

rollingeye

Member
Messages
117
Why don't you try a Stampede SOV? It sounds similar to a Cornish SS2... (...ehm, yes, you're right, I'm a gilmourian... :D ) I like so much also the Skreddy Screw Driver, it is fantastic, great dinamics to picking and you can create a lot of sounds, from mild od wich you clean rolling off the guitar volume to hard and aggressive hard overdrive. With the clean of a Hiwatt, you can do anything. I use a DR504 from '75 with a Fane Axa 12". Fantastic amp, it's my life and my tone! :D

My two cents...
 

KBN

Member
Messages
1,087
Why don't you try a Stampede SOV? It sounds similar to a Cornish SS2... (...ehm, yes, you're right, I'm a gilmourian... :D ) I like so much also the Skreddy Screw Driver, it is fantastic, great dinamics to picking and you can create a lot of sounds, from mild od wich you clean rolling off the guitar volume to hard and aggressive hard overdrive. With the clean of a Hiwatt, you can do anything. I use a DR504 from '75 with a Fane Axa 12". Fantastic amp, it's my life and my tone! :D

My two cents...
Thanks. I guess I will have to check those out.
 

Dog Boy

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3,779
I've got a 50 watt Reeves Custom and it was tough for me to find a low medium OD for that amp. I did NOT like the Tim with it although that is an amazing pedal. I think the Tim needs an amp with more mids to shine like it should. I settled on a Menatone Kar Krash...unusual choice I know. When it is set low its a wonderful, rich OD that sits right in the Reeves EQ curve.

Honestly though if you can get away with the volume its hard to beat the Reeves natural OD. Fantastic amp.
 

Tripower455

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6,300
I keep coming back to my Barber LTD (black) for the low gain OD.... I use a Keeley Rat for more hair.

This is into my 78 DR504 and several clones.
 

GuitarBrent

Member
Messages
2,410
Give the Suhr Shiba Drive a try if you can. That one sounds very much like what you are aiming for, although I've not had a chance to play it through my CP-103. I've demoed the unit a number of times though through various other amps, and it kills at low to med gain overdrive.
 

somedude

Member
Messages
7,603
I don't know how close Hiwatts are to Oranges, but I got my best results using fuzz pedals and old school overdrives (ie, Treble Boosters, Fuzz Faces, Tone-Benders, etc).
 

KBN

Member
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1,087
A friend plays a stock TS-808 reissue into a vintage 70-something Hiwatt and it sounds impossibly good.

Then again, you're looking for flat, a a TS is NOT flat as we all know. Maybe a Way Huge Pork Loin would be the answer (somewhere between a Klon and an 808). They can stay flat and go all other places in between.

From what he says, every dirt pedal you choose for a Hiwatt needs to work well with its (the amp's) mids... then again he ALSO says that you could put anything in front of that amp.

A good clean boost may even be your answer!
Strangely enough, what your friend says makes perfect sense to me. You can put pretty much any overdrive in front of the amp and get a good sound out of it, but finding the right sound has proved to be rather tricky.

I played a Pork Loin today and in many ways I really liked it, but ultimately I think it is a little much in the low end. That was kind of refreshing though--I usually have the opposite complaint about ODs.
 

KBN

Member
Messages
1,087
I settled on a Menatone Kar Krash...unusual choice I know. When it is set low its a wonderful, rich OD that sits right in the Reeves EQ curve.

Honestly though if you can get away with the volume its hard to beat the Reeves natural OD. Fantastic amp.
Kar Krash, eh? Interesting. I will have to check that out. I wish I could get away with the natural OD... One can dream.

Give the Suhr Shiba Drive a try if you can. That one sounds very much like what you are aiming for, although I've not had a chance to play it through my CP-103. I've demoed the unit a number of times though through various other amps, and it kills at low to med gain overdrive.
Also very interesting. I think there is a shop in town that carries the Suhr pedals.
 

Laced Senses

Double Platinum Member
Messages
429
Many OD pedals sound great through a Hiwatt or Reeves amp.

I second the Catalinbread WIIO suggestion.

Zendrive 2, MI Audio Tube Zone, Butler Tube Drive (5 knob version), D*A*M Sonic Titan, are all great in my experience and they can maintain low end well. The Tube Zone is my favorite among these. For the pedals with a 12AX7 tube in them, I recommend trying out various tubes to fit your taste.

King of Tone can maintain the low end if dialed in right, but the tone wasn't quite as fitting to my taste compared to the above pedals through my Hiwatts.

My Analogman modded Boss SD-1 sounds great through Hiwatts, but it may not have the low end you seek.

Among boost pedals, my favorite so far is the D*A*M Red Rooster.

The Tim/Timmy pedals don't seem to agree with Hiwatts as well as Fender, Marshall, and other amps.

I think the Suhr Shiba pedal is better used with single coil pickups rather than the humbuckers in your 335. The Suhr Riot would be the better choice for that guitar. I have a Riot and it does okay in the low end, but it only sounds good with humbuckers. I believe John Suhr said he designed the Riot for use with humbuckers.

I can't speak for the other pedals mentioned in this threads since I haven't tried them (yet), but they may be great too. Please let us know what you try and provide critique.
 

Jet Age Eric

Member
Messages
7,671
I love my Solid Gold FX SuperDrive in large part because it represents the low end so nicely. Steve Mavronis is building TB pedals to gray face DOD 250 specs; that could be a great solution, although I haven't heard the pedal. My gray face was really balanced and did a great job with the low end. The SuperDrive supplanted the 250, but both are excellent and should do what you want very nicely. -E
 

KBN

Member
Messages
1,087
So here is what I have been playing around with today:
-Fulltone Fulldrive 2 Mosfet
-Barber LTD SR
-Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive
-Zvex Box Of Rock
-Danelectro CTO-1 Transparent Overdrive
-MXR Micro Amp (vintage)
-Boss DS-1 (late Japan, modified for more bass and to tame the top end)

On the Reeves Custom 50, the normal pre was set at about 10:30 and the bright pre was at about 9:00. Master was about 11:00. Please understand that what I say about these pedals here is only in the context of guitars with medium-low output humbuckers and a Hiwatt style amp.

Fulldrive 2 Mosfet
In the vintage and flat mids settings it was ok. It sounded like the mids came forward without getting louder and it seemed to "flatten" the sound. Don't bet me wrong, it produced a fine enough sound, but it is like stomping on the accelerator of a car and not really getting much in return. (I drive a Plymouth Voyager so I know what I am talking about.) Now the Comp-Cut mode is a totally different story. That was glorious. Response seemed even and balanced and notes rang out clear. I liked being able to push the amp a little bit and still add a bit of dirt while rolling the tone back a bit to keep it from getting too bright. So perhaps I am actually after a dirty-boost more than an overdrive. What else would be like a Fulldrive in Comp-cut?

Barber LTD SR
This is a great overdrive and would have easily been at the top of today's list if I hadn't had the Fulldrive here. It seems fairly uncompressed as far as overdrives go and the tone control gives you lots of usable range. I liked it best with the drive control between 10:00 and 3:00. Below 10:00 and it seemed like it was holding back. It also seemed to flatten the sound a bit in the upper mids, but that is getting real nit-picky on my part. I think I like it a bit better with amps more of the Marshall persuasion. If I was looking for strictly a medium gain overdrive this would certainly be a candidate though.

Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive
This one was in the mix mostly as a reference point being that it is a TS circuit, but I also thought it would be interesting to play with the clean blend. I think this thing is tits into an AC30. Not so tits into the Reeves. The clean blend is nice, but not enough to overcome the tubescreamerishness.

Zvex Box Of Rock
I like the texture of the drive, but the low end is a bit overwhelming. It also has a little too much of a sound for me. Is it trying too hard to be something that it will never be? Am I projecting? I will have a Distortron to play with next week and that seems a little more refined so maybe I will like that better.

Danelectro Cool Cat CTO-1
Am I correct in understanding that this was a rip off of a Timmy? If that is the case I think I agree with Dog Boy. If it is any consolation, it sounds real nice with a Savage Rohr 15. Saying that the CTO-1 sounded bad with the Reeves would be a poor choice of words. It really just seemed like a mismatch. I felt confused as I played. Not sure what else to say about it.

MXR Micro Amp
That is a beefy boost.

Boss DS-1
This one was more for the hell of it than anything else, but I have got to say that there are some things about it that I really like. I like the general frequency response of this pedal and I like the feel of it. Liking the "feel" of it seems like such a BS thing to say sometimes, but I don't know how else to describe it. It seemed much happier being a distortion pedal than it did as an overdrive or a dirty boost, but it begs the question, is there anything that would be like a low gain DS-1?


So in conclusion... Dirty boosts and low gain DS-1s. What should I be looking for for the next round of tests? Also, I would love to try out a WIIO. If anyone in Minneapolis has one that I could check out, I will buy you beer. Unless you are a kid. I'll get you coupons to Chucky-Cheese or something.
 




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