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Les Lius versus Clark Gainster

honduras

Member
Messages
166
I really want to get a pedal that gives me that fabulous cranked Tweed tone. I've heard the stellar demo from Proguitar on the Les Lius but I have read comments on TGP that it can be a little thin sounding with some amps and doesn't have a tone or gain control.

How does it rate against the Gainster which also gets great reviews on TGP? Which would you recommend for my Marshall DSL 201 with greenback 12 inch combo?
 

Dale

Member
Messages
10,314
It is not really thin sounding unless the amp speaker you use it with thins things out. The pedal is certainly not thin on its' own. At least mine. It sounds amazingly like the 2 5e3's I have had with vintage style speakers and many other speakers. It does not really clean up as clean as one might think. The intent is to use the guitar volume to do this like a fuzz but does not really ever get full clean with p90's or vintage humbuckers. It works well with a good clean base tone but more full range systems handle things better for its voice (to me).

I have not played a Gainster. I have little doubt that it is killer. But, at that price point you are at the range to get close to the prices of a used Little Dwag, Richter or other 5e3 clones.
 

Jacobpaul81

Member
Messages
6,740
I really want to get a pedal that gives me that fabulous cranked Tweed tone. I've heard the stellar demo from Proguitar on the Les Lius but I have read comments on TGP that it can be a little thin sounding with some amps and doesn't have a tone or gain control.

How does it rate against the Gainster which also gets great reviews on TGP? Which would you recommend for my Marshall DSL 201 with greenback 12 inch combo?

I ran the comparison between the Barber Clark Gainster, the Les Lius and a 63 6G2 Princeton which is the closest circuit to the 5E3. I found that the Gainster sounded the most like the 6G2. It has the same highs and retains the same mid-low mush meets box sound that the Amp has at high volume (think cranked Neil Young). In comparison, the Lovepedal sounded way too bright! It had the highs right, but it did not retain the mids and low end tone than one associates with a 5E3/6G2, so it was unconvincing when directly compared.

When I ran the Lovepedal into my AC30, I found it was mildly convincing. To someone who didn't own one of these amps, it could pull off the tone. It's mostly highs though when you compare it to the Gainster/amps. In front of the same AC30, the Gainster was able to produce the 6G2's tone at higher volume, with the bottom end tone.

A Barber/Clark Gainster can typically be had for $110 - $130 on the used market. The handwired Clark models are more expensive. I've never tried one of these, but if they are anything like the barber version, they are bound to be excellent.
 

Jacobpaul81

Member
Messages
6,740
which pedal would be better for bedroom level playing?
Well, I can roll the volume back on my amp, roll the volume back on the gainster and crank up the gain, and I think I get pretty solid tone. The amp like bottom end of the pedal really helps. I play this way late at night sometimes and am very happy with it for this purpose. In the my opinion, because of the lack of bottom end in the Les Lius, you're going to have significantly worse results.
 

Rexfordbridge

Member
Messages
388
How do you go about getting one of those Gainster pedals without paying $350? I know I can look on the used market but that's much tougher.

I'm in the same boat as the guy above. I'm looking for the Tweed sound at conversational volume.
 

braken

Member
Messages
199
Well, I can roll the volume back on my amp, roll the volume back on the gainster and crank up the gain, and I think I get pretty solid tone. The amp like bottom end of the pedal really helps. I play this way late at night sometimes and am very happy with it for this purpose. In the my opinion, because of the lack of bottom end in the Les Lius, you're going to have significantly worse results.
I find mine to be pretty awesome at bedroom levels for exactly the reason you say it wouldn't be. I live in an apartment where I'm always trying to dial bass out without getting too thin (if that makes sense). With the Les Luis I can just use my amps eq to get the desired thickness and then its instant ham fisted Neil Young all the way! The added controls of the Gainster definitly look useful though. Might have to check it out :bonk
 

NeilYoungFan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,304
How do you go about getting one of those Gainster pedals without paying $350? I know I can look on the used market but that's much tougher.

I'm in the same boat as the guy above. I'm looking for the Tweed sound at conversational volume.
You wait for either of the Gainster versions (Clark and Barber) to come up at the emporium. That's the way I got my Clark one, which is really rare, truth be said. On the other hand, during the last month I noticed three different Barber versions on the emporium...
 

Jacobpaul81

Member
Messages
6,740
You wait for either of the Gainster versions (Clark and Barber) to come up at the emporium. That's the way I got my Clark one, which is really rare, truth be said. On the other hand, during the last month I noticed three different Barber versions on the emporium...
Yea, although discontinued, the Barber ones come up all the time for 100-130 bucks. I guarantee you, if you did a side by side comparison, 90% of players would lean towards the Gainster due to the fact that it sounds more like the amplifier. I was shocked when I did the comparison, as I expected the Les Lius to be closer.
 

Jacobpaul81

Member
Messages
6,740
I find mine to be pretty awesome at bedroom levels for exactly the reason you say it wouldn't be. I live in an apartment where I'm always trying to dial bass out without getting too thin (if that makes sense). With the Les Luis I can just use my amps eq to get the desired thickness and then its instant ham fisted Neil Young all the way! The added controls of the Gainster definitly look useful though. Might have to check it out :bonk
That's interesting. What are you playing with/into that you are getting so much bass end? The tone control of the gainster functions exactly like the tone control of the 6G2.
 

braken

Member
Messages
199
That's interesting. What are you playing with/into that you are getting so much bass end? The tone control of the gainster functions exactly like the tone control of the 6G2.
Either LP std with SD JB/Jazz combo or LP DC special with P90's into a Blues Jr. Bass is what the neighbours notice so I'm always trying to kill it without getting too thin and still maximizing volume. I live in a pretty old building so the floors and walls are quite thin. If playing out, bass isn't really an issue, I also don't need a pedal that sounds like a cranked amp. :Devil
Either way I think this pedal is great for my appartment application. The more I'm reading / youtubing on this Gainster though...
 

Rexfordbridge

Member
Messages
388
Thanks for those links for the Gainster. I'm in touch with the guy selling. Price is about the same ($130 or so) and if you've tried them both and think that the Gainster gives a more natural overdriven tweed sound for my blackface amp I'll trust you. I have 0 experience with both...just youtube demos and those aren't always the most accurate.

I'm playing into a Champ or Princeton Reverb (depends on mood)
 

Jacobpaul81

Member
Messages
6,740
Thanks for those links for the Gainster. I'm in touch with the guy selling. Price is about the same ($130 or so) and if you've tried them both and think that the Gainster gives a more natural overdriven tweed sound for my blackface amp I'll trust you. I have 0 experience with both...just youtube demos and those aren't always the most accurate.

I'm playing into a Champ or Princeton Reverb (depends on mood)
Good luck! I think you're going to like it. :)
 

Rexfordbridge

Member
Messages
388
From what I've read the Les Lius pedal can do the overdriven tone excellent but not much more. Is the Gainster able to do both...the overdriven and on the edge of break up? I should have mentioned that for the most part I'm looking for more of an overdriven tone.
 

Jacobpaul81

Member
Messages
6,740
From what I've read the Les Lius pedal can do the overdriven tone excellent but not much more. Is the Gainster able to do both...the overdriven and on the edge of break up? I should have mentioned that for the most part I'm looking for more of an overdriven tone.
The Gainster will get you edge of breakup and overdriven. The only thing it won't get you is the fuzzed out farting out amp blowing up tones that Neil gets. It'll do every other tone of a 6G2/5E3. As I said before, I found the Les Lius lacked the bottom end of the Gainster/6G2. If you have a lot of bottom end, it can do a convincing 5E3/6G2 tone. But with a fender type amp, it's going to sound wrong. It'll sound like you're trying to make your amp sound that way, instead of actually making you amp sound that way.
 

amp boy

Member
Messages
2,471
I'm curious as to what people "read" on the Gainster.......it is a overdrive pedal, not tweed in a box.
take your amp, add a gainster pedal..............ANOTHER GAIN STAGE TO THE AMP !!!
It will kick butt with your Champ, and can dial in more mids for that PR.

It retains your amps natural tone extremely well while pushing it.
That's it.
 

Dale

Member
Messages
10,314
I think I just picked one up (Gainster) so I hope to be able to tell you soon.
 

Jacobpaul81

Member
Messages
6,740
I'm curious as to what people "read" on the Gainster.......it is a overdrive pedal, not tweed in a box.
take your amp, add a gainster pedal..............ANOTHER GAIN STAGE TO THE AMP !!!
It will kick butt with your Champ, and can dial in more mids for that PR.

It retains your amps natural tone extremely well while pushing it.
That's it.
Yes, it is an overdrive. Agreed. Not a tweed in a box. It's like another gain stage for your amp. But, it's not transparent like a Timmy pedal or a clean boost. I think it has a very distinct early fender voicing to it's overdrive. Personally, I actually think it sounds more Brown than Tweed in it's voicing.

You are exactly right. With the Champ, it'll wail. With the PR, it'll make it more midsy and give it some of the charecteristic bottom end, like a Princeton 6G2.
It'll also bring out the highs that the 6G2/5E3 naturally have. I found that Les Lius focused in on the highs and upper mids and missed the bottom end.
 

Dale

Member
Messages
10,314
I am far from thinking the Les Luis is a perfect pedal. It does the one thing targeted very much like the tweed it was targeting to me. My current 5e3 is running a C-rex, and I have tried the pedal now with other amps as well including a Bassman LTD, Gretsch 5160/Supro 1609 (with a vintage voiced alnico Weber 1x12), Traynor Bassmaster II (early 70's), small Univox, Killer Ant, Blackstar 5ht, Epi Jr, and some others. I have tried it with various speakers (using these amps) now as well (C-rex, Texas Heat, Weber Blue Dog, Emi Swamp Thang, Legend V128's, V30's, and some others). I am not sure I really see the pedal as all that bright I guess. At least not any more so than any of the 5e3's I have had and played (I have had 3 different ones from differet makers to date now). Certanly no more so that I would expect from a 5e3 pushing the various speakers. The speakers and amp platform make a difference here as you would expect. In general though, this video demo and comparison of the 5e3 and Les Luis is really very much like my experience with the pedal and my tweeds ....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-38-BHcEYfs

Though not perfect (what is) it is very good at what it does. Now I do not really own a lot of amps as I am pretty much a tweed person. I have basically sold most everything but tweed based amps for my main playing platforms now.
 




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