I've used and tried a lot of different overdrives over the years but I always keep coming back to the Boss SD-1 While I ceratainly will not rule out something new but I have yet to find anything that sounds as good to me. Today I demoed several drives and walked away without buying anything. I demoed the following: -Fulltone 500-something (grey box) This was a good sounding box but I found the distortion to be the most usefull side of it and I'm not looking for distortion. The boost side was okay...similar to the FatBoost in ways. A little too much going on with this one for someone just looking for a nice overdrive sound. -Fulltone Fulldrive 2 mosfet This one had many options..."Compcut,MF,Vintage" but I only found the "Comp cut" anywhere near the sound I'm going after. The gain was smooth enough but semed to have a compressed element that interfered with the dynamics of the guitar's knob sometimes. On the CompCut setting the drive was reduced but it was the best setting for me.the boost was useable. -Diamond J-drive MK3 I don't even know where to start with this one... I have heard sound clips and read rave reviews about it but I didn't find anything I could live with insofar as a standalone drive. The drive was very very smooth but almost too compressed on every setting. The bright switch could have used a little more 'brightness',IMO. It seemed reasonably dynamic but there was always a compressed element to the drive.The clean boost was useable but the salesman told me "it would blend the direct signal with the overdrive signal ala-SparkleDrive" but I did not find that to be the case. -Fulltone Fat boost 2 (I think that was the name...red box 2 kobs/2 tiny knobs) The tone of this one actually sounded kind of good to me, but I found the drive to be too scratchy and not as smooth as a regular ol' Tubescreamer -Xotic AC Booster It was clear enough but the gain didn't quite get me there. -Zvex Box of Rock Not a bad sound at all but it didn't seem anywhere near as dynamic as I had hoped which was a serious bummer. Through the demo amp it had a cranked Marshall-in-a-box type sound which isn't a bad thing but not what I'm looking for in a drive. the harmonic content of this pedal was off the scale! -Zvex Box of Metal Although intended for a heavy metal sound, I was frankly most impressed with the Zvex Box of Metal.It had a good 'scooped' death metal sound and cranking the mid control up also had a very useable hi-gain crunch. The built in noise gate seems like a good idea but I found it mostly unuseable other than on fast Pantera type rythyms.Even then, it sounded best set at the hoghest threshold setting.Set otherwise it would cut off your notes or interfere drastically with harmonics. Note: I am in the market for a pedal that produces this kind of sound and the BOM is certainly a contender for that at this point. The demo amp I used was a NIB Fuchs Blackjack21 which was the best amp...and only tube amp.... the very small shop had. I plat Strats but the closest thing I could find in the store was a Parker F30 I suspect running the aforementioned drives through my rig would yield different results but as it stands I wasn't overly impressed with any of them. (other than the BOM) I play maple necked Strats through a Twin reissue I use a clean straight-into-amp sound a lot and I'm wanting a drive that will give me the same sound BUT...with more gain and smooth drive. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want it to sound just like the Twin but with drive. Honestly I don't know why I'm so drawn to the SD-1 because it does alter the sound but I do like the dynamics and the smoothness of the gain structure is good.....not the best, but useable It does seem to give me drive while still retaining some of the classic Strat "Bell" sound.I guess that's what I'm shooting for. the pedals I tried today didn't do that as well as I'd hoped. I want to be able to have the pedal on and it still sound like a straight clean Twin with my volume rolled off, then get a great leasd sound by turning up. Is that too much to ask? Should I stick with the SD-1 and call it good, or is there something that I will like better for what I'm going after? Surely there is... I really wanted to try out the VL SparkleDrive but they were out of stock. I don't know if that is something I could live with but by the description it is basically "a hopped up Tubescreamer that allows you to blend a clean signal with it". That sounds like something that could work for me since the SD-1 and Tubescreamer are sort of similar Another thing I've been looking at is the Clark Gainster. I won't have an oppourtunity to try one so it would be a blind purchase. Any thought on these? Assuming all the units I tried today come highly recommended, maybe I'm just bat-crap crazy. Anyway I'm open to suggestions and sorry for rambling. Cheers! EDIT to add: I have also tried the Crowther Hotcake and I liked it but I really didn't get to run it through all it's paces well enough to be completely sold. I also have an original Bixonic Expandora (3 knob) on the way but I don't expect results from it and I didn't really buy it for a good "overdrive" sound....just to monkey around with. .