Low Gain OD Alternatives?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by PitchShifter, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. PitchShifter

    PitchShifter Member

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    I've been using a Barber Silver LTD so far. I bought the silver as I thought it sounded a bit more lively than the standard LTD.
    I'm using it to give my rhythm parts a little bit of breakup when picking, and some shimmer and a little bite with chords, but nothing drastic. Just a little character.
    However, I found it didn't quite give me enough open sparkle, so I adjusted the presence trim pot, but still couldn't get the sound I was after. Since doing that, when I adjust the tone knob it doesn't seem to do anything whether at 0 or full so it sounds even deader now.

    What other alternatives are there for a low gain rhythm overdrive that can give a nice open shimmer/sparkle without going overboard?
    Menatone Red Snapper?
     
  2. pattste

    pattste Member

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    I use a Keeley BD-2 Blues Driver for the same purpose and love the sounds I'm getting.
     
  3. PitchShifter

    PitchShifter Member

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    I think I've narrowed the field down to the following list, based on the discussions I've read across the board. I don't really know how the effects stack up against each other, however.

    Catalinbread Silver Kiss
    NOC3 Firefly
    Lovepedal Eternity
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2008
  4. Holey Lint Trap

    Holey Lint Trap Member

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    I have not tried to Eternity or Firefly but I own and love the Silver Kiss Trinity (the big Silver Kiss with the toggle switches for compression modes and the mid frequency selection).

    It is a fantastic pedal and has a very versatile EQ that can really change the character of you sound while retaining the sound of your guitar and amp. It is very transparent and versatile. It does the slightly overdriven tube sparkle quite well but can get to a nice medium gain crunch.

    It has a very nice clean boost setting and can actually scream quite a bit. The treble, mid, and bass controls can get you a great sparkle or even a nice bassy crunch. Many people are scared off due to the original Silver Kiss having some hiss issues at high gain settings and some trebly tendencies. The newest version has really fixed any issues and it sounds great.
     
  5. gitpicker

    gitpicker Silver Supporting Member

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    Silver Kiss
    Lovepedal COT
    Timmy
    Foxrox ZIM VT card

    These 4 are my favs for the lower gain thang. The COT is really more of a low gainer, while the other three do the low-mid gain tones. All clean up pretty well with the guitar volume knob. The Timmy and SK have very nice EQ sections that allow a lot of versitility.

    Weird thing - I A/B'd a Silver Kiss proto with a Timmy and I was stunned to discover that they sounded pretty much identical to each other - same amount of volume boost and gain when the knobs are set the same, really, the same everything. Even though the SK has a 3-band EQ and the Timmy has a 2-band EQ, I found I could match EQ settings with ease. I am not drawing any conclusions from this, I'm just saying...
     
  6. PitchShifter

    PitchShifter Member

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    How does the ZIM CS and VT cards compare to the Silver Kiss/Timmy? Can they get that glassy sound?

    I imagine with teinternal trim pots and voicing, you could pretty much dial in what you were after.
     
  7. gitpicker

    gitpicker Silver Supporting Member

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    IMO the Silver Kiss and Timmy are 2 of the most transparent pedals out there - the CS and VT cards are more like low-gain Tube Screamers. I would not say that either the SK or Timmy is "glassy", but then again, I am not sure exactly what "glassy" means. I would say they add sparkle, grit, brilliance, and their excellent EQ sections allow you to dial in a large variety of great tones - including the ability to add as much smooth low end as you desire. Of course you could place the CS or VT cards in channel "B" of the ZIM and get and even wider array of tones.

    Maybe if you could give me an example of some guitar tones that you consider "glassy" I could be more helpful.
     
  8. PitchShifter

    PitchShifter Member

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    That's cool, what you've just said has given me the nfo I was after!
     
  9. Clint torrez

    Clint torrez Member

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    I'd also check out the NOC3 Pure Drive:dude
     
  10. jdawg666

    jdawg666 Member

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    Skreddy Screwdriver if you want to try a slightly different flavor of low gain. It won't do the smooth, compressed, sustain-y feel of a Barber, but I simply love the flavor it imparts. The "sparkle" can be adjusted to taste via the brilliance trimmer. You owe it to yourself to try one out, really. It's one of those that probably won't blow you away the first time you plug in, but once you understand how it works I'm fairly sure you'll love it.
     
  11. PitchShifter

    PitchShifter Member

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    The Barber has served me well, but the style of music I'm playing is changing, so I'm looking for that open sparkle. I'm willing to give anything a look. I think, "uncompressed" is where I'm heading, but low gain so it shimmers and sparkles with a bit of bite, without getting too fizzy and out of control (like the awful Boss Metalzone someone once gave me *shiver*).
     
  12. John Thigpen

    John Thigpen Member

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    Also go to www.cmatmods.com and listen to the overdrives there. The Butah is a low gain overdrive and sounds very good, but the Tubeslammer and Signa Drive also sound good at low gain settings. The builder, Chad Matthews, says the Signa Drive is his best overdrive, but I actually like the demos on the Butah and Tubeslammer better...it could be the playing.

    John
     
  13. nibus

    nibus Supporting Member

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    The Butah would be a great low-gainer for your needs.

    Also, the Retrosonic 808 overdrive is GREAT for low-gain applications. I actually preferred it for low gain over the Timmy. Just leave the Gain all the way down and you get a really nice musical breakup.
     
  14. traynor_garnet

    traynor_garnet Member

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    Pitchshifter,

    I was also using a Barber LTD (SR) and it's a great, great pedal. However, I was looking for something more "open" that really retained my amp's sound and shimmer etc. The TIM is IT! Seriously, pick one up because it absolutely ended my search and your goals sounds very similar to what I was looking for.

    TG
     
  15. Datsyuk

    Datsyuk Member

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  16. PitchShifter

    PitchShifter Member

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    Wow..thanks for all the opinions, there really is more options than I realised, though I should have known with so many ODs on the market.
    I've listened to a lot of samples and You Tube videos and the Tim sounds really good, but from what I can gather can be difficult to get a hold of?
    The NOC3 Firefly is the one that jumps out at me. Interesting that it's not as popular as the other makes and no-one really mentioned it.
     

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