Not Hot Cake?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Tone Shop Guitars, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. Tone Shop Guitars

    Tone Shop Guitars Member

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    So, I got a Hotcake from one of my good friends that is a vox guy like me and swears by the Hotcake. Well, I just don't get this pedal. Is it me?
    Tr
    :jo
     
  2. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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    Prolly.
    [emoticon for sarcasm].

    Seriously, though... it all depends on what you're doing with it. Do you turn the amp up a bit? Do you use a lot of gain from the Hotcake (not exactly it's strong suit)?

    I would rig up guitar->hotcake->vox, and then do the following:
    1. turn the presence control all the way down
    2. turn the gain control all the way down
    3. adjust volume/level to unity gain.

    At this point, the Hotcake should be very neutral sounding, not changing anything. However, when it is switched off there is a buffer circuit designed to help drive the signal, so your sound will be changed when you put it in bypass. When it is on set like this, it shouldn't be noticably different than plugging straight into the amp.

    Turn the amp up so the tubes start waking up and speakers are getting driven a bit, where it opens up.

    Now try increasing each control a bit and take notice of the change. The boost is great, the presence adds upper mid emphasis and the gain sounds best to my ears at noon or lower.

    If you are trying to use the Hotcake to make a clean amp sound like a distorted amp, well, that's not exactly what it's for. It's an amp gooser, not a Metal Zone. It sounds best adding boost, presence and a bit of hair to the basic sound your amp gets without any pedals, boosting other pedals and increasing dynamics/punchiness.

    It's not as much a "turn up the gain" and hit the button pedal and really shines when used tastefully (some players might find the returns diminishing in terms of how much it changes sound. Compressors are the same way, people get one and turn it up and then don't like it, but don't pay much attention to the subtle benefits. I leave it on most of the time.
     
  3. Jacobpaul81

    Jacobpaul81 Member

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    nashville nails it. I have my AC30 Tb channel just shy of cooking (abouyt 2/3rds volume), and then set the cake at about 12:00 volume/12:00-2:00 gain, and the presence all the way up. It's smooth and creamy, but can still jangle. Really a great tone.
     
  4. Big Bob

    Big Bob Guest

    +1 on what Nashville Steve says. I've also gone through a bunch of Hotcakes (6 or 7)....its sad but true some don't sound as good as others. But when you do find a good one its a thing of beauty.

    Bob
     
  5. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    I can see how some may not like it...but I love mine! It beat out a TS9, Tim, MXR, BYOC Triboost, and a few others with my AC30.
     
  6. Tonemeister69

    Tonemeister69 Member

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    Are you saying each one is made differently? :messedup
     
  7. Jacobpaul81

    Jacobpaul81 Member

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    Just that the components are touchy, and they dont always sound exactlly the same. It's common amongst pedals that use the older components. Also, most pedals don't sound exactly the same from pedal to pedal, but the Hotcake tends to be more obvious, and has this differentiation mentioned more. Keep in mind, unlike most boutique pedals, the hotcake has been around a long long while (over 25 years) so there are alot more of them than most pedals and its gone through several updates over the years. That also means alot more ears have heard the hotcake, than any of the other "boutique" pedals. Ive played several, and personally, Ive never heard a Badcake. I have heard some with slight differences from my own, but they all do a very similar thing.
     
  8. Jacobpaul81

    Jacobpaul81 Member

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    Same here, apart from the CARB, Ive played no equal... and I really dont care for the TS9 into a 30. Rangemasters sounded noisey and tinny. Im still waiting on a Timmy, but I hope to find out soon enough.
     
  9. daphil_1

    daphil_1 Member

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    Bulldog - could you run through the sonic differences b/w the carb and the hotcake? I have a hotcake bluesberry and it is the best OD I have ever owned with my EL84 driven Orange ad30htc. It is great...although sometimes I hear some overtones that I am not fussed on - hard to explain. Dont get me wrong...as I said - I love the box and its the best OD I have ever owned with my amp...but Im still looking - hence I have a carb on the way! :jo
     
  10. sandman

    sandman Member

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    How about a Hotcake-Fender Twin combo? 'Wrong'?
     
  11. tzamosti

    tzamosti Silver Supporting Member

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    I am a hotcake convert, as well. Right now, for a low gain (with a little hair), it really can't be beat. I keep going back to it. Has the ability to clean up well, but when you get into it with a little punch, it punches right back. Love that little guy!
    Also waiting on the Timmy and curious to see where they will line up together. But the hotcake sits well with my other low-medium ODs (Blues Devil and Direct Drive) and does its own thing.
     
  12. Grant Ferstat

    Grant Ferstat Some guy in obscure bands in a far away place... Silver Supporting Member

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    Looks like I'm still the only AC30 user on TGP who's not into the Hotcake...:confused:...well me and TR-100
     
  13. 84Bravo

    84Bravo Member

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    I sold my Klon when I got the Cake. I've had it for close to six years and it adds some kind of harmonic sweetness when lightly used that that Ive not found in other pedals I've tried. Haven't tried them all, of course. I rarely set gain beyond 1. It can get fizzy, but I think it's real strength is in boosting a clean signal slightly. I also leave it on all the time. Love it. Sent it back to New Zealand once, returned promptly. Emails are answered promptly from New Zealand. You dont get this kind of service at your local Ford dealer. Your mileage may differ.
     
  14. HBob

    HBob Member

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    I've had two and sold them both. To me all the notes sounded like they were wrapped in cellophane or something. Both units I had were the ones without the presence knob. They had a small toggle switch.
     
  15. Jacobpaul81

    Jacobpaul81 Member

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    CARB and Cake. If we were talking foods, they'd be a tasty combination.

    As for the actual pedals, heres my take:

    Standard Cake: I use it as a low gain OD, set it at 12ish vol, 12ish gain, cranked presence. My top boost channel is normally set pretty loud: 1/2 to 2/3rds volume. I roll the knob on my strat to achieve the desired amount of distortion. The cake is smooth, harmoically rich, and it has a thickening nature to it. Not really Klon thick, but it adds a slight bit of girth to the sound. It's very pick sensitive, and the harder its pushed, the more it starts sounding like a broken speaker - fuzz pedal. Im rarely pushing it enough to get that nasty noise out of it. A little hotcake can go a long way. Ive long been a huge fan of Michael Ward, Paul into AC30, and I can get his Paul thickness out of my strat by using the hotcake.

    Gaspedal CARB - At lower volume settings, the CARB and Hotcake are desceptively similar. They both are low gain, they both can sound smooth (especially when the guitar volume is rolled back). CARB really likes a cooking amp and guitar. That's when it really comes alive. It is harmonically rich and pick sensitive like the Cake, but it has a rangemaster like range of tone. It doesn't necessarily sound like a Rangemaster, but how it comes through in the mix is similar. To my ears, it tucks the bottom end up nice and tight, and pushes the mids and highs, so you get a brilliant tone, instead of a sloppier bottom end like a rangemaster. Because of its tonal arangment, the CARB has a clarity that Ive never heard before from any pedal... ever. It sounds like the AC30 and the Strat being played together. The AC30 is pretty chimey, and CARB preserves that Chime. I use it for my rhythm pedal when what I want that AC30 chime to really ring out.

    So my opinons: Both are great low gain drives when the ac30 is set to just under cooking. Hotcake gives you a smooth low gain with a hint of bottom end fuzziness. The CARB brings brilliance and clarity to the mix, and preserves the chime of an already great sounding amp.

    I hope that helps. :AOK
     
  16. Jacobpaul81

    Jacobpaul81 Member

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    I think you are proud of that distinction. :crazy
     
  17. Grant Ferstat

    Grant Ferstat Some guy in obscure bands in a far away place... Silver Supporting Member

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    Nah not really...

    I actually had an older Hotcake with the mid lift switch years ago back when I was using Fender amps. I sold an original TS9 to buy it actually. Anyway, I didn't totally bond with it.

    When I started using AC30's I borrowed a later model with the presence knob and I still found that somehow there was a little bit of a fizzyness as the note decayed that didn't agree with me.

    Anyway....
     
  18. Jacobpaul81

    Jacobpaul81 Member

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    Just given ya a hard time :)
     
  19. kenoflife

    kenoflife Supporting Member

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    Anyone compared BJF Emerald Green Distortion to the Hotcake?
    Its another popular one, on these pages, for EL84's....
     
  20. daphil_1

    daphil_1 Member

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    Thanks for the reply Bulldog...I am really hanging to get the carb. So to summarise...you wouldn'nt say that one replaces the other - rarther they are both great and compliment each other with there respective quirks??
     

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