Overdrive Pedal for low volume use?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by AshlandBump, Nov 21, 2005.


  1. AshlandBump

    AshlandBump Member

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    I'm played an old Deluxe Reverb at home, at night, and can barely turn the volume up past 2 without wreaking havoc on the household. That's not so bad for clean playing, but I'd like to play with some dirt on occasion. Any suggestions for an overdrive pedal that doesn't sound fizzy at low volumes? I was thinking about a Barber Direct Drive -- $120 is the most I'd want to pay. Thanks.
     
  2. Mark Kane

    Mark Kane Silver Supporting Member

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    The baby blue OD is great for this as is the Xotic AC Boost.
     
  3. homerayvaughan

    homerayvaughan Supporting Member

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    The Direct Drive is nice. I reccomend the Zendrive highly!:D
     
  4. AshlandBump

    AshlandBump Member

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    Thanks - I've heard of both the Baby Blue and the Zendrive -- who makes these pedals?
     
  5. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Keeley TS-9/808 Plus Mod
    MI Audio Blue Boy
    Timmy
    Hermida Mosferatu

    BJF makes the BBOD, Hermida the Zen - BTW...
     
  6. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Just wanted to post a few more thoughts...

    In my case, I like to try to preserve as much of the low end as possible when using ODs at low volume as that's typically the first thing to go. Sometimes TS-type pedals can dramatically reduce your low end, so that's why I recommended the Keeley and the MI Audio Blue Boy - both do a great job at keeping your lower frequencies (the MI Audio being superior in that regard). The Timmy is such a killer pedal at low volume - it gives you power amp like OD and keeps your low end intact. The Mosferatu probably has the least amount of low end retention out of the ones I mentioned, but it has such a full thick tone that you don't miss it that much.

    I'm glad to see the AC Booster mentioned, got one on the way!
     
  7. newstrat60

    newstrat60 Member

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  8. Don L

    Don L Member

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    I love MI Audio Blue Boy.
    Took my '66 DR and the BB last night to a small church. Had the DR's volume set at 2 - 3. and the BB gave me all the OD tone I needed.
     
  9. jonny guitar

    jonny guitar Member

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    I really like to use my Keeley Katana Clear Boost (with the knob pulled out for dirty). I find that there is no fizz, no loss of bass, real fat sound, original guitar sound maintained, very dynamic, works with guitar controls for clean ups. Excellent pedal. When I do play louder I simply push the knob in to use it as a clear boost to slam the front end of my amp for lush organic amp overdrive.

    I also have Analogman TS9, Keeley BD2, Foxrox Zim overdrives but the Katana is far superior for what described.
     
  10. Richard Guy

    Richard Guy Member

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    The Barber Direct Drive sounds good to me at low volumes.
     
  11. drolling

    drolling Member

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    Most pedals mentioned so far are well over your $120 limit.

    I wouldn't go boutique for late night noodling either. I'm using a Roland MicroCube for that purpose - they sound really good untill you turn them up.

    And that's precisely the problem with most budget OD pedals- They can sound HUGE at low volume, but really puny when the amp's cranked.

    Some cheapies worth looking at; Nobels ODR-1 (may not be called that anymore- old ones are green & RIs are silver) and the DigiTech BadMonkey. I paid around 40 bucks for each of these new.

    Still under your limit are the Boss BD-2 and the OD-3. Not tubescreamer clones, the BluesDriver's got this raspy voicing that sounds great at low volumes. People who insist on turning them up usually have to get them modded first. The OD-3's got massive amounts of low end- makes a tiny practice amp sound big.

    Right at your cutoff point is the new silver LTD. All of Barber's stuff's got that boosted mid voicing that players either love or hate. The silver LTD has less (but it's still there- If you don't like tubescreamers, this isn't the pedal for you).

    Another one that works great with small amps at low volumes is the Vox Valvetone. Kinda dark sounding compared to a real Vox amp, it's still a cool OD pedal that responds well to picking dynamics. Discontinued, I picked up a used one very cheap.

    Good luck with your search. Let us know what you end up going with.
     
  12. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny Member

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    try the V-Stack line.

    i have the marshally version, and GOOD LORDY, for low volume, and straight to board tracking, it sounds amazing.
     
  13. AshlandBump

    AshlandBump Member

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    I set the price at $120 because that is roughly what a Barber DD costs. I've never owned one but they certainly have a good reputation, especially when considering the price. It's good to hear that at least some here like them at low volume. I like the idea of that one because it has, apparently, a fairly wide range of gain available. Low volume practicing has its limitations, I know. I'm not going to get the same dynamics that you get when you have an amp cranked, whether you're using an OD pedal or not. The Barber stuff seems well made too. I'd consider the LTD but, unless I'm wrong, the DD has more drive available, perhaps a greater range of overdrive tones.

    Another pedal I'm thinking about is the HAO Rust Driver -- seems to have the higher end of the gain range covered and is in the price ballpark ($138). A DD may be more flexible though.

    I've owned a Boss Blues Driver before and generally liked it, just thought I'd go with something new on this occasion.

    Thanks for the suggestions so far. If anyone has experience with the HAO Rust Driver at low volume practice levels, please let me know.
     
  14. Mullet Kingdom

    Mullet Kingdom Senior Member

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    Given your situation, I'd give serious consideration to the idea of investing in a THD Hot Plate or something similar.

    I know a guy who uses one with his DR at gigs and he loves it.

    I'm not hip on a the latest gadgets so I can't be of much help in this department. I can't recommend something I haven't personally tried.

    The Reverend Drive Train is pretty good. I like the Bixonic Expandora too.

    You can't go wrong with a FulldriveII. I've had one for the last five years, and until recently it's been my only pedal. I've played my share of gigs at restaurants where you had to turn down if you couldn't hear conversation and glasses clinking from the stage while you were playing. The FD2 worked great on those gigs.
     
  15. erksin

    erksin Member

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    The Timmy, Blue Boy, and Mosferatu can all be had for $125 or less FWIW, and that's at retail...

    I've owned both the Rust Driver and the Drivetrain II. The Drivetrain II requires that you really open up the pedal volume-wise to get the best tones out of it - it has a TON of volume boost so it renders it pretty much unuseable for bedroom use, a great pedal just not for this purpose IME. The Rust Driver was way too bright with my set-up - and I have a dark sounding amp. It also has very limited control over the basic tone (volume output only - you can't control the amount of gain, and the three way tone switch just doesn't offer enough voicings IMO), and I wound up returning it.

    Of the ones I suggested, the MI Audio Blue Boy has the most flexibility - tonally and gain-wise. It's a killer all-around medium gain OD, by far the best I've tried.
     
  16. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    +1 on Timmy or Bad Monkey or Boss OD-3
     
  17. 6789

    6789 Member

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    I like the Blackstone. One of my guitars sounds best through the blackstone then the Timmy,
    [​IMG]
     
  18. BillyK

    BillyK Supporting Member

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    erksin:
    Gotta agree on the BlueBoy. I've had mine for over a year now. I went through a bunch of opamps and the TL072 and the Burr-Brown chips sound the best to me.
     
  19. slipbeer

    slipbeer Supporting Member

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    Another V-Stack vote.

    I have used it for precisely what you describe - quiet dirt and I've been amazed as how versatile it is.

    For your price point, you'd need to go used but I know they're out there.
     
  20. derek_32999

    derek_32999 Member

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    i love my mosferatu at low volumes, and it cleans up so nice with the vol. control(i can do the begining of TUSH just with the vol. knob) and it can do the smooth zendrive like lead tone as well. i also love my mi audio blues pro(cheaper than blue boy new or used :) and actually my hot british sounds nice at low volumes if tweaked right for heavier marshally tones.



    or you could get a used POD 1.0 and some nice headphones? that combo has some real nice sounds.
     

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