Overdrive that wont compress

ryanverbena

Member
Messages
144
I run a el84 amp (framus ruby riot), and like most el84 amps it has a tendency to get to squishy and compressed when overdriven by pedals for solos etc. I already use a barber small fry which is amazing but i'm looking for another pedal that i can use fwithout compressing my sound at all. Real open and airy is what i'm after! :)
 

Franklin

Member
Messages
5,431
Look for something with leds as the clipping diodes, like a Rat or a modded TS type pedal. I love my TC Jaugernig DGTM, it's a TS varient but with an led in the clipping section, there seems to be very little compression compared to other ODs I've had.
 

TheFlash

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
669
There are a bunch of overdrives with a 3-way switch for clipping option. Usually one of those positions is a non-compressed setting. Off the top of my head you could look for any of these:

Pedalworx Texas Two Step
ToneFreak Abunai 2
Fulltone Fulldrive 2
BYOC
and probably many others.

Also with a vox type amp, the Hotcake has been a very popular OD match for a lot of players...I don't know if your el84 is vox-ish, but it might be worth a look.
 

pgissi

Member
Messages
2,478
Is like Space Travel without Zero Gravity, maybe you dont want "Overdrive" but just want a fattening boost which delivers what is stated in point 2 below and is adjustable to set the threshold for the onset of saturation into your amps pre-amp stage. With a fattening booster your guitar volume pot is more useful, backing off cleans up the tone and this style of pedal is less compressed generally.

The simple of it is OD is achieved using these 2 methods-

1) clip the waveform with the use of diodes or leds

and/or

2) dump enough signal post pedal (by significant gain boost within the
pedal) into your amps pre-amp to push the 1st preamp stage into saturation and the stage that follow from there



The only pedal, and there may be others but I am not aware of any, that minimizes compression (because thats all you can really do since technically Overdrive is always accompanied by some degree of compression) is the Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive

The reason, parallel signal processing

To truly retain the original character and dynamics of your pre-OD pedal tone is to mix the unprocessed signal constructively in parallel with the processed (clipped) signal and the Sparkle has a control called "Clean" which allows you to do just that.

As you turn the clean control up, you can hear the fatness of your pre-OD tone return and turning it counter clockwise or "less clean" and you hear the compression and thinning dominating, something most if not all OD pedals do without this parallel signal processing.

Thats the nature of OD, clipping the tops of the waveform is reducing the original signal dynamics...compression

The Sparke does not have gobs of gain but its adequate and is the most natural sounding OD style pedal thanks to the "Clean" control.

Its as if your not even using a pedal and its easy to keep it on all of the time simply because 1/2 of the signal that is passed is your orginal tone, preserving the natural dynamics and countering compression.

The Clean control should be blended in equal amounts with the Drive control to achieve a 50/50 balance

There is no substitute for this method and if there are other OD pedals that are of similar design, they should accomplish the same result but I am not aware of any.


There are a bunch of overdrives with a 3-way switch for clipping option. Usually one of those positions is a non-compressed setting. Off the top of my head you could look for any of these:

This is more gimmick than reality since clipping the tops of the wave is a reduction of the signals original peak to peak amplitude...creating compression

1 clipping setting may be "less compressed" due to the differing threshold of the selected clip device with that setting be it diode or led

Any deviation from the original signal (via clipping) is altering its original dynamic range and thats the point to overdrive pedals, to bring the onset of saturation whether its OD/Dist/Fuzz, sooner.

OD always produces some compression, there is no way around it

Using interstage overloading can be said to be more natural sounding though since the onset of clipping occurs later meaning, with a hotter signal, preserving the original signals dynamic range to a greater degree

Like I said this is the simple of it and once again the only true way to minimize/counter/mask compression is to simply go around it with parallel processing
 

JJexp

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
477
Is like Space Travel without Zero Gravity, maybe you dont want "Overdrive" but just want a fattening boost which delivers what is stated in point 2 below and is adjustable to set the threshold for the onset of saturation into your amps pre-amp stage. With a fattening booster your guitar volume pot is more useful, backing off cleans up the tone and this style of pedal is less compressed generally.

The simple of it is OD is achieved using these 2 methods-

1) clip the waveform with the use of diodes or leds

and/or

2) dump enough signal post pedal (by significant gain boost within the
pedal) into your amps pre-amp to push the 1st preamp stage into saturation and the stage that follow from there



The only pedal, and there may be others but I am not aware of any, that minimizes compression (because thats all you can really do since technically Overdrive is always accompanied by some degree of compression) is the Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive

The reason, parallel signal processing

To truly retain the original character and dynamics of your pre-OD pedal tone is to mix the unprocessed signal constructively in parallel with the processed (clipped) signal and the Sparkle has a control called "Clean" which allows you to do just that.

As you turn the clean control up, you can hear the fatness of your pre-OD tone return and turning it counter clockwise or "less clean" and you hear the compression and thinning dominating, something most if not all OD pedals do without this parallel signal processing.

Thats the nature of OD, clipping the tops of the waveform is reducing the original signal dynamics...compression

The Sparke does not have gobs of gain but its adequate and is the most natural sounding OD style pedal thanks to the "Clean" control.

Its as if your not even using a pedal and its easy to keep it on all of the time simply because 1/2 of the signal that is passed is your orginal tone, preserving the natural dynamics and countering compression.

The Clean control should be blended in equal amounts with the Drive control to achieve a 50/50 balance

There is no substitute for this method and if there are other OD pedals that are of similar design, they should accomplish the same result but I am not aware of any.




This is more gimmick than reality since clipping the tops of the wave is a reduction of the signals original peak to peak amplitude...creating compression

1 clipping setting may be "less compressed" due to the differing threshold of the selected clip device with that setting be it diode or led

Any deviation from the original signal (via clipping) is altering its original dynamic range and thats the point to overdrive pedals, to bring the onset of saturation whether its OD/Dist/Fuzz, sooner.

OD always produces some compression, there is no way around it

Using interstage overloading can be said to be more natural sounding though since the onset of clipping occurs later meaning, with a hotter signal, preserving the original signals dynamic range to a greater degree

Like I said this is the simple of it and once again the only true way to minimize/counter/mask compression is to simply go around it with parallel processing
Wow. Um, are we gonna be tested on this?
 

pgissi

Member
Messages
2,478
Wow. Um, are we gonna be tested on this?


It will go toward your final grade

Just tired of seeing the nagging "what od pedal does not compress" question and the slew of responses recomending clipping pedals which is the last thing you want if you dont want compression.

You simply want a booster, something adjustable that kicks up the gain from unity with some careful eq treatment and these are sometimes called Pre-amp or Micro Amp or simply Booster but in todays age of marketing, the language is not always used accurately.

As far as OD without compression, you may as well be discussing what happened before the big bang because there is more movement on that topic than the former.

Its just not possible
 

AL30

Senior Member
Messages
3,004
Nobels ODR-1

A very good, transparent OD that won't break the bank. Sinfully underrated IMO. I use it with a tele and a Traynor YGM-3 and have also had good luck with a strat or tele and a Vox AC-15.

AL
 

loudstuff

Member
Messages
228
Keeley BD-2 has very little compression.
Just picked up a COT Gold and also lacks compression.

I like both pedals.
 

zoooombiex

Member
Messages
2,562
+1 on the BJF LGW. the fulldrive in comp-cut mode might get you there. and vaughn cost has a dual-tri mod for a ts9 that adds a 3-way clipping switch. ggg standard od has a 3-way switch, as does the landgraff.

but as someone else suggested, you might really look into a boost-type pedal if you are already getting a lot of compression and drive from your amp. fulltone fatboost is always a good choice, but that's a whole subject to itself.
 

pgissi

Member
Messages
2,478
All great choices everyone but to my knowledge not a one that passes your original unprocessed tone in parallel with the processed tone

think about it, what is 1 definitive way to reduce the compression from an OD pedal...remove it from your signal chain completely, bypass it

whats the next best thing while retaining the ability to have an adjustable amount of OD, blending/summing the 2 tones, 1 processed and Overdriven and 1 not

I'm just saying and until you try this, its an undiscovered world and approaches the technique of using multiple amps with each one set for something different, specialization ala SRV

adding your clean signal back in returns the picking dynamics, reduces compression and brings back the Phat and in this day and age of cutting fat, its good to know it can still taste good
 

daddyo

Guest
Messages
11,797
How can you increase the input signal into the front end of a small EL84 amp without getting compression? Whether or not the input signal has been modified by clipping diodes, etc from a stomp box, sooner or later the amp won't be able to increase the gain in a linear fashion and the signal will get compressed. Am I confused? I'd say a MOSFET booster for leads but turn it up and the signal strength will eventually overdrive the amp. That's why we use these little amps instead of Twins.
 

DanD

Member
Messages
319
Small Fry.
Has a dial that let's you adjust amount of compression.
I use mine with my el84 and 6l6 amp.
Does both amps justice.

Good luck,
DanD
 

zoooombiex

Member
Messages
2,562
All great choices everyone but to my knowledge not a one that passes your original unprocessed tone in parallel with the processed tone

think about it, what is 1 definitive way to reduce the compression from an OD pedal...remove it from your signal chain completely, bypass it

whats the next best thing while retaining the ability to have an adjustable amount of OD, blending/summing the 2 tones, 1 processed and Overdriven and 1 not

I'm just saying and until you try this, its an undiscovered world and approaches the technique of using multiple amps with each one set for something different, specialization ala SRV

adding your clean signal back in returns the picking dynamics, reduces compression and brings back the Phat and in this day and age of cutting fat, its good to know it can still taste good

It will go toward your final grade

Just tired of seeing the nagging "what od pedal does not compress" question and the slew of responses recomending clipping pedals which is the last thing you want if you dont want compression.

You simply want a booster, something adjustable that kicks up the gain from unity with some careful eq treatment and these are sometimes called Pre-amp or Micro Amp or simply Booster but in todays age of marketing, the language is not always used accurately.

As far as OD without compression, you may as well be discussing what happened before the big bang because there is more movement on that topic than the former.

Its just not possible

Some overdrives have more compression than others. Maybe one with less compression will fit the bill for this guy, and there have been a lot of good suggestions there. Or maybe he needs to go with a clean boost - and there are a ton of threads on that.

the SD is also a good option to consider. but even then you're going to have some compression if you use it as a drive pedal. the "clean" controls the mix of the boosted clean signal - 100% drive one way on the knob, 100% clean the other, with shades inbetween. unless its at 100% "clean", you're getting a mix of clean & effected signals, so there will be some compression in the resulting tone. it's not like the clean tone is always there and you just mix in the drive.

so it's all on a spectrum, with the SD sitting between a dirt pedal and a clean boost... whatever works for the OP is the right answer.
 

ChickenLover

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,800
I don't think such an animal exists. If it overdrives then it compresses. A clean boost might not compress but if you goose the input of your amp then the amp will likely compress.

A parallel signal might get some of dynamics back but it's still compressing (if it's overdriving).
 

pgissi

Member
Messages
2,478
How can you increase the input signal into the front end of a small EL84 amp without getting compression?

First of all, the onset of compression is dependent on some unknowns here so as a general assumption you could assume within reason there is X amount of level increase you could achieve into the the front end of an EL84 or any amp for that matter before the signal begins compressing (or begins compressing noticeably so) and in your description above, you are really dependent on the pre-amp circuit, tube type and its operating parameters and of course, how hard are you kicking the preamp of the amp from pedals etc

Lower operating voltages (on the tubes) tend to be browner and compress sooner and higher voltages later as a general rule so simplistically, this theoretical el84 style amps dynamic range or any amp for that matter can be extended, meaning less compression or later compression with higher operating voltages and/or reducing the signal level your hitting the preamp with.

But to get back to OD pedals and compression, an important distinction is to be made between Booster pedals with no clip devices and pedals that employ clip devices

The Booster style without clip devices will be the most natural non compressed tone


A parallel signal might get some of dynamics back but it's still compressing (if it's overdriving).

The Overdriven half of the signal will be compressed and the parallel processed half will not..simplisticaly so since it also must be summed via op amp and that compresses to some degree wich is barely audible

But the main point is, 1/2 of the signal is being passed in its natural uncompressed state.
 

Echoes

Senior Member
Messages
6,218
Klon, Landgraff LDO (toggle in the middle or up position) or try a straight clean boost...I use a Fulltone OCD or landy in front of my Vox AC30 and both sound natural and low compression (the way I set them anyways)
 

pgissi

Member
Messages
2,478
it's not like the clean tone is always there and you just mix in the drive.

One last thing, the clean tone is always there, the 2 waveforms(affected and unaffected) are summed and superimpose themselves to create one that differs at the outout from a pedal not parallel processing the orignal signal with the OD induced signal and it has to be designed carefully to not cause any cancellation.

It, in some ways, approaches using 2 amps, one clean and one dirty and the ratio is adjustable using the Clean and Drive controls

Although the parallel signals are summed and affect the amps preamp to maybe introduce some compression with sheer gain increase, its much less than you would normally have with a pedal thats not parallel passing the clean signal along with the OD signal and the most dramatic aspect of having this control is how the signal from your pups remains uncompressed, its preserves the way your guitar volume pot interacts with the pups and this results in a much more natural and uncompressed feel from the guitar.

Inducing compression at the front end of the amp is a matter of just kicking it hard enough using the Clean and Drive controls in combination, its aggregate

Having the ability to dial back in my clean pre-pedal tone is my favorite aspect of the Sparkle Drive and I see from a post below the Boss SD also blends the clean back in, no wonder its a pedal that I see gettting mention consistently.
 




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