Pardon my ignorance on OD pedals (M)

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Badfrog, May 19, 2011.

  1. Badfrog

    Badfrog Member

    May 17, 2011
    But is there a site that gives a detailed tutorial on OD pedals? I hear so many terms and after a while I just get lost. Trim pots, clipping, diodes, true bypass, tube screamer clone, TS808, TS9, germanium, silicon, hand wired, overdrive, distortion, fuzz.

    Would just be nice to find a site or article that explains some of these things and how they impact the sound.
  2. tibbon

    tibbon Member

    Apr 9, 2010
    Columbus, OH
    Before you start, take a look at the OD shootout in my signature. It covers a pretty wide range of pedals. Before you start worrying about details and what other people say, just take in what an overdrive really sounds like. See if anything pops out to your ear as neat sounding, then look into that.

    But also to roughly define some of your terms:

    • Trim Pots- Small knobs that generally must be turned with a screwdriver that are inside the pedal. They change something, but what varies between pedals. Quite often they are used for a rarely used setting or for factory calibration of something.
    • Clipping- The waveform cutting off when it reaches a max point. Makes things sound somewhat distorted.
    • True Bypass- A switching method for guitar pedals. When the pedal is disengaged it is completely out of the signal path. Normally spoken of in comparison to buffered pedals which will have a unity gain amplifier always on in order to prevent tone loss. While True bypass was meant to fix tone issues, it can also cause them.
    • Clone- A design that was made by someone else. The tube screamer was one of the first commercially successful overdrive pedals and a large percentage of pedals have at least part of the TS circuit in there.
    • TS808- Type of TS
    • TS9- Type of TS
    • Germanium - Element. But in this context it speaks to the type of transistor. Generally not made as much anymore and are more of a 'vintage' vibe. Sound a little different then silcon based ones. Technically they are pretty ****** transistors.
    • Hand wired- Someone made it by hand.
    • Overdrive- Distortion created by pushing the amp harder
    • Distortion- Distortion can be a number of things, but is generally distortion of the signal at the pedal level, not causing the amp to be pushed harder.
    • Fuzz- Another type of 'distortion'. Quite often 'thinner' and sounds 'broken' (imho) if done right. Cuts through very well and a really cool sound.
  3. Jet Age Eric

    Jet Age Eric Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Or thicker (Big Muff) and DOESN'T cut through (most Germanium fuzz, in my experience). Seriously. Let the confusion begin!!! -E
  4. Selsaral

    Selsaral Member

    Dec 14, 2009
    Though every overdrive pedal I've ever seen also adds distortion in the pedal. If not, they'd be a clean boost.
  5. jguitarnash

    jguitarnash Member

    Nov 19, 2009
    NE Ohio
    Great info here!!!!! :dude:dude:dude:dude
  6. Bigdrive501

    Bigdrive501 Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2011

    Now that's a great definition!

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