Pedal to add a bit of hair


thats right, step up, young and old, and Name Your Favorite Overdrive!!

(but seriously nearly any overdrive fits this description)
I think this is largely true. There are a lot of relatively EQ neutral drives that have good low gain tones. OP I think it will come down to how much compression you want, how loose the low end you want and how “open” the high end is.

Some thoughts DOD 250, an Electra Dist like the Les Luis, Barber Gain Changer, a Blues breaker based pedal, the JHS Charlie B, Zvex Distortron or other jtm style drive, BMF El Jefe ..


Gold Supporting Member
To me it's about EQ as much as amount of gain...

A "touch of hair" drive should have a balanced frequency spread, especially in regards to retaining lows and not hyping the midrange while simultaneously chopping off the low end.

For me it's: RC2, Blue Note, OD-3, Gain Changer, and BB's (which cuts some lows, but still preserves an overall neutral feel at low gain)
I also like the .45 Caliber and Direct Drive for low gain with a British flavor.


The J Rockett Tim Pierce overdrive is really underestimated with this kind of thing. How you’re asking is actually how I run mine, gain low, first in chain. Just makes everything better. And the power amp boost side is there if I need it.


Odd Bird
Lots of good suggestions here. I’d recommend a Hudson UK brings a bit of bonus sparkle and grime, and you can adjust the gain to get the right balance of boost and drive. It’s a great “feeling” pedal to me.

Robert Libutti

Silver Supporting Member
A pedal that I'm back and forth on because it's kind of picky (lots of knobs) is the DOD Boneshaker. I think a lot of people expected it to be some kind of death metal pedal, but it's really a dirty EQ with an old thyme bike on it that is more about stacking than doing its 'own thing.' Basically as you crank a frequency range, that range starts to distort. Then there is an overall distortion knob. I was playing it into a clean Orange TH100 yesterday, getting these really thick, classic tones, and just loving it. It can drastically change the character of other pedals. It's really cool and you can often find them very cheap (I got mine new for $40). I like to use it at home, but with my band, it's too much tweaking for metal. It's the normal DOD format, so the knobs are concentric. If it were a bit bigger with 9 distinct knobs, I think it would be easier to use.

M.C. Frescher

You've got lots of options out there for low-medium gain pedals. A blues driver is a great one as are TS808 or TS9's and all its boutique modded adversaries. Emerson's EM Drive or Paramount are neat options too if you don't want amp-like color but more grit. I personally use a Bogner Wessex and its my only 'always on' pedal. I'm exactly like you, just need a little bit more punch for nice barely there or light sizzle.


Silver Supporting Member
Pedals I own that will do the trick:
  • Mad Professor Simble
  • MXR Timmy

Pedals that sound like they’d do the trick:
  • Xotic AC Booster
  • Spaceman Saturn VI

Spider Mark

EQD Westwood
... so many drives ...

I'm currently using Spaceman Saturn VI and Mercury IV boosts 'coz I can. BAT Skyboost is also excellent, as are my KTR, Timmy and Westwood. Wampler Pantheon or PoT are good drive options that can do BB "boost" too.


Gold Supporting Member
I would highly recommend the JHS Clover for this. I used it for this exact application into a Bad Cat Black Cat and the EQ options are so flexible you can sculpt it to what your personal tastes are.

Forget what the title of the video says...listen to this vid:
This is a great shout... the Clover is such an underrated pedal.

Other good shouts include the Barbershop, Lightspeed and Bearfoot/BJFE Honeybee.


There are thousands of pedals that will give you what you want, and they'll all be a little different. But... Have you tried running your amp hotter and using your guitar's knobs? This is much better than using a pedal to add something extra to my ears, and allows you to lower the height of your pickups and still have lots of gas available just using your guitar volume. Of course I have no idea about your setup and playing style, but it's just a thought that works for many folks.

snow and steel

Silver Supporting Member
I use the Xotic RC Booster V2 for this. side 1 is the bit of hair, stacking side two is medium crunch. Drive it with the Mythical overdrive for classic 70's rock.


Did I miss what amp OP is using?

Tech 21 Liverpool or Joyo AC Tone can be used to add a little bit of hair and sizzle or a lot more. They can also add compression, so you might not find as much need for the compressor pedal while using one of them.

I agree that the RC Booster classic or V2 can add a touch of hair and sizzle. Also, the tone controls are pretty versatile. And it can add a subtle amount of compression. But, it is a clean boost and will not be able to add a lot of dirt if you ever find the need.

Mad Professor Sweet Honey Overdrive.
Will do exactly what you want and IMO, Mad Professors have the most tube like feel of all stomp boxes.
I agree that the SH is a great option for boost, grit and sizzle or mild OD. For a cheap alternative Joyo makes a clone of it called the Sweet Baby.

Another great alternative is a Klon KTR. It’s somewhat in the same ballpark as the SH and SB but with a bit more mid push.
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