Pedal to add a bit of hair

Montrose439

Member
Messages
47
I'm looking for a pedal to add a little hair to my signal.

I'm running my tube amp at the edge of breakup.. dig in and I get mid gain drive. I like my amps drive but I want to add another dimension/texture to it. Idealy this would be a barely noticeable harmonical "hair and sizzle" mimicking poweramp distortion overtones (I don't want to use the word Plexi!). I also want more touch sensitivity.

I already use a compressor (always on) to push the preamp and give me more sustain. I love what it does and you don't really notice it's a pedal it sounds like the amp is doing it.

I tried a Boss '59 Bassman pedal with my amp a while ago but only for a couple seconds. I think it could do the trick on low gain.
I'm thinking of getting a Catalinbread 5f6. I don't know how it sounds into a dirty amp. Or maybe a Blues driver?

I know I could probably get this from my rig somehow. Maybe by changing speakers or pickups. Using a thinner pick for example gets me closer to this sound. Thinner pick adds some texture and sizzle to the sound.
I use an OCD peddle and a ENO trouble ocd clone. Set one high treble no or little gain. Set other tone middle , little more gain. Use guitar volume if needed.
 

dosttega

Member
Messages
40
@dosttega....

Did someone say Plexi....

If I understand you correctly...

You run your amp on the edge of break up, when playing "normally" you get a clean sound from the amp. If you dig in, say an A power chord, the sound will break up, and get a little crunchy for a moment?

And what you want is something that will add a tiny amount of harmonic distortion (aka hair) but basically still clean? I sometimes call it a smouldering clean.

You have a couple of options immediately at your finger tips:-

1) Use the amp. Turn up the output level on your compressor very slightly, and if needed just turn down the compression and/or ratio very slightly. You will be hitting the amp slightly harder, with a little more dynamics. Try it.

2) Try a preamp type pedal. I asked a similar question a while back, this is what was suggested. I recall being notified about the Catalinbread 5F6. Also the One Control Honey Bee (BJFE licenced clones), One Control Baby Blue etc....

3) My latest "multi-tool" discovery is the Boss OD1X. It will let you set the gain from Zero (clean - its basically just an EQ and potential Boost pedal at this point), and continue up to vintage valve amp meltdown (JCM800 springs to mind on high settings, Plexi about mid way). A Hairy Clean, like a cooking Fender or AC30 can be found just above Zero... 07:00 - 09:00. The High and Low EQ are basically like Graphic EQ Sliders with 0dB (Flat) at 12 noon and cut or boost either side. To get mid hump, you would turn Hi and Lo below noon, and so on.

It has no limited sweet spot like analogue pedals. Just a continuous useable sweep through its gain range. Its like selecting from a Menu, which makes it very versatile.
Well... my usage of "edge of breakup" is not technically correct. I shouldn't have used the term. This was wrong of me and it may have lead the thread in the wrong direction. It's a high gain amp. With gt.vol@10 and playing lightly I get distorted cleans. When I dig in its in mid-gain territory. With gt.vol@4 the clean is almost clean with a bit of hair (this I believe is your "smouldering clean") -when I dig in its crunch (low-gain blues crunch).

I want to add some "hair and sizzle" to the hairy cleans/crunch I already have. Not more drive but like a parallel gain stage of a different texture that would seamlessly add to the cleans and the crunch/drive I have. And only a touch of it.

@dosttega
1) Use the amp. Turn up the output level on your compressor very slightly, and if needed just turn down the compression and/or ratio very slightly. You will be hitting the amp slightly harder, with a little more dynamics. Try it.
I do it all the time. This is how I use a compressor - as an always on boost. I also turn the treble up. It does make a more lively dynamic signal and brings out some more harmonics.
 

Ray175

Member
Messages
430
As others have said, the eq impact of different pedals can major. for this reason I always place an eq pedal after any pedal designed to add "hair" in order to correct or adjust the final result.
 

Tootone

Member
Messages
5,722
Well... my usage of "edge of breakup" is not technically correct. I shouldn't have used the term. This was wrong of me and it may have lead the thread in the wrong direction. It's a high gain amp. With gt.vol@10 and playing lightly I get distorted cleans. When I dig in its in mid-gain territory. With gt.vol@4 the clean is almost clean with a bit of hair (this I believe is your "smouldering clean") -when I dig in its crunch (low-gain blues crunch).

I want to add some "hair and sizzle" to the hairy cleans/crunch I already have. Not more drive but like a parallel gain stage of a different texture that would seamlessly add to the cleans and the crunch/drive I have. And only a touch of it.


I do it all the time. This is how I use a compressor - as an always on boost. I also turn the treble up. It does make a more lively dynamic signal and brings out some more harmonics.
I'm getting a lot of mileaga from the OD1X at the moment.

With Gain at zero its clean. You can nudge up the Gain to add progressively more hair, then grit, then gravel. So in effect you dial it in to what you want.

What I find with a lot of OD pedals, its a lottery to find/buy the one that adds what you want, within its useable Gain range. Also, this is in the context of your gear. You can go through testing a lot of pedals to find one that works for you.

That's the beauty of the OD1X IMO. Its like a latex suit...it moulds to all shapes and sizes. It has certainly proved a useful frustration eliminator in my case.

btw... its "hair" is very tube amp like. It doesn't sound like your typical transistor based ODs. The get out of jail free card for a lot of OD Pedals is "sounds best into an overdriven amp". To me this means "sounds sh!t on its own into a clean amp".

Check out the Boss OD1X. Its a completely different beast.
 

dosttega

Member
Messages
40
I'm getting a lot of mileaga from the OD1X at the moment.

With Gain at zero its clean. You can nudge up the Gain to add progressively more hair, then grit, then gravel. So in effect you dial it in to what you want.

What I find with a lot of OD pedals, its a lottery to find/buy the one that adds what you want, within its useable Gain range. Also, this is in the context of your gear. You can go through testing a lot of pedals to find one that works for you.

That's the beauty of the OD1X IMO. Its like a latex suit...it moulds to all shapes and sizes. It has certainly proved a useful frustration eliminator in my case.

btw... its "hair" is very tube amp like. It doesn't sound like your typical transistor based ODs. The get out of jail free card for a lot of OD Pedals is "sounds best into an overdriven amp". To me this means "sounds sh!t on its own into a clean amp".

Check out the Boss OD1X. Its a completely different beast.
Thanks for the tip on OD1X! I'll look into it.
 

GenoBluzGtr

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,247
Timmy or a Bluesbreaker

Also, if you can find a Zvex SHO with the master volume. Best way to ad sizzle and a bit of top end gain without altering your tone.
 

CEFlint

Member
Messages
2,052
I use a Timmy and a Snouse BB2 on separate boards.

Also, I just got a EQD Plumes, which can cover this and much more for $99.
 

fechart

Member
Messages
769
:beer Thank you all for posting your recommendations. I will be going through this thread a lot.

So.. the general consensus is a flat EQ overdrive on low gain settings?

I don't want to boost the preamp more. I'm already boosting with a compressor and then for solos I boost more with an overdrive.
I would maybe consider a clean boost if it would replace what the compressor does for me (Fatten+sustain+boost).

I really like the practical advice from some of you. Like I said I do believe there is a way to get this just by using my rig differently. Maybe even by subtracting rather than adding stuff. I did try a lot of things already. A lot of things will work when playing alone but not in a band mix and not over the whole set of songs. I came a long way just by adding a separate buffer and using a thinner pick.


Totally agree. By adding low gain pedal it would mess up the dynamics of the amps drive when I dig in the compression and saturation will just go over the top. I never tried stacking overdrives into this amp because I like the amps drive and I want to use it.


Yes,
I don't want to juice the preamp, I want to add the sound(texture) of a juiced power amp. This is why I want to try the 5f6. I read about it on the forum. Sadly there's no demos of it going into a dirty amp so I don't know if it would even work this way.


Yes I have. The tone thins out to much.. not good for pumped rock rhythm stuff. It also adds more amp noise. But I still have this on the list of things to explore further. Most importantly I have to make this work in a band mix and on certain songs which I play really clean&quiet with guitar volume on 2.

I will try a Blues driver and a Bluesbreaker clone to see if this type of circuit works. I have no experience with flat EQ overdrives. If it doesn't work I will go for the Catalinbread 5f6 ..some of you confirmed AIB pedals will work for this.

I liked the RC booster, JHS the clover and some other pedals you guys posted..

Oh, the amp is a Laney GH100L (single channel JCM800 type amp). Chain is: Philosophers tone -> Barber Direct drive (for solo boost) -> buffer ->amp -> 4x12 with V30's. Modulation pedals in the FX loop.
Have you tried a Klon style pedal? I have a J Rockett Archer and it's fantastic. It has so much headroom that you have a lot of range before "adding gain". Within that range you have a lot going on when using it as a booster. For example, when you dial a pristine clean tone in your amp, this pedal makes it 1000% better. If your amp is already on the edge of break up, it can push it to overdrive in a very natural way
 




Trending Topics

Top