picking an overdrive

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by guitar_kid, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. guitar_kid

    guitar_kid Member

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    I'm havin a helluva time trying to decide which overdrive is gonna be what I'm lookin for. No place around me stock's boutique pedals for me to try out so I'm lookin for some insight. I have narrowed my search to the Barber LTD, Xotic BB Preamp, Menatone Red Snapper, Menatone Blue Collar, and maybe NOC3 firefly. I am looking for a low-medium gain overdrive with a real smooth singing blues tone. No harshness or bitey highs wanted here, just a round singing blues overdrive. My first question is what's the tonal difference gonna be between the LTD and the LTD SR? I know the SR has a flatter response but what does this sound like compared to the LTD? I am afraid the BB might have too much gain for what I am lookin for while it does seem to be very smooth. I just stumbled across the menatone pedals and they seem very interesting. What's the difference between the 2? Any1 with experience with any of these care to describe the +'s and -'s?
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2008
  2. Catoogie

    Catoogie Senior Member

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    I think you can't go wrong with a Nobels ODR-1, they cost $55 and they are exactly the thing you're looking for. There's a reason all of the studio cats in Nashville have them.

    Some people will tell you the older green ones are the ones to have, may well be, but I have one I bought brand new on-line, silver with green and it sounds great, very neutral eq-wise. Sounds like your amp turned up. I played my first gig with my new band this past weekend and I **** you not the bass player said to me "What's that pedal? It sounds AWESOME!!!". It was the Nobels. Do yourself a favor, save your money and just go get it.

    http://www.adirondackguitar.com/effects/nobel/odr_1.htm
     
  3. Moods

    Moods Supporting Member

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    I really like the BFJ Little Green Wonder for low-med gain applications. Very natural sounding and quite flexible. I much prefer it to my old Red Snapper. The top end is sweeter.

    Good luck

    <M
     
  4. guitar_kid

    guitar_kid Member

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    little green wonder is a lil more than I'd like to spend lol. Is the snapper's top end dark?
     
  5. Moods

    Moods Supporting Member

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    No... the RS is a bright pedal. I leave the tone rolled almost all the way back. It's a great pedal and works fine for any TS duty I do but the LGW has something special and seems perfectly EQ'd if you know what I mean.

    If you buy used the LGW it isn't ridiculously expensive. If you are looking low $$$ I'd consider a stock Boss SD-1. I know it's not a cool or popular pedal but it really gets the job done for the price. Sounds better than 80% of the boutique TS pedals out there in a band scenario IMO. Of course YMMV. ;)

    <M
     
  6. guitar_kid

    guitar_kid Member

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    well I'm not looking for budget but I've only ever seen the LGW for around $300, I'm prolly getting something used no matter what I decide on but even then that's more than the others. Right now the LTD SR is where I'm leanin
     
  7. troykennedy

    troykennedy Member

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    Fulldrive 2 Mosfet

    Super flexible 2 stage overdrive with a few tonal options. If you just needed one pedal this one can be a great grab and go. Engaging the second boost gives you plenty of sustain for bluesy lead stuff. Kinda hard to go wrong.
     
  8. Dravenx

    Dravenx Member

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    The Barber LTD "SILVER" is a great pedal and not overly priced at around 120 bones. It was the pedal that finally did it for me personally and I have tried and owned many. This pedal brings me to someplace between SRV and Joe Bonamassa on my DRRI. It seems to just take the natural tone of your amp, add some chime and a crap ton of harmonic overtones to it. There are diferences between the various versions though. so do some reading on it. Just google it! one thing to note though is if you get a silver, stock it may drop some of the low end out BUT there is an internal trim pot that adds the body back and the end result is amazing. Not overly comressed and no mid hump like most TS style ODs.
     
  9. guitar_kid

    guitar_kid Member

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    Well I'm pretty sure it's between the LTD SR and the NOC3 Firefly now. The BB and red snapper seem more like they med-high gain overdrives and I want a good low gainer.
     
  10. alnico2

    alnico2 Member

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    After rereading your first post the BB might be the ticket. The LTD is low gain OD in my opinion. The BB will get the med gain smooth singing tone. The LTD might leave you wanting more gain.
     
  11. Cary Chilton

    Cary Chilton Senior Member

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    My advice for what it is worth, is forget whether the OD is this or that % of diable gain. Useless info., IME. A distortion pedal, you know and expect the gain to be much higher than any OD pedal, but you not asking which Distortion. ;)

    Anyway, ask yourself the right questions, and some might be:

    What does my amp/guitar sound like on vol. 3, Bass 5, Mids 5, Treble 5, Pres 5 with 1/2 of useful drive dialled in, then 3/4 dialled in. Then repeat this will EQ controls all 10. Then repeat this with the FLATTEST sounding tone you can dial in, where the 6th to 1st sound even/equal non over powering the other ( you first impression will most likely be that the power and bass disappeared, esp. at vol 3). Repeat the approach at vol 5-6 and then again at 7-10. Why? Knowing your amp/speakers/guitar tones/dynamic/gain structure imtimately.

    IF you have a superlead, or jmp or jtm45 Marshall, factor in loudness 2 3-4, while dialling loudness 1 at 50%, 70% and add 100% Dial EQ controls in the same approach as above.

    NOW, you have hopefully, actually written some notes about what was natural, rockin, bluesy, etc. Ask yourself, in general, if you rig has sharp highs, middy sounding, boomy, smooth or hard? Ask yourself what you want for 70-80% of the time for MAX gain in your rhythm tones? Ask yourself what other tones would/might be cool to have as tonal options?

    If your a Fender guy at the moment, and you want smooth, thick, singing overdrive to a subtle wet OD: check out a maxon 820, for a little more gain on tap a Maxon OD-9. The Little Green Wonder is a great pedal, it is a tube screamer that is much flatter sounding, would be great with most styles of amps, bit pricy. It might be similar to a menatone Blue Collar but not as flat as a Red Snapper. The Full Drive II can be a little loose on the bass, but it is intentionally smooth. The Landgraff is a great TS type pedal, better in tone than the maxon, by most opinions, but pricy. The Abunai2 is very similar to a Landraff, but 1/2 the price and has booted Landgraff's off boards. The mojodrive is also similar and cheaper yet, but supposedly not as complex or impressive, opinions of past owners. The Eternity, another smooth yet gritty at times OD with dialable airiness.
    The Hotcake, very flat(don't think it is a TS type), not gritty, more clear sounding drive, but has middy sounds within the dialing of it, IME. MI Audio's blues pro/boy pedals are low fi-ish sounding, decent TS type pedals, but I never cared for the voicing. Zendrive, smooth-ish, 2 mid controls, TS sounding, lots of output. Timmy/TIM are very flat, but many Fender owners, love them, too. They have socketed IC's for experimenting with op amps, unique EQ'ing. The Klon, maybe the most obvious smooth OD, best with a Fender, but works with many amps well, too. The Barber OD's will all be great with a Fender, quite smooth sounding as is the Clark Gainster. The MJM Blues Devil is also a great TS pedal, smooth yet gritty, but not as much output level, thus the singing tones won't come from slamming your amp as much as the top pedals. Xotic, AC as I understand, a non-TS type pedal, that sounds very similar, smooth, middy, the BB PRE: even more compressed, little flatter, kinda dark sounding. The analogman KOT, flatter, not a TS design, smooth, high output, lots of tweakability, works with any amp. The NOC3 firefly, slight gritty yet smooth ( not sure about the output level) and the CMATMODs Signa drive might be very similar. CMATMODs also has an intentionally smooth pedal called Buttah. Also, BJF's honey bee was an intentionally smooth pedal. There is some of the MAIN OD pedals out there for Fenders.

    All of these above, with exception to the TIM/timmy, Red Snapper will cut some bass from your regular guitar tone, some more, some a little.
    Other options for smoothness and singing, even low volumes are fuzzes. The Lovepedal 200lb of tone ( great name huh?), the Jetter Red or Blue, Throbak ODB and more obvious fuzz sounding fuzzes ( hope that made sense!) :Roger Mayer fuzzes, Dunlop JH-1, Hartman Fuzzes, London Fuzz, Analogman fuzzes all great.

    Hopefully that gets you some ideas for now. If you have a Marshall non master, or a clone or very similar, too. Do a search on what I use and check them out.


    peace
     
  12. Catoogie

    Catoogie Senior Member

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    Trust me, buy a Nobels. Don't think too hard on this, you won't be disappointed. $56.......perfect!
     
  13. guitar_kid

    guitar_kid Member

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    sumthin worth mentioning is I want something that will sound as good with humbuckers as it does single coils. From the vids online I'm not too sure if I like the NOC3 firefly with humbuckers.
     
  14. DoobieK

    DoobieK Member

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    Lots of good pedals out there. For a stand alone, single overdrive I like the Blue Collar.

    I also have the following:
    Mosferatu
    Fulldrive 10th Anniversary
    Banzai Fireball II
    Way Huge Green Rhino
    Menatone Red Snapper
    Menatone King of The Britains
    Menatone Howie
    Barber Burn Unit EQ
    Tube Screamer, TS-9, TS-10, TS808
    Boss Distortion
    Boss Blues Driver
    I have had:
    Tonebone Classic
    Turbo Rat
    Sans Amp Tri-OD
    Stamps Drive-O-Matic XL
    Boss Metal Zone

    The pedal I use for blues, classic rock and southern rock is a G2D Classic. Gets me medium and higher gain sounds. Actually it is the only pedal I currently use. Two modes that actually sound like an amp.
     
  15. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    What, no Zendrive 2 here?

    Did you guys miss the memo?

    This pedal is it. Zen baby
     
  16. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    MJM Blues Devil rules.

    Eats Red Snappers for breakfast.
     

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