Question about OD's and Boost pedals

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by tdu, Jul 16, 2006.


  1. tdu

    tdu Member

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    Excuse my lack of technical terms, but I am no pedal expert.

    In the past I have used a Maxon OD-9 with my EL84 and EL34 tube amps and been very happy. It doesn't seen to sound 'right' with my new 6V6 amps though (Princeton Reverb, Champster Special). It seems to mess with the tone too much, and scoop out the mids. With my other amps it always gave them that nice 'pushed to OD' sound. With the PR and the CS it sound more artificial.

    I am looking for something that gives that 'extra push' sound. Is this what a Boost pedal does? Ideally I'd like a pedal that combines that, and a thicker distortion/overdrive for leads and stuff on one pedal. Is there such a thing?
     
  2. gulliver

    gulliver Member

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    Almost any pedal can be a boost pedal, it really just means to turn the level control (not distortion control) up so the output is much higher than the original guitar signal. This hit's the front end of your tube amp and causes overdrive. It's much like putting high output pickups in a guitar.

    The TS-9 type pedals are known for lack of bass and nasal mid hump. Certainly, they don't sound great through all amps. I don't have a recommendation for you as I don't know the tone you're looking for, but I think looking for a pedal with overdrive and distortion all in one will limit your choices. Keep checking out pedal clips until you find some that are in your ballpark of tone, and go from there.
     
  3. slowburn

    slowburn Supporting Member

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    fulltone fulldrive 2, perhaps?:

    [/FONT]
     
  4. tdu

    tdu Member

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    That is what I was refering to, and what I am trying to avoid. Basically I want something that doesn't mess with the EQ much, and gives a boost. Something that just pushes a pushed amp a little more for even a bit more grit.
     
  5. Cary Chilton

    Cary Chilton Senior Member

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    Very strange to read this post... Most TS circuit based Od's were made to help out the scooped out EQ of the Fender amps! That is why all, Ibanez OD's, Maxon Od's are quite mid heavy with a lot of bass roll, because....well actually PAULC-engineering whiz explained to me in a sentence, a sentence I forgot, why most pedals using the TS circuit needs the bass roll over once the drive is increased.... The basic answer is that if the bass wasn't rolled "in the original TS circuit design" the bass would get FUZZY very fast. Fulldrive by fulltone do exactly this when you cranked the drive on full -especially if you using an EL34 amp, you can really tell!!! Whiz's today, BJF, PaulC and a handful of others have got around this with their own designs. Anyway, any amp with a mid-scooped, heavy bass capped amp, will sound killer with the amp's OD volume being on 1-2.... BUT if you want to crank that amp and make it sound better, well then say hello to CHOKING that huge bass response to a flatter eq voicing and MORE mids (guitar a mid to high spect. inst.) using a TS circuit pedal. Oh yeah, OF COURSE, set your bass controls down to 5 and lower as you crank your fender.... crank your mids----- in fact, try blasting the amp, bass 3, mids 7-8, treble 8-9, presence 2-4 and see what happens.... Now if you think you still want something more but you don't want to change much, GET a boost! Buy a FMD ( stephensonamps.com) for 110 usd, or a pablo sagrado (catlinbread.com) or a zvex superhardon or a vintage MXR microamp. If you definitely want some hair, classic hair, and since you never dug the maxon od-9 on your fender, then try the maxon od-820 -more Klon like but it sounds better with humbuckers and the Klon is better with a strat! You might want to try a fulldrive II? The TIM was made to be used with a flatter voiced amp, but you could give it whirl since the eq control on the TIM/timmy are killer.
    Langraff is cool, as the CJOD for those who don't mind the price. The Eternity is another choice, very versatile, but with bass roll off. The TIM and Eternity have the ability to change the chips for testing which sounds the best for you. The MI Audio blue boy, bluespro are fine pedals, op amp changeable, but I found that the didn't record too well (through a senn 906 into protools) so it was out the door! The MJM, is handwired and KILLER for that SRV tone, records well , too thought it is wah friendly, it isn't daisy chain friendly...IME BJF's LGW or baby OD ( if you can find one) will be killer, though pricy, with a fender for classic tones. If you really want the best possible OD pedals, to add drive but in a melding way to full on responsive GAIN, for your Fender, I would get the BJF pedal prototyped for Donner- the RRrr pedal or the StageHog (2 times the price of the BJF). BJf's pedals are voiced geniously specific to a specific application so one of his pedals might not be sooo killer in another person's different set up. The Stage Hog, will sound Killer in any amp or guitar, pup combo but it is pricy! One just sold on the emporium. Good luck.

    PS-edit- I forgot to mention the RC boost for your boost options or the BB pre for an alternative to the Rrr pedal.
     
  6. leper messiah

    leper messiah Member

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    The MXR ZW44 fits the bill. Good signal boost with minimal effect on the tonal foundation. It's the overdrive designed for Zakk Wylde, but don't stereotype the pedal as a " heavy metal" pedal. It's just a great boost pedal.
     
  7. tdu

    tdu Member

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    Leper, I actually recorded with one of those back when the pedal first came out, and it sounded fantastic. I never really thought about it.

    My band didn't play anything close to metal. We played surf stuff with a country feel, and that pedal sounded great.
     
  8. THROBAK

    THROBAK Gold Supporting Member

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    I agree that it sounds like a tube screamer based pedal is not the way to go. I personally find TS based circuits too harsh and with very limited tonal control. But many swear by them. It just never did it for me.

    If you want clean boost and a thicker distortion/overdrive a pedal based upon the Colorsound Overdriver will deliver the goods. It can provide a substantial boost that is either clean or dirty. I make a version as does Pro Analog, Divided by 13 and Prescription Electronics and several others. The main differences between manufacturers will be different takes on components and different voicing to the bass and treble controls. The ThroBak Overdrive Boost which I make has an added germanium stage a pre gain feature and the tone controls have an extended frequency range. If you are looking for mainly a clean boost the germanium stage is not needed. As a clean boost this circuit is great. The bass and treble controls assure that you can keep the boost as true to your amp as possible. The added germanium stage is very useful for overdriven tones but the straight silicon mode is great also. I have had customer feedback from two Princeton Reverb owners and they really love the Overdrive Boost with that amp. Another benefit of this circuit is that it is transistor based and lacks the processed sound of many op-amp designs.

    Here are a couple of clips of mine. All are done with an 18 watt clone and a Les Paul. There are more on my site. The first clip has a clean bit then the Overdrive Boost is switched on in Silicon mode then it is switched to germanium mode, pre gain on. The second is a clean boost clip in silicon mode pre gain off. www.throbak.com

    http://gundrymedia.typepad.com/throbak_electronics/files/les_paul_clean_silicon_germanium.mp3
    http://gundrymedia.typepad.com/throbak_electronics/files/les_paul_silicon_clean_boost.mp3
     
  9. tdu

    tdu Member

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    Thanks for the info so far guys. Finding one of these within my budget is going to be an issue from what I have seen so far. Being in Canada, some of these pedals are damn pricey.

    I have got a line on someone selling a "[FONT=Verdana, Arial][FONT=Verdana, Arial]Pro Tone Wide Tread Boost" for a decent price though. It's supposed to be similar to a Fulltone Fat Boost. Anyone know any info on these?[/FONT][/FONT]
     
  10. el34power

    el34power Member

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    A Barber silver LTD or New Direct drive. Blue Driver also. Where are you in Canada...I have a guy in Montreal than makes custom stuff... I use his Super 250 for a solo boost. It's a grey DOD250 clone with an added diode clipping stage, lots of volume, open sounding .

    http://www.geocities.com/solid_gold_soundlabs/pedals.html
     
  11. spentron

    spentron Member

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    There's not just "mids", there's low mids, mid mids, high mids -- at least. Low mids still rebalance the overall tone towards warmth and high mids balance towards brightness. Thus "mids" is not only too general it can purely be misleading. TS probably and definitely Boss ODs emphasize upper half of the spectrum. Fender's mid scoop is lower than Marshall's and also is closer to the input, relating to the distortion structure. Marshalls cut the bass more aggressively but the bass control late in the circuit let you get it back better. Fender type speakers are far more upper-mid and less upper-treble. All something to think about. I might pull out my GE-7 EQ and experiment to help to figure out what's going on and then put the nasty noisy nasal distorting thing back in the closet until next time.

    And ooh yes I also make a clean boost, neutral, blasts the amp hard before even the slightest distortion itself, and has a mid boost control that goes to zero and is on the warm side unless you mess with the internal trimpot.
     
  12. tdu

    tdu Member

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    I guess one thing I am a little unclear on it what exactly is a 'clean boost'?
     
  13. el34power

    el34power Member

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    Well IMO. a clean boost is like haviing a roady cranking your amp up half a number on the master when you need it (solo).
     

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