Simble Overdrive Review

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by megatrav, May 18, 2015.

  1. megatrav

    megatrav Member

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    Hey everyone, I wanted to take some time to write about my experiences with the Simble Overdrive. I wanted to do this so that anyone who may be curious about this pedal will have a basic idea about whether this pedal will suit their needs.

    Before I dive into the details about the pedal, I want to state that I tried this pedal with three different guitars, which were an American Nitro Strat, a Gibson ES-339 Studio, and an Epiphone SG/G-400 which has BG Pure90 pickups. The amp I did the demo through was a Bugera V22. Before engaging the pedal, I took some time to dial in the clearest clean tone for each guitar so that the Simble had the best possible clean platform to work with.

    Before purchasing the Simble, I had read a lot about it on various forums and hear many YouTube videos of different people demoing the pedal. I thought it had a lot of potential and at the price range of $189, it would be a hard one to beat. I got lucky enough to score one off Craigslist for around $100, which to me was a steal. When I took the pedal home and opened the box, I saw that the guys from Mad Professor included some sample settings, which I personally am always a fan of, because it gives me an idea of what to expect out of each control and the overall parameters that they cover.

    I started with the "transparent" setting, which was exactly like it said it was. I could click the pedal on and off and virtually no difference, which was cool. So, next I went through each "preset" so that I could hear what Mad Professor intended the pedal for. After about 30 minutes of that, I decided to just use my ears and find the tones that worked best for me. The controls are Level = output level of the pedal, Sensitivity= overall gain/drive for the pedal, Contour= output tone control, and Accent= pick attack and dynamics.

    After another 30-45 mins of playing, I can tell that this pedal may begin as transparent, but definitely adds its own flavor, especially once you turn up the Accent and Sensitivity controls. I also noticed that it is actually a very dark sounding pedal that can absolutely get in the range of fuzz territory. I personally liked the tone with the Sensitivity backed off a bit to around 11 o'clock and the Accent control around 1-2 o'clock, with the Contour knob at about the same and Level set just a bit above unity settings.

    At times, I found it hard to dial out some of the very bass-heavy overtones, especially with humbuckers and p90s. However, with a Strat, it was hard to stop playing it. The overtones worked in my favor making each note have an almost fuzz quality without taking over and sounding like mush. It also seems to like the strat bridge pickup the most.

    As far as how Dumble-like this pedal is, I can not say first hand, since I have never had the chance to play one of these legendary amps or even a clone. I can only go off of recordings of guitarists that have used them and YouTube videos. I have also never played any other D-inspired pedals, so I don't have anything to compare it to in that regard. From what I have heard of other pedals and the actual amps, this pedal may fall short in delivering the note definition and sustain that D-amps are best known for. The Simble also seems to distort more than what I would call the "Dumble-sound". This of course is an analogue pedal trying to recreate the tone of an all tube amp that utilized cascading gain stages, which is tough to do no matter how you look at it. Not to mention the obvious witch craft used by Alexander when creating his amps.

    Overall, I think the Simble is truly a quality overdrive and has its uses and place on my pedalboard. I have yet to try extensive trials with stacking it with my other OD pedals, but that will most likely come this week.

    I hope this review was helpful. I encourage everyone to try one yourself. Who knows, you may have a totally different experience than me. After all, nothing is more subjective than guitar tone.
     
    duaneflowers likes this.
  2. crambone

    crambone Supporting Member

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    wow, very nice write-up!
     
  3. megatrav

    megatrav Member

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  4. DutchGuitarDude

    DutchGuitarDude Member

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    Great review. I have been eyeing this pedal myself. The V22 has 6L6?
     
  5. Webfoot

    Webfoot Supporting Member

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    I am guessing it does great for solo playing. How does it for chords for classic rock? Enough focus or a little mushy?
     
  6. megatrav

    megatrav Member

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    The Bugera V22 has el84s. So, unfortunately I can't hear it to its full potential as with a Fender or similar. I did however play a Fuchs Plush Drive today and I have to say, they seem virtually identical. Perhaps slight differences, but the controls do the same thing.

    It does excellent for lead work, but for chords it is best on a bridge positon of a single coil equipped guitar. However, it sounded pretty good with me ES-339 which has a Super 57 in the bridge.
     
  7. Melodic Dreamer

    Melodic Dreamer Member

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    I love mine. It has a singing quality to where the notes just bloom. Even at lower volumes the tone has a tube amp quality to it. I love it through a clean amp pushed a little. It actually has a lot of gain on tap than one would think. I also agree with the right settings it has fuzz like sounds.
     
  8. megatrav

    megatrav Member

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    I like mine too. The only thing its missing to me is the presence and bite that comes with pedals like the Zendrive. I assume its meant to be a more mellow take on the use idea, which means it was successful.
     
  9. DutchGuitarDude

    DutchGuitarDude Member

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    Does anybody play it with a 6l6 amp fender style? Would love to hear your experience!
     
  10. ari

    ari Member

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    Totally agreed here. If you turn up the Accent knob you can get the pedal to be fairly bright, to cover up the fat/bloated (depending on your point of view) low end -- I'd say you can get away with it as long as you're not using in-between pickup positions (too muddy) and not expecting pick attacks to really come through.


    The amp I used for my video review is Laney LC-50II, which is a 6L6 amp. Mine has JJ 6L6GC. It'll be posted in a couple of days, I can update this post when it's live.
     
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  11. megatrav

    megatrav Member

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    I think it will sound much more American with an amp that used 6l6/6v6 tubes and there also may be a bit more headroom just due to the nature of those tubes, but all in all, you don't generally hear "tone" from power amp tubes unless you really crank the power section of the amp. Other than headroom and a slight change in midrange character, most of the tone comes from the circuit of the amp and the preamp section.
     
  12. megatrav

    megatrav Member

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    That's interesting. What are the settings you use for your Simble? Those are much high quality/cleaner amps than my Bugera. I can definitely see getting a more "pure" sound with those. I also only played the Fuchs drive briefly and didn't a/b it with my Simble. I simply meant that they are founded on the same idea and possibly the same circuit. I remember reading that someone compared the circuits and a Plush drive is basically w Zendrive clone. I imagine the Simble circuit is close, but there are different caps/transistors/whatever that create the different tonal variations and "transparencies" you found when comparing them. They're all cool pedals and have their own applications.

    My next big purchase is going to be a Kingsley Squire D-style tube preamp. I'm going to run it into my Bugera's effects loop return and bypass the preamp. Hoping it works out to my liking and helps me get a much richer, cleaner tone.
     
  13. Teleman76

    Teleman76 Supporting Member

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    The BlueLine by Tonehunters is the absolute best yet. Most dynamic pedal I've played. Sounds incredible!!
     
  14. megatrav

    megatrav Member

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    Well for $400+ it be better be.
     
  15. DutchGuitarDude

    DutchGuitarDude Member

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    Pls do report it here...
     
  16. megatrav

    megatrav Member

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    Hey man, how you liking the OTS mini? I imagine the OD channel on it is a lot better than anything an analogue pedal could emulate. I bet they work together very nicely? Also, what speakers do you run it through?
     
  17. ari

    ari Member

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    Here's my review of Simble. I'd say its dynamics is its defining characteristics. It rivals my Dumbbell, which has the most unparalleled dynamics -- it doesn't seem to change at all from plugging straight into a tube amp. But its low end is fat and hairy (which is also similar to Dumbbell, though they are not voiced the same) so I wouldn't call it transparent. It can get muddy if you like Strat's in-between pickup settings.
     
  18. megatrav

    megatrav Member

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    Hey. Thanks for the reply! Nicely done demo. I would very much like to play a Dumbbell pedal, especially the version with one knob!
     
  19. shawntp

    shawntp Member

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    Teleman76 - I am really interested in the Tonehunters BlueLine overdrive. Was curious where you got your hands on one and if it played well with single coils/neck pickups? I am on the hunt for a great dumble style overdrive that I can use with my minimal rig (which consists of a DeTemple Strat into a RMC10 wah and then into a Carr Rambler).

    I have owned the Ethos (great clean preamp tone but the overdrive was really harsh/hard for me or something), ZenDrive/ZenDrive 2/ZenDrive SE (the pedal I want to love but as everyone always says it seems to play best with humbuckers and bridge pickups - not the 1st choice for single coils), Euphoria (ok but just not really enough meat or chewyness/character to jump out in front for leads), and a few others.

    I have been looking close at the Simble as it seems to perhaps be what is good about the Euphoria (more transparent) but perhaps with a little more character for leads. Now I am also equally peaked by this new Tonehunters BlueLine but all the sound samples are made with Les Pauls and there are not many reviews or impressions out there. Would love to hear more about it.
     
  20. shawntp

    shawntp Member

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    I purchased a used Simble to check out for myself (only way to know I guess is to put it in ones own rig and try).
     

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