1. A proposal is now up as a poll to change the guidelines of TGP to only allow member self-deleting of post/threads for up to thirty days of the original posting it. We are now watching the poll here. Click here to view the thread.

    Dismiss Notice

SolidGold FX SuperDrive - A Review

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by IRG, May 23, 2011.

  1. IRG

    IRG Member

    Messages:
    4,895
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY
    Posted on HCfx too.

    In case you don't want to read the whole review, here's a quick synopsis:
    Overall Verdict: An outstanding overdrive that does both lower gain and high gain drive with equal aplomb, and will delight those who use both single coil and humbucking guitars. 4.5 stars
    Highs: Extremely versatile overdrive, that can cover a wide range of tones, both the heavier 70s sounds, as well as nice bluesy overdrive. The gain from this pedal is incredibly amp like. Also has separate control for adding or subtracting bass that makes it a great option for both live and recording uses.
    Lows: If you're after a tubescreamer type pedal with a big mid hump, this won't do it, it has pretty neutral mids.

    Amp(s) used: Vox AC15c1, Fender Mustange III in the Bassman mode, basic eq settings. Guitars: CS Fender Tele, Epi Les Paul Tribute (Gibson '57 Classic+ bridge pickup, '57 Classic neck.

    Like many of us, I've been through quite a few overdrives, many of them good, but sometimes lacking in that sound I hear "in my head". I've been using a Mad Prof SHOD for lower gain, and have also used their Might Red Distortion, and the Little Green Wonder. All three are gone now. As are countless other overdrives. Fickle I guess, and not wealthy enough to keep them all.

    Enter the SuperDrive. I'll thank fellow forumite Jet Age Eric for giving this pedal a very hearty recommendation, even though it doesn't seem to get mentioned much in most conversations. We're going to change this! I've owned this pedal for several weeks now, and am past the honeymoon period.
    The controls on the SD are deceiving, and I'll make an important mention of one critical component that was included on my pedal, but seems to be absent on earlier versions, including the PGS and Gearmandude videos, and that is a 3 way toggle switch called "tone". It works kinda like the ZVex Distortron, and it impacts the low end frequencies. Left, it is the basic overdrive sound, bass in neither cut nor boosted. Middle position, bass is cut some, for a less congested sound depending on your amp, guitars, position on guitar, and the type of pickup. Useful for live playing where you want to cut through the mix, and not interfere with the bass player. And lastly, the right position has boosted bass, and can make a single coil guitar sound beefy, even in the bridge position, and a humbuckers bridge position will sound full range, yet still have the bite and clarity of a bridge position pickup.

    The other controls, volume - which is has a lot of, yet still useful for home use, a big plus for me. Last two controls are extremely interactive, gain, and presence. The presence control is a low cut filter according the instructions, and it affects the treble and some upper mids. The key here, is to crank it all the way up, this is the normal setting. The more you increase gain, then you start to turn the presence control ccw position. A little movement of this control does a TON to change the tone of this pedal. CW position will be the brightest and most open, with the least amount of compression, but again, it all depends where you have the gain. At noon, the presence can sound quite dark, and more compressed, especially if you have the gain at under noon. It is possibe to get a bad sound if you turn the gain down too much, and the presence too low.

    How much gain does this pedal have? A ton, more than just about any "overdrive" I've used before. But it's range is really incredible. With no gain at all, in the ccw position, with the volume turned up some, presence cw, you get a nice slightly dirty boost. Not totally clean, although I don't run my amps clean either, and who the hell really uses an overdrive to work as a clean boost anyway. It adds a little grit, which is cool. At about 9 oclock, the overdrive is definitely there, and it sounds great. Wonderful for a heavier bluesy sound, with no fizz or artifacts left behind.

    Also important to note, this pedal is really touch sensitive, and it works wonderfully with your guitars volume control. Turn up the gain to noon, and you're in heavy crunch land. Dial back the presence a little, and you get that nice Marshally sound, on both a tele or Les Paul. It's more distinct with a tele though, and it takes more gain to get it to sound nasty. With a LP, gain can be set lower, and you still get a nice crunch. Dialing back your volume control gives you so much control on the gain structure, from basically clean, to full on rawk. You could use this live with the pedal always on, and just control it from your guitars volume control.

    With the gain control at noon, you are in rock land for a LP, and it has a nice crunch on the Tele. Past noon, and you get into distortion territory for humbuckers. Turn the presence back to noon or even less, bridge pickup, gain at 2 oclock, and it is heavy, in a good kinda way. Something the MRD should have sounded like, but never did. And the gain all the way up, just give you a bit more of everything. It can get a bit noisy though with single coils.
    And the tone switch as I said, is very interactive. If you want deep, hard hitting low end, right position. If it sounds flubby, and you really just want the upper mid range/higher end to shine through, middle position, and left position will be a nice compromise of the two settings.

    I have found this pedal ideal for an EL84 based amp, that usually has the mids accentuated anyways. This pedal does not have extra mids, like a TS type pedal. If you need that, this might not be your thing. Otherwise, if you want a warm sounding overdrive that does everything, from nice biting bluesy overdrive with single coils, or a really heavy hitting crunch from your humbuckers, this pedal will delight you. At $175, it is well worth it, and really should be mentioned in every conversation that starts with, "recommend me a new overdrive" because this one can hold it's own with anything out there.

    I hesitate to post the PGS clip, because while it does sound like this, to an extent, it has a lot more sounds to it too, and also the PGS pedal does not have this 3 way tone switch that I find so very helpful. Also, the strat demo didn't sound that great to me, could be the strat. I liked the tele at the end, and the LP in the beginning is good too, although Andy is able to turn down the presence more than I do, and still sound good.

    http://proguitarshop.com/store/effects-distortion-pedals-c-602_12/solidgold-fx-super-drive-p-2014

    TL;DR.
    P.S., also looks pretty cool too, here's a stock photo.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Jet Age Eric

    Jet Age Eric Member

    Messages:
    7,600
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Location:
    Silver Spring, MD
    +1, but duh, right? :) I'm so glad it worked out for you, IRG. In case someone reading this hasn't read my 1,000+ posts, most of which refernce this pedal, I agree with everything IRG said, but I apply it to 6V6/6L6 amps, too. :) Get it from PGS and return it if you don't agree with us. JOIN OUR CULT!!!! I mean, uh, reap the benefits of our sage counsel. -E
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2011
  3. fuzzface71

    fuzzface71 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,318
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    Location:
    fUzZyLaNd
    Cool pedal. I never knew about them until years ago when I tried to buy a used OCD locally and the guy selling the OCD had the SD for sale, also. I picked the SV!
    I had the somewhat older modded version.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Jet Age Eric

    Jet Age Eric Member

    Messages:
    7,600
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Location:
    Silver Spring, MD
    I totally forgot about that design! I've got a custom toggle that removes a gain stage, making it more like a Tim without the fizz, but I still prefer it stock.

    Sounds like you moved on from it. What're you using now, and why? -E
     
  5. IRG

    IRG Member

    Messages:
    4,895
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY

    So it sounds like my Superdrive and your Superdrive are a bit different. My toggle doesn't reduce the gain, rather it seems to be a bass boost/cut. Which I really like, but like the presence/gain relationship, it is really interactive.

    I think the new versions of the SD have this bass switch labeled "tone" which older versions do not. Not sure what the above's switch does, sounds like its yours, where it reduces a gain stage if needed.
     
  6. Jet Age Eric

    Jet Age Eric Member

    Messages:
    7,600
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Location:
    Silver Spring, MD
    Yeah; I think Greg was thinking the toggle would let me get closer to a standard DOD 250.

    I'm really curious about how he implements the filters in the new version, but I'm so in love with the stock version that I can't be bothered to find out. :) I love the lack of fizz in the high end and I love the muscle in the low end, so tightening up isn't a priority (maybe it could sound better, but it's hard to image, and I like a lot of low end) and I think more would be too much. -E

     
  7. IRG

    IRG Member

    Messages:
    4,895
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY
    Well I like the extra low end of this pedal (right position) when I'm using the bridge pickups, for anything else, I'd probably stick to the left or standard eq setting. But extra bass with a bridge humbucker or a traditional bright tele bridge pickup, is a thing of beauty with this pedal. I've seldom come across a pedal than makes gain on a bright guitar with a bright amp, so sound good and warm.
     
  8. Jet Age Eric

    Jet Age Eric Member

    Messages:
    7,600
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Location:
    Silver Spring, MD
    There ya go. I rarely use the bridge pup but, if I do, I'm using it for that thin, nasal sound. Actually, I've found I get an AMAZING T Rex kinda dirt when I use my bridge pup (ASAT Spec, so kinda Tele-y) into the SD and roll off the guitar vol. just a hair. I was very surprised to find it. -E

     
  9. IRG

    IRG Member

    Messages:
    4,895
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY
    Yeah I was never a big fan of just the bridge pickup, with either my LP or tele, either sounded too thin, and/or too bright/brittle. Not now. And yeah, depending where I set the gain, a little roll back from the vol pedal does wonders. The tele is much more sensitive to this, and cleans up incredibly easy, the LP, I can turn down the volume quite a bit without it getting really clean like the tele, still a little dirt, but still sounds great.

    Too bad hardly anyone else knows about this pedal. Maybe this thread can be our own private sub forum, haha.
     
  10. Jet Age Eric

    Jet Age Eric Member

    Messages:
    7,600
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Location:
    Silver Spring, MD
    Yeah, It'll cut down on my inbox traffic. :)

    If you get the chance (and if you haven't) check out ASAT Specials; they were my gateway to Teles, which is to say I think they're even better than Teles (but I do like Teles now thanks to the ASATs), mainly because they've got usable bridge pups. :) -E

     
  11. IRG

    IRG Member

    Messages:
    4,895
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY

    I've gone the other way, well actually, both ways. I had a Highway 1 tele first, really good guitar, got it used for not a lot. Sold it last year to fund a Wii for the kids. I had a ASAT Bluesboy USA model that was very nice, but I never really bonded with it. The humbucker in the neck was what I thought I was after, and in the middle position, it was great. On it's own, I found it kinda muddy. The bridge pickup was ok, nothing really great.

    Last year, in July, I was the lucky guy who won the PGS 48 Hour fantasy tour, and I got to pick any Fender CS guitar they had, and attended the Fender Custom Shop road show that PGS hosted. Man was that cool! I tried out a lot of different guitars, but the one I took, was just "it". Heavy relic, which some like, some despise, but the feel of the whole thing just did it for me. Thicker neck, I would say it's "boat" - although another one I tested was thicker still. Now skinnier necks feel weird to me. Anyway, the pickups in this guitar are killer, hand wound Abby pickups.

    Now, I'm in the early stages of custom building my own tele, I think I need two of them (at least :D). I'm looking at a custom builder - Rutters Guitars, to do both the body and probably neck, and a good amount of the hardware too. http://ruttersguitars.com/home.html Not sure on pickups yet. This guitar will likely have a sugar pine body, neck will be maple/rosewood fingerboard. Something different from my current one. Selling a Road Worn strat to fund this. Just not really a strat guy anymore, my tele and LP get 90% of my playing time.
     
  12. Jet Age Eric

    Jet Age Eric Member

    Messages:
    7,600
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Location:
    Silver Spring, MD
    Wow! Yeah, a great Tele is a thing of beauty; that's awesome! The G&Ls to try are the Specials--or anything with MFDs ...


    ... and the SUPERDRIVE loves MFDs, too. (I had to bring it home. :) ) -E

    PS My ASAT sold me on big necks, too.

     
  13. IRG

    IRG Member

    Messages:
    4,895
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY
    Yeah, looking back on it now, I wished I hadn't gone with the Bluesboy, and had purchased the Special with the MFDs instead. Someday perhaps. Not the biggest fan of their headstocks though, but long as it plays and sounds good.
     
  14. Jet Age Eric

    Jet Age Eric Member

    Messages:
    7,600
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Location:
    Silver Spring, MD
    Yeah, the nipple is weird. But it sounds great through a SUPERDRIVE! -E

     
  15. IRG

    IRG Member

    Messages:
    4,895
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY
    Played my Superdrive more tonight. Still like it. Lots. On the extra bass setting, with the tele in the bridge position, it's almost indeed too much bass. Borderline at least. Who would ever think a tele, bridge position would have too much bass, haha. Weirdly, I don't find this to be a problem with the LP in the bridge position, I think the tone is a bit tighter overall, helps prevent the slight sagging I'm getting from the Tele.

    I think overall I would have preferred a separate bass knob to dial in or out the actual amount of bass, but this complaint is fairly minimal.
     
  16. imguitardan

    imguitardan Member

    Messages:
    3,840
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Go ERIC!
     
  17. IRG

    IRG Member

    Messages:
    4,895
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY
    The cult is small, but growing. Join us...
     
  18. tsinthegame

    tsinthegame Member

    Messages:
    160
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    I have been planning on it.

    The more I read about it and the more I listen to the PGS video, I think I shall be part of this cult soon enough.
     
  19. tjs

    tjs Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,258
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    I might be joining myself. Seriously considering one.
     
  20. IRG

    IRG Member

    Messages:
    4,895
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY
    Do it. I haven't been this pleased with a dirt pedal in a long time. But there's lot of good ones out there. Tough to choose sometimes.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice