“Transparent” overdrive pedal?

blackba

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
11,180
Sorry, but no, there are a few TS that have a clean blend, sparkle drive for instance.

This is one of best pedals I own for guitar, Pale Horse Bass. He only sold 4 of them though, so good luck finding one.

Lol, classic TGP. Recommending a pedal that is unobtainable. :) :)

My vote is for a Greer Lightspeed or Kingsley Page
 

BluesHarp

Member
Messages
8,574
Lightspeed, Timmy, Tim, Silverkiss, Lovepedal Amp 11, Morning Glory, KTR, Rook, Barbershop.. I kept the Barbershop but if you need more gain then the Timmy is a saweet choice and the standard by which others are judged. Rook w a NE5532 opamp is a close second.. less gritty, bit more low reach and headroom.

Btw.. "transparent" isn't politically correct around here anymore.. but its a overdrive that adds gain breakup without changing two things hardly at all.. EQ and coloring. Also tends to have less compression and open sounding. Some of these overdrives that are suggested here are NOT even close.. but close enough is considered transparent. Sounds like your amp but with more gain. ( instead of adding its own flavor or turning a fender into a Marshall, etc )
 
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openbar

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,908
OK after 43 responses there are 45 UNIQUE pedal suggestions. Gotta love the TGP ;)
 

Snouse.com

Vendor
Messages
57
Ok, so I am on a quest for a transparent overdrive. All I want to add is just a bit more grit to the sound. My TS9 bumps the mids and cuts bass. My MIJ SD1 bumps the mids. My Snouse Black Box does something funky with the mids that I cannot dial out and that the original Blues Breaker did not do. So I’m trying to find the most tonally transparent overdrive that I can. I welcome any suggestions. Maybe a Klone? What do you guys recommend?
The BlackBox does do something funky with the mids. The original BluesBreaker also does the same funky thing with the mids. They wouldn't be the same without it.

The reason it's so difficult for you to find a drive that doesn't "do something funky with the mids" is because drive pedals typically cut out some low end before the signal is clipped or else you get mud. They also usually cut out at least some high end to smooth out the harshness you get from a waveform with its peaks chopped off. When you cut highs and lows, you get... drumroll... something funky with the mids. An overdrive with no compression is an oxymoron. Clipping a signal IS compression.

That's why the mythical "transparent overdrive" is so elusive, and that's why these threads go on forever with people recommending everything from TubeScreamers to clean boosts to unobtainable one-off releases (that are usually just clones of something else anyway).


If you want your amp's drive flavor, use what's already there. You'll get preamp tube drive by pushing with a clean boost, and/or power amp tube drive by cranking your amp. If you're scared of the neighbors, use a speaker attenuator. Maybe expensive, but probably still a lot cheaper than poking around looking for a pedal that makes a sound but doesn't sound like anything.
 
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Messages
11,605
The BlackBox does do something funky with the mids. The original BluesBreaker also does the same funky thing with the mids. They wouldn't be the same without it.

The reason it's so difficult for you to find a drive that doesn't "do something funky with the mids" is because drive pedals typically cut out some low end before the signal is clipped or else you get mud. They also usually cut out at least some high end to smooth out the harshness you get from a waveform with its peaks chopped off. When you cut highs and lows, you get... drumroll... something funky with the mids. An overdrive with no compression is an oxymoron. Clipping a signal IS compression.

That's why the mythical "transparent overdrive" is so elusive, and that's why these threads go on forever with people recommending everything from TubeScreamers to clean boosts to unobtainable one-off releases (that are usually just clones of something else anyway).


If you want your amp's drive flavor, use what's already there. You'll get preamp tube drive by pushing with a clean boost, and/or power amp tube drive by cranking your amp. If you're scared of the neighbors, use a speaker attenuator. Maybe expensive, but probably still a lot cheaper than poking around looking for a pedal that makes a sound but doesn't sound like anything.
Someone copy and paste this in every transparent overdrive thread, ever. :aok
 

wutnot

Member
Messages
407
BD-2, klon, timmy, greer lightspeed, pettyjohn chime, bluesbreakers type - morning glory or KOT, thorpy peacekeeper.

I find all of these to retain the characteristic of the guitar and other pedals in front of it. My test is always a fuzz into one of these
and see if I can still hear the fuzz characteristic. Something like a tubescreamer doesnt do it for me.
 

stucker

Member
Messages
1,167
I own many of the overdrives listed above (Timmy, Gain Changer, POT, RC Boost ...). But my most transparent overdrive is the Nobles ODR-1.
The EQ is mostly flat with a slight bass boost, and just a little compression and grit.
 

SFW

Member
Messages
1,402
Ok... maybe "transparent" was a poor word choice. I am running my 2005 Splawn QuickRod in gear 1. OD1 is set for mild crunch levels of gain (Think Tom Petty Mary Jane's Last Dance). OD2 bumps me to ACDC levels of gain (Think Shoot for Thrills). I would like an OD pedal that doesn't make the mids seem "honky" for lack of a better word. Of the pedals I listed in the OP, the Black Box is the closest to doing this, but the mids are just "off" for me. Almost a cocked wah type of thing going on. I guess I am looking for an OD pedal with a relatively flat EQ response. Or without the cocked wah feeling.

As for the attenuator... I'm already using one. I have a Weber Mass 200 that does a great job at knocking the volume down.
 

ColonelForbin

Member
Messages
1,768
Timmy is likely your best bet. It's insanely versatile; works great in front of other overdrives, after other overdrives, in front of amp, etc.

The bass and treble EQ controls are hi and low CUTS so you can really dial in some nice boosts with the Timmy.
And it can run at 18v for more headroom, and has three-way clipping toggle selection.

Another decent option could be the Keeley Super Phat. It's just not as transparent as the Timmy, but does have a nice tone - no mid hump - it's a Blues Driver clone with the 'phat mode' as a toggle switch. Takes up less space than the Boss pedal size.

The Keeley 'White Sands' is also a transparent overdrive; had one briefly, but let it go a while back.

I also really like the boost side on my Keeley D&M drive; would be interesting to see if Keeley ever makes that a standalone pedal...

Honestly, for boosting into any kind of amp channel dirt, nothing yet beats (for me) the Fulltone 2B (also runs at 18v for more headroom).

Adds ZERO grit however - clean boost only. Level settings need to be way different using as boost into dirt channel, vs. boost after dirt pedal into amp.

By comparison the Keeley mini Katana has a grit thing happening that I can't dial out, and don't like, unless I am using into other dirt pedals, or into dirt amp channel. I really don't like it after dirt pedals at all, and definitely not into clean channel of amp. Not sure about the full size Katana; might not have the same thing going on as the mini.
 
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Messages
2,935
Ok... maybe "transparent" was a poor word choice. I am running my 2005 Splawn QuickRod in gear 1. OD1 is set for mild crunch levels of gain (Think Tom Petty Mary Jane's Last Dance). OD2 bumps me to ACDC levels of gain (Think Shoot for Thrills). I would like an OD pedal that doesn't make the mids seem "honky" for lack of a better word. Of the pedals I listed in the OP, the Black Box is the closest to doing this, but the mids are just "off" for me. Almost a cocked wah type of thing going on. I guess I am looking for an OD pedal with a relatively flat EQ response. Or without the cocked wah feeling.

As for the attenuator... I'm already using one. I have a Weber Mass 200 that does a great job at knocking the volume down.
Your OP is basically ad copy for a Timmy. It will do exactly what you want it to do and give you a ton of control over the EQ without requiring a ton of tweaking. It's the longest serving pedal in my board.

TG
 




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