Voodoo Lab's Sparkle Drive!!!

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by SlinkyMan, Sep 19, 2005.


  1. SlinkyMan

    SlinkyMan Member

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    Who use's or has used on of these pedals? It seems like a good TS808 alternative too me, and it's more cost effective for me to order one from pedalGEEK than to buy a first hand Ibanez TS808 from Australia (rrp $320!!!). Plus true bypass!!!

    Any comments?

    BTW, what is the general relability of Voodoo Lab pedals in general?

    Cheers, Matt
     
  2. johan

    johan Member

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    Looks like a sturdy box but a friend of mine had some problems with the switch. I'm not technical expert but I think it was mounted on the board, the switch came loose and it destroyed some things inside the box. Another friend gigs with in many times a week and it's still going strong.

    However, the Sparkle Drive is really a great pedal. Can do the TS thing and then some. I love the blend knob. Great to blend in some clean boost to the TS signal. For the money it's a winner. Had one and have no idea why I sold it. I will probably get one again...
     
  3. SlinkyMan

    SlinkyMan Member

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    Thanks!

    Anyone else had any experience with this pedal?
     
  4. Page

    Page Member

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    I've got a Sparkle Drive. Sounds good but currently sits in its box because the switch is unreliable. It has been replaced by a Fulltone Fulldrive 2 and a Fulltone Fatboost. Both of these are built with the footswitch mounted on the chassis. After waiting months for replacement footswitch I think I'm going to put in a new switch that isn't mounted on the board. Had a Voodoo Lab Analog Chorus that went the same way which I replaced with an Analog Man Clone Chorus. Voodoo Lab build good pedals but putting everything on the board doesn't do them justice.
     
  5. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    I've had no problems with mine and I dragged that thing all over the world.

    It is not a pedal I'd recommend for the O/D tone, into a clean amp it sounds a little thin and buzzy. Has the soft clipping of a TS.

    Where it really shines is into an already crunchy amp, I especially like it into a Marshall or cranked up Fender Twin, using 50/50 clean blend, like a clean boost with a little hair on top.

    If you want to run it into a clean amp I'd look elsewhere.
     
  6. david eaton

    david eaton Member

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    I've had one for over a year with no problems. I really like the clean blend feature.
     
  7. Taller

    Taller Member

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    I've been using my Sparkledrive for several years now and I love it! The blend control is a great option for dialing in some of that natural amp tone along with the grit from the S-Drive.

    I also have had problems with the switch.
    See my solution here!
     
  8. mojoslide

    mojoslide Member

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    I just got a Sparkle Drive and I'm liking it a lot right now - we'll see how long it lasts. I think it sounds better than my Analogman SD-1/808/Silver which is great but doesn't work as well with humbuckers (that's why its for sale in the emporium section). What surprised me most when I plugged into the Sparkle Drive for the first time was that it works just as good with hums as singles. I was going to get a Fulldrive 2 but I decided to try a Sparkle Drive first. BTW, Taller I have done a similar mod on previous Voodoo Lab pedals - but didn't need to cut up the circuit board. Small Bear Electronics sells a nice small switch which fits above the board and can be soldered in with leads - it works great. I'll do it on the Sparkle Drive when it starts to give me problems.
     
  9. SlinkyMan

    SlinkyMan Member

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    Thanks very much.

    Are there any other negatives beside the switch? What would you suggest: Modded TS9, Ibanez TS808 (keep in mind both of these would cost upwards of $300 bucks if I bought them in Australia) or a VL Sparkle Drive?

    I'd be using it for solo's mainly, as a boost with extra gain, but also using it to do some light gain chord's, and SRV stuff.

    Thanks, Matt
     
  10. SlinkyMan

    SlinkyMan Member

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    BTW, any other pedal suggestions that do the Tube Screamer sort of thing in the range of about U.S. $150 dollars is great too.:)
     
  11. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Look in your own backyard - MI Audio Blues Pro or Blues Boy OD. Michael makes fantastic sounding pedals for WAY cheap!

    www.miaudio.com
     
  12. SlinkyMan

    SlinkyMan Member

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  13. slider

    slider Member

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    I love my Sparkledrive. It sounds better than my friend's original Tube Screamer.
    Turns out a lot of people had problems with the switch. If you do, google Voodoo labs, call them up in Petaluma CA (better than email, I hear), and they will instruct you how to send it to them. They will fix it and send it back FOR FREE!!!
     
  14. JPB

    JPB Member

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    I had a sparkle drive; great for higher vols in a tube amp w/blending of the clean. At lower vols the drive side sounds too thin/harsh and the clean blending doesn't mix well. Not too much gain on the drive; less than a TS9. Again, higher vols it is OK; but it is a pretty trebly one. I had done the Keeley-mod, and liked the improvement of the drive side including more gain, but disliked the combination of drive and clean; which was good in the stock version. The clean-boost alone is very good; spakeling and a lot of boost. I sold the SD for a MJM Blues Devil; better drive (great OD!) but still too much lows were sacrificed for chordss (That's the TS-type circuitry). I just received the TIMMY and this (fabulous sounding!!!) pedal makes me realize that retaining of the lows in a OD is a good thing; especially for chords. So the SD might be a good choice due to the blend function. Good luck.
     
  15. -kk-

    -kk- Member

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    late to the party, but here's my 2 cents.

    agree on the great blend feature, which is how i use it, boosted clean with some gain to add hair.

    the switches on these things are just plain crap ive had 2 boxes and both switches gave way, and I do know that its farily common for SD owners to replace the switch after some time.

    amazes me that a box that sounds this good, and built so solidly can be put out with those cheap 3PDTs. otherwise, highly recommended
     
  16. mojoslide

    mojoslide Member

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    Just to comment on JPB's post - some people do find these pedals harsh and thin sounding - but I think it depends on your setup. I use mine with a Marshall, so maybe that makes a difference from say using it with a Fender amp? I tried the SD on a whim even though some people described it as harsh and thin sounding. With my setup it isn't either - in fact I think it really just fattens up the midrange and adds a touch of sparkle to the high end (not harsh at all though) - which is probably great for single coils into a Marshall. But as I said before it works great with humbuckers too - with my Les Paul even at very low volumes I can get a nice thick tone that'd be perfect for Duane Allman type slide playing. I guess it depends on the setup and player.

    BTW last night I tried it as just a clean boost and it does a very nice job - just crank the clean control and put the volume where it gives you the bump you need (the tone and gain knobs don't do anything once the clean knob is cranked to max). I think mine is already having switch issues though - but I'll be fixing it asap because I've got a gig this weekend. They need to improve these switches - that's my only real complaint.
     
  17. Taller

    Taller Member

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    If they're replacing the switch with one just like it, I'd think one would still have problems when the 'new' switch craps out.
    I had a good switch lying around, so that's what I put in.
     
  18. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Seems to me, this problem is inherent to all their pedals - why don't they just upgrade the switches and save themselves the repair hassles and bad rep?
     
  19. JPB

    JPB Member

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    You're right mojoslide, thanks for the correction; i forgot to mention that i played it through a tele into bf Fender. So my setup is bright already.
     

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