Man, that's a tough one because I keep tweaking the internal mid and presence controls which make me change the top eq controls and gain! But I really like the green channel with the gain around 9 or 10 o'clock and the output just above unity.
I also set the volume on both channels for just slightly above unity...bass at noon and treble floats from 1-3 oclock...for some reason when I get my amps and other dirt pedals all set up playing nice together I end up having to add treble to the tone pump...
I also tweaked the internals a bit to get rid of the tubescreamer-esque nasally mids...the problem is the tone controls for the low gain channel arent what I would set for the higher gain channel...I almost wish it had independant tone controls
I tried setting the internal mids down to 10:00, but ended up going back to 1:00 after a few weeks. It just seemed whimpier somehow. I really like the pedal for solos and individual note stuff, but it sounds boxy to me for chords and rhythm. I find that to be the case with most pedals compared to an amp on it's OD channel. Having said that, I like the green channel gain around 8:00 and the red up high around 2:00. Bass between noon and 2:00. Tone around 2:00. I use a les Paul and an egnater rebel 30 combo. Sometimes a tweaker. Amp that is!
Have the trimmers both around 1-2:00. I agree, that's where the push comes from (those trimmers are pre-gain & feed the circuit signal).
Green channel gain bet 7-8:00, red channel gain bet 2-3:00
Bass & tone change according to the room - bass usually bet 12-3:00, tone usually bet 2 & all the way up.
Volume at unity which is about 2:00.
The Tone Pump is my very best special friend. Magical box.
I set the internal mid all the way down to match my amp with no mid push. Then, I set my presence at 12:00-1:00. I then set the top side treble anywhere from 8:00-1:00. Bass at 2:00. Finally the green drive at 9-10:00, and the red at 2-5:00. Volumes at unity with each other and the clean amp. I don't use the pull symmetry. It softens the aggression of the clipping on the red ch. I actually would prefer it on the green ch.
These settings got me real close to sounding just like my amp but lacked some fullness that my clean ch has. Just a bit thinner. The bass control just couldn't quite get it there. So I asked David if I could add a note shape mod (internal pre bass trim) and he instructed me on what I needed on the Barber forum. I have the mod posted there. That did the trick. Very transparent tonally with my amp with great chord articulation. Not to soft nor hard of a clip. It's like the best pedal. To put the icing on the cake, I stacked two 4558 IC's for a subtle change in EQ and clipping. Fatter and smoother, more amp like. Both ch's sound great with the global EQ if one sets it up to match the amp.
I have several Barber's, and this one is the "go to" for a space saving tone machine on a small grab and go board. It basically can replace 2 pedals for low and med gain. I personally think that the red ch (set up with no mids) is the closest sound to the unLimiTeD pedal in his dirt line.
Funny this should come up. I had a tough time deciding between the Tone Pump EQ for the close-out sale and the unLimiTeD while some were still available. I initially thought for sure I'd go with the Tone Pump EQ, a $100 price drop on a great, established overdrive with lots of range seemed like something I couldn't afford to miss. But then Plan-X put up a monster clip of the u-LTD and it got me thinking about it. I've considered picking up an LTD SR in the past but figured my Tim and Timmy have that more or less covered... This new u-LTD, though, seems to do something really, really sweet, a surprisingly wide frequency response pedal with some real gain to it and a sound that just grabbed my ears immediately.
I spoke with David Barber directly about what I wanted from a pedal, and we chatted for awhile about how each one does its thing, what's going on with the sound and range of the pedals, I decided based on our conversation that the unLimiTeD was something I really want in my setup. I still have a little hesitance in me for not picking the Tone Pump EQ while I still can and while it's so affordable, but the u-LTD is really even more limited in its production, and I just couldn't swing both right now so I went with the one that seemed to more completely meet my desires in a pedal right now.
Still - I hate to be a guy that missed out on one of the very last Tone Pump EQs available! A serious classic, I love the design of it, it is a conceptually really interesting unit and in a way I'm disappointed that the door's closing on it. I figured I'd pick one up eventually but now, might not have the chance, especially if the price goes up on the used market now that it's discontinued. Barrier to entry isn't any fun. Time will tell, of course.
Ah, don't kick yourself to much. The Tone Pump ain't gonna become the next Klon and should always be reasonable on the used market. It never has caught on. Alot of people don't even know about it. The price when it was over 2 bills also kept people away. It took me a while to justify droping the moola myself. And even now at this great closeout price, it still gets hardly any attention. What the heck, it's kind of cool having such a killer pedal that know one gives a hoot about. The unLimiTeD is different that it actually might become an investment with such a "LimiTeD" production.