Which Dist/OD for best vol. knob cleanup?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by GenoVox, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. GenoVox

    GenoVox Member

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    Looking for suggestions for a quality, average priced mid-gainer that cleans-up well from the guitar’s volume control. By that I don’t just mean less distortion, but also without muddying up or losing too much tone. I have either 50s wiring or a treble bleed on all my guitars already, so that part’s covered. I already have my low-gain needs taken care of, after a fairly involved search.

    The one I keep coming back to is my old mid-80s RAT, but that’s not without it’s own shortcomings. Fuzz Face-type circuits I’ve tried create TOO much treble when turning down, plus I’m not a big fan of Fuzz in general.

    Like most, I have tried many, many ODs and Distortions... here’s just the latest batch:

    Xotic SL Drive – cleans up fairly well, but always a bit “papery” on the high end, no matter how the DIP switches were set

    MXR Custom Modified Overdrive – also cleaned up OK, but wasn’t crazy about the midrange tones. Either was too mid-heavy (with mod switch engaged) or too hollowed-out (with it off). If it had a KNOB to control that mid-sweep, it might’ve been the ticket.

    MXR Super Badass Dist. – LOVE the variety of tones it can generate, but has that “blanket-over-the-amp” effect as soon as you turn down a little.

    Prefer pedals with separate Bass & Treble (mid knob too would be ideal) and True Bypass. Was hoping to avoid the higher-priced stuff like Wampler/Mad Professor/CMat/etc... but I’m starting to think that’s my next step. I have also tried numerous Barber pedals, and have liked most of them, but the mini-controls being on the inside made it kinda maddening for on-the-fly tweaking... especially at gigs.

    Thoughts??
     
  2. GenoVox

    GenoVox Member

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  3. gearscrubs

    gearscrubs Supporting Member

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    For lower gain, maybe something in the BluesBreaker family. They're kind of bright to start with, so maybe wouldn't get so muddy when you roll back the volume.
     
  4. jlagrassa

    jlagrassa Supporting Member

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    Barber pedals clean up extremely well
     
  5. Frungi

    Frungi Member

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    The Blackstone Mosfet Overdrive is the pedal I know that cleans up by far the best. Even the overdriven tones are very dynamic. It delivers a very amplike tone and feel. Best in front of a clean amp.

    Instead of a tone knob it has a control to cut the mids, which covers quite a useful tonal range. May be well above your target price range, though...
     
  6. hhylkema

    hhylkema Supporting Member

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    Just about anything Bearfoot cleans up super well and is also extremly sensitive to pick attack. I have played many other pedals, but alwasy go back to my Bearfoot pedals for that reason.
     
  7. Black_Label

    Black_Label Member

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    Have you looked at the Lumpy's Tone Shop Albion?
     
  8. OotMagroot

    OotMagroot Supporting Member

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    I usually prefer to go from dirt to clean with my volume knob, so clean-up is pretty durn important to me. My top 4 favorite dirt boxes for this are (in no particular order):

    1. Lumpy's Albion
    2. Marvel Drive (my current drive pedal)
    3. Model H
    4. Tech 21 Hot Rod Plexi
     
  9. Blue Bee

    Blue Bee Member

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    Box of rock and Distortron
     
  10. Phletch

    Phletch Member

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    +1. I've got a Distortron clone that shines in this department. I have a Wilson Lotus Drive that does well also, and I imagine any of the D-amp pedals will do the same.
     
  11. demea26

    demea26 Member

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    DLS run at 18v. It's as close to an amp as you can get imo and cleans up great with guitar volume
     
  12. steam-powered

    steam-powered Member

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    I concur with Frungi's appraisal of the BMOD, it works really nicely into a clean amp. Very natural sounding overdrive and having that extra "higher gain" channel is a bonus.

    Another option is the Black Cat OD-1, which is currently on my board. It cleans up really, really well with the volume knob. What won me over to the OD-1 was the amount of actual distortion available. At higher gain settings, it offers fuzz tones, while at lower gain settings (the way I use it) it can go from clean to "Hot Blooded" break up by rolling up the volume knob.
     
  13. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    Agree on the Blackstone. I've also found Lovepedals clean up very well. AM KOT as well.
     
  14. ndtealmusic

    ndtealmusic Member

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    All of them. Don't you read the ad copy? [emoji14]
     
  15. imguitardan

    imguitardan Member

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    The Rat is my all time favorite OD. For clean up using the volume with mid gain, I'd look into a Hot Cake. It's more mid scooped than a Rat but can goose an amp as well. They aren't great with the gain past noon (but neither is a Rat IMHO). Cleans up beautifully though and with lots of sparkle. I've been through a million ODs and the Hot Cake (and Honey Bee) hVe been my mainstays. Both have Rat like qualities. Also maybe look into a Skreddy Screwdriver dlx (also very Rat like but doesn't clean up as well.) Good luck.
     
  16. metropolis_4

    metropolis_4 Member

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    The Boss OD-1x cleans up better than anything I've ever played in my life (including most amps). I've never seen such a responsive OD pedal.
     
    GtarLover likes this.
  17. bluflames

    bluflames Member

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    So I'm kind of a bluesbreaker hound when it comes to pedals - I have right now the GGG bluesbreaker (a pretty spot-on clone) that I've modified to be right between bb and PoT O/D side specs, I have a madbean 8ball, and I have actually 3 18v king of clones that I'm building.

    They're fantastic pedals and there's nothing like them - they have a very distinctive compression that makes everything sound better without really changing the underlying tone too much, if that makes any sense.

    However, far and away the best pedal I've played in terms of volume knob cleanup is the madbean flabulanche - not likely to be released as a commercial pedal because it features 7 fets - 3 jfet gain stages, a 3x mosfet 'power tube' stage, and 1 x bjt buffer. You have to bias the first 3 FETs - and by playing with the bias you can get a ton of different sounds. With the 1st transistor at 10v, 12v, and 14v, I got (1) unbelievable driven sounds, (2) the quickest gain-clean transition I've ever experienced, and (3) a really great semi-gainy booster sound, respectively.

    I left it like so - 12v @ q1, 11v @q2, and 13v@q3 (for the compression) and they're set dead nuts at those voltages (on 18v supply) and even with the gain really high up (a gainy sound for this pedal would be at perhaps noon o'clock) you can go from acdc/early metallica levels of gain to clean within 3 spots on your guitar's volume knob. It doesn't brighten up like a fuzz does - it's definitely a warm roll-off - but (and I think this is the buffer) you get really great clarity/definition at every setting.

    I put it side-by-side with my Mythical Overdrive, and the differences are (1) MO makes a better/easier clean boost, (2) MO is harder to dial in EQ-wise without adjusting the gain, (3) MO clips way less aggressively - the flabulanche goes from clean to raunchy without much in between, whereas the MO sounds almost like it's soft clipping, and even rounds off that transient attack especially when compared with the flabulanche.

    After playing through the flabulanche some, the best volume knob OD IMO would be the flabulanche if you had a 4x array of 1n4148 diodes set up to clip on q2 (i.e. .650fv x 2 = 1.3 fv which is .2v before the transistor itself clips) to where the distortion wouldn't be as aggressive sounding as it is right now.
     
  18. Blue Bee

    Blue Bee Member

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    The joyo us dream suhr riot clone I tried was great too... I been curious if the suhr is the same
     
  19. Nystuss

    Nystuss Member

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    Bearfoot Model H.
     
  20. strangesounds

    strangesounds Member

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    :agree

    Best cleanup I've ever heard from a pedal.
     

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