Which OD's cover the same ground???

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by gitpicker, Jan 28, 2006.


  1. gitpicker

    gitpicker Silver Supporting Member

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    Here is an anti-GAS thread. The question is this:

    Name some OD pedals you have purchased that sound the same. There is certainly little point in having a couple of different OD's on your board if they basically sound the same. I generally try to run a low gain OD and a higher gain OD (and I am desperately searching for a fuzz pedal that I can get a decent sound out of!). I am not talking about comparing 2 pedals and saying "pedal "A" sounds a lot better than pedal "B". I am talking about "pedal "A" sounds just like pedal "B", so I sold the one that I could get the most money for / I liked the color of the LED better on the other one / had a larger footprint / etc.

    In other words, the only appreciable difference was price, footprint, color, etc.
     
  2. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Good luck with this thread...I think it is a great topic, but I wonder how many folks will be willing to say they sound "the same"...when everyone here spends all their time trying to describe the subtle (sometimes non-existent) differences :)

    I haven't had enough OD's to get two that metched. I hear differences between my TS-9, Digitech Screamin' Blues, Jekyll & Hyde, HBE UFO Fuzz-octave, MI Audio Blues Pro, that are not subtle, but EVEN THEN many of them CAN overlap and get similar sounds.

    Probably the hardest thing about naming several that sound "alike" or similar is...one will probably be a one trick pony or sound good in one certain range, whereas the other might have more range and sound better in many areas...would you consider them "alike" and covering the same territory?

    Also, again, you are dependant on the folks responding to have spent many hours with different pedals comparing them...but I have a feeling some folks "think" a peda is one way, or heard a friends at a jam, etc.

    Guess I'm saying, I know a few folk here have MANY pedals, and love comparing them....those are the guys I hope answers your post...other guys (like me) have only a few and really don't know.
     
  3. erksin

    erksin Member

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    I've never had two boxes that sounded exactly the same, but I have had ones that were similar enough to make me sell one off - does that count?

    The Timmy and AC Booster - I wound up selling the AC...
     
  4. gitpicker

    gitpicker Silver Supporting Member

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    quote: "does that count?"

    Yup! that is exactly what I was looking for

    quote: "I wonder how many folks will be willing to say they sound "the same"...when everyone here spends all their time trying to describe the subtle (sometimes non-existent) differences :)"

    Good point...

    I generally ballpark things - for example:

    I use a FAB 50 for my light OD - it replaced a Barber Silver LTD, which replaced a Barber Black LTD, and so forth...

    I recently got an Eternity, which I use for higher gain stuff and leads, it replaced a RAT, which replaced a ZIM, and so forth...

    No, the RAT and the Eternity do not sound exactly the same, but I consider them to provide the same utility, in a very similar fashion. I don't think anyone other than myself would notice the difference in a live situation. There is no point in having both on my pedalboard, they are too similar, and even though I loved the sound of the RAT, the Eternity kicks RAT ass (IMO).







     
  5. skiraly017

    skiraly017 Guest

    I'm an OD junkie. I admit it. I kills me to think that there is something out there that I haven't tried and I've tried just about all of them. As I learn more about effects, especially OD pedals, it amazes me how many "boutique" OD's are repackaged Tube Screamers. No joke. Sure they're tweaked a bit, maybe higher grade or closer to tolerance parts, the ability to change the type of clipping, but underneath it all is a Tube Screamer. I've got schematics for several well known boutique OD's and the differences bewteen the original 808 and the high-dollar stuff is so small it would amaze you. Sometimes it's about a dollar worth of parts.

    That being said, my favorite TS clone right now is the MI Audio Blues Pro.
     
  6. THROBAK

    THROBAK Gold Supporting Member

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    It's very true that many overdrives are just repackaged Tube Screamers. Frankly I've never played a Tube Screamer that worked for me. I also suspect that many of the transistor based overdrives are based upon the Colorsound Overdriver. The Overdriver circuit lends itself better to custom voicing than the Tube Screamer and has a much wider tonal palette. I much prefer the sound of a good transistor based circuit to an opamp circuit. If you have not tried a transistor based overdrive you should.
     
  7. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Member

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    Throbak, here's a dude who doesnt know a thing about transistors and opamps, could you educate me a little? What are well known overdrives/distortions with transistors and again well known pedals with opamps? What about diodes? I'm confused..

    As for the subject matter.. I think many pedals cover the same ground. I'm gonna have 6-7 drive pedals on my pedal boards and I think I could move them around to do different jobs. I just try to find what the pedal does best and work with it.. I don't care if pedal X sounds similar to pedal Y in certain setting, I just try to find the fundamental goodness of the pedal and allocate the use after that..
     
  8. derek_32999

    derek_32999 Member

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    OK, I have an old white faced rat (amazing, a lot better than my RAT 2), a zim and have had an eternity. The Zim VT card sounds VERY much like the Eternity imo especially with the contour knob in certain positions. Which cards did you try on the zim? I find it is probably the best OD I have tried. Not to mention versatile and at the topic of this thread. With the contour knob I can make the VT card sound like MANY of the TS clones I have played.
     
  9. gitpicker

    gitpicker Silver Supporting Member

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    quote"derek_3299:
    "Which cards did you try on the zim?"

    I actually ran 2 Zim's at one point in time - one had the HB and VT cards, the other had the TAR+ and BB cards. I ran the HB and TAR+ cards in the EQ side of the pedal. The TAR+ card didn't really trip my trigger (plus I got spoiled by a Keeley modded 1983 RAT!), and I never much used the BB card, but the HB was pretty cool. The one card I used the most, by far, was the VT card. To be honest, I never tried the VT card in the second position, so I never checked it out with the EQ section. However, my VT card did not have anywhere near the gain of my Eternity. I used it mostly for my Strat, just to add a little sparkle, body, and boost - it made my cheap Mexican Strat sound amazing. I eventually sold both of my ZIM's in order to try some other stuff out, but I have the feeling I will be acquiring another soon.

    As per the topic of this thread, the ZIM, with its EQ section, is unique among OD's that I have seen/heard. Really the most versitle and unique OD around IMO.
     
  10. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    Me too, I'd like more info on this. I know that there aren't all that many different topologies for these boxes, most are just variations on several classics.

    I know that opamps are miniature amplifiers on a chip that can be overdriven. Clones and variations of the tubescreamer work with opamps. A pedal like the Red Llama gets it's distortion another way, from overdriving MOSFETS, which are another variety of transistor. Some circuits use JFETs. Treble Boosters are made with Germanium transistors, which were an earlier transistor technology. Transistors aren't a full-on miniature amp like the op-amp, but are an amplification component like a vacuum tube, which is what they replaced.

    I'm still not too clear on a lot of this stuff -- there are way more knowledgable people on this board, I hope they will help explain. I'd like to see someone post the general charactaristics, pros and cons of using the different components. One drawback to opamps seems to be that slightly "fizzy" sound they can give you, which you can hear when you play at lower volumes. Once the amp is cranked that kind of goes away.

    Getting back to the topic, I have the TIM pedal and the Analogue Man King Of Tone. These pedals are both variations on the Tubescreamer and they overlap because I use them both for lower gain OD. But the circuits are different, the KOT sounds browner and looser, the TIM is a tighter sound with more transparent high end. I've messed around with changing the opamps on both of these pedals just to hear the differences. The jury is still out... I do appreciate that the KOT is smaller and has less knobs to tweak.
     
  11. Last Nerve

    Last Nerve Supporting Member

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    Though I never tried to get an exact replication out of them, the ZIM and Eternity could get the same range. I had the BB and B9 cards in the ZIM.
    The ZIM and Eternity were/are also the ODs that have lasted the longest with me! IMO, they're both a notch above most everything else out there.
     
  12. THROBAK

    THROBAK Gold Supporting Member

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    Some designs that use op amps are the Tube Screamer, just about every Boss pedal the MXR Distortion + and the Rat.... Many of these op amp circuits also use clipping diodes. There are some very good sounding op amp pedals but when compared to a good transistor design op amp pedals can sound a bit one dimensional and sort of impose their sound on the amp. Whereas a good transistor based circuit seems to complement a good tube amp rather than compete with it. Some of the classic transistor based circuits are the Rangemaster, Fuzz Face, Sola Sound Tone Bender and Colorsound Overdriver. Op amp circuits do great for Steve Vai and Satriani tones. But op amps can sound kind of "grainy" or "fizzy" with sort of unrealistically tweaked dynamics. Whereas a good transistor circuit has a very amp like sound and dynamics.

    Clipping diodes have their place in both transistor and op amp circuits. The problem is that most manufacturers use the same clipping diodes for everything when in reality mixing up the diodes introduces asymmetrical clipping which sounds more amp like. Many pedal mods address this by switching out the clipping diodes. I use a germanium diode and a germanium transistor acting as a diode on my ThroBak Overdrive Boost. A big maker would have just thrown in a couple of 1n34a diodes in and called it good. The big makers just seem to always stick with the old stand by diodes and components rather than really listening to what sounds best in the circuit. I swapped out many, many diodes, transistors, caps and resitors and actually listened to the results and chose the components based upon how they sound in the circuit. There are real tonal rewards to doing this that is why there are so many pedal mods offered and so many boutique variations of the same pedal on the market.

    Obviously this is just my opinion and tone is very subjective and there is no reason to not enjoy an op amp pedal but IMHO a great tube amp sounds best with a great transistor based pedal.
     
  13. johndara

    johndara Member

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    Ok you asked,,,and while they are not identical, they are similiar: Eternity and the Kaden Brown Creeper. I'm keeping both, but if I was to sell one it would be the Kaden.
     
  14. Ned

    Ned Member

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    the eternity is a keeper! :AOK
     
  15. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    Thanks much for the info Throback. I checked out your site, the Overdrive Boost is a really impressive-sounding pedal. I like stuff that has that "edge" to the tone... most opamp pedals don't have that, they have more of a squishy compressed sound. They both definitely have their place but are real different.
     

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