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Overdrive pedals
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james
Guitar God


Joined: 29 Jan 2002
Posts: 294
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2002 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been mooching around sites like gaspedal.com and Harmony Central as I fancy getting a decent overdrive pedal. Thing is, there are literally tons of boutique units out there, as well as the usual suspects, to choose from. I'm not looking for massive gain, just light/medium overdrive (preferably with true bypass) - from what I've read stuff like the Menatone Red Snapper or Banzai Cold Fusion look good. Living in the UK a lot of the boutique stuff would only be available to me by ordering from the US - question is, are they worth the money? I'd be interested to hear opinions from other Tokai users as to what they use with their Goldstars, Breezys, Love Rocks, etc.

James
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Peter Mac
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Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 1060
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2002 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi james,
For what it's worth, I've owned 4 different Overdrive pedals and all were different.
I started with a DOD Overdrive/Preamp which was purplish colored, around the same size as the small MXR brand effects with the silver knob switch. A very versatile box especially as I was moonlighting as a mandolin player for a skiffle band and could wind the gain off to get a fuller clean sound for the piezo pickup.
I then bought an Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer that was full and smooth, very good for the Santana sound at that time. It was stolen so I bought a Boss OD-1 and got rid of that the following week for a Tokai TOD-1 in black. The tokai is very similar to the TS-9 for sound and feel and no-one wants to steal it (ha, ha, ha) 'cause it's not a well known brand of effects here in Oz.
So, there's my 2Pence worth. Hope this gives you food for thought as you need to think about what you will use it for. The DOD does have a true by-pass curcuit in it also.

Peter



[ This Message was edited by: Peter Mac on 2002-04-19 21:18 ]
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Skybone
Guitar God


Joined: 04 Dec 2001
Posts: 504
Location: South Yorkshire, UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2002 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the moment I have:

BOSS OS2 Overdrive / Distortion (out on loan)
EH Big Muff Pi NYC (Reissue)
Marshall JH2 Jackhammer
Ibanez TS9 Tubescreamer

I have to admit to liking High Gain stuff, but I can get quite a nice Valve distortion from my Marshall, and the amp models on my POD (A pushed Soldano through Greenbacks). Though the Marshall is really versatile as it goes from really clean to really dirty, and also does that "clean but just about to break up" sound excellently.

The BOSS is great with Solid State gear, and sounds messy through Valves, though has that "clinical" BOSS sound.

The Big Muff is great for fuzzed up tones, though I'm a little disappointed in it, as it does fuzz and not much else.

The Jackhmmer is great for Marshall type Valve OD on a clean channel if your running other stuff like chorus & modulation effects (Flange / Phase etc)and then need some dirt. It has an OD function and a DIST function, though the dist sounds a bit like the BOSS, the OD is ace.

The TS9 is pretty flexible, going from just breaking up to full on OD, and so its quite well used.

The Marshall pedals like the GV2 Guv'nor are well respected and cheap (?40 - ?45), or try BOSS (?40 upwards). EH are a bit more expensive (from about ?50 up) and a TS9 is ?99. I fancy trying out an EH Hot Tubes or an Ibanez TK999 (which are rare in the UK) valve OD pedals.

Hope this helps, & have fun hunting!

[ This Message was edited by: Skybone on 2002-04-20 04:12 ]
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loverockerUK
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2002 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

null

Last edited by loverockerUK on Sat Mar 13, 2004 4:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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james
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Joined: 29 Jan 2002
Posts: 294
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2002 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the responses guys. I've tried quite a few pedals too. My first was a DOD American Metal years ago - pretty rough sounding, although going by the reviews on Harmony Central, gaining popularity with the nu-metal fraternity. I picked up an original EH Big Muff just before the prices went mad and its monstrous sounding, but not very versatile. In the days when Metallica ruled the world I bought a Boss MetalZone, which was suprisingly good at doing the scooped sound on a budget. Time has mellowed me and I'm looking for something a bit more subtle now.
http://www.gaspedal.com has some useful sound files, although most seem to demo the high gain settings. I'm also not convinced that you need to pay boutique prices for good tone. I've heard the Fulldrive II is good but your looking at ?200+ in the UK! I did like the sound of the Visual Sound Jeckyl and Hyde - versatile too. I've seen one going cheap locally, so maybe....
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james
Guitar God


Joined: 29 Jan 2002
Posts: 294
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2002 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skybone,

Theres an Ibanez TK999 on eBay now:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=860124104

On a slightly fuzzier note, I really like the sound of the Fulltone 69 pedal - excellent early Hendrix sound, that cleans up as you turn down. Problem is theres only one UK distributor and their price is ?200. There are a few on eBay in the US but I think I'd be too worried about receiving a box full of broken bits by the time it had been shipped here
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james
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Joined: 29 Jan 2002
Posts: 294
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2002 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of making your own TS9:

http://www.generalguitargadgets.com/

This site has some great info for anyone who is interested in building guitar effects. It has schematics for the TS9, Fuzz Face, Fulltone 69, etc. Take a look at the fuzz face type circuits - still want to pay ?200 for a Fulltone now?!

James (warming up the soldering iron as he writes)
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loverockerUK
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2002 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

null

Last edited by loverockerUK on Sat Mar 13, 2004 4:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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james
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Joined: 29 Jan 2002
Posts: 294
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2002 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think an amp would be way beyond my paltry electronics knowldege - haven't done any since school! Did you make that one that they did in the UK Guitar magazine last year?

The Fuzz Face cicuit doesn't look too daunting so I might give it a try. The only thing that looks like a bit of a hassle is making the PCB, but the guy on that site sells them. Can you recommend any decent component suppliers in London? I looked on Maplin's website but they don't seem to do stuff like germanium transistors (essential for the Fuzz Face I'm told) or decent enclosures/boxes.
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loverockerUK
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2002 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

null

Last edited by loverockerUK on Sat Mar 13, 2004 4:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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james
Guitar God


Joined: 29 Jan 2002
Posts: 294
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2002 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your amp sounds very nice indeed

Theres a guy from the UK on http://www.ampage.org that has built the Fuzz Face from the site I mentioned:

http://www.firebottle.com/ampage/homebrew.cgi?cat=fx&page=4

He used a Maplin box (which I have now found on their site - doh!), but thats a good idea about using a broken pedal. He sourced the germanium transistors from a site in the US that measures them for gain and pairs them up for $9. I noticed that they also have the JRC4558D chip, which you'll need if you add a TS9 to your amp. The site is here if you're interested:

http://www.smallbearelec.com/

As to the PCB, I'm sure it would be easier to use perfboard, but first I really need to get a basic electronics book to refresh my knowledge.
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Eigil
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Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 38
Location: Norway

PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2003 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You want good overdrive, distortion or fuzz, that has it all, and is dead quiet? Then I suggest you have a look at:
http://www.carlmartin.com/

These pedals are the greatest ever. Former TC Electronics guru started this firm, making the finest stomp boxes yet to be heard by man. Did I mention they make all the other effects too? They are expencive, but HEY they are worth the lot! If you loved your JCM 800, then the Hot Drive'n Boost will give you more of what you allready love, and even give you the possibility to boost the signal by 22 dB!!! The Fuzz is the all encompassing fuzzbox with an incredible versatile EQ. In combination, these two boxes can make any overdrive lead/rythm guitarsound ever heard. However, if you hate your amp, don't bother. These don't alter your basic sound. They just give you more of what you allready like about your rig/guitar.
Today I am the happy owner of a CM - Chorus XII and a Hot Drive'n Boost MKII. I don't have to worry about buying better effects any more. This is it boys!
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Lee
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

James,

Now you know me, I'm a boutique nut and I swear by my SIB Varidrive pedal. I also have the 'Tubester' that is made by the Hot Chilli Tube Company (more Texas Flood than hot rod Marshall like the Varidrive).

Point is, both of these gadgets are very well made and sound like that extra channel you wish you had in your amp.

Yes they are a bit pricey but I wager its money well spent in the long run.

I also have a custom Boost/Overdrive pedal built by Jesse Hoff in Croydon. This isn't a high gain box. It delivers just the right amount of gain to the amp to give you a nice crisp overdrive tone.

I've had TS808's and TS9's in the past but unless you have a good one of these forget it. My mate Ray has an old TS808 and it's nothing but trouble. Most of them you see on ebay are knocked about. You?re going to pay top notch prices for a nice one so you may as well get something tasty.
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Eigil
Sus4add11


Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 38
Location: Norway

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 5:07 pm    Post subject: Butique you say?? Reply with quote

You should check out Pedalman's Tubescreamer! This said to be "the" best overdrive pedal on the market... There is like a waiting list, and not many are made. Have a look at www.harmony-channel.com - reviews - effects - pedalman, and se what people are saying.

http://www.pedalman.com/

I'm not sure if I need it... I have my Carl Martin Hot Drive'n Boost MKII!
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Lee
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2003 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eigil

That Hot Drive n' Boost looks like a nice piece of kit. Are they only available from the States?

I haven't heard of the Pedalman before. Can you order it from the Musictoyz site or do you have to go direct?
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