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Old 07-16-2013, 12:36 AM   #1
Clarkinator
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Looking For A Distortion + Boost Or Boost-Only Pedal

For the past few years, I've relied on an EQ pedal in my FX loop to provide me with a volume boost for leads and solos. Its worked fine, the increase in volume was more than enough to allow me to cut through the mix and standout when necessary.

However, I'm about to pull the trigger on a new amp that doesn't have an FX loop (a Fender Deluxe Reverb, since most of my band's gigs take place in a smaller bar-type setting and I got tired of lugging a huge amp around to shows and practice). So I won't be able to use my old method of getting a volume boost for soloing. The EQ pedal does not have any gain or volume levers, so I think it won't work for any sort of volume increase not in the loop.

Since the DRRI doesn't have a gain channel, I'll probably buy a distortion/OD pedal to go with it. I have a Tubescreamer I use for lighter gain stuff, but I need to make the amp scream at times for certain songs and solos. So here is what I'm thinking...

1) I know a lot of Distortion / OD pedals also have a "boost" option built in with a separate switch (so you can activate one switch for the gain, another for the boost). Does anyone have any recommendations for a pedal that fits this description? From what I've seen on YouTube, it seems a lot of these "boost" options simply just push the amp a little harder and increase the gain but don't really provide much of an increase in volume (and the volume increase is what I'm looking for). So maybe I need a pedal that has two separate "level" knobs so I can crank the "boost" channel on the pedal up more? Unfortunately the local guitar shop doesn't seem to have any pedals that fit this description, so any recommendations are most welcome.

2) Another option is simply to get a normal distortion pedal and a separate pedal for boosting. I know there are a lot of boost pedals like the MXR Micro Amp... since I'm looking for a volume increase, I believe a clean boost is what I'm looking for?

So if anyone could share how they boost their guitar for leads and solos, I'd really appreciate it, whether you go with option 1 or option 2. Again, a pure increase in volume is probably what I need, as it gets hard to cut through the mix at times in my band (I've got a keyboard and also a saxophone at times to battle with, not to mention a heavy-handed drummer) but all suggestions are welcome!
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:58 AM   #2
Offworld92
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If you consider a Tubescreamer to be high gain then a Fulltone Fulldrive 2 might be perfect for you.

For a clean boost to work, it has to be after your distortion. Boosting before the distortion increases the distortion, boosting after the distortion increases the volume. SInce you're running all your dirt in front of the amp, this should be pretty easy for you to control. FX loops really mostly benefit amps that have lots of distortion onboard. In a way having an amp strictly as a clean platform gives you much more flexibility, though the tonal quality between a pedal and onboard tube distortion can certainly be argued all day long.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:12 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Offworld92
If you consider a Tubescreamer to be high gain then a Fulltone Fulldrive 2 might be perfect for you.

For a clean boost to work, it has to be after your distortion. Boosting before the distortion increases the distortion, boosting after the distortion increases the volume. SInce you're running all your dirt in front of the amp, this should be pretty easy for you to control. FX loops really mostly benefit amps that have lots of distortion onboard. In a way having an amp strictly as a clean platform gives you much more flexibility, though the tonal quality between a pedal and onboard tube distortion can certainly be argued all day long.


+1

If you want more gain you could look into a fulltone gt500
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:22 AM   #4
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I have one pedal that is exactly what you're describing, also it allows for you to select to have the boost either before or after the OD.

The only thing is that the pedal isn't exactly mass market.

http://www.jhv3.com/ghost-drive/
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:26 AM   #5
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A Bad Monkey and a Timmy. That's what I'm doing essentially. Not a Bad Monkey per se, it's something I made. It's a modded TS808 really but the Bad Monkey will do basically the same deed because of the extra knob.

Your EQ will still work as a boost, you just have to push the sliders up. In the middle it's unity so anything above that is boosting. You just may have to push them all up higher than you're used to.
An MXR 10 band would do a fine job and is ideally what you want. A Danelectro Fish & Chips would work too if you want to save some money.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:23 PM   #6
ibanart300
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CMATMODS Super Signa Drive. You get an awesome screamer pedal with the ability to EQ (has a bass, mid and treble dial) and a separate boost that can operate independently. Otherwise a screamer and a timmy would be a great combo.

EDIT: The boost side on the SSD was awesome. Was one of my favourite clean boosts.

Last edited by ibanart300 : 07-16-2013 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:52 AM   #7
Clarkinator
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Thanks for the suggestions and tips everyone,

I definitely have a better idea of potential pedals to look for, and different options for getting the boost I'm looking for.

Based on some of your guys' suggestions, I'm going to see what kind of sound/boost I can get with the current pedals I have lying around (the Tubescreamer as many suggested using an OD pedal for the boost, or seeing if my EQ pedal can do the trick at the end of my chain as Cathbard suggested).

After I experiment with that and see where I'm at, I've also got some awesome suggestions for pedals to look at (I'm always buying new pedals and selling old ones because I'm a dork, and I really like the dirt and boost pedals everyone has suggested).

Cheers.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:16 AM   #8
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getting a custom pedal built is really reasonable. May want to check out toyroom fx, i got a couple of pedals from him. Top notch builder.

Kitty knows her shit too.

I would at least check a quality video of a gt500
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:53 AM   #9
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How about a clean boost pedal and an overdrive?

Carl Martin has the Plexitone, not sure if the distortion will be ebough for you but it is a great pedal and a +20 clean boost. There was a Vox Brit Boost that had a treble booster and an overdrive, if you can find one these might come in handy:
http://www.houstonmusicreviews.com/..._brit_boost.htm

Voodoolabs Sparkle Drive has a clean boost that is mixed with the overdrive, unfortunately just one switch.

Maybe one of the Radial Tonebone products, like this one:
http://www.tonebone.com/tb-trimode.htm

Look them up - they have tons of different voicings depending on what you might need there.

Tech21 also just released a Distortion/Boost and OD/Boost in two packages, here's the overdrive/boost:
http://www.tech21nyc.com/products/effects/boostod.html
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:46 PM   #10
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the MXR/CAE boost/OD is a really good one for around $130 new. the boost in insanely clean and the OD can get into distortion/fuzz territory.
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