#1
OK, what is the technical difference between overdrive and distortion? I mean how are they generated, what are the precise different effects on single coils, P90s and humbuckers? What is the different effect on different amps of size and make-up?

Basically, treat me as if I don't know anything about this stuff but would understand anything you explain to me.

Thank you
#2
well overdrive, overdrives the amps natural overdrive.
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#4
errr, sorry that doesn't seem to be explaining much-especially since you get overdrive pedals. So are you trying to say that overdrive is natural breakup?
#5
yus i think
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#6
Quote by nightraven
they're essentially very similar to one another
both are designed to clip the guitar's signal to simulate 'overdriving' the power tubes on an amp. distortion is just a much more clipped version of this.


This.

The main intent of an OD pedal is to emulate the sound of an overdriven tube amp (and to an extent some distortion pedals), not overdrive it. The only way you can overdrive an amp with an OD pedal is if you use it as a boost, any pedal that gets above unity gain can be used as a boost not just an overdrive pedal. Hell you can use a wah as a boost technically.

The main difference between overdrive and distortion pedals is the type of clipping. Overdrive pedals generally uses "soft" clipping to try and produce a sound like an overdriven tube amp. Distortion generally uses "hard" clipping. There's often a fine line between the two too. Perfect example is the Fulltone OCD.

And before someone says it, overdrive pedals work fine on a solid state amp.
#7
Thank you, that explained much better than anything from google and in real words from experience.

btw, if anyone thinks they have a better explanation, then please add it; I am always glad of more knowledge and I'm sure other people would be.

Thanks again
#8
Quote by bucketmark
well overdrive, overdrives the amps natural overdrive.


best sentence ever.


but in a nutshell...

od=dirt
dist=more dirt.
#9
Quote by Whole Lotta Led
This.

The main intent of an OD pedal is to emulate the sound of an overdriven tube amp (and to an extent some distortion pedals), not overdrive it. The only way you can overdrive an amp with an OD pedal is if you use it as a boost, any pedal that gets above unity gain can be used as a boost not just an overdrive pedal. Hell you can use a wah as a boost technically.

The main difference between overdrive and distortion pedals is the type of clipping. Overdrive pedals generally uses "soft" clipping to try and produce a sound like an overdriven tube amp. Distortion generally uses "hard" clipping. There's often a fine line between the two too. Perfect example is the Fulltone OCD.

And before someone says it, overdrive pedals work fine on a solid state amp.

+1
Seriously one of the best answers anyone has given for anything in a while.

Another thing, Distortions don't stack that well (though there are some exceptions, or situations where it does work well), but when you stack OD's, you can get some really nice tones out of them. (when set right, obviously) I stack my SD infront of my Valve Job and turn on the SD when I want my overall tone to be a little tighter and more modern. Works fantastic.
I'm Joel. I play guitar. I am a student. I look at the cost of tuition, not in a dollar value, but in the guitars I'm sacrificing now, to be able to buy later.
#10
the way i think of it is that an OD emulates power tube overdrive, and a distortion emulates preamp gain, and gives much more clipping than an OD.
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#11
Quote by nutinpwnsgibson
the way i think of it is that an OD emulates power tube overdrive, and a distortion emulates preamp gain, and gives much more clipping than an OD.

I've never thought of it that way, but that actually makes some sense, ya know?
I'm Joel. I play guitar. I am a student. I look at the cost of tuition, not in a dollar value, but in the guitars I'm sacrificing now, to be able to buy later.