#1
Hi everyone. A little while back, I got a Fender Blues Jr. I'm very happy with my purchase; I think it has any amazing clean tone. Now I'm looking to purchase an overdrive pedal for dirtier stuff, and I was hoping I could get a few opinions on what would be best given my budget and the tones I'm trying to hit.

My budget is about $200. I would be willing to go a little over that, though I would prefer to come in under. I'm "fairly" content with my Boss DS-1 for "heavier" stuff, so I'm more looking for a low-to-medium gain overdrive. I play most classic rock and blues. I'd like to try and produce tones from bands like Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Clapton, Pink Floyd, Santana, and Joe Satriani. Of course I don't expect one pedal help me get all those sounds (Jimmy Page and David Gilmour sound pretty different...), I just wanted to throw out some examples of groups I listen to.

I've looked into a lot of pedals already, mostly through audio clips and youtube videos though, so any information from people who have first-hand experience with these pedals would be great.

I like the Lovepedal Kanji overdrives a lot - very smooth and natural sounding. There are two versions of it, the Eternity and the 9, and while I've heard clips from both, I'm still not too sure what the difference is between the two. Is the 9 an expansion on the Eternity, or do they both offer something that the other doesn't?

I've also looked into the Hermida Zendrive, which also sounds awesome, and seems to let a lot of the amp through (which is good for me, 'cause I like the timbre from the Blues Jr.). One of my friends thought it could come pretty close to hitting a Gilmour tone too. Don't know where he heard that, but that would be cool if it were true. My biggest concern with the Zendrive is whether it can sound as bluesy as a tubescreamer.

I also like the Gearmanndude Luther Drive (or any tubescreamer, really). It's the cheapest of the three, which is definitely a plus, and while it's basically just a tubescreamer clone, I think it has a real nice, bluesy tone to it. I would like to know more about the bypass though - does it drain tone and/or is it noisy? Looking at the three pedals together, I'm also thinking about money; the Luther Drive is roughly half the price of the other two. Are the Zendrive and/or Kanji worth the extra money over a tubescreamer?

While those are the three I've been thinking about, any other pedal suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Gear:
Gibson Les Paul Studio (Wine Red/Gold Pickups)
Vox Wah
Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone
Boss DS-1
Digitech HarmonyMan
EHX Small Stone Phase Shifter
Digitech TimeBender
Boss RC-2
Fender Blues Jr. (Brown/Tan)
#2

I'm in the same boat - have a Hot Rod and a fat strat - looking for something a bit edgier than the amp drive for led zep or muse levels of OD
The only 6 words that can make you a better guitarist:

Learn theory
Practice better
Practice more
#3
I have a Marshall JH-1 that I use for my OD and I absolutely love it. It operates in OD mode or Dist mode, but the OD is really good - lots of adjustments to tweek the tone. I use it for Zepplin, Tragically Hip kinda stuff and I cant complain...give it a look, for 100 bucks its a good option for you

Epi Les Paul Std w/Duncans
ESP LTD EX260
Cry Baby From Hell
Marshall JH-1
EHX Metal Muff
MXR EVH Phase 90
Carl Martin Classic Chorus
EHX #1 Echo
Ibanez LU-20
Dunlop DCB-10
Crate V50112
Tascam US144


PEDALBOARD JUNKIES
#7
The Zen doesn't let an amps natural character shine. It has a specific voicing and imparts it on any amp I ever used mine with. It's a nice character, I just got tired of it. There should be clips of it on my profile in the Cream Riffs and ZD clips.

Ask raging_kitty about the Kanji. He just got one and said it wasn't what's expected. The Luther Drive sounds just like a stock TS to me.
E-peen:
Rhodes Gemini
Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
#8
I have a Kanji, and am pretty happy with it. I will say it is a MEDIUM gain overdrive. It will give you a really smooth clear and transparent drive. Beautiful lead tones, and is faithful to your technique and picking. It doesn't get very crunchy.

Another good option to check out is a Lovepedal kalamazoo.

Also check out the diamond J-drive
#9
Thanks so much everyone for your thoughts/suggestions. I'll definitely look into those overdrives.
Gear:
Gibson Les Paul Studio (Wine Red/Gold Pickups)
Vox Wah
Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone
Boss DS-1
Digitech HarmonyMan
EHX Small Stone Phase Shifter
Digitech TimeBender
Boss RC-2
Fender Blues Jr. (Brown/Tan)
#10
For not real heavy distortion, may want to give Visual Sound's 'Open Road' a look.

After watching this video: Visual Sound: Myth Buster #1: True Bypass
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOBn75-WN30
I am a believer in the Visual Sound Pure Tone buffer circuit, to minimize Guitar Cable Capacitance.

I have a Visual Sound 'Open Road' on order, and will place it early in my chain of effects.

The Pure Tone buffer is in all the Visual Sound pedals, and is active even when the pedal is bypassed.
Last edited by BurstBucker Pro at May 20, 2010,