#1
It’s been a long time since I posted one of these…

The Christmas gear hunt began in Adelaide while I was on holiday over the break. I decided to check out the local music stores for some gear, and found a place called Billy Hyde Music. After looking around and checking out some guitars, I decided to have a muck around with this guitar…





This is a Schecter Hellraiser Tempest model from 2008. I bought it for $999 AUD reduced from $1899 AUD.

Here are the specs:

• Construction/Scale: Set-Neck with Ultra Access/ 24-3/4"
• Body: Mahogany with quilted maple top
• Neck/Fingerboard: 3 pc. Mahogany/Rosewood
• Frets: 24 X-Jumbo
• Inlays: Gothic Cross
• Pickups: EMG Active 81-TW/89
• Electronics: 2 Vol / 2 Tone / 3-Way
• Bridge: TonePros TOM w/thru-body
• Binding: Abalone
• Tuners: Grover
• Hardware: Black chrome

Review:
This guitar plays magnificently for me. It has the EMG 81TW/89 pickup configuration so I use this guitar mainly for the heavier stuff. The neck on this guitar is really fat, at least 1 inch thick which is about ¼ of an inch thicker than my other guitars. Despite this, the guitar is really easy to play. However, I believe these guitars are no longer made so if you are interested in getting one you are probably going to have to search used.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After the holidays were finished in Adelaide, we returned to our hometown of Canberra. I decided to buy a pedal with the money I got for Christmas…



This is an Xotic RC Booster pedal. I got it for $240 AUD new. It is a clean boost pedal with controls for gain, level, treble and bass, it has a blue led and it is true bypass. Before I bought it, I tested it in the shop against an Xotic AC Booster and an Xotic BB Preamp. I liked the sound of the AC Booster, similar to the RC but with a bit more gain and a bit more colouration to the sound, the BB Preamp was also great but I think it is designed more as a Distortion-type box even though it boosts fantastically.

Review:
I ended up deciding to go with the RC Booster because I preferred to have a cleaner boost pedal. The RC is designed to give a transparent 20db of clean boost. From what I can remember, the pedal was definitely VERY transparent. I could crank the gain and volume on the pedal running through the 5W Legacy Head and the tone would still retain a lot of its character. It could also drive the amp from a clean sound to around ACDC-ish levels of overdrive by turning the bass and treble controls up a bit and cranking the gain. Despite all of this positiveness, I had to return it because the LED wouldn’t switch even though you could tell the effect was on. The when I went into the shop to return it, it started working again….

However I still wanted to trade it so I decided to go with this pedal that I had been eying off for a long while…





This is a T Rex Alberta Overdrive. I got this by trading in the RC Booster and $20. It has controls for level, gain and tone and is heavily based off an Ibanez tubescreamer.

The Story:

About a year ago, I began testing overdrive pedals for use as a boost for the lead channel of my Bugera 333. Other pedals I was considering – ones I could actually test - at the time included:

Ibanez TS9 RI
Ibanez TS808 RI
Maxon OD808
Visual Sound Route 66 V1
Crowther Audio Hotcake
Fulltone OCD
BBE Green Screamer
MI Audio Blues Pro V2
MI Audio Blue Box Deluxe V1
T Rex Moller Overdrive
Boss OD1 MIJ (second-hand sold to the store)

Mini Reviews:

Ibanez TS9 RI: Good overall pedal. Good as a boost but seemed to lack the ‘sparkle’ of the TS808 RI and some of the others.

Ibanez TS808 RI: One of the better boosters of the batch. Definitely tightens and thickens up the tone on the lead channel. Had good definition and ‘sparkle’, sounds decent as a standalone dirtbox too

Maxon OD808: Like the Ibanez TS808 RI. Seemed to have a touch more definition that the TS808 RI.

Visual Sound Route 66 V1: Good solid pedal. Has an overdrive and a compressor side that can be used one at a time or both on at the same time. Works decently as a booster, but I didn’t muck around with the bass boost switch. Compressor side was also pretty good.

Crowther Audio Hotcake: One of the best sounding overdrive pedals when used like a distortion box rather than a boost, full, fat-sounding. However, this pedal is not that good for boosting and tightening (i.e. drive 0, level 10). This pedal seemed to have A LOT of boss which made it sound a bit muddy at the time.

Fulltone OCD: Like the Hotcake, great sounding on its own, but used as a boost for metal, it tends to muddy things a bit. I think the Fulltone Fulldrive 2 MOSFET would be better at tightening but unfortunately they didn’t have any of those at the store to try out…

BBE Green Screamer: Obviously based of an Ibanez Tubescreamer. This is probably one of the best budget tubescreamers available. From what I can remember, it is a bit more transparent than the Ibanez’s and slightly better at tightening than the TS9 RI. Overall, my response to the sound of this pedal is very positive for the price.

MI Audio Blues Pro V2: Unfortunately the only way I could test this on the day was to go Guitar-MI Audio Blues Pro-Amp. Whenever I put it in a chain with the other overdrives for comparisons there would be this crazy buzzing noise. As for sound when it was on its own, good standalone pedal on the clean channel, a bit more transparent that regular tubescreamers and a massive gain range for an OD. This pedal is a good booster as well, although not quite as much definition and ‘sparkle’ as the TS9 RI or TS808 RI.

MI Audio Blue Boy Deluxe V1: Like the Blues Pro, A good standalone dirtbox. However, this pedal didn’t work as well as the Blues Pro for boosting. Fortunately this pedal was a lot quieter than the Blues Pro.

T Rex Moller Overdrive: Same issue as the MI Audio Blues Pro. However, it had a great sound through the clean channel, has a good range of gain and also has a footswitchable boost section. Despite this, it wasn’t great as a boost for tightening since it had a bit too much bass.

Boss OD1 MIJ: Great overdrive box both as a standalone distortion and as a boost. It seems to have a very large mid spike, larger than a regular tubescreamer. Great pedal for tightening the tone. This was the one I ended up buying as it was a vintage MIJ Boss pedal for $150 AUD.

After buying the Boss OD1 MIJ, I didn’t have enough money to buy a second tubescreamer-style pedal but I was quite satisfied with the OD1. 2 years later though, and I start looking around again and find the Xotic line of pedals. I bought the RC Booster, found a fault, returned it, and decided to get the T Rex Alberta pedal.

Review of Alberta:
The T Rex Alberta Overdrive is my favourite tubescreamer-type pedal at the moment. It is quiet, solidly built, and sounds great. As a standalone dirtbox it sounds fairly amp-like to me. The tone control makes the pedal very versatile. I find that the sweet spot on the tone control is around 10 o’ clock, it works well as a booster and an overdrive at that point, but that doesn’t mean it sounds bad elsewhere on the tone knob. You can turn the tone up all the way and it doesn’t seem to get as harsh as other overdrive/distortion pedals. This pedal is fairly transparent, more so than a regular tubescreamer, and it has a great range of sounds. It works well with all of my guitars through both my Bugera 333 and my Legacy 5W head. It seemed to be closest to the Maxon OD808 for boosting, but perhaps a little better.

recent stuff later...
#3
HNGW Mate. Did you check out Derringer's and Allan's music stores whilst you were in Adelaide? Couple of great stores. Derringer's in the city has great staff too, had top notch service every time I was there. But doesn't it break you heart how much more expensive stuff is over here?!
#4
Quote by porter_668
HNGW Mate. Did you check out Derringer's and Allan's music stores whilst you were in Adelaide? Couple of great stores. Derringer's in the city has great staff too, had top notch service every time I was there. But doesn't it break you heart how much more expensive stuff is over here?!


I didn't check out Derringer's but I did go to Allan's. Allan's had some pretty good stuff but for a lefty is uber insanely expensive...
#6
Ah, I'm a righty and think it is expensive enough, I feel for you. But yeah, if you are ever in Adelaide again, def check out Derringers, it is just around the corner from Allan's. Better prices too.
#7
Quote by porter_668
Ah, I'm a righty and think it is expensive enough, I feel for you. But yeah, if you are ever in Adelaide again, def check out Derringers, it is just around the corner from Allan's. Better prices too.


Cool, my family travels to Adelaide every year around christmas so next time i'm there, i'll check our Derringers.
#8
Great stuff, very cool... But 'massively epic?' Not trying to be Debbie Downer, but you can't claim 'massively epic' without an amp. A 2k amp.

Edit: My mouth is tasting more and more like foot as this thread progresses... Still waiting on the 2k amp though.
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
Last edited by tubetime86 at Jun 25, 2010,
#9
^ agreed lol


Massively epic is a pretty heavy description, you can't just throw it around like nothing

Cool stuff anyways, that guitar especially is really nice.


Anyways, I find the name "T-Rex Alberta" really funny, I don't know why really, maybe just the thought that most of the world doesn't really know what Alberta actually is and why it relates to T-Rex

I'm not saying that TS doesn't know, I'm just saying... you know


...too many smilies, sorry!
#10
So it’s been a few months that I was happy with my gear, and then suddenly… GAS.
So I hunt around and find a few pedals that I’m interested in and decide to sell off a few to fund the newly formed gas. I put my Dunlop 535Q on eBay and sell it for $155 AUD. With the money I got from selling the pedal I decided to jump on a bargain for an awesome pedal…







This is a Fulltone Ultimate Octave, in near mint condition. Bought it for $122.5 AUD, new they are about $360. The Fulltone Ultimate Octave is a Fuzz pedal supposedly based off the Foxx Tone Machine. It has controls for level, tone and fuzz. It has a switch labelled Fat/Bright. This changes the overall tone of the pedal Fat is a warmer sound that cuts through better mainly because it has more mids. The bright setting has a more scooped sound. I personally prefer the Fat mode. The pedal also has two footswitches. One to switch the effect on/off, and one to switch the Octave effect. The Octave effect can only be switched on when the fuzz is engaged.

Review:
On the ‘Fat’ setting, the fuzz is fairly warm with the level and fuzz around 12 o’ clock and the tone at about 10 o’ clock. The Ultimate Octave also has a lot of output and can be used as a gritty boost with the level cranked and the fuzz on 0.

Octave mode:
I tested this pedal with my Schecter Hellraiser Tempest with EMG 81TW/89 pickups and my Schecter Blackjack C1 FR with Seymour Duncan JB/59 pickups. I think the octave track decently with humbuckers, tracking best in the 7-15 fret range on the neck pickup. I haven’t been able to test the Ultimate Octave with a single coil equipped guitar yet, but I imagine that it would track better.
Last edited by bogg808 at Jun 23, 2010,
#12
The next piece of gear I got comes in the form of this…



Well kind of…
It’s a step down transformer which steps down the voltage from 240V to 100V so I can use equipment bought from Japan up to 50 Watts.

Why is this important?



So I can run this of course

It’s a Maxon AD100 Analog Delay, Similar to the Ibanez AD80 Analog Delay pedal. It has the MN3005 BBD delay chip that everyone raves on about. When I first fired this unit up I didn’t really dig the sound that much, and it would not oscillate at all. I was getting kinda pissed off with it and was considering selling it for cash to buy some other unit when I thought of something. I remembered that people said that they could adjust the delay time with an internal trim pot so I decided to open the unit up and muck around with the trimmers. Eventually I got the sound I was after and increased the delay time a bit to about 360ms which seems to be the maximum of the unit. It has controls for Input Level, Delay Time, Repeat, Delay Level, and Dry Level. It has a peak level LED, a power LED, a power switch, an input jack, dry and wet output jacks and a footswitch jack.

Review:
The delay sound is absolutely phenomenal now. Lots of warm repeats and can oscillate well. Only real complaint is how easily it can oscillate. When the repeats are turned above about 4-5 it may start to oscillate. A pretty cool feature on this unit is the Dry Level knob. You can dial the dry signal completely out and get this awesome delayed signal effect.

Then I went out to the local music store on the 26th of May and brought home this.



Here we have:

-Shure SM57
-M Audio Fast Track II
-Mic Stand

Now I can record!! The mic was $160, the interface was $155 and the stand was $30. I can’t really give any comparisons for this stuff as this is my first microphone and first audio interface but after a little while of screwing around I got some pretty accurate tones out of this setup going into audacity. Will probably get a DAW like REAPER soon and a microphone tube preamp...

Clips will be up soon...
#14
Niceeee
Guitars:
Ibanez UV777P
Ibanez RGD2127FX
Ibanez RG3120TW
Ibanez RGD7321
Ibanez RG6003FM
Ibanez SA160
Jackson Slatxmg3-7
Amps:
Baron Custom Amps K88
Rivera Knucklehead TRE
Fryette Sig: X
Randall RM4 /w Modded modules
Cabs:
Mesa 4x12
Bogner 4x12
Peavey 4x12(K85s)
#15
Clips of the T Rex Alberta and the Fulltone Ultimate Octave are up...

EDIT: Maxon AD100 clips up.
Last edited by bogg808 at Jun 23, 2010,
#16
So the GAS was still there and started haunting me… I had to sell more gear… I figured that I wasn’t using my Boss RE20 that much anymore as my Boss DD-2 MIJ delay was smaller, and I now had a working analog delay unit. I put it up on the bay again and sold it for $275.95 AUD. At this point I had just created an account on The Gear Page to troll the pedal emporium for used pedals. I found one very rare pedal which interested me…








Here's a gut shot...





This is a rare reissue of the Maxon OD880 Soft Distortion Overdrive pedal. I got this for $160 USD which translated roughly to about $180 AUD. It was originally released in around 1977 (according to Maxon) in Japan with a reissue available from 1994-1999 only in Japan. It seems to use a circuit based around the 741 Op-Amp also used in the vintage MXR Distortion+ and the DOD 250 Overdrive/Preamp. It has two controls, level and sensitivity (gain). A brief history can be found on Maxon’s website here: http://www.maxonfx.com/Nine_OSD9.php

Review:
The first thing I noticed when I plugged it in was how low the output level was even when fully floored. It seems to have just enough output when fully floored to provide a small amount of boost, however, it is a very cool pedal. My favourite setting for this pedal at the moment, is both controls maxed Overall this pedal has a great sound by itself but I found that it didn’t really work that well as a boost for a tighter metal sound.

Short Clip in profile...
#17
So I’ve just bought one overdrive pedal there, and it looks like there was another one on the way which I ended up getting for a pretty good price…





More gutshots...





This is a super rare Ibanez Overdrive II first series with flying fingers and the script logo. I got this pedal for 140 EUR which was about $210 AUD. It is supposedly a clone of a DOD 250 Overdrive Preamp or a MXR Distortion+ with an added tone control. It has the standard configuration of balance (level), tone and distortion controls. This version of the pedal has no LED or power jack.

Review:
The Ibanez overdrive II is a low-mid gain overdrive when the distortion knob is at or below about 2 o’ clock. Anything above that and it starts to get a bit fuzzy. The pedal seems to sound better when the tone knob is set around 10-11 o’ clock mainly because it sounds less harsh. When the distortion knob is set at 0 and the balance knob is set at 10 (used as a boost), there is not much of a volume boost. It seems to work ok as a boost for the lead channel of the Bugera, but pedals like the T Rex Alberta still work better for this task.

More Clips in profile...
Last edited by bogg808 at Jun 25, 2010,
#18
And then finally I get an email from a dude who builds these awesome pedals saying that mine are ready… well 2/3 of them…





What??? Two identical boxes??



Two Timmy's?? I think I'm seeing double!?



This is a Timmy. The second one I got for a friend who was interested. They cost $129 USD each from Paul, I ordered on the 9th of December 2009 if that is important to anyone. It has controls for volume, gain, bass and treble. It is a low-mid gain overdrive (another one) that can also be used as a transparent boost. The eq controls (treble and bass) are reversed (anti-clockwise is flat, clockwise cuts the frequency) and when they are set at the most anti-clockwise position along with the gain, and with the volume above 2 o’ clock (unity gain) this pedal will act as a clean booster.

Review:
The Timmy sounds absolutely amazing. As a standalone dirtbox this thing owns. Very nice warm and slightly crunchy overdrive sound. When the gain is cranked, the Timmy is still quite transparent. However, if you find that it starts to get slightly muddy, you can dial that out with the bass knob. This pedal has bucketloads of output with the volume and gain cranked. I could plug into the Legacy head and have the volume on that around 8-9 o’ clock, crank the level and gain on the Timmy, and the overall volume would be pretty close to full throttle on the amp with a bit more overdrive. My favourite setting for an overdrive sound is Volume: 2 o’ clock, Treble: 11 o’ clock, Bass: 5 o’ clock and Gain: 2 o’ clock. This allows the pedal to get a nice smooth crunchy overdrive while still retaining the character of your amp. This pedal also works quite well as a boost for the lead channel. If set right, you can use this to tighten up a rhythm tone, or to thicken up a lead tone. It also stacks quite well with some of my other overdrives, still allowing their character to shine through, but being able to give the pedal a nice kick up the arse to get some extra gain. When set as a clean boost (bass, treble, gain at 7 o’ clock), unity gain is at about 2 o’ clock. This means that the further anti-clockwise you turn this control, the lower the input signal will be to the amp. You can then use this pedal to clean up a dirty amp the same way the Homebrew Electronic Paul Gilbert Detox EQ works.

Clips in profile...
#19
Oh shit that is a lot of stuff!
That's just awesome

Edit: I just listened to the clip and everything sounds great. The ibanez overdrive reminds me alot of my Barbershop. And the Timmy sounds so amazingly open and clear.
Last edited by Sguit at Jun 25, 2010,
#20
Quote by nightraven
yes yes yes! this is with no doubt a massively epic NGD!

Absolutely, I retract my previous statement. Also I applaud you for not telling us it was gonna live up to its name, but instead showing us. Well done.

Edit: My original post has been edited:

Quote by tubetime86
Great stuff, very cool... But 'massively epic?' Not trying to be Debbie Downer, but you can't claim 'massively epic' without an amp. A 2k amp.

Edit: My mouth is tasting more and more like foot as this thread progresses... Still waiting on the 2k amp though.
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
Last edited by tubetime86 at Jun 25, 2010,
#21
The AD100 doesn't really oscilate untill the repeats are above 4.

I used the Ibanez Overdrive II for a music performance for War Pigs by Black Sabbath about 2 weeks ago, I got 98% for that and the graders gave really positive comments for the tone. I agree about rolling the tone knob off all the way, but for me it get a little too muddy, i'll find some use for that sound...

EDIT: I'll bump it soon with the Ibanez/Maxon family...
Last edited by bogg808 at Jun 25, 2010,
#22
Last piece of gear...

So I sold off my Dunlop Crybaby the other month and found that I had no Wah… I decided to search eBay once more and found an awesome boutique wah for sale ending that night.



Whats in the box?



This is a Geoffrey Teese RMC 5 Wizard Wah. I got this for $160 AUD. It functions just like any normal wah with a rocker and a footswitch that is engaged by pressing down on the pedal. It has a DC jack so it can be used with a power supply.

Review:
The Wizard Wah is definitely the best wah that I have owned. It has a wide and vocal sweep and on the cleaner settings on your amp, you can really tell that most of the sweep is quite dark. It works well on the clean channel, and unlike other wahs I’ve tried, it also works well on high gain settings.
#23
Wut, this is not over yet
Man, that's a nice wah you've got there, very nice. HNPD f****er