#1
People are forever talking about pushing a tube amp with an OD pedal, typically a tube screamer.

I just wondered if people could clarify what this actually does?
#2
It produces distortion from the first preamp stage of the amp by overdriving it.

What it sounds like depends totally on what amp and OD we're talking about.
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#3
how is it typically used?
i.e. with a clean or OD channel?

I have a Blackstar HT5
#4
Usually on the gain channel with the pedal set to volume max and gain 0. Depending on the amp and pedal you may want to experiment between the amount of gain coming from the amp and from the pedal. You may also like it better with the pedal volume set a bit below max also.
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#5
Quote by symanoy
how is it typically used?
i.e. with a clean or OD channel?

I have a Blackstar HT5


You can go either way. Using an overdrive with a clean channel tends to give you something in the "blues" realm - modest distortion. Using an overdrive pedal with a medium or high gain amp channel can produce very high gain sounds, but it can also turn into a mushy, noisy mess. This also depends on your pickups - running the overdrive after a hot humbucker will produce much more distorted tones than after a tele neck pickup.
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#6
There's also different flavors of overdrives. There are ones that produce very little distortion on their own, like the Xotic RC booster. There are ones that produce a lot of distortion on their own, like the Fulltone OCD. Some have different frequency responses - for example the classic TS808 tubscreamer has a very pronounced mid-hump.

It's one of those things where you just have to experiment.
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#7
ok thanks guys, people often talk about tightening up an amp, what do they mean by this?

and if the pedal adds little or no gain what does it do to the sound?
#8
Quote by symanoy
ok thanks guys, people often talk about tightening up an amp, what do they mean by this?

and if the pedal adds little or no gain what does it do to the sound?


The "tightening" thing is mostly garbage - amps sound "tight" or "loose" as a result of power system design, speaker choice and volume.

And even pedals that add little gain can cause the amp to produce more gain by hitting it with a hotter input signal. This overdrives the input stage of the amp, causing it to distort.
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#9
ok, thanks guys.

So basically an OD is used to increase gain and depending on the pedal and amp can produce different levels and tones.

what are some pretty standard well respected, decent sounding but not overly expensive OD pedals?
#10
Quote by Even Bigger D
The "tightening" thing is mostly garbage - amps sound "tight" or "loose" as a result of power system design, speaker choice and volume.

And even pedals that add little gain can cause the amp to produce more gain by hitting it with a hotter input signal. This overdrives the input stage of the amp, causing it to distort.


I'd say my experience with using a TS9 and Fulltone Fulldrive 2 has a quite a large impact on the tightness of the amps sound. Used 'em both on a Carvin Legacy, Mesa Single Recto, and Marshall JCM DSL2000. To different extents on each amp and each pedal but it was definitely there.
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#11
Quote by symanoy
ok, thanks guys.

So basically an OD is used to increase gain and depending on the pedal and amp can produce different levels and tones.

what are some pretty standard well respected, decent sounding but not overly expensive OD pedals?


If you want one just to see how it works and how you like the Digitech Bad Monkey is a cheap and fairly popular one. Never used one before but it gets recommended around here all the time as an extremely affordable replacement for a tubescreamer.
I have a huge fear if rays.
#12
Quote by symanoy
ok, thanks guys.

So basically an OD is used to increase gain and depending on the pedal and amp can produce different levels and tones.

what are some pretty standard well respected, decent sounding but not overly expensive OD pedals?


The Maxon TS-808 clone would be a pretty good place to start.
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#13
Quote by ChrisBW
I'd say my experience with using a TS9 and Fulltone Fulldrive 2 has a quite a large impact on the tightness of the amps sound. Used 'em both on a Carvin Legacy, Mesa Single Recto, and Marshall JCM DSL2000. To different extents on each amp and each pedal but it was definitely there.


It may be a matter of personal opinion and taste to some degree. For example, I have a Fulldrive II, and I've run it into a lot of amps' distortion channel. I've never liked the resulting distortion better than the base distortion. But I also happen to dislike the distortion on the three amps you mentioned, so I wouldn't rule out the possibility that I would like one or all of them better with the FDII in front.

As I said before, it's a matter of experimentation. Find what you like.
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#14
wat

The tightness results from less bass being present in the distorting stages of the amp. Too much and it turns to a flabby mess. See: unboosted recto. And the Maxon OD808 is a TS7 circuit in a different box. Skip it and get a TS7.
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#15
Quote by mmolteratx
wat

The tightness results from less bass being present in the distorting stages of the amp. Too much and it turns to a flabby mess. See: unboosted recto. And the Maxon OD808 is a TS7 circuit in a different box. Skip it and get a TS7.



No, the Maxon is a TS808 clone. The TS7 is a low budget knockoff that Ibanez did because the TS808 and TS9 used too many expensive parts.

As to the recto, frankly the "standard rectos" have always sounded like crap due to poor choice of output transformers, and I really doubt any pedal is going to fix that. Get a Tremoverb if you want a good sounding recto. This argument that pedals will "tighten them up" smacks of turd polishing to me.
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#16
Quote by Even Bigger D
No, the Maxon is a TS808 clone. The TS7 is a low budget knockoff that Ibanez did because the TS808 and TS9 used too many expensive parts.

As to the recto, frankly the "standard rectos" have always sounded like crap due to poor choice of output transformers, and I really doubt any pedal is going to fix that. Get a Tremoverb if you want a good sounding recto. This argument that pedals will "tighten them up" smacks of turd polishing to me.


Sorry to say, but it does tighten them up. It makes a huge difference in the sound of the amp.
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#17
Quote by ChrisBW
Sorry to say, but it does tighten them up. It makes a huge difference in the sound of the amp.



I figure the real solution is to just get a better amp. Turd polishing has never been my style. But it's all personal preference - maybe with enough work someone will figure out howto bring that turd to a deep, lustrous shine
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#18
Quote by Even Bigger D
No, the Maxon is a TS808 clone. The TS7 is a low budget knockoff that Ibanez did because the TS808 and TS9 used too many expensive parts.

As to the recto, frankly the "standard rectos" have always sounded like crap due to poor choice of output transformers, and I really doubt any pedal is going to fix that. Get a Tremoverb if you want a good sounding recto. This argument that pedals will "tighten them up" smacks of turd polishing to me.


No, it's not. And if you had a clue about the circuits inside, you'd know that. Just look at the Maxon site and it will say they messed with the output buffer, leading to the TS7 values.

The TS7 is not a knock off. It's the same circuit as the 9/808 RI with 3 differences that make no difference when used as a high gain boost. And it even comes with the original 'mojo' JRC4558. And if you think the parts in a 9/808 are expensive, . Ibanez uses the same cheap caps in all of their pedals and the resistors don't make a shred of difference in a pedal. The transistors are all the same as well.

And the output transformer has very little to do with the characteristic loose tone of the Recto. It's all due to its preamp design. It simply doesn't filter out enough bass before clipping to allow for a tight metal tone on its own and the active EQ exacerbates the problem.

I will agree that it is somewhat turd polishing though. A well designed amp for metal will not need a boost to do what the amp itself should be doing.
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#19
There's a lot of technical misinformation here, but if you really want to believe that a $30 TS7 and a $170 TS808 are the same circuit and parts, that's your business. Same thing goes for the recto power section - it has EVERYTHING to do with the output transformers (which is why Tremoverbs sound great and Dual Rectos sound lousy).

But if you don't want to look into these things and get correct information, that's really not my problem.
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#20


Can you even read a schematic? Do you know anything about amplifier design?
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#21
Quote by mmolteratx
wat

The tightness results from less bass being present in the distorting stages of the amp. Too much and it turns to a flabby mess. See: unboosted recto. And the Maxon OD808 is a TS7 circuit in a different box. Skip it and get a TS7.

It's a TS10 circuit, but close enough.

It's trash. Get an OD9 and do the 808 mod on it. You'll be much further ahead.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#22
Quote by mmolteratx


Can you even read a schematic? Do you know anything about amplifier design?


I'm an electrical engineer by profession and have build amps for everything from guitars to FM radio. That why I'm not buying your bullshit.
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#23
Quote by bubb_tubbs
It's a TS10 circuit, but close enough.

It's trash. Get an OD9 and do the 808 mod on it. You'll be much further ahead.


The TS10 has the same output buffer. The only difference between the two is an extra resistor off of one pin of the IC in the TS7. Don't remember where or what it was supposed to do. And looking at the TS9 schem, it's got the same output buffer as well. We're down to one difference.

EDIT: ^O rly? Why don't you swap the OT in a Recto and let's see how tight that low end gets?
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Last edited by mmolteratx at Aug 9, 2010,
#24
^ Yeah, that's why the OD9 makes the best midrange TS808 clone if you want true bypass.

Swap two resistors in the output buffer and you're done. It even already has the proper JRC chip in it.

But on the cheap, modded TS7s work just fine.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.