#1
Firstly, sorry for any perceived thread repetition.

I'm after an overdrive pedal for a creamy blues rock lead tone without breaking the bank - ie US $200ish as a max.

I'm running my Squier Affinity Strat with Texas Specials into:
Philosopher's Tone -> TS9DX (in TS9 setting, drive all the way down, level and tone about 1:00-1:30) -> Pocket POD (Dumble ODS into Line 6 4x10 models, bass 12:00, mids 10:30ish, treble 11:00ish, gain 1:00ish, light compression) -> Blackstar HT-5RH clean channel (tone 10:00-1:00 depending what I feel like on the day, volume cranked to breakup tipping point: I find this to be about 1:00 before there is definite breakup) -> (loop) EQ pedal (mids 'scooped' - except without the mids actually being suppressed; I just have everything else a little boosted) -> DD20 -> return.

I have the gain basically exactly where I want it, but the creaminess isn't there - or rather, there just isn't enough. Best examples off the top of my head I can think of at the moment: rhythm tone I've based this off is similar to the rhythm guitar heard in the last chorus of John Mayer's "Assassin" (which, yes, I'm aware he probably used an EBMM Axis 25th for rather than a strat, but bear with me), with the lead tone being an intermediate of that and Mayer's lead tone on the Continuum recording of "Belief" (specifically the Continuum recording and not the Crossroads, Abbey Road or Where The Light Is ones). I've spent weeks messing around with EQing, picking and fretting technique, effect order etc etc and couldn't find what I was after.

Basically now, I'm looking for, not necessarily the creamiest tone possible, but A creamy tone out of a pedal that works nicely with single coils rather than buckers. I also don't want it to give me a gain carpet.

I'd rather stay with some of the more major (or easily accessible) brands because a lot of places have issues with shipping to Australia and whatnot. Also, I would prefer new or blem rather than used, also to do with being in Australia - unless someone around Melbourne is selling stuff for cheap, but I doubt that'll happen soon.

On my considerations list so far:
  • Keeley BD-2 (I've heard things about it being a more transparent drive and not adding too much. True/false? Also, the Boss version seems to work better with higher levels of gain than I would like which is why it isn't here)
  • Keeley Katana (yes I know, not an OD, but would it do what I want/help me?)
  • Zendrive/Dumkudo (I haven't seen much about the Dumkudo, but the Zendrive seems like it'd be ok to go with, however, the creaminess may lack somewhat, from the demos I've seen)
  • Fulltone Fulldrive 2 MOSFET (versatile, but I'm not exactly sure it will do what I want it to)
  • Xotic BB Preamp (have only really looked into it in the last hour or so. First impression is that it's a little gain carpettey for my tastes. Yet to check out the RC or AC - worth doing?)
  • Timmy (seemed like far too transparent an overdrive to work for me. Also would probably have issues acquiring one)
  • others?

I've been looking at a Lovepedal Kanji Eternity, but I'm having difficulty finding one, for fairly obvious reasons. I'm not really a fan of the Kalamazoo at this point, but I might listen to a few more demos tomorrow.
Pedal GAS?
Empress Heavy
ISP Dec of some sort
Keeley Katana
TC Corona/Vortex/Dreamscape
Last edited by Bob_Smith at Dec 31, 2011,
#3
You obviously know what you're talking about so sorry if this is obvious or not what you're after, but have you tried using the 2nd channel of your amp still set to fairly low gain, turn the eq pedal off cause you need the mids for cream. Then use the neck pickup of your strat and roll off the tone a bit, but not really below 5 or it'll "all get a bit sweet child of mine", but obviously mess around cause all guitars are different, and knock back the volume of your guitar just a smidge so it loses a bit of bite. Then i'm sure with a little bit of tweaking here and there, and trying out the pedals already in your chain to give your amp that little push, you'll be able to get it
#4
rc and ac are both less gainey than the bb
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#6
Quote by david-vbhc
Cant go wrong with a blues drive.

You're referring directly to the Keeley one and not the Boss right? I've generally heard and found myself that they are VERY different beasts altogether.

Quote by Rob_b_543
You obviously know what you're talking about so sorry if this is obvious or not what you're after, but have you tried using the 2nd channel of your amp still set to fairly low gain, turn the eq pedal off cause you need the mids for cream. Then use the neck pickup of your strat and roll off the tone a bit, but not really below 5 or it'll "all get a bit sweet child of mine", but obviously mess around cause all guitars are different, and knock back the volume of your guitar just a smidge so it loses a bit of bite. Then i'm sure with a little bit of tweaking here and there, and trying out the pedals already in your chain to give your amp that little push, you'll be able to get it

Thanks for that, I'll give it a shot when it's at a more reasonable hour over here (even though it's new year's eve with 1 minute to go here and everyone still really is awake). I've just been a tad apprehensive because I find the drive channel can sound a little tinny, and hence, almost haven't used it at all since getting the amp. Massive kudos to you though if it gets me what I'm after.

Quote by guitardWARf
rc and ac are both less gainey than the bb

I'll definitely give them a look then.

Quote by CodeMonk

I had the misfortune of never meeting Greeny in 2010 when our schools had their annual exchange for that year. Really rather disappointing. I'll take a closer look at his stuff; I completely forgot about him for a second there.
Pedal GAS?
Empress Heavy
ISP Dec of some sort
Keeley Katana
TC Corona/Vortex/Dreamscape
Last edited by Bob_Smith at Dec 31, 2011,
#8
Quote by gerraguitar
the boss blues driver actually is'nt that bad, but check out the OCD by fulltone

I know it isn't and it'd be a great pedal if I wanted mid-higher gain blues, but I find it to carpet the place with gain too much for my liking, and the tone I'm going for here is a barely to very mildly overdriven one. I'll keep the OCD in mind though.
Pedal GAS?
Empress Heavy
ISP Dec of some sort
Keeley Katana
TC Corona/Vortex/Dreamscape
#9
The zendrive doesn't like single coils.. You need some meat to get the best out of it! p90s or humbuckers only I'm afraid.

The Timmy is probably not what you're looking for either. For that "smooth creamy dumble" like sound I'd ditch the POD and use a good quality OD on its own. Use the TS9 as a clean boost for solos or extra grit.

The BB won't get you there either, it's far too distorted and "harsh" (it's not harsh in a traditional sense, only compared to the dumble-ish sound you appear to be after.) The AC will get you much closer, however it is far more compressed than other pedals on the market so it depends if that's your thing or not.

I believe the Jetter gain stage red is a popular one for single coil players but I've never tried one. It was flavour of the month a while back so it may be worth checking some newer reviews to see if the fuss has died down or not. The Ethos pedal also has great reviews if you can be bothered to tweak it but I've never tried that either, it's also probably out of budget. The menatone howie is a good pedal that I've tried, but I don't know how it'll take to singles. The HAO rumble mod is another good one worth checking out.

I hear the fuchs plush drive is basically a zen-like circuit (I haven't bothered to check, the info could be wrong) which again will struggle with singles.


There's a few things for you to look into.



(FWIW: I play a hum/CC/p90 equipped guitars into a zendrive into an amp sort of like an AC30, I know the zendrive pretty well!)
For sale: Early 1985 Ibanez AH10 (Allan Holdsworth signature model) PM for details
#10
I've got a couple of Zendrives, one of which I'm trying to sell but I'm in the US. I've never had issue with singles running though it. Of course I've been running either Lace Sensors or Dimarzio Area single so they aren't true singles I guess. I find the Zendrive works well on it's own but truly excels as the first part of a cascading gain circuit. Pop it in front of a good digital distortion and you get both a solid state bite and a creamy warm analogue tone.
#11
Quote by power freak
The zendrive doesn't like single coils.. You need some meat to get the best out of it! p90s or humbuckers only I'm afraid.

The Timmy is probably not what you're looking for either. For that "smooth creamy dumble" like sound I'd ditch the POD and use a good quality OD on its own. Use the TS9 as a clean boost for solos or extra grit.

The BB won't get you there either, it's far too distorted and "harsh" (it's not harsh in a traditional sense, only compared to the dumble-ish sound you appear to be after.) The AC will get you much closer, however it is far more compressed than other pedals on the market so it depends if that's your thing or not.

I believe the Jetter gain stage red is a popular one for single coil players but I've never tried one. It was flavour of the month a while back so it may be worth checking some newer reviews to see if the fuss has died down or not. The Ethos pedal also has great reviews if you can be bothered to tweak it but I've never tried that either, it's also probably out of budget. The menatone howie is a good pedal that I've tried, but I don't know how it'll take to singles. The HAO rumble mod is another good one worth checking out.

I hear the fuchs plush drive is basically a zen-like circuit (I haven't bothered to check, the info could be wrong) which again will struggle with singles.


There's a few things for you to look into.



(FWIW: I play a hum/CC/p90 equipped guitars into a zendrive into an amp sort of like an AC30, I know the zendrive pretty well!)

I've taken a look at all of the pedals you've suggested: shootouts, on their own, sc/hb etc
The AC and Jetter Gain Stage Red seemed to be just a hair grittier and more compressed than what I'm after (and yes, I am being really picky here), especially when compared to the Zendrive IMO. I did like the voicing of both pedals, but it felt like the Zen was better for cutting through the mix to me.
The Howie, HAO Rumble Mod and Fuchs Plush Drive had similar issues for me with being too gainy.
The Ethos is well out of budget, but does sound like it has the potential to do what I want it to. That said though, from the demos I saw, the Zendrive still seemed better overall.
Also, oddly enough, I did prefer single coils into the Zendrive over humbuckers, which I probably could just put down to me preferring single coils for blues in general.

I did, however, come across the custom relics video of their Black1 copies, and to my surprise, he was using a Full Drive 2 as his core overdrive which really gets me wondering about it again...

Quote by poppameth
I've got a couple of Zendrives, one of which I'm trying to sell but I'm in the US. I've never had issue with singles running though it. Of course I've been running either Lace Sensors or Dimarzio Area single so they aren't true singles I guess. I find the Zendrive works well on it's own but truly excels as the first part of a cascading gain circuit. Pop it in front of a good digital distortion and you get both a solid state bite and a creamy warm analogue tone.

How much are you selling for if I happen to be in the market for one in the near future?
Pedal GAS?
Empress Heavy
ISP Dec of some sort
Keeley Katana
TC Corona/Vortex/Dreamscape
#12
This might not sound right, but try out the MXR Distortion III. It's name is very misleading. It can get some pretty smooth overdrive tones before the grit starts to come in. Just keep the Distortion knob at 12:00 or lower, and use the Output knob to drive your amp. It's my go-to OD/Boost pedal.
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Pedals
MXR Distortion III (C4 Modded)
#13
I've got it marked at $175.00 USD. They retail for $200 new. This one has barely been played at all. It has a slight ding in the paint at the bottom edge, not enough to actually chip the paint though. It is otherwise like new. I may lower the price a little since I haven't gotten any bites on it yet. A friend of mine has it right now trying it out to see if he likes it. If he falls in love with it I may never get it back to sell. I've got an actual posting up in the Classified section for it.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1506503
#15
I'd look at some GFS pedals. Boss I believe also makes a Blues Driver.
There's room for all of God's creatures; Right next to the mashed potatoes.
#16
Quote by Bob_Smith
I've taken a look at all of the pedals you've suggested: shootouts, on their own, sc/hb etc

a.)The AC and Jetter Gain Stage Red seemed to be just a hair grittier and more compressed than what I'm after (and yes, I am being really picky here), especially when compared to the Zendrive IMO. I did like the voicing of both pedals, but it felt like the Zen was better for cutting through the mix to me.

b.) The Howie, HAO Rumble Mod and Fuchs Plush Drive had similar issues for me with being too gainy.

c.) The Ethos is well out of budget, but does sound like it has the potential to do what I want it to. That said though, from the demos I saw, the Zendrive still seemed better overall.

d.) Also, oddly enough, I did prefer single coils into the Zendrive over humbuckers, which I probably could just put down to me preferring single coils for blues in general.

e.) I did, however, come across the custom relics video of their Black1 copies, and to my surprise, he was using a Full Drive 2 as his core overdrive which really gets me wondering about it again...

I've expressed many times how much I dislike sound clips so I won't get into it again.

a.) The AC is a compressed pedal, it works better for "fusion" almost "synth-like" guitar sounds. Some blues guys like them though. Regarding the GSR I spoke to some friends about it and they seem to think it's another zen-clone... Take from that what you will.

b.) The Howie if anything is lower gain than the zendrive (or it might have been the HAO, I tried them close together and I get them a little confused. One of them is more angsty and gritty) I would say the Howie is better than the zen at cleaning up with the volume control too.

c.) I can't comment, but I would love to get my hands on the Ethos.. Might bite the bullet and order one, they don't seem too hard to sell on if I don't require its services.

d.) I think the main thing you won't get from the clips is the feeling of using singles with the zen. It is a "soft" and compressed feeling pedal which lends itself to humbuckers. With singles it's hard to get it to really "sing" when you want it to, it feels like you've got a vintage tweed with the volume capped at halfway; it's nice but you always feel you're not getting the best from it. I also find that with singles you get lost in the mix in a band setting, especially with the lower notes.

(FWIW: I've got single equipped guitars with '50s styled pickups and with late '60s styled pickups. For these guitars I tend to use a TS styled pedal if I require a dirt sound.)

e.) If it's the dumble sound you want you will be disappointed with the fd2... It is a truly terrific pedal however. If you get on with it's sound you could do far worse.


For sale: Early 1985 Ibanez AH10 (Allan Holdsworth signature model) PM for details
#17
It's never going to be the warmest setup, using a pocket pod and a HT5. Take the pod out of the front before you do anything else. Digital amp models straight into an amp never sound great.
My favourite for this purpose is a G2D Creamtone. great pedal.

Edit: The Zendrive is also great. Used one through a cranked Matchless Chieftain, and got some rather amazing sounds.
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#18
Wilson Effects Lotus Drive (single channel version) will be up your alley judging from the pedals you have been interested in.
#19
You want a Blues Breaker or King of Tone. Kinda hard to find the former and the latter goes for crazy prices used though. I've got a single channel clone that I built myself that I'm selling. PM if you're interested, price is low for UG'ers.
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#20
Quote by ibanart300
Wilson Effects Lotus Drive (single channel version) will be up your alley judging from the pedals you have been interested in.

I didn't know Wilson made anything other than wah pedals (which are truly fantastic.) Not that I needed another new pedal to look into... Thanks.


It also just occurred to me that the MI audio blue boy might be worth a look, it can do the dumble sounds but also the TS (and by proxy FD2) sounds. However it is a bit of a pain to dial in, or at least the controls are a little counter intuitive. It's easy to get a "good sound", but hard to locate the sounds you want IMO (which is of course a blessing or a curse depending on your outlook.) It's worth noting as well MI pedals can take massive power supplies (upto 20V+ iirc) which can change the sound/character of the pedal completely.


For sale: Early 1985 Ibanez AH10 (Allan Holdsworth signature model) PM for details
#21
Quote by mmolteratx
You want a Blues Breaker or King of Tone. Kinda hard to find the former and the latter goes for crazy prices used though. I've got a single channel clone that I built myself that I'm selling. PM if you're interested, price is low for UG'ers.


This, but also think about a new amp....
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#22
I have a Strat with Texas Specials and just got a Fulltone OCD and I love it
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#23
Quote by power freak
I didn't know Wilson made anything other than wah pedals (which are truly fantastic.) Not that I needed another new pedal to look into... Thanks.



Yeah they make a few different pedals. They must be popular as there is a 5-6 week waiting list. The Lotus Drive single channel version is a "Dumble in a pedal" type of pedal. Never owned one but man it sounds awesome in the sound files and video clips I have seen. Lotus Drive: http://www.wilsoneffects.com/LotusDrive.html
#24
Check out the Saltstorm by Mike. I've ordered multiple pedals from him (IC Muff and Saltbooster) and I've been really happy with both pedals, especially the Saltbooster since I use it to boost my OD9.
Last edited by Vantage at Jan 2, 2012,
#25
If you go BD2, definitely go Keeley. The Boss version is one of the best Boss pedals out there IMO, but I also don't think it measures up to the Keeley version by a long shot!

You might have better luck finding a Lovepedal Eternity. Not sure if you've looked into that one. Its pretty close to the Kanji.

The Katana isn't what you're looking for here, but is a very cool pedal! Its a clean boost (just about 100% transparent). The pedal has tap on the volume pot for very subtle gain. I could be wrong though. It could be the perfect fit on top of the OD you've got.

All the stuff on Wilson Effects looks sick! GAS here we go...