#1
Every time I watch a YouTube video of an overdrive pedal (specifically transparent ones), I can't help thinking "This thing offers no sound that I can't already get from my amp". They all just sound like a light, touch sensitive drive, much like a tube amp already delivers. So why does everyone go crazy over these pedals?
#2
Most people use them to push their tube amp's preamp harder. You do it to either:
A. Push the amp into more distortion than it would otherwise be capable of
B. Push the amp harder so you can get more distortion on the fly without having to adjust the amp
C. As a form of EQ that can be turned on and off easily.


In ye olde days before multiple channel amps came onto the market, the overdrive was effectively channel 2. If you have a two channel amp, an OD pedal effectively turns it into a 4 channel amp. They are used to expand the number of distortion levels available at the click of a footswitch.
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Last edited by Cathbard at Mar 17, 2014,
#3
That makes sense. I guess its more of a convenience thing, especially in a live setting. Thanks for the info!
#4
well some do add quite a flavor to the tone, so really it can be an easy way to offer a tone you cant get out of your amp at all.
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#5
everything that's been said above. if your amp is already being driven pretty hard, you could use an OD pedal as a boost for leads. I prefer the idea of a fuzz going into a driven amp and rolling your volume knob off to clean up your tone for rhythm playing etc
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#6
in addition to what's been said above, they can add saturation etc. which can be difficult to get at lower volumes. they sound and feel a wee bit different to just turning up your amp's gain (plus give you more options as cath rightly said).
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#7
Quote by Dave_Mc
in addition to what's been said above, they can add saturation etc. which can be difficult to get at lower volumes.


Yeah, totally true, my amp sounds a lot better in low volumes when boosted with OD.
#8
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#9
My amp of choice is an AC30, which is a single channel amp.
I run it clean and get my dirt from pedals.

And this below:
(Mostly "B" but a little "C" as well)

Quote by Cathbard
Most people use them to push their tube amp's preamp harder. You do it to either:
A. Push the amp into more distortion than it would otherwise be capable of
B. Push the amp harder so you can get more distortion on the fly without having to adjust the amp
C. As a form of EQ that can be turned on and off easily.


In ye olde days before multiple channel amps came onto the market, the overdrive was effectively channel 2. If you have a two channel amp, an OD pedal effectively turns it into a 4 channel amp. They are used to expand the number of distortion levels available at the click of a footswitch.
#10
Quote by CodeMonk
My amp of choice is an AC30, which is a single channel amp.
I run it clean and get my dirt from pedals.


I have an AC15, and although I haven't tried a huge number of dirt pedals through it, the ones that I've tried just don't sound as good as the amp's overdrive.

But I could definitely see how it would be helpful. One thing I don't like about this amp is having to switch the master and channel volume levels to go from clean to dirty.
#11
Some amps really take to an OD pedal and some do not. The amount of boost provided really varies from amp to amp. The most important factor is the saturation of the pre-amp tubes.

For example, my 5150 has a ton of pre-amp gain already. I have put a TS-9 in front of it and it was basically useless. Trying to further drive the already massively saturated pre-amp tubes had little effect. Actually, with that amp playing active pick ups has a much better effect than the boost pedal did.

On the other hand I have a Sunn model T that can go from a great blues sound to a full on metal roar by putting the Bad Monkey in the signal path. Due to the low pre-amp saturation I have to put the amp on like 5 to get the sound I like. A Model T on 5 is enough to bring the house down, so being able to get the gain I like with the volume at 2 requires a boost pedal.

Hopefully that makes sense.
#12
I use it mainly to tighten up a sound. Really gives a nice attack to your picking.
#13
You have an amp that overdrives really well and at fairly reasonable volumes, not everyone does.
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