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#1
Hello UG folks!

Recently, I decided to buy my first distortion / overdrive pedal to "upgrade" my rig, because my current solution – running my guitar through my phone using iRig – is far from optimal, especially since phones usually don't have a foot switch, and can't be run with a battery. So I was looking through the web store of my favourite music store, but I have totally no idea about pedals at all, so the sheer amount of items is pretty overwhelming, plus I can't tell the differences between them, so I was hoping for a little help

I don't really have a budget, so the red line would be about 50 bucks for me (Euros, by the way). Since I play lots of different music, I don't really want to go too special – I've seen pedals marketed as "this metal", "that core", "rock special whatsoever", but I want to cover as many styles as possible. To name a few sounds, think Kerplunk-era Green Day, blink-182, Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach and Nirvana. Those are pretty different genres, so I don't want to mimic the sound perfectly, but rather have something that can go "rock" or "metal" - more differences aren't really needed. I don't really need much of an EQ, treble and bass are enough.

Now, the thing is, I've looked through lots of pedals, but most seem to be cut out either for rock or metal. By that I mean, either they go all in-your-face-distortion, which is too "hard" for chords or "softer" rock riffs, or they're more like a slightly overdriven amp, like crunch, which is too soft for nu metal and the like. I don't know if I'm just to inexperienced to know what to look for, but the specs of pedals don't really tell me anything, so if anybody could tell me what to look for in a pedal, that'd be great.

Thanks in advance,

Hashtag
#3
^ maybe one of the cheap crunchbox clones?
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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#5
A used Visual Sound Jekyll & Hyde V2 OD/Distortion dual pedal is (discontinued & replaced by the V3) slightly higher than your budget limit, but it is 2 pedals in one shousing. And it is a good Distortion pedal.*
https://reverb.com/item/4354555-visual-sound-jekyll-and-hyde-v2-series-2008-red
https://reverb.com/item/4891251-visual-sound-jekyll-and-hyde-v2

The distortion side is good enough that they made it into a standalone pedal, the Son of
Hyde,
https://reverb.com/marketplace?query=son%20of%20hyde%20distortion&sort=price%7Casc&page=

Here's a couple demos of the SoH:





* the V1 version is essentially the same circuits, but with a less durable housing.
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#6
I did a quick search, DF7 seems hard to find, and apparently they go for insane prices online (150 and upwards). The Behringer V-Tone looks interesting, I'll take a look at that, some folks say bad stuff bout Behringer though, we'll see. I hadn't even thought of Behringer, turns out, they got some interesting stuff. Perhaps I'll order one and see how it sounds.

I recently stopped by at my local music store, but they've got stuff starting at 60 and up, not gonna go there most likely. The Jekyll & Hyde stuff is also a bit much for a guy who's gotta save three months for 50 bucks.

Though, I did see an Asian-made multi-effect thing for 100 recently - got delay, chorus and od/dist. (both). Company's called Valeton, anybody got experience with their products?
#7
The Jekyll & Hyde stuff in a store is likely either the V3 or new old stock V2s. Too pricey, I'm sure. That's why I posted those Reverb listings. A used V2 will be a safe purchase: they're virtually indestructible, so should sound just fine even with a whole bunch of obvious wear.

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#8
In your budget look at Joyo - I've heard they are the same as the Harley Benton house brand in Europe.  
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#9
Stretching your budget a bit, I would get a Boss DS-1. About 58 euro. Not the best pedal but does a decent job. I think that Kurt Cobain of Nirvana used it at some point. 
#10
Quote by dannyalcatraz
A used Visual Sound Jekyll & Hyde V2 OD/Distortion dual pedal is (discontinued & replaced by the V3) slightly higher than your budget limit, but it is 2 pedals in one shousing. And it is a good Distortion pedal.*
https://reverb.com/item/4354555-visual-sound-jekyll-and-hyde-v2-series-2008-red
https://reverb.com/item/4891251-visual-sound-jekyll-and-hyde-v2

The distortion side is good enough that they made it into a standalone pedal, the Son of
Hyde,
https://reverb.com/marketplace?query=son%20of%20hyde%20distortion&sort=price%7Casc&page=

Here's a couple demos of the SoH:





* the V1 version is essentially the same circuits, but with a less durable housing.


VS stuff is dear in Europe unfortunately.
Quote by metalmingee
In your budget look at Joyo - I've heard they are the same as the Harley Benton house brand in Europe.  


Not all of the HBs are Joyos, but yes some of them are. (The ones which look exactly like Joyo pedals but with HB branding )
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#11
I may be missing something here, but what are you planning on plugging the pedal INTO?
Actually called Mark!

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#12
Quote by steven seagull
I may be missing something here, but what are you planning on plugging the pedal INTO?
This. If you're planning on using the pedal with the iRig, you're likely not going to end up with a great tone at all. HashtagMC I would look into getting a proper tube amp first before working on pedals. A pedal into the iRig software will just likely not react properly. A tube amp is obviously out of your price range for now, but it is better to work towards that than to spend your money on something that ultimately will not help you.
#13
No, I'll plug the guitar into my mixer because I want the pedal to replace the iRig's distortion. The mixer's preamps do a well enough job for amplification right now, and together with a digital cab sim that makes a poor man's amp. I was planning on saving the whole next year to get me an around-200W bass combo, and run my bass and the guitar through that.
#14
P.S: I've seen practice tube combos starting at 200 and up, but what I'm looking for is a rig that'll enable me to do gigs as fast as possible, mainly as a bassist but if necessary with my guitar too. That's why I think solid state bass combo plus a handful of pedals are the way to go for now.
Last edited by HashtagMC at Apr 15, 2017,
#15
Quote by HashtagMC
No, I'll plug the guitar into my mixer because I want the pedal to replace the iRig's distortion. The mixer's preamps do a well enough job for amplification right now, and together with a digital cab sim that makes a poor man's amp. I was planning on saving the whole next year to get me an around-200W bass combo, and run my bass and the guitar through that.

Gotcha, that's going to sound like crap then sadly.

If you want to DI into the mixer you'll need something with cab emulation to sound anywhere half decent - a distortion pedal direct into the board will sound way worse than iRig as most apps to have some form of cab emulation.

You either want a multi FX that includes speaker emulation or something like a SansAmp GT - unfortunately those are out of your budget but it might be worth taking a punt on one of the cheap clones like this Behringer https://www.thomann.de/gb/behringer_vtone_guitar_gdi21_analog_modeling_preamp.htm
Actually called Mark!

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#16
I can't recommend anything in that range, but in the future I'd go with a solid MFX for bass and guitar instead of a bass amp for everything, particularly if you already have a mixer and speakers.
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#17
Quote by steven seagull
Gotcha, that's going to sound like crap then sadly.

If you want to DI into the mixer you'll need something with cab emulation to sound anywhere half decent - a distortion pedal direct into the board will sound way worse than iRig as most apps to have some form of cab emulation.

Actually... no. For clean stuff, I run the guitar into the 1/4" jacks of the mixer right now, sounds good. For recordings, I then add a Cabsim VST on top of it, and done. Sounds good enough, and not anywhere near "crap". Of course that's not a real amp, but it works. You're right, the iRig app has cab emulation, so my solution with a pedal would be pedal -> mixer -> cabsim VST, the mixer being the amp head in that case.

And you can run a guitar through a bass amp. I've tried it, sounds a bit different than a guitar amp, I guess, but not bad at all. Better than running a bass through a guitar amp, at least if you don't want to ruin your speakers.

I've never understood why anyone would bother with a DI box if they got a 1/4 jack. There's probably some super important point I'm missing (feel free to point it out), but plugging the guitar into the 1/4" (label on it says balanced or unbalanced, by the way) sounds fine.
#18
Quote by Gab_Azz
Stretching your budget a bit, I would get a Boss DS-1. About 58 euro. Not the best pedal but does a decent job. I think that Kurt Cobain of Nirvana used it at some point. 

That thing sounds pretty well. Well past my comfort zone and above the red red line of my budget, but I'll definitely consider that one. I guess buying an established brand also lessens the chance of buying twice, as opposed to the "budget" items I had in mind.
#19
Clean guitar does usually sound ok DI'd in, indeed most of the time electro-acoustic players do just that. Distorted tones are a different matter though, DI-ing a pedal into the board normally just gives you a fizzy mess, no matter what you have further along in the chain.
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#20
How come it doesn't sound crappy when I run the output of my phone through the mixer? The iRig got the guitar input, goes into the phone, and thanks to some special 4-layer headphone jack also gets the output of the phone, which I then feed to the mixer. Is it the cabsim that makes sure it doesn't sound bad although it's a distorted signal going into the mixer? You've confused me a bit there.
#21
The software you're using with the iRig should do both cab AND amp simulation which both plays a big part in giving you a decent sound. Its outputting a sound that's intended to be amplified by headphones which will also sound pretty decent if you amplify it through the desk. A pedal like a DS-1 is outputting a signal that's intended to go into a guitar amp with a speaker, so if those two things aren't in the chain you need something to fill the gap, ie emulation, otherwise the sound will be lacking....typically it'll sound noticeably thin.
Actually called Mark!

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#23
It's 50 euro. Grab a joyo. See if it sounds ok. Come back to us if it doesn't. That's too small of a number to spend arguing over the internet about.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#24
Quote by HashtagMC
So what is it I need between the pedal and the mixer? Is that what the DI box does? Or preamp, like the Behringer GDI that was mentioned further up in the thread?

There's various boxes out there that do some or all those jobs and everything in-between depending on your precise needs. If your goal is simply to get a decent distorted sound direct from the PA with a minimum of fuss then I'd say get a Tech21 Sansamp GT2 but they're a couple of hundred quid. The clue is in the name with the Sansamp, "sans" being French for "without" so it's for exactly what it says on the tin - playing without an amp. It's an analog unit that has multiple options for both amp modelling and mic placement. 

The Behringer GDI is a clone of the Sansamp so built do do the same job, but a lot cheaper. ...I can't vouch for the quality for 23 quid its worth a punt.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


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#25
The GDI thing, does it have bypass? From what I've gathered (see here), you select clean or distortion with one of those selector switches, but turning off the distortion with a footswitch would be crucial for me.

In the end, right now, the choice is narrowed down to these options:
  • A distortion pedal, hoping for the best but perhaps having to send it back
  • A Sansamp-clone preamp
  • saving up half a year and investing in a more expensive multi-effect pedal including dist./OD & speaker sim
#26
I just scrolled through my usual music online store, staring longingly as usual, and saw they had a 130 bucks pedal reduced to 50 (apparently they took it out of their shop and are selling those they have left). Bought it on a whim (how often do you get a brand new 130 bucks pedal for 50 quid), let's see how it sounds. If it's crap, I can still send it back 30 days. Worst case, I'll have to keep it until I have a real amp.
#27
I think I just realised something.

To put it simple, did I understand correctly that overdrive is this "soft" rock sound, like AC/DC and the likes, Chuck Berry when you turn it down a bit; and that distortion is what the metal folks use? Like, distortion is what you use for power chords and leads that kick in your teeth, figuratively, and overdrive is what still sounds good when you play it with chords, and even almost clean depending on what you play? Or am I mixing up things?
#28
Quote by HashtagMC
That thing sounds pretty well. Well past my comfort zone and above the red red line of my budget, but I'll definitely consider that one. I guess buying an established brand also lessens the chance of buying twice, as opposed to the "budget" items I had in mind.

Yes, I think so too. But I would not recommend connecting to a mixer. The sad truth is that you are going to have to spend a bit more. You need to get a guitar amp and microphone. The other alternative is those units that replicate the sound of guitar amp in a room, but I never used one.
#29
An amp is planned for next year. I thought I'd skip the practice amp step, and go right to "big" ones, so I'm planning on saving up for a 150 to 200W combo. Should be enough to gig, if necessary (or blow the neighbours' eardrums), and I'll make sure to get one with a speaker simulation DI output.
#31
Quote by HashtagMC
An amp is planned for next year. I thought I'd skip the practice amp step, and go right to "big" ones, so I'm planning on saving up for a 150 to 200W combo. Should be enough to gig, if necessary (or blow the neighbours' eardrums), and I'll make sure to get one with a speaker simulation DI output.


A 40 watt tube amp should be enough.
#32
Quote by diabolical
GDI is Beringer's ripoff of the Sansamp.
How are the Blackstar HT pedals in price? They might be a good alternative.

Blackstar HT drive pedals start with one model at 45, next one goes up to 100 and then even 190 or 210 bucks. They definitely look good, and they got one that has a separate OD and a Distortion channel, but it's a bit expensive

I'll wait for the one I ordered to arrive, should be here at the end of the week or so. In case you missed it, I wrote yesterday that I saw a 130-Euro-pedal on sale for 50 (special offer or remaining stock), and I ordered that to try it out.
Last edited by HashtagMC at Apr 17, 2017,
#33
Quote by steven seagull


The Behringer GDI is a clone of the Sansamp so built do do the same job, but a lot cheaper. ...I can't vouch for the quality for 23 quid its worth a punt.

I've got the bass version and it does an alright job. Sounds pretty good through the PA at the rehersal space. 
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#34
Quote by HashtagMC
An amp is planned for next year. I thought I'd skip the practice amp step, and go right to "big" ones, so I'm planning on saving up for a 150 to 200W combo. Should be enough to gig, if necessary (or blow the neighbours' eardrums), and I'll make sure to get one with a speaker simulation DI output.

Depending on the particulars, you can gig with amps in the 20-60w range, no problem. My music teacher gigged all around Texas- jazz, blues, classic rock, pop, C&W- using a Fender HRD (a 40w 1x12 combo).

In a lot of cases, you won't need much because everything will be mic'ed and run through the venue's system,

Not that there aren't reasons to get one of those monster wattage amps. Some of them have features not found on their smaller brethren. Or you might like having that extra clean headroom. Just don't get one thinking that you HAVE TO in order to be heard.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#35
I think he's throwing out giant numbers because Bass amps are usually higher wattage, and that's what he's actually saving up for. Still sounds like a lot, just not sure everyone saying 20 to 40 saw that. 
Last edited by texuspete00 at Apr 19, 2017,
#36
Saving up for a bass combo. I said that, like, a dozen times ^^ It's 150 watts, 1x15 speaker + high-frequency horn. Should be enough headroom for the next few years, and later on, in case I ever get to play on a stage, it can also be a monitor.
#37
steven seagull regarding the "what are you planning on running the pedal INTO"-thing: I sat down today and fixed up my father's old guitar amp. It's pretty much a solid state circuit and a speaker inside a beat-down wooden box, never heard of gain or EQ, but it gets the job done, so for recording at home, I can run the pedal into that and record that like any amp. Has a pretty nice tone, too, a bit lack of treble if anything.
#39
Well, I'll just have to try it then. I played my guitar through a bass amp a few weeks ago and I didn't dislike the tone. I don't give much about tone most the time anyway, bit of a heathen there, so I probably won't even notice. Since I decided to focus mostly on bass, using it for guitar will be secondary anyway.
#40
My own two cents on the matter would be up your budget by 10-20 Euros and get a ProCo Rat 2. It's an incredibly simple, sturdy pedal and one of the most popular but unsung distortion pedals of all time. It has a Distortion and Volume nob but the key is the Filter nob. 

Having the Filter at 0 gives you a really sharp, metally sound providing the distortion is about 12 o' clock. As you turn the Filter to the right it Filters out the high frequencies and gives you a warmer sound. Having everything on about 12 o' clock gives you a great AC/DC, classic rock style crunch. 

As you play you can get anything from thrashy tones to big, Sleep sounding Doom tones. It's a great little pedal and I heartily recommend it. 
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