Favorite "Always On" OD Pedals

Everyone needs a stompbox.
User avatar
Danley
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2104
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:46 am
Location: California Republic

Re: Favorite "Always On" OD Pedals

Post by Danley » Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:14 pm

Dumb question for me to ask this deep in the thread- why do this? If you always keep an overdrive on, are you:

-Just never playing clean?
-Getting a ‘sufficient’ clean tone from rolling back the volume on your always-dirty amp?
-Is the overdrive on such a subtle level that your amp is not audibly distorting anyway (essentially just there for a bit of tonal color) and kick in another dirt box on top of it when needed?

For me, an overdrive is there if you need an additional lead-boost on top of an already driven amp. In general I don’t like them into clean amps or clean channels. I have a Fulltone Fulldrive 2 that I could probably use in the latter two ways of the ones I listed above, since it’s very subtle for the most part - but I’m not sure why I would want to do that.
King Buzzo: I love when people come up to me and say “Your guitar sound was better on Stoner Witch, when you used a Les Paul. “...I used a Fender Mustang reissue on that, dumbass!

User avatar
marqueemoon
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 4059
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:37 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Favorite "Always On" OD Pedals

Post by marqueemoon » Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:50 pm

None, but if I had to deal with backline amps a lot I’d probably have my Archer Ikon on board as an insurance policy.

User avatar
Maggieo
Expat
Expat
Posts: 10884
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 10:36 am
Location: Nebraska, USA
Contact:

Re: Favorite "Always On" OD Pedals

Post by Maggieo » Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:52 pm

marqueemoon wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:50 pm
None, but if I had to deal with backline amps a lot I’d probably have my Archer Ikon on board as an insurance policy.
Same here.
“Now I am quietly waiting for/ the catastrophe of my personality/ to seem beautiful again.”- Frank O'Hara
I am not an attorney and this post is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a licensed attorney in your state for legal advice.

User avatar
somanytoys
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3325
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:59 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Favorite "Always On" OD Pedals

Post by somanytoys » Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:10 pm

stevejamsecono wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 1:49 pm
Man, this came a long way.

So lately I've been doing this with a compressor, the Duncan Vise Grip. Nice thing to goose the amp a bit, and then throw on a Barber Direct Drive for leads/rave ups.
I’m thinking that’s what I’m going to do with the Harlow, more than I do the other comps.

I just spent about an hour comparing my new klone-ish pedals (Lightspeed & Westwood) with my Merman with my AC4C1 just starting to break up. There are some differences, but they all get very near each other in various settings, with subtle differences (so far).

Also just drug my Direct Drive (compact) out and was checking it out with my Blackstone, and they were also both pretty comparable, on each of their 2 channels (DD/SS and orange/red).

I’m going to hook them up to my bigger amps tomorrow, to see if that makes any major difference. I’m also going to try the Gain Changer with the them and see how it all shakes out.

I love the Barber pedals.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

User avatar
somanytoys
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3325
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:59 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Favorite "Always On" OD Pedals

Post by somanytoys » Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:26 pm

Danley wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:14 pm
Dumb question for me to ask this deep in the thread- why do this? If you always keep an overdrive on, are you:

-Just never playing clean?
-Getting a ‘sufficient’ clean tone from rolling back the volume on your always-dirty amp?
-Is the overdrive on such a subtle level that your amp is not audibly distorting anyway (essentially just there for a bit of tonal color) and kick in another dirt box on top of it when needed?

For me, an overdrive is there if you need an additional lead-boost on top of an already driven amp. In general I don’t like them into clean amps or clean channels. I have a Fulltone Fulldrive 2 that I could probably use in the latter two ways of the ones I listed above, since it’s very subtle for the most part - but I’m not sure why I would want to do that.
There are. a few ways to do it.

An amp already in the edge of breakup, pushed by a light OD results in a more gainy but detailed sound. (*)

A compressor or a light drive into a cleaner amp makes your clean sound more rich (much muchier). Then you can either:

kick on a harder drive that’s stacked behind the first OD to get a really driven sound
or
kick in the heavier channel, if you have an amp with one, which kind of brings you to the very first thing above (*). Or you could just get all of your gain from the gain channel of the amp, if that’s your preference.

Some things you just miss when you turn them off. So you don’t, you figure out how to make it all work together instead, dialing and stacking them, if you want.

But everyone is different, and gets “there” different ways.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

User avatar
Filipe
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 538
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:07 am
Location: Ghent, Belgium
Contact:

Re: Favorite "Always On" OD Pedals

Post by Filipe » Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:06 am

Danley wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:14 pm
-Is the overdrive on such a subtle level that your amp is not audibly distorting anyway (essentially just there for a bit of tonal color) and kick in another dirt box on top of it when needed?
This is how I use it. I use a J. Rockett Archer with the gain turned off and use it to shape my clean tone and as a master volume. It's not a huge difference and I could get by without it, but it just gives me a bit of extra sparkle that I like, makes most amps sound a tiny bit better and definitely makes it easier to find a sound that works for me on backline amps. I never really got along with compressors and prefer the Archer (or any Klon style pedal) for this. I use other drives/distortions on top of it and prefer them over crancking the gain on the Archer anyway.
Last edited by Filipe on Fri Mar 06, 2020 5:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
stevejamsecono
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3800
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:55 am
Location: Brooklyn, NYC
Contact:

Re: Favorite "Always On" OD Pedals

Post by stevejamsecono » Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:25 am

Danley wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:14 pm
Dumb question for me to ask this deep in the thread- why do this? If you always keep an overdrive on, are you:

-Just never playing clean?
-Getting a ‘sufficient’ clean tone from rolling back the volume on your always-dirty amp?
-Is the overdrive on such a subtle level that your amp is not audibly distorting anyway (essentially just there for a bit of tonal color) and kick in another dirt box on top of it when needed?

For me, an overdrive is there if you need an additional lead-boost on top of an already driven amp. In general I don’t like them into clean amps or clean channels. I have a Fulltone Fulldrive 2 that I could probably use in the latter two ways of the ones I listed above, since it’s very subtle for the most part - but I’m not sure why I would want to do that.
So for me it was the combination of the first two for a long time. I'd generally be playing overdriven and at the time I hadn't really "discovered" the joys of cranking an amp up yet. I've since gone through a period of exactly that (a few nice low wattage amps, an 18 watt clone and my Mesa Mini Rec), but am now back on a pedal kick for a different feel.
somanytoys wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:10 pm
stevejamsecono wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 1:49 pm
Man, this came a long way.

So lately I've been doing this with a compressor, the Duncan Vise Grip. Nice thing to goose the amp a bit, and then throw on a Barber Direct Drive for leads/rave ups.
I’m thinking that’s what I’m going to do with the Harlow, more than I do the other comps.

I just spent about an hour comparing my new klone-ish pedals (Lightspeed & Westwood) with my Merman with my AC4C1 just starting to break up. There are some differences, but they all get very near each other in various settings, with subtle differences (so far).

Also just drug my Direct Drive (compact) out and was checking it out with my Blackstone, and they were also both pretty comparable, on each of their 2 channels (DD/SS and orange/red).

I’m going to hook them up to my bigger amps tomorrow, to see if that makes any major difference. I’m also going to try the Gain Changer with the them and see how it all shakes out.

I love the Barber pedals.
I've been really impressed with my Direct Drive. I've played very few "amp in a box" type pedals that didn't sound cheesy to my ears, and this one totally changed the game. As I'm going to be stuck using backline amps again for awhile it should be a lifesaver. I'm also keeping an eye out for a cheap Tone Press Compact to pair with it, since I can only imagine that Barber did a good job on that too.
And you find out life isn't like that
It's so hard to understand
Why the world is your oyster but your future's a clam

User avatar
Gavanti
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1505
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:31 pm
Location: Des Noise, Idohiowa
Contact:

Re: Favorite "Always On" OD Pedals

Post by Gavanti » Fri Mar 06, 2020 6:35 am

I use a Broadcast Dual at 24v, which is almost always on with the gain trim set about noon. In the context of a band, it sounds pretty clean unless I dig in, and my other dirt pedals stack well into it. In the past I've used a SSBS Mini, SSBS Fuck, Timmy, DLS, Soothsayer, and Rm-1n in that position as well. Of those, the Mini, Soothsayer, and the Rm-1n were my favorite into my SFDR and Princeton NR, but the Broadcast stacks better than either the Mini or Soothsayer, and the Rm-1n has inherent noise that gets magnified with effects down the chain.

User avatar
somanytoys
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3325
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:59 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Favorite "Always On" OD Pedals

Post by somanytoys » Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:53 am

stevejamsecono wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:25 am
I've been really impressed with my Direct Drive. I've played very few "amp in a box" type pedals that didn't sound cheesy to my ears, and this one totally changed the game. As I'm going to be stuck using backline amps again for awhile it should be a lifesaver. I'm also keeping an eye out for a cheap Tone Press Compact to pair with it, since I can only imagine that Barber did a good job on that too.
I’ve read good things about the tone press, not sure why he quit making it.

If you’re at all into the Dumble sound or a(nother) klone sound, I really like the BUSS and the Gain Changer (respectively). They all seem to have the Super Sport higher gain channel as well, just like the DD compact.

And they’re not very expensive new.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

User avatar
somanytoys
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3325
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:59 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Favorite "Always On" OD Pedals

Post by somanytoys » Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:59 am

Gavanti wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 6:35 am
I use a Broadcast Dual at 24v, which is almost always on with the gain trim set about noon. In the context of a band, it sounds pretty clean unless I dig in, and my other dirt pedals stack well into it. In the past I've used a SSBS Mini, SSBS Fuck, Timmy, DLS, Soothsayer, and Rm-1n in that position as well. Of those, the Mini, Soothsayer, and the Rm-1n were my favorite into my SFDR and Princeton NR, but the Broadcast stacks better than either the Mini or Soothsayer, and the Rm-1n has inherent noise that gets magnified with effects down the chain.
I’ve had the RM-1N for years now, and haven’t been able to incorporate it into a board. It’s really cool as its own unique thing, but it’s really noisy, as you said, and a bit quirky. I still have it, but I can’t find a good spot for it.

Recently bought a Ss/Bs mini, it’s not really one of my favorites, either, so I’m selling that. It can do a lot, I’m not hating on it, it’s just that so can a some of my other pedals, but (for me) better.

Need to try that with my Colourbox again, that Broadcast seems to be a somewhat similar animal.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

User avatar
Pacafeliz
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 16401
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2007 6:34 pm
Location: Cococologne, Germany

Re: Favorite "Always On" OD Pedals

Post by Pacafeliz » Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:22 pm

My main amp (at the rehearsal space) is an old HH V-S Musician, and I always have a wee bit of its "valve sound" OD in/on. No cleans from me, people!
i love delay SO much ...that i procrastinate all the time.

User avatar
tune_link
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 304
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:24 am
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Contact:

Re: Favorite "Always On" OD Pedals

Post by tune_link » Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:52 pm

somanytoys wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:26 pm
Danley wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:14 pm
Dumb question for me to ask this deep in the thread- why do this? If you always keep an overdrive on, are you:

-Just never playing clean?
-Getting a ‘sufficient’ clean tone from rolling back the volume on your always-dirty amp?
-Is the overdrive on such a subtle level that your amp is not audibly distorting anyway (essentially just there for a bit of tonal color) and kick in another dirt box on top of it when needed?

For me, an overdrive is there if you need an additional lead-boost on top of an already driven amp. In general I don’t like them into clean amps or clean channels. I have a Fulltone Fulldrive 2 that I could probably use in the latter two ways of the ones I listed above, since it’s very subtle for the most part - but I’m not sure why I would want to do that.
There are. a few ways to do it.

An amp already in the edge of breakup, pushed by a light OD results in a more gainy but detailed sound. (*)

A compressor or a light drive into a cleaner amp makes your clean sound more rich (much muchier). Then you can either:

kick on a harder drive that’s stacked behind the first OD to get a really driven sound
or
kick in the heavier channel, if you have an amp with one, which kind of brings you to the very first thing above (*). Or you could just get all of your gain from the gain channel of the amp, if that’s your preference.

Some things you just miss when you turn them off. So you don’t, you figure out how to make it all work together instead, dialing and stacking them, if you want.

But everyone is different, and gets “there” different ways.
This.

I just recently switched from playing a Marshall 100 watt head to a Twin Reverb. The cleans on the Twin sound great but needed the highs rolled back and the tone knob on my guitars and the amp weren’t doing the job. I was using an EQD Dunes with the Marshall but (and this cracks me up considering David’s response) I switched to using the EQD Westwood for my always on clean tone and it has a treble knob that totally takes the higher frequencies in the exact way I wanted. I bought a Greer Burning Goat and have been using it for my actual dirty OD tone on top of the Westwood. Perfection.

User avatar
somanytoys
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3325
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:59 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Favorite "Always On" OD Pedals

Post by somanytoys » Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:40 pm

One thing I’ve found, after trying all of these pedals together (except for the GC in LTD mode so far), is that the Westwood seems to have the most gain on tap. Much higher than the others, even at much lower gain settings. It’s also got one of the most powerful eq sections, with the possible exception of the Merman.

I read something interesting about the Lightspeed - that if you treat the level as a bass control, the gain as the mid and the tone as the treble, and use them together that way , it makes a big difference to the eq’ing of the overall sound. Seems to work well that way, as long as you’re not trying to get too gainy with it, but it isn’t really a high octane OD anyway.

Suddenly became a bigger fan of the Blackstone, after trying it with both sides of my Frenzel (Deluxe and Plexi). Similar to the Direct Drive on both modes, but a little different feel and sound. Its only drawback is that it wants to be first, just like a good Ge fuzz.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

User avatar
somanytoys
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3325
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:59 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Favorite "Always On" OD Pedals

Post by somanytoys » Sun Mar 08, 2020 10:32 am

I got the Bogner Harlow comp in last night. I was waiting impatiently for it all day, but didn’t arrive until around 6, so I came home from a crawfish boil to grab it and give it a quick run for a few minutes before I went back to the boil.

With just a few minutes on the bigger amp (deluxe & plexi copy thru an old 12” Geeenback) - it sounded really good on both, fattened up the higher sounds a LOT, and the tone knob is pretty effective because the deluxe is so much more bass heavy than the plexi. Most of the light gain pedals I’ve listed above sounded great after it, except for the GC. That one may need to be before it (?). Didn’t try.

About an hour on low wattage amps late last night -really bought everything out, but drove some of the other pedals way too hard at the setting they’re at. Even close to unity level, it has a big effect on the level of some other pedals downstream. Nothing that can’t be compensated for with them, if I were using this pedal with that specific setup, or can get another one set pretty close to it.

It’s still the honeymoon stage, but I really love what this pedal does. I know it’s pretty different from the other comps that I have, with the Neve tranny, but I think I’m going to try to tune the others as close to this pedal’s sound as best I can, and see how that goes. I think the Cali76 is going to be able to get the closest. I’ll have to see about the VFE White Horse & Fromel Velvet Vice. That’s what I plan on doing a little later this afternoon.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

User avatar
HH1978
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 660
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:51 pm
Location: Brussels, Belgium

Re: Favorite "Always On" OD Pedals

Post by HH1978 » Sun Mar 08, 2020 2:47 pm

The Jetter Helium works well as an always on, last in the dirt chain pedal. It's very low gain per se, but just seems to make anything you stack into sound better, by which I mean at the same time softer and more defined.
Last edited by HH1978 on Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

Post Reply