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Josh James

Overdrive madness!

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Ok, so maybe I'm not the first person to do this but has any ever just used your OD/Distortion pedals as boosts with the gain/distortion all the way down? I have a few OD pedals and I'm thinking of using them all this way, because they do all sound different even with the gain/distortion down. I have heard a ton of people say that level and gain are the same thing, but I don't think they are. Basically in my mind the gain or distortion is there to give you that extra breakup, ie "artificial breakup" without cranking the amp, but to get true breakup you have to overload or overdrive the signal to the amp via hot pups or some other signal increase. I'm probably not saying anything new to most of you, but I wish it was explained to me in that way, it would have saved me alot of confusion..lol

 

 

 

J

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I used to use a marshall 50 with a L P custom and an MXR micro amp pedal for solo's. It used to 'fill' the sound a bit more. Looking back a compressor would have done the job.

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Just recently set up my pedal board, might still need some tweaking (and it is really set up for Stratocasters, not sure how all this will work with the Les Pauls, but I'm looking forward to finding out!). But you're quite right, level and gain are two independent and different things. Gain is really more akin to signal saturation.

 

I run two overdrive units (a vintage Tube Screamer TS 9 and a new reissue Tube Screamer TS 808), two distortion units (Dunlop Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Face and Dunlop Jimi Hendrix Octavio, which combines fuzz with an octave up) plus an MXR Micro Amp at the end of the chain for level boost. They're all different, and I can run each (with gain/distortion/fuzz) turned down with a level boost (really like to chain the 2 Tube Screamers with the Strats, and I'm looking forward to trying them with the Les Paul). Even my Compressor (1983 E-H Soul Preacher) works well as a boost without a lot of other effect on the sound if set right.

 

On "real" distortion vs. "fake", the over drive pedals when run into a tube amp can help load up the front end (pre-amp section) of the amp for more crunch. This is usually done when running a higher volume on the amp by running the pedal level higher and the gain lower. The reverse is more conducive for lower amp volumes, where you run the pedal level lower and gain higher, this is more the "simulated" distortion you're talking about. Either can sound really sweet.

 

P.S. I've also got a vintage big box Rat (1982/83 ish) and I couldn't fit it on the board. I think it may end up being a great match for the Les Pauls, might need a bigger board [biggrin] ).

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P.S. I've also got a vintage big box Rat (1982/83 ish) and I couldn't fit it on the board. I think it may end up being a great match for the Les Pauls' date=' might need a bigger board [biggrin ).

 

Nice man! The vintage rats were one of the best distortion units I have ever used...I have the Rat2 model as of now, and still not nearly as good as the vintage rats, it still spills out some creamy distortion..

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Yes, all the time. On my Blues Diver, for example, the "drive" is completely down, or at a 9'oclock position, at most.

When I do need that kind a heavy gain, I use another pedal (Marshall Jackhammer, or Govn'r Plus). But, with what I

play the most, anymore...the Blues Driver as a "boost" is, most often, more than adequate.

 

CB

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The pedals would do "preamp distortion/saturation". But, to get that magical sweet overdrive sound, you would need both pre and power amp saturation? If you want to get power saturation, you would have to crank up all the way (you may need a low wattage amp).

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Ok' date=' so maybe I'm not the first person to do this but has any ever just used your OD/Distortion pedals as boosts with the gain/distortion all the way down? I have a few OD pedals and I'm thinking of using them all this way, because they do all sound different even with the gain/distortion down. I have heard a ton of people say that level and gain are the same thing, but I don't think they are. Basically in my mind the gain or distortion is there to give you that extra breakup, ie "artificial breakup" without cranking the amp, but to get true breakup you have to overload or overdrive the signal to the amp via hot pups or some other signal increase. I'm probably not saying anything new to most of you, but I wish it was explained to me in that way, it would have saved me alot of confusion..lol

 

 

 

J[/quote']

 

Yep! Use a modded Boss SD-1 for this exact porpose with my Carvin X100B re-issue.

Works a treat to push it into full distortion from a mild crunch setting.

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Interesting topic. I have tried most of the popular overdrive/boost pedals over the years and have never gotten a satisfactory sound ( to my ears ) out of any of them.

I guess it is just me...most other players rave about them.

 

I find myself turning the pre amp gain on my amp lower and lower as the years go by and my tone still sustains and sounds " fluid " and I hear myself better in the mix and have less noise and feedback issues too.

 

That is what is so awesome about guitar, it is so very personal. What works for one player is completely different to what works for another !

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Hey man! Of course it depends on the pedal it self and the volume on the pedal, guitar, and amp. When i first picked up an Ibanez Tubescreamer, I was able to turn it into a clean boost with the volume/level down a bit, and the drive off. However once my guitar tech modded it, it was brought to a whole new level of tone. Unfortuanately, the ability to turn the overdrive into a clean boost was lost.

 

Basically it depends on the pedal. Distortion pedals probably wont be able be turned into the clean boost (for obvious reasons). Also if your OD Pedal has a lot of gain, like mine, it might still have that distorted sound with drive backed off. If your looking for some kind of clean boost, try out a BOSS Blues Driver with the drive down. Or if your into experimentation, you could screw around with a BOSS Equilizer or some kind of Compression.

 

Another big contributer to the "clean boost" is your pickup choice. It is going to be hard as Hell to achieve the clean boost with a Humbucker when running one through your OD Pedal. Single Coils (Strat-like coils or low output coils NOT P90's) should be able to achieve the clean boost with more ease.

 

PEACE!!! Hope it helped!

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The Blues Driver is great for a clean boost. I used to use the Klon pedal as a boost(usually left it on all the time) with the Blues Driver for OD. I sold the Klon pedal a while back(about 2 weeks before he quit making them.....genious move on my part), so i've been using the Blues Driver as a boost with a Micro Amp for OD. It sounds great!

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