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Transparent Overdrive


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Hey, I've run into a problem, I love my clean tone but 75% of what I play is more of an overdriven type of thing. So, I'm looking for a pedal that get's the tone of my guitar and amp but can just add low to mid overdrive. Right now I'm using a Boss SD-1 and Visual Sound Jekyll and Hyde... the former I love but it really adds it's own thing into the mix; the Route 808 side of the later is good but not good enough. Suggestions?


I'm looking at getting a Fulldrive 2 but I really don't think it's going to fulfill this particular need. A few others I'm looking at include: Barber LTD, Timmy, and Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive.


Your help is much appreciated!

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The never-ending quest...I was very impressed by the Fulldrive MOSFET, and Fulltone also have the OCD and the GT500 which is a 2 in 1. There are so many; the Mad Professor Sweet Honey and the Timmy have a considerable rep and Lovepedal and Wampler must be worth checking out...I am fortunate to have the following;


Boss DS1 and RAT pedals, both modded with the 3-position Keeley style mod which was really worth doing, brought both pedals alive. I was amazed!

Old VS Jekyll & Hyde (a flat one) now battered but I won't sell because it rocks!

Xotic AC+ double pedal, on my board now, good screamer, excellent tone but not as transparent as -

Analog Man KOT4, expensive and very classy truly transparent mild to medium blues/overdrive sounds (long waiting list for this one).

G2D Creamtone, single channel overdrive with boost, made in New Zealand. Wonderful sounding pedal - there are a couple of variations on it if you want to go heavier/thicker. The Creamtone is superb....low to mid overdrive? Right here. Good sound samples on the G2D website.


I'm fairly certain you could get the Keeley-type mod done on an SD1.


There's an awful lot of choice out there - best wishes!

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Good Luck! That's a tail chase, if there ever was one. The problem is,

once you find "the one," you (inevitably) get "used to=tired of," that

once "perfect" sound, and look (once again) for the next "better/ultimate"

OD pedal. There are many out there! ALL are "great," to someone. Mods,

or not.


Our suggestions, are only a small starting place. And, in my experience,

what one person feels is a great pedal, another person absolutely hates! LOL


As to "transparent?" I don't know how (truly) important that "term" is?

Some of my favorite pedals, DO add something of their own, to the tone.

But, it's ok, even preferred, at times. So...??? Again...Good Luck, and

happy hunting! [biggrin]




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If you're looking for an OD that doesn't mess with your original tone too much, I'd highly recommend the Barber LTD or a Klon copy. I've got a ton of OD pedals(Klon, KOT, Barber LTD, Fulldrive, bunch of Boss boxes, etc.) and think those are the clearest of the bunch. The KOT is my personal favorite, but it isn't as transparent(at least through my rig) as they are.

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Save your money buying another OD pedal!


The best OD tones comes from your amp not from OD pedals.


The solution is to use a 4 knob Keeley Compressor with your amp OD channel. The key is the set the OD channel as a light crunch and then use the 4 knob keeley compressor to drive the channel while compressing the distortion/gain while increasing the sustain.


Compressor Setting:


Sustain :10



Clipping: MAX!


BTW, I currently own several OD pedals. Xotic (AC, BB, RC), Plush (Cream) Keeley (Fuzz). And none of them separatedly or combined are able to dial in a clean, transparent overdirve tone I just described.




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Try a clean boost like the Zvex Super Hard On. That way the dirt is actually coming from your amp and not the pedal. Otherwise, I wouldn't worry about "transparency" too much. If it changes the sound of your amp for the better then that's obviously a good thing. Try to find a pedal that makes your amp sound better.

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Thanks for the advice and encouragement everyone! :) I'll be checking out all your suggestions.


@charlie brown, that is so true! You couldn't have put it better.


@JazzGtr, I agree that the best tones come from an overdriven amp. However the amp that I have is too loud for that, being a non master volume amp. So, I could get another amp (which I cam planning on sometime soon) but that's A. going to be a lot more expensive than a pedal and B. I'm still gonna want that type of pedal to boost whatever amp I'd get anyway. This is somewhat of a side note, but I also don't prefer the sound of master volume amps and any non master volume amp is to loud for me. Don't hear me critiquing you because I'm not, I agree and appreciate your input I'm just explaining my thought process in looking more a pedal instead of other things.


I've also been thinking about getting my SD-1 modded... I know jdgm suggested the keely mod which I've been looking at as well as a JHS mod. Thoughts?

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