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The Overdrive/distortion Thread


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Because I'm a bit of a geek when it comes to stompboxes and that sort of thing I thought it would be cool to have a thread to discuss all things overdrive and distortion.

 

For our band Cielo Rosso my main overdrive sound is this fucker

muff.JPG

 

I'm wanting something a bit less full on though for certain songs. Just something to add a little break-up would be nice. I've been eyeing up a boss od for a while now, either the OD-3 or the blues driver. I used to have the od-20 which had all the boss distortion ever on it but it had the footprint of a medium loaf so it was punted. Also I don't think it sounded as good as the stand alone pedals. I think the sounds on it were modeled so didn't sound exactly like the originals.

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Ibanez Tubescreamer is a usual go to for a boost and a bit of extra break up for me.

 

It depends what i'm playing/using though. When i'm not using my Marshall amp i tend to use my Marshall Jackhammer to get a similar tone (after settling on a good clean on the other amp as a solid base). When i'm using my DSL100 though i tend to just use the amps distortion and the Tubescreamer to thicken it up a little.

 

I've got a Hughes and Kettner Warp that adds a lot of bottom end if i'm playing a bit of Post-Metal.

 

I also have a Big Muff that i've used in the past but i find them a bit farty/fizzy which doesn't lend itself that well to the type of music i generally play.

 

I've tried fuckloads of distortions/overdrives in the past but settled on these ones as they give a decent whack of options.

 

I've found over the years that less is generally more as a rule of thumb for pedals and that approach suits the sound that i'm usually trying to achieve.

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Bought the MXR Distortion III ages ago and found it to be great with all amps ive used, its as near neutral as you can get and is more like a dirty boost if thats possible, might not be distorted enough for most folks but with a bit of gain from the amp and this on full whack, it sounds lurrrvely. Theyre bomb proof too!

 

Also got the Love Pedal distortion and Love Pedal Fuzz, the distortion is ace, very similar to the MXR but a bit more gain, awsome. The Fuzz is fantastic too, really beefy but not flabby or fizzy like fuzz pedals mostly are. Really good and not as expensive as Love Pedals used to be!

 

Finally bought a BOSS HM-2 .....the Japanese 80's one that Entombed used, it cost a bit and i'll literally never use it for anything other than "Entombed Tone" pissing about!!!....nah, too be fair ive tried it on other settings and its basically a boss distortion, great and bomb proof, probably pick them up for the price of a decent distortion pedal now. The End.

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For my lower gain drive I use the Lovepedal Kalamazoo, which is a great sounding pedal. For straight up distortion, I have a Wampler Pinnacle which can dish out face melting gain but without sounding too compressed, loads of volume on tap too. For fuzz I have a North Effects Green Russian fuzz clone. It's a lovely wee pedal and can fairly bring the toneular thunder when required.

 

I also use an MXR EQ for a little extra tone shaping or just as a straight boost.

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I went through a phase of collecting distortion pedals. My favourite was the Marshall Shredmaster. Incredibly tight low end, excellent clarity, stacks of gain, and the mid range is so responsive. You can scoop it pretty hard and get a clone of the Master of Puppets tone. I sold it as I just couldn't find a use for it. I regret it now though.

 

The Jackhammer gets pretty close to that sound, and they are incredible value for money. As are the Guv'nors. Very cheap, sound great. I preferred my Guvnor to my Tubescreamer and got rid of the Tubescreamer, for more than what I paid for it, thanks to an ebay bidding war. Cashback.

 

I just don't get on with fuzz. I've tried, but it just doesn't suit how I play. I like palm mutes and staccato, which fuzz isn't the best at.

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After some time contemplating flogging it, I've taken my Mudhoney out of retirement as my main grinder and fell in love all over again:

 

mudhoney.jpg

It is a total monster.  It plays well with any guitar going into my Verellen (particularly doomy with the Gretsch), and sounds like a herd of wild beasts coupled with my Jazz Bass.  Kinda want to get it re-housed with a second switch so I can access the tiny 'boost' toggle with my shoes on.

 

On the other end of the scale, I have this velcro machine (not my dog) - the tiny Guyatone TZ 2.  It's not the most musical thing, but it has served well on recordings where I wanted the guitar to sound really really ugly.

 

6204589974_5569660f92.jpg

 

I have an old-style Marshall Guvnor in the stable, but it's a total tone sucker.  Handy for plugging into pretty much any clean amp and making it sound like 80s Washington DC though.

Edited by Old Gold
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One of the strangest OD pedals I ever bought was this thing:

Proel.ProelDS10BluesDistortion18971.jpg

Made by Proel, handmade in Italy, apparently. It looked badass, and the casing was quite similar in shape to some old classic muscle car, and the front lifted up like a bonnet, to get to the battery. It sounded really great, but the one thing that totally killed it was that even with the level out on full, it was much quieter than my clean tone. Real shame. I sold it for a buttload on ebay.

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Paul Cochrane "Tim" overdrive/boost - really transparent overdrive, doesnt change the tone at all.

Big Muff Pi - for everything except Metalz

Boss Metalzone - Metalz

Should probably be Metalzone into Muff but I like the weird clipping thing it does the other way round.

Seriously considering getting this on next trip to the USA:

- joysticks plus Drozd endorsement = awesome....
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My first distortion pedal was this:

 

DanelectroBlackCoffee_Large.jpg

 

Name one thing man has done that's any better?

I still have one of those, holy moley it's trebly.

 

I am all about the fuzz, over the years I have tried various Big Muff and one thing I can say about them is that they vary greatly. I am a big fan of Green Russian Muffs, as they are almost like a overdrive and very vroomy. Black Russians I found to be a bit too fizzy. The US reissues seem to vary a lot too, my 1st run reissue definitely has a different sound to later ones, slightly less harsh sounding. That is what I use in Seas, Starry.

 

For Das McManus, I am using my MadeByMike Dreambox, with is a clone of a '78 IC Big Muff and a MXR Distortion II. Both of these were very much un-fancied pedals, until one Billy Corgan casually mentioned that's what he used to get the Siamese Dream tone. The IC Muff has a much tighter low end to my NYC reissue, and a similar vrooommm to a green Russian. The distortion II on it's own is nothing to write home about, but when it's running into the Muff, I get face melting leads all over the place. Biddly boos a'wye.

 

One thing I have found with Muffs is that they tend to have one sweet spot on the tone control, depending on what guitar/amp you are using. Turn that knob too far left or right and you end up with mush or tinny horribleness.

 

I have a Zvex Fuzz Factory too. This is such a tweakable pedal, a much truer fuzz than a Muff. It's great for choked velcro leads. One thing about it is that it is very easy to find settings that do not sound good, so you really need to play about with it to figure out what each control does and how they interact with each other. It bloody loves an EQ.

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Is this a guitarist only thread, or can bassists join in too?  Not that my contribution is very exciting - I've got a Boss ODB-3 overdrive pedal, had it for years and never did anything with it, thinking it to be jolly silly and lacking any application in any band I was in.  Now that I'm in something a bit more unconventional (no guitar, other instruments capable of filling in the low end if I decide to have a wander up the dusty end (keys/trombone)) I dug it out this week at a band jam.  Had a lot of fun with it and formulated a song idea based around some crunchy, overdriven bass stuff.

 

_c281854_image_0.jpg

 

Don't worry though - like a rabbit I will soon get spooked and jump back into my magic hat when only pure, low notes emanate from ;)

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I've been messing about with a bass big muff lately and really like it. I find it broadens up the bottom end without getting too flabby and when you piss about up the neck it sounds ace.

 

Every payday I keep meaning to find something to buy (probably an Ampeg Scrambler clone) from this guy. He lives down the Glasgow way and can do custom artwork on your pedal too. Some of his stuff looks pretty cool. https://www.facebook.com/gojira.effects%C2'>

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I've been messing about with a bass big muff lately and really like it. I find it broadens up the bottom end without getting too flabby and when you piss about up the neck it sounds ace.

 

Every payday I keep meaning to find something to buy (probably an Ampeg Scrambler clone) from this guy. He lives down the Glasgow way and can do custom artwork on your pedal too. Some of his stuff looks pretty cool.

Which guy?

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