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Black Box X-Ray vs Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Droog, Jan 6, 2005.


  1. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    I am really interested in both of these and I am feeling like buying a pedal here pretty quick. They are both supposed to be OD's though it seems to me that the Sparkle Drive is a bit more of a Distortion ala Tubescreamer, and the X-ray, well I am not quite certain but I have read very good things about both.

    Trouble is I can't quite decide if I want more of a drivin sound or a Distorted sound. Something that handles both I suppose. Right now I think I am leaning more towards the X-ray, but input from you all would be greatly appreciated. They both seem to be less known pedals.

    Thanks guys.
     
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    The xray is,as you say, more of a distortion. The sparkle drive is a cool pedal, specialises in that mid-humped Tubescreamer od sound. It lets you keep all the low end you want. Also serves as a nice clean boost if you want to use it for that. I have to say, I wasn't that impressed with the BlackBox - it sounded ok on it's own but seemed to get lost easily in a band sound.

    Have you looked at the Fulltone BassDrive or Barber Deep Fryer? They're dual channel od/dist pedals. The barber is discontinued, but still pops up from time to time.
     
  3. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    The only somewhat negative I have heard about the Sparkle is that it sounds like the distorted signal sounds layered over the clean as apposed to distorting it all. Has this been problematic for you?

    Not too sure about the Fulltone. Seems like everybody is using it for an SVT tone, which I am not really interested in. I guess now that I think about it a good distortion is what I need, not so much as a drive. I can drive my 400+ if I want that sound. Also heard mention that the Fulltone does not have a lot of character, of coarse statements like that aren't really qualified when you don't know what bass they are playing. Also drives up the cost, I can get a sparkle for $100 and the BassDrive is $80 bucks more, is it worth it?

    Maybe I should consider the BassDrive or the Sparkle.
     
  4. Nocturnal

    Nocturnal Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2002
    Chandler, Arizona
    I've been playing around with the Sparkle Drive for a little while now, and I really like it so far. I can't compare it to the X-Ray, I've never tried one of those.

    I tend to think of the Sparkle as more as an overdrive than a true distortion, but thats just my limited experiance. I've never tried any other distortion pedal (other than whats on the Zoom 506II and that wasn't to my liking). It seems to give me all the distortion I want without going overboard (unless I adjust it to go overboard). I like the idea of using both the clean boost with the overdriven sound. It works for the sound I like, but thats always up to the individuals taste.

    Seems to me that you could turn the clean layer down more to get more of a overdriven sound from it. I can't hook up right now to see if thats the case, but it seems like you could do without the clean sound at all if you wanted to. Hope my rambling has helped somehow.