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Dynamic Punchy Overdrive Pedal with a Vintage Amp Possible???

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jaroh24, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. jaroh24


    Sep 29, 2012
    I've learned plenty about overdrives from these forums, but I'm a bit puzzled with my overdrive situation right now. I used to own a "hifi" modern rig and I used a Barbershop for OD and a Phat Phuk B for a dirty boost. I could achieve a very warm distortion tone that would still cut through the mix with this hifi rig.

    I sold that rig and bought an Acoustic 370 head and built a 2x15 cabinet (no tweeters) for it. The Acoustic 370 has excellent control over the bass and low midrange (50 Hz to 400 Hz) and a nice shelving treble control for those unfamiliar. The 2x15 has a natural high end rolloff at about 2500-3000 Hz

    I love the very warm tone I'm getting and the versatility of the EQ in the head, however, I can't seem to get any sort of usable overdriven sounds out of it with the Barbershop or Phat Phuk. I've tried a few others (warm, tube-like ODs) as well with no luck: any kind of dirt that I throw at the Acoustic 370 sounds muddy and way too compressed, has no attack, and is just generally unusable. So with that said, is it possible to get a good articulate overdrive sound out of a vintage rig like the Acoustic 370?

    My best guess is that I need a pedal that meets these needs:

    - uncolored/no baked in EQ (so no I won't be buuying a Darkglass or a Sansamp because I love how my amp sounds now)
    - punchy, lots of attack
    - not highly compressed or warm (like the Barbershop; it seems that a very warm OD paired with my very warm amp is making things too muddy)

    I would also like it to have these attributes too:

    - dynamic/touch sensitive
    - can be used as a clean boost, dirty boost, and overdrive

    Anyone have any recommendations or ideas???
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  2. opivy3056

    opivy3056 stardust in a light beam

    Oct 14, 2004
    San Diego
    maybe something brighter to offset the warmth of the amp? Kind of like guitarists using treble boosters with tube amps.

    Rat clone at lower gain typically has some nice treble sheen to it. I like the blower box myself.
  3. Maybe some Klon-ish pedal could do the trick?? They are kind of in the trebly side of transparent.

    Edited for typo
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
  4. jaroh24


    Sep 29, 2012
    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll look into those kinds of pedals.

    What about the Southhampton Fifth Gear? Or the Durham Sex Drive? Or the Tronographic Rusty Box?
  5. I'm afraid that you may face the same problems that you are describing with the Barbershop also on the Fifth Gear. The Rusty Box may do better, since it has bigger upper-mid content, but I'd say is more of a distortion than overdrive. No idea about the Sex Drive...
  6. jaroh24


    Sep 29, 2012
    I thought the Rusty Box could be run pretty clean, but maybe I'm mistaken. I'm also leaning towards power amp simulation pedals such as the Fuzzrocious Ram the Man Parts or the GK Rails Pedal that was built by TB members.
  7. jw23mind


    Jan 16, 2017
    Reading MA
    I have had great luck with the Rusty Box as the front end to a Mesa D-180 based tube power amp. Tons of headroom/output from the Rusty box makes it a great boost, dirty or clean. I get alot more punch and volume out of this amp now, then I did with the stock tube preamp section And yeah it rolls off no highs so won't compound any rolloff coming from the vintage amp.
    gregmon79 likes this.
  8. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I ran in to the same issue when I went from a GK 1001rb to the Electric I have now. I know exactly what you're going through right now and what you mean. In your case, I couldn’t recommend an OCD variant more. The Fulltone (v2 that just released maybe), big game bedlam or the Dunwich ODB. Now the ODB can get warm and sorta mushier, but all you need to do is mess with all the settings and it’s good. It works great with my setup. I would also recommend the pork loin too but you def want it modded. It really brightens it up and adds a lot of zing to it. All these pedals work great with my setup (aside from newer OCD v2). All these have harder edged qualities to them and can get very aggressive. If you’re looking for more with some more hair, check out the Blower Box or Rat/Cat tail. Rat variants that can go from slight hair to almost fuzz.

    I have a Damnation Audio MBD1 coming today! I’ll let you know how that pairs with my rig tomorrow night. I have a feeling it’s gonna pair very well. But I know what you’re going through. I too had a Phat Phuk when I got my tube head and it was quickly flipped. I still think that’s a great pedal but it was way too wooly and fell apart with a set of hot KT88s. With my setup anyway.

    Oh, another thing that helps me immensely, my preamp section. Maybe try this, keep your existing pedals, add a DOD fx10. Done. All you’d have to do is run the tone side a little to the right on the high end. It’ll tighten everything up. Or get a really aggressive preamp like the Rusty Box or Darkglass B7K Ultra. I actually use all these ;) plus the Southampton Ictineo. Works really good with my amp.
  9. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    The Rusty Box can be run very clean. Maybe the RB can even be your main drive if you go that way. It's based off of an SS head so that type of gain structure could suite your needs as well.
  10. Love_Bass


    Sep 5, 2012
    Or the Durham Sex Drive?

    Gotta give the marketing team on that one some credit..
    jaroh24 likes this.
  11. jaroh24


    Sep 29, 2012
    Haha I know. But I've heard it's a fantastic pedal that might suit this specific overdrive need
  12. Try the Digitech Bad Monkey or Hardwire Tube Overdrive. Seriously, I have both and they are killer for bass. They are very neutral and lose no low end. The bad Monkey even has a direct out on it. Also, cheap to, 60 USD
  13. I'll second the FX10 suggestion. I have an Aguilar Tone Hammer and I've found with the FX10 set to boost the treble a bit it drives the amp even more and gives it a tigher overdrive sound.
  14. jaroh24


    Sep 29, 2012
    Thanks for all this info! I'm glad I got to hear from someone that has run into the same problem.

    I've never had an OCD clone or a Rat clone. I think the Rat might push me into too much of an aggressive metal tone because I've heard most of them cut bass, but maybe that's what I need. I'll have to try one out along with an OCD clone. I play funk, jazz, and some mild rock, so I'm trying to not have my overdrive be geared more towards one genre (i.e. Metal) if that makes sense.

    I've owned a DOD FX10! I liked it a lot but honestly I'm trying to cut back on pedals. (Most traditional funk or jazz players own very few if any pedals, and I've been trying go that route) In my mind I could always brighten the tone up with my amp if want which makes the FX10 kinda useless. I'm just wanting one pedal to be stomped on that will take my warm amp into a punchy OD (which I guess would need some treble boost?) The rusty box is high on my list. Same with the GK rails power amp sim pedal.

    The goal is to just own one OD pedal that I can use to also be a boost. Other than that, I only own a compressor, tuner, and fuzz (purely for fun haha)
  15. jaroh24


    Sep 29, 2012
    I loved the FX10, but I'm trying to not have a large pedalboard and instead learn to use my fingers more for slight tone variations. Maybe I'll have to buy one again, but I'd much rather buy an overdrive that mostly clips the high end and will give me the presence I need, instead of having to use an FX10 and an overdrive. Quite the tall order but I'm sure it's possible with the amount of amazing pedals that are on the market these days
  16. jaroh24


    Sep 29, 2012
    Has anyone heard of the Big Game Solace State (previously known as the CVLT)??? It's based off an old solid state Peavey 800RB. I'm sure it gets in the same territory of the Rusty Box since that was based off an old solid state head as well (Traynor, I believe). Also still considering the GK 800RB pedal

    I guess all these old solid state heads have great OD tones when put into a pedal
  17. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    maybe the freq range you're used to hearing when using dist/od , just isn't being reproduced by the 370 and 2x15 .. ??

    i have a Eden Tube Warmer ... it has hi freq filter on the tube gain , when it's rolled off to low , most of the warmth aka distortion disappears .. ! i can hear the ' warmth' when the bass is solo'd , ... but it's very hard to pick out in the mix .. !! but it is there ...

    i would think the 370 would have it's own style of OD/dist going on .. !? having had one back in the day , ... running a couple 2x15s ( 1 w/jbls , 1 w/cerwin vegas )

    my last boost/od is a 1 knob unit by SolidGoldFX mini-booster BC239 ... they have a variety of these little pedals using different chips/jfet/opamps in them ... i got mine at a great deal , demo , at Prymaxe ...
  18. jaroh24


    Sep 29, 2012
    That's what I'm starting to think. The high end frequency is not there with my setup for the type OD I want.

    And yes the 370 definitely can get overdriven pretty easily, but I usually run it clean. It shouldn't be too hard to find a pedal to push it into OD, but I guess I need to start looking for a type of treble booster or a pedal with a treble boost knob?
  19. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I was suggesting that you try and add the fx10 to your existing setup. That way you could just run it on the treble side more after your OD you have now. That way it treats the OD and brings out more high end sparkle. not that you use it strictly as an OD. I'm not that would work anyway because the fx10 is so clean. Hopefully you'll find what you're looking for either way. It's not easy, finding the right tools for the job. I totally understand what you mean about not wanting to get too "metal" sounding. Yet you need an OD that's not going to mush up on you like a Blueberry would or the like. If you know how to solder at all, I can't recommend the Pork Loin enough. Modded though. All you do is swap one capacitor out and you're on your way. It removes the sorta blanket from the PL. It opens up the high end and you still get that lovely, more organic type drive with the high end sheen at the same time.

    The rusty box will def give you that punch you're looking for and if you use it as a dirt pedal alone, you get all that other tone shaping then too. I used to have a GK rails pedal as well. This could also work for you quite well. Def packs some serious punch. Hopefully you'll be able to find one. As far as Rats go, it's def in the trebly side. But with a Rat like the Blower Box or Rat/Cat tail, these Rat variants are great on bass. They were designed that way. And they will also do great jobs at getting a drive tone. However, they could be a little too aggressive sounding like you said, even at lower gain settings.

    But I honestly think the OCD circuit is the one you're after. I hear the new v2 that just got released supposedly took care of the low end loss of the previous ver. And the Dunwich and Bedlam are both wonderful with low end retention as well as being barley there drives with some serious sparkle. Great with tube heads.
    jaroh24 likes this.
  20. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I have the F800b. And while its a great pedal, I would be worried about the sweep of the gain pot. Its goes from not much but a volume boost to dist pretty quick. I'm not sure if he adjusted that in the Solace or not but it's based off the same thing. I used the F800b as a straight dist. Never really felt it excelled at OD really. But then I think he also made adjustments in the later versions for this maybe.....
    jaroh24 likes this.

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