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Looking for the right over drive pedal, need advice

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by EADGCoffee, May 17, 2011.


  1. EADGCoffee

    EADGCoffee

    Apr 18, 2011
    I'm trying to find a pedal that sounds like a pushed tube amp. My funds are kind of tight (poor college student), so I'm not going to be able to shell out more than $130 and that is pushing it. I've done some searching on here and a lot of people recommend pedals that are close to $200 and I just can't do that (or justify it), plus I want something that is readily available should something happen to the pedal if I love it. I realize at that price point I won't be getting the best, but I'm sure I could get something decent.

    I'm playing a bass with active pickups/active preamp (which can be bypassed). It has a pretty hot output.

    I would only consider a pedal that has a blend control because I just want a little bit of 'pushed dirt' but if I could dial in more dirt at will, that'd be a plus.

    I really like the sound of the Ibanez TS9B, but some searches here say it isn't as good as it sounds on YouTube and I'm having trouble finding more sound clips. I'd really like something similar to that sound, I've read on here that the Maxon OD9 and Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive are both similar sounding, but what is the real difference? My local GC has a very limited effects selection, mostly Boss pedals and Big Muffs. They could probably order the pedals in though, I haven't asked. Obviously I'm looking for the standard "don't rape my low-end."

    Does anyone have any other recommendations? I have played a Boss ODB-3 and it was way too harsh.
     
  2. I actually really like the sound of the original TS-9 Tubescreamer on bass, but it needs to be in a loop and blended with clean signal so you keep your low end. Don't know if thats what your looking for but its a possibility.

    Liam
     
  3. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
    I got to play with the TS9B the other day, and was actually pretty pleasantly surprised. I didn't really care for the clips I heard online, but playing it myself, I found it to sound pretty decent. My setup is a passive Jazz going into a Bassman TV15 combo. It had a nice little bit of snarl and lower gain settings, and stood out quite well in the mix. I also found it very responsive to playing dynamics which was an added awesome factor.

    In fact, when I've got some spare cash, I might be adding it to my board for the hell of it.

    Another pedal you can look into, is the Way Huge Pork Loin. It can do a low gain fairly well. You can probably find one used even on here for your price point. I own one, and feel fairly "meh" about it, but it DOES get a lot of love on here.

    Here is some clips that fellow TBer CliftonBonney did of the Pork Loin:
    Way Huge Pork Loin - Folder Shared from Box.net

    The pedal does sound pretty good, don't get me wrong - but it doesn't quite work for me specifically. You be the judge.
     
  4. Big +1. I just picked up a TS9B at my local store based on the clerk's recommendation. I thought, "how good could it be, I've owned millions of overdrives". That and the bad reviews it was getting here (and I didn't care for the clips either). I'm using a Geddy Jazz with Dimarzio Model Js into a GK MB200. I was really surprised myself, as just like P-oddz said it has a great growl and very responsive, plus it cut through the mix.
     
  5. gard0300

    gard0300 Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Vandalia, Ohio
    Digitech's "Bad Monkey" is dirt cheap and has a pretty good tube sound. LEVEL/LOW/HIGH/GAIN knobs.
     
  6. blastjv

    blastjv

    Jan 8, 2010
    Philly Area
    Love the pork loin. You can probably find one around $100 used. The Bad Monkey is a really nice pedal too, and not hard to find for $40 or less used.....

    -JV
     
  7. pbassdave

    pbassdave

    Feb 3, 2011
    missouri
    TS9B is much better than the youtube demos, more versatile. I've got a Dredgetone Angler & it's a really good overdrive for around 130$, but no blend. It is however very responsive to dynamics, so you can play lighter, or turn down your bass volume & get less drive & sounds better than the TS9B. However, since I got a TS9B I've been tempted to sell the Angler! They're both really good OD's.
     
  8. EADGCoffee

    EADGCoffee

    Apr 18, 2011
    Does anyone have experience with the Tech 21 VT?

    I appreciate the help so far.

    I also listened to the Pork Loin sound clips and really liked it. I've heard you lose some low end with the TS9B?
     
  9. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
    Let me preface this first with a usual TalkBass response, to tell you that the SEARCH function is your friend. There are MANY, MANY, MANY threads on the VT Bass along with clips abound.

    That being said, I'll field the question anyway:
    The VT Bass is an Ampeg emulator. If you like the tone of your bass plus rig right now, with the VT Bass - you run the risk of altering that sound altogether. I use to run the VT as a drive option, until I really learned that 'duh' it's meant to sound like another amp - and I didn't like it coloring my tone too much. It's a great pedal, and does a lot of things really well, but as a drive option - I would probably stay away from it. As a recording option however, I think it's a neat little box.

    Pros: Does Ampeg well, character knob can achieve multiple Ampeg tones from classic to modern and subdued to red hot.

    Cons: Has a tendency to be either a bit a clanky or a bit boomy without much practice dialing it in, alters tone (that's what it's designed to do). Very touch sensitive response to knob tweaking (can find a tone you like, one little bump and you have to tweak a bit to find it again).

    On to the loss of low end with the TS9B - I didn't particularly notice anything drop out when the Tube Screamer was engaged. Its drive sits a little higher in frequencies than some of the other pedals I own, but to me that helped to cut through the mix just a bit better.

    I'd be curious to hear other people's opinions though....
     
  10. EADGCoffee

    EADGCoffee

    Apr 18, 2011
    Thanks. Admittedly after I typed that and did some searching and found that in my opinion, the VT sort of sounded... empty, at least in a lot of the clips I've seen. An amp emulator is a pretty sweet idea but I like the tone I can get from my amp now.

    I think so far I'm into the Way Huge Pork Loin. Is it like the Swollen Pickle where there's an old school one and a new version?
     
  11. On the budget side, have you tried the digitech hardwire series yet? I use the overdrive pedal, the light green one, forgot the model. I like it because it has bass and treble controls so you can dial in the lost lowend. Not bad for 89.00
     
  12. The 808 Retro-Sonic is a great overdrive. It has an "open" sound, despite being a guitar pedal. If you just adjust the internal trimpots, its low end is awesome and gives your bass an awesome drive.
     
  13. A big +1 for the Pork Loin. I run a Fender Jazz with DiMarzio UltraJazz pups and a Squier with Stock Duncan Designed pups, and I love the sound I'm able to dial in with it.

    Granted, it's going to be a 'softer' drive - not as in your face as some, but I get the right amount of grit and low end for me.

    And this is after trying the VT Bass, the Boss ODB-3, Modded Bad Monkey, Sansamp Bass Driver DI, and some others. For the sound I'm after, I haven't found anything I like better.

    IMHO, YMMV, etc.
     
  14. EADGCoffee

    EADGCoffee

    Apr 18, 2011
    I don't really know if I'm capable of any internal mods or adjustments. The Sparkle Drive peaked my interest as well, but a lot of search results said that the modded versions are much better.

    As of right now I'm leaning towards the Pork Loin. I have a Big Muff if I need a harsh sound.
     

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