New Pedal Day: Tech 21 LEEDS!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by DosiYanarchy, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. 003-8.

    I walk in to my local pedal store and whats on top of the bass amp?

    Tech 21 Leeds
    Tech 21 Oxford
    Tech 21 Red Ripper
    Tech 21 VTbass Deluxe

    I tried out the Leeds, Ripper and an Oxford.

    The Ripper reminded me of a more tweakable Prunes & Custard, but not as tweakable as the Source Audio Bass Distortion (that i tried on saturday).

    To my ears, playing a cheap p-bass copy through one of those EBS practice amps, the Leeds and the Oxford didnt sound too different, but the Leeds won the day for me, far more harmonics and touch-sensitivity. Obviously I could have benefitted with spending a bit more time with the Oxford but the suggested 'sabbath bass' setting didnt sound too special to me.

    I walked away with the Tech 21 Leeds. I've been in the market for a new overdrive for a while to replace my OLC Flipster and this seems to be it. Not had a chance to play it through my full rig yet so the maximum its been through is a single 10-inch speaker, if that (could be 8-inch) but i've got high hopes for it.

    One thing i never realised made such a difference the Speaker simulation - without it the pedal sounds so much DARKER and WARMER, i think that the speaker sim actually boosts the treble before it is cut off. I'd always assumed that the sim was just a high and low cut.

    I still intend on using my VTbass at the end of my chain, part of me wants to run the Leeds in parrallel to the VT, part of me wants just to use the Leeds as an overdrive. What will be interresting is how the Speaker sim from the VT works with the Speaker sim from the Leeds. Unfortunately my VT is in the back of my drummers car.


    First clip is my 1986 MIJ P/j-bass with fresh steel strings, P-pickup only played with a pick, directly into my computer, no external compression or eq.

    Clips cycles through:
    Clean -- Leeds WITHOUT speaker sim -- then leeds with speaker sim.
    Character goes from MIN to 12 then to MAX. EQ and drive set to 12 o'clock.

    Second clip is my favourite setting at the moment, same setup but blend of P and J, played fingerstyle.
    Drive@12, all other controls around 3ish. Level at unity.
    Clip goes Dry: Leeds WITH sim (gentle), Leeds w/sim (hard), then repeats without the sim.
  2. bigchiefbc

    bigchiefbc Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Rhode Island, USA
    Cool clips. I totally love my Leeds, and it has become a big part of my main overdriven tone. This is basically the setting I'm using it at right now:

  3. Chief, you got the speaker sim on? My 'fav' setting at the moment is pretty much the same as yours, just a bit more extreme. Having said that I only got it this morning and have yet to play it through anything other than a practice amp.

    Might try running it through the 'high' loop of my SFX X&M (crossover/mix pedal) along with my Musket to see if i can still keep the lows thumpy and the high mids twangy :)
  4. bigchiefbc

    bigchiefbc Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Rhode Island, USA
    Yeah, I got the speaker sim on. I was surprised, just like you were, that I figured the speaker sim was gonna be a low and high cut. But it actually seemed like a high/high-mid boost more than anything, and I love its tone. But then again, I've always loved that high-mid clank, and this pedal has it in gobs.
  5. Yeah, i'm the same, sounds like geddy in a tin
  6. Wud


    Apr 11, 2009
    Me Like :)
    I've been thinking of getting one of these for a while now.
    Where did you get yours from DosiYanarchy ?
  7. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    Hmm. These seem interesting. Will you give the Oxford any more chances?
  8. I got it from - but i actually got it from their store in middlesex, its only a few miles from where i live, the guys who work there are bass players so i never get any dirty looks when i wanna use their pedals on bass (i've heard a few places get a bit funny about it).
  9. next time im up there (maybe at the weekend) i'll give the whole line a go. One thing that was qquite strange with the Oxford is that having the character control on lower settings seemed very quiet in comparison to having it higher. I will give them all a try at some point but from what i've had a go on, the Leeds seemed to be the best at the moment. But both the Oxford and Leeds had suggested bass settings.

    on a side note though, the 'manual' for the leeds says that the bass EQ is set around 120hz which is a little higher than i'd like on a 'bass' pedal but i've had no issues so far. Whats really interresting is that the 'Mid' control is meant to provide a 400k boost (thats lower than teh VTbass) or 750k cut - so the Q depends on whether you're boosting or cutting.

    The Oxford's EQ seems to have the same 500k mid Q as the VT but the same low and high as the Leeds.

    The US Steel also has a Variable mid Q like the leeds but its variation in the midrange is smaller and the low and high Q points are a little higher.

    The Leeds and the Oxford seem to be the only ones with suggested Bass settings (other than the VT)
  10. Wud


    Apr 11, 2009
    My partner is a proud Yorkshire lass from up t' Leeds way.
    I'm hoping the name alone will get one past the girlfriend's money filter.
  11. Heh, I only went in for a power supply, left the girlfriend in the car. Came out £165 poorer (including the power supply).
  12. That's surprising about the speaker sim. Are you sure that the brighter sound isn't the speaker sim off? Does the documentation say whether the speaker sim is on or off with the button pushed in? Maybe they screwed up like Ashdown did with the LB heads and wired the switch up in the opposite way as described in the manual!

    Definitely sounds better in the first half of the second clip anyway!
  13. well i'm assuming that with the switch in, the sim is on. This is the brighter tone.

    When I use fuzzes with the VT, its compresses it and boosts the highend a little and generally makes it sound less raw and more 'polished' - hard things to put into words really, but as i've said before: it makes every fuzz/distortion/OD i've used sound a hell of a lot better to my ears (with the exception of the Blowtorch and mastotron) . Without the sim switch engaged, the Leeds does sound more like a standard pre-amp/Overdrive, with less colouration.

    so my comparisson with the VT leads me to believe that the treblier sound (with the switch in) is the speaker simulation activated.

    Also, I will still be using my VT so will be able to compare the effects of each speaker sim on the Leeds (will probably have the leeds sim off, as it'll getting the sim from the VT)
  14. From the manual:

    Still doesn't make sense to me why the sound would be brighter with the speaker sim on!
  15. Although I modded my VT Bass myself, there's definitely waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more treble with the speaker simulation bypassed.
  16. Dammit.

    That sounds really good.

    Dammit. I don't have any money

    Dammit. I don't see me getting an excess of money.

    I need to try that.
  17. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    Pushed in is speaker sim off from what I'm reading

    As it's a speaker sim defeat button
  18. bigchiefbc

    bigchiefbc Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Rhode Island, USA
    That makes sense. I like it better with the button pushed in, i.e. the brighter setting.
  19. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    Had mine about a month now, and use it as a pre-amp, going for that old Moody Blues/John Lodge/Hiwatt tone.
    My settings:
  20. That's how I would imagine it would work too, although the manual says UP is speaker sim off: