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On my way to finding a low-gain drive...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by MightyMiloQuinn, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. I came across what will likely become my high-gain OD. Has this happened to anyone else?

    In my off and on quest for a low-gain, transparent overdrive with just that right sound, which included various contenders, I tried two more last week, cuz there were some crazy deals going on on the interwebs last week for some reason. I picked up a Fairfield Barbershop and EQD Monarch. I don't know why I hadn't picked up the Monarch before, as I'm drawn to the Orangey type of crunch from time to time. In any case, the Monarch sounds great! But, it has a little more gain than I'm looking for for this particular application, even at it's lowest setting. Plus, it can get LOUD! I didn't even turn the level knob past 9 o'clock, except to see how loud it could get. What I really enjoyed, however, was the high-gain tone of the Monarch. Almost square-wave in character and has a doubled effect past 3 o'clock. Anyways, I like it enough that I think I'm going to hold onto it even though I don't have much use for it at this moment in time. But don't be too surprised if you find it in the classifieds here. If it wasn't for the Barbershop, the Monarch would probably be pulling my OD duties, but the quality of the BS is well-documented here at TB, and truly is undeniable for me. That said, I can definitely recommend the Monarch for anyone looking for a pedal that can go from low-gain warmth to snarly, crunchy high-gain. The tone controls offer even more versatility, and, of course, the EQD build quality is outstanding.
  2. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    EQD makes some killer stuff. If the Disaster Transport had tap tempo I'd still be using it (I know there's the Sr but it was way too expensive/big (says the guy who loves Moogerfoogers, I know)).

    My go-to low gain OD is the Way Huge Pork Loin.
  3. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I'm probably the only person on TB that really doesn't like the Barbershop, it was a major disappointment to me given the hype it gets here. Low end loss, scratchy pots, massive pop when engaged. The same goes for the other TB sweetheart, Darkglass VMT, I can't really like the sound, I don't feel its drive sound really melds with the bass tone. But I'm probably strange as I don't hear what everyone else seems to hear from these pedals.

    High gain doesn't work for what we play so can't say much about that, but my current low gain favourites are Cusack Screamer Bass and Wampler Euphoria. I've been curious about the Monarch, but if it's more of a high gain overdrive than maybe I'll pass on that one.
  4. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I've tried out a ton of pedals for this, and even gave up for awhile and didn't have any OD on my board, but I'm now happy so far with my new Barber Gain Changer.

    Those that have tried and failed include Darkglass VMT, Marshall Jackhammer, Fulltone OCD, Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive, Spaceman Effects Saturn, Mad Prof Blueberry, Dr. Scientist The Elements, and probably a few others that don't immediately come to mind.
  5. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Audio Mike Lull Custom Guitars Gallien Krueger amplification Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups Darkglass Electronics
  6. Adamixoye

    Adamixoye A PT Pro is cool for worship, right?

    Apr 9, 2012
    Occasional Beta Tester for Confusion Studios, Singular Sound, and Source Audio
    For me the B7K was the opposite. I loved the high-gain clips I heard of the B3K, wanted the EQ and extras on the B7K, and instead I mostly use it as a low- to mid-gain preamp. High gain still sounds great, but the low gain is amazing.
  7. masterFlash


    Jul 6, 2009
  8. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke Liquidating to fund a new business. Buy My Gear!

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    No FatBoost 3 love? I am still head over heels after 3 or 4 years.
  9. gregmon79

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

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    Low gain drive for me is a DG VMT and a boss ODB3 going into a DG B7K. The ODB3 gives me such a great low gain, smooth yet biting mild OD. It's the bees knees IMO. I can actually even dial in my fuzzrocious rat king for a lower OD. Those are my top three. The hardwire CM2 can be very lovely as well. I'm still holding onto it for my second board as a low gain OD. Great pedal and on top of that, it's pretty inexpensive.
  10. chaosmic


    Feb 6, 2010
    Raleigh, NC
    Try running the Monarch at 12 - 18V instead of 9V. It really improves it's headroom and extends the low-gain range if I remember correctly. The Monarch was on my board for several years and I'll own another one at some point. Also, check out the smallsound/bigsound Mini....very versatile and has great low-gain ability on bass.
  11. p0k

    p0k I play the bass and design things.

    Feb 6, 2007
    Brockton, MA
    I love my B3K as a low gain overdrive...
  12. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    for me, some of the best overdrives for low gain dirt are:
    Wampler Euphoria
    Xotic RC
    Runoffgroove Ginger
    Catalinbread WIIO
    Fairfield barbershop
    Cochrane Timmy
    Klon (modded for bass)
  13. RedDragon is spinning my wheels.
  14. The VMT and the Euphoria are the only ones I wanted to try but haven't. But the Barbershop leaves me in no rush to try them.

    I'm planning on trying the Monarch at 18v very soon. We'll see what the result is.
  15. nshuman

    nshuman Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2012
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    My two favourite low gain ODs are the Way Huge Pork Loin and the SFX Micro Red Dragon. You can't go wrong with either.
  16. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    Zvex Basstortion; amazing for low gain. It does higher gain very well too as an added bonus and it keeps the bottom intact as the cherry on the top.

    Also EBS Multidrive.
  17. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    The newer Catalinbread SFTs (i.e. the ones without the big white knobs) sound very similar to the Monarch but with a bit more low end. I ended up keeping the Catalinbread!
  18. LakeEffect


    Feb 21, 2013
    Vote for Darkglass VMT - i too was looking for a low gain transparent OD, coudln't be happier.
  19. The Monarch at 18v is killer. I have to do a bit more of an in-depth A/B with the Monarch and the Barbershop now.
  20. TheButlerdidit

    TheButlerdidit Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Nashville, TN
    My 2 favorites depending on your budget:
    $ Pork Loin
    $$$ Darkglass VMT

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