1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Transparent Overdrive options

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by tsheldon, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. tsheldon


    Jun 20, 2005
    Western New York
    Hi guys,

    I'm mainly a jazz player with a high-fi clean sound (solid state amp) but got myself into a rock n roll power trio situation :help: and I'm lacking a good way to beef up my tone when the guitar player takes a solo. I'm hoping to glean some advice from the overdrive pros.

    I would like an overdrive pedal which is simple, analog, true bypass (too many buffers already) and basically passes on my basses unaffected tone characteristics with addition of overdrive.

    Thus far I've tried a Sansamp which I didn't care for, I found the distortion muddy and lo-fi sounding and the blend knob had to lean way to far towards unaffected before I got my highs back but then didn't have enough overdrive. I also tried an MXR M-80 and the distortion character was just a bit too "gainey" (buzzy and aggressive) for my tastes.

    Judging from Youtube videos the Rodenberg GAS-808B seems like a good possibility and perhaps the Darkglass Vintage Microtubes. Does anyone have some suggestions of other pedals I should make an effort to hear?
  2. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    A "transparent" drive is kind of misleading, because you are looking for a certain amount of baked in tone. The Darkglass VMT is a great pedal but it rolls of the highs and has a real mid focus, something that may be a bit drastic given your regular setup (or maybe that's the kind of flavor you need with that band?). Given what you've described, with your rig and wanting to stay fairly transparent I would check out a Paul Cochrane Timmy.

    Your best resource for referencing different overdrive sounds is going to be this page:
  3. 999Brent

    999Brent Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Auckland, New Zealand
    The Blacksheep Outlaw does this well, I think there is one for sale on TB now...

    As long as you have a blend you should get close to what you are after.
  4. The second part, +1. I can't speak the outlaw unfortunately.
    Keeping your original tone as much as possible thru distortion may be quite difficult. A blend knob will allow you to make up your final signal being amplified part original tone part over driven/distorted tone.
  5. crapusername


    Sep 26, 2005
    North Kent.UK
    endorsing artist: Dean guitars, Marshall , Rotosound strings
    The danelectro transparent overdrive might also be worth a try. The version 1 is an alleged clone of the Timmy.
  6. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    Judging by the clips that John K has posted, the Joyo American is very transparent - as in, the clean tone he dialed in on the pedal sounded darn near identical to the bypassed tone. As for the bypass, I'm not too sure about that. Some folks claim it's true bypass, some say its buffered but really clean (no tone suck), but for $35 it's an experiment worth trying.
  7. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    The Joyo comes very highly recommended and is a great value from what I understand. If you have some extra coin on hand, the Barbershop is a solid, easy-to-use option.

  8. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    It uses a "Millenium Bypass", so not true bypass but yes non tone-sucking IME (I don't have the American but have the UD and AC Tone that uses the same bypass).
  9. johnbegone

    johnbegone Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Your search should begin and end with the Fairfield Circuitry Barbershop. For me, it does exactly what you're looking for - sounds exactly like my tone with just extra bite. With the sag control is stays very amp like and not brittle.
  10. Adamixoye

    Adamixoye A PT Pro is cool for worship, right?

    Apr 9, 2012
    Occasional Beta Tester for Confusion Studios, Singular Sound, and Source Audio
    It probably won't be at the top of the list for people who have tried more ODs than I have, but the Empress Multidrive is pretty transparent with the EQ knobs at noon.
  11. andrew


    May 20, 2000
    Vancouver BC/Pacific Northwest
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Spector, Regenerate Guitar Works, Tech 21 NYC
    Earthquaker Devices Speaker Cranker.
  12. fitz420

    fitz420 Knows Lows

    Oct 6, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    One that was popular around here years ago for its very transparent sound is the Barber LTD SR. I've owned maybe 10-12 OD pedals, all good stuff, and i would say its the most transparent I've ever heard. Having said that, I'm DYING to try a Barbershop and I'm gonna be looking to grab a used one in the near future.
  13. Charley Umbria

    Charley Umbria I'm Really a Drummer Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Rock City, TN
    Check out the Wampler Euphoria. I've compared it to the Darkglass Vintage Microtubes, VT Bass, Ibanez TS9DX, Catalinbread SFT, EHX Muff OD, and Barber Deep Fryer. It's the purest of the bunch, in terms of not coloring your sound.

    There are two for sale in the TB Classifieds right now (and only one of them is mine... :D).
  14. sunbrother


    May 3, 2013
    Wampler Euphoria with the drive anywhere up to 10:30 ~ 11
  15. nshuman


    Sep 4, 2012
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    ]It depends how much overdrive you are looking for.

    If you want very light/light/medium overdrive, it's hard to get simpler and more transparent than the SFX Micro Red Dragon.

    For a more coloured sound that still retains your lows, the Fairfield Barbershop is pretty good.

    I would also look at JohnK's site for a lot of sound samples: http://johnkvintageguitars.homestead.com/Overdrive-Pedals.html
  16. Guinness20


    Jan 24, 2013
    Liverpool, UK
    The outlaw sounds great! Hadn't heard of it previously, how does it compare to the b3k? I want to use od to cut through, but the b3k sounds a bit metallic for my liking (but then people say the blend knob works wonders...).
  17. Darknut

    Darknut Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2009
    +1 on the Euphoria .... I decided to keep mine! so there is only 1 in the classifieds
  18. carbonfold

    carbonfold Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2006
    Dallas, Texas
    Fuzzrocious Dark Driving

    iStomp has a downloadable pedal called the "Sparkle Drive" (not true bypass but sounds great)

    JCM modded Boss DS-1 with bass mods.

    Durham Sex Drive

    Also, really anything with a JCM typle of circuit but with the mods to allow additional bass.
  19. This.
  20. Guinness20


    Jan 24, 2013
    Liverpool, UK