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! :)

Updated Southampton Fifth Gear

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Noylin, Aug 7, 2016.

  1. allenhumble


    Oct 22, 2004
    Acworth GA.
    Me likes:D 20170320_194440.
    blindrabbit, nshuman, Embra and 5 others like this.
  2. Great Canuckian Board!
    blindrabbit and jumbo_steelie like this.
  3. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    I got the V2. Just spent a lot of time with it in the studio. For a while I was trying to figure out how to make it sound like the V1. After some tweaking, here is what I came up with :

    Volume max, Heat at 7o clock (basically at 0) and gain at 12. That got me right there (my v1 setting is just on a little under 9). I used ears and also cheated with a spectrum analyzer to see if what I was hearing what accurate. My findings:

    The Heat knob, even just slightly boosted adds highs and lows. I used monitoring headphones and was hearing a nice high, clicky transient that could be really cool, especially if you play heavy stuff. It's probably at 8k or so. The good thing is that it won't spike your volume at all. In fact if you use this pedal as an always on, compression would probably be a waste of pedal board space as like most OD's and fuzzes, the OD is going to hard limit the transients for you. This means that if you switch basses during the show and use the 5th gear as an always on, you basically will not have issues with a louder bass giving a hotter signal to the FOH desk.

    Anyway, with the gain on 12 and the volume maxed, that is a money tone, quite original to the V1. Now if you start to add in the Heat, the tone becomes something new - it just adds more frequency to the signal. Essentially in a spectrum view, the frequencies just level out more and more and the tone gets more saggy. My plan of action is to use my setting that copies the V1 and then mess with the Heat Knob and see if I can work that tone in now and then. Keeps things simple since the only tweak I will make is boosting Heat.

    Of course I dimed everything and that is quite the synthy sounding fuzz tone.Very cool, but you can hear the squash when you hit a low E. I think some people may love that. I personally like the 5th gear as a light OD and stack it into my Fuzzrocious Demon when I want to take it up a notch.

    Initial thoughts were - oh no, it doesn't have the V1 sound! But I had both pedals in line and kept A/Bing until I figured out how to match them. Adding in the top loading jacks and there is no reason to pick the V1 out side of the super sweet one giant knob, which I still love. The V2 is definitely a nice upgrade to an existing OD classic.
  4. Marcocolo

    Marcocolo Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2008
    Anyone want to sell me a Version1?
    Alien8 likes this.
  5. AngelMoncada


    Oct 4, 2016
    Woo, just got my own v2 as well and it sounds great. New to pedals though and was wondering, does anybody here feel like this pedal also does something else to the tone aside from obviously giving it some hair? IDK, when engaging it, i felt like it gave my bass some more warmth/fatness/low end? Not sure if this is one of the purposes of having OD, I always believed it was simply about adding some breakup
    SouthamptonPdls likes this.
  6. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Banned SUSPENDED

    Most overdrives have some kind of character; some boost mids, some cut lows, some boost highs. I find the Fifth Gear adds some pleasant fatness in the lower mids which I like.
    DirtyDuke and loopee like this.
  7. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    There's one over in the classifieds last I looked today.
  8. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    It definitely adds its own lovely character. My guitarist GF referred to it as "smoove."

    Most ODs I've experienced have a certain sameness. The only exceptions I've run into (besides the Fifth Gear) are the Savior Machine by Shoe Pedals, and the DOD Looking Glass Overdrive…which interestingly enough Shoe Pedals also had a hand in designing. Hmm…

    Both are very good sounding ODs btw. But neither of them is designed for, nor meshes particularly well with bass IMO. They are definitely what I think of more as "guitar" pedals.
    DirtyDuke likes this.
  9. AngelMoncada


    Oct 4, 2016
    This is what I suspected. Thanks guys! Excited for finding the range of possibilities with this pedal!
    DirtyDuke likes this.
  10. Can the Fifth Gear V2 safely run at higher voltage for more (clean) headroom?
  11. SouthamptonPdls

    SouthamptonPdls Commercial User

    Nov 23, 2014
    owner of Southampton Pedals
    No it cannot
    cataract likes this.
  12. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Richmond, VA
    Higher voltage is kinda unnecessary with the Fifth Gear— it can get pretty gnarly pretty quick as is (in a good way!)
  13. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    The “9V or 18V operation” and the whole “more headroom” thing has largely turned into yet another marketing gimmick IMO. You can design a perfectly good sounding pedal that operates at 9V with more than adequate headroom if you know what you’re doing.

    I spoke to a circuit designer and he said he thought a lot of the 18V trend started once pedal users started getting away from batteries and got AC power supplies. He said when you’re running on batteries you need to carefully design the circuit and select the components in it to minimize current draw and still get a good sound. But with higher voltages and a power supply you can get a lot less fussy and careful about things. He also said that while there were some things that could genuinely offer improved performance with higher operating voltages, about half of the devices claiming it as a feature were blowing smoke out their tails and just doing some marketing.
    cataract likes this.
  14. Thanks. Figured I'd ask first before risking it.
    cataract likes this.
  15. In my case, it gets a bit too gnarly on the E and A strings even with heat and gain at minimum settings, and oddly enough the clipping makes those strings seem lower volume (whether it actually is or not). It clips like crazy on the G&L ASAT, (neck pickup, series, passive), and on the Gibson EB13... and a bit less on the Epi Vintage Pro T-bird. It is not unlike how the Way Huge Pork Loin behaved with the clean blend past 3 o'clock... and running that pedal at 18v fixed it, which is why I was curious if the 5th gear could handle higher voltage.

    While I can roll down the volume on the bass to mitigate the clipping, I don't run the pedal always on, so I'm looking for ways to use it without having to do fiddle with extra stuff whenever I activate that footswitch.
    cataract likes this.
  16. Many of the pedals that benefit from higher voltage were never marketed as being 18v capable. i.e. Way Huge Pork Loin, Fultone Fatboost. So I personally don't believe it is just marketing.

    Sometimes it's just a matter of having an instrument that has a hotter signal than expected, and there's no input pad. Some pedals can handle it just fine without the input clipping, and some can't unless the operating voltage was increased, and some can't, period. Overdrives can mask it if you set it for a lot of gain, but if you are going for a warm clean-ish sound, input clipping kinda ruins that.
    loopee and cataract like this.
  17. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Richmond, VA
    I feel you.. running the Fifth Gear with my active Ibanez ATK was beyond gnarly and only slightly more tame with my old 4003.. not to say that it didn’t sound fantastic, just hard to reel in if need be.
    My next bass is going to be 100% aluminum body & neck, paired with a single G&L MFD humbucker— can’t wait to see how my favorite pedals react to it!!
    All of this Fifth Gear talk makes me want to pick up another one (this’ll be my third! Don’t know why I keep parting with them!!)
  18. loopee

    loopee Supporting Member

    May 12, 2009
    Surrey, B.C. Canada
    The 5th Gear V2 is fantastic with my passive but I don't like it all that much with my active bass.....but I'm not flipping it yet.
  19. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    Curious what OD you like with your active basses? I never loved active basses through a lot of effects personally, so I can see what you are saying.
  20. AngelCrusher

    AngelCrusher Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    To add to this, some of my old guitarist's favorite tones back in the day were on 9V batteries that were near death. He never used a power supply, just a Les Paul through some battery driven pedals into a Marshall. Sounded incredible.

Share This Page