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Will AO give me something new enough that's worth the money?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by keatz, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. keatz


    Jan 19, 2011
    Ok, so my bday is coming up and I've been telling my wife for ages now to just get me the AO or Aom but I'm now kind of getting cold feet.
    I've just found a good deal on a Rat Tail and snapped it up. Given I already have an OCD and a VT Bass deluxe doing my OD's(also have a source audio kingmaker but that's more for trialing tones as I prefer to get the actual pedals for main use), do you think there is anything new that the AO can give me that's worthwhile? Or is it now with a bit of a waste and better off investing in something else? I've heard OCD into Rat/Cat tail can do some serious nasty stuff.
    Would love to hear opinions from the TB family.
  2. Well, I love my A/Om there's definitely a lot of sounds to be wrought out of it. It does the whole modern metal thing really well, if that's what you're going for. I can't really comment on the low gain tones
  3. father of fires

    father of fires Commercial User

    Nov 29, 2006
    Chief of Medicine at Damnation Audio
    It's not about it being anything new.

    It's just a distortion pedal. This one does have parallel distortion stages which is always fun to play with.

    But do you want/need an additional flexible distortion for your arsenal?

    If you're happy with what you have and are not missing anything then you won the lottery!!!

    If you're like the rest of us and are stuck in the rabbit hole then give it a shot.

    Sadly, there is no right answer.

    Personally I chase the dragon every chance I get.
  4. vivaknoxvegas

    vivaknoxvegas El Duderino Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2002
    Knoxville, TN
    Pretty much this. Although I have gone through a lot of DG gear, it never did stick or do it for me... until the AOm. I really love it. It's really versatile and gives me an awesome low gain flavor or raging modern metal.
  5. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    The AO isn't going anywhere soon, and waiting might mean you can pick up one used. Get your new gear in, and test it. I was shocked by what the OCD and RAT can do to a bass. Great sounds.

    I believe you also have an OCSDLX? Using the Cat Tail at low gain with a volume bump into OCD at low gain on LP into the cab sim will be fun for you. I've been able to get similar sounds to some of the AO I've heard with a bright input into a Fifth Gear into a ToneHammer into the cabsim. To me some clever gain staging with EQ adjustment gets you there... Not the same, sure, not one pedal, sure, but also not the AO that everyone else is running for this sound.
    gregmon79, keatz and Jakeman like this.
  6. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    I’m a dragon chaser who digs the A/Om. My current fav OD/distortion pedals are the MBD-1 for more traditional tones and the A/Om for more modern metal tonz (although the MBD-1 kills in the metal zone too).
    gregmon79 likes this.
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    For those of us who are new(ish) to pedals, and recent residents of the rabbit hole, it would be helpful if more of this thread were spelled out.

    What's an "A/O" or an "A/Om"?


    smogg likes this.
  8. crguti


    Feb 14, 2011
    ^ Darkglass Alpha Omega.

    To the OP, there’s nothing new, but it does well.
  9. Fiset

    Fiset I do a good impression of myself

    Jan 13, 2007
    New York
    A/O - Darkglass Alpha Omega
    A/Om - Darkglass Alpha Omicron
    OCD - Fulltone Obsessive Control Drive. Lots of OCD variants on the market (I currently have a Fuzzrocious Demon on my board which is based on the OCD).
    OCSDLX - OmniCabSim Deluxe
    gregmon79, Fuzzbass, smogg and 3 others like this.
  10. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Thank you!
    LowActionHero likes this.
  11. keatz


    Jan 19, 2011
    Ill have 1 band practice with the rat tail to decide whether it helps cover all my distortion needs. But who knows, like someone said, AO is a very versatile pedal with the 2 engines. I might even find a totally different tone on the AO than I was originally going to get it for. My other option would be a better comp to replace the spectra. I have created my own toneprint that I am rather happy with, but would still love a higher quality one with physical control over the parameters. Thinking symmetry or Empress.
  12. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I missed having a Darkglass pedal and picked up the Alpha Omitron to use for heavy distortion....and it has wound up becoming my always on low gain pedal. Quite a shocker there! Love it so much that I ordered the full sized Alpha Omega to see which I like better.
  13. Get em all, sell what you don’t like.

    I use the alpha/omega. It replaced my b7k ultra which was also a great pedal.
    KaizerRainMan and keatz like this.

  14. Funny when even one of your favourite builders recommends chasing the dragon! :D I have no need for it cos my board is full and my wallet is broke, but I’d still chase an omicron given I can see its versatility compared to my mini 66, mbd1 and you’re doom flavours.
    keatz likes this.
  15. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Bergantino-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand

    The AO is the most versatile dirt pedal I'e ever owned, and that number has to be close to two dozen by now ;)

    Everything from pushed tube amp and dynamic overdrive to insane distortion and fuzz tones.

    Highly recommended.
    Fiset and keatz like this.
  16. Ended up doing the same. Really like my A/O.
  17. keatz


    Jan 19, 2011
    I don't think I've seen many demos with low gain settings. Know of any good ones?
  18. gregmon79

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

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    With those two you already have, I'd say yes, it def will bring something more to the table. There are a lot of dirt sounds in the A/O. Even more so in the bigger version. Shortly after I got it and the MBD1, I went from like 9 dirt pedals down to 4. All I keep on now is a rat, an OD, a muff and the A/O. Tons of dirty tones right there.
    keatz likes this.
  19. gregmon79

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

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    Most guys seem to only want to use it as a heavy dist. (not that there's anything wrong with that ;)) Which it most def excels at. But it can do a barely there drive too. That's what's so cool about the A/O, DG set it up for success and made it versatile enough to be your always on EQ/tone shaper or your always on low gain OD or a mild to heavy dist. It just rocks. I doubt I can get a decent demo up before someone else does but I'll try to get a sound bite up in the coming days if no one else has by then.
    keatz, KaizerRainMan and Fiset like this.
  20. Fiset

    Fiset I do a good impression of myself

    Jan 13, 2007
    New York
    Yeah, absolutely. I bought the AOm based on its heavy distortion possibilities but have ended up mostly using it for a lower gain distortion instead such that when I step on it I get a slightly brighter barely overdriven tone that sounds especially sweet and articulate when using a pick*. I decided to use a Fuzzrocious Demon for heavy distortion but as gregmon said, the A/O is extremely versatile so use it however it sounds best to you. Said it before but this is a fantastic time for dirt options on bass. So many quality effects to chose from.

    *Full disclosure - I don't actually use a pick but instead just close my thumb and forefinger together like I'm holding a pick and just use my fingernails.
    gregmon79 likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Feb 27, 2021

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