Jump to content

Overdrive woes.. Are dirt pedals really all that different?


DanJep

Recommended Posts

  • Members

Do you ever think you need a new OD for a "certain" sound and find that your trusty number one can cop the same feel?

 

I was gassing for a BB until I got the tone I wanted from a BB out of my Big D. Are OD pedals really that dissimilar? I think not...

 

Discuss....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I don't think they're all the same but I think most fall into a small number of groups that are very similar. I'm using a couple of ODs at the moment and they're very different. The Zendrive is extremely smooth and the Blue Boy Deluxe is a TS808 and capable of being much spikier. They also have totally different tonal variations in their controls.

 

I think with ODs you can get some that are very similar flavours but with some subtle differences and then it's down to your own ears. Although that may be down to the fact that 99% of overdrives that are released now are TS808 clones in one way or another! ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I find that my OCD can cover a whole lot of ground.

 

I'm usually using that or my OD-3.

 

They are both WIN IMO.

 

 

But lots of overdrives sound the same to me really. I've also found that in live situations you really can't tell the difference. Not as much as a different amp will change your sound anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Here's how I look at it.

 

All symmetrical clipping ODs have a basic sound in common.

 

All asymmetrical clipping ODs have a basic sound in common.

 

But there are big tonal variations possible, op-amp vs. diode, etc., and different tone stacks can make for huge changes.

 

My wife has no problems picking out which OD I'm using. I ask her all the time which tone she likes better, she helps me analyze my sound to figure out if I've got too much of something going on, or not enough of something else. A non-guitarist's ears around can be a real help when it comes to tone adjustments, because they don't know gear, they just know what sounds good to them.

 

You probably don't want to let your metalhead little brother with the Wal-Mart stereo and a V-shape on its EQ give you tone advice, though...

 

 

I have two Wasabi ODs and they cover most of my overdrive needs. It has a very modular tone shaping circuit, with five distinct far-reaching voicings that result in big sound changes, and a master tone knob that goes from bassy to bright. But it won't do Tubescreamer. Well, it'll do the tubescreamer EQ curve on its "2" EQ setting, but it won't do the Tubescreamer clipping and responsiveness characteristics. So an Aramat Green Machine is in the mail :D

 

I agree with whoever said that Fuzz exhibits big sound changes with relatively small changes. Use a Fuzz Face-style pedal with a bias pot and you'll get a feel for just how much can be done with a single component change (since most simpler FF clones/mods are biased with a resistor rather than a pot)... Different designs give different worlds of fuzz goodness.

 

It seems that circuits which use vacuum tubes for their amplification exhibit greater changes with the surrounding guts than solid-state clipping devices, at least in the pedal world (SS amps, and tube amps, all have their own sound if you ask me).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

To guitarists they are, but even then the difference is pretty slight.


Anyone who has asked their gf whether they can tell the difference, though...

 

 

my wife has about 100 pairs of shoes.... keep in mind this is after the recent trip to goodwill. I have two pairs that i wear regularly, and one "nice pair" that i never wear.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I think most amps sound the same once they start cooking.

 

As for pedals, my zinky true grit was gritty insanity and my bad monkey is smooth low gain, and any ts clones I've come by in the past are quite crunchy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

yes there are differences in pedals

 

Different gain stages.

Different amounts of gain.

Different clipping.

Not to mention compression.

As well as the amount of treble/mids/bass put into the design.

 

In most respects dirt pedals are the same in the way that they deliver the end product. But it just depends. i've had some gear sounds great with one setup and sound like pure ass with the other.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

yes there are differences in pedals


Different gain stages.

Different amounts of gain.

Different clipping.

Not to mention compression.

As well as the amount of treble/mids/bass put into the design.


In most respects dirt pedals are the same in the way that they deliver the end product. But it just depends. i've had some gear sounds great with one setup and sound like pure ass with the other.

 

 

Bingo. +1- Each one of my dirt boxes produces a a unique texture Fuzz, Distortion, "Classic" OD, and "Plexi" full bore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

A lot of it is EQ. There is a lot of similar circuits for the actual distortion, especially the diode ones. Even then, there are several configurations and tweaks are audible. But it is the combination of different distortion and different EQ that results in the huge number of available pedals. Often the EQ (pre- and post- distortion) is the larger variant. This certainly has more chance of being compensated for by other settings than the distortion itself. These EQ factors I consider less interesting and often more objectionable.

 

I tend to like having some pedals with little EQ (at least as an option) and some with particular EQs I have found to like.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

i've had some gear sounds great with one setup and sound like pure ass with the other.

 

 

I think mrweems has hit on it here. I used to be really annoyed by all the dirt pedal options out there, thinking they were pretty much all the same thing. I agree there is a lot of overlap in the dirt pedal realm, especially among the low to medium gain ODs. But when I switched amps, I began to appreciate all those options since nothing I owned at the time and several I tried sounded horrible with my then-new amp. What it comes down to is yes, many ODs sound the same in front of the same amp, but many may also sound different in front of other amps. As others have mentioned, the difference may only be noticeable to other guitarists/musicians. But just a change in the feel of our rigs can make us play better/worse depending. How many times have you heard someone say they didn't feel comfortable playing because they couldn't get their "sound"? If a pedal gives you the feel you want, it doesn't matter that a dozen others could probably give you the same sound.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...