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Al Krow

If you could only choose one overdrive pedal?

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Guys,

Need some input and recommendations from you on excellent overdrive pedals and I think a few of us have found the 'if you could only choose one..." format to be a really helpful one, so please excuse my starting another similar thread for the weekend!

I currently have an excellent Two Notes Le Bass which provides clarity and 'sparkle' (ok that's not a technical term, I know) and when I combine Channel B with a little pedal pre and a clean COG T16 sub octave it produces a fantastic dirt. But like many dirt pedals it is sucking out a little too much the low end. I've got a much cheaper TC Mojomojo which does a much warmer drive but lacks the clarity and 'sparkle'. Connecting them in series is not as good as either by themselves.

My Zoom B3n sims are a top end fizzy 'meh' in comparison to either the Two Notes or the TC Mojomojo (and I'm not a massive fan of the DG overdrive pedals I guess for the same reasons).

@Cuzzie has recently 'discovered' the Demon Parvati which I'm looking forward to hearing some samples from him and another solution might be to wire up a couple of pedals (even my Two Notes and TC Mojomojo) in parallel and he's currently also raving about the Tyler for this. But I was wondering whether there is there anything else out there (and it doesn't have to be bargain basement - I appreciate that sometimes quality costs!). Is there a single overdrive pedal that can deliver both the clarity and sparkle of a Two Notes with the low end warmth of TC Mojomojo?

Any other thoughts or suggestions as to how to get that totally wonderful drive sound in pedal form would be very weclome!

AK

Edited by Al Krow

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Maybe not the tone you are going for, but my go to drive is the SolidGold Fx Beta or their newer Beta Dlx (which is a Beta with a boost).

No loss of low end on the Beta circuit, in fact a bump in the lower region of the EQ to my ears. With the adition of the boost on the Dlx, that can be placed before or after the drive section, you effectively have 3 tones (Clean, drive, + drive/fuzz'ish).
You will not get the highs you are looking for on the Beta unfortunately...

The Moog Minifooger Drive is a very nice pedal also, a bit on the darker side rather than the sparkly highs you look for.

I own an original V.1 DG B3K and really like what it does, it has crispiness and articulation but I do feel that the low end suffers on that pedal a bit... I like putting an octave through it, it adds an amazing texture to my sound.

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I’m selling a Hookers Green Bass Machine which has lots of low end. It’s not too bright even with treble dimed and will give you all the low end you’d need. Not bad for £65! I just prefer my EHX BSF with my current rig.

As mentioned in a different thread it’s designed by the BBBOD builder Bjorn Juhl.

It could be that you need something with a clean blend or perhaps a loop pedal where you could engage a couple of pedals with one stomp rather than tap dancing .

In an old band I had a a/b loop pedal with a massive fuzz sound in one loop and then a low gain drive and germanium boost wired together in the second. Worked well for a range of sounds and minimal tap dancing.

 

Edited by krispn

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Thanks for you're responses which I'm looking into with interest.

@Byo - you're right about the lack of high end on the Solid Gold Beta Dlx, which I would miss.

@Krispn. I'll have to admit that the HG Bass Machine does sound good! I also love its compact profile as well, which would sit very well on the mini gigging board I'm putting together...and given that you've already saved me ££s by loaning me your HPF / LPF filter (and wouldn't even let me pay your postage!), it would be churlish not to give this a go...:)

PS clean blend is always a great option to have (and is generally a must for me on an octave or a filter), but if the HGBM is not losing low end then on an OD pedal then not having a clean blend is something I'm pretty sure I can live with.

Edited by Al Krow

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Southampton Fifth Gear v2 is my choice. I've been through a crapload of overdrives to arrive at this one as my one-and-only.

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8 minutes ago, jposega said:

Southampton Fifth Gear v2 is my choice. I've been through a crapload of overdrives to arrive at this one as my one-and-only.

Sounds interesting. I've not come across this one - do you have a YouTube or other link you could share?

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1 minute ago, Al Krow said:

Sounds interesting. I've not come across this one - do you have a YouTube or other link you could share?

 

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40 minutes ago, The59Sound said:

Bearfoot Blueberry! 

Yes but which one?! The original or the more recent Mad Professor version and why?!

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Actually the answer may be something entirely different, and boil down to a change in playing technique, rather than a different pedal...

Finger style vs pick for overdrive

I have, until the last week or so, pretty much spent all my time playing with fingers rather than a pick.

A few months back I bought myself a (lovely but not too expensive) Yammy BB425 5 string P bass to work on both 5 string and pick usage (and to get a flavour of P basses). I’ve started using my pick, in earnest, on the Yammy for the last couple of days.

Guess what? Using a pick with COGT16 + TC Mojomojo gets me a much better sustain and is actually pretty close to finger style with COGT16 + Two Notes (using a little pre-amp boost to both set ups, from my Zoom B3n, to add a little extra punch). And I'm still benefiting from the warm low end of the Mojomojo!

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1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

Yes but which one?! The original or the more recent Mad Professor version and why?!

Neither - the Bearfoot version as the original BJFE version is too rare and expensive!

Well the BJFE is supposedly the best but very hard to come by. The Mad Professor is much higher gain and mushier sounding. The Bearfoot version the most recent and is much closer to the original. 

Edited by dannybuoy

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2 hours ago, The59Sound said:

I have a Bearfoot Blueberry but didn't even know there were two versions - how do I know?

First there was the original BJFE. Then the Mad Professor, then the Bearfoot. Then there was a rumour that Bearfoot changed the circuit within the last year to make it brighter, but I've not seen any official confirmation, user reports or demos to confirm this other than one dude on Talkbass who apparently was told by Bearfoot. You'd have to contact Bearfoot to find if this is true and from which serial number they changed!

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3 minutes ago, dannybuoy said:

First there was the original BJFE. Then the Mad Professor, then the Bearfoot. Then there was a rumour that Bearfoot changed the circuit within the last year to make it brighter, but I've not seen any official confirmation, user reports or demos to confirm this other than one dude on Talkbass who apparently was told by Bearfoot. You'd have to contact Bearfoot to find if this is true and from which serial number they changed!

Cheers DB. But come on you've been through pretty much all of the overdrive pedals known to man, woman and bassplayer, right?! So how about your top 5 and your bottom 3 with a bit of 'blurb' about each? That would be awesome!

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45 minutes ago, dannybuoy said:

First there was the original BJFE. Then the Mad Professor, then the Bearfoot. Then there was a rumour that Bearfoot changed the circuit within the last year to make it brighter, but I've not seen any official confirmation, user reports or demos to confirm this other than one dude on Talkbass who apparently was told by Bearfoot. You'd have to contact Bearfoot to find if this is true and from which serial number they changed!

I have the BBBOD by the looks of it. Still a cracking pedal! 

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A brightened up BJFE Blueberry circuit is a thing to behold. My fav by quite some way... and I built it myself based on fuzzdog's Juicy Blue kit. A few mods suggested by Josh/Azure Skies over on TB (that's Josh Broughton of Broughton Audio) and it sings. Must build one standard to compare the 2 and post some clips...

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My Hooker's Green Bass Machine ('HGBM') arrived this safely morning (courtesy krispn) and I've managed to give it a quick spin. First impressions:

Like:

- it's a very 'clean' drive (may be too 'sterile' for some folk). By comparison my TC Mojomojo is warmer and my Two Notes has a nice touch of mid scooped Sansamp baked into its 'sound'. I can see the HGBM working really well with other pedals (in particular a sub octave) without leading to a 'mushy' sound in the mix with the rest of the band

- compact footprint

- doesn't cost the earth

Less keen on:

- doesn't seem to 'do' too much between 0 and 5 (mid way), so I'll likely be using entirely in the 6 to 10 range! [UPDATE: I've just spotted Gear4Music state that the drive voltage is 9V - 18V, so actually I suspect that this is going to be entirely down the fact that I have connected it to a 9V supply. I'll need to get a voltage doubler set up but I'm looking forward to hearing the improvement (which is certainly noticeable on the YouTube clips)]

- the power input is a little too close to the jack input for my liking (but I can live with that).

Going to be a keeper? Yes, I think so. Certainly for now! It's definitely providing a different, and potentially welcome, twist to dirt to that provided by either my TC Mojomojo or the very capable Two Notes Le Bass.  Even more so, I suspect when I load it up at 18V rather than 9V!

Edited by Al Krow

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On 20/11/2017 at 09:59, Bigwan said:

A brightened up BJFE Blueberry circuit is a thing to behold. My fav by quite some way... and I built it myself based on fuzzdog's Juicy Blue kit. A few mods suggested by Josh/Azure Skies over on TB (that's Josh Broughton of Broughton Audio) and it sings. Must build one standard to compare the 2 and post some clips...

I picked up a used FuzzDog Juicy Blue earlier in the year from the BC classifieds and can confirm that it is a thing of pure brilliance. No idea how it compares to the real thing but it's still a great pedal in its own right. Mine, as far as I know, is the stock boutique version and while it is a little dark sounding I actually prefer it to a shrill drive sound. Do the mods brighten it up significantly or does it still retain some of its dark charm? 

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If anything the HGBM will be cleaner (and louder) at 18V.

I haven't tried any Blueberry mods but I can fully see myself purchasing a Broughton Azure Drive! There was a bit of hype around the Bearoot Uber Bee being a brighter alternative to the Blueberry but it did not have the same mojo at all for me.

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1 hour ago, Osiris said:

I picked up a used FuzzDog Juicy Blue earlier in the year from the BC classifieds and can confirm that it is a thing of pure brilliance. No idea how it compares to the real thing but it's still a great pedal in its own right. Mine, as far as I know, is the stock boutique version and while it is a little dark sounding I actually prefer it to a shrill drive sound. Do the mods brighten it up significantly or does it still retain some of its dark charm? 

There are a number of mods that are kind of incremental. I did them all at once so it can be quite a bit brighter than the original (as far as I remember!) with the nature control up full. I'd like to revisit the project and do a lot more playing around with various values and maybe implement the tone control from other BJFE/Bearfoot circuits in addition to the nature control. But, you know, life... 

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I just got a Le Bass in for rentals today and I’m very impressed. Not had a long time with it so it may take little while to dial in all the possibilities. I’ve tried many of the usual suspects over the years and I’m still fully in favour of the Pike Vulcan XL. It’s actually pretty similar to the Le Bass but so far I prefer Pikes voicing  

Theres two options between a B15 midrange type and a slightly more scooped modern OD. (Bit like le bass)

I find the EQ is voiced very well for me. It’ll do bright and crisp or full and dark, or both. You don’t get one at the expense of the other and the basic tone is just great. Ive had the darkglass and sansamps and sold them on.  The COG Knightfall is great too but the EQ on the Pike...

Recently tried a Dr Scientist Elements on Bass which works great, has an EQ and a blend.

i have a rusty box on the way which I tried recently. Also very impressive and not short of bass. 

If you’re happy with Le Bass but can’t get enough bass from the two EQs then maybe just add some more bottom end with a blend pedal or something like the KMA Tyler ? (if there’s room on the board)

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Al Krow

I was convinced I’d mentioned the 18v operation on the HGBM but maybe it was just in the ad. I’ve not tried it at 18v as other pedals were using that. I’d say it’ll give you more headroom and dynamics if you juice the wee bugger ?

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I just ran my B3K at 18V by accident, and not only did it survive but it sounded better! Not sure if this only applies to the USA built ones as I’ve never heard of anyone running Darkglass pedals at 18V, so don’t try this at home folks!

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