Guitar distortion pedals

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Lunkhead
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Guitar distortion pedals

Post by Lunkhead » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:21 pm

A while ago I bought the tc electronic Mojo Mojo overdrive pedal.

http://www.tcelectronic.com/mojomojo-overdrive/

It sounds awesome. I've been using it with my Les Paul Studio and my Fender Deluxe (reissue) on all this year's BSS songs that I'm on. (I think my guitar is normally panned to the right if you want to listen for it.)

It's available on Hello Music for only $105, $24 off the Musician's Friend price.

http://www.hellomusic.com/Items/mojomojo-overdrive

I can't recommend it enough. All these tc electronic pedals seem pretty great, in terms of sound quality, build quality, features, and value.

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My other trusty overdrive pedal is the Digitech Bad Monkey.

http://www.digitech.com/en-US/products/bad-monkey

This one's great for more budget oriented folks, as it's only $50 new. I got mine used off Craig's List for $30. It sounds almost but not quite as good as a pedal that costs twice as much. You can hear this one on Merisan's "Credible Threat" entry. I think it was my old Les Paul Studio through my Fender solid state amp.

http://sfjukebox.org/songs/credible_threat/Merisan

It's also got an "amp simulator" output that I've used in combination with direct recording to slightly improve the tone when direct recording and not using a software amp simulator.

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I also bought the Pigtronix FAT drive.

http://www.pigtronix.com/products/fat-drive/

Frankly I wasn't very into this pedal. It sounded very similar to a RAT fuzz pedal, which I already had, when I wanted an overdrive style distortion. It's a good fuzz but the distortion is a bit too fizzy and creamy for my tastes. Maybe if anybody is interested in it I could sell it to someone, or have a side fight for it. Listening the samples on the page now though it sounds pretty good, so maybe I just need to play with it more. ;)
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Paco Del Stinko
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Re: Guitar distortion pedals

Post by Paco Del Stinko » Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:10 pm

Man, dial that Rat in and it's all you need! Those others sound good, and if that's it on this weeks fight, the TC pedal sounds great. I have to look away, as I DO NOT NEED one more pedal, especially a distortion. Although, I find these very appealing...http://www.fuzzbox.com/yardbox
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Re: Guitar distortion pedals

Post by Billy's Little Trip » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:14 am

So it's the mojomojo getting that sweet tube driven sound? I thought it was your new combo. I like it.

That Yardbox sound pretty nice too.
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Re: Guitar distortion pedals

Post by mo » Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:19 am

I don't have a TC Electronic dirt pedal, but I do have the Vortex Flanger, Hall of Fame Reverb and Flashback Delay and they are all great, GREAT pedals (and not too expensive nowadays, either!). I am especially a fan of the Vortex because it has a really good sim of a through-zero flanger on it, and the Flashback for the 2290 delay sound, which is just so crisp.

I'm currently stacking a Fuzz Factory into an Earthquaker Devices Talons OD for a pretty insane variety of drive tones. Until pretty recently I was a Tubescreamer guy, but the Talons really just sounds more defined, with greater string-to-string clarity and amazing tone-sculpting options. The FF I just use to make brutal, insanely oscillating fuzz noises which drive my bass player crazy. But with the Stability knob (regulates supply voltage) all the way up, it gets really good fuzz tones somewhere between the Fuzz Face and the Tonebender Mk 1.

I used to use a RAT for a lot of years (and I think I played your RAT before too, right Sam?) but in the end I think its kind of too thick and creamy a sound for me to feel comfortable with it, I just don't feel like it sounds, I don't know, present enough maybe? Same reason I always want to bond with Big Muffs and just don't--I like a punchier, tighter distorted tone than what I've managed to get with those boxes.
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Re: Guitar distortion pedals

Post by Lunkhead » Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:00 am

Billy's Little Trip wrote:So it's the mojomojo getting that sweet tube driven sound? I thought it was your new combo. I like it.

That Yardbox sound pretty nice too.
It's probably the pedal plus the tube amp.

Today I just ordered a tc electronic Hall of Fame Reverb, as a little celebratory present for myself (got a new job!).
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Re: Guitar distortion pedals

Post by Lunkhead » Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:56 am

mo, yeah, I have a RAT at the BSS space that I think you used when you were there. I feel like it sounds great but it's a tone I'm in the mood for once in a while, not a go-to/default thing.
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Re: Guitar distortion pedals

Post by Paco Del Stinko » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:42 pm

Mo wrote:Fuzz Factory
Gotta love the Fuzz Factory. Those things are the nuts! I have a Z-Vex Octane and some other of their pedals as well. Good stuff. But yeah, the FF can do a lot of things from crazy to creamy.
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Re: Guitar distortion pedals

Post by mo » Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:46 pm

Yeah with the Fuzz Factory I usually have it set with the Stab ALL the way down and the Compression up just to the point the noise goes away when my volume knob is about a 7 or 8. Then season Drive to taste. That gets you the oscillation in a controllable way, as you have it full on if you kick your volume knob up and then it gets really crazy but you can kill it by rolling off the volume. It is just beautiful.

The other drive pedal I have that I like a lot right now is the Way Huge Pork Loin, which is a clean blend OD. It sounds huge, but like Sam was saying about the RAT for him, isn't a tone that's a regular thing for me. Again, because the PL is super warm and the OD flavor is not crisp and present to me. It's pretty great for bass on the bridge pickup though.

Last thought: Sam, get the Toneprint Editor--TC released the software that allows you to create and program your own Toneprints, and that thing is really awesome.
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Re: Guitar distortion pedals

Post by Lunkhead » Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:19 pm

mo wrote:Last thought: Sam, get the Toneprint Editor--TC released the software that allows you to create and program your own Toneprints, and that thing is really awesome.
Sweet! I didn't know about that. I'll definitely check it out,
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Re: Guitar distortion pedals

Post by Billy's Little Trip » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:17 pm

mo wrote:get the Toneprint Editor--TC released the software that allows you to create and program your own Toneprints, and that thing is really awesome.
That's really cool!
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Re: Guitar distortion pedals

Post by mo » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:19 am

Although I would like to add that I really have discovered that as I get older, a lot of the time I just use the pedals for flavors; my base gain tones are more and more just based on cranking a tube amp and riding the volume knob for different gain levels. There's just something about the attack and punch that's really immediate, and I use it a lot. If I play with saggier tones I always feel like I'm losing the ability to control myself whether the tone is sharp or round, which can be a pick attack thing. These days if I can get the amp nice and crunchy I'll just run with that and use the OD pedal for a heavy, warm, round saturated tone, mostly in solos, and the fuzz is totally overboard, total effect.

Actually to be fair though, I don't use stompboxes in subtle ways anymore. There was a time when I would have the compressor and EQ and everything in the chain to fine-tune the sound, now I don't care to do that anymore. Now I like my effects really in your face--like if I step on a box, you'll know it.
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Re: Guitar distortion pedals

Post by Paco Del Stinko » Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:01 am

I'm with you, Mo! Also use pedals less and less.
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Re: Guitar distortion pedals

Post by jeff robertson » Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:21 pm

I've mostly stopped using distortion pedals. If the amp isn't distorted enough, put a boost pedal in front of it. If its still not enough, put an EQ pedal and turn at least some of the bands all the way up.

Of course this is dependent on having amps that you (a) like the sound of and (b) are small enough to play on 10 without bringing down the ceiling.

EDIT: I do still like the RAT for the simplicity of its distortion or fuzz or however you'd classify it.
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Re: Guitar distortion pedals

Post by mo » Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:05 pm

My thing about the RAT is just that it is always so THICK and loose to my ears, and I like setting up the gain pedal so it's tightened up and I can get that blade-like cutting tone on the bridge and the thick, smooth tone on the neck pickup. It requires a fair amount of balancing with the tone knobs as well. But I've never been able to get the RAT to sound good to me on both pickup positions at the same time. I had a way of doing it with a TS, which sparkles a little better, but it really is not comparable to the Talons on this front (ergo the switch). I can get the Talons nice and tight, focused sounding. It has such great active boost/cut EQ controls, really effective for anything from transparent-ish boosting to very sculpted sounds--I'm a sucker for flexibility.

For the simple OD pedal I definitely would still reach for the TS first.
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