Overdrive for clean backline amps?

Discussion in 'The Effect effect' started by igor4444, Jun 12, 2020.

  1. igor4444

    igor4444 New Member!

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Location:
    Chicago
    I'm on the search for overdrives that work with a myriad of BACKLINE amps, some solid states sh***. My main guitar is a Fender AV62 Stratocaster, and I'm playing classic rock and pop tones.

    What are your guys suggestions of overdrives that work well with a clean BACKLINE amps?
     
    Robins likes this.
  2. David Garner

    David Garner Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,053
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2011
    Location:
    Yorkville, Georgia
    Dirty Little Secret works great as an “amp in a box.” HRD, Twin, doesn’t matter. The only wild card is it doesn’t play nice with my AC-30. Not awful but there’s better on my board.
     
    JB74 likes this.
  3. guitarface

    guitarface Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,647
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Boss ge-7 isn’t an overdrive per se but it has a level slider in addition to the frequency sliders.
     
    JB74 likes this.
  4. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music.

    Messages:
    19,591
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Location:
    My house.
    It depends on what you want to sound like.

    I use a clean platform and like sd1 a lot but not for every application.

    When I used it along with my wampler euphoria, I feel like I have enough flexibility for my needs.

    Some guys would tell you to to buy a tube screamer and be done.

    Others will tell you their favorite od. So many options.
     
    s5tuart and soulman969 like this.
  5. soulman969

    soulman969 Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,873
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2016
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I think it depends quite a bit on what "flavor" tone you're looking for and to a degree the amp itself. Some amps will accept most anything while others are more fussy. One I use that seems to work well with most any "clean" amp is a Fulltone OCD. My Wampler Ecstasy also works well and has the advantage of having three different "flavors".
     
    David Garner likes this.
  6. Kerry Brown

    Kerry Brown Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    808
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2014
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    A friend of mine that plays at a few different jams uses a telecaster with a Blues Driver. I'm amazed at how good he sounds no mater what amp he's stuck with. Part of it is obviously his fingers because I've tried the same setup and don't sound as good. For myself I like two humbuckers with coil split and the BD2. I can get close enough for almost any cover that comes up in a jam. The common thread here is the BD2. It is a very overlooked pedal.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2020
    JB74, nickmsmith and LRS! like this.
  7. Robins

    Robins Dr. von Loudster

    Messages:
    12,734
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    Friedman Dirty Shirley.

    All the best,
    Robin
     
    JB74 likes this.
  8. mutato

    mutato Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    3,476
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    RI
    I use a Wampler PlexiDrive with my clean Princeton Reverb (or other amps at practice). That's my base. Set to just a little edge. Enough to make a clean amp have some more oomph. Then I use OD's for whatever OD or distortion.
     
    EC Strat likes this.
  9. Grux

    Grux Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    41
    Messages:
    821
    Joined:
    May 17, 2018
    Location:
    Clarksville, TN
    A proco rat can cover a lot of ground and has always sounded good with every amp I've tried them on.
     
    tinkertoy likes this.
  10. JB74

    JB74 Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,712
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2018
    Location:
    ɹǝpunuʍop
    OK, This is a bit of a challenge, given we haven't got a lot to go on... But I'll accept.

    I run stereo wet/dry with high headroom amps. Typically it's a pair of blackface twins for the dry and 4x12's for the wet, occasionally I piggyback 4x12 cab onto my JC-120 and run either my quad or 1959SLP.

    Setups change depending on my whimsical nature and it's nto always the same though. about 2 weeks ago I was running twins into 4x12's and quad reverb and JC-120 with my S/C 2x12 piggybacked.

    The point of explaining this is the behaviours I notice changing are more to do with the speakers than the amps. Certain amps don't like greenbacks, and others don't like alnico golds, and my vintage G12T75's are good with everything, while the original speakers in the JC120 are fussy with dirt.

    I think it's more important to know what the speaker does with your clean sound than your dirt pedal. "generally speaking" amps of a feather, sound together. and Brands apart are worlds apart. Sure there's always a demonic Mesa dual rectifier hiding under a black curtain in the corner which wants to kill you at every chance, but reality is that expecting any backline gear to be good ? it's probably going to be a bassbreaker or a hotrod deluxe, maybe an AC30 if you're lucky, and if you ask for a twin or a super, you'll get one with tired valves.

    That's just how it is. Ask for a Marshall, and there will be some POS moisture-soaked conductive PCB inside a JCM900 head which sounds like it's about to fart and die. If you ask for something 'decent', 9 times out of 10 you will get the biggest POS the backline rentals can drop from a forklift.

    I spent a bit of time thinking about how I usually set up my dry amps, and what works with them set up as a dry amp (dirt only no modualtion/delay).
    It may help, it may be completely opposite to how you function as a player.

    1 Fender blackface cleans: Yes, A tube screamer (808 style) Or my always pedal, the Hudson Broadcast. I wouldn't give either of mine away. Before someone asks, yes, I have fancy new 808's and originals, and guess what.... there is sweet f-all difference except at really high volumes, when the new pedal is better.

    2. Silverface twins/supers/quads - Same as above but I also prefer a Blues Driver or an xotic AC booster into my silverface twin or my quad. (pre-ultralinear 100w no-push/pull master vol versions)
    Ultralinear Twins and super-twins... oh boy. 1. KNOW how to EQ a super twin, or don't use it. Ultralinear twins... they're notoriously difficult from a 'variable' because they have probably been stuffed around with more than any other amp in history. set everything to 5, and run a TS808 into the front.

    3. Vox amp - my #1 goto is the Hudson Broadcast, occasionally I use the JHS @+, and if I want the 'TS' humpy thing, I go with my TS9DX - depends on how much chime you want to dampen and how much more over the top you want your mids. I can't explain to you why my 808 and me, do not play well into a vox. I can make it sound OK, but the broadcast feels like the result of about 13 billion years of evolution in difference.

    5. Marshall Plexi / 4x12's again, Broadcast, TS808, and funnily enough the JHS @+ which is essentially already a plexi pedal in a box, but it pushes EL34's SO well it's not funny.

    6. Roland SS amps - Blues Driver. and that is pretty much a given, since er Boss... But the TS808 is perfect for taking that super bright JC clean and making it a little dirtier. Good with single coils but not really hot single coils in my experience, and Humbuckers are a risk, depending on how they bite.
    If you want a laugh, the RYRA Klone will knock a JC in the guts really hard, and I've not been able to make my broadcast or AC booster work with it unless I gain stack them, and use the AC Booster as the 'extra hit' while using the broadcast as the slightly hairy 'casual' sound.

    7. Katana 100 - don't need anything. I have a bunch of presets I have worked on and a GA-FC, and if you know what a computer with a USB cable looks like, you can load a katana with your tone studio presets and rock out, without the need for a pedal board in many cases. If I am going to a friends place for a 'pandemic practice session' and our social distancing measures fail, I would not feel bad if the katana had to be taken away by people in hazmat suits and incinerated. So it's actually been a LOT of fun as well as being light and portable - and it also takes isopropyl wipes REALLY well. It's perfect.
    If you can work your preset banks in a katana, then you don't need any backline. If you're lucky enough to be able to fly, and cannot take it as luggage... then someone at your destination HAS a katana. They are everywhere. They're like the modern mans deluxe reverb or ac15 or DSL40. Everyone has one, or knows someone who has.

    Now I'm not suggesting these will work for you, but they work for me, and I've spent quite a bit of time delving into the subtle differences and pretty much know the sweet spot for my gear.

    I would as an example avoid using the @+ with the JC-120, as it's like a 1959SLP on '2' - that glassy fizzy thing that can be dialled out of the pedal, but it really only works on the JTM45 switched setting and pedal gain dialled down a fair bit on the boost side.

    The AC booster and the Broadcast work well for me as a stacking thing. I reluctantly found the Klone does not work stacked with either, without generating a lot of noise. That's just my experience.

    Klone by itself is great into fender amps and into a vox, but not in my plexi, My ears can't deal with it.

    I use the tubescreamer for shaping more than serious dirt. I will use them like a boost more than a dirt thing. "Just hairy enough" if that makes sense. Same with my Blues Driver, which I usually stack with a TS to get a bit more on the upper mids without making it searing.

    And to the end of all this, I run a pair of Empress ParaEQ's. I use them to shape the wet and dry signal chain to provide attenuation to specific frequencies that can sometimes get out of hand when there are a lot of loops.

    You can achieve the same thing with a valve preamp like a kingsley jester, or try a germainum fuzz Setup to be a mid-strength bit of hairiness and then straight into the front - of the amp and use your volume control more effectively. i.e. roll off a bit.

    I'm actually stuffing around with a bunch of red dot, blue dot and orange dot 4 leg germaniums (NOS) that I dug out of old manilla packets in my drawers a few weeks ago. Some have the dreaded tin whiskers on the can. I hope they are OK inside. But the point of all that is I'm messing with the Rangemaster boost that was installed (but not working properly) in my Da/SC c120R amp. It's not an OC44, and I think that is because it was in the amp and not in a box. Or some tech responsible for the butchery inside probably pillaged it... But I have the tagboard circuit out and replicating it on some breadboard hoping to have that reinstalled as a correctly functioning part of the amp once more.

    Again, the point is that is a 6xE34L output stage and it's quad inputs are as clean as a whistle, until you feel physical pain from sound pressure. So the butchered circuit definitely was integrated in a way that made the amp more useable. Useable by giving the preamp circuit some hair, and perhaps this is why later Sound City models got a nickname 'Sounds ****ty' because they were too loud and clean to the limit. Certainly not the popular or desirable characteristic of the 1970's.

    Just my experiences and some thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
    Agtronic, The-Kid and igor4444 like this.
  11. Tamarindo03

    Tamarindo03 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    32
    Messages:
    194
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2017
    Location:
    Lucerne
    An EQ-Pedal (very underrated helper when it comes to dial in your driven sound using pedals in front of amps (and of course for dozens of other jobs also)) and the T-Rex Diva Drive. It has a mix knob where you can blend in your original guitar signal. One of the most natural and clean sounding overdrive pedal I’ve ever heard. Turning the mix knob down, you also can get wonderful creamy sounds. an absolutely versatile pedal. Works great with solid state and tube amps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
    leonard d rock likes this.
  12. LRS!

    LRS! Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    48
    Messages:
    654
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Location:
    The Netherlands

    That’s my experience as well. Tele —> Boss Blues Driver —> Fender Princeton is my safe bet. However, as do most drive pedals, the BD2 also colours you sound a little. I usually turn back the tone knob to get rid of excessive highs, and it pedal itself sort of adjusts for less bass. What remains is more prominent mids. I like that a lot in the band mix, it’s just what I need. But when playing alone at home, it sounds less inspiring.
     
    JB74 and Kerry Brown like this.
  13. Kerry Brown

    Kerry Brown Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    808
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2014
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    I think that is why this pedal is often overlooked. It needs to be used at gig levels to sound its best. At gig levels with a tube amp you can set it, turn it on, and forget it. You control it with the guitar volume. At home practice levels I'm constantly fiddling with it so I rarely use it at home.
     
    LRS! likes this.
  14. Stratomike

    Stratomike Strat-Talker

    Age:
    39
    Messages:
    181
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2018
    Location:
    Vienna
    Easy, RevivalDrive. Compact if you want simplicity, full box for different switchable vibes.
     
    Stratoskater, Bladesg and Nerd like this.
  15. Bad Penny

    Bad Penny Strat-Talk Member

    Messages:
    90
    Joined:
    May 11, 2020
    Location:
    Ireland
    Big fan of the Boss Blues Driver like a few others here.

    I'm very much a clean tone guy, guitar to crunchy amp for 80% of my playing!

    I've never played a Blackline amp, but years back I went on a similar journey as you in search of an OD. I ended up buying both a Tubescreamer and a Boss Blues Driver.

    I haven't taken the TS out of its box since 2018, whereas the Blues Driver is always on my pedal board! It's an amazing overdrive pedal that works with your own guitar tone as oppose to replacing it!
     
    JB74 and LRS! like this.
  16. The-Kid

    The-Kid Dr. Stratster Vendor Member

    Age:
    30
    Messages:
    10,699
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2014
    Location:
    SO CAL USA
    Honestly.

    OCD

    I use it for anything.

    Do use the SD1 for more specific type tones but in general if your looking for an all in one do it all OCD. Especially into Fender amps
     
    Kester likes this.
  17. The-Kid

    The-Kid Dr. Stratster Vendor Member

    Age:
    30
    Messages:
    10,699
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2014
    Location:
    SO CAL USA
    Pretty much this.
     
  18. The-Kid

    The-Kid Dr. Stratster Vendor Member

    Age:
    30
    Messages:
    10,699
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2014
    Location:
    SO CAL USA
    This is a great option as well.

    This guy knows his Marshall tones :)
     
    Robins likes this.
  19. Nerd

    Nerd Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    40
    Messages:
    736
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Location:
    In between
    It drives me crazy to get one. Trying to explain myself I don't need it with no luck
     
    The-Kid and Stratomike like this.
  20. Stratomike

    Stratomike Strat-Talker

    Age:
    39
    Messages:
    181
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2018
    Location:
    Vienna
    I know that feeling! Must .... resist ...
    But you know you'll lose in the end :)