Transparent overdrives….nope

Hendrixlvr

Strat-O-Master
Jul 8, 2016
633
Mississauga
I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I don’t like transparent overdrives. Maybe I’m just old or maybe I’ve been playing tube screamers for too long but I like a little mid hump to my overdrive. It just sounds “right” to me. I’ve been on a search for a “transparent” overdrive for many years and I’ve tried and owned probably close to 100 different ones, (oh….I know…..) and all the transparent ones I’ve tried just sound weird to me….I just can’t get over the overdrive sounding EXACTLY like my amp, (I love my amp btw), I guess I’m just used to a particular OD sound. That being said, the best of the bunch was the Clark/Barber “Gainster”….if you’re into “transparent”, that’s the one for you. For me I guess I’ll just dig out my ol’ trusty ‘83 TS-9…..
 

CigBurn

Total Hack
Jun 22, 2014
16,172
Same Shed Different Day
I like what a Tubescreamer or SD1 can do for certain songs, but not all songs. I also like what a Marshall BB2 does, or the EHX Glove to get a more Marshall sort of OD sound, but also not for everything. They are different sounds and used where they are best suited they can make your rig more versatile.

JMHO.
 

RadioFM74

Senior Stratmaster
Apr 5, 2016
1,747
Italy and Switzerland
It's soooo dependent on the rest of your rig and especially on the amp you're plugging in…
In a blackface, I love both a Bluesbreaker (quite transparent but some "sweetening" is there) and a Klon (quite a bit of mids). Also like Zendrives (pretty mids-heavy on my settings).
In a brownface amp I most like Bluesdriver-type and Bluesbreaker.

And let's not enter into heavier-gain.

Not sure where this puts me. All I know is that I have no absolute rules in the matter of overdrives.
 

Voxman

Strat-Talker
Dec 11, 2020
337
USA
I just don't like tubescreamers, ive tried a number of times, having owned probably 10 varieties over the years, keeley.modded, ts808, ts9, "boutique" versions and the mid hump and bass amd clarity loss was too much.

I did only like the ts types to boost a Rat pedal, but i won't keep a pedal for one too narrow use.

I prefer more neutral OD pedals loke the Timmy, Red Llama, OCD, etc
 

Hendrixlvr

Strat-O-Master
Jul 8, 2016
633
Mississauga
It's soooo dependent on the rest of your rig and especially on the amp you're plugging in…
In a blackface, I love both a Bluesbreaker (quite transparent but some "sweetening" is there) and a Klon (quite a bit of mids). Also like Zendrives (pretty mids-heavy on my settings).
In a brownface amp I most like Bluesdriver-type and Bluesbreaker.

And let's not enter into heavier-gain.

Not sure where this puts me. All I know is that I have no absolute rules in the matter of overdrives.
I’m currently playing through a 1958 Supro 1606
 

Stratafied

Dr. Stratster
Oct 29, 2019
12,787
North of South
I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I don’t like transparent overdrives. Maybe I’m just old or maybe I’ve been playing tube screamers for too long but I like a little mid hump to my overdrive. It just sounds “right” to me. I’ve been on a search for a “transparent” overdrive for many years and I’ve tried and owned probably close to 100 different ones, (oh….I know…..) and all the transparent ones I’ve tried just sound weird to me….I just can’t get over the overdrive sounding EXACTLY like my amp, (I love my amp btw), I guess I’m just used to a particular OD sound. That being said, the best of the bunch was the Clark/Barber “Gainster”….if you’re into “transparent”, that’s the one for you. For me I guess I’ll just dig out my ol’ trusty ‘83 TS-9…..
Dumped my Ts9 , not the least bit impressed.
 

Anacharsis

Guitar Player
Sep 19, 2019
952
Midwest USA
I sometimes like a mid hump, sometimes not - but the notion that the alternative is "transparent" does not fit my experience. Another mostly harmless misnomer, so long as new people are given the scoop now and then.
 

jrbirdman

Senior Stratmaster
Platinum Supporting Member
Silver Member
Feb 3, 2016
4,722
Puget Sound
Not a big TS fan, maybe the TS10, but I do like OD pedals. I think they all add tonal changes, some more than others.
For a little boost I use a MRX micro amp thru my Marshall JCM 800.
 

Alex_C

Strat-Talker
Apr 19, 2021
126
Florida
I have three OD's on my board. The Xotic BB-Pre circuit is based on the TS but has tweaks that make it more versatile. The Timmy is 'transparent' but it adds a little something that works for me. The third is more of a distortion or amp in a box, the JHS @+, a great pedal.
 


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