Other guitar-y things

MXR releases an official “Timmy” overdrive.

1

Seems like Paul C. is sick of all the copies and rip-offs and partners up with MXR for a mini-version of his famous Timmy pedal. I wonder how it affcts the sales of his own version. Since I assume that the demand is higher than the production and he probably gets his share from each MXR Timmy sold that's a smart move, I think. Price is supposed to be USD 129. What do you think?

2

ten years too late, and not as good as the Fairfield Barbershop anyway. nobody is going to line up for a pedal that's already been cloned literally hundreds of times, and wasn't that great in the first place.

3

I'm excited to hear it.

What's happening here is similar to what I've observed in the craft beer/spirits markets recently. Smaller, boutique producers come under the umbrellas of major companies for better distribution rights for their product and access to the resources of an established corporation (including personal benefits). In my experience, it generally results in better access to nicer products at competitive prices for the consumer. As said consumer, I'm a fan of that outcome!

Good for Paul C. to get a reward for his ingenuity and hard work. I have favorable opinions of MXR, so I'm optimistic about the results of streamlining the Timmy. I appreciate mini versions of pedals to help me cram more things on my board too.

Of course, there will always be those that decry "the original was so much better." That very well may be the case. However, I appreciate predatory pricing being applied to the boutique resale market. I have a hard time paying three and four times the original retail price for something which I'm going to repeatedly kick with my boots.

Fingers crossed that it sounds nice!

4

ten years too late, and not as good as the Fairfield Barbershop anyway. nobody is going to line up for a pedal that's already been cloned literally hundreds of times, and wasn't that great in the first place.

– macphisto

Funny you said that. It's hard to miss the mountain of glowing reviews about the Timmy. I'm not much of a pedal guy, but I was underwhelmed by its YouTube demos--maybe I saw the wrong ones. Still, I was going to buy one for my nephew only because I assumed he and his pals were seeing all the same reviews on-line. But I ended up getting him a pedal that I truly liked (which in retrospect was probably the wrong move).

5

I don’t think it’s any fairer to say the Tim/Timmy “isn’t that good” than to say it’s the greatest thing ever.

The T/T is what it is, and awfully good at doing what it claims: emulating (or assisting) overdrive without tonal coloration. That is, it can be set that way - it can also be tweaked to accentuate or reduce high and low end. It just doesn’t inherently color the mids.

Doesn’t mean it necessarily produces the behavior of your (or any particular) amp when overdriven on its own - because amps change their own response and spectrum when overdriven, often in ways we like (and sometimes not).

Whether you appreciate the circuit depends on how it interacts with your guitar(s)/amp(s)/effect chain. Maybe you actually WANT some coloration. Or, more likely, maybe the circuit works for some of your guitar-pedal-amp combinations, and not for others.

That’s my situation. It wasn’t my be-all-end-all universal drive solution, but I keep it because sometimes it’s the right tool.

I think it’s fair to consider it one of a handful of archetypal early drive circuits, along with the Tube Screamer and the Klon (and maybe the OCD), all of which differently interpret the brief of creating a natural-sounding overdriven tone - as distinct from full-on distortion or fuzz. The number of times all these pedals have been cloned, modded, and referenced in other products suggest they’ve gotten something right for a lot of players.

But no dirt pedal is one-size-fits-all.

I’m just glad I feel no need to buy this one.

6

I know there's also a full size option, but I wish they'd stop miniaturizing pedals these days. Not all of us are trying to fit 12+ pedals on a board, and these mini pedals are pert-near worthless off a board.

Anyways, carry on. Timmy is one of the few archetypal drives I haven't tried. I tend to like my OD with a mid hump.

7

Roadjunkie put his TIM up for sale here about 10 years ago and I was fortunate to purchase it from him. It stays on my board but not as an "always on" pedal. I use it when needed and glad I have it.

8

I never really understood the huge popularity of that pedal, but to each their own. I'm not a big distortion pedal user anyway, and over the years I've gone to using less and less distortion, liking more headroom. Like I said, to each their own.

Re those 2 pedals, the MXR is close, though it doesn't nail the original perfectly, but it's definitely in the same ball park. In that video, sometimes it sounds better, sometimes worse than the original. None of those clips made me want to buy one. Not the best demo I've ever seen.

9

BTW, I'm not a hater. Paul C used to hang out on the same guitar amp tech board as I did back in the day (pre-Tim/Timmy). There is even a popular mod for the phase inverter on a Princeton Reverb that is known as the Paul C mod, which I've done to mine many years ago. I I have mucho respect for Paul.

10

I know there's also a full size option, but I wish they'd stop miniaturizing pedals these days. Not all of us are trying to fit 12+ pedals on a board, and these mini pedals are pert-near worthless off a board.

Anyways, carry on. Timmy is one of the few archetypal drives I haven't tried. I tend to like my OD with a mid hump.

– Otter

i used to have 16 full-sized pedals on my board. i find them worthless on a board as well...the switches are typically lower than the surface of full-sized enclosures, and thus they're awfully hard to switch on/off.

regarding the other popular lo-gain ODs, i never tried a Klon, but i despise the Tube Screamer with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns. for me, none of those pedals come within ICBM range of amp overdrive; even a decent amp Drive channel/switch sounds much better to me. want a distorted tube sound? distort a tube!

11

I have a Frantone Hep Cat which does a nice overdrive without coloring the tone - so I can appreciate what the Timmy is supposed to do, I've never seen one nor recently had much of a need for such a pedal until recently.

My take is that there are probably plenty of players who aren't as savvy with boutique pedals and stick to name brands, and this will squarely fit those type of folks too. (None of us here, of course)

I can definitely appreciate a smaller form factor for anything - light / small with a good sound is usually good. LOL

12

Maybe it will make my Timmy more valuable.

13

I actually never got along with the Timmy although I really wanted and have much respect for Paul C.'s work. Shame on me but for some reason I liked some pedals based on the Timmy more. The cheap Danelectro Transparent Overdrive (v1) has a different gain structure that I prefer. It's not built solid enough to go on my board, though.

Lately I had the chance to play the Vemuram Jan Ray which is supposed to be the same circuit with slightly different values. That thing sounded glorious. A look at the price turned me off, though. That's policy I will not support.

14

i also figure that doing a MXR Timmy is the epitome of closing the barn door after the horse has escaped. i figure that everyone who wants a Timmy bought one in the last decade.

15

The Timmy was the 4th best selling OD pedal, and the 15th best selling pedal overall, on Reverb last year.

I think MXR and Paul C. know exactly what they are doing, and I predict they will sell a ton of them.

16

Like Hasserl I'm a big fan of the PaulC (or Ampeg) PI mod. Less of a fan of Timmy. I remember PaulC saying somewhere that he actually designed it to make a Strat neck pickup sound usable through a Marshall. Whatever his rationale a whole slew of players LOVE this pedal. To be honest it does very little for me - it works but I always wish it had a little more character - the opposite of what most players like it for.

Like the Tubescreamer is just sounds bland to me. It's a better pedal than a TS but still a bit wishy-washy. I find most pedals which are really popular sound a bit bland. Just like popular music I guess.


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