Other Equipment

Overdrives for a Strat - TS free zone!

1

I have a Strat which I like a lot, but I have always found getting great overdriven Strat sounds a bit tricky. Strats are not known for sounding huge on the bridge pickup and i like twangy, bridge pickup sounds. And I do not like Tubescreamers at all! No low end, no twang, no clarity...

Recently I found a couple of decent contenders. The Rockett Dude and the Friedman Dirty Shirley. The Dude is supposed to sound like a Dumble. Does it? I dunno! But it is a good sounding OD. It's a bit weird in that the bass strings don't seem to break up as much as the trebles. How does that work? But it does work and with some reverb and delay it sounds huge. Lots of lovely twang and a surprisingly tactile, fat treble. Takes a little getting used to but I'm starting to really like it.

The Dirty Shirley is more Marshallesque. But it does Marshall better than most ODs which claim to sound Marshall. It has plenty of low end, a powerful mids knob and some great Kerrannnng! I found I could get some pretty good ACDC rhythm sounds with a Strat. Surprisingly good, complex tones.

If you look hard enough, there are some great overdrives out there these days.

2

If you look hard enough, there are some great overdrives out there these days.

But goodgawd, it's tiring. If I had back all the hours I've spent A-B-C-D-ing dirt pedals, I bet I'd live longer.

And. It's. Never. Friggin. OVER. We just get tired and settle for awhile.

3

With a Strat I really suggest a Tech 21 Para Driver DI.

It has a semi-parametric midrange eq that dials in a strat better that a “Normal” overdrive seems to.

It is un-cheap, and not really designed to be an overdrive box, but man does it work.

It draws little current as well so a battery is practical even in a pro situation.

Not a conventional choice, but if you are mission focused this will get you there in my opinion.

4

If you look hard enough, there are some great overdrives out there these days.

But goodgawd, it's tiring. If I had back all the hours I've spent A-B-C-D-ing dirt pedals, I bet I'd live longer.

And. It's. Never. Friggin. OVER. We just get tired and settle for awhile.

– Proteus

Truer words have never been spoken. Although - That run of 12 or so Klones I did were a #1 hit - some of my pickiest cork-sniffing tone snob friends are just in LOVE with them. Let me know if yours finds a place on your pedal board (yes, I wish they were smaller, too. Dang it.)

5

Dimarzio Red Velvet pickups at the Bridge and Neck.

6

I have a Strat which I like a lot, but I have always found getting great overdriven Strat sounds a bit tricky. Strats are not known for sounding huge on the bridge pickup and i like twangy, bridge pickup sounds. And I do not like Tubescreamers at all! No low end, no twang, no clarity...

Recently I found a couple of decent contenders. The Rockett Dude and the Friedman Dirty Shirley. The Dude is supposed to sound like a Dumble. Does it? I dunno! But it is a good sounding OD. It's a bit weird in that the bass strings don't seem to break up as much as the trebles. How does that work? But it does work and with some reverb and delay it sounds huge. Lots of lovely twang and a surprisingly tactile, fat treble. Takes a little getting used to but I'm starting to really like it.

The Dirty Shirley is more Marshallesque. But it does Marshall better than most ODs which claim to sound Marshall. It has plenty of low end, a powerful mids knob and some great Kerrannnng! I found I could get some pretty good ACDC rhythm sounds with a Strat. Surprisingly good, complex tones.

If you look hard enough, there are some great overdrives out there these days.

– JimmyR

the TIM, cant beat it..

7

My friend just got a Friedman Dirty Shirley and he's very happy with it.

8

Tim you are so right. And FWIW I have had a couple of Timmys, tried a Tim, various Klons and Klones...To me the Timmys are very good but a bit too polite, and Klons are just a glorified TS. I will never understand the fuss over Klons.

Thing is you really have to try these things with your own guitar and fingers. A friend of mine gets amazing sounds out of his beloved Timmy. But he plays so differently from me.

Oh well... After a while you learn what to look for I guess. I know I need at least a bass and treble control on any OD I use.

9

I didn’t get the Klon either, till I heard Josh’s Klone at the Roundup, and was badly smitten. I don’t know that it suits my style - or my usual, habitual style. (It would suit some of my tonal pursuits.)

And I can’t speak for “real” Klons. I heard a couple of them on That Pedal Show, along with a slew of Klones. I indeed heard subtle but real differences among them all; some I liked more than others, some I just didn’t like. Still, I didn’t get the thing about the thing till I heard JB’s in a live context, into a cranked amp.

It could be that that’s the only way a Klon really does its thing, and that attempts to emulate that behavior at low volume are just inherently doomed.

10

My experience with my Tele suggests that you take your favourite overdrive and put a booster in front of it.

11

Funny you should say that, Hammerhands. Up 'til now that's exactly what I have done for the Strat. And the Dude makes an excellent booster. FWIW the only time I have got a good sound from a Klone (the quite good Rockett Archer) was with gain on zero used as a clean boost into one of my homebrew ODs.

I have a homebrew OD which I love with my Gibson but as I use low gain it sounds clean when i play the Strat through it. But if I play a decent OD into it I get all that I like from the homebrew OD and the dirt from the pushing OD.

BTW the One Control mini-ODs are surprisingly good. I have a Strawberry Red OD which is good pushing the Homebrew OD, and the Lingonberry OD is almost good enough to use by itself with a Strat. The One Control stuff designed by BJF is really worth checking out and seems to fly under the radar a bit.

12

I recently got a Snouse "black box mini", and it's one of the very few overdrives I've tried that I actually really like, and use.

13

If you look hard enough, there are some great overdrives out there these days.

But goodgawd, it's tiring. If I had back all the hours I've spent A-B-C-D-ing dirt pedals, I bet I'd live longer.

And. It's. Never. Friggin. OVER. We just get tired and settle for awhile.

– Proteus

Somewhere along the line, I finally learned to stop looking for the destination, and just enjoy the journey. I have been "done" with dirt pedals for about 6 months now, which much be a record for me. (I currently own 4, with 2 on my board at a time).

Then, I get an email from Fulltone, they are FINALLY releasing a Fulldrive WITHOUT the boost function, something alot of us have been demanding for like 10 years! So, there's at least 1 more on my radar.

I've got a Klon clone (Mythical Overdrive- FANTASTIC)
Rockett Blue Note (handles both my TS and Timmy duties, depending on how you use the EQ)
an old Fulldrive 2 (which the Fulldrive 1 will likely replace)
and a higher-gain pedal that keeps changing, currently a Maxon RTD800, but am looking at the Tone City Golden Plexi)

14

The Rockett Blue Note is a great pedal! FWIW it is very, very similar to the Majestic but I think the Majestic is even better with my 6120, while the Blue Note is better with everything else. The Majestic is the best Gretsch OD I have ever heard.

It's the Strat I have trouble with, but I'm getting there! I don't want to change anything on the Strat because I have tried a gazillion pickups etc over the years and the differences can be there but so small. It's a great Strat too. The only pickups which even vaguely interest me are the Mojotone noiseless pickups, but they're not cheap. And I find the stock pickups in Fenders are usually very good these days.

I've tried almost every Maxon OD around because I like Maxon pedals in general. They are good ODs but a bit generic for me.

Rockett is making some great stuff.

15

My experience with my Tele suggests that you take your favourite overdrive and put a booster in front of it.

– hammerhands

Even your least favorite overdrive! I don't like TS pedals, but have one from way back when there just weren't so many choices. I kept it on my board and used it as little as possible. A couple years ago a bought a pile from a guy and there was an Electro-Harmonix LPB-1...new pedal version, not the old one that plugs right into the guitar, I REALLY like this cheapie pedal, especially for adding some clarity/definition/attack to a cranked tweed amp. I parked it on my board next to the TS, and one day I stepped on both by mistake. EUREKA! It's a little fiddly, and I've tried to find a pedal that would do what both do, and nothing comes close. This is the only overdrive set-up that I can get to sound like MY amp cranked while maintaining that pick attack, note separation, etc. As to why 2 little transistorized boxes sound so much more real and organic than 1 isn't for me to say.

16

"The Rockett Blue Note is a great pedal! FWIW it is very, very similar to the Majestic but I think the Majestic is even better with my 6120, while the Blue Note is better with everything else. The Majestic is the best Gretsch OD I have ever heard."

Funny you say that... the Rockett BN is the ONLY OD I have ever liked with my Gretsch (Hot Rod). I can't even explain why, but all the other ODs just did NOT work. At least not when you're looking for amp-like drive; which is what the BN excels at. It, like the Timmy, does not sound like a pedal.

FWIW, I had the Dude, and flipped it very quickly. I preferred the Mesa Flux Drive for that tone (Dumble-ish). But once I got the Mythical OD, I got rid of the Mesa. I've had a few klones over the years, and was never impressed. The Mythical is something else. I can use it as a clean-ish boost, for just "more", OR I can turn the gain up and use it as more of a dirt pedal. It's very thick, and even tho the Klon circuit has never been called "Dumble-like", I find I can get the same tones I got with the Dude and Flux by turning the gain up to 12:00 and the tone control OFF. Actually, another pedal it replaced (that I had after the Dude and the Flux) is the JHS AT@ (Andy Timmons), which is basically a Marshall-in-a-box. GREAT pedal. Better into a clean amp... because it has SO much gain on tap, it doesn't do low gain very much (which is what you want if you're goosing an amp that's already breaking up some).

17

OK, I've learned to trust Jimmy's and ruger's pedal opinions. So now I have to try a Rockett Blue Note and Majestic before I can consider my shopping complete (for the moment)?

18

I love my Rockett Blue Note v1. V2 isn't even blue anymore, btw.

V1:

V2:

19

re: the Blue Note: getting the v1 version is critical, imo... it has a "hot switch", which the v2 does not.

Basically, v2 is the pedal with the hot switch wired ON. There is no "low gain" mode. The low gain mode is really good with big hollowbodies, where you don't want any more compression or mids than you might already have. With the hot switch on, it's more like a TS (but with much more versatile EQ; it does not have to have a mid hump like a regular TS.) With the hot switch off, it's more of a great eq-able boost.

20

Noted, thanks. I'm sure I don't need permanent hotness.

21

Good point Ruger - I only ever use the Blue Note with the switch off. I didn't know that the tour series BN was switch on. I assumed it was switch off. In that case I like the Majestic even more!

Places like Prymaxe often have these Rockett pedals for sale with a decent discount on their demo models. So you shouldn't have to pay MAP on them.

22

My $30 Joyo Ultimate Drive sounds pretty good with a stratocaster going through it.

23

OK guys, apologies- I just did a little digging, and I remembered wrong- the newer v2 "Tour Series" Blue Note is wired with the hot switch OFF.

But.

If you ever want TS tones out of the BN, you'll need the Hot Switch version, which they still make. The Tour Series, without hot switch (hot switch OFF), is really just an excellent clean boost. It will give some OD with the gain knob cranked, but I wouldn't call it an overdrive pedal, it's more of a "grit" pedal when used that way (and I like it that way with my Grestch). It would be comparable to say, the RC Booster. But personally, I don't see why one wouldn't get the regular hot switch version, simply because it makes the pedal SO much more versatile. If you NEVER use OD tones, then I guess v2 is fine.

24

One is silver, one is blue. Which has the switchable hot mode?

25

One is silver, one is blue. Which has the switchable hot mode?

– Proteus

Blue.


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