Miscellaneous Rumbles

Best Overdrive on Filtertrons

1

In the last year I've been working on a different sound that I've never really tried before.

My new band The Rectors is more of a power trio with upright.

So I've been experimenting with a little bit of gain, and in the last 2 weeks I discovered that for many years I'd really been tentative about just crankin the gain on my gear and on my playing.

my previous band, mercury radio theater, was a lot more about expressing melody and orchestration. After saying "well, that's my guitar sound" for about a year I'd play with my new band and feel a lot of sonic space just missing (obviously when you go from a large ensamble to a three-piece you're gonna lose a bit).

One of the first things i did was pick up a keeley compressor to help even out soloing/single note runs with the volume of the heavier rhythm sound. it's a small change, but i think it really helped. (here's an example of a swap from low notes to high notes at the end of a tune where you can hear the compressor do a good job of evening everything out)

We had a show last friday (during a torrential downpour) and I just kinda "went for it" with my existing gear and I feel like the guitar sound was better, heavier, but still not quite there.

here's an example of our most recent show and the one prior.

So, the point! can someone recommend an overdrive that gets more into that chris cheney/living end/jack white/white stripes territory, that plays well with filtertrons. extra points if it's from a small maker (i like supporting people's passion projects).

2

FYI, here's a shot of my existing board. It's gonna go through some changes, but pedals of note that are always on: the brain (obviously), the keeley, the DM-2 on slap, and the Hungry Robot Low Gain Overdrive (i love this pedal and i think my answer might just be the high gain version of this pedal).

3

A vintage JB Gretschguy modified TS9 I would think. You can check out mine if you want.

4

Sweet! I need to head back up for a beer/coffee soon. semester is starting, so im a bit hectic, but i need to get outta the house and crank a super reverb soon.

5

I think there’s quite a gap between Chris Cheney‘s general sound and Jack White‘s. While White is often more in the fuzzy territory Cheney sounds more open, just „driven“. The best overdrive I found for Filtertrons - and they are finicky - is a first generation Rockett Blue Note. The fact that it sounds marvelous with a Telecaster is not too bad either.

6

Glad to see you jumped on the Keeley Comp + pedal! Playing has been a great deal of fun since I made that switch recently.

A question to clarify: Do you want "loud & buzzy" or "more grit?" (Granted, those are subjective descriptions...)

For the former, you want a fuzz pedal. That will get you into "Jack White" territory. Every board-shot I've seen has an EH Big Muff. There are a million varieties. Used EH muffs are reaidly available on the cheap. I use a silicon fuzz face style pedal first in my signal chain now. We set our Keeley comps very similarly, so you won't neuter it. Just keep the "Blend" knob backed down and put the fuzz first. Both options will be plenty rude and crude and quickly add some "woof" to fill up a trio.

Additionally, you could try the JHS Twin Twelve pedal. A former bandmate of mine used one and it got mighty loud and hairy. I believe V2 lets you toggle Hi-Gain/Low-Gain with a remote switch too. It's supposed to recreate the breakup of the Silvertone 1484 (which Jack White used in tandem with a Twin Reverb in The White Stripes). I had a chance to noodle with my 6120 through it and it was fun.

For the latter, I'd just recommend cascading a relatively clean boost pedal after your current OD. (Assuming you're running this into a tube amp?) I do this now with a low-gain overdrive and a JFET booster. The OD gets me more "smooth sustain" and the JFET is more "edgey." This gets plenty crunchy when you need it for chording and single note lines.

Last shot (and this is purely selfish): I have an original version Lovepedal High Powered Tweed Twin that is downright filthy with Filtertrons. Think "Neil Young & Crazy Horse." Now that I'm using an actual fuzz pedal again, it's off my board. I'd be happy to ship that your way. Alternatively, I'm in Allentown for a festival show at the end of the month if you want to test drive it in person.

Hope that helps!

7

For a ridiculously versatile fuzz that can go anywhere as mild or wild(er) than you want, the Dr Scientist Frazz Dazzler is flat-out amazing. It starts in the not-fuz-yet territory of wide open distortion, passes through any variety of Muffuzz you could want, and goes beyond that to crackling, spitty, coming-apart tones. And yet it's all very musical. Plus it has 3-band EQ to really dial it in to the situation, and is slightly sub-Boss in size - a very good citizen.

I mention it because it's an ideal way-more-than-capable true fuzz pedal that also has other functionality, making it perfect for someone who A) isn't ready to commit to fuzz entirely, and 2) if he is going to fuzz, wants one pedal to rule them all.

For plain-ol' open drive, there's always the Cochrane Tim/Timmy - or the Wampler Euphoria, which probably gets the job done just as well.

8

The Timmy has been my overdrive of choice for many years.It is a mild OD with good eq control and sounds very natural and tube like.

9

I do NOT like the Timmy with Filtertrons. For my taste it sounds to brittle. Had it on my board for about two years. More White than Cheney.

10

the D.C. Fluid Drive Proto type is finally finished (it took 3 of them to get it right) and is your answer, even more so for semi and hollow's with em. No tubescreamer here.

below is the rambleosity I've been trying to boil down on the webpage for it, hoping to launch in a few weeks, try not to roll your eyes as its a process. It'll get to the point quicker I hope. Box is getting screened right now.. ...

* "I've wanted to provide an overdrive that leaves the bass end of my guitar signal relatively neutral. No compression or squish please unless I want to dial that in, and dont boost my upper mids. It needs to keeps the high end clear and sweet, and the rest of the EQ Fluid. Oh and I want it to stack well w other preamps and overdrives, or rather I demand it. That's it, a really useful tone tool that meshes fluidly within the signal chain of guitar, amp and pedalboard.

The D.C. FLUID DRIVE does just that: utilizing cut style EQ controls and a generous gain boost w very dynamic asymmetric clipping. You can slam the front end of the Fluid Drive w your favorite boost, drive and preamp. In fact this is designed to sit after my Brain Preamp pedals, spectacularly. 90% of the reason it exists is because I want a stackable light overdrive that plays better than most w semi-hollow body / hollow body guitars just as well solid body guitars."*

11

What amp are you using? I play with a heaver sound and use a Vox with a top boost channel. I use a DynoBrain in front of it and it gets the job done!

14

Yep, the Wah is after the Brain.

15

I do NOT like the Timmy with Filtertrons. For my taste it sounds to brittle. Had it on my board for about two years. More White than Cheney.

– sascha

I guess maybe it really comes down to what amp is being used.I didn’t really like it with my 64 Deluxe Reverb. Tweedy amps are a better fit.

16

Well, now i gotta give the DC a try!

I've tried a timmy and i can definitely see how folks like it, but it wasn't for me.

I'm mulling over the twin twelve as well (i like that it has a bass and treble control similar to tavo's new pedal)!

Do you think it would pair well with the billy brain, tavo?

also, dibs!

17

I'm definitely getting used to the keeley, i can see why people are so split on compressors. it absolutely takes away some dynamic, but it really does help even out those super fast passages when you don't have time to click on an extra pedal.

18

Yep, the Wah is after the Brain.

– Hipbone

you my friend are a real wah man!Have you played w any of Joe Gagans wahs?

19

Well, now i gotta give the DC a try!

I've tried a timmy and i can definitely see how folks like it, but it wasn't for me.

I'm mulling over the twin twelve as well (i like that it has a bass and treble control similar to tavo's new pedal)!

Do you think it would pair well with the billy brain, tavo?

also, dibs!

– Buddy Mercury

the Fluid drive is made to work fore or aft most any pre, or boost. btw.. what didnt you like about the Timmy, did it feel too compressed?

20

you my friend are a real wah man!Have you played w any of Joe Gagans wahs?

– THE NOCTURNE BRAIN™

No I haven’t.... Im fairly new to Wah pedals. I used an old Cry Baby and didn’t bond with it. The Exotic Wah is just so musical, it really is hard to get a bad sound out of it.

21

I've been using a Nobels Natural Overdrive ODR-1, with good results. It's a pretty tame overdrive that seems to work well with Blacktop Filter-trons.

22

the Fluid drive is made to work fore or aft most any pre, or boost. btw.. what didnt you like about the Timmy, did it feel too compressed?

– THE NOCTURNE BRAIN™

yeah, i feel like tube screamers suck out the low end and create this smashed sound and the timmy seemed to do that really well. A lot of folks say they're completely different animals, but whenever i hear them side by side, I think they sound pretty similar.

As someone who plays on a bridge pickup pretty much constantly i need something that gives it more of a full range oomph. I've been diggin on the Hungry Robot stuff, he's a newer maker but his low gain pedal has that really great non-farty over-fuzzy sound. I just wish I could get the same kinda vibe in a medium gain (he has a high gain version but im not sure if thats where we get into the over compressed screamer/timmy vibe.

I like pedals that do one thing and do them well. I don't want a lot of options, frankly. The Timmy had a toggle switch and a bunch of options, but no matter which way I turned the knobs it still had this super saturated vibe. When it's used with the drive rolled back it just has the same pre-amp vibe that a lot of my favorite pedals have just not as good. Most of the pedals I've used over the years are "just give a little push" pedals and there's tons that do it better. Hell, I even made my own. But as soon as the timmy gains up it's really nasally (at least in the bridge). I noticed lots of guys who favor the neck really like screamers and timmys.

The Anderton's Guys on youtube had a shootout where they just looked at insane amount of drives and I really like something they said. they didn't spend a lot of time fiddling with each one to find that perfect sound, they plugged it in, saw what it had to offer and then moved on, and the good ones went from sounding pretty damn good to amazing. I tend to take a similar approach, if i plug it in and it sounds good then i like it. I felt like timmy's and hell even the klons i've tried have a "sweet spot" that I'm too impatient to find. Stephen from Big Lazy and me talk about this all the time. He has an original klon and let me give it a go and he said "yeah, it pretty much sounds good in one postion and that's it." Ha!

23

That’s an odd experience with the Timmy. Or maybe it isn’t; I’ve never played a Timmy, and have accepted the story that it’s “just like a Tim,” which I do have.

And I don’t find it Tube Screamy at all - no excessive mid push, and the low end remains. It’s pretty open, natural, and uncolored - “transparent,” as the cliche goes - and effective through a range from barely-there hair to full-crunch roar (withOUT sounding over-compressed or too saturated). I didn’t realize the two pedals were so different, and withdraw my Timmy recommendation.

I hold onto the Tim because it does its thing so well, and it has my name on it so it’s easy to find in parking lots - but I rarely use it anymore. It’s just too big to be a good citizen.

24

I’ve definitely had plenty of friends rave about it and rightly so...I just feel like my set up can be finicky.

25

You never talked about what amp you are playing thru? What cabinet? Closed back or open back? Chris Cheney’s sound has that AC/DC Marshall thing going on.

If you’re in Fender land I’m not sure you’re going to nail that tone? Give a listen to some hard rockin Gretsch playing bands of yore: The Cult, Throw Rag, and the huge guitar sound of Bow Wow Wow, all played Marshall amps. Billy Duffy of The Cult often mixes the sound from a JC120 and a full blown Marshall to get some sparkle and balls all in one sonic package. If you play in large enough venues this might be the ticket. I play in smaller clubs and crank a smaller Vox to get that tone.


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