Overdrive pedals educate me

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Rodgre
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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by Rodgre » Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:26 am

Recycled_Brains wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:56 am

This is interesting. What about the sound post-mod makes it worthwhile vs. just getting a more transparent/natural type of overdrive in the first place?

I'm a Rat lover, so I'm curious.

Good question. I'm a longtime Rat lover too. I have used one as my main distortion since 88 and then one day I bought a "vintage Rat" reissue off ebay in the early 2000s. It was a big-box Rat, but the circuit board was the same square board that's in the standard Rat 2. Having all that extra room in the box made me think it would be fun to mod. I tried some experiments with different clipping diodes/mosfets/LEDs. I came upon a combination that not only sounded great but sounded better (to me) than any other overdrive I ever played (I probably have 50-60 different overdrives alone). It blew me away. It was a lark that turned into a great part of my main live guitar tone. Like I said, I just like the character of the Rat to begin with, but with this super simple mod, it became way more useful to me. I don't always want a heavier rock distortion tone. I love having the ability to keep the gain down about 8-9 o'clock and be able to play lighter and get a fantastic edgy clean tone and dig in and get a great dynamic breakup. I keep a Super Hard-On and a Marshall ED-1 compressor before it and between those three I can get everything from a sparkly and full clean tone to a sweet sustainy lead tone. All with the same sonic footprint. The modded Rat just has so much dynamic range that always sounds great with my rig. I also keep the Filter control mostly clockwise (treble rolloff) because it can get too bright for my tastes and my amp. I usually gig with a Fender '63 Vibroverb reissue with Jensens. It's a bright amp and at "2" it is just on the edge when you dig in. The Rat loves that sweet spot.

I would be happy to explain the mod if anyone wants to message me. It's super simple.

Roger

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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by Recycled_Brains » Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:53 pm

Rodgre wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:26 am
Recycled_Brains wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:56 am

This is interesting. What about the sound post-mod makes it worthwhile vs. just getting a more transparent/natural type of overdrive in the first place?

I'm a Rat lover, so I'm curious.

Good question. I'm a longtime Rat lover too. I have used one as my main distortion since 88 and then one day I bought a "vintage Rat" reissue off ebay in the early 2000s. It was a big-box Rat, but the circuit board was the same square board that's in the standard Rat 2. Having all that extra room in the box made me think it would be fun to mod. I tried some experiments with different clipping diodes/mosfets/LEDs. I came upon a combination that not only sounded great but sounded better (to me) than any other overdrive I ever played (I probably have 50-60 different overdrives alone). It blew me away. It was a lark that turned into a great part of my main live guitar tone. Like I said, I just like the character of the Rat to begin with, but with this super simple mod, it became way more useful to me. I don't always want a heavier rock distortion tone. I love having the ability to keep the gain down about 8-9 o'clock and be able to play lighter and get a fantastic edgy clean tone and dig in and get a great dynamic breakup. I keep a Super Hard-On and a Marshall ED-1 compressor before it and between those three I can get everything from a sparkly and full clean tone to a sweet sustainy lead tone. All with the same sonic footprint. The modded Rat just has so much dynamic range that always sounds great with my rig. I also keep the Filter control mostly clockwise (treble rolloff) because it can get too bright for my tastes and my amp. I usually gig with a Fender '63 Vibroverb reissue with Jensens. It's a bright amp and at "2" it is just on the edge when you dig in. The Rat loves that sweet spot.

I would be happy to explain the mod if anyone wants to message me. It's super simple.

Roger
Nice. Maybe I'll hit you up for that info. if I happen upon a cheap used one.

It's interesting. I've tried a few rat-clones and always found myself just trying to make them sound exactly like my early 90's Pro-Co... and then I sold them. haha. It's the compression bloom that you get once the drive is up around noon and above. Most of the clones I've tried miss the mark on that, IMO. I keep my filter almost all the way clockwise too. It's one of the best things about that pedal. My JMP is brighter than I could every possibly want an amp to be, so rolling it off with the Rat before I hit it is great. That's also why i love that EAE Mu Blaster I mentioned in my other post. Same style filter on the EQ section, but has insane dynamic range (converts 9 to 24v internally... does not buckle ever) to push the amp. I keep the Rat before that one because it has enough headroom to keep it huge. I play with 3 stages of gain... just straight up cranked amp, EAE to push it further, Rat + EAE for the really gross riffs. ha.
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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by numberthirty » Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:54 pm

One other option that a whole corner of folks seem to dig when it comes to overdrive -

The Marshall Bluesbreaker and the spins on that design that are out there.

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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by numberthirty » Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:56 pm

On the Rat, it does seem like I saw Nuno Bettencourt say that a Marshall was always a situation where he ran a Rat in front of it.

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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by numberthirty » Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:02 pm

On the "Treble Booster..." front, The Balls Effects "Balls Deluxe" is one of the finest feedback generator pedals that I have owned. Will also get you a lot of "Classic Coke" treble booster sounds.

Cannot say enough good things about that pedal.

https://ballseffects.com/distortion/balls-deluxe/

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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by losthighway » Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:12 pm

numberthirty wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:02 pm
On the "Treble Booster..." front, The Balls Effects "Balls Deluxe" is one of the finest feedback generator pedals that I have owned. Will also get you a lot of "Classic Coke" treble booster sounds.

Cannot say enough good things about that pedal.

https://ballseffects.com/distortion/balls-deluxe/
Also, it's made by a cool guy.

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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by numberthirty » Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:17 pm

May very well be the coolest.

That said, his coolness has no bearing on how great that design is. It's one where you just think "Why Wasn't There A Version Of This Design This Brilliant Before Now?"

Total winner strictly on merit.

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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by Recycled_Brains » Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:17 am

numberthirty wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:02 pm
On the "Treble Booster..." front, The Balls Effects "Balls Deluxe" is one of the finest feedback generator pedals that I have owned. Will also get you a lot of "Classic Coke" treble booster sounds.

Cannot say enough good things about that pedal.

https://ballseffects.com/distortion/balls-deluxe/
I grabbed one of his KWB-inspired pedals he built for that charity sale a while back. Can vouch for his skills. That pedal rules. Excellent build quality.

Speaking of speaking of (speaking of) Rats, I've wanted to try one of his Black Box's for a while.
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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by losthighway » Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:26 am

Recycled_Brains wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:17 am

I grabbed one of his KWB-inspired pedals he built for that charity sale a while back. Can vouch for his skills. That pedal rules. Excellent build quality.

Speaking of speaking of (speaking of) Rats, I've wanted to try one of his Black Box's for a while.
Lots of PRF members over here!

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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by Recycled_Brains » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:47 pm

losthighway wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:26 am
Recycled_Brains wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:17 am

I grabbed one of his KWB-inspired pedals he built for that charity sale a while back. Can vouch for his skills. That pedal rules. Excellent build quality.

Speaking of speaking of (speaking of) Rats, I've wanted to try one of his Black Box's for a while.
Lots of PRF members over here!
It's funny, I had an account at one time, but I don't have any of the log-in info. anymore, so I just lurk the Tech forum once in a while. The "Balls..." thread is one of the ones I always check out so I actually contacted him via email and he was cool about me snagging one. That was a rad thing.
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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by numberthirty » Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:13 pm

losthighway wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:26 am
Recycled_Brains wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:17 am

I grabbed one of his KWB-inspired pedals he built for that charity sale a while back. Can vouch for his skills. That pedal rules. Excellent build quality.

Speaking of speaking of (speaking of) Rats, I've wanted to try one of his Black Box's for a while.
Lots of PRF members over here!
Honestly, the entire reason that I signed up on the PRF back in the day was that I noticed a couple of names from here, and thought "Well, those have to be the same people..."

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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by numberthirty » Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:18 pm

Recycled_Brains wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:17 am
I grabbed one of his KWB-inspired pedals he built for that charity sale a while back. Can vouch for his skills. That pedal rules. Excellent build quality.

Speaking of speaking of (speaking of) Rats, I've wanted to try one of his Black Box's for a while.
The KWB Distorter is probably the last version of that corner of circuit design that anyone would ever need to buy. I love mine. Our lord Torlex is even on the face of it.

Also curious about his take one the Rat.

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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by vvv » Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:31 pm

Recycled_Brains wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:00 am
vvv wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 5:40 pm
Never bought the OCD (curious about the owner story?)
https://guitar.com/news/industry-news/f ... ke-fuller/
Kind stepped on his dick, yeah.

I wonder why the apology came down.
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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by Judas Jetski » Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:51 pm

I use an AC-15 for my main guitar amp. It's an older, British 2 x10 , so things might break up a little quicker, but I think the principles remain the same. I've had a lot of success getting an overdriven sound by pushing the gain on the way in. I normally use a Charlie Stringer Very-Tone Dawg. Not a distortion, but has a decent amount of gain which lets the preamp break up a little earlier.

The real surprise for me though has been the Boss LS-2 Line Selector pedal. Each channel has an independent gain control, with a LOT of gain available. And you can set the pedal so it's A/B or A+B, so you can stack the two channels.

It might even be possible to run the one channel straight into the other channel, which might produce some terrifying results.

Anyway, I've found that it's possible to get my AC-15 to distort quicker and at lower volume using the LS-2 to push the preamp hard enough that the preamp overdrives itself.

Unfortunately part of my sound comes from the speakers distorting, and that only happens when the thing's dimed, so it hasn't helped me keep the volume down any. But still, it seems like there's a lot of potential there. And the pedal's pretty useful in other ways too. I'm not sorry I bought it.
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Re: Overdrive pedals educate me

Post by numberthirty » Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:52 pm

Since the PRF "Tech Room" sub-forum got a mention, my "Go-To" in the Tech Room is that the Boss Line Selector is the Swiss army knife of guitar pedals.

So many things that it will help out with when folks take a little time to think through how an LS-2 might help. Mine just quit working last fall.

Got so bummed I just gave it a little spot in my Valhalla of pedals that are non-functional.

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