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Thread: Overdrive pedal for solos

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Overdrive pedal for solos

    Switching to the neck pickup would be a natural way to go for thicker solo tone.

    If that isn't an option for whatever reason, then, in addition to the EQ pedal ideas mentioned here, I'll mention 3 other possible ways to go. EQ pedals are super useful, but sometimes one wants the flavor of a dedicated boost/overdrive:

    1. Tubescreamer-type pedal. This emphasizes the upper midrange frequencies. You will cut through the mix for sure. But a Tubescreamer pedal usually cuts bass (to help tighten up sound), so I'll suggest 2 kinds of TS-type pedals that may not cut so much bass:

    a. Seymour Duncan 805 - Perhaps the most versatile overdrive pedal around with its 3-band EQ. You can dial it in to be like a TS, but still keep the bass. A used 805 will be at the top end of your $50-$100 range.
    b. Boss SD-1 - Not the same type of clipping as a TS-style pedal, but in practice does the same thing as TS-type pedal: add midrange emphasis. I find the SD-1's mid hump to be thicker than that of a typical TS-pedal, so this may be a good candidate for you, OP. The SD-1 is certainly within your price range. The SD-1W Waza version has a "Custom" setting that makes the tone even thicker, but that will be outside your price range.

    2. Clean boost pedal. No frequency emphasis, just makes your signal louder. This may do the job simply by pushing your amp harder. Some amps thicken up when pushed harder, but in my experience, a clean boost is just that - more volume. This may not be the fastest way to add beef to your tone.

    3. Klone (Klon) type pedal. This emphasizes the lower midrange frequencies (i.e., those of "beef"). I have found Klone-type pedals to be fantastic for the exact purpose OP describes, thickening up solos. I would recommend a used Electro-Harmonix Soul Food, which is within OP's price range. I also quite like the MXR Sugar Drive, also within OP's price range.

    I will also caution that while an EQ pedal will certainly shape tone, adding frequencies by EQ can introduce noise into the tone. Just because I shape my EQ pedal into a mid-hump doesn't make it a Tubescreamer. The tone is certainly spicier, but it may or may not have the same flavor, if that makes any sense.

    Finally, OP will want to experiment with putting pedals in the effects loop vs. in front of the amp. Different results will be gotten from pushing the power section vs. the preamp section of the amp.

  2. #22
    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overdrive pedal for solos

    Quote Originally Posted by blind1 View Post
    Every guitar + pedal + amp responds differently.

    My first suggestion: find an amp that does what you want it to do. A Marshall JVM amp its extremely versatile and will do everything you described without the need for pedals.

    My alternative suggestion: try an EQ pedal in the FX loop. A good EQ pedal can act as a clean boost and you can also dial in/out certain frequencies if you'd like.
    I agree completely. An eq in the loop is likely the best way to go. Set it for a slight volume boost and eq till you get the exact tone you want.
    If you play with a high gain setting any boost in front of the amp won’t give you a volume boost....you’ll already be out of headroom. (Most likely).

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Overdrive pedal for solos

    Quote Originally Posted by stratguy23 View Post
    Switching to the neck pickup would be a natural way to go for thicker solo tone.

    If that isn't an option for whatever reason, then, in addition to the EQ pedal ideas mentioned here, I'll mention 3 other possible ways to go. EQ pedals are super useful, but sometimes one wants the flavor of a dedicated boost/overdrive:

    1. Tubescreamer-type pedal. This emphasizes the upper midrange frequencies. You will cut through the mix for sure. But a Tubescreamer pedal usually cuts bass (to help tighten up sound), so I'll suggest 2 kinds of TS-type pedals that may not cut so much bass:

    a. Seymour Duncan 805 - Perhaps the most versatile overdrive pedal around with its 3-band EQ. You can dial it in to be like a TS, but still keep the bass. A used 805 will be at the top end of your $50-$100 range.
    b. Boss SD-1 - Not the same type of clipping as a TS-style pedal, but in practice does the same thing as TS-type pedal: add midrange emphasis. I find the SD-1's mid hump to be thicker than that of a typical TS-pedal, so this may be a good candidate for you, OP. The SD-1 is certainly within your price range. The SD-1W Waza version has a "Custom" setting that makes the tone even thicker, but that will be outside your price range.

    2. Clean boost pedal. No frequency emphasis, just makes your signal louder. This may do the job simply by pushing your amp harder. Some amps thicken up when pushed harder, but in my experience, a clean boost is just that - more volume. This may not be the fastest way to add beef to your tone.

    3. Klone (Klon) type pedal. This emphasizes the lower midrange frequencies (i.e., those of "beef"). I have found Klone-type pedals to be fantastic for the exact purpose OP describes, thickening up solos. I would recommend a used Electro-Harmonix Soul Food, which is within OP's price range. I also quite like the MXR Sugar Drive, also within OP's price range.

    I will also caution that while an EQ pedal will certainly shape tone, adding frequencies by EQ can introduce noise into the tone. Just because I shape my EQ pedal into a mid-hump doesn't make it a Tubescreamer. The tone is certainly spicier, but it may or may not have the same flavor, if that makes any sense.

    Finally, OP will want to experiment with putting pedals in the effects loop vs. in front of the amp. Different results will be gotten from pushing the power section vs. the preamp section of the amp.
    I've done the math on these suggestions, and they check out.
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  4. #24
    Tone Member Cob85's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overdrive pedal for solos

    Quote Originally Posted by stratguy23 View Post
    Switching to the neck pickup would be a natural way to go for thicker solo tone.
    Hi and thanks for the explanation.
    Neck pickup is a Duncan Designed magnet, I like the tone it has for clean tones but for solos it's really weak.
    I was actually wondering to get a Cool rails or an Hot rails but maybe it's not the right way to move and a pedal could be better for my needs.
    Rules are mostly made to be broken and are too often for the lazy to hide behind

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Overdrive pedal for solos

    Quote Originally Posted by Cob85 View Post
    Neck pickup is a Duncan Designed magnet, I like the tone it has for clean tones but for solos it's really weak.
    I was actually wondering to get a Cool rails or an Hot rails but maybe it's not the right way to move and a pedal could be better for my needs.
    The Hot Rails neck (SHR-1N) will work for a thick solo tone. That pickup is all mids. I can't guarantee it will have good cleans, though, as its output is so high and, well, it has so much mids. The output will also be a good match for your Distortion in bridge position.

    I haven't tried the Cool Rails, so I can't speak to that.

    My suggestions above are from bigger pedal companies, so hopefully you should be able to find them in Italy and try them. I recommend trying more than one if you can. Like with guitars and amps, the more you try, the more you know, and the better the chance you will find what you seek.

  6. #26
    Tone Member Cob85's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overdrive pedal for solos

    Quote Originally Posted by stratguy23 View Post
    The Hot Rails neck (SHR-1N) will work for a thick solo tone. That pickup is all mids. I can't guarantee it will have good cleans, though, as its output is so high and, well, it has so much mids. The output will also be a good match for your Distortion in bridge position.

    I haven't tried the Cool Rails, so I can't speak to that.

    My suggestions above are from bigger pedal companies, so hopefully you should be able to find them in Italy and try them. I recommend trying more than one if you can. Like with guitars and amps, the more you try, the more you know, and the better the chance you will find what you seek.
    The pup change is my favourite solution, no pedals, no power supply etc.
    I will listen to some Hot rails samples on the tube, maybe it's worth a try.
    Rules are mostly made to be broken and are too often for the lazy to hide behind

  7. #27
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Nostalgic Distortion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overdrive pedal for solos

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    Pretty much any of these should work....
    I live in Northern New Hampshire, we shoot the things we don't understand here???

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Overdrive pedal for solos

    Quote Originally Posted by Cob85 View Post
    The pup change is my favourite solution, no pedals, no power supply etc.
    I will listen to some Hot rails samples on the tube, maybe it's worth a try.
    Quite frankly, unless you are moving from low output pickups to significantly higher output (like a vintage PAF to high gain), a PUP change isn't going to give you the volume boost and presence you are looking for.
    ROCK ON.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Overdrive pedal for solos

    A cheap klone should do it.
    .

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  10. #30
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    Default Re: Overdrive pedal for solos

    Quote Originally Posted by Cob85 View Post
    The pup change is my favourite solution, no pedals, no power supply etc.
    I will listen to some Hot rails samples on the tube, maybe it's worth a try.
    IF - and that's a big IF, the tone works for you. For me it wouldn't ever be a good thing.
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  11. #31
    Senior Member tstone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overdrive pedal for solos

    +1 on the MXR 10 band EQ. I use one in the effects loop to dial in and out freq.

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Overdrive pedal for solos

    Revv G4. Crazy amazing pedal.

  13. #33
    Tone Member EmiAba's Avatar
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    Default Re: Overdrive pedal for solos

    I currently have a GT-OD to thick the sound (as used by Zakk Wylde). I am happy with it and it's easy to find second hand around 50 euro (I bet you know mercatino musicale). A couple of weeks ago someone else asked for an OD with lot of headroom (I am not able to find the thread right now) and a forumite (Jeremy if I am not wrong) suggested Timmy pedal. Never heard before, checked videos or audio samples on the internet and I was really impressed. Great pedal. Take a look at it (a little bit expensive in truth). A EQ pedal is the second choice IMO.

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