All Overdrive Pedals Are Not Created Equal (& HBE Big D Review)
I was going through this thing a couple weeks ago where I was just done with boutique pedals. Especially drive pedals. I mean, how complicated is a drive circuit, really? And how many variations can there possible be? So I found one for way cheap, that had two channels, and a ton of options for different sounds at different times for studio stuff. And I picked up this:
Do not pick up this.
I can see this pedal sounding great going direct into recording gear, or into a solid state amp where an extra preamp stage is needed. But into a tube amp, the best possible drive sound will be your amps actual drive. If you don’t like the sound of your amp’s natural breakup, no overdrive pedal is ever going to change that. If you do like the sound of your amp’s natural breakup, then try to get overdrive pedals that are moreso pushing your amp, rather than trying to be all the gain stages in and of themselves. The amp in a box pedals, like this one, are fine if that’s the sound you like and you never want a clean sound. But this one completely overtakes your tone, and you can’t dial out the compression or the fizz. Again, it might be right up some folks’ respective tone alleys, just not for me. It seems like I’m always re-learning that drive pedals are a necessary evil; so make them as close to driving your amp’s actual tubes as possible.
So…now I’ve either got to find a use for this pedal, or do the passive lie thing on gear-selling forums…’didn’t bond with it’, ‘thinning the herd’, ‘saw something I want more’…well, actually that last one could be true. I saw something I want more…it’s called a pedal that actually sounds good. Kidding, kidding. There are some great clips of this pedal floating around…it just doesn’t seem you can use it and your clean tone without changing an exorbitant amount of knobs; it’s its own sound, and trying to be its own amp. I need boost drive pedals that work with my amp.
I did find this today…maybe I could throw it in for free to sweeten the selling deal:
And that’s the module only. Why do I have the things that I do?
P.S. Working hard on writing new music…that’s why the posts have been few and far between. I’m having more fun playing music than writing about it. It’s an odd feeling. Going through flavor of the month pedal purchase withdrawals I think.