Filtertrons - Medium Overdrive Pedal.

Discussion in 'Pedal Pushers Forum' started by Funky54, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Funky54

    Funky54 Gretschie

    Aug 12, 2010
    There is surprisingly little talk of Gretsch guitars and overdrive selections.

    As soon. As there is a thread on this, it goes to preamp discussions. That’s not what this is about. I’m not looking for Setzer or the “Gretsch Sound”. I’m looking for more of a utility medium gain. This is in the context of a pedal, and playing live at gig settings.

    I’m looking for a great rock sound not associated with Rockabilly necessarily.

    Over the years I’ve used ts9, ts10, signa drive, Rat, hotcake, DSL gen1, preamps galore....

    All of them can be dialed in to be nice, but I’m looking for special magic. Fuzz works well as a low to medium overdrive, but I’m still looking.

    So far the winner is BB style, Butah. Thinking Fetto?

    Amps I use are 65 AC30/6TB, DRRI, Marshall 18 watt clone.

    blueruins and TSims1 like this.
  2. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    I really prefer the sound of a turned-up amp. So I usually do not use a pedal for that. But there are still three of them in my drawers that get regular use:
    - The original PROCO RAT for the wild stuff. (If I want some real hair on the notes.)
    - An Xotic BB preamp (if I want maximum flexibility in tone and overdrive-ammount). Incredible tool
    - A Tubescreamer for real focussed mild overdrive. Mine is a clone that has a little switch where you can choose a TS9 or a TS808 mode. That`s a really great feature.
  3. Yukimajo

    Yukimajo Gretschie

    Nov 4, 2018
    Exeter UK
    I too have been researching OD pedals and for my tastes the Fender Pugilist is looking to be where I am going. It has a wealth of options and sounds fantastic. I am yet to hear a Gretsch through it though, but everything else I have seen in YT videos just sounds great.
  4. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    2 initial things to decide when looking for a distortion/overdrive pedal imo are

    a) How much gain - do you want overdrive or distortion or both.
    Overdrives are low to mid gain & distortions take over from mid to high gain.

    b) What flavour of overdrive/distortion - do you want marshall JCM/Plexi type or US flavour.
    All those one's you mentioned above are US flavour.
    TS9, TS10 etc are US flavour tubescreamers ie low-mid gain overdrives.
    The Rat is a standard modern US flavour distortion pedal.

    Then decide - do you want an overdrive/tubescreamer style or a distortion pedal or..... one that does both?

    And remember AC30s are famously unfriendly with most distortion pedals.

    Answer those Qs and then I'll have some suggestions for you to try :)

    Lastly - do not waste your time trying to judge the tone of anything from youtube videos.
    j.s.c likes this.
  5. Funky54

    Funky54 Gretschie

    Aug 12, 2010

    A) as mentioned medium overdrive
    B) I’m not looking for (?IAB). I’m looking for great overdrive. It can be an extension of the Gretsch, it could be Fuzz, just transparent, or something else. In my opinion there are a bunch more than just Marshall or American.

    I’m looking for overdrive not mid scooped or veiled like a ts9,ts10,808. I’ve been through all three plus the Signa Drive.

    In my opinion an AC30 is awesome with most overdrives, soft or hard clipped. I use with Les Paul into my AC30, DLS, 2x BA Scarab Deluxe, Butah, Wampler Cranked AC.

    YouTube clips are tough, I agree. It’s “something” but how was it mic’d, what was the room like, settings, amps, guitars... many variables.
  6. capnhiho

    capnhiho Gretschie

    Feb 16, 2013
    When I want medium dirt I step on my Way Huge Saucy Box. I bought one super cheap as a MF Stupid Deal of the Day. It has lived on my board ever since (right behind my Dynobrain). Nicely adjustable volume, gain, and tone. And it stacks well into my Barber Burn Unit (Thanks, Tavo!).
  7. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013
    Not to sound like a broken record, but Tavo’s overdrive stuff is spectacular. I’d tell you to look at the Detroit Casket if you want transparent(the medium gain stuff is great in that it really cooks but also retains fanTASTIC note separation), and I’d say try the Ubangi Stomp if you want the biggest best tweaked out RAT pedal you’ve ever played.

    I have played what feels like everybody’s stuff. Tavo’s tweaked circuits and original builds continue to knock me out personally.

    And for the record........I’ve never given one single flip about sounding like Brian Setzer either. Lol. And even my cleans are dirty. :)
    nickurso, stevo, Robbie and 2 others like this.
  8. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
  9. j.s.c

    j.s.c Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2008
    M. Bluesbreaker I
    Double muff I, the only fuzz that could be considered as transparent to me.
    The yellow boss is good for few bucks...

    But im with waxhead, asking questions that are still open. Moreover, yes VOX AC isn't quite pony with pedals, and delievers tones of **** with 75% chance. Thus to me à pedal goes with a specific amp
  10. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I’m also not a setzer guy at all.

    I used a ts9 and ts9 clones for a long while, but I wanted a medium style OD that wouldn't change my tone.
    The Detroit Casket is the one! I love it. I get the gain I want, and my guitar still sounds the same.
    audept likes this.
  11. Funky54

    Funky54 Gretschie

    Aug 12, 2010
    Well... been playing live in bands for over 25 years using my 65 AC30 and previously a 67 BFSR. I’ve had baseman’s, Pro Reverbs, tweeds, Mesa, Marshall modern and boutique. The AC30 in my opinion is twice as easy to pair with pedals as the Black Face Super Reverb fender. I like em all, but the AC30 is one versatile amp. It’s really the best rival for Fenders clean and it’s a major contender for Marshall’s RAWK. I’m not sure why you’ve had so many problems with dirt and a AC30. Now I will say speakers can effect it a lot. I have 1966 Silver bell 20 watt high dope original Alinco’s. I can say they don’t pair great with Rat or most distortion pedals. It’s excellant with overdrives. I use my 1954 Les Paul with 61 pickups into the Vox with a Basic Audio Scarab Deluxe and it’s freakin awesome. I can gig without the “now” DRRI or 18 watt Marshall, but the AC30 someone’s gonna dig out of my coffin with me.
    Great suggestion on the BB circuit, that’s what I’m using as I mentioned in the first post. I don’t think I ever tried a double muff. I do like my Scarab. Most of these pedals are set for the Les Paul and I don’t fiddle once set. When I use Gretsch (65 Country Gent or a 91 Country Classic) it’s usually my danceable pop rock tunes, hence the need for a medium gain dedicated to just the Gretsch. I have high & low Gain covered it’s the Medium Gain. The DLS is my Les Paul medium gang and the settings for the Les Paul are awful with the Gretsch.

    Gretschtim1 likes this.
  12. Funky54

    Funky54 Gretschie

    Aug 12, 2010
    Good to know. I thought all Tavo’s stuff was preamps or fuzz. There are a lot of unity gain situations with clean amps in a wet dry wet rig with multiple guitars. Most of the preamps I tried like the EP mini were nightmares with unity gain.

    I do love Setzer. I love his sound. It’s not what I’m looking for though. I’ve done a project here and there for a 50’s-60’s sock hop. Great fun lots of Getty up strumming. I used a DMM, Super Reverb and a single sib tube overdrive. Great fun, but that doesn’t cover Nathaniel Rateliff, Black Keys, Foo Fighters, Otis Redding, Petty type stuff. Hence the Gretsch songs and a medium gain.

    In the old days it was the Super, Vox, a third whatever, two echoplexes and eventually a ts10.. things were simpler lol.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
    calebaaron666 likes this.
  13. MrMajstyk

    MrMajstyk Gretschie

    Dec 3, 2011
    los angeles
    I’m having a lot of fun with my new stomp box. Well, a stompbox modeler from Line 6, the M-9.
    Lots of OD, distortion, and a tube comp that’s awesome! ( plus delays, verbs, mods, etc)
    Got mine used ( just barely at that) from GC for about the price of a single pedal. The thing is, you have to take a little time with it to really dial it in, but when you do, well worth the effort! From mild to wild! I still have a bunch of pedals I can use if I want, but so far I’m diggin’ the M-9! And it’s a smaller footprint than my pedal board.
  14. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    Push it ! You won't need any overdrive... The Marshall 18W starts to gently clip at 10W RMS. The 18W RMS is obtained fully cranked : square output waves...

    I had one at home for test - here vs. my SF PR :


    No picture... A pure delight to play overdriven from subtle to full. The little box you see on it is a Holy Grail Nano reverb.

    But OK, it's not a pedal, not instant-switchable... :oops:

    I have DIYed this for my "gentle drives" :


    It is inspired (with many modifications though) from the Electra Distortion below :


    Two short samples recorded with a Gretsch G5435LH :

    Soul style :

    Rock'n'Roll style :

    But maybe you are searching a more overdriven tone ? o_O;)

    BorderRadio, j.s.c and Funky54 like this.
  15. Funky54

    Funky54 Gretschie

    Aug 12, 2010
    That is Flippin Cool! I use to go back n forth with pushing amps but most venues are too volume sensitive. I just can’t do it. Even the drum kit is a 20” bass stuffed with blankets and moongel all over the snare and cymbals. For this I’m looking for medium gain. I have a great fuzz and a great low gain. Thanks though!

    Here’s my 1958 clone
  16. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    calebaaron666, hcsterg and Funky54 like this.
  17. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    So I'll add to the list the DOD Overdrive Preamp 250. They produce a medium gain overdrive, fully respecting the tone of the guitar and the touch of the player (conversely to the TS9, IMHO), but do not crank it too much : it then steps into an aggressive crunch.

    I have two yellow DOD 250 RI (one from 1990 at right, one from the early 2000s at left) :


    Funky54 likes this.
  18. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    ok thanks :)
    If you're happy with most overdrives thru an AC30 then I'll give you my preferences for low-med gain overdrives (not distortions).

    First, all my pedals are true bypass - it's a total deal breaker for me if an overdrive is buffered.
    2nd - they have to be low noise, versatile and match well with all amps.

    Most of them are split into the US tubescreamer and British flavours - others are somewhere in between.

    Having tried and/or owned 100s my favs are ......

    Fulltone Fulldrive Mosfet 2 - 3 or Fulldrive2 V2 - versatile all rounders US flavour.

    Maxon OD9 modded by Analogman - best tubescreamer ever made imo.

    MI Audio Blues Boy - versatile and great.

    MI Audio Super Crunchbox - best and most versatile overdrive/distortion pedal ever made imo.
    Marshall in a box - Plexi thru to JCMs.

    Fuzz - Analogman Astrotone - med gain, vintage fuzz very usable thru the whole range.

    All these are true bypass, low noise and match well with all amps.
    Good luck :)
    Funky54 likes this.
  19. Charlie westside

    Charlie westside Country Gent

    Jul 27, 2018
    Sylmar Califirnia
    20190406_133723.jpg So I'm normally a Tube screamer guy.
    I could not find a pedal that gave me that mid-Level sounding distortion for my classic rock stuff.
    some were to subtle and others to harsh. A few months ago my buddy
    gave me a Danelectro Pride of Texas OD. Pedal. I gotta say this did the trick. easy to use and not overbearing in the crunch. I can also use it as a boost for clean sounds as well as the OD. I would have never purchased it on my own. Thankfully someone gave it to me. I use it for all live gigs and in the studio. The price wont break the bank either. Good luck on your quest.
    Funky54 likes this.
  20. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I loved my EP boost with the tele, but it didn’t work well for filtertrons, at least not for me. I now use Tavo’s Mystery Brain which has a way better preamp, plus the best faux tape delay I’ve heard all in one.
    I run the preamp at unity cuz I just love the sensitivity and definition it gives me.

    But the Detroit Casket is my drive, and it’s amazing. I love the sound of my Supro Tremo-Verb’s natural OD, and the Casket get’s me there without having to reach for my amp’s volume. Here’s a good youtube review/demo of it:

    Yeah setzer’s an incredible player with undeniable skill and unparalleled tone, but his lyrics are too cheesy. They’re really hard for me to take.
    Please don’t everyone throw tomatoes at me all at once!:)
    stevo, audept and j.s.c like this.
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