Broad-Trons and OD pedal grief

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by lmolter54, Jan 9, 2022.

  1. lmolter54

    lmolter54 Electromatic

    Age:
    67
    32
    Dec 28, 2021
    Tampa, FL
    I'm having a difficult time finding an OD pedal that is affordable AND produces an overdrive that is not tinny/plastic sounding. Prior to my Streamliner, I had a no-name Telecaster with P90's. My first pedal was a Big Muff Pi Nano. It was ok, but not perfect. Sold it and bought a Boss Blues Driver. Much better with the P90's. But... I traded the Tele for a G2622T with Broad'Trons and not get any useful OD out of it because, as I fould out later, that the BD doesn't work well with Broad'Trons. It got a little better when I put a 20db booster in front of the Blues Driver. But the tone was still tinny and not full. Traded it for a Tube Screamer and was expecting greatness. Nope. Better than the BD and it doesn't really need the booster, but the booster hepls a little. Tone is still not rich.

    The question is multi-fold: Is it possible to get OD with full range of low growl to bright scream with these pups? And if so, can I get a pedal that won't break the bank? I've been buying quite a few mini pedals lately and I need to stop. No, I don't play metal or grunge or even rock. I mainly stay with the blues and dabbling with rockabilly styles at the moment. The OD tone from the Tube Screamer is sufficient for an edge to the blues, so maybe I don't need anything else. Rockabilly mostly is clean with slap-back delay, so I'm good with that. But out of curiosity, can really good OD be accomplished with B'Trons and a limited budget?

    As a side thought, with some of the OD that I've heard that is creamy and growly, do you think that other trickery is involved such as amp modelers and combinations of effects pedals are used to get that sound I'm searching for?
     
  2. oneforsorrow

    oneforsorrow Synchromatic

    810
    May 15, 2020
    Iowa
    I have no experience with Broad'Trons but my first thought was -- what amp are you using? And I ask that because I've found that to also be a key element. For example, I was playing through a Quilter MicroPro for a while and really liked my OCD pedal set at a very low gain. Got nice articulation, a little bit of growl, and some touch sensitivity. But when I switched to my Epiphone Valve Sr., it was a screechy mess of pain. And now that I'm playing through a Magnatone Varsity, the OCD worked well with it but got kicked off the board by a Jackson Belle Starr. And that's just that pedal. I've got 4 others that have different compatibilities depending on the amp/guitar combo. FWIW, I really like the Nobels ODR circuit in that I get plenty of body and top end depending on how I dial in the "spectrum" knob. So much so that I'm even going to sell the OCD as the areas where I'd be likely to use it are now covered by both the Belle Starr and the ODR.
     
    Mr Swisher likes this.
  3. Waxhead

    Waxhead Friend of Fred

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    hey ... what's your missing link - what amp are you using?

    you ask "can really good OD be accomplished with B'Trons and a limited budget?"

    Answer - of course it can, the amp is critical :)
     
  4. lmolter54

    lmolter54 Electromatic

    Age:
    67
    32
    Dec 28, 2021
    Tampa, FL
    AHA! I forgot to mention that my primary amp is a homebuilt '59 Bassman. All tubes (valves) and clear as a bell. I haven't yet plugged my pedal board into the cheap Acoustic solid-state low wattage amp yet. I have a bass amp as well (solid state). I wasn't fully aware that the amp was a big influence on the dirty sound's characteristics.
     
  5. Ricochet

    Ricochet Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    What tones are you shooting for? Be more specific, and name bands, players and/or songs.

    A “creamy and growly overdrive” pedal is a 100 different pedals for a 100 different guitarplayers.
     
    MotorCentaur likes this.
  6. Tegzsa

    Tegzsa Electromatic

    27
    Dec 6, 2019
    Berlin
    I searched for ages for an overdrive that didn't sound "fizzy". Finally settled on a DOD Looking Glass and honestly, I don't think I will need anything else.
     
  7. lmolter54

    lmolter54 Electromatic

    Age:
    67
    32
    Dec 28, 2021
    Tampa, FL
    Can't name any other than Cream or Boston (yes, I'm showing my age and I'm a bluegrass fan, not heavy rock), but both, especially Boston, were heavily modified in the studio, I believe. And I hear snippets of music on commercials. In all cases, the OD on power chords on the lower strings are distinct and have what I call the 'growl'. Mine are just flat -- no depth and not rich or complex. For the blues, the subtle OD on the higher strings is fine by me, but for blues rhythm, the OD on the lower strings is disappointing.

    As of this writing, I have not yet tried other solid-state amps with my pedal. Two out of three responders suggested it may be my amp. I will test this out and reply back.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2022
    Ricochet likes this.
  8. Trash Kidd

    Trash Kidd Country Gent

    Age:
    55
    Dec 14, 2015
    London U.K.
    BE5A7DC0-9DF5-4CF7-B78B-6FAED2BA90F3.jpeg I’ve been using Tavo’s Nocturne Fluid Drive. It does low gain/edge of break up beautifully. A great low gain O/D pedal.

    Some of our new songs are slightly darker & harder edged sounding so I needed a bit more dirt so after looking around I got a NUX Recto Distortion pedal from their reissue range. It’s based on a Mesa/Boogie Rectifier amp. Mesa in a box!! I’m loving it! It does great low end growl right up to full Rectifier saturation if you want that..
    The best thing is the price.. Only £29.99 here in the UK!!!
     
  9. lmolter54

    lmolter54 Electromatic

    Age:
    67
    32
    Dec 28, 2021
    Tampa, FL
    I just ordered one from Amazon (USA) for $45 USD. Still a bargain. And... Free returns!
     
    Henry and Trash Kidd like this.
  10. Ricochet

    Ricochet Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Sounds like you’re going for a heavy overdrive/distortion sound. The Nux might be a good step in the right direction.
     
  11. Trash Kidd

    Trash Kidd Country Gent

    Age:
    55
    Dec 14, 2015
    London U.K.
    Great stuff!! I’m really enjoying this pedal.. Does just what I wanted it to. Hope it works out for you too..
     
  12. lmolter54

    lmolter54 Electromatic

    Age:
    67
    32
    Dec 28, 2021
    Tampa, FL
    I think what I'm going for is going broke buying all these pedals :eek:. The elusive search for a sound only I can hear in my head that doesn't exist. However, the video on the Nux 'seemed' to indicate that it might work out. I'll know in a couple of days.
     
    Ricochet and Trash Kidd like this.
  13. Waxhead

    Waxhead Friend of Fred

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    ok so let's assume your home built Bassman provides a very good clean base tone. Then if you're plugging a good tubescreamer pedal into the front of it the outcome should be very good with any decent guitar.

    But if you were to plug the same guitar and pedal into an el cheapo solid state amp the outcome would very ordinary. Tone outcomes will only ever be as good as your weakest link. If you don't have a good amp base tone then no pedal will sound good.

    If, however, your home build Bassman does not actually sound as a good as a commercially built tube amp then ..... that's your weak link and the cause of your issues.

    What tubescreamer pedal do you have?
    And how are you EQ'ing the amp and pedal?
    If you want help here you need to start providing full info :)
     
  14. Fat Bastid

    Fat Bastid Gretschie

    178
    Jan 16, 2021
    England
    I use a Marshall GV-2 Guv'Nor Plus pedal on my G2622T for primary overdrive
    as it has a wide ranging four tone knobs (as 2 stacked). I used it on a fender p-bass for
    years and now use it with the G2622T combined with a little bear rat attack pedal for
    extra Down-Tuned Doom Dirt.. I also run through a Roland 30 Bass Cube for home
    practice and extra low end width at low volumes..
     
  15. lmolter54

    lmolter54 Electromatic

    Age:
    67
    32
    Dec 28, 2021
    Tampa, FL
    Well, it's hard to provide all the details when one doesn't know what details are important, just sayin'.

    The homebuilt Bassman was built from Leo Fender's original schematics before he got wise and copyrighted them. All parts were as close to the originals as possible, including the power and output transformers. I tried to make a very good facsimile of the original. Aside from ground-loop hum during testing, the amp is loud and clear as a bell.

    All I know, and I don't know why, is that the guitar with the P90's made better OD with the Blues Driver than my Gretsch with the standard Broad'Trons. And other forums have made mention that the Blues Driver doesn't work well with humbuckers. Thinking that it was the low output of the B'Trons was the reason I put a booster before the OD pedal to bring up the signal level. That worked ok, but other forums members (on Reddit, perhaps, or here) mentioned good results with the Ibanez TubeScreamer. Traded the BD for the TS and the results were better (using the Bassman for all of this). But, in my mind, it still wasn't the sound I wanted. So, onto the Nux.

    I had a marginal EQ pedal (Berlinger or something like that). Noisy as hell if the treble was boosted. I mainly had it to cut the booming of the lower strings as the tone controls on the amp seemed ineffective. I returned that today and I have no EQ in the signal path. I have a compressor in the path now to try to limit the booming. So far so good. You have to realize that this is a whole new world for me. I've only owned an electric once 40 years ago and had a Wah pedal and an original Big Muff Pi. Now, with the prior Tele wanna-be and now the G2622T, I've had my eyes opened to the fun of these instruments and the fun of spending money on pedals. Not sure if the pedal money has been spent wisely, though, probably because I really don't know the intricacies of how they work, where to place them in the signal path, amplifiers, pick-ups, and on and on.

    I do have a cheapo solid-state amp with built in OD, but even that doesn't sound good being fed directly from the Gretsch. It has to be a pup thing. I don't recall if I ran the pedal board into it lately. Must have, but I don't remember.

    Can't give you much more detail than that. All I can give is apologies for not giving enough info at the get-go.

    L
     
  16. lmolter54

    lmolter54 Electromatic

    Age:
    67
    32
    Dec 28, 2021
    Tampa, FL
    Holy smokes! I could buy a used car for the price of that pedal (figuratively speaking). Can't get that past the wife easily. I'm not a professional musician -- I'm just a hacker/hobbyist/musician wanna-be.
     
  17. Waxhead

    Waxhead Friend of Fred

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    Hey L - not sure I can help you cos you won't answer questions :)

    Which tubescreamer I asked - so which Ibanez - they make about 20 different tubescreamers.

    What EQ I asked - meaning where have you set the treble, mids, bass dials on your amp and on the pedal. Where's the tone dial on your guitar?

    And what guitar exactly - just naming an unspecified P-90 tells us almost zero.

    Ditto - your amp sounds "clear as a bell" - doesn't tell us anything.
    Does it actually sound close to a real Fender Bassman - you'd be in no position to know.

    What I can tell you is that you didn't need any "booster".
    Which booster - what kind of booster - there's many.

    And could have told you the Behringer EQ pedal was a noisy dud. And you didn't need it if the EQ controls on your amp were working correctly.

    Can't say more given lack of info - sorry :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2022
  18. lmolter54

    lmolter54 Electromatic

    Age:
    67
    32
    Dec 28, 2021
    Tampa, FL
    <muffled sound of head exploding>
    Tubescreamer: Green mini. Gain at 3 o'clock, tone at 11. All other positions tested as well
    EQ: First 3 low frequency sliders down 5db, all others flat.
    Guitar controls: Middle selector; Tone at middle but all positions experimented with.
    Guitar with P90s: Sublime Tomcat.

    Amp: "Does it actually sound close to a real Fender Bassman - you'd be in no position to know." Fender rep at music store put it through its paces and declared that my amp ran rings around Fender's reissue. That's all I know. "Clear" meant no hint of coloring. Not my original description. Others have said it.

    Booster: TC Electronics Spark. Boost at 10pm.

    "And could have told you the Behringer EQ pedal was a noisy dud. And you didn't need it if the EQ controls on your amp were working correctly." You didn't ask and I didn't contact you before buying it.
    No EQ on the amp per se other than the treb/mid/and bass controls. Presence at minimum. Using Normal input. No difference with the Bright input.

    A lot of this is moot as the EQ is winging its way back to Sweetwater.
    And do I dare mention that the MXR Dyna Comp compressor is ahead of the booster and OD? I didn't always have this pedal, though.

    Underwear: Red briefs.

    You must be a lawyer (solicitor). I'm a retired software engineer. I guess I would have asked all the Spanish Inquisition-like questions as well. And my answers will still not be sufficient, I believe. Oh, well...
     
  19. Ricochet

    Ricochet Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    I think he refers to the Guv’nor Plus (or MK2) version, not the original Guv’nor. Over here MK2s are $50 bucks all day long.
     
    Fat Bastid likes this.
  20. Fat Bastid

    Fat Bastid Gretschie

    178
    Jan 16, 2021
    England
    Ricochet likes this.
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