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FDP Forum / Non-Fender Gear Reviews / How many overdrive pedals?



SDSU Aztec for LIFE
Jan 10th, 2012 09:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've reached a point where I find that playing with two OD pedals is very advantageous. In my case, I would use the first one as a clean boost, then the 2nd one for leads. This gives us 4 different tones, assuming your including your clean sound. I know SRV did this in the matter of having an 808 on all the time, and hitting a TS9 for his leads. Currently I have my klon centaur first providing a boost, as it is the most transparent OD I own and as a matter of fact, know of. I use the TS9 to really bring the balls. I was wondering if 3 OD pedals can even add more, but apart of me thinks it would be overkill. I have a 808 Malaysian tube screamer coming in the mail, and cant wait to combine it with my klon and ts9

Rick Plays The Blues


May I try that again?
Jan 10th, 2012 10:29 PM   Edit   Profile  

Never did this with three pedals but occasionally used two pedals and preamp od from the amp, which is kind of the same thing.

I set my gain usually rather low, so if I want to increase gain, I need to switch on some more pedals.

I use a Maxon OD-808 and a ZVex Box of Rock, Maxon in front.

I like it, that these two sound very different so I can get a cool sounding mix of both with both on. In case of some preamp dirt, the boost side of the BOR of course again adds gain, so if I use e.g. my Marshall Vintage Modern with just low gain, Maxon and BOR with low gain, turning on the BOR boost and drive AND the Maxon gets me quite a lot of fluid gain :)
And I have an awful lot of variation with just a few switches.

I could well imagine doing this all with pedals as well.

Modal Magic
Contributing Member

MBJ, Highway Hound.

You Can't Bend It Aussie!
Jan 12th, 2012 08:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

I was comparing the modelled TS9 on my Distortion Factory with the Ibanez TS808 RI. Anyway, I kicked them in together and oh my! what a sound.

Sort of like dipping your French Fries in mash and gravy. Yum.

Spud on spud.


usa/east bay sf

Ain't no time to hate
Jan 18th, 2012 01:08 PM   Edit   Profile  

On my main pedal board I have a CAE/MXR MC-402 booster (both clean and OD)> zendrive clone > DOD Hardwire OD > BB+ (2 settings), so a total of 6 options. This gives me the ability to tweak my gain/volume/tone in a variety of ways - for example I use the CAE/MXR OD setting with the tone fairly dark so I can kick in a woman type tone at any point without messing with any tone controls, the Hardwire I set at fairly high gain but with a slight volume dip for crunch chords that won't overwhelm vocals, etc. Of course I can layer them for a variety of palates.

In addition I use a 2-loop pedal which allows me to kick my main pedal board in/out in loop 1, along with a TC Nova System multieffects unit (which has it's own drive/boost options)in loop 2.

For me the main advantage is that I find OD pedal response to vary from room to room - this way I know I'll usually have at least one or two options that will work right.

I use a similar concept with delays, setting one pedal (DD-6)for long, single rep delay, another one (RV-3) for deep reverb with rockabilly style slapback, the TC Nova for U2 edge style delays. Get some really lush textures when layering all.

Contributing Member


Axe Victim
Jan 18th, 2012 02:52 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've never been able to get two OD pedals to provide "my sound" when used together, including trying two Maxon OD-808 units (one acting as a boost).

They always sound too compressed IMHO and your signal doesn't cut through the band mix as well.

Rick Plays The Blues


May I try that again?
Jan 18th, 2012 10:36 PM   Edit   Profile  

I can imagine that some pedals, including my beloved Maxon OD-808, do not take a boost too well.
When I stack pedals (solid state all of them), I use all of them to add distortion, not increase the signal level (all set for unity gain volume-wise)
And I personally like it better to use very different pedals, which then lets two very different overtone structures mix together.

A boost in front in my ears only works really well with tube gear.

Contributing Member


Axe Victim
Jan 26th, 2012 10:27 AM   Edit   Profile  

Interesting, thanks.

Power Trio

West Virginia

Jan 26th, 2012 01:08 PM   Edit   Profile  

all i use is a sparkle drive.

my main amp is a pro rev RI and it has a built in boost function that sends it over the top for solos

bascially its the effects loop with nothing
plugged into it and the in and outs set at 5 or more.
its gives a boost effect thats SRV heaven.

Contributing Member

Buckeye Country, USA

Motorcycles, Guitars, and Golf
Jan 26th, 2012 01:14 PM   Edit   Profile  

"When I stack pedals (solid state all of them), I use all of them to add distortion, not increase the signal level"

Ditto! Although, I use my TonePress compressor on occasion for a slight lead boost. It adds more sustain when it's above unity gain.

Rick Plays The Blues


May I try that again?
Jan 27th, 2012 02:01 AM   Edit   Profile  

Lefty - interesting, I do the same with my compressor ... it is first in the chain, mainly adds sustain, but adds a little signal level as well.

And you know what. On a very few occasions, I have all these on in the following chain: comp, od-808, BoX Of Rock distortron, BOR boost ... with all pedals on, I get some feedback turning more into endless sustain. I call it my tapping sound :)

Contributing Member

LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Jan 30th, 2012 06:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

"Never did this with three pedals but occasionally used two pedals and preamp od from the amp, which is kind of the same thing."

I do this too. Although one of my pedals, a RAT, is more of a fuzz. I also have a clean boost as the last pedal before the amp, which gives yet another flavor of OD.

I used to have a 3rd OD, an older Fulltone Full-Drive 2, for just a little dirt, but I never could bond with it, and now it's in the "for sale" bin....

super mario


tone to the bone no other way
Feb 5th, 2012 08:57 AM   Edit   Profile  

I think it is more the norm for most folks. I've made it a regular part of my small collection of pedals. With the Fender amps (silver face DR and black face PR), it is two levels, with the PV Classic 30 (including its OD channel) I have three. Currently the pedals of choice is a DOD Preamp/OD 250 reissue in front of a Cmatmods Signa Drive (which has a three way toggle for additional OD levels - Marshally OD (up position), Clean Boost (middle) and TS (down position and is lower output more compressed sounding). So "if" you figure the options of the Signa Drive, then it expands greatly. Typically it is either "up" or "down" on the toggle. The 250 is darker and adds some grit to the Fender clean at the lower volume levels. As the Peavey can get dirty via channel switching, I tend to bypass the 250 and use just the Signa Drive when using that amp.


Massachusetts, USA

Feb 17th, 2012 07:32 AM   Edit   Profile  

I always use two. I've got my ZVEX BoR set for light dirt, but it adds a lot of color and also has a built in clean boost. I've also got an MI Audio Crunchbox that I use to get the cranked Marshall tone on an occasional solo.



Jun 18th, 2012 01:35 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've got a TS-808 going into a Zvex BoR and love the option of either or both, plus boost. I recently picked up a hand painted BoR to replace a Vexter version, and to my ears it definitely sounds different (darker, slightly noisier), the Vexter was perhaps closer to the 808, which I liked, but the hand painted gives me more variety, which I like. The Vexter was easier to keep on all the time and vary with just the volume on the guitar. I also have a Fuzz Factory to send things over the top....



pie solves everything
Jan 2nd, 2013 06:51 AM   Edit   Profile  

I use a dirt box and an eq pedal for dirt and boost

Brown Sound in a Box and BOSS 7 band

But I have used two od pedals in the past to do the same thing



Jan 2nd, 2013 07:38 PM   Edit   Profile  

Two od pedals is my norm. The 1st for crunch chords and the second for lead boost. I have a lot of fun mixing up the pedals and their order and discovering combinations that click.

Choosing which to use from among the od pedals that I can't seem to let go is as much part of the fun as playing:

Beano Boost >Sunface >Skreddy Screwdriver >V. Rat >Mooer Cruncher > TS clone >Jetter GSR >KOTv4 >Timmy

If there's extra space on my PT Nano board, I add a mini-sized clean boost, for those times when I need to play louder clean rhythm behind two loud lead guitarists who love to turn up their amps and play without pedals.

The od pedal combination becomes a challenge when the rehearsal studios we use provide purely solidstate amps. Finding which od pedals sound great with ss amps at gig volume (two at a time) is a long drawn-out process.

(This message was last edited by vegetablejoe at 07:49 PM, Jan 2nd, 2013)



Dec 25th, 2013 08:13 AM   Edit   Profile  

MXR Distortion+ or Rat set to low gain into TS808 or TS-9 set to low gain into crunchy amp with EQ in effects loop to add back the lows cut by the Tubescreamer is a great 80's type of sound.

The distortion pedal adds a little "hair", the Tubescreamer provides a mid boost and tightens up the lows going into the amp and the EQ compensates for the lows cut by the Tubescreamer. Adding the lows back in after the amp preamp creates a tight punchy sound.

(This message was last edited by Ricey at 10:17 AM, Dec 25th, 2013)

FDP Forum / Non-Fender Gear Reviews / How many overdrive pedals?

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