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Overdrive for rhythm playing...
Old 26th January 2009
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
guitarbth's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Overdrive for rhythm playing...

Hello all,

I'm looking to add an overdrive or clean boost to my '71 Fender Champ for studio work. I'm a little frustrated that all the videos and clips I hear are of blues solos. So what are your thoughts on overdrives that will give you good, non-muddy, sustainable, crunchy chords. The style of music would need to range from john mayer to coldplay. No metal... no hair band power chords... I'll mainly be using just a telecaster into a cranked Champ and need to add just a bit of edge... The speaker is a Weber Alnico if that matters.

I'm considering these three:

Fulltone Fulldrive
Zendrive
Klon Centaur

Love to hear your thoughts...

Thanks.
Old 26th January 2009
  #2
Gear Nut
 
pauloticks's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hello,
I have noticed when I crank my champ that its already very overdriven and I not need to use a overdrive pedal. Perhaps our amps have different tubes in them.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
tube screamer
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Iggy Poop's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
You should check out both the Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive and the Visual Sound Route 66. Sparkle Drive especially.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
guitarbth's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by pauloticks ➑️
Hello,
I have noticed when I crank my champ that its already very overdriven and I not need to use a overdrive pedal. Perhaps our amps have different tubes in them.
Yeah... I get some nice breakup when it's cranked at 10, but it's quite loud and I don't have an isolated studio so I'm looking for something to get me the breakup a little earlier...

I do need to try a few different tubes however...

I may just get the Klon and treat it as an investment too... has anyone noticed the second hand value on those things? Crazy...
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
swankdoc's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I believe what you're looking for is a clean boost pedal. These give that sharp grab that make the chords hold their place. Not fuzz, not distortion etc.
The KOT (Analogman) really is something to behold, $400+ on the used market since the wait to get a new one is ~ 2years. I've tried a million pedals and that thing is the sh*t.
Kendrick also makes a nice (albeit expensive) pedal "Cactus Juice" that has a clean boost front end. For a less expensive option, just look at any of the clean boost pedals. Analogman makes one 'Beano Boost'. Or Catlinbread or Keeley....

serious , try a clean boost pedal, that'll give that fender set up the Ka'chunk you're looking for.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
McPhaul's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarbth ➑️
Yeah... I get some nice breakup when it's cranked at 10, but it's quite loud and I don't have an isolated studio so I'm looking for something to get me the breakup a little earlier...

I do need to try a few different tubes however...

I may just get the Klon and treat it as an investment too... has anyone noticed the second hand value on those things? Crazy...
If you like the sound of the amp at break up why not just use a power attenuator?
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by swankdoc ➑️
I believe what you're looking for is a clean boost pedal. These give that sharp grab that make the chords hold their place. Not fuzz, not distortion etc.
The KOT (Analogman) really is something to behold, $400+ on the used market since the wait to get a new one is ~ 2years. I've tried a million pedals and that thing is the sh*t.
Kendrick also makes a nice (albeit expensive) pedal "Cactus Juice" that has a clean boost front end. For a less expensive option, just look at any of the clean boost pedals. Analogman makes one 'Beano Boost'. Or Catlinbread or Keeley....

serious , try a clean boost pedal, that'll give that fender set up the Ka'chunk you're looking for.
Give this man a cigar!

(And thanks for the heads up on the Analogman KOT - I have some Analogman pedals and they are worth the extra money)
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #9
TYY
Gear Addict
 
TYY's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Anything by menatone. Top boost in a can would be a great choice, if you doing mind a voxy shift in the mids.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Z Vex Super Hard On (aka SHO) is exactly what you are looking for. If you want two levels of boost try the Super Duper.
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
7 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Crowther Audio Hotcake
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
guitarbth's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I went with a Keeley Katana; I'll try to remember to report back when it comes. I found it like new on ebay for $150 so I went it... especially considering a 2 year wait list for the KOT and a 12 weeks wait for the Klon. Plus, I stubmled across an interview with John Mayer stating his use of the Katana to put his Dumbles and Two Rocks on edge on the Trio tour.

Thanks for the help.... hopefully the clean boost will do the trick.
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
guitarbth's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The Keeley Katana arrived today and I've just given it a test drive. It's clear that a clean boost was exactly what I was looking for as opposed to an overdrive. It simply drives the amp into it's own overdrive... and that's about it. Perfect. Not a cheesy, small sounding overdrive...

I'm from the camp that doesn't have much use for overdrive pedals so I was hoping that this would be a good alternative. It is. I much prefer a guitar plugged straight into a great tube amp when cranked.

As for the Keeley against other clean boosts, I can't compare. This is the first clean boost I've had any experience with. The Katana basically has two settings. The knob pushed in gives you less boost and the knob pulled out gives you more. The knob is variable so you can turn it to find the desired amount of boost under each setting. I'm sure the Keeley stacks up well against others in this catagory based on the quality of their products as a whole. The finish and construction on this piece are of great quality.

The sound I'm getting with this closely resembles the guitar work on Vertical Horizon's "Go" album. I'm using an ash body American Telecaster > Keeley Katana > 1971 Silverface Fender Champ w/ Alnico Weber speaker.

Thanks. I hope this review is helpful to others.
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