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Yet another OD/Distortion pedal ... (and I now own it).


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I bought and have now gigged and recorded with an OCCTONE overdrive/distortion pedal. And I really like it. I stumbled across it at 30th Street Guitars here in NYC ...




It's a modded Boss DS-1 (!!). I couldn't get much info about what the mods are; apparently there's a guy at 30th Street who upgrades the components and rewires certain parts of the DS-1 circuit, and then they charge you an extra $100. I was a bit annoyed at that (the DS-1 is a $40 pedal) - but all the pedals I was looking at were running at least $150, and so I rationalized it by thinking that if it sounded better than a $140 pedal, it was worth that much.


And I'm finding that it is. The pedal retains both the highs and the lows in my basses, and covers a lot of ground - from slight crunch to fuzzy wall. There is, of course, some tone coloration when you switch it on - for the most part, it's a slight upper-mid-hump. But it's a pretty musical-sounding hump, and most importantly, I'm finding that the pedal retains a very natural-sounding low end. It's also refreshingly simple - only three knobs: Tone, Gain, and Level.


For what it's worth, before buying this I tried (and rejected) the following:

Xotic BB Preamp

HomeBrew Electronics Hematoma

Fulltone Fulldrive

Sansamp BDDI

MXR M-80

Various EH

Digitech Bass Distortion

MXR M-181 Blowtorch


... I don't mean to offend anyone who uses any of these, but I came away from each either unsatisfied with the tone (usually loss of low end), or feeling like the pedal just was not giggable for me (i.e. too many knobs/switches to set up quickly and with little soundcheck time on a poorly-lit stage, and also to adjust on the fly during a set).


The HBE Hematoma was running a really close second, and it's a really cool pedal - particularly if you're after a smooth, slightly dark overdrive or tubey gain. For me though, the Hematoma was a little too dark - I kept feeling like (even at low gain) there was a summer-weight blanket over everything, and when I switched back to the Occtone, everything sounded a touch cleaner. But I'd definitely recommend the Hematoma as one to test.


Anyway, I'll post pics and a clip when I have a chance ...


I also picked up a (heavily) modded Vox 847 wah - and will post on that shortly.

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