Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Stomp Boxes - what's hot, what's not


Philip OKeefe

Recommended Posts

Okay here's the deal: I want your input on stompboxes. It has been years since I was really "into" stomp boxes in a major way, and I know there are now countless boutique pedals out there, as well as the models from the big name companies.

 

So here's my question - what are some great stompboxes?

 

And there's a catch - I want MAJOR bang for the bucks. I'm not saying you can't recommend a high dollar boutique pedal, but if you do, I want it to be a pedal that is SO good that it really does justify that high price tag in a MAJOR way. I'm a cheap bastid, ;) so I welcome cheap suggestions that, in spite of their low cost, offer tremendous value. Think FMR RNC in the pro audio world... cheap but the best at what it does and probably worth a lot more than what they actually sell for.

 

Okay, let the suggestions begin! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 55
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing... with the new amp I'm probably gonna want a new front end... cleaner electronics.

 

I was also asked how to get that Eric Johnson sound. I don't have a clue, since, outside of the occasional chorus, wah, or a touch of distortion, I don't really use them that much.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a simpleton with stomp boxes but I would go with the obvious MXR Phase 90, Cry Baby Wah, Daneelectro cool cat chorus, MXR flanger, Daneelectro analogue delay, or a Boss minirack delay (from the 80's), korg dt1 tuner (think thats the name). I also like this DOD effect that was out in the 80's but I don't think they make it. It is called a BiFet preamp. It is great to boost your volume up for solos live if you don't have the luxury of a separate lead channel.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by flagshipmile:

MXR Phase 90, Cry Baby Wah, Daneelectro cool cat chorus, MXR flanger, Daneelectro analogue delay, or a Boss minirack delay (from the 80's), korg dt1 tuner (think thats the name).

I have some of the above. For my "dirty channel", I use an Ibanez Tube King, a great pedal with a 12ax7 inside, if you can find one. I paid about $60-used a couple of years ago. My lead boost is a Boss Blues Driver, a more reasonably priced version of a TS copy with a bit of its own mojo. Check out George Dennis pedals. I enjoy my GD Wah-Volume-Switch, but it has needed a bit of TLC over the past year.

 

Happy shopping!!!

Vinny Cervoni

vcbluzman@hotmail.com

www.bluzberrypi.com

www.42ndstband.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the Fulltone Fulldrive II is a great sounding variation on the Tubescreamer. Nice tone and very smooth tube-like clipping.

 

The Fulltone Tube Tape Echo is the absolute ultimate effect box though. Nothing ever sounded better than a real Maestro tube Echoplex and Fulltone has recreated it with some mechanical and electronic improvements. I'd love one but it's listing for $1,000. Probably worth it.

Mac Bowne

G-Clef Acoustics Ltd.

Osaka, Japan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Stompboxes" is a very generic term Phil(!) Do you want dirt pedals, compressors, modulation, time based effects or all of them?

 

Are they for stage use and gigs, or mainly for the studio? What amp, or amps could they expect to be introduced to?

 

I have three of Robert Keeleys original designs, he builds top quality pedals for a reasonable price, starting about $185 for a Fuzz Head which is a great overdrive/fuzz blend, kind of like a very well tuned and behaved Rat.

 

His compressor is outstanding, silent and transparent up to the most extreme settings. He also does a treble booster/full boost called the Java Boost, which is amazing into a cranked amp.

 

www.analogman.com is another great site. Mike is a first class builder, offering excellent clones of long established designs. His NKT 275 Sun Face is an amazing Fuzz Face clone that sounds killer. His Clone Chorus is a clone of the EH Small Clone, first class chorus pedal, built like a tank.

 

www.zvex.com is another. Anyone who doesn't pick up a couple of his pedals will kick themselves in years to come, they will last forever, but they may not be available for that long. The Fuzz Factory, Lo Fi Loop Junky and Super Hard On are my three favourites of Zachs toys.

 

Wah? Geoffrey Teese and his Real McCoy (RMC) Wahs are outstanding. The Picture Wah, a clone of the famous Vox Clyde McCoy and the RMC3 which is fully tweakable and caters for every wah tone you can imagine.

 

Value Stompers? The best bang for the buck pedals I've heard of, are the Danelectro range that sits around $50. The Fish&Chips EQ is well spoken of.

 

You might also want to check out www.tonefactor.com where Brad keeps some great stuff. Excellent service too. Browse something like www.musictoyz.com too, they carry everything under the sun and despite rumours to the contrary, I've had nothing but great experience with them.

 

The absolute best analog delay available right now, is the echoczar from www.toneczareffects.com Not cheap at over $600, but check it out and watch the videos, this is no ordinary delay pedal, much more like a Tape/Tube unit.

 

Hope some of that helps mate? I just rambled whatever came into my mind. If you have a clearer idea of what you need, I have plenty more site and builders to share, just let me know.

 

Best of luck...

 

Tea. :thu:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh boy, are you gonna get a ton of advice :D

 

Here's mine.

 

IMHO, the Dunlop Cry-Baby 535Q is the best wah. I've got one and love it :love: But, there seems to be a lot of varying opinion on wha's.

 

Bang for the buck? I picked up the DOD Mystic Blues (FX102) from Music123 on ebay for $35 + $8 s/h :cool:

 

Bigger bang for the buck, I picked up the George Dennis "Mind Rock" distortion (sound samples are great, I haven't received it yet) on ebay for $23.50 + $10 s/h! MSRP $250. I think he's not well known in the "average joe" guitar player circles Maybe that's why so cheap?

 

To summarize, watch ebay for what you're interested in and try out all the wah's 'fore 'ya buy one :cool:

Oh yeah, and watch the big on-line stores for close-outs.

Gotta' geetar... got the amp. There must be SOMEthing else I... "need".
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Distorion/overdrive pedals; I have a Keeley modded Boss Blues Driver that I love. The modded version is MUCH better sounding than the stock model. Price isn't too steep either. Check it out at http://www.robertkeeley.com/product.php?id=14

 

Delay; Danelectro Dan-Echo. Good sounding, should be able to pick one up for under a hundred. #2; The Digitech XDD Delay sounds great, VERY versatile, has some features the Dan-Echo doesn't (tap tempo, more available tones) check it out here;http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=home/search/detail/base_pid/150821/

 

Chorus: Don't use 'em anymore, but the Danelectro Cool Cat is a great unit, and the DOD Ice Box is really underrated.

 

Flanger; Danelector Hash Browns is actually a great sounding unit and cheeeep.

 

Compressor; MXR Dyna Comp is as good as it gets for a stomp box unit. But if you can find one, the Yamaha CO 10M II is the one I like best. THey just aren't easy to find. You could also check out the Keeley Compressor; not cheap but I am pretty sold on his stuff. http://www.robertkeeley.com/product.php?id=8

 

Rotary Speaker simulator; Dunlop UniVibe if you have the bucks, Dunlop RotoVibe for a little less, Danelectro Chicken Salad Vibrato the budget minded.

 

Tremolo; Boss TR-2 is nice, but I have an Ibanez Soundtank TLS Tremolo that cost me about 2/3rds of the price of the Boss unit.

 

Units to avoid; The most disappointed I have been with pedals in a long time are the Line 6 modeling pedals. I had the Delay modeler and the Modulation modeler. They both had a lot of nice sounds, were very programmable, and you could call up three sounds with the tap of a switch. The problem? They cut the signal noticeably both going into front of the amp and in the effects loop, and neither one had an output control to boost the signal back up to where it ought to be. Run the two together and you lose quite a few dbs. It gets really weird because they are true bypass pedals' switch them on and the volume drops, turn it off, and it comes back up like gangbusters. Tie that to the $250 per pedal price (and that's discounted), I was very sad to have bought them.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve Vai seems to like the MXR Turbo Distortion. I had an old MXR Distortion + that I made the mistake of selling-boy that had a great sound on tape. A bass player I hired recently had a keely compressor, that sucker sounded great.

If you want to look at some mid-hi end things, try www.custom-sounds.com, lots of goodies to ponder.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use an Alesis GuitarFX digital multi-effects pedal, which I got when I bought my '03 Fender Standard Strat last fall. The "wah" effect on it is not that great, but with just about every other effect (phase, distortion, flange, chorus, echo, etc.) it does an outstanding job. It's also not that hard at all to program (and re-program), once you get past their odd labeling system. And the price? I got mine for $70 (half off the retail), and from what I understand you can get one at many places (and also through mailorder, i.e. MF) for about that price. I very highly recommend that you consider this one.

Robert J. ("Bob") Welch III

 

"If you were the only person who ever lived, God still would have sent Jesus His only Son to die on the cross for YOU, because that is how much HE LOVES YOU!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Distorion/overdrive pedals; I have a Keeley modded Boss Blues Driver that I love. The modded version is MUCH better sounding than the stock model.
I don't know if I agree with you here. I have a stock BD-2 and I tried my neighbor's modded BD-2. I agree for bluesy drive, the Keeley mod does sound much better. But since I like to use my BD-2 more as a mild distortion with a little honk, the modded version seemed to take away a little of the character I liked about the pedal. Would I be upset if I bought the mod? Hell no. The Keeley mod sounded beautiful. Is it worth 75 bucks? Not for someone on a college budget. Maybe in several years when I finally have an amp that I'll be able to tell a difference on.

 

But, I do think the DS-1 mod, which I do own, is worlds of improvement over the stock pedal.

Shut up and play.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Guitarzan:

well i have read tons of great reviews for the Tone Bone classic and hot british overdrives.

I've looked at these myself, but I have not had the priviledge to try one. Anyone around here ever owned one?
Shut up and play.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think there a huge difference between what is "hot" and what is great bang for the buck.

 

For what it is worth I paid $10 for a Morley Flanger that is really a very good box. I used it a lot and only recently replaced it with a Fulltone Choraflange.

 

Not really band for the buck, but the Low pass filter by Moogerfooger does a lot for it's hefty price tag. It is a really great EQ control for playing with super heavy bands, it is an envelop filter and it can be set up to work like a wah. The resonance can be tweaked with a volume pedal so you can get record scratching sounds with it. When used with their VC device an auto way/tremolo type effect can be easily set up.

 

I really like my Clyde Deluxe Wah because it sounds great, feels great on the foot and is very very tweakable. You can get just about any wah sound you want out of it. That means bang for the buck to me: versatility.

 

The Marshall is a very versatile distortion/overdrive pedal. It has a great EQ with ultimately tweakable mids.

check out some comedy I've done:

http://louhasspoken.tumblr.com/

My Unitarian Jihad Name: Brother Broadsword of Enlightened Compassion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The BJF Baby Blue is expensive (try $250), but if you've got the budget it's worth every penny. I heard one through my neighbors old '65 Super Reverb and '73 Deluxe Reverb. I've never heard a more realistic production of a driven tube amp in my life.

 

As for chorus/delay pedals. I'd like to try a EH Deluxe Memory Man, but the VisualSound H20 sounds neat and it's a lot cheaper. Anyone have any experience with either?

Shut up and play.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find the Z.Vex Fuzz Factory to be one of the most versatile fuzz pedals (*not* overdrive) out there. It can produce an insane variety of distortion sounds. And the Z. Vex Lo-Fi Loop Junky is pretty one of a kind - either you love it or you don't have any need of it.

 

A Whammy Pedal is pretty useful too....

 

drfuzz

"I'm just here to regulate the funkiness"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great suggestions everyone - please keep 'em coming!

 

I've been playing guitar for a long time... about 28 years. I'm a studio owner, and play on a lot of projects, but don't really play out "live" very often. So what I'm looking for is stuff that will have good tones while recording more than anything else. Cool tones, and flexibility are the big criteria.

 

I do work in a variety of genres... mostly rock oriented. My PERSONAL tastes range more towards "classic rock" and powerpop, but I work on a lot of more modern / alt type records too.

 

Overdrive has always been more along my taste lines than fuzz or heavy distortion. In the studio I feel that a lot of times you need less distortion than you might otherwise think in order to get what you want on disk. I have not tried the Boss Blues Driver, but I used to have one of their yellow Overdrive pedals, and I never cared for it as much as the various Ibanez Tube Screamers I've had over the years. I used to have a Chandler tube based OD pedal that wasn't bad... that should give you an idea of what I like in "dirt boxes", but I'm open to anything - including "wacky" type sounds.

 

But I'm not just looking for dirt / OD / Distortion. Chorus, flange, phase shifters... I've had several of them over the years. I always liked the Boss chorus and flangers. Their green phase shifter is okay, but I liked an old Small Stone I had years ago even better from a tone standpoint, but I didn't care for the lack of adjustability and the cheap construction and switch on it. The MXR Phase 90 was a cool phaser too.

 

A MXR dynacomp is a good compressor... so was the old Orange Squeezer.

 

I have one of the el-cheapo, mini Danelectro rotary speaker sims - I think it's called the "Rocky Road". It's okay, but nothing spectacular. I do like Leslie type effects on guitar, but I can always add that later. Ditto that for reverb.

 

Delay is something I don't mind tracking with. Terry Corso of Alien Ant Farm showed me this cool little Danelectro delay he had. It wasn't the typical Dan-o pedal format (large or small) - this was a rectangular box that emulated a tape echo. I will have to call him and ask him what the name of it is. But I liked the tones and it wasn't that expensive - $150 or so, if memory serves. I also like your typical "slap" echo for guitars.

 

I've never been a fan of octave pedals. I actually gave away a Tychobrahe Octavia many years ago. I know, I know... ;)

 

Trem and vibrato suggestions are welcome - while I do have a couple of old Fender amps, they lack those features, and they can be cool sometimes. I used to have a Boss PN-2 trem / pan pedal.. I don't know whatever happened to it, but it was pretty cool.

 

Wahs? I had an old Vox years ago that absolutely rocked. I've also had a few Dunlop Crybabies... I like them okay, but I hate the pots getting all scratchy.

 

Anything else wacky and cool is welcomed... but there's my basic tastes and uses. That should help narrow the field a bit.

 

Again, great suggestions everyone - I appreciate the input. :wave:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Philip O'Keefe:

Delay is something I don't mind tracking with. Terry Corso of Alien Ant Farm showed me this cool little Danelectro delay he had. It wasn't the typical Dan-o pedal format (large or small) - this was a rectangular box that emulated a tape echo. I will have to call him and ask him what the name of it is. But I liked the tones and it wasn't that expensive - $150 or so, if memory serves.

It was the Danelectro DTE-1 Reel Echo. I'm not sure if they still make them or not...
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by revolead:

Distorion/overdrive pedals; I have a Keeley modded Boss Blues Driver that I love. The modded version is MUCH better sounding than the stock model.
I don't know if I agree with you here. I have a stock BD-2 and I tried my neighbor's modded BD-2. I agree for bluesy drive, the Keeley mod does sound much better. But since I like to use my BD-2 more as a mild distortion with a little honk, the modded version seemed to take away a little of the character I liked about the pedal. Would I be upset if I bought the mod? Hell no. The Keeley mod sounded beautiful. Is it worth 75 bucks? Not for someone on a college budget. Maybe in several years when I finally have an amp that I'll be able to tell a difference on.

 

But, I do think the DS-1 mod, which I do own, is worlds of improvement over the stock pedal.

I should probably say that the BD-2 mod is more "to my taste" rather than just flat-out better; taste is subjective. I like my distortion SMOOOOTH. The stock BD-2 had a ratty edge to the sound that went away with the mod. And, I was fortunate enough to get my pedal modded when it was still only $60.

 

What did the mod do to your DS-1? How did it change the tone?

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It took out a lot of the hiss that occured with high-gain tones on the stock pedal. It also made the pedal sound more natural too. I think it's awesome. I just wish I had a tube amp to take better advantage of it with. But considering I could tell a difference through my Peavey, I'm sure it'd be even better through a tube amp.

 

I did take it to my neighbor's house and we tried it on his reissue Twin Reverb, and it sounded awesome. So, I need to cross my fingers and save my money. I think before I buy anymore effects, I need to get a tube amp.

Shut up and play.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Dave th Dude:

revolead,

So, I need to cross my fingers and save my money. I think before I buy anymore effects, I need to get a tube amp.
ABSOLUTELY :thu:

 

That's the single biggest improvement I made in my tone. :cool:

Stupid college and it's taking precedent over key socioeconomic issues.
Shut up and play.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMHO, the Dunlop Cry-Baby 535Q is the best wah.
With out a doubt. I use an old mastro phaser(noisy but sounds like no other), I got the copper Q535(looks cool, smells bad {copper oxide and sweat}), TS DX9 distrotion to tease tubes and tone control, Super chorus, Line 6 delay modler, with expression pedal. Not super clean, sounds great.

 

Pedal question: when I plug the super and TS into the power adptr they buzz?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being a lazy guy and not wanting a bunch of clutter at my feet, I bought an RP200 and tweaked the presets to something -much- less over the top than the standard sets.

 

Is it -super-? No. Is it acceptable live? Oh, yeah and moreso. Why do I like it? Tuner, wah, boost, and chorusy thingy (the four persets that I use...) all in one small box, one cable, one power adapter. $150.

 

I haven't had the guts to plug it into the THD yet. It'll probably suck there, or something. But it works just fine in the old amps that I have, on stages everywhere.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by revolead:

Originally posted by Dave th Dude:

revolead,

So, I need to cross my fingers and save my money. I think before I buy anymore effects, I need to get a tube amp.
ABSOLUTELY :thu:

 

That's the single biggest improvement I made in my tone. :cool:

Stupid college and it's taking precedent over key socioeconomic issues.
BUT, when you graduate you'll be able to afford a "bigger and better" amp, AND bigger and better "boys toyz" in general :D
Gotta' geetar... got the amp. There must be SOMEthing else I... "need".
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by bpark@prorec.com:

Being a lazy guy and not wanting a bunch of clutter at my feet, I bought an RP200 and tweaked the presets to something -much- less over the top than the standard sets.

 

Is it -super-? No. Is it acceptable live? Oh, yeah and moreso. Why do I like it? Tuner, wah, boost, and chorusy thingy (the four persets that I use...) all in one small box, one cable, one power adapter. $150.

 

I haven't had the guts to plug it into the THD yet. It'll probably suck there, or something. But it works just fine in the old amps that I have, on stages everywhere.

 

Bill

Bill, I bought a Digitech RP-6 years ago for similar reasons. The delay and mod effects are not too bad, especially for live use, but IMO, the distortions suck.

 

I also impulse purchased a BP200 for similar reasons (for bass), but was even less satisfied with that... although I've only messed with it for a hour or so and it has sat in storage ever since. I did try to run the RP-6 into the THD, and again, it was "okay" for delay, a bit of compression and for modulation based effects, but nothing spectacular. That's what led me to start the stompbox thread. :)

 

I do agree that the Digitech presets, like on many such products, are WAY over the top - IMO, they do that to make things as drastically obvious to a potential buyer on a noisy showroom floor as possible. You do have to tweak things in order to make them "real world" useful.

 

I guess I could continue to use the RP-6 for those effects, but I need to either find my old Tubescreamer (I seem to have misplaced it, although I did find the AC power adapter) or get something new for overdriving the front end of the amp. And I thought, as long as I'm asking, I might as well find out what else is new / cool out there in stompbox land that I might not have been exposed to by musicians in the studio. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...