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> Need A Clean Boost?
Todd Simpson
post Sep 25 2017, 07:11 PM
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A couple of new offerings from MXR that are both cheaper than the "Horizon Devices" pedal. Don't get me wrong, the Horizon devices pedal is a KILLER pedal, and has a gate built in. The Horizin does cost over $200 which is a pinch nuts for a boost. However, the same builder, MXR has a new offering called the SHIN JUKU pedal which is a nice option for about $130. It's from their "Custom Shop" as much as anything from MXR can be said to be from a "Custom Shop" (yet again, main stream vendors claiming boutique status) But it does sound nice and has a "dark" switch to give it more of a Jim Root vibe.

Here is a quick demo of the SHIN JUKU



For a bit less you can get a straight MXR mini boost. IT's only $99. Echoplex preamp, etc.



However, if you really wanna go nuts, MXR will sell you a CAE boost designed by Mr. BOB BRADSHAW himself. Yup, he's the guy who sorta invented the whole huge rack thing with massive pedal board in the 80s. Working with Mike Soldano, they came up with the legendary X88R preamp for Steve Lukather so that Steve didn't have to carry 3 amp heads with him every time he had a gig. The cool thing about this pedal is that it's only $130 and it has separate knobs for output, gain and boost!
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In case you don't know about Bob, here is a bit of info. He's a bit of a legend. He talks about creating his signature boost pedal here. It's got an overdrive circuit in addition to the boost circuit. It's really two pedals stuffed in one housing.







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Mertay
post Sep 25 2017, 08:31 PM
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First I'd like to give a friendly advice as not taking that guy (Ryan) serious. He's been accused of mixing sound in the computer to get a better sound out of his demo's...

Also using a Shin-Juku for metal/djent doesn't make sense to me. That pedal is all about helping to get a vintage Dumble sound out of an ordinary Fender-ish amp...with so many option around, I don't see it as a good contender for a shreddy lead boost.

My advice to friends is getting an OD/dist. that sounds good by itself with the given clean-ish setupped amp. Its like;

No pedal; Clean sound one can use
OD; Either something bluesy (like a boss bd-2, ts9...) or want to hit slamming chords (ds1, OCD...)
OD as boosting dist. pedal; Obviously for the lead sound, the dist. knob of the dist. pedal can be lowered so no un-wanted noise happens (is the OD is hitting it hard enough)
Dist pedal; For powerchords or slamming chords if not too much dist. is wanted.

Brians Klone pedal ( BrianWurster.com ) which you demo'd a while ago is certainly one of such pedals that can be versatile. Great on its own and has the output to be a boost as far as I can tell from your demo.

By the way I did demo the custom audio OD and I couldn't get any useful sound out of it smile.gif not to say its a bad OD, but self sound is really useless. A sweet sounding clean pedal can be used as always on, cause they sound nice even with a clean amp (like the mxr mini-boost you shared, or the Il Torino I gave a review today) but the CAE the amp is always very dirty may not do the trick for many.

This post has been edited by Mertay: Sep 25 2017, 08:37 PM


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klasaine
post Sep 25 2017, 09:21 PM
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Cautionary tale ...

I had Shin Juku.

1) Cheaply made.
2) It's just a darker, more mid voiced OD. The 'D' thing is way more complex than that.
3) Not good as a straight boost. There's always some gain at any level that would actually be boosting your signal.

I sold it immediately, YMMV.


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Todd Simpson
post Sep 26 2017, 08:38 AM
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Speaking of boost pedals I've actually tried, here is another quick demo on the KLONE pedal that Brian Wurster (Fellow Gmcer) built for me and it's just so spiff I find myself recording little vids of nearly every time I turn it on smile.gif



Ryan "Fluff" is just another youtube guy imho. I haven't found him to misrepresent gear personally, but who knows?

Yeah, any of these will work as a clean boost. Any OD will work as a clean boost, much like the WURSTER pedal that I demoed smile.gif Just turn the gain down and volume up. I"ve been able to get usefull tones in that regard from every od I've ever tried. But your mileage may vary.

Just sharing some vids of some OD pedals that I came across on youtube really smile.gif I"m glad folks have actually tried these and taken time to share their experiences. I've not tried any of them personally. You can't always tell just from watching vids smile.gif

QUOTE (Mertay @ Sep 25 2017, 03:31 PM) *
First I'd like to give a friendly advice as not taking that guy (Ryan) serious. He's been accused of mixing sound in the computer ..

My advice to friends is getting an OD/dist. that sounds good by itself with the given clean-ish setupped amp. Its like;

No pedal; Clean sound one can use
..



That's good to know. I have never tried one personally but that's part of why I share vids like this is to see what other people have experienced for themselves. So far, that pedal that Brian Wurster built for me is one of the best I've tried for boost in that it can go all the way to really clean and almost "chime like", then add a pinch of gain to it and it can get really aggressive. Sadly I don't think he's going to make them in quantity.

BRIAN WURSTER: ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE MORE OF THE KLONE PEDALS AND MAYBE SELL THEM ON YOUR SITE?


The old tricks are often the best tricks, and I can vouch for using an old beat up Ibanez Tube Screamer (just the original, old, screamer, not the many crazy variants) as a boost. I've never had one that I though sounded bad when used as a boost. The original ones were built by a company called MAXON who still make a very nice sounding pedal! Here is a bit of history and info on what has become the "Legendary" Ibby Boost. I use the emulation of this pedal in nearly all my patches in my 11 rack as it's a very good emulation of it. Put it in front of any amp in the 11 rack and you can get just much more out of it tone wise.
---
According to Susumu Tamura (田村進) of Maxon, the designer of the Tube Screamer, the initial design concept was to create something to compete with BOSS OD-1 and MXR Distortion+.[3] In doing so, he used an innovative circuit, using the monolithic operational amplifier device, introduced in early 70s, to create a pedal sound different from the "discrete" transistorized 60's fuzzes.

The overdrive is produced using two silicon diodes in anti-parallel arrangement into the negative feedback circuit of a operational amplifier ("op-amp") circuit, to produce soft, symmetrical distortion of the input waveform. When the output exceeds the forward volt drop of the diodes the amplifier gain is much lower, effectively limiting the output to + and - one diode volt-drop, although due to the exponential I-V curve of the diodes this is not a hard limit. A "drive" potentiomenter in the feedback path provides variable gain. The original 4558 based circuit uses transistor buffers at both the input and the output, to improve impedance matching.[4] This is mathematically equivalent to mixing the input signal with a clipped version of itself, however. Thought of this way, it is said that this "preserves the original dynamics of the input signal which otherwise would get lost at the threshold of clipping" and "avoids muddiness and vastly improves clarity and responsiveness."[5]

Characteristic of the distortion is the symmetrical nature,[6] which produces mainly odd-order harmonics for a sine wave input.[7] All this justifies the "vacuum tube" sound, and the "screaming" tone. As well, Tamura added a simple but effective post-distortion equalization circuit with a first-order high-pass shelving filter that "is linearly dependent on its gain", an approach called "progressivity".[5] The overdrive stage is followed by a simple low-pass filter and active tone control circuit and volume control, using the second op-amp available on-chip.

The circuit uses transistor buffers at both the input and the output, and a modern electronic field-effect transistor (FET) "noiseless" bypass switching to turn the effect on and off. The TS7 allows switching between a "TS9" mode, in which the circuit and all relevant component values are identical to the vintage model, and a "Hot" mode, which introduces an additional gain stage. Yet another variant is the Ibanez ST9 Super Tube that features a fourth knob ("Mid Boost"), which provides a harder attack.

JRC4558D op-amp[edit]
Jrc4558 opamp tube screamer.jpg
Much has been made of the operational amplifier chips used in the various versions of the Tube Screamer pedal, and several "fairy tales" about the merits of these devices have been written on the subject.[8][9] The JRC4558D chip is well-regarded by some.[1]

The (RC)4558 is a low priced, general purpose dual operational amplifier, introduced mid 70's by Texas Instruments as an "improved" version of the early 741, and used in thousands of consumer and industrial designs.[10] In fact, JRC4558D is nothing else than the licensed product manufactured by Japan Radio Company (日本無線株式会社), and identical to any other 4558 chip. Other popular chips used included the TL072 (a JFET input type, highly popular in 80's), "original" TI RC4558P, and OPA2134.[citation needed] The TA75558 (yet another version, made by Toshiba), standard in the TS10 alongside the 4558, is strangely regarded as the "ugly duckling of TS opamps".[1]

In reality, the type of op-amp has little to do with the sound of the pedal, which is dominated by the diodes in the op-amp's feedback path.[11][12] (See Op-amp swapping.)




QUOTE (klasaine @ Sep 25 2017, 04:21 PM) *
Cautionary tale ...

I had Shin Juku.

1) Cheaply made.
2) It's just a darker, more mid voiced OD. The 'D' thing is way more complex than that.
3) Not good as a straight boost. There's always some gain at any level that would actually be boosting your signal.

I sold it immediately, YMMV.


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Sep 26 2017, 09:20 AM


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Mertay
post Sep 26 2017, 09:42 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Sep 26 2017, 07:38 AM) *
Speaking of boost pedals I've actually tried, here is another quick demo on the KLONE pedal that Brian Wurster (Fellow Gmcer) built for me and it's just so spiff I find myself recording little vids of nearly every time I turn it on smile.gif


Yeah, any of these will work as a clean boost. Any OD will work as a clean boost, much like the WURSTER pedal that I demoed smile.gif Just turn the gain down and volume up. I"ve been able to get usefull tones in that regard from every od I've ever tried. But your mileage may vary.

Just sharing some vids of some OD pedals that I came across on youtube really smile.gif I"m glad folks have actually tried these and taken time to share their experiences. I've not tried any of them personally. You can't always tell just from watching vids smile.gif


Unfortunatly I did have issues when boosting pedals. The mxr 78 dist for example;

With the tonezone hitting around the 12 fret G string caused a momentarly silence with that pedal, after buying that I also noticed it on some SG's (and in some youtube vid.s). Happened with powerchords too and this is even when the drive is all the way down. If it didn't have such issue I would have kept it for very long, had a great od sound and could be used as a treble boost as well. The guy who bought it is using it on a clean Fender for blues-rock vibes.

Also had an issue with the ts9, the low end was cutting too much to be used for boosting a dist. pedal. When shredding low E string on the neck pickup sometimes sounded bridge-like. This for example didn't happen with Mesa's grid slammer, its a quality ts9 clone with much more low-end.

Thats how I learned my lesson and focused on pedals that have more eq'ing options to defeat mismatching and it worked. My OCD clones simple switch that adjusts the bass have been a life saver and works great with even boosting digital dist. pedals.

I probably watch more demo's on youtube than anyone I know smile.gif great to watch selected ones in this forum too but we always have to keep in mind what we're watching is marketing. The Shin Juku is a great example of how a company tries to push a pedal to an unrelated user base by using guys like Ryan.

This post has been edited by Mertay: Sep 26 2017, 09:44 AM


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Todd Simpson
post Sep 26 2017, 11:44 AM
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It's terrible to know that the SHIN pedal is always distorting the signal, same for the Bradshaw pedal. That makes is a VERY bad option for Boost in general. You could work around it by lowering the main output of course, and finding the sweet spot, but still. Ideally, clean boost pedals should be able to work just "CLEAN" and simply "BOOST". Here is your fave guy RYAN (where did you hear that he's cheating the sounds on his demos btw?) using the MAXON OD808 as a clean boost to make a MESA sound like a MESA (or at least what I like about Mesas, without the boost it sounds like everything I DON"T like about Mesas, flabby, bubbling, bit fizzy, etc.) smile.gif



I've never liked the TS9 for boosting. I've tried one in a shop and was expecting the classic Tube Screamer. Nope. Not the same thing sadly. I did try a brand new MAXON pedal OD808 and it was the closest thing to an original TUBE SCREAMER that I could find. It makes sense as Maxon is the original builder of the screamer for IBANEZ guitars smile.gif

As far as pedals I've owned, I was really impressed with the JOYO clone of the tube screamer. In A/B testing it sounded pretty the same as the Maxon and very close to my precious PRO TONE MISHA (with settings dialed way back of course). I gifted the pedal to our very own VONHOTCH in appreciate for his making me so many killer picks wink.gif I hope it still has it!



QUOTE (Mertay @ Sep 26 2017, 04:42 AM) *
Unfortunatly I did have issues when boosting pedals. The mxr 78 dist for example;

With the tonezone hitting around the 12 fret G string caused a momentarly silence with that pedal, after buying that I also noticed it on some SG's (and in some youtube vid.s). Happened with powerchords too and this is even when the drive is all the way down. If it didn't have such issue I would have kept it for very long, had a great od sound and could be used as a treble boost as well. The guy who bought it is using it on a clean Fender for blues-rock vibes.

Also had an issue with the ts9, the low end was cutting too much to be used for boosting a dist. pedal. When shredding low E string on the neck pickup sometimes sounded bridge-like. This for example didn't happen with Mesa's grid slammer, its a quality ts9 clone with much more low-end.

Thats how I learned my lesson and focused on pedals that have more eq'ing options to defeat mismatching and it worked. My OCD clones simple switch that adjusts the bass have been a life saver and works great with even boosting digital dist. pedals.

I probably watch more demo's on youtube than anyone I know smile.gif great to watch selected ones in this forum too but we always have to keep in mind what we're watching is marketing. The Shin Juku is a great example of how a company tries to push a pedal to an unrelated user base by using guys like Ryan.


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Sep 26 2017, 11:52 AM


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yoncopin
post Sep 26 2017, 02:14 PM
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To be fair to the original designer, that pedal I made is truly just a straight-up Klon Centaur clone. I tried to do a good job and make a nice one, but the design is where the real artistry is. On the other hand, an original Klon is very difficult and expensive to acquire and I can't say for sure if mass produced clones are going to come as close as the one I made Todd. As for selling them...

When it comes to pedals and overdrive Mertay is the man, he seems to have tried everything. I've built a lot of different models for myself, really just to try them out long-term and learn about how they all interact. Based on what I've tried a couple that are worth mentioning are the Catalinbread Naga Viper and the Xotic RC booster. Both are boosts with some EQ control. I find that EQ feature is the most important bit because it lets you blend the tone to fit with the amp. I think the Naga Viper is particularly good and gets less attention because it's a labelled as a treble booster despite being adjustable to a fairly full range boost.

As for Ryan Bruce, I subscribe and enjoy his channel for the most part. I find Youtube gear demos as a whole to be kinda boring and have low information density, you just can't translate a lot of what a product is through a Youtube video. His channel is a pretty good example of how gear companies are trying to market stuff these days, so I always take their opinions with a grain of salt. This video in particular really changed how I view his opinions. I can't blame him for trying to make a living though.


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Mertay
post Sep 26 2017, 04:09 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Sep 26 2017, 10:44 AM) *
...

...


That boost vid. you shared is a great example of why his (and other djent players) demo's doesn't work for me. Story;

A powerchord hungry friend of mine went to the store to try pedals. I was already not so optimistic on the djent+OD thing but he was very insistant to try and I was cool. The store had his amp (an ht-5) and we tried probably more than 5-6 pedals. I noticed the more a pedal cut lows and altered the mid.s the more he liked it, then I told him to select the neck PU and guess what...the neck PU sounded exactly like the bridge PU without the pedal biggrin.gif

Only the mesa grid slammer and a bbe clean boost (that clean boost actually cuts highs, making a beautiful lead sound on tube amps) didn't do that nonsense. His morale was lowered after the experience so I sort of educated him at the store. He ralized he was better off with a processor hooked to his amps loop for using an eq and occasonally some delay when soloing...the ht-5 already had enough gain and footswitch anyway...

My only point is specially for the GMC forum members (experienced or not), when looking for gear on web watching soloists (like Todd) rather than powerchord'ers (Ryan) would be more helpful because I sense serious mentality/approach differences.

As for the ts9, another friend of mine probably bought-sold 20 od's that I know of and its still the best pedal that works with his marshall JCM 2000 along with an ordinary ds1 for high-gain stuff. Anything more bassy or with presence simply won't work as good with that preamp so we have to consider amps with tubescreamers. I consider finding the right tubescreamer is just as hard for a metal guy as it is for any blues/country musician.



QUOTE (yoncopin @ Sep 26 2017, 01:14 PM) *
...


You're very good with your hobby! its also cool that you've decided to keep thing small and fun for you. I don't really know the electric/technical side of designs but its still fun when once in a while a GMC'er shares his knowledge here smile.gif

This post has been edited by Mertay: Sep 26 2017, 04:10 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Sep 27 2017, 07:13 AM
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It's still a killer pedal and honestly one of the best OD's Ive ever owned. smile.gif Gotta say well done on the build!! Use it every day and still get a kick out of it.

I see what you guys are saying about FLUFF. Now that he has "gone pro" he has had to price himself in to the market in order to make a living. I heard that OLA charges $2,000 per video review now!! WOW. Granted, he has a HUGE audience and MASSIVE reach. But still, 2k per video?Then again, he also has "gone pro"and has a family to support so he's also just trying to make the best living he can.

The guys that have gone pro have compromised themselves to some degree out of necessity it seems, just to keep the cash flow coming in. I would really hate to have to be "that guy". If I dislike a product, I'm pretty vocal about it. If they were paying me to say good things, how could I turn in a truthful review and still be honest if I thought the product blew chunks?

Thankfully, those problems are not my problems. I only praise gear that I like. When I like something, I'm pretty vocal about that too. Ibanez has never paid me a dime or given me a thing for example smile.gif

QUOTE (yoncopin @ Sep 26 2017, 09:14 AM) *
To be fair to the original designer, that pedal I made is truly just a straight-up Klon Centaur clone. I tried to do a good job and make a nice one, but the design is where the real artistry is. On the other hand, an original Klon is very difficult and expensive to acquire and I can't say for sure if mass produced clones are going to come as close as the one I made Todd. As for selling them...

When it comes to pedals and overdrive Mertay is the man, he seems to have tried everything. I've built a lot of different models for myself, really just to try them out long-term and learn about how they all interact. Based on what I've tried a couple that are worth mentioning are the Catalinbread Naga Viper and the Xotic RC booster. Both are boosts with some EQ control. I find that EQ feature is the most important bit because it lets you blend the tone to fit with the amp. I think the Naga Viper is particularly good and gets less attention because it's a labelled as a treble booster despite being adjustable to a fairly full range boost.

As for Ryan Bruce, I subscribe and enjoy his channel for the most part. I find Youtube gear demos as a whole to be kinda boring and have low information density, you just can't translate a lot of what a product is through a Youtube video. His channel is a pretty good example of how gear companies are trying to market stuff these days, so I always take their opinions with a grain of salt. This video in particular really changed how I view his opinions. I can't blame him for trying to make a living though.


You make a REALLY good point here on SOLISTS vs RYTHM guys in terms of Video Reviews on gear. As a "Solo Guy" I'm always interested in how a bit of gear will impact the solos. Articulation, mid range, attack, transparency, etc. These are very important things. If I were just drop tuning to D and playing lots of open string djenting, it would be another matter entirely. without doing "solo bits" I can't tell what a bit of gear really sounds like. So folks like FLUFF that don't do much soloy stuff, leave out a big portion of the review that I REALLY need to hear. Same with OLA. Ola can make ANYTHING djent, so can fluff. That's what they do after all. They play lead bits here and there, but are mostly "Rythm Guys".

So yeah, good call there. It's important to hear how gear performs outside of just CHUGGA CHUGGA. smile.gif I went through my recent KLONE vids and realized that without even meaning to, I played both rythm and soloy bits to display the range of the pedal. I do it without thinking really. Then I watched fluffs vids again and realized he rarely if ever does soloy bits while doing a gear demo. At that point, you don't know how the gear will sound during a solo. Also, I need to hear muted single notes, unmuted single notes, bendy bits, picky bits, etc. Otherwise, it's just guesswork on my part as to whether said gear is gonna do the trick. I bought the Pro Tone Bulb based mostly on rave reviews back in the day as I couldn't find any vid reviews with solo bits in them! At the time it was all guys going CHUG CHUG CHUG on a detuned A flat or something smile.gif


QUOTE (Mertay @ Sep 26 2017, 11:09 AM) *
That boost vid. you shared is a great example of why his (and other djent players) demo's doesn't work for me. Story;

A powerchord hungry friend of mine went to the store to try pedals. I was already not so optimistic on the djent+OD thing but he was very insistant to try and I was cool. The store had his amp (an ht-5) and we tried probably more than 5-6 pedals. I noticed the more a pedal cut lows and altered the mid.s the more he liked it, then I told him to select the neck PU and guess what...the neck PU sounded exactly like the bridge PU without the pedal biggrin.gif

Only the mesa grid slammer and a bbe clean boost (that clean boost actually cuts highs, making a beautiful lead sound on tube amps) didn't do that nonsense. His morale was lowered after the experience so I sort of educated him at the store. He ralized he was better off with a processor hooked to his amps loop for using an eq and occasonally some delay when soloing...the ht-5 already had enough gain and footswitch anyway...

My only point is specially for the GMC forum members (experienced or not), when looking for gear on web watching soloists (like Todd) rather than powerchord'ers (Ryan) would be more helpful because I sense serious mentality/approach differences.

As for the ts9, another friend of mine probably bought-sold 20 od's that I know of and its still the best pedal that works with his marshall JCM 2000 along with an ordinary ds1 for high-gain stuff. Anything more bassy or with presence simply won't work as good with that preamp so we have to consider amps with tubescreamers. I consider finding the right tubescreamer is just as hard for a metal guy as it is for any blues/country musician.





You're very good with your hobby! its also cool that you've decided to keep thing small and fun for you. I don't really know the electric/technical side of designs but its still fun when once in a while a GMC'er shares his knowledge here smile.gif


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Sep 27 2017, 07:19 AM


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