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Cheap Overdrive Distort/other effects pedals

Discussion in 'Musicians' started by Jimba86, May 28, 2015.

  1. Boneman

    Boneman Member

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    Looks good, probably need a dirt box too for heavier stuff.
     
  2. OP
    OP
    Jimba86

    Jimba86 Member

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    Most likely yes,but its all tube,small and has old school marshall, would of liked a option for gain but oh well. They are rare as these days anyway. Cant even find one on ebay.:D

    So does anyone have options for a dirt box/other effect pedals which is good/cheap?
     
  3. Boneman

    Boneman Member

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    I use a Super Crunch Box for my main tone, thing is awesome.
     
  4. atmo

    atmo Member

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    If you're starting out have a look at the M13 that's currently in the for sale section. You could use that to get an idea of the type of drive sounds you like (plus all the other effects) and then later on look at expanding with some standalone pedals.
     
  5. Ethan W

    Ethan W Member

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    If you want a cheap but tried and true OD pedal, the Digitech Bad Monkey is pretty well regarded for its price. Kind of a Tubescreamer clone.

    Otherwise, check out Youtube reviews on the smaller good budget brands, like Joyo.

    And the Multieffects unit Atmo linked to will be a good way to test the waters for all kinds of effects.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Jimba86

    Jimba86 Member

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    The super crunch box is one I have heard is great. Also the Tonerider American overdrive is one that I got offered for $50 but im unsure if its good or not.

    and with the multi effects units how do they compare to say separate pedals? is there a multi effects unit which is as good as separate pedals?
     
  7. Willybomb

    Willybomb Member

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    Don't get too hung up on the whole tube tone thing. Once it's recorded and in the mix with drums, bass, keys and vocals, you'd be lucky to tell the difference between a cranked mic'd marshall, a JCM800 VST plugin, or a HT-Dual recorded directly into the interface, and the average punter isn't going to give a shit either.

    Your normal rock gig is too loud to discern the corksniffing subtleties of the even order harmonics too. I'm not saying everyone should play through a DS-1 into a 5 watt Gorilla amp but if that is what floats your boat then go with it. If you think your true potential can only be expressed through a 100watt DSL full stack, then that's up to you too.

    Bit late for this thread, but get something that's loud, clean, and has a dirty channel you like. That's not necessarily going to be a tube amp. If you're going to use mangling fuzz pedals in the vein of pretty much anything by Devi Ever it's even less important. My rig is a HT-Dual as my main dirt pedal, into a powered PA speaker using the HT's speaker emulated output.

    I've got one built on vero that needs boxing. It is very, very good.

    Other pedals I recommend having a go with for the marshall style sound are the Blackstar HT-Dual and the Carl Martin Plextone. Don't listen to the naysayers about the marshall valvestate amps, they're fine... but my HT is GodInABox. It's pretty hard to go wrong with Line6 stuff if you want to try lots of different amp and pedal styles. Zoom is good value for money in the multis too.

    Plenty of good dirt pedals out there though. The Behringer and Joyo stuff are pretty much clones of other brand name pedals and it's worth checking them out especially if you're not gigging out (more in the case of Behringer). It's cheap enough these days that you can try all sorts of stuff without too much financial commitment.

    If you're handy with a soldering iron or a breadboard you can often try before you buy and build them yourself. It's not any cheaper in the long run, and a lot more frustrating, but I have a pedalboard of stuff I've built myself and it's a lot more satisfying...
     
  8. GarethB

    GarethB Member

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    Multi-effects: The cheaper ones tend to be a bit hit and miss, in that you might like some of the effects they have but not like some of the other effects. eg: you might like the chorus and delay in one model, but think the distortion and wah in that same unit are not so good.

    The overall advantage that multi-units have is that everything is in one box, one power connection, the programmable ones allow you to have each effect use different settings in each patch, and they can be cheaper than buying all the equivalent pedals separately. The down side is that you may not like some of the effects, and not many of them come with a built in external loop so you bypass the not so good effects with a separate pedal.

    There's another detail to take into account. Depending on the actual sound you want, it's not unusual to have some pedals before the amp input (usually the wah, distortion/overdrive, boost, compressor) and some other effects in an effects loop between the amp's preamp stage and it's power amp stage (flanger, chorus, delay, reverb). Not many multi-units will give you the flexibility to do that, you normally have to have all the effects you want before the signal goes into the amp with most multi-units. With individual pedals, you can hook them up any way you want, before the amp input or in the effects loop (if the amp has a loop).

    One down side for individual pedals is that if you want the pedals in one particular order for one song, and a different order for a different song, things can get a bit complicated, which is why there are "pedal switchers". It's basically a type of footpedal that has a bunch of inputs and outputs which the individual effects pedals plug into, and a set of foot switches. The unit can be programmed to turn various inputs/outputs on or off and save those settings as patches so you can control the signal path through a whole set of pedals. A unit like this won't change the settings of the individual pedals, so if you want a mild chorus effect on one song, but a much stronger chorus effect on a different song, you'll have to fiddle with the chorus pedal's settings between songs.

    You also need to have all the effects pedals on all the time for a system like this to work, the switcher does not turn individual pedals on/off, it controls which pedals the signal is sent to (and in what order), so all the pedals need to be on to be able to process the signal when it's sent to them. This is not a battery-friendly setup, and most switcher units don't supply power to the other pedals. You can easily spend $500+ combined for a switcher unit and a separate power supply to handle getting power to all the pedals.

    As for individual pedals, another budget brand for pedals is Mooer (Chinese). Most of their pedals are about half the size of a regular pedal, and a quick look around at some Aust retailers for them has them just under $90 each. Because of their size these pedals do not have a built in battery compartment, you'll need an external power supply. The general consensus is that they are clones of other established brands.

    I watched a youtube vid from a guy in Germany who seems to have some connection to the Joyo Brand (including a vid he made in China when he visited the Joyo and Mooer factories). He claimed that the Chinese guy who owns the Joyo brand is married to the woman who owns the Mooer brand, but the two brands are built in separate factories.

    A couple of Aust Mooer retailers:
    http://bmusic.com.au/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=205
    http://www.guitarfactory.com.au/pedals_fx/Mooer
    http://www.ghmusic.com.au/guitars/shop-by-brand/mooer.html

    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/group/Original-Guitar-Effect-Pedals/816277_253992476.html A China based seller, offers free shipping to Aust. Most pedal prices are Aust $65 - 75 range.

    I have no idea what level of support they will offer if there is a problem. Aliexpress is a bit like Amazon, a generic online marketplace that individual sellers use to sell their products. I have bought a few odds and ends from other Aliexpress sellers in the past and haven't had any problems, but I haven't bought any electrical/electronic gear through Aliexpress so I can't give any assurances with that.

    The facebook page for the Aust Mooer distributor:
    https://www.facebook.com/MooerPedalsAustralia

    demo vids:
    https://www.youtube.com/user/intheblues/videos (Shane, a gigging muso in Melb, reviews lots of Joyo pedals as well as Mooer and various other brands)
    https://www.youtube.com/user/MooerAudio/videos (Mooer's official youtube channel)
    https://www.youtube.com/user/PrymaxeVintage/videos (more pedal demos from various brands)

    Yet another Chinese brand is Tone City. Pedals are in the same size format as the Mooer pedals, so they need a power supply.
    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=tone+city (Just a generic youtube search for vids about Tone City pedals).

    MC Systems. Designed in Aust (by some guy in Sydney who's name I forget), made in China. Only a limited range of pedals, and they're bigger than average in size. Price is in the $190 - $200 each range for Aust retailers. All of the MC pedals can have two different pre-set modes you can switch between via pressure sensitive switches.

    http://www.mcsystemsmusic.com/ Official web site.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agap06TjAXo An overview of the MC pedal range.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/Burgerman666/videos Brett, another Aust muso who reviews various bits of gear, including some of the MC pedals.
    http://www.cmcmusic.com.au/dealers/mcsystemsdealers List of Aust retailers.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Jimba86

    Jimba86 Member

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    I decided on and brought a Marshall class 5 version 2 combo which is all tube for $400 so I think that is the best I could get for my money. I realized that something like a 100w head as much as it sounds great its not useful in a non band setting and well, im not in a band nor am I gigging (yet). :p

    I Will check out those pedals you listed. I basically after something to have gain as the class 5 has no master volume or gain (what I wanted but anything that has that was $600-1000+ which was way outside my budget.)

    Thanks for that great information! Much reading ahead! Question about the brand though, How do they compare to the big well known names like BOSS etc? With pedals im after something solid,Study and sounds great.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015
  10. GarethB

    GarethB Member

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    I know that the Mooer brand uses metal cases for it's half size pedals, and from what I've seen from other brands using that same size pedal format, they're metal cases as well. Joyo has an even smaller range of pedals called the "ironman" series. I haven't seen one in the flesh but I'm under the impression they use plastic cases. If it's impact resistant plastic and it's thick enough, it shouldn't be a concern, but I can't speak from first hand experience about the Joyo ironman range or similar micro-pedals.

    The one area I would pay attention to with cheap Chinese pedals isn't so much what the case is made of, it's the quality of the parts inside the pedal (switches, pots, sockets, etc). Unfortunately you can't really tell how reliable the parts inside a pedal will be by looking at the outside of the pedal. If you know how to use a soldering iron on small parts and can get the right parts, you could repair or upgrade pedals yourself.

    With established brand names, there is a reputation for reliability/quality of the parts. These newer Chinese imitations aren't as well established, and they won't be saving costs just on the labour to make them, they will save some of the costs on the parts the pedals are made from.

    Mooer apparently have a 2 year replacement warranty on their pedals (if the pedal goes bad within 2 years, they'll replace it with a new one), but off the top of my head I don't know what the warranty policies are for other Chinese brands.

    If you're not prepared to take the risk of privately importing gear and finding yourself stuck with a dud, buy locally from an established Aust retailer rather than buy from some random guy in China over the net. Keep your receipts and you have documentation backed by an authorised distribution chain if you need to make a claim on the warranty. You're also protected by Australian consumer law when you buy from an Aust retailer no matter what the brand is, you're not protected by Aust law when you import gear directly from overseas. Even if the overseas place you bought it from is legit and backed by a legit distributor, you may have to go through them and pay return shipping costs out of your pocket to get any problems resolved.

    As a general rule of thumb, when you're buying gear like instruments, amps, pedals, etc, even if it's over the net, ask about the warranty on the item. If the seller is buying their items from an official distributor, they will have the connections in place to handle warranty claims. If the seller is someone privately importing/exporting gear outside the official distribution chain, you need to know if they can or will do something to honour the factory warranty or not.

    And just because I can, a UK review of the Korg "Miku" pedal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aveUEZkcQno
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015
  11. Fireblade

    Fireblade Member

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    I don't have any of their distortion pedals, but I do own 3 Joyo and 1 Mooer pedal.

    The 2 I use the most are the Joyo Vintage Phase and Mooer Pure Boost. The Joyo does early VH MXR phaser almost perfectly.. The construction is OK, the switch has real notchy click to it that I don't really like, I much prefer the TC style smooth switch that you don't really feel. It was $45, so warranty is, at least to me, irrelevant. $45 for MXR tone is great value, if I need to buy 3 i'm still in front.

    The Mooer has a similar switch to the Joyo. I use it as a clean boost and it's perfect for that, going from shimmering clean to a kind of SRV style dirt.

    I've had great success with the Chinese pedals. They are great value for money, however long term reliability is the only thing in question as they haven't been around long enough yet.
     
  12. ^catalyst

    ^catalyst Member

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    I'm not a guitarist, but a pedal I quite like the sound of is the Boss RE-20. It's not a distortion per se, but if you smash the 'intensity' knob on it which I think is really a feedback control, you can get some very crazy shit out of it. Think Radiohead etc.

    Here is a demo on synth, most of the guitar only demos don't seem to dive in to the feedback section which is the best bit!!

     
  13. Willybomb

    Willybomb Member

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    Just on this note, the new Fender "Micro" line of pedals are pretty clearly re-badged Mooer pedals.
     
  14. GarethB

    GarethB Member

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    Thread necro:

    Jimbah, I've come across a series of vids on youtube you might find interesting. The vids are about pedals but aren't just demo-ing various pedals, but also discuss different types of pedals and how they work with different types of amps and guitars. The vids are under the title "That Pedal Show". They aren't all on the same channel, they started on one youtube channel then switched over to a dedicated channel for the series.

    The series starts on this channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheGigRigDaniel/videos

    Then moved to this channel (without re-uploading the earlier vids): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnUXq8mGmoHt0e6ItuTs10w/videos

    I think the following vid would be a good starting point for you, they compare three types of gain pedals, an EP Booster (light gain), a Boss Blues Driver (medium gain) and an Angry Charlie (high gain), on a Mesa Boogie Lone Star amp (two channels, a Fender style clean channel and a Marshall style gain channel) with a Strat and a Les Paul to show the differences of how the three pedals behave on the different amp channels with different guitars. They also discuss using multiple gain pedals together at the same time, and the differences in the final sound when you use the same gain pedals in different orders.

    That Pedal Show – Gain Stacking With Pedals Makes Your Life Better. (Yes It Does) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40iM9vqAIOg
     
  15. Willybomb

    Willybomb Member

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    That Pedal Show is pretty cool. The various JHS Charlies are pretty much variations on the MI Crunchbox (and outright clones early on), and I hear the Joyo Crunch Distortion is too. I've built a couple of Crunchboxes on vero now, and it's a great pedal (so any of those variations will do a good job!)
     
  16. shino

    shino Member

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    Cool thread. What do you think of tone chase is a wankfest with all this gear talk according to tom morello?
     
  17. GarethB

    GarethB Member

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    It might be interesting to put Tom in a room with someone like Eric Johnson or Joe Bonamassa and watch Tom try to convince Eric or Joe that they don't need the sort of gear setup that they actually gig with. It's definitely possible to take small details too far and end up in "cork sniffing" territory over gear, but it's also a matter of what you're trying to accomplish. For Tom, having a fairly simple setup can give him the results he wants, so it's not so hard for him to say that gear doesn't matter that much. Compare that to players like Eric or Joe who routinely switch between multiple different guitars and amps in the same gig to get different tones.

    Tom has an opinion, and he's completely allowed to have that opinion, based on his perspective, but just because he does things in a particular way doesn't mean everyone else will get the results they want doing things the same way as Tom.
     

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