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The second best $30 stompbox that I've ever purchased

Anything about hardware musical instruments.

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KVRAF
 
3832 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Fri May 30, 2014 9:00 pm The second best $30 stompbox that I've ever purchased

I'm sure that you'd like to know the story of the best. Well, way back when I purchased my second guitar, a piece of shit which will go unnamed, I needed a distortion pedal and I had just spent all of my money on a new guitar. So, I head next door to the pawn shop and the cheapest pedal that was in the case was priced at $30. It said overdrive on it, works for me.

The pedal never had that over the top distortion tone but it was always useful to beef up my amps or another distortion, or simply give me a smooth overdrive sound. I kept it for years, even after selling all of my other stompboxes when I moved to rack gear. It was just too useful. I used it in the loop of my peavey profex because I liked it a lot better than the built in digital overdrive.

All this time I had no idea that there was a following for Ibanez tube screamers. I was especially shocked to find out that people were spending crazy money for the original TS-808 with the little square button, like mine. Like I said, I liked it, but I never felt that it was some kind of miracle pedal, it was just smooth sounding. When I discovered that there were only a few component differences between it and the TS-9 I purchased a second hand (new) TS-9, modified it to be a TS-808, I couldn't tell the difference, they sounded the same to me. So I sold them, both of them, I preferred my tube preamps. I was afraid that the bubble would burst so I sold my 808 when they were going for $350 to $400. I see them selling for more now, but I don't regret selling mine when I did.

As far as I'm concerned, that was the best $30 pedal that I've ever purchased. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't miss it at all. If I want one, I'll just make one in an afternoon, it's not a difficult circuit and if you really think that there's a difference that matters, well, I've got a bridge to sell you.

Fast forward to today. No, I don't need a tube screamer. What I do need is something to just plug into my little practice PA so that I can pick up my guitar and play without turning anything on. My practice PA is always turned on and hooked up to my computer. I wanted a nice clean tone that responds much like an amp and I don't want to fuss with latency settings or routing on my computer and guitar rig to just play.

I picked up one of these for about $30

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No, it's not a good tube amp, but it sounds good through my PA and it responds nicely to picking intensity. I can play clean and dig in for some grit. In that way, it does, in fact, remind me of the tube screamer, although this sounds better clean and is much more versatile.

I don't play out anymore, so I don't need my stuff to stand up to a live setting, but, that said, it seems well built. I'm unlikely to sell it for 10x+, but I can't think of another pedal that was only $30 that I'm this happy with.

YMMV.
Last edited by ghettosynth on Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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KVRist
 
418 posts since 30 Apr, 2004, from Louisville, KY

Postby bftucker; Fri May 30, 2014 9:56 pm Re: The second best $30 stompbox that I've every purchased

I like stories like this... :)
KVRAF
 
2363 posts since 21 Jul, 2004
  

Postby macmurphy; Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:19 am Re: The second best $30 stompbox that I've every purchased

bftucker wrote:I like stories like this... :)


me too. more posts about budget stompboxes!

i'm in the market for a phaser at the moment and any recommendations would be welcome :)
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KVRian
 
1023 posts since 14 Aug, 2012, from Australia
 

Postby werp; Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:13 am Re: The second best $30 stompbox that I've every purchased

Depends whether you want analog or digital.
There's some crazy stuff out now in the digital domain. Digitech iStomp, Zoom MS50G, MS100BT etcetera. MS standing for Multistomp. 100 fx in one standard size stomp box with fx chains and amp modelling for under 100 US.
I'm being tempted by the Wampler Hotwired V2 at the other end of the scale..roughly $300 here.
Check ebay and then youtube for demo clips.
My avatar is fat and lazy, I'm 11 pixels narrower but just as lazy.
KVRAF
 
2363 posts since 21 Jul, 2004
  

Postby macmurphy; Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:52 am Re: The second best $30 stompbox that I've ever purchased

i'm looking for pedals that do one thing purely for immediate hands on control.

analogue or digital is ok as long as the sound is there. i had been eyeing up the Subdecay Quasar and the EHX Polyphase.

these are around £130 -140 but they're hardly your average phasers.
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KVRAF
 
2584 posts since 9 Jan, 2003, from Saint Louis MO
  

Postby foosnark; Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:32 am Re: The second best $30 stompbox that I've ever purchased

I'm pretty much looking for relatively cheap pedals (or other effects) that do things plugins don't. So that'll mean analog, for the most part.

There'll be a few Behringer and Danelectro pedals, but mostly I'm looking for the intersection of weird and cheap. :D At the high end of what I'm willing to spend, I am lusting after a Fuzz Factory, though I might build a clone from a kit.
KVRian
 
625 posts since 2 Mar, 2010

Postby bharris22; Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:16 am Re: The second best $30 stompbox that I've ever purchased

I have two of the Joyo pedals that I purchased from Amazon - the Vintage Overdrive (TS clone) and the US Dream Distortion (a Suhr Riot clone, I believe). I am very happy with both, especially for the price. I will definitely be buying more.
KVRist
 
305 posts since 29 Jun, 2008, from Mid Wales, UK.

Postby Jim Y; Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:30 am Re: The second best $30 stompbox that I've ever purchased

Being old enough to remember a lot of "valuable" vintage gear the first time around, I am pretty stunned by current prices and attitudes BUT also amazed how simple a lot of it turns out to be now I can easily view the circuit schematics online.
So, I've built the easy ones on perfboard such as Big Muff, Fuzz Face etc. No big deal really, but they sound great. These are really simple projects to do, but even if you don't want to build it yourself, there are hoards of small cottage industry builders out there who make a good job of building these "clones".

But, the point I really want to make, is that there are no components in the majority of vintage pedals that cannot still be obtained. A 100% TS808 clone is easy (and it is a really simple circuit).

Then there are others I've been looking at ( eg Roland Jet phaser) that are really fairly complex, but still, nothing in it made out of unobtainium :)
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KVRist
 
69 posts since 7 May, 2014
 

Postby PsYcHo SaMuRai; Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:51 am Re: The second best $30 stompbox that I've ever purchased

I enjoy stompbox projects as well. Pretty easy circuits to understand and troubleshoot with a great reward for your efforts. Sometimes, disappointing like anything worth doing but worth it in the end.
As far as older amp modelers/DI units, I have a Johnson J-Station that came out about the same time as the original Line 6 POD and I still use it and the software that came with it to build my own sounds.
KVRist
 
59 posts since 4 May, 2013, from USA
 

Postby aegean; Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:35 pm Re: The second best $30 stompbox that I've ever purchased

edit: On second thought nevermind.
Last edited by aegean on Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Aegean Music Amp Vision guitar amp modeling / effects plug-in:
http://aegeanmusic.com
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Rad Grandad
 
24566 posts since 5 Sep, 2003, from New England U.S.A.
    

Postby Hink; Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:42 pm Re: The second best $30 stompbox that I've ever purchased

the general guitar gadgets TS clone kit with the mods is the best OD I have ever used, and not a difficult build at all...I have built a few pedals with mixed results, OD2 from BYOC was a fun build but I have yet to find a tone with it i like. The Brian May Treble Boost from GGG is pretty cool for some stuff but too noisy combined with other stuff. Pahse Three Booster from Mammoth Electronics (really guitar pcb) is a nice boost. The Stratoblaster clone kit from GGG is awesome, I got it without the enclosure and put it in my strat (you save 12 bux without the enclosure) I still have a blues breaker kit that needs to get put together and I got that without the enclosure because again I save 12 bux and can spend like 13 dollars to get a painted enclosure from Mammoth electronics (including shipping) I got a blue enclosure and ordered silver Marshall knobs for it :tu:
Thank cod I love fish
KVRian
 
625 posts since 2 Mar, 2010

Postby bharris22; Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:52 am Re: The second best $30 stompbox that I've ever purchased

Hi Hink,

Are these GGG pedals difficult to build? Are more than basic soldering skills required? Ihe Brown Sound in a Box sounds like a cool one, and the Mammoth enclosures look pretty nice . . . .What size knobs work with these pedals (would you mind including a link to the Marshall ones)?

Sorry for all the questions, but this sounds like it's right up my alley. Thanks!
KVRian
 
885 posts since 17 Apr, 2005
 

Postby JCJR; Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:08 am Re: The second best $30 stompbox that I've ever purchased

The biggest hurdle of electronic construction, with minimal experience and test equipment-- What do you do after assembling a gadget and it is dead, or operates incorrectly?

There is no way to get such experience however, except by ruining some perfectly good components along the way. :)

Electronics demands a certain tolerance for frustration. Patience and determination. OTOH, in my experience hardware hacking gives more instant gratification than software development. A software guy needs incredibly high tolerance of frustration.
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KVRAF
 
7010 posts since 2 Aug, 2005, from Guitar Land, USA
 

Postby RunBeerRun; Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:13 am Re: The second best $30 stompbox that I've ever purchased

I use a Danelectro Black Coffee distortion, it doesn't work on batteries and cost me less than 30, it was probably about $15.
The only site for experimental amp sim freeware & MIDI FX: http://runbeerrun.blogspot.com
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KVRAF
 
6231 posts since 21 Nov, 2000, from Southern California
    

Postby Uncle E; Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:22 am Re: The second best $30 stompbox that I've ever purchased

bharris22 wrote:Are these GGG pedals difficult to build?


They're not difficult to build. Also, you can often find built kits on eBay for cheap from people who built them and didn't love them. If you really want to build one yourself, I'd say only do it with a pedal that you know you already love. There's nothing worse than spending hours putting something together only to be rewarded with lackluster results (PAIA synths and modular kits, in my case).

Regarding cheap pedals, you can take any cheap 90's Tube Screamer and swap its op amp out for an RC4558. There are other mods necessary to make it a proper TS-808 clone but that one simple change will get you 95% of the way there with very little effort. Better yet, socket it so that you can experiment with different op amps. My Tone Bakery Creme Brûlée pedal has THREE op amps and I socketed all of them because I want to see people experimenting with it:

Tone Bakery Creme Brûlée
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