Sarno Earth Drive Pedal

Re: Sarno Earth Drive Pedal

Postby Jon S. » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:22 am

Man & woman been causing trouble since it all began & virtually every OD pedal today is based on something, tweaks or not.

I'm happy these days with my Line 6 M13's Distortion model for my leads (volume maxed w/a hair of gain) but would like to test drive and compare an Earth Drive some day. Any volunteer for a second "Brotherhood of the Travelling?"
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Re: Sarno Earth Drive Pedal

Postby TRG » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:54 am

SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:Nice answer Waldo!!


To be fair, it belongs to a huge family of overdrive topologies that relate back to the ubiquitous Ibanez Tube Screamer. But that shouldn't be considered a fair association. There are essentially, generally, 3 types or distortion/overdrive pedal topologies. Fuzz types are related to the old Fuzz Face and Tone Bender where two transistors are used, one slamming the next one creating that distinctive sound we all know. Then there's the "Distortion" pedal topology based on clipping a pair of reversed diodes that live between the signal and ground. This would be the MXR Distortion+, the Rat, the Boss DS-1 for the most well known examples. Then there's the family of "Overdrive" types. This is what most boutique overdrive pedals are built around. The idea here is that there are reversed diodes that generate the clipping, but the diodes live in the feedback loop of an opamp. This creates a milder, more compressed, more amp-like kind of clipping and a slightly more rounded "squarewave" when they clip. But there are so many thousands of ways you can set up this type of circuit, how you voice it, how you color it with diode symmetry/asymmetry and types, whether it's inverting or non-inverting, buffered, pre-EQ'd, post-EQ'd, etc. It's a very basic template for a gazillion ways to carve out a unique sounding overdrive circuit. So Waldo's right. It's pretty much its own design, but it does belong to this particular family of overdrive pedal circuit types with clipping in the feedback loop. But beyond that major generality, it's its own animal.

It was first inspired by my wife Auset. She plays a '62 Strat into a sweet '68 Fender Deluxe Reverb. A lot of our gigs are very quiet and there's no way for her to push the amp into that zone where it does its thing with 6V6's singing. So she wanted a way to get something like that at any volume. We lined up more than 10 boutique or classic pedals in our collection like the Zendrive, AC Booster, Nobels ODR-1, Tubescreamer, OCD, Timmy, Turbo OD, Rat, MXR+, Barber LTD, and more. They all did something cool, but not one of them was exactly right. She wanted one with a very natural EQ that didn't really change the guitar, something that would tame the ice-picky top end without over-dulling it, something that retained some fullness in the low mids, and something that generated a symmetrical clipping kind of like a push-pull Fender amp like a Deluxe, Pro, Super, Twin, Princeton, etc. that had that clean-ish-ness even when pretty dirty. So that sent me on a mission, and a few prototypes later we settled on this circuit.


Brad


I've used many many pedals over the years to acheive this OD sound, most recently the Ibanez Tube Screamer and the Boss OD-3...but the Earth Drive for me has just the right sound. It's like the sound I've been looking for in other pedals if they just had "a little more of this", or "a little less of this". Now the TS and OD-3 just collect dust. Great work Brad!

Now we just need you to go on a mission for building a poweramp...hopefully there's something brewing there :-)
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Re: Sarno Earth Drive Pedal

Postby Jon S. » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:16 am

TRG, wondering if you've tried the Fulltone OCD and how you'd rank it in the overall pedals mix?

And +1 on the poweramp. If you'll build a rackmountable SS poweramp voiced for Jerry tone, Brad, I'll buy one. :smile:
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Re: Sarno Earth Drive Pedal

Postby TRG » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:59 am

Jon S. wrote:TRG, wondering if you've tried the Fulltone OCD and how you'd rank it in the overall pedals mix?

And +1 on the poweramp. If you'll build a rackmountable SS poweramp voiced for Jerry tone, Brad, I'll buy one. :smile:


Hi Jon, I've never tried the OCD...though I've heard/read good things about it.
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Re: Sarno Earth Drive Pedal

Postby redeyedjim » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:28 am

My curiosity is really being piqued by this thread. Like Jon S., I've been using several of the M13's emulated distortion pedals with some success, but I am intrigued to give this a try.

How would one best use this pedal with a an OBEL/UGB (a TPC-1 in this case) and a M13? Place the Earth Drive Pedal before the M13? In the M13's effect loop? (I have a Mu-Tron III there now after FX-1...) What does it want to see, signal-wise? Will sending it a buffered signal kill its tone?

And yeah, I'd be completely into sending some pedals around on a tour so others could try them, provided we have some ground rules and some transparency to make sure they eventually come back. I have a 3Leaf Audio Proton I could contribute to this sort of tour...
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Re: Sarno Earth Drive Pedal

Postby wolftigerrosebud » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:38 am

jon, i'd let you borrow mine if i wasn't using it every day. :lol:

seriously, the thing just sounds so... musical.
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Re: Sarno Earth Drive Pedal

Postby claytushaywood » Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:25 pm

SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:Nice answer Waldo!!


To be fair, it belongs to a huge family of overdrive topologies that relate back to the ubiquitous Ibanez Tube Screamer. But that shouldn't be considered a fair association. There are essentially, generally, 3 types or distortion/overdrive pedal topologies. Fuzz types are related to the old Fuzz Face and Tone Bender where two transistors are used, one slamming the next one creating that distinctive sound we all know. Then there's the "Distortion" pedal topology based on clipping a pair of reversed diodes that live between the signal and ground. This would be the MXR Distortion+, the Rat, the Boss DS-1 for the most well known examples. Then there's the family of "Overdrive" types. This is what most boutique overdrive pedals are built around. The idea here is that there are reversed diodes that generate the clipping, but the diodes live in the feedback loop of an opamp. This creates a milder, more compressed, more amp-like kind of clipping and a slightly more rounded "squarewave" when they clip. But there are so many thousands of ways you can set up this type of circuit, how you voice it, how you color it with diode symmetry/asymmetry and types, whether it's inverting or non-inverting, buffered, pre-EQ'd, post-EQ'd, etc. It's a very basic template for a gazillion ways to carve out a unique sounding overdrive circuit. So Waldo's right. It's pretty much its own design, but it does belong to this particular family of overdrive pedal circuit types with clipping in the feedback loop. But beyond that major generality, it's its own animal.

It was first inspired by my wife Auset. She plays a '62 Strat into a sweet '68 Fender Deluxe Reverb. A lot of our gigs are very quiet and there's no way for her to push the amp into that zone where it does its thing with 6V6's singing. So she wanted a way to get something like that at any volume. We lined up more than 10 boutique or classic pedals in our collection like the Zendrive, AC Booster, Nobels ODR-1, Tubescreamer, OCD, Timmy, Turbo OD, Rat, MXR+, Barber LTD, and more. They all did something cool, but not one of them was exactly right. She wanted one with a very natural EQ that didn't really change the guitar, something that would tame the ice-picky top end without over-dulling it, something that retained some fullness in the low mids, and something that generated a symmetrical clipping kind of like a push-pull Fender amp like a Deluxe, Pro, Super, Twin, Princeton, etc. that had that clean-ish-ness even when pretty dirty. So that sent me on a mission, and a few prototypes later we settled on this circuit.


Brad


Okay... So... is it inverting or non inverting. Does it use germanium diodes, transistor, silicone? What kind of clipping setup- symmetrical or assymetrical? Pre-EQ, Post-EQ? Buffer?

I think its easier to answer this with something like based on a ts9 but with an improved buffer and assymetrical clipping- or something like that... I'm not a genius or anything, its not like I'll be able to copy the circuit- but someone probably will soon ;). The pedal DIY'ERs are overdrive fanatics!
I built an mxr dist + clone and have not really liked it much- i'm about to post a new thread about it. I've been contemplating the earth drive but I thought I read somewhere its got a similar topology to the dist +, but it sounds a lot better and different to me. the dist+ is so fizzy!

To be fair- most major differentiations have been done already apparently. I'm sorry if the earth drive is completely unique and I implied that it was based off something. I'd love to try it out!
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Re: Sarno Earth Drive Pedal

Postby hippieguy1954 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:10 am

claytushaywood wrote:
SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:Nice answer Waldo!!


To be fair, it belongs to a huge family of overdrive topologies that relate back to the ubiquitous Ibanez Tube Screamer. But that shouldn't be considered a fair association. There are essentially, generally, 3 types or distortion/overdrive pedal topologies. Fuzz types are related to the old Fuzz Face and Tone Bender where two transistors are used, one slamming the next one creating that distinctive sound we all know. Then there's the "Distortion" pedal topology based on clipping a pair of reversed diodes that live between the signal and ground. This would be the MXR Distortion+, the Rat, the Boss DS-1 for the most well known examples. Then there's the family of "Overdrive" types. This is what most boutique overdrive pedals are built around. The idea here is that there are reversed diodes that generate the clipping, but the diodes live in the feedback loop of an opamp. This creates a milder, more compressed, more amp-like kind of clipping and a slightly more rounded "squarewave" when they clip. But there are so many thousands of ways you can set up this type of circuit, how you voice it, how you color it with diode symmetry/asymmetry and types, whether it's inverting or non-inverting, buffered, pre-EQ'd, post-EQ'd, etc. It's a very basic template for a gazillion ways to carve out a unique sounding overdrive circuit. So Waldo's right. It's pretty much its own design, but it does belong to this particular family of overdrive pedal circuit types with clipping in the feedback loop. But beyond that major generality, it's its own animal.

It was first inspired by my wife Auset. She plays a '62 Strat into a sweet '68 Fender Deluxe Reverb. A lot of our gigs are very quiet and there's no way for her to push the amp into that zone where it does its thing with 6V6's singing. So she wanted a way to get something like that at any volume. We lined up more than 10 boutique or classic pedals in our collection like the Zendrive, AC Booster, Nobels ODR-1, Tubescreamer, OCD, Timmy, Turbo OD, Rat, MXR+, Barber LTD, and more. They all did something cool, but not one of them was exactly right. She wanted one with a very natural EQ that didn't really change the guitar, something that would tame the ice-picky top end without over-dulling it, something that retained some fullness in the low mids, and something that generated a symmetrical clipping kind of like a push-pull Fender amp like a Deluxe, Pro, Super, Twin, Princeton, etc. that had that clean-ish-ness even when pretty dirty. So that sent me on a mission, and a few prototypes later we settled on this circuit.


Brad


Okay... So... is it inverting or non inverting. Does it use germanium diodes, transistor, silicone? What kind of clipping setup- symmetrical or assymetrical? Pre-EQ, Post-EQ? Buffer?

I think its easier to answer this with something like based on a ts9 but with an improved buffer and assymetrical clipping- or something like that... I'm not a genius or anything, its not like I'll be able to copy the circuit- but someone probably will soon ;). The pedal DIY'ERs are overdrive fanatics!
I built an mxr dist + clone and have not really liked it much- i'm about to post a new thread about it. I've been contemplating the earth drive but I thought I read somewhere its got a similar topology to the dist +, but it sounds a lot better and different to me. the dist+ is so fizzy!

To be fair- most major differentiations have been done already apparently. I'm sorry if the earth drive is completely unique and I implied that it was based off something. I'd love to try it out!


Buy one! :smile: :smile: :smile:
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Re: Sarno Earth Drive Pedal

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:12 am

Inverting/non-inverting?? Yes, one of those two.
Symmetrical/asymmetrical?? Yes, one of those two.
Silicon/Germanium/mosfet?? Sure...
Pre/Post EQ?? Yup...
EQ voicing/shaping?? Indeed...
Opamp choice/JFET/Bipolar -- Yes, a choice was made
Carbon Comp/Metal Film/Carbon Film resistors? - yes
Polypropylene/Polyester/Ceramic cap's? -- roger that
input impedance?? - 10-4


All these things and more add up to a unique design. These, of course, are either secrets or are there for the eventual DIY'er to reverse engineer. I do glop on some NASA-grade goop to hide a few things from those types. If they try to remove the goop, they'll destroy what the goop is covering. It's all we can do to try to temporarily protect a design. These basic audio circuits are not patentable, so we do what we can to obscure some of the ideas behind what makes it unique or special. If someone really wants to figure out the Earth Drive, I'm sure they can do it, just like they've figured out every other overdrive pedal of interest. Personally, I'd be totally flattered if someone went that far with it. I think that what drives that DIY-clone-ripoff mentality is the outrageous pricing of some boutique pedals. Some Tubescreamer clones were sold for over $300. A Klon Centaur sells on eBay for over $1200. It's nuts. When a pedal is priced under $200 it becomes less exciting to want to clone something because someone would end up putting a lot of hours and parts sourcing into a project that may not be worth their time compared to just buying the pedal. I guess the saddest situation is when someone like Danelectro comes out with their Cool Cat series where they literally ripped off the Timmy, the OCD, the Peach Fuzz, and others, just stole these popular proven boutique pedal designs made by small makers and then make them cheap in China and mass market them for $40 each. That's the ugly side of it. But for that to happen to a little guy like me, there'd have to be a LOT of Earth Drives out there getting a lot of attention. We're not on that scale by any means.

B
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Re: Sarno Earth Drive Pedal

Postby TI4-1009 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:56 am

Atta Boy, Brad!
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Re: Sarno Earth Drive Pedal

Postby redeyedjim » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:05 am

Brad,

I think my question got lost in the mix, but I would like your quick thoughts on how to best use this pedal in conjunction with a device like the Line6 M13:

redeyedjim wrote:My curiosity is really being piqued by this thread. Like Jon S., I've been using several of the M13's emulated distortion pedals with some success, but I am intrigued to give this a try.

How would one best use this pedal with a an OBEL/UGB (a TPC-1 in this case) and a M13? Place the Earth Drive Pedal before the M13? In the M13's effect loop? (I have a Mu-Tron III there now after FX-1...) What does it want to see, signal-wise? Will sending it a buffered signal kill its tone?


Thanks!
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Re: Sarno Earth Drive Pedal

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:03 pm

The Earth Drive is perfectly happy seeing a buffered signal.

In the M13, I'd place it in the loop. Things like octavers, envelope filters, etc. often like to go before an overdrive, but then things like delay and reverb like to go after the overdrive. So using the loop, you can sandwich the Earth Drive right in the middle there.

B
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Re: Sarno Earth Drive Pedal

Postby zambiland » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:53 am

wolftigerrosebud wrote:jon, i'd let you borrow mine if i wasn't using it every day. :lol:

seriously, the thing just sounds so... musical.


That's where I'm at, too. It's the one pedal that gets hooked up, even if I'm not using any others. And I'm a bass player!
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Re: Sarno Earth Drive Pedal

Postby zambiland » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:57 am

SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:The Earth Drive is perfectly happy seeing a buffered signal.

In the M13, I'd place it in the loop. Things like octavers, envelope filters, etc. often like to go before an overdrive, but then things like delay and reverb like to go after the overdrive. So using the loop, you can sandwich the Earth Drive right in the middle there.

B


I would definitely agree. An overdrive into an envelope filter into an overdrive like this can be a fantastic combination, too! Putting it in the loop provides for lots of possibilities.
So far I'm having a hard time getting the envelope filters to work for me, but I think it's mostly that my basses have such a hot output.
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Re: Sarno Earth Drive Pedal

Postby redeyedjim » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:40 am

Oh, what the hell - you have another order, Brad. :lol:
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