Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #90941  by tastyjams
 Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:16 pm
hey fellows. I'm looking for a pedal that could help me get somewhat closer to Jerry's creamy natural overdrive sound in 68-69ish. like in Live/Dead and Two From The Vault. ahh. :hail: it's so awesome. i have a 71 Fender Twin Reverb w Blackface mods, and a Gibson SG with Seymour Duncan 59's, and a Bigsby. i know he got that sound from just cranking the amp, but given that our band is still practicing in a garage, i dont really have the volume to do that. Any suggestions for pedals that could give me a similar sound?
Thankye Kindly :smile:
 #90942  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:38 pm
Admitting right off the bat that this reply is going to be rich with shameless self promotion, let me tell you about our new Earth Drive pedal. We're about 1 week from hopefully having these things ready and also having some good audio samples on our website to check out. The Earth Drive is very much designed with that sound you describe in mind, the sound of a loud push/pull tube amp being driven to the point of being fat and smoothed out but not gnarly and "distorted" sounding. Many of us find that there are home, rehearsal, and even gig settings where we simply can't drive our amps to the point of reaching their power limit, which as we all know is where an amp begins to sing. So this pedal was born as a solution to getting the feel and tone of a pushed Fender or even a Mac tube amp but at any volume. I wanted to take some of that overly clean sterility out of the sound when not pushing an amp, taking some of that ice-picky sharp attack off the top and beefing it up a bit. I also designed the pedal so that it isn't overly EQ'd like so many dirt pedals are. It's very natural and un-voiced so your guitar sounds like itself. But the clipping and overdrive characteristics are similar to the feel and harmonic content of a pushed Fender amp, sort of like a 6L6 type amp, but with a bit more juice in the harmonics so that it's almost like a cross between a 6L6 and a 6V6 (think Deluxe Reverb). Of course it's not the real thing, it's just a pedal, but it really does sound cool in this regard. Part of the tailoring of the pedal was with Jeff Mattson of DSO in mind because he has a very clean and loud Jerry-rig that covers the 70s and 80s quite well, but I wanted the pedal to help him with the pre-73 tones and definitely the '60s tones where all of Jerry's power came from tubes that were overdriven. So anyway, that's my answer. Hopefully in a few weeks there will be a few folks here that can offer their honest opinions of the Earth Drive, yea or nay, and provide a more unbiased report than I can offer.

Previous thread on the Earth Drive:


 #90943  by tastyjams
 Tue Dec 14, 2010 8:50 pm
holy moly...that thing looks awesome. i just saw DSO play a show from 1969 in San Francisco last month and jeff's tone was phenomenal. I'll definitely keep this in mind :-)
 #90945  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:43 pm
Here's the latest rendering with the new and correct color. We had trouble with getting the right hammertone powdercoat paint and a screen ink that would apply well. So this week they're finalizing the chassis with this color here. Funny thing is that this is actually the original color from our design work and now we came full circle back to it.

EARTHDRIVE-RenderingCweb.jpg (34.81 KiB) Viewed 1647 times
 #90953  by Grant
 Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:06 pm
The other option in your situation would be to crank the amp and use a good attenuator.

I'd recommend the Dr. Z Airbrake (Trainwreck clone), or you could build one yourself pretty easily and for much less $$.
 #90954  by JamminJommy
 Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:55 pm
I can vouch for the Airbrake. Compared it to a Hotplate and the marshall and it just sounded more pure. Got an old 70s marshall that sounds great cranked, plug the Dr. Z. in and its instantly easier on the airs with a full-throttle sound. If only I had a twin to try it on...
 #90983  by tigerstrat
 Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:36 am
Or you could get a lower-wattage amp in the 15-25 watt range that you can get some power tube heat from... a 2x 6V6 Fender like a Deluxe Reverb or Super Champ (not XD).
 #91010  by tastyjams
 Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:44 am
that attenuator looks pretty nifty :-) The deluxe seems like a logical solution, except that i spent a bunch of time and money fixing up my twin, so i would hate to part with it. right now i have a Seymour Duncan Twin Tube Classic, and it's a little too hi gain and punchy for my style. about the Earth Drive.can i crank it up and get some good Quicksilver Messenger Service, Stones, Allman Brothers sounds? if so, i would definitely buy one :-)
 #92356  by zoooombiex
 Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:39 pm
if you can find one, Antelope FX made a pedal called the Lovelight overdrive. I have one and it nails the 68-69 jerry tone. note that the pedal likes to be right before a buffer. if you put a long cable run after it, you will get a lot of highs rolling off. (it might be a high impedance output). but the buffer cures that. nice fat grindy vocal drive tones.

i'm curious to try the earth drive, though. sarno's black box is simply outstanding.
 #92643  by barefootdave
 Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:08 am
I have an original Super Champ and can vouch for its spectacular tone at rehearsal volume. However, these things are now going for $1,000 to well over that.

An excellent pedal that I use constantly is my ZenDrive. It gives a very natural drive, not the fuzzed out tone JG used later. I find it to be an excellent choice when paired with a fairly clean amp setting. These are handmade pedals by a guy named Hermida in Ft. Lauderdale. Robben Ford uses this pedal in conjunction with "any stock Fender Twin" when he plays out and is not bringing his Dumble. I think I payed about $200 for it brand new, and would buy another in a heartbeat if this one were lost or stolen.
 #92644  by JonnyBoy
 Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:48 am
I know the topic of OD pedals has been done, but the Danelectro Transparent OD is great if you are on a budget. I have a Biyang X drive which is cheap and one can change out the opamps to get the tone you want. At low settings I have had great success with this one too. There is something to the higher dollar pedals though, I have yet to use a boutique pedal that wasn't musical in some respect.
 #92650  by TI4-1009
 Sun Jan 23, 2011 4:50 pm
barefootdave wrote: I think I payed about $200 for it brand new, and would buy another in a heartbeat if this one were lost or stolen.
What is this, Harmony Central?? :wink: