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I give up - whaddaya do?

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  • I give up - whaddaya do?

    Two very disappointing NPDs in a row.

    I don't want to slam products or manufacturers because these things are mostly a matter of personal taste.

    It's almost impossible to audition every pedal I might may entertain purchasing, so I do what people do ... read online reviews and listen to as many demos as possible. I might spend a year researching before I finally decide on a pedal and take the plunge. It is so incredibly disappointing when the dream product radically fails to meet expectations.

    So I know this sounds like someone with an addiction denying his weakness or overestimating his resolve, but I quit. I'm going to use what I have and live with it. One large board and one small board is all I need. The pedals I have are sufficient. They are good enough. I am finished rolling the dice with hard earned money at stake.

    Just one more fuzz pedal and it's over. I quit. I can't stand the aggravation.
    Lazarus1140
    Mojo's Minions
    Last edited by Lazarus1140; 06-18-2015, 06:50 AM.
    I am so close to retirement that I could play in a band full time. All I have to do is figure out what to use instead of money, improve my playing, learn some songs, and find some other musicians more talented than me who will do exactly as they're told. .

  • #2
    Re: I give up - whaddaya do?

    I know you're not trying to slam anybody or any product. That's why there's so many products out there, because no one product (NOT EVEN A SILVER PONY PEDAL!!!) can make everybody happy.

    So, what have you tried and what's it not doing for you? Maybe we can steer you in the right direction.
    Nope...

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: I give up - whaddaya do?

      I bought a Skreddy P19 fuzz pedal.

      My first exposure to Skreddy pedals was four or five years ago when J Rockett Audio Designs had a display at the Dallas Guitar Show. Their demo board was loaded with all Rockett pedal plus a Skreddy Echo, and that Echo sounded great.

      I have read many great reviews of the always evolving Skreddy fuzz pedals.

      I have a large pedal board that is essentially my "do everything" board. I am completely satisfied with it. I would post a photo if I could find the cable that attaches my camera to a USB port. In any case, the fuzz pedal on my board is Black Arts Toneworks Pharoah. I am 100% satisfied with that pedal and need look no further for fuzz. It interacts beautifully with any OD I run in front of or after (my preference) it.

      I am in the process of putting together a smaller board ... lighter, more compact and obviously with fewer pedals. I want a fuzz pedal, but I want it in an MXR sized case. The P19 looked like and sounded like the perfect answer and, as I have hinted, I have the utmost respect for Skreddy products.

      One thing I noticed in the advertising copy is that the designer was shooting for something with a lower noise floor than the Lunar Module (another of his well known, highly regarded fuzz pedals).

      For me to get the amount and kind of fuzz I am looking for the P19 is actually noisier than the Pharaoh and to my ears overly thin and compressed. I tried it alone, before and after an OD, and with every conceivable combination of gain and volume and through the full range of its tone controls and could not find the sweet spot. The mistake I made was this: The ad copy clearly indicated that the designer tweaked it to be "biting". Why did I ignore that? I don't need a fuzz to cut or bite. I get all the cut I need from an OD that is always on.

      I need the fuzz to be warm ... very fuzzy, but not raspy ... "short haired or fine toothed" if you will. I want a very round fuzz tone, not splatty or thin.

      As I said, the Pharoah will do exactly what I want without the overly wooly Muff sound and without adding a bunch of extraneous noise. It is just too large for my new, smaller board.

      So yeah, I bought a fuzz I don't like. Listen to the demos/reviews. There is nothing wrong with the P19. It simply doesn't work for me.

      The last pedal I bought (which just arrived yesterday) is a Catalinbread Belle Epoch. The jury is still out because I haven't been able to try it at a normal volume and I didn't try it with the other toys. I auditioned it late last night guitar > delay> amp, and my first impressions were underwhelming. I mean, I will keep it. I know it is good enough to use, but it didn't blow me away like the Strymon El Cap on the big board does.
      Lazarus1140
      Mojo's Minions
      Last edited by Lazarus1140; 06-18-2015, 09:21 AM.
      I am so close to retirement that I could play in a band full time. All I have to do is figure out what to use instead of money, improve my playing, learn some songs, and find some other musicians more talented than me who will do exactly as they're told. .

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: I give up - whaddaya do?

        I have owned pedals I hate with one rig, and later I loved, or at least liked.

        I have some that I never got along with.

        These days I know exactly what I want to hear, and I do alot of research. Guitars, amps, pedals, whatever. It took me a year to figure out exactly what I wanted and which delay would do what I wanted. Overall it has taken about a year for me to rebuild my rig from the ground up. But it has been worth it.I have not been disappointed with a single choice in that time...guutar, speakers, cab, amp, pedals...even strings and cables.

        Impulse buys with music gear is usually the road to net loss for me.

        So, just take your time, focus, and really figure out exactly what you need and want. Save your $ over time if need be and be OK with the wait.

        Edit- be prepared to experiment with pedal placement. I was underwhelmed with my most expensive pedal that I save ld up many months for. Finally, decided to try a different order and it was like tone magic. Totally changed how I felt about it.
        Last edited by JeffB; 06-18-2015, 09:40 AM.
        I'm an internet person. All we do is waste time evaluating things that have next-to-zero real world significance.

        Remember, it's just a plank of wood. YOU have to find the music in it - The Telecaster Handbook

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: I give up - whaddaya do?

          Two immediate impressions:
          Pharaoh is huge sounding, seems like lots of bass and characteristic scoopy mids. Skreddy's designs seem biased to flatten or boost the mids and reduce the bass. They cut like crazy through a mix where other Muffs get buried. I can totally see how that might not be desired. If you like the Pharaoh but want to try something different, try any one of the Russian based Muff clones.

          On the topic of El Cap vs Belle, I'm doing the same thing. El Cap on the big board and Belle on the small board. I find I run the Mix way lower on the Belle than on the El Cap. Also, I keep the Record Level pretty low as well. Additionally I've found the Belle is very sensitive to input level. I like to run delay into distortion, but that gives me wildly different results with the Belle. Running it after distortion seems to even out the response, then dialing in the record level gets it right in the ballpark.

          Good luck!
          Oh no.....


          Oh Yeah!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: I give up - whaddaya do?

            Have you tried a Swollen Pickle fuzz? It can do compressed and woolly all in the same box.
            Schecter ATX Blackjack C7 BKP Painkiller (B) and Abraxas (N)
            Hagstrom Hj800 Jazzbox stock pickups
            Fender Jazz Bass EMG MJ Set
            Music Man SUB Ray5 stock pickups
            Line 6 Helix
            Dunlop Strings and Picks

            The opinions expressed above are my own and do not reflect normal levels of sanity.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: I give up - whaddaya do?

              Originally posted by JeffB View Post
              Edit- be prepared to experiment with pedal placement. I was underwhelmed with my most expensive pedal that I save ld up many months for. Finally, decided to try a different order and it was like tone magic. Totally changed how I felt about it.
              This, seriously.

              I don't own any fuzzes myself, but I have seen plenty of fuzzes that are finicky with where they're placed. It's because most fuzz circuits, which are mostly based on the Fuzz Face, are very finicky with the impedance it's fed with. The input impedance is VERY low, so it usually likes to be first in the chain. A lot of pedals have a low output impedance, so putting any of those before a FF type circuit thin it out and make it weirdly saturated.

              I had this problem with my Uni-Vibe. I tried it after my distortion boxes and it was thin and spikey sounding. I put it right before my distortions and it smoothed out and had that luscious vibe sound.
              Nope...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: I give up - whaddaya do?

                I find, more often than not, if I buy a pedal because 'well it SEEMS to be better than what I have' I'm usually disappointed. Most of my great gear purchases were where I intentionally went for a tone that nothing else on my board could do. Otherwise I get stuck in a rut of 'well this one is slightly more compressed, but smoother, but I prefer the treble on the other one, but... but... but.. but..' until I ruin all the enjoyment I'm getting from that pedal's tone.

                It's to the point where, for pedals I don't use much like distortion or flangers I'll actually sell it a few weeks ahead of buying a new one, so I don't get stuck in a rut of comparisons and so I can view it with fresh ears.
                Originally posted by BigAlTheBird
                I just got oiixed in the mung by a Canadian.

                Timmy - 1
                Andrew - None

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: I give up - whaddaya do?

                  Originally posted by GilmourD View Post
                  This, seriously.

                  I don't own any fuzzes myself, but I have seen plenty of fuzzes that are finicky with where they're placed. It's because most fuzz circuits, which are mostly based on the Fuzz Face, are very finicky with the impedance it's fed with. The input impedance is VERY low, so it usually likes to be first in the chain. A lot of pedals have a low output impedance, so putting any of those before a FF type circuit thin it out and make it weirdly saturated.

                  I had this problem with my Uni-Vibe. I tried it after my distortion boxes and it was thin and spikey sounding. I put it right before my distortions and it smoothed out and had that luscious vibe sound.
                  Fuzzes can differ drastically based on where they are placed.
                  Schecter ATX Blackjack C7 BKP Painkiller (B) and Abraxas (N)
                  Hagstrom Hj800 Jazzbox stock pickups
                  Fender Jazz Bass EMG MJ Set
                  Music Man SUB Ray5 stock pickups
                  Line 6 Helix
                  Dunlop Strings and Picks

                  The opinions expressed above are my own and do not reflect normal levels of sanity.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: I give up - whaddaya do?

                    On both my boards the fuzz is the first pedal after the tuner and right before the OD, and I tried the reverse order with the P19 and oddly there was very little difference.

                    The pedal was not an impulse buy. I studied fuzz pedals for a very long time before making the decision to buy one.

                    If the Pharaoh were available in a smaller enclosure my current dilemma would not exist.
                    I am so close to retirement that I could play in a band full time. All I have to do is figure out what to use instead of money, improve my playing, learn some songs, and find some other musicians more talented than me who will do exactly as they're told. .

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: I give up - whaddaya do?

                      So, I just looked up the Skreddy P19. So, it's more Big Muff-ish than Fuzz Face-ish.

                      Have you seen this? http://www.gilmourish.com/?p=4907
                      Nope...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: I give up - whaddaya do?

                        Originally posted by Johnny the Kid View Post
                        Have you tried a Swollen Pickle fuzz? It can do compressed and woolly all in the same box.
                        I have not tried one.
                        I am so close to retirement that I could play in a band full time. All I have to do is figure out what to use instead of money, improve my playing, learn some songs, and find some other musicians more talented than me who will do exactly as they're told. .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: I give up - whaddaya do?

                          Originally posted by GilmourD View Post
                          So, I just looked up the Skreddy P19. So, it's more Big Muff-ish than Fuzz Face-ish.

                          Have you seen this? http://www.gilmourish.com/?p=4907
                          I did read that review and upon rereading am surprised that the author would prefer more high end and more mid-scoop and that he would describe the mid-range as dark and creamy. That is not my experience ... a little darker and creamier would suit me just fine.
                          I am so close to retirement that I could play in a band full time. All I have to do is figure out what to use instead of money, improve my playing, learn some songs, and find some other musicians more talented than me who will do exactly as they're told. .

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: I give up - whaddaya do?

                            Originally posted by Lazarus1140 View Post
                            I did read that review and upon rereading am surprised that the author would prefer more high end and more mid-scoop and that he would describe the mid-range as dark and creamy. That is not my experience ... a little darker and creamier would suit me just fine.
                            FYI... I had very good results putting an OD in front of a BMP, like Dave Gilmour does. It smooths out the spikeyness and gives you a very Gilmouresque tone.
                            Nope...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: I give up - whaddaya do?

                              Originally posted by Lazarus1140 View Post
                              On both my boards the fuzz is the first pedal after the tuner and right before the OD, and I tried the reverse order with the P19 and oddly there was very little difference.

                              The pedal was not an impulse buy. I studied fuzz pedals for a very long time before making the decision to buy one.

                              If the Pharaoh were available in a smaller enclosure my current dilemma would not exist.
                              Sorry, did not mean to imply anything, just saying how my experience goes with pedals. "this is what I have learned, and now what I do"..to answer the "whaddya-do" part of your post.

                              I would chalk it up to rig incompatibility, or just a taste issue (until you try it through another rig, hard to say...)

                              If you are running a clean amp and a bunch of dirt boxes, IME, more whacky things are bound to happen.
                              I'm an internet person. All we do is waste time evaluating things that have next-to-zero real world significance.

                              Remember, it's just a plank of wood. YOU have to find the music in it - The Telecaster Handbook

                              Comment

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