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NPD: Duncan Power Grid Distortion

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  • NPD: Duncan Power Grid Distortion

    I've been on a quest to find the right OD/Distortion Pedal for me. I primarily want it for leads and secondarily for occasional heavy rhythm playing. For leads, I want lots of sustain and a broad midrange with plenty of harmonics (Pulse-era David Gilmour tones would be the best reference). My current rig is my PRS-style guitar (mahogany body/canary top, maple neck/ebony fretboard) with a JB bridge and The Mag in the neck. The amp is an AX84 High Octane (think JCM800 meets a Vox) and a sealed 1x12 cab with a Celestion G12H-80.
    Today, I received a Power Grid and this thing is fantastic. With the three active tone controls, I get tweak it and get exactly the right balance. Distortion-wise, I find that I like the Volume MAXED and then I use the Gain knob to raise the volume above unity gain until it's the loud enough. This pedal can get LOUD, but it with the gain past 12-oclock, it will turn into a mess if you volume is maxed). The mids are pretty creamy, the bass is deep, and the highs are rich in harmonics without being piercingly bright. It is also very transparent for a distortion pedal: my guitar still sounds like MY guitar, just bigger and louder and more aggressive. This seems like a great all-around pedal or possibly as a "crunch channel" for a really clean amp, like an old Fender tube head, and then add an OD pedal for leads. For about $50 used, this pedal is an easy choice.
    Over the past several months, I've tried:
    Bluesbreaker pedal (pretty good tone, but noisy, sounded solid-state, boxy, and not loud enough)
    Big Muff Violet Rams Head (too muddy and scooped with my rig, unfortunately)
    TS-808 Tubescreamer: Great for leads when I had it dialed in just right, but with other amp settings, the pedal would just sound boxy or solid state. The cut in the bass and the exaggerated mids were a bit disappointing, and this pedal really colors your tone. With the JB through the Tubescreamer into a Marshall/Celestion type amp, it will give you an instantly recognizable tone like so many bands from the 70's, 80's, and 90's.
    Voodoo Lab Overdrive: Great for rhythm (very thick and heavy) and nice for bluesy, neck pickup solo-ing, however, it was a dark pedal without any sparkle on top and it gets fuzzier as you turn up the gain (fuzzy like a fuzz pedal). The midrange peak seems to be shifted a little lower than I'd like. This would be great for low-output single coil guitars like a Strat. Cascading the VLO into the Tubescreamer works great. The high-mids of the Tubescreamer and the low-mids of the VLO give you a really broad midrange tone, but it does get a bit noisy.

  • #2
    Re: NPD: Duncan Power Grid Distortion

    You realize that you have been (mostly) trying mild overdrives and now are happy that you got a real distortion pedal?
    Originally posted by Bad City
    He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

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    • #3
      Re: NPD: Duncan Power Grid Distortion

      I'm not trying to add distortion to my sound, just a volume increase, some mids, and a little compression. So yes, I'm looking for an OD boost pedal and this Distortion pedal just happened to work. I'm adding minimal distortion to my tone.

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      • #4
        Re: NPD: Duncan Power Grid Distortion

        Something sounds very wrong about this process and result. That said -

        If it works for you - work it!

        And it's Duncan, bonus points. Rock on man!!!!
        Originally posted by Bad City
        He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

        Comment

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