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Comparing 5 boost/overdrive/eq pedals through a Dual Rectifier

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  • Comparing 5 boost/overdrive/eq pedals through a Dual Rectifier

    Hey guys,

    I thought I'd do a shootout/comparison of a bunch of overdrive or boost pedals as I'd done one before and that was a lot of fun. The results were also interesting! This time instead of using my JCM 800 Studio I wanted to use a completely different amp so I went with my Mesa Dual Rectifier. It's a very popular amp for rock and metal obviously but it's also known for being quite saggy or flubby sounding. That's not to say that the raw and pure tone of a Recto isn't cool, but I know that a lot of players out there do like to boost their Recto's.

    So this is for a rhythm tone and the pedals that I compare this time are:

    -The Maxon OD808
    -BOSS SD-1 Super Overdrive
    -EHX Soul Food
    -Electric Eye Audio Mud Killer
    -MXR 10-band EQ

    All of these pedals have a different sound and features but how do they compare in this rock rhythm setting? I can definitely hear differences between them even though they were dialed in to sound kind of similar. Subtle differences perhaps but we don't mind that right?

    Would love to know your thoughts, check it out:

    Owner and founder of Sonic Drive Studio & social media manager for OwnHammer.

  • #2
    Man, I think that SD-1 is doing great! The 808 sounds very familiar, but I really dig what the SD-1 does to the Recto tone. Not as stuffy and more biting/cutting than the Maxon.

    I think the SD-1 is a very underappreciated pedal for modern tones. The one thing I didn't like about mine is that it hasn't quite got enough juice to reach unity gain with most modern hot pickups. But if you use it as a boost under high-gain, that doesn't really matter. It just kinda always tingled my OCD knowing that I was cutting rather than boosting with that pedal.


    • #3
      Nice video. I actually like the unboosted tone the most but the SD-1 was the only one I didn't care for. It just thinned it out too much for my taste. But that is not the kind of music I play so all of this is ymmv. I was surprised at how much I like the 808, if I had to choose one from your lineup that would be my pick.
      Dave Locher
      Ultimate Tone Slacker
      Last edited by Dave Locher; 08-07-2020, 09:56 PM.


      • #4
        Great tone and playing!

        I think it might have been easier to hear the pedals, if you had run slightly less amplifier distortion? :o

        but thanks anyway! very interesting.


        EDIT: Personally I liked the EHX Soul Food the best.

        (I really love the quality and sound of all EHX pedals )
        Ultimate Tone Slacker
        Last edited by Erlend_G; 08-08-2020, 02:44 AM.
        If somethings important- send a PM. I might be offline for long periods. Rock on!!!


        • #5
          Originally posted by Erlend_G View Post
          I think it might have been easier to hear the pedals, if you had run slightly less amplifier distortion? :o
          Well, the point of the video is to show how they do as boosts in front of a high-gain amp for metal, so there's that. :P


          • #6
            Cool video, well done across the board.

            Personally, I like the EQ most, though I would have shifted the peak a little lower. The added upper mids certainly help it cut more in the mix with pretty much any of the pedals and that ability to be heard in the mix, without increasing your volume is great in a live or recording situation.

            I do find it funny how so many Mesa players push up the low end and pull down mids on their amps, then have to fix it by using a pedal that cuts low end and adds mids. The only pedal I really used much with my Road King was an MXR/CAE clean boost. Hitting the front end harder will definitely alter your tone a bit, even without adding additional dirt from the pedal.


            • #7
              Nice demo, thanks Guitarjon. Good tones throughout.

              I liked the classic TS best myself, followed by the SD1.
              Found the klone a bit harsher, of course AFAIK the tone knob on those is a boost rather than a cut

              I think in a balanced band mix these pedals all could be pretty much interchangeable, even the EQ.
              (BTW, chadd - I would've dialed it in a little differently too.)

              Once you're gained up that high, choice of pedals is mostly a matter of voicing - their gain texture no longer matters.
              Just goes to show: into a high gain amp an EQ can give you everything an OD can - with a lot more flexibility if needed.


              I heard something a little odd in the stereo imaging: the stereo spread became slightly wider when a pedal was engaged.
              This was more pronounced with some than others, perhaps because of differences in midrange character. Yet I noticed it for all of them.
              Maybe there's some comb filtering in the IR between left and right channels?

              If I were doubling parts using that particular IR, I think I'd try reversing the L-R assignments on one of the tracks.
              It might yield subtly better differentiation in the pick attack and mids.

              "My hovercraft is full of eels."


              • #8
                My favorite recto booster depends entirely upon which guitar/pickup used, and maybe to a larger degree it depends which cab/speakers is being used.

                Through a recto 212 I really like my VFE focus and icescream because they have filter controls which can be applied very lightly if you want a more open cleaner boost.
                The straight baffle recto oversize loves that classic screamer mid-hump,,,,,,these days the od9pro+ is my ts of choice.
                If the pickups are more open and less compressed I usually like the od808 best, probably because I want that ease-of-play that comes with more compression.
                MXR-6 set to mid-hump is also a thing of beauty. Much better out front than the 10-band IMO, unless you actually want to use the gain on the 10-band.
                With a standard EMG 81/85 set at 9v I usually like the focus or the 6-band better than any screamer or overdrive.
                Mojo's Minions
                Last edited by dave74; 08-17-2020, 12:25 AM.