“Underdrive”

FleshOnGear

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So I recently decided that I want to run my amp at a decent crunch, and try using a pedal to cut my signal for a cleaner sound. There’s a pedal out there specifically for this by Mad Professor called the Evolution Orange Underdrive.

But it’s like a $170 pedal brand new. I found a used one for $110, which is better. But then, I figured why not get a cheap EQ pedal and cut the level on it? So I bought a cheap Chinese 7-band mini EQ. It should arrive the beginning of December.

Has anyone used an EQ in this way? I figure I’ll run the EQ in a smiley-face pattern, and duck the level to the point the amp is clean enough.
 

paul-e-mann

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So I recently decided that I want to run my amp at a decent crunch, and try using a pedal to cut my signal for a cleaner sound. There’s a pedal out there specifically for this by Mad Professor called the Evolution Orange Underdrive.

But it’s like a $170 pedal brand new. I found a used one for $110, which is better. But then, I figured why not get a cheap EQ pedal and cut the level on it? So I bought a cheap Chinese 7-band mini EQ. It should arrive the beginning of December.

Has anyone used an EQ in this way? I figure I’ll run the EQ in a smiley-face pattern, and duck the level to the point the amp is clean enough.
Yup been there done that. I find the Underdrive works better than any other pedal solution. I got mine just under hundred bucks used but yeah they are pricey. What I think would work even better is a Bad Cat Unleash, I've been on the lookout for one reasonably priced used for a long time.
 

FleshOnGear

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Yup been there done that. I find the Underdrive works better than any other pedal solution. I got mine just under hundred bucks used but yeah they are pricey. What I think would work even better is a Bad Cat Unleash, I've been on the lookout for one reasonably priced used for a long time.
What would you say makes the Underdrive better than a graphic EQ for this application? The EQ I bought was only $30, and I’m sure I can make use of it one way or another.
 

blue

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I have an underdrive, and it works well, but I've actually recently started using a graphic EQ pedal instead. I find with the EQ you can more finely tune out the frequencies that are pushing into overdrive, so you can actually get decent clean up with possibly a bit less actual volume reduction. both are good though
 

Crunchifyable

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I haven't figure out the whole EQ thing yet. Like a V shape? obviously various based on EQ type.

The 5150 II (6262 in my case) has a beautiful "dirty clean" tone straight out of 90s rock, I think it's a modified 2203 style channel, very touch sensitive clean to crunch on the same gain setting channel.

But I find the EQ pedal solution to be a bit muddy...maybe I'm just scooping too much mids and not enough high end added.

I've been watching EytschPi42 review it on youtube and I can say I'm impressed but I'm also too much a cheapskate to lay down that much money.
 

tallcoolone

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What would you say makes the Underdrive better than a graphic EQ for this application? The EQ I bought was only $30, and I’m sure I can make use of it one way or another.
Cheap EQ pedals add lots of noise when doing what you are trying to do. Even the standard Boss EQ adds a lot of noise. HBE put out one a while back—the Paul G model I think—that was way too bright for me. Using a EQD Tone Job for that now but it is sensitive and tough to dial in perfectly without accidentally hitting something with your foot on stage. Need to try out that Underdrive—this is def an area that could use some competition. Very useful (albeit boring) idea for a gigging musician.
 

FleshOnGear

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Cheap EQ pedals add lots of noise when doing what you are trying to do. Even the standard Boss EQ adds a lot of noise. HBE put out one a while back—the Paul G model I think—that was way too bright for me. Using a EQD Tone Job for that now but it is sensitive and tough to dial in perfectly without accidentally hitting something with your foot on stage. Need to try out that Underdrive—this is def an area that could use some competition. Very useful (albeit boring) idea for a gigging musician.
Noise is what I’m most worried about. You’d think that using an EQ at unity or lower wouldn’t add much noise. Like I said, the pedal I ordered was only $30, and I’ve wasted way more money on way stupider shit in the past.

Maybe it would be possible to wire up a passive unit that let you selectively subtract bass, middle, and treble. Just thinking out loud…
 

ELS

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You could actually use the EQ pedal, a lot of high treble content overdrives a tube amp very easily, so cutting the very highest of treble frequencies will clean it up a lot (or boosting it and using it as a unique overdrive).
furthermore this high treble content wont make the amp much louder than it would be clean, it gives a very light overdriven tone.
 

FleshOnGear

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I plan on starting by lowering the level, maybe also the band sliders, until the tone is clean, then boosting individual bands until I hear objectionable overdrive. We’ll see where it all ends up.
 

FleshOnGear

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So I put the EQ pedal through its paces earlier. I ended up with a V shape, the bottom of the V on 250Hz. The highs and lows were just above unity and the overall level was at minimum. This gave me a more than acceptable clean tone, but unfortunately added some noise. I haven’t decided if it’s an acceptable level of noise or not. I plan on testing my old MXR 10-band in this use as a comparison, but I don’t really want to use it on my board because of space limitations. The $30 pedal is a mini pedal, so it takes up very little room.
 
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playloud

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If you want low noise, don't mind the signal drop, and don't want to change the tone controls on your guitar, this could be a rare instance in which a passive EQ pedal would be worthwhile.

Check out the James tonestack.
 

Matthews Guitars

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EQ: The more bands of adjustment, the better. As for tones you can get out of them, experimentation is critical.

I love 31 band (1/3 octave) EQs in the effects loop. It's such a valuable precision tone shaping tool, I state simply that no matter how good your tone is, it can be tweaked to perfection by careful application of a little bit of equalization here and there.
 

FleshOnGear

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If you want low noise, don't mind the signal drop, and don't want to change the tone controls on your guitar, this could be a rare instance in which a passive EQ pedal would be worthwhile.

Check out the James tonestack.
Signal drop is the whole point of this. The idea is to drop the signal for an instant clean tone, and you especially drop the frequencies that are most overdriven.

I think a simple notch filter with a depth control and a volume control would do. It would be nice to be able to fit it into a Hammond 1590A, but that seems like a lot of work - planning out everything to make sure it fits.
 

playloud

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Signal drop is the whole point of this. The idea is to drop the signal for an instant clean tone, and you especially drop the frequencies that are most overdriven.

I think a simple notch filter with a depth control and a volume control would do. It would be nice to be able to fit it into a Hammond 1590A, but that seems like a lot of work - planning out everything to make sure it fits.

Yep that's what I meant - sorry for the clumsy wording.

I think you should be able to fit a simple passive circuit inside a 1590A (even without PCBs). I "migrated" my Rangemaster clone into one, and it was tight but worked well. Just make sure to work out the geometry on paper first.
 

Mitchell Pearrow

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Signal drop is the whole point of this. The idea is to drop the signal for an instant clean tone, and you especially drop the frequencies that are most overdriven.

I think a simple notch filter with a depth control and a volume control would do. It would be nice to be able to fit it into a Hammond 1590A, but that seems like a lot of work - planning out everything to make sure it fits.
For signal drop, for clean tones. I drop the volume knob on a Strat, flip the toggle on the Gibsons. But you should be able to accomplish what your after with what you purchased.
 

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