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amsdenj

Replaced Minotaur with Scream808 in my goto patch

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This is something I never thought I would do, mostly because of the hype around the Klon over the TubeScreamer. But what works in some situations doesn't work as well in others, and you have to judge tone with your ears, not your eyes.

 

I mostly play single-coil pickups - Strat Deluxe, Tele, and Variax JTV-69S. I just like the character and brightness of these pickups. I also have a '67 Les Paul with Tom Holmes pickups and a very nice black Epiphone Sheraton Pro II. What I found is that its important to match the distortion blocks with the guitar and amp. A typical single coil pickup is going to be a bit scooped in the mids, giving it that bright and deep tone that sounds so good by itself. If you pair single coil pickups with a Fender style amp, it's even more scooped. I typically use Derailed Ingrid or Litigator both of which are Fender style amps. I think Fender might have done this because it made the guitar and amp sound really good by itself in the showroom, helping sales. But in a mix, all that scooping can make the guitar get a little lost.

 

The Klon is high headroom, low gain, hard clipper with some mid boost at 1kHz, but not a lot. Contrast with the TubeScreamer which is lower headroom, higher gain, soft clipper with a lot of mid boost at around 720Hz. When I compared them using the JTV-69s into Derailed Ingrid, I found the Scream808 just sounded better. I think it's because that guitar and amp needs that slightly lower frequency, slightly higher mid boost, higher gain and since the pickups are already pretty bright, the soft clipper's more even order harmonics seemed to fit better with the guitar.

 

So maybe the magic with the Klon/Minotaur happens with double coil humbucker pickups into Marshall style amps. This combination is already pretty dark with a fair amount of mid focus and high output. So the Klon's lower gain, slightly higher frequency mid boost, slightly lower mid hump and hard clipper producing more odd order harmonics works better to brighten things up a little. 

 

I also swapped out the Compulsive Drive (OCD) with the Dhyana Drive (Zendrive) for higher gain sounds. I felt like this was a better fit with my guitar and amp choices, and was a bit more controllable. 

 

I'm pretty happy with the result. It seemed to enforce the fact that different distortion pedals work better with different guitar and amp combinations. So don't pick the "best" distortion block, pick the one that works best with your guitar, amp and musical style.

 

 

 

 

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I totally get what your saying, I dont understand all the technical aspects of the pedals schematics and such....I just play around til I find something I like.  There are a few of the OD/Distortions I like pre-amp to tighten it up.  I like a tighter rhythm sound, but a lot of times when I want to kick into a lead, I like a 'looser' or bluesier/fatter type sound, and the TS808 seems to always get me there.  Some OD combinations sound better with it before or after the 'boosting' OD, but generally putting it before the boosting OD seems to be more common.  Usually maybe 1.5 on the drive, tone about 7.5ish and the level set 5.0-?? to get me a little gain boost into amp more.  

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There is a reason why thousands of pro players have a tube screamer on their pedal boards....

IMO... the TS is not a sweet sounding overdrive at lower volumes... but on a stage - at stage levels (ie: in context), it is pure magic! 

 

1 hour ago, amsdenj said:

Don't pick the "best" distortion block, pick the one that works best with your guitar, amp and musical style.

 

That is solid advice! 

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Klon is, imho, sort of suited to different things than the tube screamer.  Good choice!  And your conclusions make a lot of sense about the "why".

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