Overdrive and distortion

The market overflows with overdrive and distortion pedals. It can be a tough challenge to decide and to find pedals that suits your rig and purpose. In this feature we’ll look at a handful of models and how to incorporate these in your rig, with David Gilmour’s tones and bedroom setups in mind.

Overdrive and distortion isn’t just about getting noise and gain. The wrong pedal for your amp and guitar, can do more harm than good and cause a lot of frustration. On the other hand, an pedal that’s selected to match perfectly with your amp and taste, will make your tones shine and bring out the best in your setup.

Do yourself a favour when you’re buying gain effects and ask yourself these questions: How will I be using the pedal – stage or rehearsal, studio or bedroom? Do I want boost, overdrive, distortion or fuzz? Will I be using two or more gain pedals at the same time?

Know your amp!

Overdrive and distortion pedals can be divided in two categories. Transparent and mids scooped and on the other side of the spectrum, compressed and mids boosted.

The transparent and mids scooped models were originally designed in the late 60s and early 70s to drive large tube stacks into distortion. These pedals can sound horrible on an uncompressed, mids scooped Twin or smaller bedroom amps, but creamy and smooth on a compressed and mids boosted Marshall.

Pedals with a noticeable mid range and compression, like the Tube Screamer, started to appear in the late 70s. The idea was to capture the tone of those huge tube stacks in all their glory in a small box. The design with new technoligy, was also more relieable than the previous silicon and germanium transistors.

In other words, knowing what amp you have, is crucial for understanding how overdrive and distortion pedals works and ultimately sound. Read more about how to choose the right pedal for your amp here.

Stacking pedals

David Gilmour, and others like him, often combine or stack two or more gain pedals. This can either be to produce a volume or gain boost for solos or, like David does, to blend the character of two pedals, for more saturation and sustain.

Big Muffs often sound better with a transparent booster placed after it, set for a very mild boost and EQ enhancement. David often does this with either a Muff and Powerbooster or Tube Driver.

Boosting with more mids boosted and compressed pedals, like the Tube Screamer and OCD, can often make a Muff sound muddy and almost choked. Try placing the overdrive pedal in front of the Muff but be careful with the total amount of gain and volume.

Stacking should only be done if it’s needed. Some Big Muffs, like the Sovtek models and clones, are often best alone. As can distortion pedals like the Rat and similar, like the Buffalo Evolution, TopTone G2 etc.

Stacking two or more pedals, is like cooking up the finest sauce. The perfect blend will produce a great tone. Too much, and everything sounds like crap. Trust your ears and know your gear.

All pedals listed below were tested on a Stratocaster featuring D Allen Voodoo 69 neck and middle pickups and a Seymour Duncan SSL5 bridge pickups and a Radix Deluxe PRS model with Seymour Duncan Phat Cat P90s into Reeves Custom 50 and Laney Lionheart L20h tube stacks.

Transparent boosters and overdrives

David’s Colorsound Powerboost/ Cornish ST-2 (1972-1983) and Chandler/BK Tube Driver (1993-present) are typical vintage style boosters/overdrives with a classic bright, mids scooped tone similar to the early Marshalls. Smaller, typical bedroom setups are often better matched with overdrives with more midrange and compression.

Colorsound Powerboost/Overdriver

It doesn’t really get more Dark Side, WYWH and Animals than this. The Powerboost’s unmistakably super transparent tone, glassy highs and fat lower end, sat the standard for all other overdrives. Be aware though that this pedal demands a loud tube amp and can sound a bit flat and fizzy on lower wattage and volume. The 18V has more headroom compared to the 9V, although both delivers a wide range of tones from clean boost to near fuzz.
Bedroom setups: 6/10
Gilmour tones: ObC, DSotM, WYWH, Animals, DG 78, Wall, FC
Gilmourish.Com score: 10/10

Buyer's Gear Guide - Gilmourish PickElectronic Orange Bananaboost
Buyer's Gear Guide Electronic Orange BananaboostThe Bananaboost has that vintage flavour of the original. It sounds huge, with tons of headroom and a massive low end. You can easily crank it up for smooth almost fuzz-like tones and the powerful 2-band EQ makes it easy to tailor the tones to match your amp and guitar. Of all the Powerbooster clones out there, I find this to be the most authentic sounding, with much of the same character and mojo as the original. See my full review of the Bananaboost here.
Bedroom setups: 6/10
Gilmour tones: ObC, DSotM, WYWH, Animals, DG 78, Wall, FC
Gilmourish.Com score: 10/10

Buffalo FX Power Booster

Like all Buffalo FX pedals, the Powerbooster is a faithful replication of the original, with a few modern tweaks. It has a huge headroom but can easily be set up for some nice overdrive and fuzz tones. It’s slightly darker and the top end noticeably smoother, making this an excellent choice for smaller amps and bedroom setups. See my full review of the Power Booster here.
Bedroom setups: 8/10
Gilmour tones: ObC, DSotM, WYWH, Animals, DG78, Wall, FC
Gilmourish.Com score: 9/10

Buyer's Gear Guide - Vick Audio OverdriverVick Audio Overdriver
As the name implies, this is a clone of the US branded Powerbooster, the Overdriver. It has a distinct vintage flavour and of all the clones out there, perhaps the smoothest fuzz tone of them all. It is also slightly more compressed than most models, which can be tricky on already compressed amps but on the right amp, you’ll get a very smooth and well balanced character. See my full review of the Overdriver here.
Bedroom setups: 6/10
Gilmour tones: ObC, DSotM, WYWH, Animals, DG 78, Wall, FC
Gilmourish.Com score: 8/10

Throbak Overdriveboost

The Overdriveboost was one of the first Powerbooster clones to hit the market and it’s still one of the best. Of all the clones listed here, this one has the most headroom, with an almost twangy character. The pedal is packed with modern features, including a germanium gain stage and pre-gain. Use it as a stand alone overdrive pedal or as a clean booster to add life and character to your amp and pedals. See my full review of the Overdriveboost here.
Bedroom setups: 8/10
Gilmour tones: ObC, DSotM, WYWH, Animals, DG 78, Wall, FC
Gilmourish.Com score: 9/10

Effectrode Fire Bottle tube booster

This is not a booster in the traditional sense but rather a tool for maintaing the pure signal from your pickups and enhancing the tone from your tube amp – much like plugging your guitar straight into a tube amp. A mini toggle switch allows three different frequency stages – flat for clean boost and two with a high frequency roll off making single coils sound closer to P90s and humbuckers. The Fire Bootle is an incredibly dynamic pedal that can make your guitar and amp sound like a million bucks and bring out nuances in your tone and playing that you thought never were there. If you’re looking for a booster for your Muff, then look elsewhere. If you want a powerful tool that will probaly change your conception of tone then this is it. See my full review of the Fire Bottle here.
Bedroom setups: 10/10
Gilmour tones: suitable for any tone
Gilmourish.Com score: 10/10

Buyer's Gear Guide - Gilmourish PickTopTone Shine Boost
Buyer's Gear Guide - TopTone Shine BoostClean volume boosters doesn’t do much for your tone other than, obviously, boost the volume, which is what you often want for a solo but equally important is mid range. A scooped tone can drown completely and boosting the volume doesn’t help. Add a mids boost and your guitar will cut through the mix like a sharp knife. The Shine Boost offer both. A crystal clean volume boost and, by the flick of the switch, volume boost and mids boost similar to the EP booster. This pedal is an awesome tool for adding life to your amp and for boosting fuzz and Big Muffs, that often has a scooped character.
Bedroom setups: 10/10
Gilmour tones: suitable for any tone
Gilmourish.Com score: 10/10

Custom Pedal Boards Mini Driver
Buyer's Gear Guide - CPB Mini DriverThe Mini Driver is a versatile booster featuring controls for volume and gain. Use it as a transparent volume booster or, add a bit of dirt for tube-like compression and grit much like the EP preamp. The Mini Driver can either be used to boost other pedals, drive your tube amp or as a stand alone mild overdrive. Excellent alternative to the Colorsound Powerboost or for simply adding a bit of life and sparkle to your tones.
Bedroom setups: 10/10
Gilmour tones: all eras
Gilmourish.com score: 10/10

BK Butler Tube Driver

The Tube Driver has a classic Marshall character, similar to the JTM and JCM. The tube makes a huge difference compared to most other overdrives, adding a unique warmth, compression and dynamics. Like the Powerboost, this one demands a loud tube amp. Not a lot of headroom, although lower gain settings allows a nice, crunchy clean boost. The current 2006 model also has a bit more top and gain, compared to older models, such as the Chandler. Using different tubes, like a 12AU7, can change the gain structure dramatically and add lots more headroom and warmth.
Bedroom setups: 6/10
Gilmour tones: Delicate/PULSE/Gdansk/Rattle
Gilmourish.Com score: 8/10

Buyer's Gear Guide - Gilmourish PickBuffalo FX TD-X
Buffalo FX TD-XThe TD-X from Buffalo FX is an attempt at recreating the tone of the Tube Driver, without a tube and with a few minor tweaks to make it more amp friendly. The Tube Driver can often sound a tad fizzy in the top end and flabby in the lows but the TD-X sounds perfectly balanced and the top end in particular, sound smooth and nicely rounded off for an overall warmer and more dynamic character. Like the Tube Driver, the TD-X has a nice headroom and plenty of gain, when you crank it up. To me, the TD-X sounds much smoother and perhaps more linear when you set it up for distortion tones, which makes it more versatile for most setups. Highly recommended for David Gilmour’s Tube Driver tones and both stage and bedroom setups. See my full review of the Buffalo FX TD-X here.
Bedroom setups: 10/10
Gilmour tones: Delicate/Pulse/Gdansk/Rattle
Gilmourish.Com score: 10/10

Electro Harmonix Crayon
Buyer's Gear Guide - EHX CrayonThe Crayon is a versatile full range overdrive very similar to the Tube Driver. Like the Tube Driver, the Crayon can deliver anything from clean boost to tube-like overdrive and distortion and its two EQ controls allow you to shape the tone to any amp. The Crayon can also be tweaked for more vintage tones similar to the Colorsound Powerboost that David Gilmour used during the mid 70s. Dont’ get fooled by the two designs. The circuits are identical!
Bedroom setups: 10/10
Gilmour tones: Delicate/PULSE/Gdansk/Rattle
Gilmourish.com score: 8/10

Having trouble using the Tube Driver with your bedroom setup? Try Eric Johnson’s settings! The active tone controls makes the Tube Driver very bright and aggressive, but roll them all the way down, like Eric does, and increase the gain for aTube Screamer-ish overdrive with lots of compression and midrange!

Buyer's Gear Guide - Gilmourish PickWampler Plexidrive

As the name implies, the PlexiDrive is based on the classic Marshall JTM45. It has a transparent, bright tone with lots of tube-like compression and warmth and a gain character ranging from clean boost to distortion. What I like about this pedal is that the more you increase the gain and tone, the more compressed it gets, which means that it will never get thin and fizzy. An excellent alternative to the similar sounding Tube Driver, especially for bedroom setups.
Bedroom setups: 10/10
Gilmour tones: Delicate/PULSE/Gdansk/Rattle
Gilmourish.Com score: 10/10

Boss BD-2 Blues Driver

Capable of producing anything from clean boost to near fuzz, the BD2 is an incredibly versatile pedal that works equally well with larger amps as with typical bedroom setups. It’s transparent, mids scooped tone and fat lower end makes it a great alternative for the Colorsound Powerboost and BK Tube Driver. I strongly recommend the Robert Keeley modified version for a smoother and warmer tone.
Bedroom setups: 9/10
Gilmour tones: Delicate/PULSE/Gdansk/Rattle
Gilmourish.Com score: 9/10


David has always relied on vintage style transparent boosters and overdrives or the occasional amp gain but for a more versatile setup and for your bedroom rig, you might want overdrives with a bit more mid range and warmth.

Ibanez TS9/Maxon OD 808

The original Tube Screamers. Nothing really beats these two in terms of smooth, creamy overdrive and endless sustain. Not everyone appreciates the lack of lower end and gain but you can’t find a more versatile and easy to set up overdrive than these two. Of all the different Ibanez and Maxon models, the TS9 and OD808 are the best sounding. Check out some of the many clones available as well, like the MJM Phantom Overdrive and Way Huge Green Rhino for a bit more lower end and gain, as well as a few more features.
Bedroom setups: 10/10
Gilmour tones: Delicate/PULSE/Gdansk/Rattle
Gilmourish.Com score: 8/10

Buffalo FX Carrera
Buyer's Gear Guide Buffalo FX CarreraWhile the TD-X is based on that classic Tube Driver pedal, with a typical tube amp character similar to the early Marshall plexi models, the issue for some is that there isn’t enough mid range for the pedal to cut through properly. At least not with the typical Gilmour settings. The Carrera address that and offer the same tube amp tones and character, with more mid range and compression. This pedal is extremely responsive and dynamic and ideal for bedroom setups and scooped amps. See my full review of the Carrera here.
Bedroom setups: 10/10
Gilmour tones: Delicate/PULSE/Gdansk/Rattle
Gilmourish.com score: 9/10

Buyer's Gear Guide - Gilmourish PickVick Audio Tree of Life
Vick Audio Tree of LifeThe Tree of Life is based on two classic overdrive pedals, the OCD and Zendrive. Both are more or less based on the elusive Dumble amp, which had an enormous amount of mid range. The Tree of Life blends both pedals perfectly together, creating a versatile mix of low end, mid range, headroom and gain. You can easily use this pedal for beefing up a dull clean tone, boosting other pedals or as a dedicated overdrive or distortion. The high amount of mid range makes it fit almost any amp and bedroom setup. It works particularly well for David’s Pulse and current tones but it can easily cover pretty much the whole span from the earliest days up until today. See my full review of the Vick Audio Tree of Life here.
Bedroom setups: 10/10
Gilmour tones: Delicate/Pulse/Gdansk/Rattle
Gilmourish.Com score: 10/10

Lovepedal Dover Drive
Based on the Tube Driver, the Dover Drive is teaked towards Eric Johnson’s tones, with a pronounced mid range, rolled off low end and endless sustain. Not an obvious Gilmour pedal perhaps but the Dover Drive easily covers all of David’s recent overdrive tones, from Division Bell to present. It’s impossible to dial in useless or harsh tones with this one. It’s just creamy sweetness all the way and personally, this is my new go-to overdrive for recording sessions. See my full review of the Dover Drive here.
Bedroom setups: 10/10
Gilmour tones: PULSE/Gdansk/Rattle
Gilmourish.Com score: 7/10

EHX Soul Food
The Soul Food is EHX’s take on the legendary, and ridiculously overpriced, Klon Centaur overdrive. Like the original, the Soul Food provides a wide range of tones, from fat, transparent cleans to creamy overdrive saturated with warm mid range. It can sound a bit boxy and dull on its own but it cuts nicely through a dense band mix and pairing with a cranked amp will produce the sweetest sustain. An excellent choice for any amp and bedroom setups in particular.
Bedroom setups: 10/10
Gilmour tones: PULSE/Gdansk/Rattle
Gilmourish.Com score: 9/10

Fulltone OCD

The OCD is basically a hot wired beefed up Tube Screamer with the typical mid range boost and dark, creamy overdrive. The pedal has lots more gain and lower end though, which makes it work just as good as a distortion with a RAT-ish tone. A toggle switch allows you to add a bit more top end and presence, taking the pedal towards a Tube Driver. An incredibly versatile overdrive and great alternative for David’s 90’s and present overdrive tones on bedroom setups.
Bedroom setups: 10/10
Gilmour tones: Delicate/PULSE/Gdansk/Rattle
Gilmourish.Com score: 9/10

Electro Harmonix Glove
Buyer's Gear Guide - EHX GloveAn excellent version of the popular and versatile Fulltone OCD. The Glove offer the same huge tones, with a distinct tube-like character, fat lows and a smooth mid range that will match any amp. The Glove has enough gain on tap to serve either as an overdrive or distortion and it’s an excellent alternative to David’s more recent Tube Driver tones.
Bedroom setups: 10/10
Gilmour tones: Delicate/PULSE/Gdansk/Rattle
Gilmourish.com score: 8/10

SviSound OverZoid
SviSound OverZoidSviSound creates some stunning looking pedals and the OverZoid sounds as good as it looks. It’s hard to compare this one to anything that’s out there but think of a mix between an Klon, OCD and Rat and you’re pretty much there. There’s tons of mid range and gain here, so don’t expect any lush cleans, but the harmonics and sustain this pedal is producing is hard to beat. Highly recommended for bedroom setups and mids scooped Fender and Vox amps in particular. See my full review of the SviSound OverZoid here.
Bedroom setups: 10/10
Gilmour tones: Delicate/Pulse/Gdansk/Rattle
Gilmourish.Com score: 8/10

Strymon Deco
Buyer's Gear Guide Strymon DecoPerhaps an odd choice for your Gilmour tones but this pedal has so much to offer. The Deco replicates the compression, saturation and overdrive you would get from plugging your guitar into those old tape machines. Either as a stand alone overdrive or as a booster, the Deco provides super smooth tones from clean to moderate overdrive, nicely compressed and with enoygh low end. Like those old tape machines, the Deco also offer amazing sounding flanger, chorus and delay. Highly recommended for boosting and David’s more recent Tube Driver tones. See my review of the Deco here.
Bedroom setups: 10/10
Gilmour tones: Delicate/PULSE/Gdansk/Rattle
Gilmourish.com score: 10/10


Although David always favoured the vintage fuzz and Muffs, he did use a RAT in the 80s and 90s for some of the songs. His 1989-90 setup also featured a Tube Screamer. It’s also worth noting that the Cornish G2 featured on the 2006 tour has a similar tone as the RAT. Depending on your amp, in most cases you’re probably better off with a category 2 distortion (more mid range and compression) for your bedroom setup.

ProCo Rat

Nothing beats the RAT when it comes to classic distortion. This has always been my go to pedal and it works perfectly on any setup for any genre. The tone ranges from warmth overdrive to creamy tube-like distortion to screaming fuzz. It has a pronounced mid range and all the sustain in the world. There are many clones on the market, with different modifications, but the old black box keeps up with most of them.
Bedroom setups: 10/10
Gilmour tones: Delicate/PULSE
Gilmourish.Com score: 8/10

Buyer's Gear Guide - Arc Effects SoothsayerArc Effects Soothsayer
Since its introduction in the late 70s, the RAT has been one of the most versatile distortions on the market, with it’s smooth character and sweet sustain. The Soothsayer is based on the old classic and the LM308 chip and in addition to covering the original tone, you can also switch between different clipping modes. The RAT can appear a bit boxy and lack low end but the Soothsayer has a much more open tone and nicely balanced lows. Definitely one of the better RAT clones out there and a great option for typical bedroom setups. See my full review of the Soothsayer here.
Bedroom setups: 10/10
Gilmour tones: Delicate/PULSE
Gilmourish.Com score: 9/10

CostaLab Dirty Angel
CostaLab Bad AngelThe Dirty Angel is based on the classic Rat circuit, with lots of gain, compression and mid range. In addition to the familiar controls, the Bad Angel feature a boost switch for a second gain stage, allowing more of pretty much everything on solos and heavier parts. Compared to the Rat, the Bad Angel has more low end and more of that tube amp-like character, with more compression kicking in at higher gain settings. At lower gain settings, the pedal also doubles nicely as a warm overdrive. Excellent alternative to the Rat and similar clones and especially recommended for smaller sized bedroom setups and scooped amps. See my full review of the Bad Angel here.
Bedroom setups: 10/10
Gilmour tones: Delicate/Pulse/Gdansk/Rattle
Gilmourish.Com score: 9/10

Buyer's Gear Guide - Gilmourish PickBuffalo Evolution
Buyer's Gear Guide - Buffalo FX EvolutionAlthough David Gilmour is perhaps mostly associated with the Big Muff, he also use distortions like the RAT and Pete Cornish G2. These have more mid range and an overall more saturated character. The Evolution is based on the G2, with much of the same character but Buffalo FX has addressed some of the issues as well, like designing a more linear gain stage and an overall warmer sounding character. The result is an incredibly versatile distortion, with a tube amp like tone, sweet singing sustain and a very low noise level. See my full review of the Evolution here.
Bedroom setups: 10/10
Gilmour tones: Delicate/PULSE/Gdansk/Rattle
Gilmourish.Com score: 10/10

TopTone DG2

The DG-2 is loosely based on the Pete Cornish G2. Not really a Big Muff but closer to the classic RAT with a warm, creamy germanium tone and tons of sustain. Compared to the Cornish, the DG2 is actually noticeably quieter and even a bit smoother. An excellent choice for a versatile setup and for bedroom setups. See my full review of the DG2 here.
Bedroom setups: 9/10
Gilmour tones: Delicate/PULSE/Gdansk/Rattle
Gilmourish.Com score: 9/10

Vick Audio V-2
Vick Audio V2The V-2 taps into the Cornish G2 territory but unlike the TopTone G2 and Buffalo FX Evolution, the V-2 sounds closer to a Muff, rather than a Muffish Marshall. There’s lots of gain, mids and low end here but what sets it apart, is less compression and more harmonics. The V-2 can easily cover David’s more current lead tones, produced by the Cornish G2 but also double as a Muff and even a fuzz, with some tweaking. The V-2 sounds best alone, without a booster, and works equally well on smaller bedroom amps and bigger stage rigs. See my full review of the Vick Audio V-2 here.
Bedroom setups: 10/10
Gilmour tones: Delicate/Pulse/Gdansk/Rattle
Gilmourish.Com score: 8/10

Feel free to use the comments field below and share your experience, recommendations and tips!

1,603 Responsesso far.

  1. Phil B says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    I know you did a video on the Keeley Phat Mod a while ago. Is the pedal quite noisy with the gain turned up for you (3 o’clock)? I noticed mine is very noisy in comparison to the Buffalo Power Booster … It does sound good, way more compressed than the PB, but quite noisy, even with an isolated 9V power supply. Even more noisy than a Muff. All running into a Hiwatt T20 btw :P

    Would a Fulltone OCD work with the Hiwatt? I fear the mids might get too much …

    Thanks for your answers,

  2. Mikky Whalan says:

    Hey Bjorn, what are your thoughts on the mojo mojo overdrive

    • Bjorn says:

      It’s years since I tried one but as with any overdrive it depends on the amp. The MM is very close to a Tube Screamer, although a bit more open sounding.

      • Mikky Whalan says:

        Okay it’s just to me it sounds closer to both the colorsound power boost and the bk Butler tube driver ,it can replacate IMHO From DSOTM to The Division Bell,
        Through my hiwatt maxwatt, again my own opinion

  3. Patrick Kennedy says:

    I come back and read this article all the time. So much valid information here. I’ve even posted it in online forums when people are seeking dirt pedal recommendations.
    My question: I am playing a Fender ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb with an Eric Johnson Thinline Strat. Are there *any* Muff pedals that might work with this amp?

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for the kind words!
      The new EHX Green Russian is probably the easiest to set up among the standard Muffs. Very warm and it (almsot) fits any amp. One of my favourites is the 1861 from Vick Audio. It’s based on the early 90s Sovteks, which the Green Russian is too, and it has a mid range boost making it ideal for the more scooped amps.

  4. Rodrigo Cavallari says:

    Hi, Bjorn!

    Such a great site! I don’t buy anything without check your pedal experience round here. Thanks a lot!

    By the way, have you ever tried the Blackstar HT Dual Drive? Sounds quite right for Gilmour tones?

    Thanks!! Congrats!

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for the kind words!
      The Blackstar is somewhat similar to the Tube Driver, with a fairly transaprent tube amp character. Well worth checking out.

  5. Ben says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I am considering a new Fender Blues Jr. amp that has the Eminence Rex speaker for a practice and jam amp as a clean platform for Gilmour tones. What are your thoughts on the following two overdrive pedals?

    Friedman BE-OD pedal- sounds amazing but not sure about Gilmour sounds
    Bogner Ecstasy Red or Blue pedal

    IF these work they also give me the tones of the two high end very expensive boutique amps (Friedman BE-100 and Bogner Ecstasy) on a budget as well.

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried those pedals so I can’t really tell. Based on the vids I’ve seen, they should be able to get you close to the Tube Drive tones. My experience with the Blues Jr is that it doesn’t handle high gain pedals that well, so I’d recommend medium gain overdrives and maybe stack them for more sustain and grit. Other options would be Boss BD-2 and EHX Crayon.

  6. Nitzan says:

    Hey Bjorn
    Thanks a lot for that overdrive and distortion guide. Helped me a a lot in focusing my search.
    I’ve got interested about the svisound pedals, especially in the SpectroZoid. Your sound in On An Island sunday jam is insane!
    I noticed you said that it works well with fender type amps like most of the Zoid pedals, but will it do the job in a bedroom setup aswell? I figure that it will due to the high mids, but wanted to hear your opinion as well.

    Thank you!

    • Bjorn says:

      Yep, works great. Most of the SviSound pedals has a very pronounced mid range and a bit of compression but they often lack low end to allow the mids to really cut through. They work great on most amps but on a bedroom setup and lower volume you might want to compensate with a bit of bass boost.

  7. Dave Sharp says:

    Hi…. fab review of these effects. I’m quite new to live playing ai it really helps me. Much appreciated Dave#

  8. SilvioD says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I’m getting a Caline Pure Sky, a nice Vemuram Jan Ray/Paul Cochrane Timmy clone at 1/10 of the cost of the original. It should arrive in the next few weeks.

    In general, what do you think about Zendrive/Dumble-style pedals used for floydian tones? Do you think they can act as an effective fat boost for clean tones with an hint of tube-amp-flavour (Cluster One, ABITW pt.II)? They could replace a Butler TubeDriver for lead parts (Poles Apart, Maroneed, and so on…)?

    Thanks in advance for your help

    • Bjorn says:

      Always depends on the amp but in genereal, these types of pedals has a nice mid range and a bit of compression that would go nicely with David’s overdrive tones.

  9. Ned Riley says:

    So, here’s a pedal that I haven’t seen mentioned here – the Magnetic Effects Zola boost.

    The thing that caught my attention was the internal voltage booster that converted 9V to 30V. Perhaps that could be used in lieu of the Power Boost?

  10. Paris says:

    Hey Bjorn, hope you’re well and, as always, a massive fan of your content, always keeping us busy!

    So, I have been keeping my eye on a Bananaboost lately – some really great sounds one can get from such boosters. However, my main amp, at the moment, is a Fender 65 Deluxe Reverb Reissue, and from what I’ve read in many of your articles Fender amps don’t lend themselves very nicely to mid scooped pedals, lacking mids themselves.. Do you think a Bananaboost type pedal would perhaps be a bad purchase for that amp?

    Also, since I’m asking about overdrives and stuff, what would be a few of your top picks for overdrives and also distortions (with a little bit more gain on tap) for this amp. I’ve understood that Tubescreamer and maybe Klon type circuits are better bets due to their mids (of which I already have a few pedals) but wondering what you think and how much I could potentially experiment with different pedals, as I think I might be a bit limited here. Any pedal suggestions and input will be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks a lot in advance,

  11. Andrea says:

    Hi, I would like to build my first own pedalboard (single pedal, no multieffect), but i never used a pedal; i absolutely love the Gilmour sound !! which are the must-to-have pedals to start ?? I know this question is so generic, but i’m really confused about which choose to begin, both type and brand. I have a Strat USA and a Fender Blues Junior IV. Thank you very much !! have a nice day.

  12. Samuel says:

    Hello Bjorn, I´m renewing my pedalboard and I want to cover the wide field of overdrives/distortions. Now, I´m playing with a Fender Stratocaster Made in Mexico, Vox AC4 C1 12″ and I have a Mooer Black Secret (Rat clone), JHS Sweet tea (TS808 and Angry Charlie clone) and a JHS mod Green Russian Muff. After reading the comments of the post, I´m planning to get a BD-2 (close to theTube driver), OCD (similar to the tubescreamer but with much more mid range and very versatile) and a Klon centaur clone (something like a clean booster). It´s fine or you see anything redundant?

    Another question is that I´m not sure which clone fits better in each case:

    – BD-2: Here I don’t have any doubt and I think that I´ll go for the Mooer Blues mood instead of the standard BD-2 because it´s based on the Keeley Mod (two modes). (I did the same with the Black secret/ Rat choice and I´m very happy).

    – OCD: it is very expensive and I read that EHX Glove and Mooer Hustle drive are very close. In your opinion, which one is the closest to the original? Any other clone to take into account?

    – Klon Centaur: The only budget pedal that I saw is the EHX Soul Food. Is it close? Any alternative? Recently, I’ve heard about the Caline Pegasus and the Mosky Golden Horse but no idea about sound and/or quality.

    Thank you again for your post. It helps a lot!!!


  13. Silvio says:

    Hi Bjorn. I take advantage of this column to ask you some things. I have been following you for many years but I do not deny you that for some time now I have been struggling to understand some things you say or some of your descriptions.
    We have as a point of reference the Tube driver that Gilmour has used for many years. You give suggestions suggesting some pedals that, as you say, come close to that of timbre and can be used for songs from Momentary laps of reason up to the present day regarding Gilmour’s sounds. The problem is that I see pedals completely different from them. An example? Bd-2 and SD-1 are the opposite. The Bd2 is clearly mids scooped while the SD-1 is the opposite. Same thing for the ocd, still different from the two and still others. The Crayon is something in between. So I ask you: is the tube driver mids scooped? or otherwise? Then I wanted to ask you, if you agree that if you look for a sound similar to the Pulse era, you need EMGs, which are completely different from passive pickups and that therefore also overdrive will sound differently if you use a Stratocaster like “Black strat “?

    • Bjorn says:

      The Tube Driver is somewhat similar to the Fender Bassman and the early Marshall JTM/Plexi amps. Not quite but close. It’s a fullrange overdrive, meaning that it’s not scooped but not mids boosted either. You can roll the bass and treble controls back and get a lot more mids or boost them and get a very scooped tone.

      The BD2 is not scooped. Like the Tube Driver it’s a full range overdrive. It has some compression and enough mids to cut through. Much like those old amps.

      The OCD has more gain, compression and mids but not nearly as much as a Tube Screamer. It can do the Tube Driver pretty well. Especially on the more mids scooped amps.

      The Tube Screamer has a lot of mids and compression. People often complain about the lack of lows but to get all that mids you need to shave off the lows. The SD1 is very similar with a tad more gain and sparkle.

      The Crayon is clearly based on the Tube Driver but it has a bit more mids and compression. Perhaps somewhere between the Tube Driver and OCD.

  14. Marcelo Angelo says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    I have a fender blues jr tweed. To nail pulse tones, with green russian and boss CE 2w, I’m not very happy using the boss db-2w for “replacing” the tube driver. What you sugest as a better option, buffalo td-x? Carrera? Plexi driver?


    • Bjorn says:

      I had some great tones with the BD2 and Blues Jr when I owned a Jr but I guess it’s a matter of taste and, how you set it up. The BD2 should work I think. The Plexi Drive has a bit more compression and mid range so you might want to try that one.

  15. Evan Steidtman says:


    Do you have an idea of any more tones a RAT can cover? I build clones and I have built a P19 Muff and RAT clone. Do you have any ideas of what other albums those two can cover?



    • Bjorn says:

      The Rat is probably one of the most versatile distortions out there. It can cover pretty much anything from clean crunch to classic distortion and fuzz.

  16. tim says:

    Any views on valve overdrive pedals, like the Beringer, Blackstar or Vox tone garages?

    • Bjorn says:

      Adding a valve, or tube, to a gain pedal will often make it sound more dynamic and it responds better to your playing and how you set up the amp. As you now, David’s been using the Tube Driver since the early 90s. A tube alone however, won’t make a pedal great. It depends very much on the whole circuit and there are lots of transistor pedals out there that can mimic the tube sound very well, like the Wampler Plexi Drive, Boss BD2 etc.

  17. Nick Love says:

    Hello Björn! Hope all is well. I know how much you like the OCD, did you see he’s releasing a new germanium version? Supposed to be more tube like with more sustain and harmonics. Sounds like a recipe for some great Gilmourish tones. Figured I’d give you a heads up if you hadn’t heard.

  18. Kory A Davis says:

    Have you had a chance to look at the TruFi colordriver? Looks/sounds promising and not bad price wise either. I’m considering one.

  19. Frank Bizzoco says:

    Just a quick question Bjorn; Do you know the difference between the soul bender, and power booster? From what I have read elsewhere, Page used both, Clapton used soul bender, and Gilmour the power booster of course. I cant find any comparisons between the two in YouTube. Just curious, Thanks!

    • Bjorn says:

      The Power Boost has much more headroom and the two EQ controls. Turned up it can drive a tube amp and produce quite a lot of fuzz but it’s really a clean booster. The Tone Bender is a fuzz, with much more gain and saturation.

  20. Austin says:

    The Dawned Prince Red Rox just doesn’t seem to get much love, or attention. I’ve used a plethora of the overdrives and Distortions pedal including many of Bjorn’s picks(which are truly great pedals especially the Buffalo TDX). The Red Rox is brilliant and the compression is so valve like. It cleans up and covers so much ground. Can’t say enough about it really. Thank you BJORN for years of inspiration, and technical guidance. Just when I think I got it figured out…I come here and learn something. Bless???!

  21. Dimitris Kovaios says:

    Hello, there!
    Recently I got my hands on a Pig Hoof, which is killer, but I encountered the problem of getting lost in the band mix…
    Changing from my TDX to the Pig Hoof boosted by an EP Booster, my guitar disappeared! ?
    All this through a Hi-Tone amp, quite loud…
    I guess, maybe a second TDX as a cleanish booster for Muffs and Fuzzes would be better, to stay in the same ballpark between overdrive and boosted fuzz?

    • Bjorn says:

      All Big Muffs, and especially the older ones, like the triangle and ram’s head, have very little compression and mid range. It’s not the Pig Hoof but those early Muffs in general. Unfortunately the issue is that you often get lost in the mix. If you look at David’s setup, he’s using Hiwatts and they’re set with the mids and presence pretty high to compensate for using pedals with less mid range. He’s also using EQs set with a slight mid range boost.
      The Pig Hoof sounds great with the TDX set clean after it but if you have big problems not cutting through you might want to use an EQ and boost the 400-1000 range.

      • Dimitris Kovaios says:

        More drastic equalisation, then, I see…
        Quite impressive, though!
        When I used a Vick Audio Overdriver and an Analogman BC109, there was no such great difference between them, in the context of getting heard, I mean.
        But, man, they should be played LOUD! ?
        Thanks again for your input, Bjorn!

  22. Gabriel Tate says:

    Im trying to figure out what Buffalo FX pedal will give you the same Distortiona/Electric sound David gets on his Final Cut and Fletcher Memorial solo’s. I know there are other effects but what pedal do you think nails it? Thank you Sir.

  23. Michael says:

    Hey Bjorn Have you tried the TC Electronic Tube Pilot or mojo mojo overdrive. If so What’s your experience and will it be a good alternative
    I use a hiwatt maxwatt g40 12r and a squire Strat
    With stock neck and middle pickups and a dimarzio FS1

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried it but from the vids I’ve seen it seems to be loosely based on the Tube Driver, although a bit limited with less controls. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the Tube Driver, then check out the Buffalo FX TDX, Boss BD2, EHX Crayon… to name a few.

  24. Raffaele says:

    Hi Bjorn, I’ve been following this site for years and I have to congratulate you.
    I go straight to the point: I changed my amp recently and got a Fender Bassman (Jensen Speakers) and I play with my Stratocaster (CS69 PU).
    What pedal do you recommend for recreating the typical Colorsound PowerBoost sound in WYWH with my new amp? Do you think it’s possible?
    Thank you very much for the attention.

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Raffaele!
      I’d go for the Boss BD2. Can’t go wrong. You might need to roll back the tone quite a bit to compensate for the rather bright amp but it should give you a tone very similar to the CPB. You might also want to check out the EHX Crayon or the Hot Wax, which are sonically a mix between the Tube Driver and BD2. See my review of the Hot Wax here.

  25. Kent Rune Green tjønndal says:

    Hei Bjørn.

    I’m a big fan of david gilmour, and has for a few years tried to get his tunes right.
    but really difficult.

    my set up i use is. Hiwatt g100r transistor amp, boss compressor/sustain, big muff, rat, mojo-mojo, digital delay. just ordered mxr dynacomp vintage wich i will swap out with the boss compressor
    i sometimes use my peavy classic 50w amp, that makes the sound a bit warmer.
    i’m concidering to buy the buffalo powerbooster.

    i’m trying to get the tone from shine on you crazy diamond aswell the tone from animals.

    can you give me some adwise?

  26. Hi Bjorn! First of all, compliments for the blog and the Youtube Channel, they’re really helpful.

    I have a question, currently I’m looking for an OD pedal, now i have a TS9 clone, but I don’t like it, when it’s keep on low gain (1 or 2) it’s good for a clean boost, the problem is when i want more gain, it become really muddy and dark.

    Now after reading this page I’m really uncertain, beacouse I want an OD to pair with the Green Russian reissue, that can also switch from clean boost to a good crunch.
    I’m oriented on these pedal: Boss BD2, EHX Crayon, MXR Fet Driver or the SviSound Spectrozoid.

    My setup is this: Strat with SSL5, Abigayl Ybarra, and Fat 50 (Bridge, Middle, Neck) >MXR DynaComp>Muff>Phase 90>E-Lady>CE2 clone>TC Repeater>Bugera V5.
    The Bugera V5 has a really good clean but it’s a bit dark.

    which would you recommend?


    • Bjorn says:

      TS9s often sound dark and muddy if they’re not used correctly. Don’t mean that you’re doing anything wrong but they’re basically designed to provide a Marshall-like tone to Fender amps when cranked and, to push Marshall amps into more gain when set clean. To put it very simple. The Boss BD2 is hard to beat as it can do pretty much anything, from clean boost to near fuzz without sounding too dark or overly compressed.

  27. Alessandro Borges Cordeiro says:

    Hi Bjorn. Greetings! What do you think about the new Fulltone OCD V2? Do you tryed it?

  28. piazzi says:

    Hi Bjorn

    I have an OD Glove and it works well with Lionheart 20H

    do you think there will be any advantage in replacing the Glove with an OCD for those amps?


    • Bjorn says:

      The Glove is great! Very similar to the OCD. A tad brighter and less bottom end but I think that compliments the Lionheart nicely.

  29. piazzi says:

    After watching a few videos by Brett Kingaman and Justnick, my chronic GAS condition flared up and I bought MI Audio Super Crunch Box V2 and MI Audio Super Blues Pro over drive

    I have been playing them with three amps (Bugera V22, Peavey Classic 20MH, Laney Lionheart 20 Head) and have been amazed by versatility and range of sounds in them.

    The amps are very different in sound and characteristics. Both pedals can be set to sound awesome with each one of the, They are relatively quiet, especially on Bugera. The pedal chain together quite well as well.

    Just wanted to pass a note and see if you have had any experience with them.

  30. NJ says:

    Hello Bjorn,
    After researchs on tube pedals i have found the HIWATT tube overdrive , i don’t find a lot of review of this unit and I was wondering if you know it


  31. Phil B says:

    Hey Bjørn,

    just got my hands on a Buffalo FX Powerbooster. I only tested it like 15 minutes so far, but what I’ve heard was already mindblowing.
    I now know why this thing is called “Booster”: I can crank the gain knob to like 2 o’clock and the sodding thing will still not break up haha (using it with my Hiwatt T20 and Black Strat of course)

    Quite noticeable is the “jump” in gain from 4-5 o’clock though, like the old Colorsound Booster I assume, having never played it, only read about it. It sounds so damn smooth though … like there is no fizzy sounds when chords or notes ring out, even on higher gain settings.
    I compared it to the Keeley Phat Mod and that pedal is way louder and has more gain overall in my opinion, also does not sound as smooth :P

    Is it supposed to break up so late or is it just the 18V headroom and the Hiwatt that cause the late breakup?
    Do you think it has a sweetspot (with all knobs maybe)?

    Thinking of using it as either a boost or light/medium OD with the gain at like 3 o’clock and leave the heavy OD to the Phat Mod.


    • Bjorn says:

      The Buffalo is designed to provide more headroom so there will be a later breakup compared to a 9V. How fast it breaks up also depends on how you set the the level and how much that drives the amp, how you’ve set the amp and how much headroom it has, your pickups etc.

      • Phil B says:

        Yes I understand. I guess I expected it to break up sooner haha

        After messing around more with the Powerbooster I finally matched the clean sound amp volume with the overdriven and distorted sounds of the pedals, for which I had to turn down the volume on all gain pedals quite a bit. They are mostly at like 9-12 o’clock now. Before that I used a fairly quite clean sound, which I then boosted with the Boss-BD2 to match the volume of the gain pedals.
        Remembering the Hiwatt/Powerbooster episode on TPS I think due to the high headroom of amp and pedals, the volume gets boosted so immensly to drive the amp into OD even at lower settings.

        You mentioned the interaction between volume and gain/sustain on a gain pedal in an article.
        Do you think with the volume being fairly low on most pedals now, this affects that interaction a lot?
        Gain pedals are the Powerbooster, Keeley Phat Mod, Green Russian Muff and VA Ram’s Head by the way ;)

        • Bjorn says:

          Depends on the type of gain. A lot of pedals these days seem to be based on a TS9, Klon or Rat, which are all meant to produce a tone similar to what you’d get from a cranked tube amp. A booster, like the Power Boost, is or was, designed to boost or drive the front end of a tube amp so it had to have a lot of volume. Two different worlds. Yes, the volume and gain on the Power Boost interact in the way that your amp will break up sooner the higher you set the volume on the pedal. The more amp break up you get, the more it will interact with the pedal’s gain structure.

  32. Mark Koenig says:

    Hey Bjorn – Have you tested out the Black Arts Toneworks Black Forest? It’s supposed to be based on the Colorsound Overdriver circuit.

    Thanks! Mark

    • Bjorn says:

      Haven’t tried it.

    • James Filben says:

      Hi Mark, I own the Black Arts Toneworks Black Forest as well as the BuffaloFX 18-Volt Power Booster and can provide some feedback. The Black Forest is amazingly transparent and sounds phenomenal in small bedroom setups. Clarity is absolutely awesome playing a Strat or Tele into an old 1964 Gibson Skylark amp or newer Fender Deluxe Reverb. The Black Forest is sadly not that well known in gear world. I came across it after purchasing the incredible Pharaoh Supreme 6-way Fuzz pedal, which is a fantastic fuzz pedal that can literally be dialed in to almost any setup. The options on the Pharaoh Supreme are endless and nearly every setting sounds wonderful.

      But back to the Black Forest. There is just “something” I really love about this little Power Boost clone. And the price is absolutely fantastic. To be honest, I actually use the Black Forest pedal more frequently than I do the BuffaloFX 18-volt Power Booster. It plays very well with other pedals and “beautifies/glorifies” any guitar signal you throw at it.

      I do not believe there is much information out there on the web about the BAT Black Forest. It does not even come with an Owners Manual, so figuring out the 6-way depth switch can be a bit of a challenge in the beginning. But after spending a few hours with the pedal I can almost guarantee you will be able to dial in a beautiful Gilmour-esque transparent tone that is to die for. And the BAT Black Forest is NOT an expensive pedal at all. So I cannot imagine you making a mistake buying this baby. I say “get it.” If you decide it is not your cup of tea you can recoup the majority of your minimal investment on Reverb.

      NOTE: Do yourself a favor and check out th Black Arts Toneworks Coven pedal before jumping on the Black Forest. The reason? The Coven includes BOTH the Black Forest pedal as well as the Pharaoh Fuzz in a single enclosure. I opted for the Black Forest because I already have a ton of stand-alone fuzz pedals.

      I hope this information helps. There are no listings for used Black Forest OD pedals on Reverb at the moment, which tells you something about this pedal right there, IMHO. If you have any further questions about the Black Forest feel free to reach out to me: chris.filben@gmail.com and I will try to answer your questions. The Black Forest is, simply put, a get sounding transparent OD that does justice to the legacy of the original 18-Volt Power Booster.

      • Mark Koenig says:

        Thanks, James! I have the BAT Sarcophagus on my board, which I love. Looks like I might have to make some room for the Black Forest.

  33. Andrea says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I’d also reccomend as OD the Maxon St9-Pro Plus, which is in fact a TS9 with expanded capabilities (it has a “Mid enhance” control to let you dial in this crucial frequency range and can be run at an internal voltage of 9v or 18v with an internal switch)

  34. Derek says:

    Sorry if this has been mentioned but has anything come up re: Dave’s use of the Schaefer wireless units and what it may have added to his tone on The Wall Tour.

    Solodallas.com is reproducing clones of the wireless units without the wireless capability for use as a preamp only. There’s a good backstory about how someone traced Angus Young’s tone back to his use of the wireless and now they clone it just for the preamp. Similar I guess to the Echoplex preamp pedals also available. Interesting that the preamp in both the Schaefer and Echoplex added enough to the tone that they are now sold separate of the actual effect they were Intended for.

    I’d assume Dave was using the wireless, if not for the whole show, at least when he was on the wall for CN. Thought of the hat when I saw the pic of his amps that includes the two Schaefer units sitting on the Mesa Boogie head.


    • Bjorn says:

      Yes, he did use the Schaefer but how it was used, I don’t know. I know Angus relied on it but again, how important it was for David’s tones I really don’t know. Angus was very much plug and play, with his Marshalls etc and the Schaefer would have coloured the tone quite a bit but David used pre-amps and lots of effects, so…

  35. Michel C Giroux says:

    Hello Bjorn, excellent reviews of overdrive and distortion pedals.Have you had a chance to try Macari’s Aussie Power Boost version of the Colorsound Power Boost,(18v, master volume,LED and power jack)?

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried it but it seems to be a 18V, which has more headroom, with slight mods on it. Proabaly smoother breakup, more headroom and easier to place on a large pedal board with buffers I would imagine.

  36. Thierry says:

    Hi everybody,

    Did someone use the pal 959 plexi emulator from PedalPal fx or their jcm? Seems to be great pedals.

  37. Lukas Schmidtke says:

    Hi Bjorn! I just wanted to say, that the tru-fi pedals would be worth adding to your lists. The Tru-fi Colordriver is an INSANE Clone of the Colorsound Powerbooster. And the tru-fi Floyd Fuzzes seem to be spot on to the original Big Muffs that DG has used over the years. I know it’s impossible to review everything, and that not every company is willing to send you their products for free. So I really hope I’m not frustrating your nerves here :-) I was just sooo happy to learn about these pedals, that I just wanted to share that with everyone here :-) God bless – keep up the good work :-)

  38. Corey says:

    Hi Bjorn, I am trying to get a time similar to the ones heard on Wish You Were Here. I’m using a fender road worn strat and a 1976 fender twin reverb. Some guidance on an overdrive that would help me achieve this tone would be appreciated.


    • Bjorn says:

      David used the Colorsound Power Boost on that album, although there might be some amp overdrive there as well. He used his Hiwatts and Fender Showmans so a Twin should go nicely although it much less compressed and brighter sounding. Similar pedals would be the Boss BD2 or a clone of the Power Boost. Do check out the EHX Hot Wax as well.

  39. Baskah says:

    Hi Björn
    I recently got a Fender Champion 40 Amp and I’m playing thru a Jazzmaster with Seymour Duncan Antiquity 1 pickups.
    I noticed that my Big Muff is rubbish now with this amp (I liked to play Dinosaur Jr. and used to play Marshall).
    I also use a SansAmp Original (Classic) wich works well on the Fender for Nirvana like stuff.

    1. How would you review the SansAmp Classic? What amp would suit it most in your eyes?

    2. Is there an amp I can use that sounds good with my SansAmp AND my BigMuff? I really like them both!

    Thanks so much

  40. Massimo says:

    hi bjorn: do you think that Xotic SL and Buffalo TDX are somewhat similar in tone and so the TDX could override the SL? thanks as always for your kind suggests!

    • Bjorn says:

      No. The SL is super compressed and it has a lot of mid range. Very close to how a Marhsall Plexi would sound. The TDX is an overdrive, with less mid range and compression.

  41. Tom says:

    Hi Bjorn, sorry to bother, but I wanted to ask, is the Bananaboost THAT better than the Vick Audio Overdriver? I ask cause it seems more difficult to get the Bananaboost shipped to my country than the Vick (also a cheaper shipment with the Vick) but I really desire that colorsound powerboost tone
    Thanks in advance!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hmmm… I wouldn’t say that it’s THAT much better but they’re different. The Banana is slightly darker, with a smoother breakup and less compression. The Vick has more gain perhaps but also more compression. I like the Banana but only because it seem to fit my guitars and amps better. You should also check out the Buffalo FX Power Booster, which has that vintage flavour but it’s tweaked slightly to fit the more demanding amps.

  42. Tyler Mathews says:

    Hey Bjorn,
    What would be an ideal overdrive for a 80’s Fender Super Champ, on its gain channel, to produce a sweet lead tone?


  43. Richard says:

    Hi Bjorn, I just got a Princeton Reverb 65 reissue. So in your opinion, would a Boss SD-1 or BD-2 be a better match for it? I also have a Wampler Plexi Drive I would stack with either one for a lead boost. I only play at home at fairly low amp volumes. Cheers!

    • Bjorn says:

      I think all three would do nicely. The Princeton is a nice pedal platform. Obviously the SD1 and BD2 are two very different sounding pedals so it depends on what tones you want.

  44. Hi Bjorn. What do you think about keep two overdrive pedals in board? So, I can leave one for bases and another for solos or one for bases and another as booster for my Big Muff. I have a Crayon and I’m thinking of buying a BD-2.

    Another question: between TC Eletronic Viscous Vibe and MXR Univibe , which one do you think is better?

    • Bjorn says:

      Well, I have 5 overdrive/distortion pedals on the board so it all depends on what tones you need :) I think both UniVibes sound good but the MXR is perhaps the better IMO.

  45. Hi Bjorn. What do you think about Mooer Blues Mood, a BD-2 clone? It’s worth?

  46. Sergei Vlassov says:

    Sad, my long comment never appeared here :( Will try to repeat shortly main message: first of all many thanks for such useful page! Here are so many questions in comments about is this or that pedal sounds good with Laney Cub, that I think Bjorn could make separate article about his experience with different pedals with Laney Cub instead of answering to all those questions separately :) I would be very happy too with such article, since I am active Laney Cub used both at home and with a band (I have combo and head and use them with celestion vintage 30 or greenback speakers), I it would be really interesting to know how different distortion/overdrive pedals sound with Cub.

  47. Sergei Vlassov says:

    Hi Bjorn! First of all – HAPPY NEW YEAR!
    I just discovered this webpage and it is really great, very useful information for both bedroom and band players! Thank you!
    As I understand one of your main bedroom amps is Laney Cub? I have Laney Cub 12R with Celestion Vintage 30 at home, and I like it so much that I bought Laney Cub Head for my band and play it with 2×12 Vintage 30 Cab. I use two local “boutique” pedals for overdrive and distortion, but I am too lazy to carry my pedal board back and forth between home and rehearsal room, especially considering I am using four cable methods. So I am planning to put small pedal-board at home form Mooer pedals (just because they have amazing and very cheap so called “Flight case”. But the problem – what pedal to choose? I am reading comments on this webpage and here are tons of questions and answers about is this or that pedal is good for Laney Cub, you answered it many times already. I don’t want to be one more :) Probably it is time to write an article about your experience with Laney Cub with different pedals? So you could just give a link to your article when such question appear.
    Considering that I decided to go with Mooer series and the fact that they copy famous pedals, then I should choose two pedals (overdrive and distortion) among OCD, RAT, Blues Driver, Bluesbreaker, Tubescreamer, Boss DS-1 and several more which I am not familiar with. Reading your articles and comments I feel that RAD and Blues Driver would be a good choice, but really, you have very valuable experience, I would be happy to read about the whole spectra of your impressions on all pedals you tried with at least Laney Cub. Thank you!

    If case if you or anybody else are interested how my Laney Cub sounds with Celestion speaker, I have several studio quality examples of my channel:

    For example, here is a solo part of Another Brick In the Wall:
    It was not an attempt to re-create original sound, it was my own tone preference, I like it that way.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Sergei, thanks for the kind words! The Cub is a versatile amp and a good pedal platform so I think it’s more a question of what tones you want. I don’t have experience with all the Mooer pedals but the Hustle, Black Secret and Blues Mood are great for replicating David’s tones. Very good versions of the originals too.

  48. Pat says:

    Happy New year Bjorn!
    I have a question for you. I want to replace my ts9 (too thin) and my BK TD (too boomy). I know that is subjective but which pedal (considering all the gear you having try) can be the best replacement with a Fender BluesJr? I play with a 57reissue strap and Montluçon at bedroom level..
    Kind regards

  49. Philip says:

    Hello Bjorn

    First of all happy new year ! I have been looking a lot at the Bananaboost as I would like to hit those vintage early era tones. However I am mostly a bedroom player, where i play through a Lionheart L5 studio with matching 112 cab. My guitar is a Fender strat with Fat 50’s/CS69/SSL-5 pickups. My question is, do you think the Bananaboost is going to be problematic in this type of setup considering your bedroom score for this pedal, and if so, what would you recommend as an alternative if i want to stay true to those vintage tones (CPB mini driver?) ? Thank you !

    • Bjorn says:

      Happy new year Philip! Sorry for the late reply. The Banana works nicely with the Lionheart especially on the dirt channel with the mids around 3 o’clock or even higher. Alternatively, you could go for the Boss BD2, CPB Mini Driver or similar.

      • Philip says:

        Hello Bjorn. Thank you for the insight :) I ended up buying the Boss BD2, as i could get it quite cheap. Do you also recommend the use the dirt channel on the Lionheart for the BD2 ? Thank you !

        • Bjorn says:

          This is my current settings
          gain channel bright on, gain 8-9:00, volume between noon and 2:00, bass and mids 3:00, treble 9:00 and tone 11:00 (o’clock).

  50. Massimo says:

    hi Bjorn and happy new year: have you tried the BOSS ANGRY DRIVER (fusion of BOSS BD2 and JHS Angry Charlie)? if yes, how do you compare it to the Buffalo TDX? thanks! Massimo

    • Bjorn says:

      Haven’t tried it but I’ve tried both pedals. The Angry Charlie is more of a JCM Marshall kind of pedal, with quite a lot of gain. The BD2 is somewhat similar to the Tube Driver.

  51. Dimitris Kovaios says:

    Merry Christmas and a happy New Year, everyone!
    Any thoughts on amp in a box pedals?
    Not the real deal, but you can compensate the lack of a working Marshall or Hiwatt with those, as a base of your tones on non fuzz-friendly or smaller amps, I guess.
    Also, we are in the making of our first album, we would love to hear your opinion!

    • Bjorn says:

      Don’t have much experience with amp modelling pedals other than your typical Marshall JTM/JCM style overdrives. You could use amp style pedals to sort of add character to your amp, regardless of what amp it is, but it won’t turn your amp into something else. A Fender Twin with a Marshall pedal will still sound like a Fender Twin with a Marshall flavoured overdrive but with that, you will add a bit more mids and compression to your amp.

      • Dimitris Kovaios says:

        No doubt it won’t change the amp into a different thing.
        I tried Catalinbread ‘s RAH, which in fact helps handpe my silicon fuzz and Overdriver a bit, actually…Highly recommended!
        I wish all the best, for you and your family, my friend, Happy New Year!

  52. Mike says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Have you tried Keeley Super Phat Mod? I don’t know wich one i should choose: Keeley Super Phat Mod or Boss BD-2 Keeley mod.
    Tkanks in advance for quick reply.

  53. Lindsay Stirton says:

    “Some Big Muffs, like the Sovtek models and clones, are often best alone. As can distortion pedals like the Rat and similar, like the Buffalo Evolution, TopTone G2 etc.”

    I get some nice sounds with an Effectrode FireBottle after the Buffalo FX Evolution (into Laney L5H). The other way around – FireBottle into Evolution – sounds horrible.

  54. Pierre says:

    Hi, Under your “Distortion” section you mention a “category 2 distortion”. Can you explain what it is with some examples please? I have a BJr with Cannabis Rex and am looking for more mids for my setup. I am looking at a buying a RAT which should also help. Thanks

    • Bjorn says:

      Sorry for my late reply Pierre. I think it says in the feature. By category 2 I mean distortions with more compression and mid range like a RAT, OCD etc. Category 1 would be the more mids scooped and less compressed pedals like a Boss DS-1 etc.

  55. Thomas Redmond says:

    Hi again Bjorn,

    So I just got the Keeley Electronics Super Phat Mod and it’s a killer pedal. I love its low end through my strat and I’ve gotten a lot a driven tube amp Jimi tones out of it. My first question is: Do you think that the phat mod replaces my Wampler Tumnus deluxe in terms of its function as a pedal? The fact that they’re both gold I think is also throwing me off lol. A follow up question would be: If they can live peacefully together on the board, would you stack the tumnus before or after the phat mod? Thanks for your time!

    • Bjorn says:

      It’s two different types of overdrive to my ears. The BD2 is a full range overdrive, with lots of headroom and a lot of gain if you crank it. The Tumnus is based on the old Klon, which might sound similar if set clean but it has a lot more compression and mid range if you crank it.

  56. Shahriar says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Any opinion on Origin Effects Revival?

    • Shahriar says:

      Also if they tell you you just have one option to chose in you’re own in the chain of tone (guitar, effects and Amp) and we will give you the rest which one you chose? (Which on eis the most important in this chain?)

      • Bjorn says:

        Not sure I understand the question.

        • Shahriar says:

          I mean which one plays the biggest role in creating a tone?

          • Bjorn says:

            I don’t know how to answer that… I would say that your mind, technique and experience is the most important. Know your gear and have an idea of what sort of tones you want. Doesn’t really matter what gear you use if you don’t know how to use it or if it doesn’t fit your needs. I would put my money into a guitar and amp with the guitar probably being the nost important as it’s an extension of you and your expression. Worry about pedals later.

    • Bjorn says:

      Haven’t tried it.

  57. Zane says:

    Do you know if there are any good tc electronics overdrive pedals such as the El Mocambo, or the Nova Drive?

    • Bjorn says:

      Overdrives aren’t really TC’s strongest side or focus. They tend to be based on the Tube Screamer in different forms. I think there are much better alternatives out there but it’s all about taste.

      • Charles says:

        TC Electronics isn’t really in the game when it comes to dirt but they make a boost pedal called the Spark that is excellent and covers a lot of sonic ground. It can be used as a clean boost plus it has bass and treble controls so it can function as an EQd boost or a compensatory EQ with the volume normalized. It is also a switchable Mids Boost to cut thru like a TS. Additionally, it makes a nice Edge Boost or even a stand alone Light/Pushed Overdrive with Gain and Level controls. It is a very useful pedal especially if you already love the gain of your amp (I use it with a Mesa Triple Rectifier). It sounds killer! The three modes are: Fat, Clean, and Mid. The four controls are: Gain, Level, Bass, and Treble.

  58. Hello Bjorn. Mooer Black Secret does not work well with my Laney TI-15, probably because it is a Mids boosted and compressed amps. But I really like the sound of RAT. Could you indicate some distortion pedals that works well with my amp? Another question: in my amp (Laney), I have to adjust the tone control of my Ehx Crayon and Russian Big Muff around 3 or 4 o’clock to get a nice sound. Less than this sounds fat, without brightness and definition. It’s normal?

    • Bjorn says:

      Not that familiar with the amp but I guess it’s fairly mid rangy and probably not the best headroom, I don’t know. The Black Secret and other Rat type of pedals should work but it depends on how you’ve set the amp. Is it clean? How’s your EQ settings? The Crayon and Russian Big Muff are fairly bright so I again I would look at the amp settings. What sort of pickups do you use?

  59. Dimitris Kovaios says:

    Although a bit off Gilmour’s tones…
    Have you ever tried treble booster pedals, like the Dallas Rangemaster?
    Any experience, how they would sound on smaller amps like the Lionheart 5 watt combo and 20 watt stack?
    Hope you are doing great!

    • Bjorn says:

      Treble boosters aren’t like other overdrives. They boost certain frequencies and push the amp into overdrive, compression and clarity. They usually work better on bigger amps and high volume and they should be used much like an EQ when you need to open up and push the amp a bit. I’ve used a Beano Boost with the Lionheart and it sounds great with the amp’s normal mode and gain channel, as it gets fairly dark, but it gets too bright on the bright mode. For my taste at least.

  60. Jesus Coll says:

    This world seems so complex for the small budget guys…

    I was ready to acquire the Boss BD2 when I found out Boss has re-designed it with a tiny circuit which can hardly be modified.

    In the video you posted about the Boss BD2, did you used the standard old model, a modified model or the new model with the tiny cicuitry ?

    Do you have any oppinion on the new miniaturization circuit design?

    • Bjorn says:

      I used a stock model. Some of the clones and modified versions add more lows and rolls off the highs a bit but the stock does the job.

    • Charles says:

      BOSS has switched to surface mount manufacturing. You will need to search the used market if you want to modify any of their pedals.

  61. Peter says:

    Hi Bjorn! great Job! very interesting discussion! between td-x buffalo and strymon riverside what are more “gilmourish” sound?
    thanks a lot


    • Bjorn says:

      The TDX is based on the Tube Driver David’s using so I would say that one. However, it depends on your amp too. For a Fender or Vox, which both has little mid range, the Riverside might be a better choice.

  62. Filipe says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    do you ever got to try the TC Electronic Tube Pilot? Supposedly a “Tube Driver” clone… the price is amazing (around 40 EUR)…

  63. Greg Kala says:

    Hi, Bjorn. Do you think the Analogman King of Tone v4 has a place when trying to achieve David’s tones? Thanks, Greg

    • Greg Kala says:

      Forgot to say I’m using an Orange Rocker 15 set on the clean channel. Thanks.

    • Bjorn says:

      Don’t know how it matches up with your amp but you can’t really beat the KoT. It works nicely for just about everything and you should be able to get close to David’s Tube Driver tones… with some tweaking.

  64. Phil B says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    I recently recorded something and put it on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kV9ErsrDag

    What do you think in terms of the sound?
    Still trying to figure out the best mic placement, pedal and amp settings, but I must say that this is the best my gear as sounded so far :D

    Also thanks for that awesome backing track!


  65. Andrew says:

    Hi Bjorn.

    I’m looking for a Tube Driver clone foe pulse tones. I’m using and Eric Johnson strat with a 50w katana. Would you recommend tree of life, ocd, or plexi drive? Something else in that price range perhaps? Thanks!

  66. James Pace says:

    Hi Bjorn – Effectrode Overdrives (Tube Drive and Blackbird) Can you review these? PS love my Fire Bottle and Tube Vibe by Phil…

  67. Chris says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    Somewhat of an odd question. Placed later in the chain with saturation set low and with volume set at unity or higher, is the Strymon Deco’s natural compression enough to knock a standalone compressor off a board?

  68. Filipe says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    great site, amazing work and an incredible amalgama of knowledge :)

    I’m getting a Distortion pedal and my amp is a Vox AC30 CC1 (all valve). The Evolution sounds an amazing piece of kit but I’m wondering how much more “tone” would I get on top of a much cheaper RAT 2? Is the price difference worth it (in Europe 235 EUR vs 79 EUR). I like tube-like distortion, smooth and that works well with the guitar volume pot.

    Many thanks!!!

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for the kind words! The Evo and RAT are somewhat overlapping so if you’re looking for something slightly different you might want to check out a Fulltone OCD or, one of my favourites, the Vick Audio Tree of Life. Both pedals are medium gain overdrives that compliments the Evo perfectly.

      • Filipe says:

        Hello again and thanks for the reply. I don’t own any of them so I was deciding between the two. After the videos I watched I’m pretty much decided on the Evo but, as I was there, I also saw the TD-X… Say for “PULSE” tones (Comfortably Numb/Time solos, Sorrow…) which one would suit better? :) Many thanks.

        • Bjorn says:

          The Evo I guess. You could use the TDX as well but it’s more of an overdrive.

          • Filipe says:

            Sorry for one more question: does it clean up nicely as we roll down the volume on the guitar?

            • Bjorn says:

              That always depends on the pedal settings and your pickups but the TDX cleans up. The EVO has too much gain and compression.

              • Filipe says:

                Sorry to bother (again). Thank you for all your trouble :)

                One more question: is this pedal suitable for an AC30? I read on your reviews/tutorials that a Muff and an AC30 is not the best for Gilmour tones. Being this pedal a combination of Muff and British tube amp overdrive, do you think it will work nicely for David’s tones?

                Many thanks!

  69. Bruce LaVerdiere says:

    Bjorn, When you comment to us about OD pedals by different makers and what circuit they are “based” on like your recent comment
    “The Charlie Brown is based on the old JTM45 and Plexi tones so I guess that one is the closest to he Wampler. The Angry Charlie is a more modern distortion based on the JCM800, with more gain and an overall more aggressive character”

    How and where do you get this information if the manufacturer doesnt come right out and say it? Is there a resource that lists circuits for all pedals and what they are “based” on for an amp etc? Any extra information you could provide would be helpful. Thanks…P.s your blog is absolutely essential!

    • Bjorn says:

      Some makers are honest about this while others will say that a pedal is based on a British brown sound or that green overdrive pedal… things like that. It’s also about experience. I’ve been playing guitar for over 25 years and I’ve had the chance to play more amps and pedals than I can count. I recognise tone and branding very easy based on that.

      • Bruce LaVerdiere says:

        Thanks Bjorn for the reply! I hope to get my ears to that point someday! Do you like the Archer by J. Rockett? The Koko Boost by Suhr? How would you classify these two?

        • Bjorn says:

          The Archer is based on the Klon. It has lots of headroom but turn the gain up and you get that Klon grit and compression going. The Koko is cleaner I think. More of a volume booster although I think it has a mids boost option as well.

  70. Pedro Moreira says:

    For a bedroom setup, which overdrive would be better, Blues Driver, Soul Food or Crayon?

  71. Phil B says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    so I’ve played and listened to lots of different overdrive sounds in the last couple of years since I started playing guitar and wondered: Obviously there are major differences with the pedals mainly with the amount of midrange, but pairing any amps with the right pedals gets you a similar overall sound.
    So am I wrong here or is there like only this “one range of sounds” which overdrive, just overdrive pedals can produce?
    Probably a subjective thing, but I think I never stumbled across an overdrive sound and went: Oh that sounds TOTALLY different than others despite the amount of gain being high or low.

    You tell me if my ears are already wacked or if I may have a point here :D

    • Bjorn says:

      Interesting question. I think the “problem” is that the market is swamped with a gazillion different pedals that claim to be it. As I see it there are mainly two different types of overdrives and I can use Boss as an example. The BD-2 is a fairly transparent overdrive, with lots of headroom but also a lot of gain. It doesn’t colour your tone but it can be used as a clean booster or as an overdrive with the amount of gain you need. The other type of overdrives is the Tube Screamer and the Boss SD-1. It has less low end but a lot of mid range and compression. These are designed to capture the tone you get from canking a loud tube amp. Between these two there are tons and tons of variations but they’re all inspired by these two.

      • Phil B says:

        That’s also what I learned so far :)
        Unless the pedal has some rare feature that adds a flavour they are all very similar sounding.

        Interesting was the recent TPS with the Hiwatt and Powerbooster. I was surprised Nick didn’t know about the Powerbooster and acknowleged that it was the best OD pedal range from fuzz to boost he ever heard. Only proves your point of it being a transparent overdrive I suppose … ;)
        (They should really get you on there btw ;))

        Rolling of the guitar volume with a Tube Screamer sounds nowhere as good as doing that with a Keeley Phat Mod.

  72. Daniel says:

    In your opinion, what Pete Cornish pedal is the closest in comparison to a Tube Driver for Gilmour tone purposes?

    • Bjorn says:

      Oh, I really don’t know if they have a pedal like that. The ST-2 is very close to the Colorsound Power Boost so I guess that’s as close as you’ll get.

  73. James says:

    Any thoughts on the jhs Charlie Brown and angry Charlie? Do they compare favorably with the Wampler plexus rive?

    • Bjorn says:

      The Charlie Brown is based on the old JTM45 and Plexi tones so I guess that one is the closest to he Wampler. The Angry Charlie is a more modern distortion based on the JCM800, with more gain and an overall more aggressive character.

  74. piazzi says:

    Hi Bijorn

    wondering if you’ve tried earthquaker devices westwood drive?

    I came across this by one of the coolest guys on the net and started GAS’sing


    one of our local stores allows returns in 30 days. I got and decided to keep it and sell some other drives

    It’s a very versatile drive playing well with both my Gibson 339 and fender strat on both my Bugera v22 and Peavey Classic 20 amps

    though to psot in case you could get one to try

  75. Silvio says:

    Hello bijorn. This is a new version of OCD.(OCD V.2) A total different eq.


    • Silvio says:

      What do you think about it? I think it has a very balanced equalization and a very valid alternative to the tube driver, maybe slightly warmer. With this video, based on some songs by Pink Floyd maybe you can get an idea. Greetings.

  76. Liung Yit says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    What do you think about BOSS mod. OD-1 ?


    • Bjorn says:

      It’s basically a Tube Screamer without the tone control. Personally I prefer the SD-1, which is basically the same pedal with a tone control.

  77. Frank Bizzoco says:

    Hey Bjorn, I have a suggestion regarding the very popular Fulltone OCD. On the forum, I have seen many people asking about boosting with the OCD, and have seen you say a few times that boosting with it is probally not a good idea. I have asked myself when i first got it. A lot of us have this prdal, but might not be using it correctly regarding David’s tones. Maybe you could make a video about how you personally utilize this popular dirt box? You could also tell me to go scratch myself and don’t tell me how to run my website….lol. But it’s a popular question, and maybe make a video how you personally use it. Obviously there are no set rules on how to set these things up.

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for the tip, Frank! Boosting is tricky because it all depends on the whole rig – the pickups, amp, what pedals you combine, what tones you need etc. As a rule, I’d say that amps with less mid range and compression, like Fender and Vox, should be paired with with overdrives and distortions that has more mids and compression, like OCD, Rat, TS etc. And vice versa. Hiwatts, Marshall etc that has a lot of mids and compression will take the more transaprent pedals better. Now, there are no rules and we’re talking about David’s tones. Pedals like the OCD can make Big Muffs sound too dark and compressed but again, if you have a Fender or something similar, that’s probaby where you want to go. I’ve tried to explain this in detail in this feature.

  78. F Javi says:

    Hi Bjorn. To get Gilmour tones mainly from the solos of Pulse, Gdansk and Pompeii 2016 I have a Buffalo FX Evolution but I had thought about buying an EHX Overdrive, both to complement the Evolution at times and to play only with the EHX and some modulation.
    What would EHX recommend? Sould Food, Glove, Crayon, Green Russian Big Muff? Or maybe you prefer another Driver that is not from EHX for a similar range of prices?
    Thank you very much best regards.

  79. Nick says:

    Hello! I recently put a Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates PAF style humbucker in the bridge of my strat – any recommendations for a pedal to get smooth creamy Pulse style leads? Thanks!

  80. Yit Liung says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I took a look at the setting and set up of the PIGS THREE DIFFERENT ONES song
    but I have doubts.


    – Tiny Terror 7/15 Watt
    – Engl E651
    – Masotti od-box
    – Ibanez CP-10
    – Ibanez GE-10
    – Ibanez LM-7
    – Ibanez MS-10
    – Danelectro cool cat fuzz v.2
    – Electro Harmonix mod. Green Russian (ultimate version)
    – 2x cabinet Weber 2×12″ + FC-12 speakers clone


    – Tiny Terror setting? …..another, I can use some of the pedals on the list or I’ve to use, for example, ELECTRONIC ORANGE mod. BANANABOOST ?
    In your opinion, the cabinets it’s ok ?

    – Engl E651 setting? ……another, I can use some of the pedals on the list or I’ve to use, for example, ELEVTRONIC ORANGE mod. BANANABOOST ?
    In your opinion, the cabinets it’s ok ?


    • Bjorn says:

      Both amps should be fine but I haven’t played them enough to suggest specific settings. I would try to set them as clean as possible but with the pre stage just at the edge of breakup for a bit more bite to the clean tone. How much depends on your pickups and playing style. See the amp setup tutorial for more. The Bananaboost is definitely worth checking out for these tones and I think it will go nicely with both amps.

  81. Jacob says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I have a vintage 1982 Rat and I was wondering what boost or over drive pedal would work well with it?

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on your amp. The Rat has a lot of gain and compression and personally I think it sounds best alone. If your amp has lots of headroom you might want to pair it up with a fairly moderate booster, like the Boss BD2, for a bit more character and boost.

  82. Yit Liung says:

    Hi everybody,
    about overdive pedals…..
    …. there are mods for the MAXON mod. OSD-9 (OVERDRIVE-SOFT DISTORTION) ????

    Waiting for a reaply.


    • Bjorn says:

      Haven’t seen one but there are lots of companies out there offering different mods to different pedals. Do a Google search and I’m sure something will turn up :)

  83. Tony Samperi says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    I was reading some updates in the page and I came across the EHX Crayon…

    What do you mean by ” Dont’ get fooled by the two designs. The circuits are identical!” ?


    • Bjorn says:

      They’ve released two seemingly different versions of the pedal but it’s the same pedal. There’s different graphics on the two and I think they even have different names but again, it’s the same pedal.

  84. Yit Liung says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    What do you think about this product ? Did you try it?


    Waiting for a reaply.


    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried this particular model but you can’t really go wrong with the BD2.

      • yit liung says:

        about overdrive….
        I have a MASOTTI pedal mod. OD-BOX: it is a TS-10 optimized clone, a excellent balance product.
        very good system sound….

  85. Yit Liung says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    What’s you’re opinion on the ELECTRO HARMONIX mod. TUBE ZIPPER ?


  86. Adam Wallander says:

    Hi Björn!
    I’m currently using a Blackstar HT5 with which I am very pleased with. However, since I’m now biffing up my pedalboard and looking to add Fuzz (deadset on the Hendrix Fuzzface), i’m thinking of switching it out for something with a more ‘Marshall-ish’ tone to better match the Fuzzface.
    Do you reckon that is neccesary to make sure the pedal sounds good or would the Blackstar handle it with grace?
    Reading your “Knowing which pedals to choose for your amp” made me regret my decision of going with the Blackstar quite abit…
    Regards, Adam

    • Bjorn says:

      I think you should be able to get a nice fuzz tone with the HT5 as your platform. It’s not an overly brutal amp but definitely within that early Plexi/JTM era range. Keep in mind though that the secret to Hendrix fuzz tones were the fact that he always played very loud and he always added fuzz ontop of an early cranked amp.

  87. Hettar says:

    Hello Bjorn !
    I got a question regarding overdrive/distorsion & Hiwatt.
    I have a Keeley D&M Drive through my Hiwatt and it does’nt seem to fit the amp real good, what do you think of this set up?

    Also, I’m wondering on how Revival Drive from Origin Effects would sound through Hiwatt and smaller Hiwatt amps (20W tubes). As it seems to be very tweakable.

    Thanks for your incredible work here !

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried the Revival so I can’t really tell.
      The D&M was designed with the Klon (boost) and OCD (distortion) in mind and both of these have a lot of mids and compression, which can get a bit too much on amps like Hiwatt and Marshall. You can compensate to some extent by rolling off the mids and presence on your Hiwatt to about 11 or 10 but you’d still have a lot of compression. Read more about choosing the right pedals for your amp here.

  88. Nicholas A. Rhoades says:

    Hi Bjorn. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on the Effectrode Tube Drive?


    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried it so I can’t really tell. Based on the reviews I’ve heard it’s in the same ballpark as the BK Tube Driver.

    • James Christopher Filben says:

      Hello Nicholas, I own an Effectrode Tube Drive and can provide a bit of information on the pedal. It definitely is a fantastic OD. The Tube Drive can seriously crank your volume yet still sound full and completely toneful, most likely thanks to the additional headroom provided by the 3 tubes, particularly in the primary gain stage. I love the overall sound and color of the Tube Drive and use it quite often. The Tube Drive also sounds beyond belief when you crank the volume and lower the drive. Super clean and harmonically rich. With regard to ODs, I only use a handful because most don’t cut it for me. That handful includes the King of Tone v4 Standard and King of Tone v4 High-Gain, as well as the Effectrode Tube Drive. These ODs just “SING”. There is something inherently beautiful about all three of these Overdrives and I do not think I could choose one over the other. But rest assured, I do feel that the Effectrode Tube Drive is certainly one of the three finest Overdrives ever created! And I believe David Gilmour may “partially” agree as he has regularly used the Effectrode Tube Drive in his recording and live setups for quite some time. I hope this information helps you make an informed decision.

    • Ben says:

      I’ll chime in my $0.02 worth, since I have both the BK Butler Tube Drive and the Effectrode Tube Drive. As Bjorn stated, they are similar, but they’re different beasts at the same time (if that makes sense). You really can’t go wrong with either; both sound excellent and both are built like tanks. I would say that the Effectrode’s build quality is truly second to none. It’s an “audiophile” pedal that works equally well in the studio, on the road, or in the bedroom. I agree completely with James’ thoughts on the Effectrode Tube Drive. The Butler is no slouch either. If you do go with the Butler, I highly recommend getting the “Bias” option (BK added this for Eric Johnson); the extra cost is worth the versatility in adjusting the “feel / tone” of a particular tube. Both pedals do pair somewhat differently on different types of amps / guitars. However, I don’t find any hard, fast rules. My advice, if at all possible, is to try each with your particular setup and see what works best for you. Be warned: if you do try both, you may wind up doing what I did and keep both, LOL! I literally spent one entire afternoon swapping both in and out of my signal chain, with different amps / guitars, trying to decide which one I liked better. I couldn’t decide! Both sounded great (similar, but different). I gave up and just use both now. I know it’s a cliche’, but you really can’t go wrong with either. I think there’s a real reason DG has used / uses both. Full disclosure: I’m a self-admitted Effectrode junkie and have most of their pedals (they are all that good)! Phil Taylor (Effectrode’s owner, no relation to DG’s Phil Taylor) is probably one of the most knowledgeable people on the planet when it comes to tube circuit design and theory (and all things Binson Echorec). Also, just a really great guy. BK will go out of his way for you, as well. Both highly recommended. Sorry if I made your decision harder. Enjoy the tone quest!

  89. Massimo says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    i have a Buffalo TDX: exclusively for space reason on my pedaboard i was planning to replace it with a Wampler Plexidrive. Do you think i could miss some features of the TDX with the wampler or are they very similar?
    Thanks as always! Massimo

    • Bjorn says:

      They are similar but it depends on what tones you want. The TDX has a darker and smoother tone, with less mids and compression. The Plexi is brighter, with more upper mids and compression.

  90. Rodrigo Godoy says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    I’ve got the BK tube driver and Vick Audio 73 Hams Head BM. They works incredibly well on my Fender Blues Jr with stock speaker and tubes, but when I try to blend those two pedals, the sound was a quite harsh and shocked, cutting a lot off frequencies. Do you have any hint about setting each pedal? I pursuit the tone from DSOTM and I have a fuzz face clone and I prefer to use it from covering the sound of this album instead of the Big Muff, but, playing songs from WYWH present, a Big Muff was indispensable… Thank you in advice!!!

    • Bjorn says:

      It all depends on the amp you’re using. Keep in mind that when you’re blending two or more overdrive/distortion pedals, you add gain and compression so the amp needs to be able to handle that. David’s Hiwatt has tons of headroom so can more easily stack pedals, whereas the Blues Jr has less headroom and it can get quite nasty when you stack pedals that as much gain as the Muff and Tube Driver. My best advice is to use these two pedals alone and find the settings that fits your amp. Don’t pay too much attention to how David sets up his.

  91. Trey says:

    Hi Bjorn, I love the site, if you get a chance check out the Idiotbox Power Boost, it’s a take on the Colorsound and has charge pump built in so it gets close to the 18v like a colorsound.

  92. theterrigals says:

    If you put a Butler Tube Driver into a Wampler Plexi will that work to do an Eric Johnson violin sound lead tone? Or will it just be noise. Do they stack?
    Amp – Fender Twin or Hiwatt T40

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried it. I would assume that you get a lot of noise but try it. I think Eric uses a Fuzz Face and Tube Driver into a Marshall plexi head.

      • Russ Astley says:

        Hey Bjorn,
        From videos that I have seen, EJs’ lead channel is usually:
        Vox Wah -> Echoplex -> Butler Tube Driver -> Marshall JMP 50W

    • Russ Astley says:

      EJ is only using the Fender for his clean channel: delays -> chorus/flanger -> Fender Twin Reverb.
      For his dirty channel (TS808 -> digital delay) and lead channel, he uses Marshall amps.
      I am not sure that you will get a good result with the Plexi pedal and TD for his lead sound.
      Have fun.

  93. Eddy says:

    Great website. It has been extremely helpful.
    I am torn between getting a Vick Audio Tree of Life and an Electronic Orange Banana Boost. I am leaning towards the Tree of Life. How would you set it to boost a Muff? Which is better? Can you do a video on boosting possibly?
    I am using a MIM Strat>Boss Blues Driver>Electronic Orange Pig Hoof>Mxr Carbon Copy Delay>Ditto looper>Peavey Classic 30 using your recommended amp settings. The amp is loud so I set Volume at it’s lowest for bedroom playing. What amp settings would you recommend for playing at such a low volume. Thanks again for your dedication to this website and for answering my questions.


    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Eddy! Thanks for the kind words!
      The Banana is probably a better booster as its very transparent and has the headroom you need. The Vick is one of my favourite pedals but it’s got a lot of mid range and compression, which can be a bit too much for boosting and with your Peavey. I like having boosters after the high gain settings. It acts much like an EQ, adding tone and boost rather than more gain.
      As for the amp settings, I’d set it up for as much headroom as possible, with the EQs fairly neutral. The C30 has a lot of mid range so you probably just want to keep that around noon and perhaps the treble slightly below. Keep in mind that amp settings should always be based on your guitar, pedals and preference.

  94. Baris says:

    Hello Bjorn,
    For your opinion which one is the best alternative for the Colorsound Power Boost?
    Electronic orange bananaboost
    Throbak overdrive boost
    Buffalo power booster
    or do you have a better advice?

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on what you’re looking for. The Throbak has the most headroom I guess. It’s a nice clean booster, although you can set it up for gain tones as well. The Banana is probably my favourite. It’s very close to my old Colorsound, with the same fat low end and wide range from clean to nearly fuzz.

  95. Matteo says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I’d like to ask you how would you compare the Pete Cornish ST-2 to the Colorsound Powerboost?
    From what I’ve read so far the ST-2 is basically a revisited version of the colorsound, but what are in your opinion the differences, for instance is the st 2 a little hotter in terms of gain?

    thank you and as always congratulations for your work


    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Matteo! It’s been too long since I tried the ST-2 so I can’t really give you a good answer. From what I remember they sound very similar. Same character and transparent tone. The ST2 is perhaps a bit cleaner in that it doesn’t have some of the quirkiness of the PB.

  96. Dennis Berger says:

    Hej Bjorn,
    I have problems with the setting of my booster. I recently bought an EHX Crayon. I would like to use it for sounds like the Coloursound Powerboost. If the clean boost sounds good, then the Big Muff (Pig Hoof) sounds dark and has a lot of midrange without trebles. Is my bedroom setup too quiet for this? I use a Peavey Classic 30 amp volume at digit 2 (normal channel). Can you help me?

    • Bjorn says:

      The Crayon has a bit of mids and compression and I suspect that it’s the combination with the Pavey that makes the Muff sound dark. The Peavey has a lot of mid range, so I’d either try with more transparent booster or just use the Muff alone.

  97. David Hollander says:

    Bjorn, you’re a genius… I love this site and I love your music. I’m trying to figure some stuff out with my rig. I’ve got a new Laney Lionheart T20 112. I’m using a Boss BD2 for clean boost (set basically to the point of light breakup). I’m running that into an MXR ’78 Badass distortion. Then into a Boss tremolo pedal and an MXR Carbon Copy. It’s the MXR Badass that’s the weak link in the chain; it seems to lack definition. So two questions: 1. What drive pedal do you think might combine well with the BD2? I was thinking of trying an OCD, and 2. What order would you stack the pedals in? Thank you! – David

    (Oh, also: do you think this rig would benefit from compression? I play through the Laney on the clean channel, and my band mostly plays smaller rooms.)

    • Bjorn says:

      I don’t have that much experience with the Badass but I think the OCD would give you more definition and bite. Check out the Vick Audio Tree of Life too. It goes very well with both the BD2 and Lionheart. If you intend to use the two pedals combined, I would have the high gain pedal first and then the booster last acting as a booster/EQ. Compression is always a good idea with clean channels and single coils in particular. It adds to the definition and sustain.

      • David Hollander says:

        Thanks, Bjorn! I’ve never tried the Vick, but I just read your review and will try to get my hands on one. The 20 watt Laney has more headroom than I need (but the 5 watt didn’t have enough — go figure). So my thinking is that the Blues Driver can get me to on-the-verge-of-breakup, with either the Vick or OCD serving as the high gain pedal. Is that sensible? (The Blues Driver is basically always on with my current setup.)

        I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned and am learning from your site. Many thanks.

  98. Hey Bj̦rn Рlove your site! Packed full of knowledge, wisdom and good suggestions Рand very fine, very tasteful guitar playing!
    I wanted to recommend the Catlinbread Katzenk̦nig (maybe for a review?!) Рit is a blend of a Rat and a Tonebender Fuzz. This pedal sounds incredibly smooth and fat. I find it absolutely amazing. I own a fair number of the pedals that you recommend, like the Buffalo Td-X and the M1 and I love them Рyet, I find the Katzenk̦nig to be an outstanding pedal.

  99. Andrea says:

    HI Bjorn,
    I’m new to David Gilmour sound and I’m learning a lot from your incredible work!
    I used to play mainly hard rock like the Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and the kinds. I play a Gibson SG special with Iommi pick up at the bridge, into an Orange OR15 stack. I bought a Sovtek muff clone and a downer Prince Boonar. What would you recommend as a booster for the muff and for lightly overdriven tones?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your kind words! Depends on how you’ve set the amp and what Muff you have but I’d go for something versatile like the Boss BD2 or EHX Crayon. Check out the Xotic EP booster as well.

  100. Tim D Stinnett says:

    Hi Bjorn, I have a Fender Blues jr with a Cannabis Rex speaker.I was wondering if the Buffalo fx Power Booster or the TD-X would work better for my amp?

  101. Kay says:

    Hey Bjorn, thanks for sharing so much of your time and knowledge. I was wondering if you could help me with my pedals. I have a Mesa Mark 5:25 and I mostly play an American Tele deluxe plugged into the first channel on clean. As pedals I use an xotic sp compressor, an EarthQuaker Hoof, a Mesa Grid Slammer, an amptweaker Tightdrive jr, a Bogner burnley, a tc electronic sentry as well as a Keeley Super Mod Workstation and a tc electronic Flashback (running through the effects loops). Even though I’ve read your tutorials and explanations, I’m still not sure if this is the best equipment to cover most of Gilmour’s sounds. I especially enjoy the sound of David’s latest tour as covered on his BluRay. What do you think? Do I need to change something, maybe switch pedals? Thanks Kay

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Kay! I don’t know all of the pedals you’ve listed so I can’t really tell. What you hear on Pompeii 2016 is mainly the Tube Drivers, which are set for clean, overdrive and distortion. The Tube Driver is known for having a fairly transparent amp-like tone, much like the early Marshall JTMs. On some of the solos he also used a Big Muff, which are more scooped and less compressed than the Tube Driver.

  102. Baris says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Which version of OCD are you using or prefer for Gilmour tones?

  103. Silvio says:

    Hi Bjorn. I wanted to ask you some things and above all what do you think of my thought. For a week I bought an OCD v.2. I’m using it on a Hiwatt T 40 2×12 Fane combo amplifier. The argument is that since I bought this pedal I can no longer use anything else, I really like it and I like it in all settings, from zero gain to the maximum, something that has never happened to me before. To be premised that I also have a green russian big muff, the only pedal different from the OCD that I like. So I ask you: what do you think if I remove the rest and I buy another OCD v.2? I thought to put them both in the pedal board with different settings, like one with little gain and the second one set as a pedal plus high gain to do anything. In this way I would always have the same timbre, which is the one I like most. Considering that I also have the Russian big muff, do you think it’s okay for Gilmourish tones and to cover all the Pink Floyd tracks from Dark side up to Rattle’s Gilmour tones? In David Effects for tone drives he uses only Tube drivers and Big muff. Of course I also have everything else I need: Mxr Dyna comp, Mooer elec lady, Mooer ensemble King, Voodoo lab microvibe, Tc electronic Nova Delay. Best regards

    • Silvio says:

      That is, I wanted to say David also uses only two types of distorted sound pedals: Big muff and tube driver.

    • Bjorn says:

      You can definitely run two OCDs. It will be much like David’s multiple Tube Drivers. Keep in mind though that the OCD has considerably more mid range and compression compared to the TDs, which will make a more noticeable difference from the Green Russian.

  104. James Pace says:

    Hi Bjorn – I was wondering why you rate the BK Butler Tube Driver so low for Gilmour Tones considering this is what he actually uses. Was there reasoning behind that? I am speaking from a full stage volume POV (not bedroom). I have 2 and blend them and also blend with a Fulltone BIG BOX 69 to get a very nice sound, but wondering why such low grades for these in your opinion?

    • Bjorn says:

      The Tube Driver is listed in the “Gilmour in a box” guide. It’s been his main overdrive since the early 90s and given that you have a rig similar to his, you will have the tones. But, that’s also why I rate it lower than 10 because it’s not an easy pedal to use and paired with typically mids scooped and uncompressed bedroom amps, it’s pretty useless. It is designed as a preamp to be used with loud tube amps. As much as I love the pedal, and still use it, I think there are better and more versatile options out there.

      • James Pace says:

        Great thanks – now moving onto fuzz. I am in search of that 1968 Hendrix live bombastic fuzz sound (and I don’t have the budget to buy 17 old ones and pick the best one). Let the search begin….Any recommendations? Again full stage volume with a Marshall Handwired BluesBreaker.

        • Bjorn says:

          As you probably know, Hendrix tone was a combination of his Marshall Plexi heads driven hard and a germanium Fuzz Face ontop of that. He used the volume control on his guitar to create tones from cleans to crunchy overdrive to screaming fuzz. Germanium fuzz is tricky because to get THE tone you really need a good, and much sought after, transistor. I haven’t come by a budget pedal that will deliver this but do check out the mini FFs from Dunlop. They’re great!

  105. Greg G. says:

    Hi! What’s your favorite settings for the OCD to get a Powerboost kind of sound like on Pigs and other songs like that? I use a strat with a solid state peavey.

    • Bjorn says:

      The OCD is a very different pedal, with more mid range and compression, with less headroom so I wouldn’t depend on it to create those vintage tones. You can get somewhat similar tones with the hi engaged, a bit of boost on the volume and the gain rolled back to just above breakup but the specific settings depends on your pickups and amp settings. The Boss BD2 is a better option for Powerboost tones.

  106. Hi Bjorn,
    First of all, congrats on the new buyer’s guide which is cooler than ever.
    Right now I’m using a Plexi style amp for home practice and recording and I own a BD-2 (stock) that works really well with that amp. I’ve been looking at the “Keeley Super Phat Mod Full Range Overdrive” for a while and I’m wondering if it is worth the upgrade. What are your thoughts? (the guitars I’m using are Fender MIJ 62 Tele with Nocaster pickups and a Gibson SG with 57 classics).

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for the kind words! The stock BD2 is really good so whether or not you should upgrade depends on what you’re searching for. The Keeley has a bit more of everything and I guess it sounds more balanced and, well, more expensive but again, the stock model is well worth both checking out and keep.

  107. Darth Bieber says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    So I have a bugera v22 head an a proco rat2 I was wondering what overdrive you would pair with that ,I was looking at the buffalo power booster, the OCD, or a ts 808 wanted to get your opinion,
    Also congrats on the new album it’s fantastic I can’t wait to pick it up.

    • Bjorn says:

      Thank you! I’d go for mids oriented and compressed pedals, like the OCD or 808. The OCD has more low end and gain, so personally that’s my favourite of the two but it depends on what tones you’re looking for.

  108. Silvio says:

    Hi Bjorn. I wanted to ask you what do you think about the carl martin plexitone (no single channel, but the classic two channels plus boost)? could it be a valid alternative to the tube drive? Are we in the gilmour tones? How would you sound on a HIWAT T40 combo amplifier? thank you!

    • Bjorn says:

      I have one of those single Pete Thorn models and I love it. Very high gain but you can set it up for some nice mellow tones as well. For Tube Driver tones, I think the Wampler Plexi Drive is closer to a Tueb Driver.

  109. Max says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    first of all thanks for sharing all these informations and many useful and precious tips.
    I need your help.
    I’m tryng to choose the right overdrive for my rig. I mostly play a telecaster into a Magnatone Twilighter 112, 22 watt 2 6V6 (the new ones) which sounds a bit like a Deluxe reverb but with a much “robust” sound and not so middle scooped; to me the sound is quite balanced. It’s also much louder and with a lot of clean headroom.
    I am looking for a very versatile OD tha covers different kinds of music and styles (and of course I like David!) and if possible that goes from crunch to almost fuzz.
    Among your favourite I lean towards Vick TOL, SVISOUND OVERZOID oz01 plus (with boost), OCD, SOULFOOL.
    And what do you think of the ARC EFFETCS KLONE V2 and the King of tone?
    Your advice will be greatlu appreciated.

    • Bjorn says:

      All of these are somewhat similar in that they’re all based on that Tube Screamer, Klon, Dumble mid rangy and compressed tone. It’s a matter of taste and I can’t really say that one is better than the other. Personally I’m a huge fan of the Vick and OCD because they manage to balance that mid range, with enough low end and a bit of crispyness.

  110. Lee says:

    The BK butler tube driver is a great box for making a screaming solo, but not for chords or rhythm. A good distortion pedal or overdrive is much better for switching for that sound. I think I paid too much for the Butler for what I want to play. I also tried using it through the loop/send/return instead of just the input on the front, and it really sounded like a crazy monkey, making all sorts of weird things going on. Don’t do it. Use the input jack. I think it might depend on the guitar that is used for the Butler. Many pickups are so different, so it may do better with a relative pickup. I’ve watched a few guys on youtube playing distorted chords from famous songs and it doesn’t even come close to the original sound. So, like I said maybe a funky, sweet, or screaming solo is really only this pedal can be capable of doing for yourself. I give it a 5 out of 10 overall.

    • Bjorn says:

      It all depends on the pickups and amp. The Tube Driver, and other pedals like it, is often misunderstood because a pre-amp full range overdrive is very different from a BD2 or Tube Screamer. It’s much more demanding and difficult to set up but with the right combinations, it can sound incredibly dynamic and sweet. I don’t recommend the Tube Driver if you’re looking for instant gratification.

  111. James says:

    Hi Bjorn! With a Fender Blues Junior III with the Eminence Cannabis Rex speaker do you think the Tree of Life or Keeley-Modded Blues Driver would be a better choice for trying to get closer to the older tones (Animals, DSoTM, etc) or would something else work better in your opinion?

    • Bjorn says:

      The Rex makes the Blues Jr sound warmer and smoother but I still think you should focus on those mid rangy and compressed pedals.

  112. Hey bjorn. I’d like to hear your opinion on the following: I personally love gdasnk distortion lead tone, for instance that very tone of echoes’ guitar solo. So wanted to ask If you had to choose just one pedal between a plexi-drive and the buffalo fx evolution which one would you go for to achieve that tone. Thanks in advance

  113. Pedro Mello says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I really need an advice on this topic. I’ve already got a Green Russian and a TS9 replica, so I need another guy for my set up, I’m really into de Buffalo TD-X but it would break the bank and the shipment is kinda hard, so I need some alternative for this guy under 150 bucks ( something similiar to buffalo and the tube driver). Thanks my man!

  114. Baris says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I have some questions again :)
    1) For your opinion what is the best alternative for Bk Butler/Chandler tube driver?
    2) Again for your opinion the best alternative for newer model Bk Butler tube driver?
    3) Is there any differences between old model Proco Rat and newer model Proco Rat (2) ?

    • Bjorn says:

      The best “clone” out there is by far the Buffalo TDX. Check out my review here. You might want to check out the EHX Crayon as well. There really isn’t that big difference between the Chandler and BK. The Chanler is perhaps a tad darker and warmer but you will find them very similar.
      As far as I know, apart from the 85 white face reissue, the newer Rat pedals doesn’t have the LM308 chip, which makes them sound slightly brighter and not as smooth as the older ones. There shouldn’t be any problems tracking down an old model but check out some of the many clones out there as well, like the excellent Arc Effects Soothsayer and the Mooer Black Secret.

  115. Alex says:

    Hi Bjorn, I recently run into the MXR MC-402 Boost/Overdrive – do you know the device? Do you think it could work as main overdrive (instead of the Rat) boosted by the Boss BD? I have a MesaBoogie amp looking for the modern Gilmour sounds (Pulse etc.).

  116. F says:

    Hi Bjorn.
    I’m about to buy a Maxon ROD880 to cover all the tube driver parts. I read somewhere that is one of the closest, what do you think? I own EMG and a Fender Ramparte tube amp

  117. Martin Jørgensen says:

    Hey Bjørn.

    Since you recommend so many of the Buffalo FX pedals, I was wondering which one is your favorite and if you have to choose one, what would it be?

    Have a great holiday and I’m looking forward to your new minialbum.


    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on the amp and what tones you want obviously but I think they did an amazing job with the TDX. They managed to capture the tube character of the Tube Driver and modify it slightly without losing any of its character or dynamics.

  118. Arya Boustani says:

    Hi Bjorn, do you think at some point you may have a dedicated sub-page for overdrive pedals driving another overdrive pedal choices (stacking)? It has been many instances that people like the character of a pedal in a certain amp but the second they put it in their own amp with a different character (scooped vs. mid heavy) they are disappointed. I thought it would be nice for those users to also add a downstream amp like very mild overdrive pedal (designed for being pushed by an upstream pedal rather than being a full fledge overdrive pedal) that can act as a shaping block prior to sending the signal to their amp. It may not be a true tube amp circuitry but if it can do the trick, it is much more practical solution compared to buying a different amp altogether. For instance they are lots of guitar fans that they went for a Fender amp for other tones or no particular tone and then they became Gilmour fan later on and they want to to hold on to their Fender amp and they can’t afford or find it practical to buy a Hiwatt or such, can they use a downstream pedal to build up more compression and mids but in a dynamic way and very amp like and then send the signal to their amp? Are there such “tube amp companion” pedals? :)

    • Bjorn says:

      Stacking is always a hot topic and not alaways that easy to understand. It’s on the to-do list, among many other things, to write something. Thanks!

  119. Tony says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    if you have time I’d like a piece of advice!
    Lately I have been obsessed with the Colorsound Power Boost…Just a way to nail some vintage Gilmour tones.
    I already have 2 tube drivers (with different tubes), a Buffalo FX Evolution and a BD-2 Waza..
    Anyway I was thinking about buying a modern pedal for the purpose: one among OCD, Tree of life or AC Booster…
    What do you think?
    Better one of those or Buffalo FX Power Boost?
    Thank you

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on the amp. I love the Powerbooster but it’s very scooped so unless you have an amp with a bit of mids push, I would perhaps go for something that’s a better match for your pedals. Both the Tube Driver and BD2 is close to the Powerbooster but they both have more mids and compression. I would say that you’re pretty much covered but if your amp can handle a pedal like the Powerbooster, I would definitely check out the Electronic Orange Banaboost or a Colorsound.

      • Tony says:

        I have a Blues Junior, that’s why I thought it would be better to use something else rather than the powerboost…
        Anyway I think I’ll give a shot to the Bananaboost!!

        Thank you so much!

  120. Émile says:

    Hi Gilmourish community!
    I need help: I already have strat/ironfist comp/vick 73’/sunface bc109/ tree of life… (Lionheart L20) I Know that there is only one dirt pedal missing and I don’t Know what would be The best. I’m considering The Buffalo Powerbooster (muff booster and distortion itself type of use) but your opinion is welcome. Maybe there is another “perfect pedal” that would suit my setup?
    (Pompeï 2016/ DSotM/ Animals/ Rattle/ division Bell are my tone target)

    Thanks Bjørn and all of you Gilmour fans


    • Bjorn says:

      The Buffalo TDX is in my opinion the best overdrive for the Lionheart and Gilmour tones. Check out the Tree of Life from Vick Audio too. The Powerbooster is great but it doesn’t always go well with the Lionheart.

      • Émile Veilleux says:

        Yeah, I have a Tree of life and it sounds good. But if The Powerbooster isn’t The best choice, what should I be looking for if I want to be able to Cover DSotM, WYWH… booster sound?
        Can you give me some pedals to Check that can complete my dirt section? (Already have 73′ ram’s head, sunface and tree of life)


  121. dan says:

    Hi Bjorn,just curious if you have ever tried the effectrode tuber drive?If so,how does it sound compared to the bk butler tube driver.If not, you should get effectrode to send you on one to review.Surprisingly there is only one decent video demo of it online.Cheers


    Hello, Bjorn! Have you tried the Suhr Riot pedal? David is now with a Blackstar HT-Dist, but I think the Riot is a great pedal also.

  123. Eric says:

    Hey Bjorn, what do you think about the Mad Professor Sweet Honey for those rythm guitar tones from WYWH, Animals and DSotM?

    Great Site Bjorn!! and not only for PF fans, the site is full with very useful info. Congrats

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for the kind words! The SH is very similar to the Boss BD2 and Tube Driver. It has a tube sensitive attack or gain structure, with a hint of compression and mid range. Depending on your amp it works nicely for David’s Powerbooster and Tube Driver tones.

  124. Nick L. says:

    Hello Bjorn! If you haven’t tried it yet I highly recommend the ProCo Fat Rat. Stock it’s identical to their White Face Reissue, but it’s got a switchable “fat” mode that adds bass and cuts the highs a little, and also can be switched from silicon to MOSFET clipping. The MOSFET makes it sound more amp like and dynamic, making it sound a little bit more like the G-2. I’ve had it for about a year and prefer it over muffs for Gilmourish tones, even with my Strat and Hiwatt. Its very versatile but it can nail those classic Rat tones with the stock setting better than most clones. I know you love the Rat, so I thought I’d give you a heads up. Keep up the good work!

  125. James Tea says:

    New OCD (v2) is out. I wonder if you have tried it and have any thoughts about the Buffer Modes, new circuit, issues and comparisons with the 1.7?

    Thanks in advance/

  126. Matthew Veitch says:

    Hello Bjorn!

    Love the content and thoughtfulness you provide in both your reviews and your comments. I would really appreciate your insight relative to my current set up and where to go moving forward. My current guitars are a Fender American Professional Stratocaster and a Japanese Epiphone Les Paul Custom, and for an amp I am using a Fender ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb (first channel (custom) uses a Bassman tone circuit so it’s much more mid present and warm, and the second channel (vintage) has some of the brightness taken out so it’s more pedal friendly). Given that I only have a treble and bass knob it’s nice to have a choice between channels because it acts as sort of a pseudo mid-EQ. My question relates to gain so I’ll just state the chain of my gain pedals: Keeley Compressor Plus > Buffalo M-1 > Wampler Tumnus > Catalinbread SFT (ampeg amp-in-a-box style pedal).

    My base tone tends to be the SFT on very low gain being pushed by the Tumnus as a clean boost to get a very mild overdrive that sounds good at bedroom levels. The natural sound is very articulated and warm with a lot of clarity. I love the M-1 but I’m finding when I engage it even at low gain it is still quite muddy and I lose a lot of that articulation. I’m wondering if maybe I’m stacking these pedals incorrectly even though the sound I’m getting pre M-1 sounds like a great starting point to begin gain staging. Should I just be focusing on maybe using the SFT OR the Tumnus as a starting point to give the M-1 more room to breath? I’m finding that to get to a sound I can enjoy I have to really crank the treble on both my Tumnus and M-1.

    Also, I ordered an Evolution off of Reverb for a great price (in the mail currently) and am just wondering if given my set up I should be looking at the Patriot and/or the TD-X. My Tumnus is my mid humped overdrive and I’m wondering if having the TD-X would be complimentary to this. My absolute favorite tones from Gilmour are from Dogs and I know he wasn’t using a Tube Driver back then but I’m wondering if given my current set up the TD-X would be more appropriate than the Power Booster going into a Fender amp, even if that amp is less bright and has the possibility for more mids. Also, considering that Dogs is about as heavy gain as I’m looking for in terms of a Gilmour-esq sound, is the Patriot just going to create a redundancy in my set up alongside the M-1 and Evolution? Thanks for your help!

    • Bjorn says:

      A lot of questions here so I’ll try to cover it all… Your amp, although not as scooped as the Twin and other blackface era Fenders, has less mids and compression than say a Marshall or Hiwatt. Muffs are very scooped so adding that to a scooped or less mid rangy amp will not help the pedal to cut through. The reason you perceive a difference between the Tumnus and M1 is because the Tumnus has considerably more mid range and in comparison, the Muff will be perceived as being lower in volume when engaged due to its scooped tone. You can stack these and add more mids to the M1 but the Tumnus also has a lot of compression, which can make Muffs sound darker and almost choked. The M1 is also designed to emulate the tone from an already stacked Muff so you should be careful with adding too much gain and compression. The TDX has more mids than the Powerbooster but not as much as a TS or the Tumnus.

  127. Daniel Contarini says:

    Hello Bjorn! I need your help. I play with a Fender Strat into a Fender Super Champ XD amp. I have 3 effect (overdrive/distortion) that are Tube Screamer, Proco RAT and Fulltone OCD. Also use the Xotic SP compressor and Xotic EP booster. I´m not satisfied with the RAT and OCD because I fond them very harsh, hard to make a sweet tone. Reading your texts, I became interested in two pedals: The Arc Soothsayer and the Evolution. I am more into the Soothsayer for I find it more “fat soundindg”, but reading that you are a EVO fan, I´d like to ask you witch one is better for my settings, how can I stack the or if you think I should keep the Rat and the OCD. Too many doubts here. Thanks very much, congratulations on your incredible work!

  128. Bruce LaVerdiere says:

    GREAT STUFF! Thanks Bjorn.
    I have a Dr Z Maz 18…. I run treble 1:00, bass 11:00, mids 2-3:00, master 3:00, and pre volume at 12:00…ish. (my goal is edge of breakup or cleaner for everyday basic amp settings) I am chasing a nice vintage overdive tone. not full on heavy crunch but more Classic rocky, but I need to cut through at times for solos, I would like to know what order you would run the following OD/boost pedals for a 1-2-3 stacked overdrive progression. Am I trying to stack the WRONG pedals together. (Oh and I run a Wampler Ego compressor always on… usually.) On my board are>>> TC Spark, Emerson EM Drive, JHS Superbolt, Soul Food. (not on the board but available; BD2 waza, ProCo Rat, TS9, Palasades, FullDrive 2.

    • Bjorn says:

      It’s probably not what you want to hear but my best tip is to experiment. Doesn’t really matter what I suggest if it’s not what you want or what sound best with your gear. Start with getting the best tone and platform from your amp and experiment with the pedals you got. Put them in different orders and hear how they interact in different positions.

  129. Linus says:

    Hey Bjorn,
    Wondering how the soul food would compare to the xotic bb preamp for single coils with a laney lionheart. Thanks!

    • Bjorn says:

      Both are great for clean boost and for fetting up your tone. They have considerable mid range and compression. The BB is based on the early Marshall tones, with more compression but also a bit more sparkle. The Soul Food is darker, with less low end. Personally I like the BB.

  130. Luis Gustavo says:

    Hey Bjorn, I’d like to know your opinion about to use the King of Tone by Analogman, Overdrive Side (Low Gain) as a clean booster. Do you think that’s a good option to use?

    Luis Gustavo

  131. Max says:

    Hey Bjørn !

    I recently bought the Mooer Blues Mood.

    I have the Boss BD2 (standard version) too.

    How would you set both?

    My goal is to have one set for clean boost and the other for heavy overdrive.

    But I can’t decide which one is the best for each purpose…

    So I need your help again! :)

    Thanks in advance!


    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on your amp, its settings, your guitar and its pickups… I often prefer the BD2 with the volume fairly unity or slightly above, tone around 9-10 o’clock and the gain around breakup. I rarely use it for high gain stuff.

      • Max says:

        Thanks for your reply!
        I’m currently playing in a Blackstar HT5 but I’m considering to replace it by a Peavey classic 20 MH. One of my strats is equipped with EMG DG20 and the other with Tex mex and SSL5.
        I set the Mooer for clean boost and the bd2 for overdrive stuffs.
        But I don’t know if it’s the best choice🤔…

        Thanks a lot Bjørn!

      • Frollo says:

        I play with emg dg 20 or Tex mex and ssl5. My amp is a L5 studio.
        Currently I set the Mooer for boost and bd2 for overdrive. Is this the best choice?

        Thanks a lot!

  132. Daniel Brown says:

    Hi Bjørn
    What overdrive/booster would you recommend for a single coils and a Fender Blues Junior III? I’ve just looked at your review of the Vick Audio Mount Pleasant, and that definitely sounds like a good option, but I was wondering if you’d have any other ideas :)

  133. Israel says:

    Are Timmy Overdrive one mid scooped?

  134. Frank Bizzoco says:

    So the Colorsound power booster is what is heard on songs like Have a Cigar Animals live 1977 Oakland bootlegs? Gilmour’s tones on that concert are pretty much my favorite, even though it is a bootleg and sounds compressed. Did Snowy and Gilmour both pretty much use the power booster, and not much else for Cigar? That’s probally my favorite version I have heard. It hits harder than the studio version.

    • Bjorn says:

      Yes, David used the Powerbooster as his main overdrive unit between 1972-77. What you hear on those live version and pretty much all of the WYWH and Animals albums is the Powerbooster. I’m not sure what Snowy used for overdrive on the Animals tour but his Wall stage setup featured a Cornish ST2, which is based on the Powerbooster. Judging by his tones on the ’77 tour, I would assume that he did use the Powerbooster.

  135. Frollo says:

    Hi Bjorn! Thanks for all that you do!
    Simple and hard question at the same time! Which pedal do you think can cover theTube Driver tone in overdrive settings (Gdansk for example)? I’ve got a OD 808, MojoMojo, and a BD2 but, cannot match that sound..The BD2 is great for mild boost but the od 808 sounds too boxy to my ears and i think to remove it from my pedal board…as you can read, i really need your help to choose a new one!
    Thanks in advance!

    • Bjorn says:

      What amp and pickups do you have?

    • Omar says:

      Try Vick Audio Tree of Life or a good clone of SS-2 Cornish, like Costalab Natural Drive MK II or Top Tone Light Drive. Zen Drive and Morning Glory/Marshall Bluesbreaker could be good alternatives too.

      • Omar says:

        And the pedal: Buffalo TD-X too.

      • Bjorn says:

        Sorry for commenting but I wouldn’t say that the Tree of Life is a clone of the SS2. The SS2 is closer to the Distortion +, Rat and TS9, while the Tree of Life is based on the Dumble and Zen Drive, which has much more low end, more headroom and overall a more open character. It’s one of my favourite overdrives. Highly recommended!

        • Omar says:

          I’m so sorry. It’s true that Vick Audio Tree of Life isn’t a clone of SS-2. ToL is near of Zen Drive and OCD. I’m from Brazil and my english is not so good as yours. Clones of SS-2 are Top Tone Light Drive and Costalab Natural Drive with buffer. Super phat MOd by Robert Keeley could be a good option too.

  136. Lottetashilama says:

    Hello Bjorn,
    Thanks a lot for all the infos on your blog! I start to understand a bit better why I haven’t been satisfied with my tone so far despite having an ok setup (gretsch 5422 and Palmer fab5 tube amp)
    Following the advices on this post, I have finaly tried a TS clone and it felt like I juste found the mission link between my guitar and my amp! Mids! I can’t help grinning when I think about it!
    You’ve made really good reviews or BYOC large beaver.
    Have you tried the Crown Jewel? It seems to be some kind of ultimate OD pedal…
    Cheers mate!

  137. Massimo says:

    Hi Bjorn, i’d like to know what do you think about Analogman King/Prince of tone; do you think it should match my Laney L5? could they have any similarities with pedals such Tree of life or timmy or TDX? thanks very much Massimo

    • Bjorn says:

      The KoT/PoT is in that mid range, compressed Marshall-ish territory and somewhat similar to the ToL… not so much the TDX. Great match for the Lionhearts.

  138. Alex says:

    Hi Bjorn.

    (I apologize for my English.I am not native speaker.)
    Congratulations about your site.It helps many guitarist to find nice tone.
    I’m not intresting exactly for Gilmour tone.One year ago i bought my
    1st serious amp VOX AC15C1 greenback speaker all stock and my guitar is
    Fender strat road worn 60s.I’m looking to buy my first and only pedal overdrive/distortion.
    I have read your article about amps and if i understand correctly VOX amps
    have a lot of mids.I have to mention that i usally play rock and blues.
    What do you think about ts9, ocd, xotic sl drive, wampler plexidrive,
    boss bd-2, jhs morning glory ?. What kind of pedal would you suggest me ?
    What is your opinion about treble booster (BSM or ROOSTER jam pedals) into clean amp ?

    • Bjorn says:

      Vox amps DO NOT have too much mids. You can roll back the tone controls and crank the speakers for more mids and compression but at “normal” settings and bedroom levels, you won’t get that Hiwatt/Marshall mid range from a VOX. All of the pedals you list are typically mid range oriented pedals so I guess you could go for any of these. Personally I’m a huge fan of the PlexiDrive. Check out this feature for more tips on how to chose the right pedals for your amp.

    • Chris Filben says:

      Hi Alex, I noticed your post. Here are a few overdrives that I believe would be fantastic with your Vox. Question. Do you want more of a clean boost or a bit of dirt, or a ton of dirt? This is a major consideration.
      For a clean overdrive, the very best available is the King of Tone V4 from Analog.man. A close second is the Klon KTR. Another low-gain OD worth considering is the ThorpyFX Peacekeeper.
      For a relatively expensive overdrive that will add a bit of dirt to your Vox, I highly recommend the Gurus Amps 1959 Double Decker Tube Overdrive (expensive at about $420 but absolutely feature-laden. You can go direct out with the 1959 to a recorder, DAW or mixing desk with a standard 1/4 inch TRS cable and the pedal even has a speaker emulator (2 Vox AC30s mic’d with Shure SM57s if I am not mistaken. Additionally, the 1959 contains an effects loop, which is extremely helpful for those of us with amps that have no effects loop.
      A very versatile option at $350 is the Chase Bliss Audio Brothers OD, also a dual OD, with both sides functioning as a Boost, OD or Fuzz. This is a very versatile solid-state option that most likely has the most options of any other solid-state OD on the market.
      For a little less, you can check out the JHS Sweet Tea. This is a solid-state dual overdrive that is everythig from mid- to high gain. I really like the Sweet Tea bc you can use the lower level OD, the heavier OD, or both to create an overdrive sound all your own. AND you can decide the stacking order of the overdrives. Another favorite of mine is he Wampler Plexi-Deluxe. It definitely recreates many classic sounds from Marshall amps. However, I feel the Gurus 1959 Double Decker is a better sounding unit, probably because it is based around a 12AX7 tube, so you get tons of additional beautiful headroom.
      And finally, if you have the cash, for $469 new you can purchase what I consider to be the pinnacle: the Effectrode SR-71 Blackbird. This is another tube driven pedal, advertised as a pre-amp actually. But here is the beauty. Phil Taylor, the genius designer at Effectrode, used the exact components in the SR-71 Blackbird as were used in the original preamp sections of the famous Fender Blackface (smooth as silk), the equally famous Dumble preamplification section, and finally an overdiven Dumble preamp section. Each of these 3 modes sound beyond belief. I plug the Blackbird directly into my amp. Last in the pedal chain. And it takes my amps to a completely different level. They breathe anything from a pure glassy Gilmour-like tone to a balls-out Led Zeppelin assault, making your system sound like a million bucks.The Blackbird is certainly worth checking out if you want the very best sound and it has plenty of power and the ability to easily re-bias the tubes and/or swap tubes to get the very best sound from your system.
      Those are a few options from which to choose. I have a bias towards tubes. However, the solid-state pedals coming out these days are beyond belief. In closing, one of my very favorite overdrives is only $162 and is a sonic replic of the Colorsound Power Boost made famous by Gilmour and T-Rex: Black Arts Toneworks Black Forest. For the price I believe it is an absolutely incredible overdrive with a 6-channel selector switch to truly dial in your tone. If I were on a budget and wanted one seriously bad-ass overdrive that goes from clean to very mean, I would definitely buy the BAT Black Forest.
      On the other hand, if money is no concern, I would certainly purchase the Effectrode SR-71 Blackbird Preamp AND either the Chase Bliss Audio Brother dual OD or, my preference, the Gurus 1959 Double Decker.

      • Alex says:

        Hi Chris Filben !!

        Thank you for detailed answer I really appreciate it.!!! I did not make it clear in my first
        post, I am looking for an overdrive medium or heavy. I will follow your suggestions and
        I will try some pedal like JHS and BAT black forest. However, I am closer to plexidrive or
        Xotic sl drive.

  139. Chris Filben says:

    Hi Bjorn,I was wondering if you have tried out the Gurus 1959 Double Decker Dual Tube Overdrive. After purchasing the Echosex 2, I decided to give the 1959 Double Decker a try. I tested it against the Wampler Plexi-Deluxe and the BuffaloFX Evolution Overdrive, both of which I consider very fine ODs. I must say, the Gurus 1959 Double Decker floored me. The inclusion of the 12AX7 preamp tube in the drive made all the difference in the world.

    Guitar solos through the Wampler Plexi-Deluxe and the BuffaloFX Evolution sounded very fine. But it was night and day when I plugged in the Double Decker. It roared! The sounds I am able to coax from the 1959 Double Decker are astounding. The tube obviously responds empathically to your picking style, which really was not the case with the Wampler or BuffaloFX pedals. I would say the 1959 has more headroom, more authentic amp sound and just has that tube mojo that cannot ever be achieved froma solid state pedal attempting to emulate an actual tube OD. And finally, you can record direct out to a DAW directly from the Gurus 1959 Double Decker and it even has an effects loop. An incredible design from Italy and I feel it is one of the best sounding Overdrives I have ever played.

    I liked the Gurus 1959 Double Decker so much after auditioning it for two hours that I immediately sold both the Plexi-Deluxe and the Evolution OD. If you have not checked out the Gurus 1959 Double Decker, I really think you would like the pedal, based upon your other reviews I’ve read.

  140. Alex K says:

    Hei Bjorn!
    Have you heard of a TrueOverDrive from Danish company Lunastone?
    If not, check it out. I wonder what you’ll say about it.

  141. Federico says:

    Hi Bjorn, what do you think of Tube Work Blue Tube and Tube Work Real Tube? Can they be a Valuable Alternative to Tube Drivers?

  142. Ali says:

    hey bjorn did you test the RUMBLE drive from MOOER ?! ive seen some crazy reviews of it and it sound aaaawwwesome in them , so can you give me some advise about it plz ? :) tnx

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried it yet but it’s loosely based on the Dumble amps, with a very mid rangy compressed tone, lots of gain and smoothness. Well worth checking out based on the reviews I’ve seen.

  143. james pace says:

    Sir Bjorn – Will you review the Effectrode Tube Driver (Overdrive unit) soon?

  144. Alexis says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    How would you stack a TD-X with the Evolution, and with which settings on each? I’ve seen that DG stack them on the solo of Echoes at Live in Gdansk, and I’m after this type of tone.

    My Evolution sounds a bit muddy by itself, and stacking it with the TD-X set for clean boost is not really better. I remember I had better results when using the Evolution stacked with the TD-X set as an overdrive/mild overdrive. So most of the time, I prefer to simply use a muff with a clean boost.

    It could also come from the amp and speaker combination, I actually use my Laney L5 studio through a semi-opened cab loaded with a single 1×12 Celestion V30. Would you recommend a Celestion G12H loaded cab for the L5 (for example the Laney LT112)?

    The guitar I use is my Squier Stratocaster equipped with D.Allen Echoes PU.

    Thanks for your help!


    • Bjorn says:

      There shouldn’t be a problem stacking the two pedals on the Lionheart and with your cabinet. I suspect the issue lies in your amp and pedal settings and the amp settings obviously depends very much on what tones you want, the room you’re in, your pickups etc etc. That being said, the lionheart does have less headroom than David’s Hiwatts and more compression so combining two fairly gainy pedals with a dark and compressed amp, might not produce the same tones as David’s. Try using the Evolution alone and if you need to stack it, try using a cleaner booster.

      • Alexis says:

        Hi Bjorn, thanks for your help.
        I tried a few tweaks on other pedals, without changing settings on the amp and its OK now. I think there were multiple factors affecting the tone coming from the Evolution:
        – Weather, as read multiple times on the Internet that germanium components (like those used in the Evolution) are affected by weather changes.
        – Boosters, I used a TD-X and Vick Audio Overdriver (powered by 18v adaptor) set for clean boost and the Evolution worked great with both and also as a standalone pedal.
        -Delays, I noticed that the Evolution sounded darker and sometimes muddy when using the Strymon Timeline, while it stayed perfectly defined when paired with the Dawner Prince Boonar. So a few tweaks on the tone controls of the repeats coming from the delay can also greatly affects the final tone.

        So I think my main issues were weather changes and settings on the delays. I have now found the tone that my Evolution had when I originally received it! :D

        And by the way, I ordered a few new toys recently, based on your reviews (and my never-ending tone quest haha!):
        – Dawner Prince Boonar: just a fantastic delay, better and easier to use than the Catalinbread Echorec (I had it for some weeks but finally canceled my order as there were strange noises coming from the pedal). The Boonar can do everything I need from a delay, from slapback to wall of cascaded delays, perfect for playing Hank Marvin, Mark Knopfler and David Gilmour stuff.
        – Electro-Harmonix Green Russian Big Muff reissue: you have to try it Bjorn! ;) I wasn’t expecting too much (as I have a Soul Food that I had to repair only 3 weeks after receiving it brand new, a failure in electrical components), but I can say it is really impressive! I A/B’d it with my Vick Audio 1861 and they are identical (with 1861 used in stock mode), except that the EHX Green Russian has more volume on tap and is just a tiny bit darker than the 1861. So if the components are more reliable than other EHX pedals, this is a killer choice for a Muff pedal at any budget.
        – Skreddy Pedals P19: I love my Vick Audio 73 Ram’s Head, but was after something a bit more focused and compressed, and this one fits perfectly in that role. With an Overdriver + Eleclady+ delay, it’s clearly The Wall tones.

        I’m still waiting to receive a JHS Muffuletta and a Hartman Analog Flanger, as I found them at affordable prices. But now I really need a Custom pedalboard and switcher, as there is too many stuff laying on the ground haha! :D

        Cheers! Alexis

  145. Richard says:

    Hi Bjorn, will the Wampler PlexiDrive sound ok at lower amp volume levels? I play thru a Blues Jr, turned up to about 3. Some pedals I have tried (like the DLS MKIII) don’t drive the amp and create any overdrive on their own it seems. Appreciate your input. Cheers!

    • Bjorn says:

      Yes, it sounds great on any volume. I also recommend checking out the Vick Audio Tree of Life, which goes very well with Fender amps.

  146. Drew says:

    Phenomenal information and loving attention to details in this article, Bjorn! I’ve read carefully and just wanted to ask a quick question regarding your thoughts on what you’d recommend for my rhythm guitar playing needs.

    I play a Fender Telecaster into a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe for rehearsals/jams/gigs, and at home currently playing low volume through a Pro Jr. The only dirt pedal I have is a TS-9 tube screamer, and would like to get another od/dirt/color pedal for my rhythm guitar playing needs. I’m wondering if it might be a good idea to target another OD pedal (like perhaps the BD-2?) for my ‘always on’ character pedal, and then use the TS-9 for added dirtiness when needed? Or perhaps I should go the other way around and use the TS-9 for my always on character and target another specific pedal for my extra raunch…thoughts?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Drew says:

      Sorry Bjorn – I forgot to mention that the stuff I play is very much in the 60s/70s influenced garage and power pop realm (think: Guided By Voices, Pavement, etc.).

    • Bjorn says:

      The BD2 should be a good choice for the amp. It has a very nice headroom and clean boost, with just a hint of mid range and compression. It goes very well with the TS as well.

  147. Richard Petzold says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I own a 30 Watt Engl tube amp which has a warm and present mid range and also a lot of headroom. I’ve read several of your articles and they were incredibly informative but I still can’t decide which pedal I want. I’m struggeling to choose between the V-2, M-1 and the Evolution (maybe two of them)… Which of these are best for tones like Time, Sorrow and which ones are better for a more RAT like sound (Comfortably Numb)? Greetings from Germany!

    • Bjorn says:

      The Evolution is no doubt the most versatile of these and I think it will go nicely with the amp as well. The V2 is similar, with a tad more gain. The M1 is a Muff and I think it can sound a bit too aggressive on your amp. You might also want to check out stuff like the Fulltone OCD, Vick Tree of Life and the Arc Effects Soothsayer.

  148. Greg A. Weigand says:

    Hey Bjorn,
    Excellent site! I’ve been a true Gilmour fan since the late 70’s and am continually attempting to emulate his tone. Your site has been an excellent source of info! Thanks so much!

    Now to pick your brain. I currently have the below listed pedal setup. Extensive I know, what would be your recommendations for pedal order, additional pedals etc.

    Boss Vol pedal > Wampler Eco compressor > Morley Wah > Digitech Whammy > Monte Allums modded BD-2 > TC MojoMojo > MXR 10 band > DOD Filter > MXR Uni-vibe > TC Helix Phaser > TC Corona Chorus > TC Hall of Fame > MXR Carbon Copy > Stereo setup Amps (Fender Roc-Pro 1000 and Roland BC-60)

    Thanks Again and Great site!

    • Greg A. Weigand says:

      BTW, I’m playing a Rarebird Stratohawk with EMG SA’s and SPC.

      Thanks again!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Greg! Thanks for your kind words! Sorry for my late reply.
      Try this: guitar > wah > dod filter > whammy > eco compressor (could go first as well) > BD2/MojoMojo (order depending on whether you want to stack them) > MXR EQ > UniVibe > Phaser > chorus > delay > reverb > amp. I prefer having UniVibes and phasers in front of the gain pedals, so you might want to try that as well.

  149. Daniel says:

    I have a question about how to use the overdrive before or after the big muff as booster

  150. Chris says:

    Hi Bjorn

    Do you think a Boss BD-2 / Keeley Phat Mod and a Klon-type pedal such as the Wampler Tumnus would be redundant on the same board? I am looking for one pedal to give me a nice, light crunch (especially on the neck pickup similar to what you’d hear on Pulse or Gdansk) and another that would be capable of a decent, saturated hard rock-style rhythm (my band plays a bit heavier style). I already have a RAT-style pedal for solos. I was thinking BD-2 or Keeley for light overdrive and something with a little bit of a midrange bump for rhythm as I typically run my mids a little under halfway (the Soul Food seems a little dull but the Wampler looks to be amazing).

    For reference I have a HiWatt Custom 50 and SSL-5 loaded Strat.


    • Bjorn says:

      The BD2 has less mid range and compression so they’re not that similar. Still, with more or less the same gain range they do cover much of the same ground. Keep in mind too that The Hiwatt has a lot of mid range so adding a clon on top of that might get a bit too much. The BD2 and something similar would be a better combo for that amp I think.

      • Chris says:

        How about something like a Fulltone OCD?

        • Bjorn says:

          The OCD is somewhere between a BD2 and TS9 I guess. Still a lot of mid range and compression but with the right settings it sounds pretty good with a Hiwatt.

          • Chris says:


            On a semi-related note, what would your recommendation be for good pedal stacking combinations through the HiWatt? I was thinking of using the BD-2 as a light overdrive AND a boost for a fuzz and/or distortion.

  151. Dave says:

    Hey Bjorn, have you ever played a ZVex Super Hard on? If so, which of the pedals mentioned in this article would you compare it to? I’m thinking of buying one to play heavy, down-tuned stuff (as I heard that QOTSA’s Songs For The Deaf was recorded with one), but I was wondering if it would also be any use for more traditional rock n roll tones.

    • Bjorn says:

      It depends on your amp and how well it works with fuzz pedals. The Super Hard On has a massive amount of gain so I guess a Muff would be the best choice or perhaps a BC109 fuzz, which has some of that raw edgy tone.

  152. David says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Great article! I’m thinking of either the Tree of Life or the BD2. I currently have a 10w Allen amp, which is loosely based on a Fender Blackface amp but can get into tweed country as well. I’m also using a MIM strat with D Allen ’60s Rock n Blues pups.

    Which overdrive pedal would you think would work best with this setup?

    Thank you!

    • Bjorn says:

      Both, I guess but the Tree of Life works perfectly with Fender amps adding a bit of the mid range and compression you need.

  153. Nicholas A. Rhoades says:

    Hello! Love the site. Extremely informative and useful. I was curious to see if you had any experience with the Dumbloid?


  154. Wow! Excellent resource~ Thanks Bjorn! Im using a VOX AC15C1 w/ Greenback. Can you please classify the pedals I have, (mid range scooped vs not) and arrange a basic gain stack of 3 or more of them to go from> clean stage 1 boost only,> to moderate stage 2 overdrive, >to a heavier stage 3 overdrive/lead (no FUZZ tones needed) using 3 or 4 of the following that I have. Looking for a well rounded mix of tones. I have: TS9, JHS Superbolt, EM Drive, Palasades, Blues Driver BD2Waza, Fulltone 2, Wampler dB+ Buffer/boost,Nano Big Muff, Pro Co Rat. (These are not ALL on my board obviosly, just available! LOL) I play USA ’72 Tele Thinline w/ humbuckers and a USA STrat Elite 4th gen noiseless single coils thru a VOX AC15C1 miked up. I use a Strymon Timeline and JHS Avalance reverb, a Sonic research tuner, Volume pedal for swells etc, there is a POG and an MXR 6 band EQ, a Wampler EGO comp, and a BBE sonic stomp. BIG help if you wanna take a crack at this I would LOVE it! THANKS!

  155. Jérome says:

    Hello,Bjorn! when you specify the two tube drivers, # 1 is a volume boost, it goes after the Muff. Is # 2 set to give more gain? Would it be before Muff?
    Thank you.

  156. CJ says:

    Hey Bjorn.

    Would you say a Buffalo FX TD-X and a Keeley-modded Boss BD-2 on the same pedalboard might be redundant?

    Typically I carry two or three overdrive/fuzz pedals – a light/medium overdrive (where I imagine the TD-X would overlap with the BD-2 on my board) and a heavier, Marshall-type overdrive (I love the Evolution, but I’ve got my hands on a Bogner La Grange and find it to be even more versatile and amp-like) and some sort of fuzz for when the need strikes.

    I also carry a boost, such as the Keeley Katana or Source Audio Programmable EQ (which is amazing, by the way) to give any of the above pedals a good “push.”

    I use a HiWatt Custom 50 1×12 for gigging and Laney Cub 12R for home recording. As much as I love the TD-X, I feel like I have the other bases covered so well that I’m willing to trade in its insanely versatile gain spectrum for something with a bit more headroom. The Keeley-modded BD-2 seems like the ticket.

    What do you think?


    • Bjorn says:

      It always depends on what tones you’re looking for but personally I think they overlap to some extent. The BD2 has more sparkle and less compression, while the TDX is slightly darker and smoother with a hint more mid range. The BD2 is better at boosting IMO while the TDX works better as a stand alone pedal but unless you want two similar sounding pedals with different settings for different applications, then it might be redundant with both.

  157. Folbir says:

    Hi, Bjorn. Hats off to you for the great work!

    Anyway, which of the following pedals do you think would best serve my needs:
    (1) Tube Driver (2) Plexi-Drive (3) BD-2 (4) Tubescreamer (5) Soul Food (6) OCD

    I was thinking of cranking up the amp while using the pedal similar to an attenuator (amp volume up, pedal volume fairly low) to get creamy distortions at relatively lower volume levels. I’d probably leave the pedal on and just mess with the volume knob to control the amount of gain.

    I use a ’61 Gibson SG Reissue into a Fender Pro Junior most of the time, and occasionally bring out a Squier Telecaster with a P90 on the neck. Care to share your thoughts? Thanks!

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your kind words! I think I’d go for either the BD2 or the OCD. Both works great on Fender amps and has the ability to maintain the character at low volume. The other pedals will work too but the Soul Food can sound a bit thin on low volume and the Tube Driver and Plexi can sound a bit harsh on low volume and mids scooped Fender amps.

  158. Omar says:

    What about JHS Morning Glory instead a BD-2 and Lovepedal Zen Drive instead Cornish SS-2 for coming back to the life and louder than words? Solid state amp, bedroom player. Thanks!

  159. Dan says:

    Wow thanks for taking the guesswork out of all this! I decided to grab a used Behringer BO100 (a version of the bd-2) and really like it with an old hondo Strat in a cheap bedroom setup so before I shell out the extra cash for the boss I thought I’d ask if you ever played one for comparison?

  160. Diego Velanga says:

    Hey Bjorn! I need your guidence about overdrives and distortions.
    Currently I have a CostaLab Custom Muff on my pedalboard, noisy as hell but since nobody knows about this pedal in my country, I’m pretty much married to it. For distortion/overdrive I’m not quite sure what to get. I want a overdrive for a clean boost, one for more gain and a distortion like ProCo Rat. But is it 3 pedals necessary? I was thinking in get a OCD, a Green Rhino from Way Huge (sounds like TS9) and a ProCo Rat. But I saw your videos with the Plexi Drive and now I’m confuse what to get. Does Plexi Drive can replace the Rat? Should I get a Soul Food or a Crayon instead of the Green Rhino?

    • Bjorn says:

      Which amp do you have?

      • Diego Velanga says:

        A Laney Cub 12 head

        • Bjorn says:

          Sorry for my late reply, Diago. How many pedals you should get, depends on what tones you want to cover. For David Gilmour’s tones, I usually recommend at least one distortion for the lead tones, one overdrive for rhythm and the bluesy stuff and one delay. These three pedals will cover most of his stuff and you can easily build on that. The Cub can handle pretty much anything. The OCD is a very versatile pedal that can do awesome overdrive stuff and pretty heavy distortion tones as well. I would go for that one perhaps and a Muff or something similar.

  161. Alessandro Borges Cordeiro says:

    Hi Bjorn, Are you tested the EHX Crayon? It’s a good substitute for the Tube Driver?

  162. Jakob says:

    hi Bjorn, have you heard of or tried the Harben Audio Synesthesia Drive its a clone of a colorsound power boost

    Thanks for the great website

  163. Francesco C says:

    Hi Bjorn. Can you tell me something about the MXR fet driver as alternative of the Tube Driver? I have a Blues Driver but I can’t reach the tone for The Division Bell or Pulse.. So I’m looking around for something else, like this MXR..

    • Bjorn says:

      What’s your amp and pickups?

      • Francesco says:

        I have got an Hiwatt maxiwatt g50r and a Fender American Special with Texas special

        • Bjorn says:

          Ok, the Fet Driver will provide similar tones with the right settings but it’s initially designed for a slighty different tone. Pedals like the Buffalo FX TD-X, EHX Crayon and Wampler PlexiDrive is a better choice I think.

  164. Omar says:

    I have a Boss CS-2 Compression Sustianer too.

  165. Omar says:

    I have an East River Electro Harmonix (TS-808). I’m a bedroom player of Gilmour light overdrive sounds and I don’t need a booster for Big Muff, because I have a Iron Bell Fuzz. What other overdrive would you recommend? Vick Audio Tree of Life (U$ 119), Super Phat Mod Robert Keeley (U$ 150), Boss BD-2 Waza Craft / Boss BD-2 stock, or a clone of SS-2 Cornish? Thanks a lot for your attention! Congratulations for your job and website based on Gilmour sounds!

    • Bjorn says:

      What sort of amp will you be using?

      • Omar says:

        My amp is a solid state Hiwatt (Maxwatt) with reverb, 12″ speaker, 50 watts. Thanks for attention!

        • Bjorn says:

          The BD-2, in all its different versions, is perhaps the closest to the Tube Driver, although a tad brighter. The Tree of Life is closer to the Tube Screamer, with lots of mid range and compression but it has much more headroom and low end. Both pedals should work nicely with your amp.

  166. Omar says:

    What do you think about the Boss BD-2 Waza Craft? Is it the same thing that Keeley Mod Bd2?

  167. Ryan says:

    Hey Bjorn, could you kindve explain the difference between something like the Vick audio over driver and something like a sparkle drive mod pedal? The sparkle drives normal mode is a stock ts-808 circuit and mod 1 setting is very comparable to a bk tube driver. I didn’t want to get the over driver if I could get close tones with what I have.

    • Bjorn says:

      The Overdriver has very little mid range and compression. It’s more amp-like. The Sparkle is a clean booster with modes for more/less compression and mid range. Which to choose depends on teh voicing of your amp.

  168. Hi! This is a bit hard to describe in text, I’m sure audio examples would be better, but here goes:

    I just purchased an Evolution, after having been on the lookout for a used one ever since I heard about it two years back. Your demos and reviews were a big part of the reason I wanted one. I started testing it, and it sounded wonderful clean and at low gain settings. However, turning up the gain, I got that buzzy, thin, wasp-like sound that I’m always trying to avoid. I tried adjusting the tone and contour, but to no avail.

    Now, this isn’t the first time this has happened. I got a Suhr Riot Reloaded a couple of weeks back, and it, too, had that nasty quality to it, reminding me of a Metal Zone or when you use a distortion pedal through a cheap transistor amp.

    I then tried the Black Secret, which the Evolution was intended to replace, and in the Turbo setting, it was big, thick, singing. Switching between the Mooer and Buffalo FX pedals, it was remarkable how much better the Mooer sounded.

    I know the Evolution isn’t supposed to sound like this, it’s not a pleasant sound. Same thing with the Riot for that matter. Is it my amp that just won’t take certain pedals? The amp is a Laney L5 Studio with an Egnater Tweaker cab, Celestion G12H-30 speaker.

    • Bjorn says:

      What are your amp settings, including the switches, and pickups do you have?

    • george says:

      if I could add my two cents, I know what you mean. What I find helps is a greasebucket tone circuit on the guitar. It rolls off lows and highs, and really helps with this problem. For example on my bridge single coil I have the tone down to three-four with the tube driver

    • Jermund says:

      Hi, i have the exact same problem with my L20H with LT212 cab with original speakers… Don’t know what i’m doing wrong. I have tried all kinds of settings on the amp, also the settings described on bjornriis.com (clean channel) and on this page (drive channel) for this amp. Only tried with humbuckers though. (JB hotrod) Have new jj tubes on order, and a 2017 LP Standard which has coulsplit, so maybe that improves things… Don’t know..

      • Bjorn says:

        OK, so the problem is that the Evo sounds too thin and harsh/bright? The Lionheart can do a wide range of different tones, depending on which channel and bright/normal mode. Overall the amp has less mid range than a Marshall and Hiwatt, which can make some pedals sound less smooth and perhaps even thin. Still, I have used the Evolution many times with the Laney, even recorded with it, and I always get really fat and smooth tones. As with any pedal, it all depeneds on the amp and what settings you have on the amp.
        I always use the dirt channel on the Laney for more compression and mid range. Try this for a start: gain channel, bright mode, gain 1.5, gain volume as desired but keep in mind that the louder you play, the more you push the tubes and speakers for mid range and compression, bass full, mids full, treble and tone off.
        Do also try a more conventional setup: drive channel, normal mode, gain 2, gain volume as desired, bass 6, mids 6, treble 3, tone 6.
        Obviously, the settings on the Evolution depends on which of these amp settings you use but try adding a bit of boost on the Evo by setting the volume at 60-70% and the rest of the conrols to match and as desired. Hope this helps.

  169. Craig Richards says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I was reading your very interesting review of the Electronic Orange Pig Hoof in which you talk about using a booster behind a Big Muff. The examples you cite are:

    a) Coloursound PowerBoost for late 70s tones
    b) Tube Driver for present tones, and
    c) Slightly darker Tube Screamer or OCD for more squeezed warm tones.

    I was thinking about getting the Vick Audio 73 Ram’s Head and I already own the Tree of Life, so I wonder if the TOL would work as a decent booster for the Ram’s Head?

    I know a lot of this is very amp dependant and my current amp is an old fender and not appropriate to the sounds I want but I am leaning towards a Laney L5 with the LT112 CAB ( would a 212 be a better option in case I ever get a bigger Head ( ) or possibly the H&K TM 18 ( not sure on a CAB for that ). I am hoping to demo these in the very near future.

    My guitar is an early 90s USA Schecter Strat which has a Schecter super rock bridge pickup / schecter monster tone middle and neck pickup. All 3 tappable ) No clue if these are meant to be decent pickups but they seem ok.

    More of a bedroom player for now but interested in sounds from animals and also WYWH and Gilmour in general ( probably have to get an MXR script 90 just for those 4 notes: A# F G E… )

    As always, thanks again for your amazing kindness and time in sharing all of this information with us and helping us all to understand our sounds better.

    Thanks kindly,

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Craig! Between the amps you mention I would definitely consider the Lionheart. By far one of the best sounding and most versatile amps I’ve played and they can handle pretty much any pedal you throw at them. A Muff and ToL combo works nicely but the 73 also has a 3-way mid range switch allowing quite a bit of boost so at least for my set up, I never need to boost the 73. Cheers!

  170. marco says:

    Hi, I was wandering what combination pedals would I need to get the Sorrow Intro and Outro sound from gilmour. Cheers.

  171. Matthew Lee says:

    What are your thoughts on the TC Electronic Spark Booster and MojoMojo Overdrive?

    • Bjorn says:

      The Spark is basically a clean booster with some EQ options and mid range boost. Very versatile and definitely worth checking out although I prefer either a transparent overdrive, like the Powerbooster or BD2, or a, Echoplex booster. The MojoMojo is basically a beefed up Tube Screamer.

      • Walt T. says:

        Hi Bjorn,
        Sorry to hijack this older post. But the TC Mojo Mojo does not sound like it compresses/boosts mids like the tube screamer (to me – I might be wrong). I have a Peavey Classic 30 and the current O/D’s in my possession that I can choose from are TC Mojo Mojo, Way Huge Green Rhino, Boss OS2. I also have a supposed Rat clone – Eno TC-13 Myomorpha Distortion too. If you know any of these pedals, which would you recommend to pair with the amp (also on which channel). Thanks!

        • Bjorn says:

          I think all of them would go nicely with the amp. The Classic 30 is a very good pedal platform so it depends on what tones you want.

  172. Chris says:

    Bjorrn, forgive me if this was already asked (this thread is long), where do you rate the Xotic EP versus the other clean boost pedals? I am aware that you use the EP yourself. Thanks in advance. I love the content of this website.

    • Bjorn says:

      Thank you! Very similar to the TopTone Shine Boost. Perhaps a tad darker but it’s got that slight compressed mid rangy flavour.

  173. Alessandro Borges Cordeiro says:

    Hi Bjorn, Your site and tips help me a lot!!!
    I have a question, which the best mini pedals for a tube driver tones cover?
    I have a Mooer Blues Mood and a Hustle Drive.
    Other question, the Xotic SL Drive works better as overdrive or a distortion pedal?
    I think to use a SL as distortion and Blues Mood or Hustle (the most like TD) as overdrive or a SL as overdrive and Mooer Black Secret (for example) as distortion. Do you think?

    Thanks and greetings!!!

    • Bjorn says:

      Well, it’s all about taste really. All of those could easily double as both overdrive and distortion. Personally I prefer the SL for distortion and lead tones and probably the Hustle as well. The Blues Mood is very close to the Tube Driver.

  174. Dan says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I would like to know you thoughts on the way Huge Green Rhino?
    Basically a tubedriver. Have you tested one. How do you like it?

    • Bjorn says:

      It’s closer to the Tube Screamer, with a couple of extra features for more low end and gain. More mid range and compression than the Tube Driver.

  175. Igor says:

    Dear Bjorn! I have a “Vick Audio Tree of Life” and more pedals “Overdrive and distortion” I do not have. Do I need a pedal Tube Driver Chandler 88th year of release? I was offered a pedal Tube Driver, and I do not know if it will be like “Vick Audio Tree of Life”. Thank you

    • Bjorn says:

      The ToL has much more mid range and compression than the Tube Driver. Two very different sounding overdrives really. The Tube Driver has a more early Marshall tube amp tone, with moderate mid range and compression, while the ToL is closer to the OCD, Tube Screamer and Dumble tone.

  176. Georg Hellström says:

    Hi Björn. I was wondering if you’ve tried any of the Pettyjohn drives? I had my mind set on the TD-X, but at the same time it would be nice to have something that would give me a couple of more tonal options for live use. The PettyDrive looks like a fun, versatile box of joy!

  177. James Tea says:

    hello Bjorn

    I have spent a big hunk of dough on some pedals, several of your picks…

    OCD – Bass Big Muff – Vibe Machine – Flashback

    So far so good.

    I was running a compressor after the Big Muff, it allowed me to get more tone by lowering the output and cranking the volume pot on the BIG muff to its sweet spot. But peer pressure made me try the compressor in front of the OCD and then.. meh.

    Now I have ordered a Tree of Life which will arrive any day,and thinking to take the compressor out.

    So many drive pedals, could I ask how you personally might put these together, in what order?

    OCD v4 > Tree of Life > Bass Big Muff, or Tree of Life > OCD > Big Muff, or…?

    I think you know all these pedals pretty well.

    I would want one to use at a clean boost setting for pretty stuff and stacking.

    Thanks for your great website and advice.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi James, doesn’t matter how you arrange them if you’re using one pedal at a time but for stacking, I would go for this: Muff > OCD > ToL. As for the compressor… Whether or not you need a compressor depends on your pickups, the amp and what pedals you use. Based on your pedals alone, I would say that you don’t need a compressor as the OCD and ToL are very compressed.

      • James Tea says:

        Thanks very much! Just arrived today, I am very pleased with the sound and range of the TOL.

      • James Tea says:

        A question about the OCD v4. Is this the noisiest pedal in the world or do I have a bad unit?
        I get so much noise from this pedal when the volume is past 12:00. Now I tried it stacked with the TOL. The TOL bumps up the OCD noise, even if the OCD is set to 9:00 volume.

        Whether using the OCD alone, or stacked, if I use a jumper lead from the OCD housing screw to ground, it cuts the noise.

        Have you seen this on OCD’s before? The high noise factor or the noise reduction through grounding?

        • Bjorn says:

          I haven’t experienced that the pedal it self is noisy and I think I have four of them now. But, the OCD has a lot of compression, mid range and gain so there will be some noise when you crank it up. It’s just the nature of the pedal. Mind too that proper powering and good quaility cables will eliminate much of the noise.

  178. Rennzo says:

    Hi, Bjorn!

    If you were to buy only 3 pedals to achieve a Pink Floyd sound, would you get delay, modulation and distortion, or delay, modulation and overdrive? I’m really considering buying the Nova Delay and the MXR Phase 90. Other than these, which distortion or which overdrive would you get?

    Thanks! =D

    • Bjorn says:

      I would start with a distortion for the big lead tones, an overdrive for rhythms and the milder leads and a delay.

      • Rennzo says:

        Björn, I’ve decided to get the Flashback Delay and Looper + Tree of Life Overdrive.

        Considering this “hard to beat for the price” motto (as you clearly did with the Flashback), which DISTORTION and which MODULATION (one of each) would you pick, hands down, to cover most of Pink Floyd tones?

        Thanks a lot in advance, again! And cheers from Brazil :)

        • Bjorn says:

          Depends on your amp but I guess I would go for something versatile when it comes to the distortion. Perhaps a Fulltone OCD or a RAT kind of pedal, like the Buffalo FX Evolution. As for the modulation, personally I prefer flanging for the late 70s era, and the Mooer ElecLady is hard to beat, but it wouldn’t quite work for other eras. Perhaps a phaser for the Dark Side/WYWH stuff and a flanger for the Animals/Wall stuff.

          • Rennzo says:

            Hello again, Björn!

            All right, I got my hands on a Flashback Delay and Looper + Tree of Life + ProCo RAT 2 + MXR Phase 90 Eddie Van Halen + Mooer Eleclady. My amp is a Fender Frontman 25r (when I change it, I’ll keep in mind those “mids scooped” tips).

            My questions are: do you think this pedalboard is solid? And in which order would you chain these pedals?

            Thanks again, you’re great!

            • Bjorn says:

              Hi, you have covered the basics with those pedals so I’m not sure what to recommend. You should be able to cover most of David’s stuff with that. Whenever you buy a new amp, and if it is a more mid range oriented amp, I would probably look into a Muff or fuzz for some of those vintage tones.

          • Rennzo says:

            Hi! I don’t know if this reply is going to be seen at the same time as my previous reply which wasn’t answered yet, but it’s worth the shot.

            My pedals ended up being these ones:

            – Flashback Delay and Looper
            – RAT 2
            – Tree of Life
            – MXR Phase 90 EVH
            – MXR Analog Chorus
            – Mooer Eleclady

            My actual amp (I’ll probably change it sooner or later) is a Fender Frontman 25R.

            My only questions are:
            1) Do you think that’s a solid group of pedals for playing on stage and at home?
            2) And MOST IMPORTANTLY: in which order would you put these 6 pedals, exactly?

            Thank you, Björn!

            • Bjorn says:

              Hi, sorry I got the comments mixed up. Yes, I think it looks like a very nice setup. Try this order:
              guitar > rat > tol > phase > chorus > eleclady > flashback > amp. I often place the phaser before the dirt pedal but try both ways and hea which you like the best. Cheers!

  179. Brian says:

    I literally just found out that this pedal existed a hour ago and was wondering if you had any experience with the Maxon TOD‑9 True Tube Overdrive. Basically the classic Tube Screamer with a mini tube in it. Been out for a few years now and it’s slightly expensive but was thinking it might be a smaller Tube Driver option. Otherwise I’m about get a second Keeley BD-2 as the MXR Fet Driver I currently have for TD #2 just isn’t cutting it.

    • Bjorn says:

      Haven’t tried the TOD9 so I can’t really comment on it. As for the Fet Driver replacement, the Keeley BD2 is great but check out the Buffalo FX TD-X and Wampler Plexi Drive as well.

  180. Don says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    Currently rocking a setup consisting of a Vick Audio 73 Ram Head (switching out with a JHS Muffaletta) for fuzz, Buffalo FX Evolution for distortion and Vick Audio Tree of Life for lighter overdrive. It’s a good setup, but I feel like there’s still something “missing” so to speak. Meaning that contextually, I find myself gravitating more toward my Evolution for lead playing and shying away from the ’73 Ram’s Head, which puts me in a conundrum in that setting the Evolution up for optimal lead playing leaves me relying more or less solely on the Tree of Life for my overdrive and distortion tones, which I’d prefer to do rather than use it as a solo boost for the ’73 Ram Head.

    I was wondering, should I consider taking the fuzz pedals off my board, dedicating the Evolution solely to heavy overdrive and modern-era Gilmour-style leads, and get another overdrive pedal? The Tree of Life, with my rig (HiWatt Custom 50 SA112), seems to be the *perfect* low-gain overdrive. Leaving the Evolution for leads and heavy distortion, would it make more sense to get a mid-level overdrive? Or to stick with one of the fuzz pedals (the Muffaletta sounds great without a booster), set the Evolution up more as a go-to heavy overdrive and the Tree of Life as a light overdrive?


    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Don, obviously the number of pedals and which pedals you should have on your pedal board, depends on what tones you need. I use Big Muffs all the time but mainly for Gilmour stuff so for my own music, I mainly use either distortion or different overdrives… either alone or stacked. Big Muffs and fuzz are great but they sound like, well, Big Muffs and fuzz and if that’s not what you’re after, then it’s not going toprovide a whole lot more than that. I often have a combo of different overdrives, like a booster, milder overdrive and one heavy saturated. That will provide the pallette of tones that I need for most things. So, the Evo for heavy lead stuff. The ToL for cleaner overdrive and perhaps something like a Buffalo FX TDX or the Wampler Plexi Drive for mid gainy things would provide a wide range of tones.

      • Arya Boustani says:

        Hi Bjorn, in your response here you mentioned you sometimes use combination of ODs stacked. So what is your signal chain for the stacked overdrives? I mean if Evo is set for heavy overdrive, do you still feed to another overdrive? or putting an overdrive feeding the Evo? or you mean using a combo of mild overdrive (TOL) feeding the mid gain overdrive (BFX TDX or Wampler Plexi). Do you use any three OD pedals combination? I found staggering a mid scooped to a mid heavy and back to mid scooped or vice versa OD pedals allow to have 3 or even more OD pedals in the signal chain, as long as the heavy feeds to a light and back to heavy feeds to a mid, etc. Not that it is needed, just for sake of knowing the analogy for not choking the signal. What do you think? Is there any section of your articles going to be dedicated to strategizing stacking gain stages? Thanks a lot for all the time you spend on this :)

        • Bjorn says:

          My main overdrive pedal is the Buffalo TX. It’s usually set for a midl overdrive that I use for rhythm stuff, power chords etc. In front of it, I have a TopTone Shine Boost set to max, that I kick in for heavier solo stuff. I don’t really use Muffs that much anymore, so for the full gain lead tones, I have a Vick Audio Tree of Life set fairly mild, also placed in front of the TDX. The idea is that both boosters can be kicked in for different tones ontop of the TDX, much like boosting the front end of a crunchy tube amp.

      • Don says:

        Thanks, Bjorn. Your latter idea is exactly what I’m thinking. I’d love to keep a muff on board, but with my rock band the Evolution just seems to sit in our mix so much nicer – for Gilmourish leads (with a Retro Sonic Chorus or Mooer E-Lady) and for non-Gilmourish stuff as well. For the other two overdrive pedals, I was actually leaning toward *both* a TD-X, for cleaner overdrive and a Plexi Drive (or another Marshall-voiced OD, such as the Friedman BE-OD) for mid-to-high gain stuff. Do you think that pair would cause too much overlap?

        • Bjorn says:

          They’re similar but one approach is to set them differently – one for clean boost or mild crunch and one for heavier overdrive. They compliment eachother nicely.

          • Don says:


            Reading your response to Arya above – do you think going with two overdrive pedals and a boost/EQ is a more efficient option? For argument’s sake, let’s say one being a light overdrive (TD-X/Boss BD-2), the other a heavier overdrive (Evolution), and a good EQ pedal to accentuate certain frequencies and/or provide a boost? That way, in theory, I could set both overdrives to good rhythm levels and then use a boost/eq in conjunction with modulation pedals to get a good lead sound out of either.

            • Bjorn says:

              That’s similar to my setup. I have two overdrives that are set more or less identical, although the pedals are voiced differently. Adding a booster to each of them, provides different tones for different applications. I don’t really like EQs because it easy to overdo it and I think using different overdrives provides more natural sounds and a bigger palette of sounds but that’s what works for me. Try different setups and choose the one that gives you the tones and versatility you need.

              • Don says:

                Thanks for the tips, Bjorn. I’m going to give that a shot – a low-gain overdrive, a high-gain OD (torn between the Evolution and Friedman BE-OD, which sounds killer through my HiWatt) and, for now, a Keeley Katana mini as a boost.

  181. M says:

    hey Bjorn. im about audio dover drive. your score was 10/10 and you were recommending. but now its 7/10. its my mistake or it was like that ?

  182. Matteo says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    from what I read you said that the buffalo Evolution can easily nail those G2 and Tube driver(ish) tones; now I own a Buffalo Td x, so talkin’ about tube driver tones I’m ok with it, what I would like to ask you are these two questions:

    1) Do you think the Evolution while doing a proper G2 could nail the RAT tones as well?
    2) Do you think in order to get a convincing Pulse setup, would be useful to have two Td X on the pedalboard?
    Cause I know that David used ’em (well the tube driver actually) simoultaneously on certain songs

    Ps. concerning the DG20 pups: I found out that keeping the SPC off and pushing hard the EXG can get you close to the sound he’s using in the intro solo (surely using the double compressor setup)

    Thank you very much!
    congrats on your work as usual
    Ciao from Italy


    • Matteo says:

      Sorry the song I was referring to, regarding the dg20s, was Coming back to life

    • Bjorn says:

      Teh Evo and TDX is somewhat overlapping but they’re really two different pedals. The TD is brighter, less compressed and it has much more headroom. Much more of that early JTM Marshall kind of tone. The Evolution is close to the RAT, with a bit of the Muff falvour. Much more compressed, less headroom and a lot more mid range and gain. I would use the TD for boost and overdrive and the Evo for leads.

  183. Corey says:

    Hi Bjorn, I have a Hiwatt custom 20 sa210 and i was wondering would a ehx soul food or fulltone ocd be better for a well balanced overdrive sound? I have a proco rat 2 and a bb preamp and I really don’t like either of those with it. Your help would be appreciated!

    • Bjorn says:

      What is that you don’t like about those two? The Soul Food and OCD can sound a bit “boxy” and bright on Hiwatts, as those amps has a lot of mid range and compression already. They blend better with amps that doesn’t have as much mid range and compression, although it always depends on what tones you’re looking for. For the Hiwatt, I would probably go for something a bit more transparent like the Buffalo FX TDX, Boss BD2/Keeley Phat Mod, Vick Audio Overdriver etc.

  184. Hi Bjorn,
    Firstly, thank you so much for this site. I’m not even a guitar player and I read it all the time! I’m a writer and I was wondering if I could use your expertise (and the gilmourish’community)on something specific I’m writing about. I’m not sure if you have seen the WYWH “demo” recently released on YouTube:


    I’m trying to narrow this version of Shine On to a specific date referencing Glenn Povey’s book The Complete Pink Floyd. Obviously the first solo isn’t there, the second solo is different, there’s no sax, and from comparison even the drum and bass parts are not the same. In fact, this version is slower when played next to the official release.
    My questions revolve around a technique Gilmour uses to time his famous 4 note phrase. It starts at 3:10. You can hear that the phrase is played very, very, quietly and he uses the quiet version as a guide to know when to begin playing the same notes loudly. This strikes me as odd. There is no rhythm track at this point, so why would having the phrase in there twice to guide him be necessary? Any other number of means could be used to tell him where to come in. And he’s also not keeping time with anyone but himself, and thanks to the build up, the phrase is not even equidistant from the previous one at the end. I believe he recorded the actual part outside of EMI studio 3 so he could use all of his amps to achieve a louder sound. Would he be hearing it through headphones? If you dug deep enough, could it be heard in the final mix? The only other reason I can think of is that it had to match exactly with pre-recorded rhythm tracks. I.E he has 40 seconds before the drums come in and it has to be perfect. But, there is no drum or bass before that part! So, they could just start that reel after he was done. I know this is a lot, but I’m flustered and I first thought of you to help. If you have time, any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

    Kevin Cenedella

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Kevin, this is obviously an early demo version and David’s playing is very reminiscent of those late 74 British shows and early 75 US shows. Not as smooth and mellow as on the album but a bit more nerve. In regards to the 4-note intro. I don’t think it’s a que but rather a tape bleed from a previous take. Could aslo be bleed on the source tape. You can often hear that on old bootlegs. I assume they either used a metronome or click track when they recorded. I’m sure there is some info on that somewhere but again, I don’t think what you hear is something they actually used.

  185. james huntley says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Thank you for such an amazing website! I’ve spent countless hours on it.

    I was one of the folks that bought the Xotic SL Drive based on old recommendation. My current setup is:

    Fender Gilmour Custom Shop Strat –> MXR compressor –> Xotic SL Drive –> BYOC Large Beaver Ram –> Empress Tape Delay –> Catelinbread Echorec –> Boss DT-20 –> 65′ Fender Princeton Reverb.

    Reading the more recent posts about the SL Drive having too much gain for certain amps, I’m curious how you feel it pairs with a 65′ Fender Princeton Reverb. Also, do you have any recommendations for the sequence of my daisy chain?

    Thank you,

    p.s. I’d like to make a donation to the site for all of your hard work. It is tremendously appreciated.

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your kind words and support, James! Glad you enjoy the site :) Your chain looks fine. I’m using the SL Drive a lot in my home studio and it works nicely on most amps. I haven’t tried it on a Princeton but I would imagine that it sounds great. Works nicely with most other Fender amps I’ve tried it with, adding a nice mids hump and some compression.

  186. Jakob Marsala says:

    Hey, Bjorn.

    My current batch of drive pedals are the following, in order:

    Z.Vex Fuzz Factory
    Mythical Overdrive
    …and a Boss BD-2 keeley modded.

    I have two BD-2s. One is a constant in my guitar case for drop-in gigs, but they have a very narrow band of usefulness. I have a gap in my “light overdrive” spectrum, because I’ve tried other pedals – plexi-drive, throbak overdriver, v1 marshall bluesbreaker, a few other random things – and none seem to have the same “openness” of the Keely-mod BD-2 when it’s in that comfort zone.

    Is there a Buffalo FX pedal that would be a good match for the BD-2? I love the Evolution, and the M1 may be my favorite pedal of all time.

    • Bjorn says:

      The TDX is very close to the BD2 but in my opinion, even more versatile. The BD2 may have more headroom but the TDX, which is based on the Tube Driver, has a wider breakup and a tighter low end. I think it will compliment your pedals very well.

  187. Markus says:

    Ok, one more option. Sorry, but i’m in this autistic-pedal-mode right now. :D

    I’m thinking about this:

    – Vick Audio ’73 Ram’s Head

    And maybe stack it up with my Fulltone OCD clone.

    The ’73 sounds very natural and vintage to me…

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Markus, I’ll answer everything here. As you know, how your pedals end up sounding depends on the amp and how that amp is set. The Lionhearts are extremely versatile and can be setup in a number of different ways. I think all the pedals you’ve mentioned are capable of providing some really nice Gilmour tones with your amp so it more down to preference. The RAT can sound a bit flat and oversaturated but that’s pretty much the nature of the pedal. I love it but it does sound better on amps that has less mid range and compression. OCD-like pedals should be able to deliver tones close to David’s Tube Driver so I would probably stick with that and maybe get a Muff for the bigger lead tones. The Vick ’73 is great and very versatile with the 3-way mid range switch. The Hoof is a great alternative too but it might be better for the early stuff, rather than the more present tones. Hope this gives you start.

  188. Markus says:

    And one more thing regarding my recent post; i already have an Joyo Ultimate Drive, which is an Fulltone OCD clone. Would there be a way to stack that with some (modestly priced) pedal to have an easy way to achieve a Gilmour tone with my setup? Thanks! Markus

  189. Markus says:

    Hi Bjorn! First af all; thank you! You are a true inspiration and driving me forwards to finding my own tone! :D My question is this; I need to find a powerful, organic and lively overdrive sound. I hear it in the fuzzes, for example in the Hoof. But i’m not sure if that is the way to go or should i settle for something else like a Rat. I play a strat to a Laney LC15, both in the bedroom and with a band as a lead (Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin etc rock). My problem with the Rat is that in demos i hear it doesn’t quite have that organic, ballsy vibes that the fuzzes have. I think the Rat sounds kind of metallic and electronic sometimes, and this is something i don’t hear in the muffs. Well, my alternatives have narrowed to these:

    – Earthquaker Hoof (200€)
    – Proco Rat (75€)
    – Mooer Triangle buff (60€)

    And maybe i would also need and driver for the rat and the mooer?

    Well, i really hope that you can help me as i don’t have the opportunity to try these out over here!


  190. vivek vijay says:

    hii bjorn,, sorry for troubling u with more doubts…. here in south india,, we do not have the luxury to test these various wonderful pedals or amps for ourselves ,, only way acquire them is wen my relatives come to india from america….. ur website is a great source for guys like me!! im now learning how to manipulate tone with the help of ur great articles…..

    bjorn,,, im planning to buy a 5 watt amp for home practise,, confused between marshall dsl 5c,, and laney lionheart 5 watt amp,,
    im more inclined towards laney lionheart…. will pedals like buffalo fx rams head,, buffalo fx powerbooster,, buffalo patriot,, wampler tumnus,, boss ds1 ,, boss bd2 go along well with laney lionheart studio 5watt?? which compressor,,,fuzz / muff (i like gilmour and hendrix type tone) ,,, boost (as standalone overdrive and for boosting muffs or another pedal),,,distortion pedal ( ihave boss ds1 already with me),, in ur expert opinion will work best with laney lionheart 5 watt amp?? my guitar is yamaha pacifica 612v with seymour duncan jb bridge humbucker pickup and 2 single coil yamaha pickups….. and also i wud love to play a wide range of bands on the above setup ( led zep,, jimi hendrix,, gnr,, acdc,, ozzy,, black sabbath ,, zztop,, metallica,, pantera,,etc ) :) :) :) is it possible?? and also between marshall dsl 5 and laney lion heart 5 watt amps,, which do u strongly reccomend>??

    waiting hopefully and excitedly for ur replyy !!!….thankuu …..

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi! Thanks for your kind words! Personally I would go for the Lionheart. The Marshall DSL is a nice amp but it’s much more aggressive, compressed and far brighter sounding. I guess you can throw most pedals at it but it’s really designed for plugging the guitar straight into it for the more modern sounding Marshall tones. The Lionheart is capable of both classic Marshall tones and providing a balanced platform for your pedals.

      • vivek vijay says:

        thanku so much for ur reply,,,!! one more doubt plss,,,im goin for lionheart rather than dsl.
        after much reading on this site on overdrives and distortions,, amps,, and general rules for amp – pedal combinatins,,, i have decided on the following pedal combinations for muff,, boost,,overdrive ,, they are -buffulo patriot, wampler tumnus (mid boost / low gain overdrive),, buffalo fx tdx ( high gain overdrive) ,, the logic behind this choice is i can use wampler tumnus as standalone low gain overdrive and also as a mid boost for buffalo tdx to make it also act as a high gain distortion,, with buffalo tdx alone i can obtain from mild to high gain overdrive tones,,
        ( i also have boss ds1 to act as a stand alone distortin pedal)….. and if i feel like boosting the
        patriot (which can also act as stand alone muff) ,, i can use tumnus or buffalo tdx in the boost mode,, if this logic works i can get a wide variety of dirt tones from the amp …. do u think tdx and patriot will work well with lany lionheart “5” watt ?? i know u have laney lionheart l20 and use most of these pedals ,, but do u think it will work on 5 watt?? pls give me a guidance bjorn,,, it means a lot to me…!! thankuu :) :) take care…..

        • Bjorn says:

          Please see my previous reply. Let me know if you still need any help :)

          • vivek vijay says:

            hii born,,, hope u r doin great,, thnku very much for ur reply,, you dont have to apologise for the delay,, i consider ur replies to our questions as great bonuses,,, the site itself is a mini university of guitar tone which is available for us free..!!!

            one doubt though bjorn ,, i have finally decided on pedals tumnus,, fulltone ocd and boss ds1(i have it),, mxr dyna comp or xotic sp compressor for laney lionheart 5 watt ( in the assumption that although its drive channel is marshall style still because of 5 watt power,, it needs mids boosted/ compressed pedals)…. do u think this is a good decision?? if u were in my shoes what dirt/boost pedals would u choose :) ?? thnku ,,

  191. Duncan says:

    Hi M; Riis,

    What would be your choice today, among the many pedals available, in order to replicate the Pete cornish SS-2 pedal, as used in the Division Bell album?

    Best regards,


  192. vivek vijay says:

    hii bjorn ,,,, great information!! but i have a doubt regarding 2 sentences in this article –

    1) These pedals (uncompressed mids scooped boosters)can sound horrible on an uncompressed, mids scooped Twin or “SMALLER BEDROOM AMPS” ((does this include compressed mids boosted smaller amps like marshall dsl 5c?)), but creamy and smooth on a compressed and mids boosted Marshall

    2) These pedals (compressed mids boosted overdrives) will produce a smoother and overall bigger sounding tone, on amps like the Twin and “SMALLER BEDROOM AMPS.” (again,, does this include compressed smaller bedroom amps like marshall dsl 5c??)

    does this mean that for smaller bedroom amps even though it is a mids boosted compressed marshall dsl 5c,, mids scooped transparent overdrives or fuzz sound horrible?? (in another article i read that marshalls have natural compression and lots of mids so fuzzes and transparent overdrives work well and mids boost pedals like tube screamer or ocd would choke because of the excessive mids already present in the amp )

    so my doubt is that ,, by the term “smaller bed room amps” in the above statements,,,, do u mean only those mids scooped uncompressed amps like fender or vox??

    i hope this question reaches you,,,, would greatly appreciate your reply,,, and also thanks a lot for those articles ,,,, they have helped a lot,,,, keep up the goodwork !!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Vivek, sorry for my very late reply. This one got caught in the spam filter for some reason. I should perhaps have been more clear in the article but I’m using the term “small bedroom amps” generically. Fender, Vox and similar amps doesn’t have that much mid range and compression (most models anyway) so you would need compressed and mids boosted pedals on both small and big amps. A small Marshall however, like the DSL, can sound thin in a bedroom setup despite the fact that it has a lot of compression and mid range. You won’t get low end needed. Still, it’s a matter of setting the amp up correctly for the environment and using the right combination of pedals.

  193. Nick Love says:

    I’d recommend folks on here check out the Fulltone Catalyst. At similar settings to the Colorsound Powerboost it does a cleanish boost just as well, blending equally as well with muffs as most dirt pedals. At higher settings it does a great fuzzy overdrive sound that’s great for early 70’s classic rock tones. Like most Fulltone’s it is built rock solid. Definitely worth a look. Very inexpensive too, got mine for $78 USD new.

  194. Lui says:

    The RAT is great, al Muffs are great… the diver driver and also the newer MXR Fet Driver are awesome… kind of tube drivers without the tube but extremely creamy and harmonic… but my favorite OF pedal besides a Klon like pedal like the Soul Food, Tumnus, Archer or Sick as… the Way huge Fat Sandwich… oh man… that pedal is ridiculously amazing! Plus the interbal trim pots were you can add even more drive… wow! You should definitely check the Fat sandwich… very unique, not necessarily for Gilmour tones… but nor is the OCD or the Plexi… anyways… great list… wish for more Soul Food type pedal reviews .

  195. Chris says:

    Hey Bjorn!

    Ever try out the Bogner Ecstasy series of pedals? There are countless demos online of people doing pretty convincing Marshall in a Box tones with the Bogner Ecstasy Blue pedal and the Red is a bit more high gain. But both have full EQs, a few extra switches to tailor the pedal to your amp and a second switch for a boost. Kind of similar to pedals like the Wampler Plexi Drive Deluxe or new Strymon Riverside – wondering if you had a chance to get your hands on either yet!

  196. Felipe says:

    Hi Bjorn, any thoughts on the strymon riverside?

  197. Daniele says:

    Hi, I just can’t understand….if you have to choose between buffalo or throbak for the dsotm or wywh sound which one would you suggest. by the descriptions you love the same, by the video (I can’t see the potential of buffalo) and can’t see the clean in throbak (used as booster)
    anyway…….AMAZING WEB SITE!

  198. Chris says:

    Hey Bjorn, try out the Walrus Audio Iron Horse yet? It’s very Rat-flavored and has three different clipping options.

    I A/B’ed it with the Evolution last night through my HiWatt Custom 50 1×12 combo and they’re REMARKABLY close!


    • Bjorn says:

      Haven’t tried it… :)

      • Chris says:

        If you can get your hands on any of their pedals, it’s worth a shot – they’re pretty big in some circles over here in the states. That one is their LM308-based overdrive – upon further review, a little darker than the Evolution with a bit of a lower-mids push; pretty cool. They’ve also got a pedal called the Voyager which is said to be everything from a Klon clone to a Timmy, so I’m excited to see how it stacks up as a low gain/boost pedal.

  199. Bern Merchant says:

    Hi Bjorn. Once again thanks for your comments over the past few years as I’ve popped a question on here now and then. Another one for you please.

    Last year I made the unfortunate move of selling my Buffalo FX Evolution pedal (you know how it goes swapping gear, selling stuff to fund other things). Anyway, not my best decision in retrospect. I was thinking of getting another, but noticed the Analogman DS-1 on your Time Jamming video and also on the Analogman site. I know both pedals are different – very different lineage – but how would you compare the Evolution and AM DS-1 (with mids knob)?

    Many thanks, and all the best for 2017.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Bern! I guess the DS1 is softer or smoother. Perhaps a bit flabby in the lows but it’s hard to beat that silky smooth sustain. It’s my go-to pedal for recording huge sustained solos. My issue with it, and reason for not using it live, is that it doesn’t have a lot of output. It’s loud but not enough compared to other similar pedals. The Evo is more aggressive sounding and closer to a Marshall I guess. It’s still smooth but you have more of those amp-like harmonics and overtones. I don’t know, they’re similar yet very different… if that makes sense. The DS sounds bigger while the Evo is more focused and cuts through better.

  200. jpl says:

    Bjørn, as a novice, I can’t thank you enough for your blog. I unfortunately live in an upstairs apartment and can’t get enough sustain without getting evicted or beat up.

    Do you have a good solution? If so, I’d greatly appreciate your knowledge.

    Thanks for all you are doing to help everybody. I love the way you play.

    I was a singer years ago, but my heart lies inside the guitar.

    Many thanks.

  201. joao bicudo says:

    Hello Bjorn!

    You used to have the Xotic SL Drive in this list.
    Can you remind me please for what albums you recommended?

    Best regards,

    Joao Bicudo

    p.s. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  202. Pete W. says:

    Hey Bjorn!
    Scotty Smith of ProAnalog Devices is back, and has released the Power Driver v2.
    It covers all the Overdriver sounds, and, when the gain is cranked, moves into fuzz territory.
    If this interests you, then you can reach Scotty through the facebook page.
    Here is the link.

  203. Chris says:

    Hey Bjorn! I have a HiWatt SA112 that sounds *amazing* and a combination of the Buffalo FX TD-X and Evolution covers my light/heavy overdrive tones. Was thinking of adding a booster to get *more* of either pedal for solos. I was thinking of going with a completely neutral, straight-ahead clean boost like the Keeley Katana. Very important the original signal isn’t coloured. Any recommendations?

  204. ratanfreebirdRatan says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    TC electronics introduced 13 new pedals. http://www.tcelectronic.com/smorgasbord-of-tones/
    Can you please share your thoughts if any of these are useful from David’s general tone?

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried them yet but I’ve always trueted things that comes from TC to give me the tones I need. The Cinders Overdrive, Rusty Fuzz, Echobrain and Prophet and the modulations should make a good start.

  205. kris says:

    hello bjorn . im looking to get a bd2 overdrive with keeley mod but found a katana blues overdrive on his website . any idea if this is better than the modded bd2 . i was finding it hard to buy a keeley modded bd2 but found an analogman bd2. just wondering what your thoughts are on the katana blues overdrive compaired to the modded bd2s. also would they be a good booster for a byoc muff rams head that i bought a few months ago .i have a laney 12 cub and cab and think this my next step towards a gilmour like tone . many thanks. .

  206. Sandro says:

    Hey Bjorn, just want to say I love your site and find it extremely useful. I am in the process of buying my next pedal but due to the expensive nature of good pedals, I have to pick and choose the most crucial one that will be of the most use. I am debating between a Boss CS-2, Vicks Audio 73 Rams Head, or Mooer Eleclady. I do tend to prefer David’s Wall/Gdansk/Pulse tones so any assistance in making this decision would be extremely helpful. Thank you!

    • Sandro says:

      I would also like to add that I have a Mesa Boogie Mark 5 and SSL-5 in bridge, stock pups in neck/middle

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Sandro! Not sure if you’re asking for all three or just one but all three should go nicely with the tones you describe.

    • george says:

      Dont get a mooer eleclady, get a Donner Jet. Its exactly the same and a fraction of the price. But the electric mistress sound, even a real one (ive tried) is actually pretty disappointing and sounds weird because its not the 80s. A rotary is better, even a cheap one like an AROMA/tomsline roto engine, in place of the boss RT20 which is also good but expensive. If you dont already have a compressor, start there. They take a bit of getting used to but become invaluable. For instant satisfaction though the vick rams head cant be beat, with some delay and reverb, its tasty! Dont even have to go nuts on the gain. I like mine with gain almost off and boosted with a power boost/ vick overdriver which is in fact my favourite pedal which I use for boosting everything or as a foundation drive on its own. They come in 18v now. But then I have a Hiwatt t40 amp, and as Bjorn keeps saying, the answer to what pedal is good, is what amp do you have because it depends on your amp type. Like, if you have a fender tube amp, maybe you need a vick V2 instead of a muff. Hope this helps :)

  207. Omar says:

    Which o them would you recommend: Wampler Plexidrive clone, Fulltone OCD clone, BD2 BOSS (blues mood Mooer) or SS-2 Cornish Clone for Gilmours Drive (Louder than Words solo, Shine on you crazy diammond)? For Muff, I have Iron Bell Fuzz clone. Does OD-3 BOSS could be good for Ac/DC, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin?

  208. Daryl says:

    What about a Seymour Duncan pickup booster as a clean boost?

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried it but it would operate and sound similar to the Effectrode Fire Bottle and it should be placed first, to be able to “interact” with your pickups.

  209. Mikhail says:

    Hello Bjorn,
    I very like your site and some information helped me find my sound.
    And I looking now for new pedal with Rat-ish tone – I choose between Jam Rattler+ and ProCo Rat2 ’87-’88. What you can most recommend me of these two?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Bjorn says:

      Sorry for my very late reply, Mikhail. I’m very fond of the Rattler. It’s very close to the original, with a bit more open character and more low end.

      • Mikhail says:

        Ok, thank you. Also can you tell me: how close ProCo Rat ’90 vintage reissue to original Rat large box or small box 84-85?

        • Bjorn says:

          I think the 90 has a bit more gain but I haven’t done a proper A/B test. I know they now doesn’t use the LM308 chip, which is what made those old pedals sound so good.

  210. Hi Bjorn, how are you?

    I have a question:
    Recently I bought a Ibanez TK999OD to use as BK’s Tube Drive. But I’m having a hard time to tuning the pedal. The TK999OD have High, Low and Mid nobs plus a Presence one. Should I set for a more bright tone or a dark one? Currently I’m using both High and Low at 12 o’clock, mid at 3 o’clock and Presence at 2 o’clock. I know from the previous questions that you didn’t test this pedal before, but from your knowledge with pedals and the Tube Drive, what should I use with this one?


  211. Jack says:

    1. Dear Bjørn,
    I am contacting you as I have a question regarding your reviews of the TD-X and Evolution by Buffalo FX. I am slowly building a pedalboard David Gilmour sound. I completely understand that you are busy and might not be able to answer such questions, but nonetheless I decided to still try and contact you, since I truly need some insight.
    However, does the TD-X deliver lead tones on it’s own as well? I love the tone but I am afraid the gain is not present for lead solo’s. That is the only reason I am looking at the Evolution, because I want to have a great overdriven lead tone for solo’s, but I love the tone the TD-X creates. Can you perhaps comment on this? Could the Columbus distortion stack with the TD-X as well?
    My setup is Fender strat EMG – Cry Baby wah – Boss cs 2 – EHX de luxe big muff pi – Columbus distortion – Bad Monkey – Drybell Univibe – Boss c 3 – Tc Electronic delay – Boss Rc 3 – Fender twin red knobs.
    Thank you for your time Bjørn!
    All the best from Holland!

    • Jack says:

      Hi Bjorn,
      A little more info, I am looking for a new distortion/overdrive pedal.
      I also want to replace the EHX muff what is your advice on that?
      Thanks Bjorn.

      • Bjorn says:

        Why do you want to replace the Muff? What sort of tone and quailites are you looking for?

        • Jack says:

          Hi Bjorn

          Thank you for the information, I checkt out your reviews of the TD-X many times and it was hard for me to choose between the TD-X ore Evolution but I think I am going first for the TD-X, and maybe later I get the Evolution.
          And I want to replace the EHX for a more simple Muff I know the EHX is verry versatile but I like simplicity.
          Witch Muff do you think is working the best in combination with the TD-X ?
          The tone I am looking for is Delicate/PULS.
          Thanks a lot Bjorn.

          • Bjorn says:

            Given that you have a Fender amp, I would check out a more versatile distortion that will maintain its tone, even on a mids scooped amp such as the Fender you have. I’m not familiar with the Columbus distortion that you have, but check out the Buffalo FX Evolution or a Rat clone, like the Jam Pedals Rattler or Arc Effects Soothsayer.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Jack! Check out my review of the TD-X. I’m using it for solo work all the time in my own setup and music :)

  212. Matias says:

    Hi! First time i write.
    I have a Fender Blues Deluxe tube amp. I would like to find a booster to complement the big muff, the ideal thing for me is to replicate the sound of ANIMALS. Any suggestions? Cheers from Argentina!!

    • Bjorn says:

      For Fender amps, I’d go for something with a hint of mids, like a Boss BD-2, Buffalo FX TD-X or Wampler PlexiDrive. The more mids scooped, transparent boosters tend to sound too bright with Fenders.

  213. Bill Watson says:

    Hi Bjorn and greetings from the U.S. First off let me say, this is definitely the Ultimate Gilmour site. So much great information here. I was wondering if you might be able to guide me in some decisions. I currently have a MIM fender strat, (stock. No upgrades on it ) and I’m playing through a VHT special 6 for the amp. It only has a tone and volume control on it. I am also using a Boss me80 that I’m looking to replace with single pedals. I love the intro and exit solos to “Coming back to life” so I am hoping to replicate those tones. Actually all Pulse tones to be honest. Lol also the “Comfortably numb” tone. Here is where your “guidance ” comes in. I have between $600 to $700 u.s.d. to spend. Locally they sell EHX, Earthquaker, Wampler and Boss pedals here predominantly. What would your pedal choices be for the tones I’m interested in replicating? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Keep up the great job here on the site. Thank you.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Bill, thanks a lot for your kind words! Apologies for the late reply. I recommend a basic setup of a distortion, overdrive and delay. Those three will get you far and you can add modulation pedals later on. Now, I’m not that familiar with your amp and how it’s voiced. It has some obvious limitations so I would go for something versatile. The Boss BD2 is an excellent overdrive capable of replicating most of David’s milder overdrive tones. Distortionwise, you could look into a Mooer Black Secret, which is a clone of the old Rat distortion or, check out EHXs Bass Muff, which is an excellent reproduction of the early 90s Big Muffs. It should go well with your amp although the Rat is a more versatile pedal. For delays, you could go for pretty much anything but the TC Electronics Flashback is probably your best choice for the budget. Hope this helped.

      • Bill Watson says:

        Thank you kindly sir. I will definitely look into those pedals. What is your opinion of the boss super overdrive or the Xotic SL drive for Gilmore over driven tones? I appreciate your advice and again, your site is the best. Thank you.

        • Bjorn says:

          The SD-1 is based on the Tube Screamer. It’s very close, although perhaps a tad brighter with a hint more gain. It works nicely for David’s Tube Driver mild gain rhythm and lead stuff. The SL Drive is based on the old Marshall Plexi amps. It’s very compressed, with tons of mids. Depending on the amp, this one can sound both a bit thin and boxy but it does that early Marshall tone to the point.

  214. Giulio Mazzotta says:

    I have Colorsound overdriver, modded by Costalab, but i dont undestand why Gilmour replaced it with a Tube driver. Powerboost was a swiss knife for his sound…

    Cheers !

    • Bjorn says:

      Matter of taste I guess and the Tube Driver has more mid range, which goes well with the Fender amps he’s often using in the studio and with the Hiwatts, allowing him to cut through properly in a stage mix. The Powerbooster has a more uncompressed and raw character, while the Tube Driver has a more amp-like character.

  215. Dlo33 says:

    What’s your opinion on the MXR Il Torino for boost/overdrive tones? Seems like a good pedal!

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried it so I can’t really tell. Sounds like you should be able to get some Tube Driver-ish tones with it but I’m not sure how they compare.

  216. Roger Sartori says:

    Hi, Bjorn. First, congrats for having been mentioned on Keeley website when lauching their amazing pedal called Dark Side.
    About overdrive, I’m watching this very hard to find pedal made by NOC3 Effects named Pure Drive. From the videos available it seems it’s kind of “plexish” too. Very versatile overdrive pedal. If you could, check it out.

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks Roger! That was very nice of Robert :) I haven’t tried the Pure Drive so I can’t really tell. I’ll check it out :)

  217. Arya Boustani says:

    Thanks Bjorn. Sorry I got confused between TD-X and Evolution. So budget-wise what is the closest pedal to Evolution? I’m hoping I get something that offers smooth and high compression high sustain in the high setting but more transparent with hearing attacks and articulations and low compression in the low settings. Sort of like G2 or a hybrid of G2 and P2.
    Thanks a lot.

  218. roberttwiddy says:

    Hi Bjorn, a really great article and also the comments are great. I want to bring it to your attention that I have chosen a Kingsley Minstrel 2 tube overdrive after comparing it with the BK Butler. In my opinion, and if you can test one you will find it is far superior. Simon Jarrett who makes it has really done an excellent job on filtering so it can be used with any amp and it maintains your amp and its tones. It has fantastic dynamics you can turn your guitar down to get complete clean tones or turn it up to engage overdrive. In addition, if you pick lightly it can be clean and if you pick more aggressively it engages the overdrive. I have tried it in my Laney IRT Studio at 1 watt volume level 6 in the clean channel and it is absolutely amazing. On the other hand if I crank the amp in the 15watt channel or in my Fender hotrod it does all the same stuff just at a higher volume. I am going to write to Phil Taylor, Gilmour’s tech as I believe he should try it and talk with David as I am sure he would love it. Here is a link to it. http://kingsleyamplifiers.com/products/pedals/19/ Some of the others are awesome too, That’s Pedal Show did an expose on some of them. The Page is fantastic also.

  219. Arya Boustani says:

    Hi Bjorn, I had hard time saving money and finding a used Buffalo TD-X as a versatile distortion pedal that can cover a bit of muff tones of DG per your comment a while ago. I ended up preferring a vintage Reissue Proco Rat hoping that is sort of in that versatility of TD-X. I appreciate if you comment on their differences and what else is out there as a poor man’s version of the TD-X?
    Thank you,

    • Arya Boustani says:

      Hi Bjorn, I just noticed that TD-X is more like the overdrive character and Evolution is Buffalo’s distortion pedal, so I think the comparison I’m seeking and the versatility (boost to overdrive to distortion to fuzz/muffish character) is between Rat and Evolution. Sorry for the confusion. Regarding the versatility in case it is hard to fit the left side of the range (boost/overdrive) with the right side (distortion/fuzz/muff) in one pedal, I would rather focus on the right side (distortion to fuzz/muff) since I already have a few options for boost/overdrive. Although articulated attacks in the lower distortion setting that is what I like about some of the boost / overdrive pedals is something I really like to not loose when I buy a distortion pedal, while I can crank up the distortion and I reach smooth muffish tone. Can these both fit in the same distortion pedal?
      Thanks again.

      • Bjorn says:

        Both the Evolution and Rat are distortion pedals, with a fairly high amount of gain and little headroom. You can tweak both for milder overdrive tones, but the lack of headroom and amount of mid range and compression, makes them less suitable for boosting. They should either be used alone, or being boosted by a dedicated overdrive or clean booster. I guess the closest match for a TDX budgetwise, would be a Boss BD2 or the Mooer Hustle Drive, which is a clone of the OCD. Not quite the same but close.

  220. Tim says:

    Hi Bjorn, I hope all is well. I’m asking this question on behalf of my brother. He’s interested in buying a good all-around distortion/overdrive pedal to use with his little 5 watt fender champ re-issue amp. He would be using it as his only effect pedal right now. He plays at bedroom level through both a Strat and Les Paul. He mostly likes playing grunge music. I suggested the Wampler Plexidrive, Fulltone OCD or Buffalo Evolution. Do you mind providing me your suggestion as to what might work best with his little setup? Your website rocks!! Thank you, Tim

  221. Sacha Weber says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Thanks for those really great reviews !
    I have a question about the Svisound Spectrozoid.
    I can see and hear that you used it on your “On An Island Sunday Jam” on youtube and your tone is amazing.

    I can’t find any review of it on your website and anywhere on internet either.
    What do you think about it ? Is it mostly Overdrive, Distortion or anything else ?
    How would you compare to others and what would be your rating ?

    Thanks again for your amazing blog ;)

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi! I love that pedal! Like most of the SviSound pedals, it’s fairly mid oriented and this one kind of takes over from the OverZoid, with more gain and low end. Hard to describe the tone really. Most of SviSound’s pedals are unique but as you can hear from my clip, it has a bit of that Big Muff character, with some nice harmonics and tons of sustain. It might be a bit overwhelming on amps with a lot of mid range and compression but it sounds amazing on Fenders and other cleaner amps.

  222. Don says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    Think a BD-2w (the new Waza Craft line) would be redundant with a TD-X on board? I’d be using it primarily as a clean-ish boost, occasionally pairing with the TD-X for a boosted overdriven tone, and occasionally a Vick ’73/Buffalo Patriot, if necessary.

  223. Matthew says:

    Dear Bjorn, what booster would you recommend to use with my Analogman BC183? And where to place it, im currently using a fender stratocaster with 1969 fender custom pickups-> Xotic wah-> xotic Ep booster -> Analogman BC183 -> mxr phase 90 (r28 mod)-> catalinabread echorec -> Fender Super Reverb

  224. Roger Sartori says:

    Hi, Bjorn…I see the wampler is now your favorite… I tried it. I think that lacks a lof of gain and sustain. To me, it does not remind the butler tube driver at all, which lacks of sustain too! I can have a lot of “overdrive” tone with the DG1 with low gain settings. Boss BD2 original sounds way better to my ears! I don’t know… perhaps a combination of guitar, chain pedals and amp…

    • Bjorn says:

      Well, yes… you said it. It depends on how you’re using the pedal. On the “wrong” amp, any pedal can sound like shit. I have no problem getting both gain and sustain from both the Plexi and Tube Driver but neither are meant to be high gain pedals. I often use the Plexi with either a cranked amp or stacked with a second overdrive.

  225. Paul says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Currently I use a cmatmods signa drive (tubescreamer with flatter mids) in front of my deluxe reverb amp. And now being “mids-conscious” after spending some time here, I’m on the fence wether to have it replaced with a Vick audio Tree of Life OR keep the SD and have an EH soul food before it to boost some mids & treble. I’ve applied that same method using the keeley mod ts9dx in front of the SD and it does add some beef to it.

    Setting it first in the dirt chain, how’s the soul food as a treble booster to both overdrives? Am I better off with a certain midrange booster such as the Suhr Koko boost? Should I get the Tree of Life instead?



    • Bjorn says:

      You could go either way, I guess. I think what you need to be careful about is not to blend to much compression and mids. A DS or ToL, blended with a Soul Food might be a tad too much but I haven’t tried it myself so I can’t really tell. The Soul Food can boost the highs quite a bit but it also ha s A LOT of mids, so you might end up with a choked and muddy tone. I think a mids oriented pedal blended with a scooped one is often a better approach.

      • Paul says:

        I think I’m going for the Keeley Oxblood instead of the Soul Food and place it in front before the other overdrives. This is my current setup: Guitar > TS9dx > Signa Drive > Ratified > Deluxe Reverb
        Here’s my planned setup: Guitar > Oxblood > TS9dx > Tree of Life > Musket fuzz > Tone Job EQ/boost > Deluxe Reverb

        What do you think of this setup?

  226. Denis says:

    Hi Bjorn, I have owned the Bd-2 for about 4 years now, bought it because your review on the site. I used it just for boosting the musket or the soul food. It works great after the musket and the soul food. Is there another similar booster like the bd-2, but one that is a bit better suited for a bedroom set up? Can you recommend a similar pedal. Thanks as always.

  227. Roger Sartori says:

    Hi, Bjorn. We all know now that the Wampler Plexidrive is your favourite. Now, when we’ll see a review and video of it? Cheers.

    • Bjorn says:

      Well, it’s one of my favourites and I have done a few clips with it, including a Shine On Jam that a did a couple of years ago. I haven’t planned a proper review though, as I only do reviews of pedals that are given to me from the company. They get the promo, so I think that’s only fair. But, I might do one anyway. I love that pedal :)

  228. Mick says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Would Macari’s Colorsound be too difficult to tame on something like the Peavey Classic 30?

    • Bjorn says:

      It goes very well with the Classic 30. The compression and mid range that amp provides, makes the Powerbooster very smooth and warm.

  229. Chris says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Longtime reader here – your talent and written insights are a source of constant inspiration!

    Have you ever tried the Earthquaker Devices Palisades?


    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks a ton, Chris! I’ve only given it a quick run. Kind of a TS808 but with tons of cool features. Really a unique pedal.

      • Chris says:

        Thank YOU, Bjorn! Great to talk to the man himself. I bought a broken Palisades recently, so figured I’d check in. :)

        When it’s fixed up, chances are it’ll be competing with the Wampler Plexi Drive Deluxe as my “primary” overdrive – the rationale being that both pedals offer more than one overdrive flavor and some added versatility while reaching a variety of Gilmour, Lifeson and Summers-inspired tones.

        But even with the Wampler’s “pre-gain” switch and all of the versatility of the EQD, I’m unsure whether either pedal offers the true versatility of a dedicated overdrive and dedicated boost. The Wampler, as expected, doesn’t stack well with my Buffalo FX Patriot (or Vick Audio ’73 Ram’s Head, for that matter), and I expect the Palisades to excel at low to mild overdrive sounds, but likely overcompress and choke up the signal like the Plexi Drive Deluxe.

        So, all-in-one, dual style overdrive (PDD, Pinnacle, etc.) vs. dedicated pedals (the TD-X/Evolution are the first to come to mind). Any thoughts or experiences?

        For context: I’ve got the typical Strat/Duncan SSL5 setup running through a variety of different amps. I used to use a Marshall JCM800 set as clean as possible, then a Yamaha T50 (a very underrated, 6L6-based amp designed my Mike Soldano with amazing cleans), and now a Mesa Express 5:50+.

        Thanks again.


        • Bjorn says:

          Hard to say. These dual or multi pedals allows you to have several effects in one but they come with obvious limitations as they can’t sound like anything else. I guess you have to decide whether you like that particular combo or, if stand alone pedals will give you more freedom.

        • Rotem Shoshani says:

          Hi Chris. I have a Jet City amp(basically Soldano amps made in china) and I assume since Mike designed both, your Yamaha would have similar tone to my Jet City. What settings do you use on it? My ears aren’t developed enough to hear what settings work or not – pretty much everything sounds okay to my ear. I know what I consider good tone – but I dont really know how to get there. If you could send your settings it would really help me out.

  230. Santiago says:

    Hi Bjorn!! This is my current setup for the classic rock stuff and I am wondering if this would work for David’s (Confortable Numb) stuff. Fender Fat Strat with a Duncan Custom 5 on the bridge – Fulltone OCD – Boss Chorus Ensemble CE 5 – Mooer Ana Echo – Fender Hot Rod Deluxe in clean channel.

    What settings would you suggest for the OCD, the chorus and the delay? I am especially curious about that switch in the OCD. Is it a bright switch?

    The tone reference I am going for would be something like Live In Gdansk. I have always found PULSE to clean sounding for my taste.

    • Bjorn says:

      You should be able to get some nice Gdansk tones with that setup. although you might consider a Muff or distortion pedal for the heavier solos. How you should set the OCD depends on how you’ve set the amp. Check out this feature for some amp setup tips and this one for some bedroom setup tips. Yes, the switch is a normal/bright switch and I’d use the bright to get that Tube Driver flavour :)

      • Santiago says:

        I do have a couple of Distortion pedals around, but I didn’t think they would be of much use for David’s stuff. I do have a Suhr Riot (AWESOME pedal for heavier stuff) and a Keeley modded Boss Distortion (DS-1). Would these suit me of something more Muff oriented would be a better bet?

        • Bjorn says:

          Both should provide some nice Gilmour tones with the right settings. I often use an AnalogMan DS1 for recording those huge solos. Kind of a Marshall meets Muff tone and often easier to record than a Muff.

  231. Omar El Faro says:

    Is it necessary to sell my Boss OD-3 and buy a Boss Blues Driver or a Joyo (clone of OCD)? Thank’s a lot for help me!

    • Bjorn says:

      Why? What tones are you looking for?

      • Omar El Faro says:

        I like the sounds of Shine on you Crazy Diammond, that solos of Rattle that lock, 5 AM, Division Bell, The Wall, Dark Side , Animals. I’ll buy a Iron Bell replica an I have the Boss OD-3 too. Is it necessary to replace the Boss OD-3 for the BD-2 or an OCD? Thanks.

        • Bjorn says:

          Those sounds pretty much cover the whole catalog :) I think your setup will be a good start as it is. The OCD is very versatile and works great with your amp.

  232. Jakob says:

    hey Bjorn, great website you’ve been a big help, I’m trying to get that have a cigar tone. I have a boss bd2 and a mxr phase 90 script logo with a hiwatt 20 combo and Stratocaster I was wondering if you could give me some good setting thanks from Australia:)

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks, Jakob! Check out the suggested amp settings here. For the pedals, David used a Colorsound Powerboost and the BD2 can do a pretty good job emulating that one. I’d set the volume slightly above unity, for a bit more compression and that smooth amp-like break up. Depending on how hot your amp is, try setting the gain on the BD2 to somewhere between 10-12 o’clock and the tone around 9. Tweak your way around that and hear how that sounds. The Phase 90 should be set to around 11 o’clock.

  233. Mark says:

    I think you used to list the Xotic SL Drive as a pick and now it’s gone entirely while other non-pick pedals remain. What shifted in your opinions or what displaced it?

  234. Gianumberto says:

    “The RAT is just fantastic
    That is really what I think
    Oh by the way, which TONE’s Pink?”

    Hi, Bjorn. I completely agree with your conclusion on Proco RAT. Nothing more. Thanks for Gilmourish.

  235. Toni says:

    I read somewhere that the MXR FET Drive is trying to recreate the sound of a BK Butler Tube Driver. Have you had any chance of trying it?

    • Bjorn says:

      Yep. I think it was designed by a request from Joe Bonamassa. I’ve tried it briefly but to me it sounded very bright, with a bit too much of everthing. Slightly harsh. I suspect that it’s designed with higher gain settings in mid, which I guess works but the cleans and mild overdrives didn’t sound as smooth and dynamic as the BK or the Buffalo TDX.

  236. Robert Farrer says:

    Bjorn I have a tube driver which has never worked great on any of my bedroom setups. Definitely needs a loud / high powered tube amp. I bought a TD-X last week and wow. It’s a great piece of kit that’s easy to dial in. If I didn’t have a problem with parting with gear, the TD would be sold. 😃

  237. Jonny says:

    Hi Bjorn! I still find myself constantly referring to your “Buyer’s Guides”, very useful! Just curious where the Xotic SL Drive has gone? If I remember correctly it used to be one of your “Picks”? I had a SL Drive but replaced it with a Plexi Drive Deluxe. Just too much gain in the SL Drive for my taste! The PDD sounds much more full and open to my ear, although the natural compression of the SL Drive did come in useful for those long sustained notes!

    • Bjorn says:

      That’s pretty much why I removed it :) I’m updating the guides, so there will be some changes in the next couple of weeks. I’ll let you all know when it’s ready :)

  238. Adam says:

    Thanks for the suggestions. Sorry to keep asking about this topic, but do you think one of the old Deluxe Electric Mistresses would go nicely with the OCD? I have the Mistress and I’m finding that when using that and the OCD, the flange sound it’s meant to produce is a little bit un-noticeable, and instead it kind of sounds a little bit harsh, I don’t know how to explain it, and it’s most noticeable when letting notes ring out. Have any idea why that might be, or are those pedals not best suited for eachother? Thanks again.

    • Bjorn says:

      The OCD has a lot of mid range, which will make the Mistress sound darker and less “liquidy”. The current DEM has more mids, so that’s not a good combo, but check out the late 90s version or the Mooer ElecLady. Both sounds very nice with the OCD. On my amp, at least :)

  239. Adam says:

    Hi Bjorn, I have a few things I’d like to ask you about. So I play an 80s Japanese Strat with a Fender Blues Junior 2. Currently the only gain pedal I have is the Fulltone OCD, and it would be great if you could give me some tips on how to ballpark some classic era Gilmour lead tones (Time, Money, Mother, Comfortably Numb, etc.) on my rig, if possible.

    Also, and sorry if this is a stupid question, but I am new to tube amps after playing on solid states for years. When playing driven tones, should I be leaving the volume knob on the amp low to create a clean sound through the clean signal, and rely solely on the OCD for the gain, or should I crank the volume knob on the amp to get an already overdriven tone, and then use the OCD with it just to give a touch more dirt?

    I think I’ve been getting somewhat close with my tones, but I feel like I don’t have quite enough gain, or dirt coming from the OCD. Could this be because I’m playing in my basement at relatively low volumes? Perhaps I should go ahead and get something like a Rat just give me more gain for a fuzzy muff-ish sound, and stick to lower gain sounds for the OCD?

    I could post a link of some sound clips of my rig if it would help you get an idea of what I’m talking about, if you like.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Adam. For David Gilmour’s tones, I’d run the amp clean and use the OCD for gain. A tube amp’s pre-amp will produce the gain, while the output stage, will produce output. A balance between these two, will often provide the best tone. Try to set the pre-stage at the very edge of break up and the master volume as desired. Use the tone controls to fine tune the sound. On a Fender, you probably want to lower the treble and increase the mid range. An OCD should be able to provide enough gain but you might want to look into similar sounding pedals that has more gain, like a RAT, Buffalo FX Evolution or similar.

  240. Anyone have any experience with the Fender Champion 100? I have the Pig Hoof and other assorted pedals but because I do live an apartment, my volume is kept very low – somewhere around 2 or 3 LOL yet I can’t get it to sound right. Like it has no bass at all and it just sounds shrill for the most part :D

  241. Arya Boustani says:

    Hi Bjorn, I ended up buying a cheap but good compliment amp. It’s a Crate V33. I’m running Laney Cub and Crate V33 in parallel. My tube driver setup is keeping the level low prior to the TD through a Pigtronics Fat Drive (bringing Fat drive level up till the overtones create enough treble, low bass and moderate treble in TD, and then sending it to a cranked up amp simulator to smooth up the overtones further and then sending it to mods, delays (stereo out) and then to the amps. I just did it a couple of hours ago and the sound was so smooth even at max drive setting! It’s a great feeling when an idea becomes a reality after a long struggle. Thanks for all your help 😃

  242. Renegadrian says:

    General consensus is that the DOVER DRIVE is a faithful TUBE DRIVER (tubeless) recreation, even the graphics seem to replicate that, it seems that the DD is a fuzz face into some sort of zendrive.

    • Bjorn says:

      It’s faithful in the sense that it replicates the tones you get when rolling the treble and bass all the way down for more mid range and less headroom. It does not do the clean fully transparent side of the Tube Driver.

    • Huy Tran says:

      To follow up on Bjorn, which he mentions in his review, the Dover drive (as the name suggests) is based on the Eric Johnson Tube Driver tones which is very different from how David Gilmour uses his.

  243. Gerry in LA says:

    Bjorn: Any experience or knowledge regarding the Maxon true tube boost overdrive TB09? I watched Mike Herman’s demo of it on YT with a strat and it sounded…well……gilmourish. Any idea if this is a good good alternative to a Tube Driver? It seemed a bit more versatile the way OD and drive work together./ Gerry LA

  244. Arya Boustani says:

    Hi Bjorn, I really enjoy DG’s guitar on Alan Parson’s A Valid Path album on “Return to Tunguska”. Is he using a bottleneck on his strat or lap guitar with tube driver you think? He has similar sound and style on his latest album on track “Beauty”. It sounds so much like a violin. What setting could reach that tone you think? Playing with bias value, using a extreme band pass EQ, two tube drivers in series, etc?

    • Bjorn says:

      I’m sure there was some info floating around when the album was released in 2004 but I can’t remember. Need to check my files. Hard to tell what he used as you can hear that the whole track, including the guitars, are very produced and processed. I’m guessing a simple setup of one of the Jedson lap steels, possibly a Tube Driver and maybe a delay but that could be added in the mix. All the modulation and stuff sounds added in the mix.

  245. Nicholas says:

    Hello there,

    I was wondering what settings you would advise for a boss bd2 blues driver and also if you think it’s worth the hassle to get the keeley modification.

    • Bjorn says:

      Pedal settings depends so much on your pickups and the amp and its settings. I haven’t tried your amp so I can’t really tell for sure how it matches up with the BD2. I would start by setting the volume on the BD2 to unity, the tone around 9-10 o’clock and the gain at around 10:00. That shoud give you a nice bluesy tone, with a slight breakup. But again, how it sounds depends on how you’ve set the amp.

  246. Emi says:

    Hi again Bjorn! how are you?
    I have a question, I want to achieve this particular Gilmour tones: Delicate/PULSE/Gdansk/On an Island. I’m close, but I think I need a booster/ overdrive with more warmth tones, compression and character.
    I have a Laney Cub 12R amp with default speaker and tubes, Proco Rat2, Boss Blues Driver bd-2 keeley mod (as a booster), and I just order a EHX Deluxe Big Muff Pi, all with a Fender Strat MIM with default mics.
    Now I have an offer to buy a BK Butler Tube Driver with Bias Knob for a good price.
    Do you think it’s good for the tones I want and the gear I have? I play on bedroom with average volume.
    I’ll wait your answer before I make the purchase.

    • Bjorn says:

      Sorry for my late reply, Emi. The Tube Driver might sounds OK on your setup but it really needs a bit of volume and a bigger amp, I think. You may find it a bit too bright and fizzy. I’d check out the Buffalo FX TDX as an alternative – it works much better on smaller amps – or something slightly different, like a Fulltone OCD or the excellent Vick Audio Tree of Life.

      • Emi says:

        Thanks for your answer Bjorn! Finally, I bought the Tube Driver. I’m watting the arrive. Did you try your TD on your Laney Cub 12? how it sounds?

        • Bjorn says:

          Yes. It sounded pretty good I think but you need to give it a bit of mid range and volume to make it sound smooth. Try setting the amp as clean as possible, with the mids increased a tad and keep the treble moderate. You might also want to boost the volume on the TD a tad and roll back the treble, compared to David’s settings.

        • george says:

          on tube drivers and valves, check what valve you have in there, just so you know. Ive had some fun with butler not responding to emails but now I know why. I was trying to find out what the stock valve is they come with. As far as I can tell, according to the guy I bought mine off he didnt change it from new and its a Ruby 12at7. LOL! so much for the special butler tube. Couldnt turn the gain up more than a few notches.

          I think Bjorn said he uses a 12au7. The one I found from a forum, which im sold on now is a bit different family, a E180CC. highly recommended

          • Arya Boustani says:

            I bought European Mullard E180CC NOS from eBay for cheap and it’s very sweet sounding and workable in a wide range of overdrive amount.

          • Emi says:

            Thanks for the answers! The TD’s sound is really better than the Boss Blues Driver bd-2 keeley mod with the Muff (keeley mod goes great with Proco Rat, rather than the TD). I mean, the keeley sounds similar on some setups, but you can get more good sounding tones from the TB, It has more tune options (and it has its own valve, of course). I recorded a sample, my first contribution to this great forum. “Sorrow_intro”, it’s celphone quality, but you can understand what i mean.
            –Fender MIM (with default pickups) ==> EH Big Muff Deluxe ==> TD (RUBY 12AX7AC5 HG valve) ==> Laney Cub 12r (default speaker and valves)–
            Thats HUGE, fat sound! The tone it’s similar, not perfect, any sugestions are wellcome =)
            (I know, my play it isnt great hahaha)

            George, as you can read above, my TD came with a RUBY 12AX7AC5 HG valve. I think it’s the default one.


  247. Nicholas says:

    Hi again,
    I also wanted to ask, if I had to own three overdrive/distortion/fuzz pedals for the Gilmour sound from meddle to animals, what would you advise? I currently own a mini Dunlop Jimi Hendrix fuzz face and as I said before, a blues driver. I have a fender American strat and an epiphone les Paul and my amps are a Marshall mg50w and a vintage peavey 70w Bandit. I was thinking that I should get a big muff clone, which one would you advise? And also should I get a Rams head clone or a triangle clone?

    • Bjorn says:

      Check out the JHS Muffuletta or the Vick Audio 73 Ram’s Head, which has a mids boost. Both are extremely versatile and works nicely on most setups.

  248. Nicholas says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I would like to thank you on behalf of all David Gilmour fans for this wonderful website you have. I have a few questions regarding overdrive. I currently own a stock boss blues driver and am looking into getting a TS808. I’m not expecting to get brilliant Gilmour tones on the tube screamer but I was wondering how close I can get to his 70s tones with the blues driver. Is it possible or do you think I should buy a colorsound or a colorsound clone? And if it is possible do you know what settings I should use?

    • Bjorn says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Nicholas! I haven’t tried your amp but of the pedals you mention, I would go for the BD2 or the Mooer Blues Mood, which is based on the Keeley modification of the BD2. You should be able to nail most of David’s 70s rhythm and milder solo tones. The Colorsound, or a clone, can sound thin and fizzy on smaller amps.

  249. Adam says:

    Bjorn, my bad if this is the wrong place to post this, but anyway, I’m looking to buy an overdrive/distortion/muff/fuzz pedal. I play a mid 80s MIJ Strat with new Gilmour style custom wound pickups, with a Fender Blues Junior 2.

    If I were to get one dirt/gain type pedal to start with for Gilmour muff/fuzz/drive tones, what would be your recommendation? I know that might be a bit difficult to answer, so that’s why I’m just buying one now to start with, I’ll inevitably end up buying more in the future.

    A few I have been considering are a Fulltone OCD, Tube Screamer, EHX Soul Food, ProCo Rat, Mooer Triangle Buff, one of the Dunlop Mini Fuzz Faces and also one of the Mooer Fuzzes, but anything within that kind of price range I’d be open to.

    I know I’m not going to be able to get one pedal that can nail everything, so if you could give a recommendation of one pedal that can ballpark those tones, or two or three that can ballpark different eras of Gilmour tones, that would be great. Thanks.

    • Bjorn says:

      I’d get something versatile, that can both cover as much tone as possible and, work on your rig. I’d stay away from fuzz and Muffs, as these often sound thin and fizzy on Fender amps due to their lack of mid range and compression. The OCD is a great alternative and probably your best choice if you only want one pedal that can do pretty much everything. A Rat, or a similar sounding clone, is also great for covering the fuzz and distortion tones. Check out the Mooer Hustle Drive and Black Secret. Both are great sounding and affordable clones of the two mentioned.

      • Adam says:

        Thanks so much for your recommendations, they help so much. If you don’t mind, I’d also like to ask you a little more about this topic. Do you think it would be worth it to have both the OCD and the RAT? Are there tones that the OCD can cover that the RAT can’t, and vice versa? Basically what I’m asking is that if I were to get multiple pedals to use with my Blues Junior, would it be worth it to have for example one to replicate Gilmour’s fuzz tones, one for the Muffs, one for the Powerbooster, etc., or would I be able to get just as close to all those tones with just an OCD or RAT?

        • Bjorn says:

          The OCD does a better low gain overdrive tone. The Rat can do that as well, but it doesn’t have that much low end, which is great for cutting through on solos but it can sound a bit thin and boxy for rhythm stuff. The OCD can easily be set up to replicate David’s Tube Drivers.

          • Adam says:

            Thanks again Bjorn. I think I’m sold on buying both the OCD and the Rat for the extra versatility. Thanks!

      • Patrick Kennedy says:

        Bjorn, with all due respect to you as an internationally renowned tone chaser, are there *any* fuzz or Muff type pedals that would work with a Fender amp? Say, a Princeton Reverb Reissue at bedroom levels? Guitar of choice would be an Eric Johnson Stratocaster.
        Continued thanks for your efforts on this website resource.

        • Patrick Kennedy says:

          I fear I’m continuing to beat this fuzz/Muff w/Fender amp issue to death, but I remembered this video: Red Muck into a Hot Rod Deluxe III (6L6 valves, probably not quite as pristine as the 6V6 Fender amps) sounds fairly convincing.

          • Bjorn says:

            The HRD does have more mids and compression compared to a Twin. I’m not sure what his amp settings are, or if he’s paired the Muff with a booster or EQ, but it sounds very nice.

        • Bjorn says:

          Hi Patrick! Terribly sorry for my very late reply. The Princeton actually has a less scooped tone and slightly more compression, compared to a Twin and similar, so with the right settings, you should be able to make most fuzz and Muffs sound great with it. Keep in mind though that a Fender with fuzz will sound different to a similar wattage Marhall with fuzz. It’s just the nature and tonal differences between the two amps. The Fender with fuzz might produce a slightly brighter tone, with more fuzz harmonics, while a Marshall, will produce a darker tone, with a more compressed top end.

          • Patrick Kennedy says:

            No apology necessary! You are a busy guy and I’m sure you’re not glued to this website 24/7.
            Thank you for your informative response.

  250. Richard McEntee says:

    Hi Bjorn – interesting reading your’s and other’s comments on the SS-2 and seeming to find it fairly unique in the world – not many “clones” out there. I have a fair few OD pedals -TS / Digitech Blues Screamer (BD2), Joyo Ultimate (OCD), PlexiDrive, CS Overdriver clone, Skreddy Lunar Module, RAT clone and now my ThorpyFX Muffroom – so should be able to get whatever flavour of core OD tone, the only OD I have stayed away from is a Tube Driver as I don;t hink I use the volume required to get anything useful out of it. – amp is Laney L5t, bedroom volumes.

    I’m wondering if the key here is really in the compressor *before* the overdrive the Poles Apart solo seems fairly low gain in some bits but has a definite crunch to it – almost fuzz like sometimes – but with some sort of bite (for want of a better word) ? I usually have a compressor afterwards as I find it better keeps the OD character (Xotic SP), whilst helping overall volume normalisation between clean/OD tone switches.

    • Bjorn says:

      You usually want to compress the signal into a gain pedal, which is what David also does. It will provide a more balanced and even signal to the dirt pedals and, depending on the amount of compression, it will require less gain and boost to get those smooth sustained notes.

      • Richard McEntee says:

        Thanks Bjorn, I will A/B my comp placement.

        I actually dug my DigiTech Screamin’ Blues out of its drawer, Cheap BD-2 clone but with separate bass/treble controls, and sure enough with gain about 60% I get that clean with fuzzy edged very clear and sustained SS-2 sound for Poles Apart:)

  251. Joshua says:

    Hey Bjorn! I was thinking about getting the OCD but first I wanted to ask some questions about it. How versatile is it? What other Gilmour Tones can it do besides the stuff from the PULSE era and can I get Zeppelin and AC/DC like tones from it? Thanks

  252. Ian Babbitt says:

    Say, Bjorn. Any thoughts on the Catalinbread “RAH WIIO”? As much as I like my Fender Twin, sometimes I want some more “English” voicing to my amp and this looked like a good alternative to selling this $1200 monstrosity and investing in an even MORE expensive Hiwatt clone.

    • Bjorn says:

      It does capture that mid rangy in-your-face Hiwatt tone, which should go nicely on a Fender and add a bit of meat and mids. It does have a nice headroom but the goal with this pedal was to capture Jimmy Pages overdrive tones, so it’s not an amp-sim pedal as such but more an overdrive voiced like a hot Hiwatt.

  253. Jacob Allen says:

    Hey Bjorn! You’ve answered some questions of mine, and I’ve come here again. I have built a really nice pedalboard (although a bit overblown) and felt the need to build a backup board to take to sit-in gigs or a buddys house to jam. I wanted to make it on the cheap so I decided to go with a Mooer setup. The board is inspired by the Gilmour MLoR backup board. I have most of it figured out but I’m having trouble deciding on an Boost/OD combo. I was hoping you could help me out. I don’t mind staking two OD’s from more versatility. I like the Blues Mood but I’m not sure what to pair with it. So I got –

    Yellow Comp
    Black Secret
    Blues Mood
    Flex Boost? Hustle Drive? Green Mile?
    Ensemble King
    Ninety Orange (just because)
    Graphic G

    Thanks for your time, wisdom, and help as always!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Jacob! I’d go with the Hustle/OCD personally. You have the Blues Mood/BD2, which can double as a booster, so the Hustle would give you something inbetween the Blues Mood and Black Secret.

  254. Carmen says:

    I know you reviewed and gave the Wampler Plexi overdrive great reviews. Have you played the Wampler Plexi-Drive Deluxe? If so what were your thoughts and how would you rate it?

  255. hi Bjorn
    I’m looking to buy one of the two, which would you say is closer to the original?
    Power boost buffalo, or
    Overdrive Audio Vick?

    • Bjorn says:

      The Overdrive is closer to the original. The Buffalo has a smoother and slightly darker tone, making it more versatile and easier on a wider range of amps.

  256. hey Bjorn! Do you think of any situation where the mooer flex boost outperforms the blues mood? I haven’t had the chance to try the flex boost myself and you always complement the blues mood but i often wonder which one could do gilmourish tones the best, either boosting or od’ing. Cheers!

    • Bjorn says:

      The Flex Boost, a clone of the Xotic AC booster, has a hint of dirt but it’s fairly clean and transparent. The BD2 or Blues Mood has more gain and a hint of mids. Both works nicely for moosting either the amp or other pedals so you could really go either way. The reason I often mention the BD2 or Blues Mood is because it works equally well as a booster and overdrive, whcih I think makes it a more versatile pedal.

  257. Aaron Broering says:

    Great stuff! I still have and use many of those pedals. I’ve done some time in the Gilmour camp. My question was always how do you get that gigantic, heaving Sorrow tone? I actually used to get the Dogs of War sound with a Cream Tone pedal; which was another very smooth and transparent tube screamer tone.

  258. Chris says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Wondering why my comment asking about playing a Colorsound through the 1W input of the Laney Cub amp isn’t being posted? I see other posts being approved, can you please email me and let me know why? Thanks

  259. Roger Sartori says:

    Hi, Bjorn. Wonder if you’ve tried the new Boss BD-2W, Waza Craft… does it worth the extra money? Regarding to Gilmour tone, I mean…

    • Bjorn says:

      It sounds pretty good. The custom mode sounds very similar to the Keeley version.

      • Roger Sartori says:

        Thanks, Bjorn… I’m considering to have a pedal to emulate Tube Driver as a Gilmour overdrive (Momentary, Delicate, Division Bell, Pulse, On an Island, Gdansk, Rattle albuns/shows) not as a booster for Big Muffs. In this case, according to my options here, the Mooer Blues Mood would be a better shot instead the regular Boss BD-2? I mean, because of the “Keeley” mod on Mooer… Cheers.

  260. Rick says:

    Laney cub12r head.
    Orange 1×12 v30.
    Cheers again

    • Bjorn says:

      You could go either way. The Buffalo has a smoother breakup and an overall slightly warmer tone, so that might be your best choice.

  261. Rick says:

    Hi Bjorn.
    I’m torn between a Buffalo powerboost vs Vick audio over driver,to complement a BD-2w,Rat,Vick audio 73 Rams head,TD-X.
    Any thoughts?
    Much appreciated as always.

  262. Fancyboy says:

    Great info! Thanks so much. Ever play through a Pro Analog Power Driver? Wondering how you think it compares to the other Power Booster pedals.

  263. Santiago says:

    Hi! I had already posted a few months ago and I still haven’t made my mind (but i am close). Basically I want the comfortably numb lead tone (big surprise there). i have a fender amp and a Strat with a humbucker in the bridge. i want to get a traditional Strat but for the time being this is what i am using. I also have some pedals, some distortions and the like but those are for heavier styles.

    The question is regarding the overdrive/booster. As far as i have read in your site, the mooer blues mood seems like my best bet for boosting, but i read a few comments ago that you mentioned that if i use a Rat (Black Secret for example) you could get away with no boost. Is that so or i am getting it wrong?

    A few months ago you recomended the Black Secret over the Muff clone for my setup. i was basically down to getting a RAT clone and the blues mood, but since i am on a budget if i can skip getting a pedal it would be nice.

    What do you recommend?

    • Bjorn says:

      The Black Secret Rat clone can easily go without a booster but a dedicated booster or overdrive in addition to that would provide a much more versatile setup.

  264. Joshua says:

    Hey Bjorn! I recently got my hands on a Xotic SL Drive and was wondering do you know any settings for it for any gilmourish tones? Also how does the tube screamer mini compare to the TS9 and Maxon OD808? Thanks

    • Bjorn says:

      It can do a Tube Driver pretty well although it has a bit more mids and less low end. I’d start with the level at unity, tone around 10:00 and the gain fairly moderate. Tweak this to match your amp and guitar. I haven’t tried the TS mini.

  265. Patrick Kennedy says:

    Love this website and I have contributed financially! Great information contained herein. Thank you, Bjorn for your efforts. I have to choose only 1 overdrive pedal for my board. I only play at home these days and my amp is a Fender ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb and I use an Eric Johnson Stratocaster.
    I’m trying to decide between the Vick Audio ’73 Rams Head, Buffalo Evolution and the Wampler Plexi-Drive. I’m leaning towards the Evolution because of it’s perceived versatility and Gilmour tones. Can you and your audience help me decide?

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Patrick, thanks a lot for your kind words and support! Much appreciated. The Evolution is no doubt the most versatile of these. You might find it a tad bright with the Fender amp but with some tweaking on the amp and pedal, it should work nicely. It can cover most of David’s tones, from warm overdrive to distortion and fuzz.

  266. John Watson says:

    So I’m considering getting a ProCo RAT II. I already have a Bk Butler Tube Driver, Buffalo FX Evolution, Ibanez TS808DX (808 + separate clean boost). Is the RAT going to be redundant? I feel like the Evolution is just a little too pristine?

    Also, how would you stack the RAT with a Tube Driver? I’ve seen people suggest sending a mildly overdriven TD *into* the RAT, whereas you’ve suggested mild overdrive from the Evolution into an aggressively set Tube Driver (on your Evolution review).

    • Bjorn says:

      David place his boosters after the Muff or distortion. This way, the booster act more as an EQ, adding tone and character. You can also try to place it in front of the distortion. This way, you’ll be adding more gain similar to driving the front end of an amp.
      The RAT is very similar to the Evolution so you might end up with two, very similar sounding pedals. The Evolution might sound too pristine due to its smooth gain tone and mid range so you might want to consider a Big Muff or even a fuzz, for more harmonics and less compression.

  267. J. says:

    Humbucker guitars: Use a Tube Screamer-like overdrive with its drive set to zero with level and tone as appropriate. Put that in the chain in front of a ProCo Rat with Distortion at 9 o’clock, Filter around 1230 and volume as appropriate. Put the other end of the cable into just about any Marshall/Celestion amp/speaker and you’re sure to find pleasing sounds.

  268. David Du says:

    Thanks Bjorn, I got your point, will try this chain for a while, and my goal is to find a best combo for my amp. Thank you ! you are always helpful!

  269. DAvid Du says:

    Sorry, I didn’t get you. Do you mean the the pedal chain is too long?

  270. David Du says:

    Thanks for your feedback.
    And here is my pedal chain: Guitar->Big Muff->Rat2->Tube Driver (OD)->TS9->Tube Driver(booster)->TC Nova Delay->Tuner->Amp.
    is this ok for putting TS9 between the TD? I remember you mentioned before that TD hate the pedal with buffer. can you give you advice?
    the reason I use this order is to try different combos,like Big Muff+TD(booster),Rat+ts9, rat+TD, TD(OD)+TD(booster), TS9+TD(booster).

    • Bjorn says:

      You might experience a slight change in the tone but its nuances. I have noticed that some of the high end is rolled off and the pedal sound a bit less expressive.

  271. David Du says:

    hi here, Bjorn,
    I use rat2+Tube Driver (booster) and rat2+TS9, as 2 combo, both are great sound, and I am trying to use 2 Tube Drivers, one of which loaded Philips 5814/12au7, what do you think?
    my guitar: Fender strat (fender neck + Warmoth black alder body, vintage bridge, and Neck:ssl-1,Middle:cs69,bridge: texas, will change it to SSL-5 later)
    AMP: laney irt studio + 112 peavey cabinet, loaded sheffield speaker, supposed to be 60w or more.
    Thank you!


  272. Roger Sartori says:

    Hi, Bjorn. I wonder if you tested the Marshall Guv’Nor drive pedal… I never had one… does it sound nearly as the tube driver or there’s nothing on it that sounds like Gilmour at all? They are so cheap in price.. Best regards.

    • Bjorn says:

      I had one years ago. It does sound similar to the Tube Driver, with that transparent amp-like tone. It’s been a while but I do think that I ditched it because it sounded a bit sterile. You might want to check out the Crayon that’s due from Electro Harmonix or the Boss BD2 (or better, the Mooer Blues Mod) for similar tones.

  273. Ben Ferwerda says:

    Hello Bjorn!

    I have the unfortunate task of thinning my pedal board. I’ve done alright so far but I am stuck on which overdrive/distortion to keep. I have the TD-X and the Evolution. Unfortunately I can only keep 1. Out of the two, which do you think will get me the most Gilmour tones? I’m also very much into Don Felder’s tone (apparently he used a cranked Fender Tweed Deluxe for Hotel California but now uses an OCD, Boss chorus, and Boss Delay.) Quite similar to David’s setup I guess, just smaller. Anyway, you’ve said that the OCD has a RAT-ish tone, so I’m leaning to the Evo, but then I will lose the slightly boosted Shine On tone from the TD-X. I am so confused!!! Please Bjorn, help end my madness :)

    • Bjorn says:

      Ha ha, well, since you already got both you should be able to decide which is the most Gilmourish :) I would keep the TDX. It can do clean boost, overdrive and distortion VERY convincingly. The Evo, although very versatile, is a distortion pedal and can’t really do much more.

  274. Mike M says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    I am trying to decide between the Wampler Plexi-Drive and the Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret. In your opinion, which do you think is better to land the Gilmour Pulse/Delicate sound and Hendrix low-end sound. Also, I have a Jam Pedals Tube Dreamer, which I love, do you think it’s worth it to even get a “Marshall in a box” type pedal in my case? I play an American Strat through a Fender Blues Deluxe reissue and I also have a Marshall DSL 15W head. Thanks!!

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on how Marshally you want it :) I think the PlexiDrive is the closest of all three to the Tube Driver David’s using. I haven’t tested that pedal on your amps but it should work nicely.

  275. ratan says:

    Which one is best overdrive (to be used with clean booster, may be Mooer blues mood) : on a low budget, and for bedroom setup, with a solid state amp:
    (1) Ibanez Tube Screamer Mini (2) Mooer Hustle Drive (3) EHX Soul food (4) Joyo vintage overdrive
    Which one is most versatile and best suited for Gilmours sound?

  276. ratan says:

    Which one is best clean transparent booster (to be used with RAT2 or clone) : on a low budget, and for bedroom setup, with a solid state amp:
    (1) stock Bd2 (2) Mini Spark Booster (3) Mooer blues mood (4) Mooer Hustle Drive (5) EHX Soul food (6) Donner Blues Drive
    Which one is most versatile and best suited for Gilmours sound?

    • Bjorn says:

      I would say the Mooer Blues Mood. Its transparent and works better as a booster. Having said that, the Rat and similar clones doesn’t really need a booster so you might want to consider getting it for Tube Driver-ish overdrive.

  277. ratan says:

    Hi Bjorn how are you doing? I have few questions, i will post them in different threads so it becomes easier for you to reply.
    Which one is best distortion: on a low budget, and for bedroom setup, with a solid state amp:
    (1) Stock Proco RAT2 (without LM308 IC), (2) TC Electronic Dark Matter Distortion, (3) MOOER Black Secret
    Which one is most versatile and best suited for Gilmours sound?

  278. joao bicudo says:

    Hello Bjorn!

    I love your work and your site, but i feel difficult to find some info about compressors.

    I have 2 compressors but that wasn’t the best deal, the boss cs3 and mxr dynacomp.

    It would be great if you have some time to create it like you did with the others kinds of pedals!

    Between the moer yellom comp, the xotic sp comp and keeley c4 comp/ 4 knob comp, witch of those do you think its the best for replacing my 2 olders comp?

    I would like to have something that doesn’t color the signal much!

    I play a strat with ssl5 and 69’s pups thro a Hiwatt T20 and my chain is:

    Guitar – mxr buffer, polytune, mxr comp, ehx small stone, Vick’s 73 ram’s, Vick’s Overdriver, Mooer Blues mood, Mooer King Ensemble, Mooer Eleclady, TC Nova Delay, Boss RT 20, – Amp.

    Nice review about Bananaboost!

    Cheers ,

    Joao Bicudo

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Joao! I’m working on a compressor guide so hang in there. You could go for any of the ones you list but if you really want something transparent you should check out the Iron Fist from YellowSquash. Check out my review here.

      • joao bicudo says:

        Hello Bjorn!

        Thanks for your reply and advice!

        So I’ve made some research about the Mooer Yellow Comp, the Xotic SP Comp and their “based on” features. The Mooer is a clone of Diamond Comp a optical comp, and the Xotic is based on the Ross Comp, like the Dinacomp.

        Like you said before I could go either way, but since I already have the Dinacomp (Stock) probably the best choise will be the mooer, also in terms of budget. I use compressor with clean sound and distortion. Having the gilmourish tone in mind can you advise wish should I get? Where I live the mooer is 3 times cheaper than the Xotic.

        BTW do you know if the Iron Fist from YellowSquash have a European dealler?


        Joao Bicudo

        • Bjorn says:

          If you already have the Dyna, then the Mooer seems to be a good choice. I’d send YellowSquash an e-mail and ask. They’re very helpful :)

  279. Clark says:

    Hey Bjorn long time no see right? Hope all has been well for you. I have a question do you think the Wampler Euphoria can be used in conjunction with either an EP booster or an OCD or tube screamer like OD to get his more contemporary tones such as G2 at Gdnask and his current tour tones, thanks.

    • Bjorn says:

      I don’t think I’d use any of those to boost the Euphoria. Perhaps I misunderstood your question but the Euphoria is based on the Dumble amps and it has a lot of mid range, and plenty of gain so it’s really similar to the OCD, although a bit cleaner.

      • Clark says:

        There is a toggle that allows you to select between three different types of gains. In the smooth selection it is a dumble tone, in the crunch setting it sounds like a Marshall in a box. I was more of asking what i should boost that type of gain stage with.

        • Bjorn says:

          Both modes are fairly mids oriented so a booster that’s as clean as possible or else your tone will sound too dark and choked.

  280. Andrew says:

    Has anyone tried the Skreddy Hybrid Fuzz driver? Thoughts?

    • Reed says:

      I’m a huge fan of it. Hated it the first time I played it, but didn’t have time to really set it up with my rig. I have the lunar module and was a strong advocate to the screwdriver. The setup on these pedals makes them some of the most versatile around. My favorite solo of all time is David’s gdansk fat ol’ sun solo, and the hybrid fuzz driver is the closest I’ve gotten to that glorious tele -> compressor -> G2 sound.

  281. Daniel says:

    hey Bjorn

    thanks for this article and for all your help

    I have a question with the wampler plexi drive (which I got after so many good opinions here)

    I like to set my pedals at unity level, so I can use a volume booster for my solos, and then nevermind whatever pedal I was using (soft or strong overdrive, or the muff) I got a nice level of volume.

    the problem is than my wampler got unity volume level very off, like 9:00 oclock… if I use the gain at maximum (because it is supposed to be my strong overdrive), and then it sounds very soft …. i just thought it was the pedal, I mean not capable to get a good gain…. but then I realised that if I put the volume at 12:00 or more, not respecting the unity volume level, with the same gain than before it can produce a lot of more gain… sounding better… more gdanzk

    how do you deal with this? should I just dont use to unity level anymore? should I add another pedal? Should I use unity level of volume and just get use to got few gain?

    thanks a lot

    • Bjorn says:

      The PlexiDrive is a rather soft pedal. It’s based on those early Marhsall JTM amps, which had lots of headroom, smooth breakup and a nice mid range. Setting the pedal to unity gain, will produce a moderate overdrive. Increasing the volume, will drive the front end of your amp, which, when paired with an overdrive pedal, will produce more gain.
      Whether or not you should use unity level depends on what tones you want. The beauty of overdrive and distortion is that you can combine them and set the controls for multiple tones, which, given that you have a tube amp, will interact with the amp. If you want more gain but want to keep a low volume, then you might want to look into a pedal with more gain, like the Buffalo FX TDX.

  282. Tony says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    What is your best recommendation for a single pedal in an MXR-ish sized unit that can faithfully cover all or most of David’s clean to low gain tones?

    Thank you,

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends entirely on what amp and guitar you have. Let me know and I’ll try to help :)

      • Tony says:

        I use anything from Blues Jr.’s to Bassman/JTM45 type amps, always set as cleanish as possible to take pedals well. Thanks again.

        • Bjorn says:

          I think the Fulltone OCD is as versatile as you can get. It cover most of David’s tones, from overdrive to distortion and fuzz and it works nicely on any amp. You might also want to look into the Wampler PlexiDrive.