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 pedals can be divided in two categories. Transparent, mids scooped boosters and compressed, mids boosted overdrives.

The transparent, mids scooped boosters 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.

Compressed and mids boosted overdrives, started to appear in the late 70s, with the Tube Screamer and later, with boutique designs mimicking the Dumble amp and other mids oriented amps. These pedals will produce a smoother and overall bigger sounding tone, on amps like the Twin and smaller bedroom amps.

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, can operate alone. As can distortion pedals like the Rat and similar, like the Evolution, 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 PickBuffalo FX Power Booster

This is a faithful clone of the original 18v Colorsound Powerbooster with the same headroom and tube-like tones. While most clones are either too clean or too bright this one delivers anything from super transparent clean boost to warm overdrive almost in that Tube Driver territory. Never too bright or harsh just the right amount of top and low end and a hit of compression. The pedal also works nicely on brighter amps and smaller bedroom setups and of course, it’s the perfect companion for your ram’s head style Muff. See my full review of the Power Booster here.
Bedroom setups: 10/10
Gilmour tones: ObC, DSotM, WYWH, Animals, DG78, Wall, FC

Gilmourish.Com score: 10/10

Buyer's Gear Guide - Vick Audio OverdriverVick Audio Overdriver
The Overdriver is, as the name implies, a clone of the US version of the Powerboost, the Overdriver. Of all the clones out there, this one is perhaps the closest to the original design, with a super transparent and glassy character, lots of low end and plenty of gain on tap. It does’t have as much headroom as the Buffalo or ThroBak but with the gain cranked all the way up, it’s got the smoothest sustain of them all. It can be a bit tricky on smaller amps but it can break glass on louder tube amps. 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

This is IMO the best sounding Colorsound Powerboost clone on the market. The ThroBak has a wider tone range than the original, from super transparent, almost “twangy” clean boost to crunchy tube distortion. The extra headroom makes it an excellent companion for fuzz and Muffs and it also fits bedroom setups better. A couple of additional features, such as the pre-gain, makes this pedal extremely versatile. 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. 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

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

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

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

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


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!

1,325 Responsesso far.

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.).

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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)


  9. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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/

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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!

  20. 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 :)

  21. Israel says:

    Are Timmy Overdrive one mid scooped?

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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!

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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?

  30. 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.

  31. james pace says:

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

  32. 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

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. Daniel says:

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

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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?


  42. 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!

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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!

  47. 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?

  48. 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.

  49. Alessandro Borges Cordeiro says:

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

  50. 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

  51. 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.

  52. Omar says:

    I have a Boss CS-2 Compression Sustianer too.

  53. 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.

  54. Omar says:

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

  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 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!

  58. marco says:

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

  59. 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.

  60. 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.

  61. 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.

  62. 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.

  63. 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.

  64. 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!

  65. 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.

  66. 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!

  67. 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.

  68. 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.

  69. 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 ?

  70. 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.

  71. 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.

  72. 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.

  73. 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.

  74. 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.

  75. 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.

  76. 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

  77. 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!


  78. 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 ,,

  79. 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,


  80. 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.

  81. 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.

  82. 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 .

  83. 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!

  84. Felipe says:

    Hi Bjorn, any thoughts on the strymon riverside?

  85. 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!

  86. 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.

  87. 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.

  88. 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.

  89. 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!

  90. 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.

  91. 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?

  92. 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.

  93. 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. .

  94. 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 :)

  95. 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?

  96. 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.

  97. 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.

  98. 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?


  99. 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 :)

  100. 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.

  101. 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.

  102. 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.

  103. 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.

  104. 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 :)

  105. 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.

  106. 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.

  107. 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.

  108. 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

  109. 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.

  110. 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.

  111. 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

  112. 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.

  113. 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?

  114. 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.

  115. 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 :)

  116. 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.

  117. 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.

  118. 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.

  119. 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.

  120. 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.

  121. 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?

  122. 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.

  123. 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.

  124. 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. 😃

  125. 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 :)

  126. 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 :)

  127. 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.

  128. 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

  129. 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 😃

  130. 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.

  131. 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

  132. 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.

  133. 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.

  134. 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.


  135. 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.

  136. 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.

  137. 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.

  138. 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:)

  139. 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

  140. 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.

  141. 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.

  142. 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?

  143. 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.

  144. 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.

  145. 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.

  146. 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

  147. 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.

  148. 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.

  149. 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.

  150. 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.

  151. 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.

  152. 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.

  153. 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.

  154. 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.

  155. 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.

  156. 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!

  157. DAvid Du says:

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

  158. 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.

  159. 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!


  160. 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.

  161. 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.

  162. 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.

  163. 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?

  164. 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.

  165. 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?

  166. 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 :)

  167. 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.

  168. 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.

  169. 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.

  170. 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.

  171. Yellowclaws says:

    For me a boosted front end (ie clean boosted) vintage amp gets me in the ball park. Love the Rat for home use but live I stick to my Flynn booster (Rory Galagher Hawk) with my 18 watter.

  172. joao bicudo says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Thank’s for your reply.

    João bicudo

  173. Joao Bicudo says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    I have a Vick’s 73 rams head and the Overdriver.

    Excellent pedals by the way, can you share your settings for the Overdriver boosting the muff or overdriven the muff like in Sorrow song? Thanks.

    I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    Best regards,

    Joao Bicudo

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi, the settings depends on your amp and its settings, your pickups and what Big Muff settings you’re using. The Overdriver responds to how the amp especially is set up so my settings might not apply to you at all. Anyway, the ’73 has a quite a lot of gain, so I would roll down its gain to around 12:00 and set the Overdriver fairly clean, starting with the volume at unity and the gain at clean or edge of breakup. Start with the bass and treble at 12:00 and tweak them for the desired EQ tone.

  174. jake says:

    Hi Bjorn.
    Thanks so much much for putting together this fantastic and inspiring site.
    I am getting back in to trying to nail that Gilmour sound and your help would be greatly appreciated
    I have a Les Paul studio and a Tele-Partscaster (with push pull) a blues deluxe and little 5w valve amp.
    I got a Nano Big Muff pi a while ago and have really struggled to get a nice sound from it.
    I do have the TC Flashback which is great.
    So, with a couple of hundred pounds to spend I don’t quite know where to put it.
    I mostly play with band in a studio which tends to have either Marshalls or Hot Rods to play though.
    So my feeling is i need something versatile.
    Having read through your site I was gonna get a BD2 and Vick Audio rams head but then I saw their other pedals like the Tree of life and the Overrider and even the V2.
    Sorry for such a long post.
    Thanks very much

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Jake. Versatile is the way to go, I think, based on the setup you’ve listed. The Tree of Life is an excellent overdrive, which can nail David’s Tube Driver tones and it has enough headroom to double as a booster. It’s got a nice mids boost as well, which will go nicely with your amps. I think the V2 would be the best way to go distortionwise. It will nail the Big Muff tones but be versatile enough for a wide range of tones.

  175. Corey says:

    Hi bjorn, I was wondering if an Electro Harmonix Soul Food would suffice for a coloursound power boost style overdrive? I have a Vox ac10c1 amp and I’m using the soul food as a boost for a Vick Audio 73 ram’s head. It sounds decent but I’m just wondering if a Power boost style pedal would make a huge difference?

    Thanks for your time.

    • Bjorn says:

      They’re two very different sounding pedals. The Soul Food has a lot of mid range, while the Powerbooster has hardly any. EHX are releasing the Crayon, which seems to be a Tube Driver/Powerbooster-ish kind of thing. You might also want to check out the TC Spark Booster… or simply a Powerbooster clone.

  176. Michael Streichhan says:

    Hey Björn, speaking of EHX – they’ve got a new overdrive/boost pedal, the crayon, that sounds sort of gilmourish to me – maybe a bedroom alternative to the colorsound? I’d love to hear your opinion (or even better read your review sometime) on it. Cheers, Michael

  177. Alexandre says:

    Hi Bjorn! I’ve seen on Instagram that you have been using a lot the Top Tone Shine Boost. Where do you place it? Before overdrive/distortion or after for boosting the mids? I have used it as first pedal, with the “Shine” switch on, giving me really great bright clean tones, but I was considering placing it after my RAT.. how would you do it? My chain signal is Shine Boost –> Marshall Bluesbreaker MKI –> RAT. By the way, I’m considering replacing the RAT for a Top Tone DG-2, since I really dig the RAT tones. Other possibility could be Shine Boost –> RAT or DG-2 –> Bluesbreaker MKI, since the BB is a very transparent low gain overdrive. How would you do it? Greetings from Brazil!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi! I basically use the TopTone for either boosting the Muff (placed after the Muff) or, to drive the front end of my overdrives and distortion for a bit more gain. That slight mids boost, and the considerable volume boost, goes very well with my sounds. The TopTone DG2 is an excellent Muff/Rat distortion. I have never tried it with a Marshall but I would imagine that they would sound great together.

  178. Roger Sartori says:

    Hi, Bjorn. I’m considering to have an overdrive pedal for Gilmour tones. What would you recommend between these two: DOD 250 or Top Tone Light Drive? I’m not interested in boosting Big Muffs pedals, only the drive itself… Cheers.

    • Bjorn says:

      Between the two, I’d go for the Light Drive. It’s sort of a clone of the Cornish SS2, which David has been using for some years. Nice mids boost and lots of sustain.

  179. Joshua says:

    Hi Bjorn! I was wondering on your The Blue jamming video what settings did you have on your Blues Driver? Thank You!

  180. Daniil says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    I bought EHX Soul Food pedal recently. And I can’t produce any good sound from it. It really sounds very dull compared to Wampler PlexiDrive. But maybe I use it wrong. Can you advice some settings and place in the chain for this pedal? I tried to place PlexiDrive before Soul Food, as a clean and bass booster. It helps, but not much.


    • Bjorn says:

      What sort of amp do you have?

      • Daniil says:

        I have Hiwatt CP-103, it doesn’t have middle control. It sounds nice on bedroom volume, it has a lot of headroom, very dynamic amp. To be honest I’m starting to understand this pedal. I feel that it has great sound. It’s nicely overdriven on low frequencies and it’s very articulate and dynamic. But It still sounds dull and flat compared to PD. I cant explane that.

  181. PallMall says:

    Hello Bjorn! What would you prefer for bedroom setup with Laney 12R? Boss BD-2 (Keeley) + ProCo Limited Edition ’85 Whiteface RAT (Alchemy Audio) or Boss BD-2 (Keeley) + BYOC Ram’s Head Large Beaver? I would be very grateful for a quick reply. Tomorrow I’m going to buy someone.

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on what tones you want. The BD2 is great bit between the rat and the muff… The rat is no doubt the most versatile. It can nail fuzz, muff and classic distortion. The muff is great for a lot of David’s lead tones but you’re pretty much limited to that.

  182. Bernie says:

    Hi Bjorn
    Still needing advice and still learning great fun. I now have a quality EQ (Empress Para eq) that doesn’t suck tone like the Boss G7 did. What I would like to know is what is best. Should i put the EQ before or after the overdrives (BD2 & Power Boost) if I wish to increase the mid range in the tones from the overdrive Do you know what differences the placement makes. My set up is Bedroom only at present Thanks once again for your knowledge and assistance.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Bernie! You should ALWAYS place the EQ after the source you want to adjust. If you want to adjust your gain pedals, then place the EQ after all the gain pedals or just the one, if that’s the case, you want to pair it with. If you place it in front, then you will be EQing the signal coming into the pedal and not the actual sound or tone being produced by the pedal.

  183. Hi Bjorn,

    Great information, really valuable to someone who is just venturing out in the world of pedals.

    I have a question regarding the topic in the article that I am not too clear about: Do you need all three? Boost+Overdrive+Distortion AND Big Muff? or is it pick and choose?

    I’m not sure where you get your equipment, but out here in Czechia, it’s a little difficult to find these lesser known brands outside of TC Electronic, Boss, etc – so your “picks” for Distortion+Overdrive+Boost are a little expensive to import and impossible to find locally. For example, the Buffalo FX and Plexidrive, are out of reach both financially and availability-wise. Will the TC Electronic Spark and/or Boss BD-2 suffice? do you recommend one over the other for a bedroom setup?

    The same applies to Overdrive: Ibanez TS9 OR Maxon (are they the same)? OR Fulltone OCD (speaking of which, they do advertise the Mooer Hustle Drive as a clone of the Fulltone OCD, have you tried it?)? OR EHX Soul Food? The Xotic SL Drive is available here but, again, a bit expensive though I CAN get it.

    Last but certainly not least: I did find a Turbo RAT locally (a tad up there, same price as the Xotic) but also the RAT 2 Classic is relatively easy to get from UK retailers. Any other alternatives?

    Finally, again I ask, are all three necessary or do you prefer to only combine two of them? like a Turbo RAT + TS9+Spark? or just RAT+TS9?

    I’m on the same boat regarding Chorus, but I hear good things about the Mooer Ensemble King as a CE-2 clone, and surprisingly readily available here and fairly cheap.

    Any rec’s for reverb? and no section about the MXR Dynacomp / BOSS CS-2?

    Thank you!

    • Bjorn says:

      Lots of questions here but I’ll try…
      Whether or not you need all three or 20 pedals on the board, for that matter, depends entirely on what tones you want. To replicate David’s tones, I would say that you need at least one overdrive and distortion. A versatile distortion like the RAT, or similar, will allow you to cover both the early fuzz tones and the Big Muff tones. I have reviewed a lot of different pedals here but the more familiar brands, like Boss, TC etc are definitely worth checking out. TCs spark booster is a great sounding clean booster, while the Boss BD2 is capable of producing similar tones to David’s Tube Drivers. It’s also well worth checking out the Mooer pedals. Most of them sound REALLY good and the price should fit any budget. Check out the Green Mile (TS9), Blues Mood (BD2), Hustle Drive (OCD), Black Secret (RAT), TriBuff (Big Muff) and the Reeco delay (Boss DD2).

  184. Mariano says:

    How do you like banana boost from electronic Orange?

    • Bjorn says:

      Great sounding Powerbooster clone. Slightly darker than most clones out there, which takes away some of the harshness. They just released a 18V model.

  185. Chris says:

    Thanks man..hey do you mean the TC delays? I havent caught up with any of the new gear out..

  186. Chris says:

    Hi Bjorn..i just got my arc effects big green..would this be the right set-up, Fuzz, black secret, plexi drive, @ then maybe my T-U 2..i know its not alot. ,but i think it will be short an sweet as they say..I’m wondering if i should flip-flop the plexi an rat..should i ditch the tuner or leave it at the end as a buffer..As always thank ypu for your time, this is a invaluable resource, and you’ve helped me so much ty….Chris

  187. Corey says:

    Hi Bjorn, I was wondering if a Proco Rat 2 would do a good job at covering Gilmour’s “Animals” and “Wall” guitar sounds. I have a Vick Audio 73 Rams Head and a boost pedal and they sound great but I kind of want one pedal so I don’t have to use a boost and a fuzz. Thanks!

  188. Xavi says:

    Hej Bjørn,
    First of all, thank you for your music and for your excellent work with the site!
    I am looking for a booster/overdrive to get into my pedalboard. I’d like to have a versatile pedal, clean and transparent, but also get quite overdriven sound. My guitar is a Fender American Strat with DiMarzio pickups (the bridge is a hot output one), the amp is a Laney Cub 12R. What about the Electronic Orange Bananaboost? Will this pedal match my little amp, like your 10/10 for bedroom setups?
    Tusen takk

  189. Jon says:

    hey, Bjorn…. I would like to get at that saturation heard in echoes-pompeii(solo). I Have an Fender AM special with texas special, amp vox vt40, big muff ram’s head handmade,Dunlop Fuzzface bc108 and flashback delay,,,but I miss a boost to get that saturation…..so,which boost you recommend me??

    • Bjorn says:

      Hmmm… How’s the tone you get now? Actually, with those amps I recommend looking into other types of fuzz or distortion pedals, like the Rat or similar clones. That will give you saturated middy gain and lots of sustain. Fuzz and Muffs are great but they often sound flat and fizzy on amps with scooped mid range, like yours. Just a tip :)

  190. Chris says:

    Hi Bjorn, im interested in the big green fuzz by Arc Effects..have you tried it? If so will it go well with a H&K tm-18..i have a fender strat ssl-5..gibson lespaul with classic-57 & probuckers..thank you

  191. Giovanni says:

    Hi Bjorn! I have a Pevaey Classic 30, so quite a bright amp with quite a lot of mid range!
    In your opinion which overdrive/boost could work better with it (and in general with brighter amps, like the Vox AC30 I’ll probably buy and the Fender Bassman 59 LTD), between the Buffalo Powerbooster and teh Throbak Overdriveboost?
    I’d like to use the booster after all my gain pedals (especially after the Electronic Orange Pig Hoof MKII I’ll probably buy) in order to “equalize” them (as Gilmour used to do during the 70s on albums like Animals and Wish You Were Here) and give theme a bit of presence to make them really shine (especially the Pig Hoof MKII which has a little mid range), and so to hear them more easily!

    • Bjorn says:

      The Classic 30 has lots of mids, which is what you want for Big Muffs. An AC30 is a bright amp too, but it has a much more scooped tone… unless you drive the shit out of it and get your mid range from the cranked tunes and hot driven speakers. Anyway, you could go either way with the boosters. Both works nicely with the Peavey. The Buffalo has a wider sweep, from clean to creamy overdriven, so in that sense, it’s the most versatile.

      • Giovanni says:

        Thanks a lot! I’ll keep the Peavey for a lot of time, as it is very good and also vintage sounding!
        However, I also like (a lot) the Fender Bassman 59 LTD (David still uses it in studio, by the way)! In your opinion how is its tone? To me it is quite bright (but not like other Fender amps like the Twin Reverb), with a good amount of low end and with a decent quantity of mid frequencies! In your opinion which overdrive/boost between the Buffalo and the Throbak could work better with an amp like the Bassman?

  192. Arya Boustani says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I was wondering if you could comment on usage of bias knob on the newer BK Butler Tube Drivers. The older 4 knob BK Butler used ones are sold 150 dollars cheaper than new ones with Bias which is a lot of money in Canadian dollars but if it is useful to nail down the taste and sweet spot, not spending it may leave room for future regret. Do you know if DG uses one with bias control these days?
    Thanks a lot.

    • Bjorn says:

      I think David’s got both but recent pictures show that they’ve removed the bias control in the back, i.e. they’ve modified the pedal. A bias control is used to fine tune the transistors. Germanium fuzz pedals often have one because germanium transistors are very sensitive to temperature changes. The bias model is not a must for covering David’s tones and In my option, it’s much more effective to replace the stock 12AX7 tube with a 12AU7 if you want less gain. The bias control allow some tuning but the pedal sound better with the control set neutral.

  193. Pete W. says:

    Hey Bjorn!
    I don’t know if you have checked out any of the Amptweaker stuff. I recently got the TightDrive Pro, and holy mother of god!! This thing is amazing. I can easily get David’s tones from the 80’s and on.
    I’m getting the TightFuzz next. Looks to be another homerun if the demos are any indication.

  194. Paul says:

    Bjorn, do you think a Keeley modded blues driver is an improvement over a Throbak booster in terms of getting that Colorsound clean boost? On Laney 5W Lionheart but not necessarily low volumes. I have the Throbak but have a chance to pick up a BD cheapish. I know The Buffalo would be better choice but funds are low as saving to fly, with my son, from Australia to LA to catch the 25th March Gilmour show!!! Can’t wait for that one. That was thanks to your review. I, for some reason or other, never caught Floyd/Gilmour live so knowing it could be the last chance I have to take the plunge!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Paul! The BD2 has a tad more mids, a hint of compression and more of a an amp-like character. The Powerbooster, and the many clones, are more transparent and not as smooth as the BD2. They’re somewhat similar but you can’t compare them 100%. The BD2 is perhaps a more versatile pedal and easier to make work on different amps.

  195. Bryce says:

    Hi Bjorn, on this overview article you say that the Throbak power booster is in your opinion the best color sound clone on the market. Yet on the article for the buffalo booster, you say that that one blew you away and replaced the Throbak on your board. I would like to know which is the final opinion you have on these as I am interested in getting one to replace my colorsound over driver (well not entirely replace, but to have a smaller footprint on my board).


    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Bryce. I haven’t come around to update the buyer’s guides yet (I’m working on it) but since I wrote that, I have tested many more Powerbooster clones. All of the clones I’ve tried are very good. The Vick Audio Overdriver is probably the most authentic sounding. The Buffalo is slightly darker and it’s got, in my ears, the smoothest break up. The Bananaboost is also on the darker side, with more responsive treble and bass controls than the rest. The ThroBak is probably the most versatile, with all the controls and it also got the cleanest headroom. It all depends on the voice of your amp and what kind of tones you want. I’d get the Vick and Buffalo for overdrive and the ThroBak and Banana for boost.

      • Bryce Shelton says:

        Thanks for your input. I suppose I am going more for a clean boost. I am just using it for bedroom jamming for right now on a Mesa Boogie Express 5:25 Plus (I guess I can save the color sound for the big amps), so in your opinion do you think the Throbak or the Banana boost would work better for my setup?

  196. Joshua says:

    Hey Bjorn! Amazing website you have here. Can you recommend me settings for my Stock Boss BD-2 and Mooer Black Secret? My favorite tones are Dark Side Of The Moon and PULSE and for my guitar and amp I’m using a stock MIM Stratocaster and a Roland Cube 30. Thank You!

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your kind words! Always hard to suggest settings because it depends on how you’ve set the amp and how everything sounds in your room. Check out this feature for some amp set up tips. For rhythms I’d set the BD2 up for a mild crunch, with a slight volume boost to get a smoother tone. Set the tone high for a bit of crispiness but avoid the harshness. The RAT usually sounds good with all the controls at around 60-70%. Set the volume to about unity, the gain where you want it and the tone medium, for warmth.

  197. Gabe says:

    Does the Blues Driver require a high volume to work?

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on what you mean by “work”. The BD-2 is designed to capture that classic tube amp tone, allowing you to achieve that on smaller amps. That being said, most gain pedals do sound smoother and slightly more compressed on higher volume.

  198. Matthew Lee says:

    Anyone know which BOOST pedal that can boost my Big Muff (With the mid range and all), provide a convincing tone for ALL Gilmour eras and also be used as a make-shift overdrive when needed?

    • Matthew Lee says:

      I forgot to mention – I don’t fancy busting the bank on said boost pedal

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on what amp you got but I recommend a transparent booster or one with a low mid range. That way you can add a bit of gain and volume, without altering the tone of the Muff. For budget models, check out the TC Spark Booster or Boss BD2. For something slightly more pricy, check out the TopTone Shine Boost, Buffalo FX Powerbooster or the Buffalo FX TDX. Again, it depends on your amp and the Muff model you’re using. I don’t think there’s one pedal that can do it all.

  199. chris says:

    bjorn hello , I have a question about the buffalo Evolution , how you place in the chain , I don not reach the same tone as you, you put a booster ?
    Thank you

    • Bjorn says:

      I have it after the compressor and before modulations and delays. I’m not using a booster as it has lots of gain on its own. Keep in mind that tone isn’t just about pedal settings and combinations. What amp, guitar, pickups and other pedals do you use?

  200. Giovanni says:

    Hi Bjorn! I suggest you to try the Costalab Moon Drive! It is based on the Cornish G2, and in fact it has a very warm and quite huge sound; moreover, it’one of the most dynamic sound I’ve ever tried!

  201. Franklin says:

    Hey Bjorn, how r u doing?

    I don’t wanna exactly get the David Gilmour tone this time, but i think you can help me. I’m searching for a versatile distortion pedal who reacts with volume knob, volume pedal, the hand touch, etc. A distortion to go to overdrive or maybe even a clean sound, only touching the guitar volume knob. I wish this distortion had some british tone, remembering a vox or marshall amp (i love how steve howe with fuzzes and fenders, blackmore with a vox ac30and jimmy page with fuzzes and marshalls and can change the tone only with guitar volume knob), and i think in some pedal adding a good sustain to my guitar and be able to play several strings at same time.

    I think about the TopTone Dg2. I loved the tone and the articulation, and since i’m brazilian, it would be easy to buy one, but i don’t know if it cleans up well. What pedals could you sugest to me?


    • Bjorn says:

      Sorry for my late reply, Franklin. Depends on how dirty you want it. The DG2 has a lot of gain and although it responds well to your picking and guitar volume control, how much it does that depends on how hot pickups you have. I’d rather look into an overdrive, like the Buffalo FX TDX or the excellent Vick Audio Tree of Life. Check out my reviews linked to here.

  202. Rick. says:

    Hi Bjorn
    Do you have any experience with the FET Dream and would you recommend it for bedroom set ups through a Laney cub 12r,and a strat?
    Much appreciated

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried that particular pedal but FET based overdrives in general are very versatile and goes well with almost any amp and guitar. Well worth checking out, I would imagine.

  203. Jason says:


    I’ve been craving something with some higher gain options and have been considering the Arc Effects Soothsayer. Since I’m in bedroom setting/volume levels, how would the Soothsayer sound boosting a Muff on low gain levels i.e. instead of a typical booster/overdrive?

    • Bjorn says:

      Sorry for my late reply, Jason. The Soothsayer is based on the classic RAT pedal and it has A LOT of gain. Probably not what you’re looking for. At least not as a booster or overdrive unit. Check out my review of the Vick Audio Tree of Life and the Buffalo FX TDX. They should be closer to what you’re seeking.

      • Jason says:

        I definitely want it for the RAT and high gain sounds, but I was just curious if it would work ok as an overdrive or booster as a bonus. I don’t have anything higher gain and I REALLY want a Soothsayer. I may look into a booster separately though… Thanks Bjorn!

  204. Paul says:

    Bjorn, I currently have a Throbak Booster as well as the OCD and RAT for boost or OD.
    Do you think the Efectrode Tube Driver would be a useful additon? Can it function as a Tube Driver or is it more an OD? Playing a Strat with SSL-5 through a Laney.
    I would like to achieve the tone in The Blue (live or studio). The Throbak doesn’t quite achieve it even maxed out it’s a bit thin sounding (in comparison to Gilmour’s tone). Would a TD-X be better suited?

    Slightly off-topic, Ive a 1983 Telecaster Standard that I would like to make sound like the Filterton Duo Jet from The Blue. I woudl rather not reroute or cut etc, do you know of any Telecaster pickups that would give me the same tone (Bridge and Neck)?

    Thanks mate, keep it up. Your playing prowess is something I would love to achieve! ;-)

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Paul, sorry for my late reply. First off, on The Blue, David’s using the Gretsch for rhythms. The lead is the Black Strat. I haven’t done any research on Tele pickups besides the different vintage single coil models, so I’m not sure what to suggest. Check out Seymour Duncan’s tone chart and see if they got something.
      The Effectrode Tube Driver is very similar to the BK Butler model. At lower amp volume, they can sound a bit thin and fizzy. Still, it’s a great sounding pedal. The Buffalo TD-X nails those Tube Driver sounds perfectly and it’s also an easier pedal to set up on different amps and volume levels.

      • Paul says:

        Hey Bjorn, it’s all good mate I know you are a busy man! I ended up grabbing a 2nd hand Effectrode Tube Drive and pushing the volume a bit more it does indeed sound awesome. Don’t know why, I just read it as being the Gretsch for the solos (mixed it up for sure). I appreciate all the time you spend for us Gilmour geeks.


  205. joao bicudo says:

    Hello Bjorn!

    Between the Tc Electronic Spark Booster and the Mooer Flex Boost wish do you think it works best for boosting a bass big muff or a mooer triangle buff?

    I have a Mooer blues Mood for boosting but I dont think its transparent!

    I play a strat with ssl5 bridge and cs69 middle and neck thru a hiwatt t20.

    Joao bicudo

  206. Tony says:

    Hi Bjorn, in your opinion, what is the best current alternative to the Tube Driver in a smaller footprint? Thanks, Tony

  207. Ben Ferwerda says:

    Hello Bjorn! I hope all is well.
    I feel my pedal board may be clogged with gain pedals. I currently have a Buffalo Patriot, Evolution, TD-X, TC Spark Booster, and a Vick Tree of Life. They all are different in their own way but there is also some overlap. If you had to choose the least useful of the five, which would it be? I play through a Fender HRD with a Strat.

    Thank you Bjorn,
    Ben Ferwerda

    • Bjorn says:

      Obviously, you need to decide which you need and which you can ditch, based on your guitar and amp and what tones you need, but generally speaking I’d consider at least removing either the Evo, TDX and ToL. They’re all somewhat overlapping. Personally I’m not a huge fan of the Spark Booster, but given that it’s the only clean booster you have you might want to save that one.

      • Ben Ferwerda says:

        I agree that the spark booster is kind of sterile. I’ve been using it similar to the way you use the shine boost so for that its alright. I get what you mean about the overlapping. The ToL is great and a bargain. It doesn’t have as much gain as the TD-X but with the SB in front it can get close. The TD-X and Evo are very similar but the Evo has more saturation to my ears and the contour knob helps with the HRD mids scooped sound. Guess I just need a bigger board : )

        Thanks Bjorn!

  208. waxpacknerd says:

    One of the best boosters I’ve found for a Ram’s Head style Muff is the Xotic AC Booster. Lets you recover some of the bass you lose when you dial in screaming highs on the Muff.

  209. Will says:

    Greetings Bjorn, I am burned out trying to find a cream colored Dover Drive, sold out, can’t find a used one for decent price etc. Can you recommend a close substitute for home use only between something like the Wampler Plexi Drive or the Golden Cello? Actually looking more for Eric Johnson tones than Gilmour’s. Using a Fender DRRI amp these days.

    • Bjorn says:

      The Black Dover is the same pedal as the cream coloured one. You might also want to check out the TD-X from Buffalo FX :)

  210. Rick says:

    Very true George :)

  211. Nate says:

    I have just aquired a Fender Bassman 59 reissue. I absolutely love the tone this amp brings. I have a few questions though. I am looking for an overdrive pedal that complements the natural warm, woody sound the amp produces. That lead me to wondering if what I wanted was a clean boost. Would a clean boost let me drive the amp at lower volumes? Or should I get a low gain overdrive pedal? Would the soul food be a good choice since it is a transparent overdrive pedal? I am not looking exclusivly to play at lower volumes but I am looking for a pedal that works well for both lower volumes and with Bassman cranked. Im not looking for heavy distortion, just a sllightly dirty clean blues tone to classic rock rhythm tones. Thanks!

    • Bjorn says:

      The Soul Food is transparent when you set it clean but there’s a considerable mids boost when you crank it. It works nicely on the Bassman but if you want something a bit more overdrive-ish I’d look into the Fulltone OCD or the excellent Vick Audio Tree of Life.

  212. Rick Molyneux says:

    Hi Bjorn
    Thanks for the wealth of information on your site it truly is astonishing.Can I trouble you with a question please.
    I am looking to create a pedalboard with Gilmourish tone in mind(I have been using multi effects pedals for years(Boss GT8 etc) and am now wanting to create an individual pedalboard.
    After watching ALL your reviews a zillion times I am drawn to the Buffalo fx range and they seem to nail the tone for my ears but I’m really not sure which one to get.
    I play a Fender strat with cs tex specials neck+mid and a ssl5 in the bridge,not a great amp(Fender Mustang v2) will soon change to a Laney cub 12.
    Could I ask you for a recommendation as to which Buffalo pedal to go with and any other pedals that will get me somewhere near to the Masters tone.
    Any advice would be truly appreciated.
    Huge thanks

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Rick! Since you’re somewhat new to pedals and are perhaps looking to cover some ground, I’d go for something versatile. The new TD-X is a versatile overdrive based on David Gilmour’s Tube Driver, that he’s used on pretty much everything since Division Bell. It goes well with your guitar and amp (and the Cub). I’d also look into the Evolution, which is a versatile distortion, capable of covering most of David’s lead tones.

      • Rick says:

        Hi Bjorn
        Thanks a million for replying :)
        Can I ask,where you recommending both the Evolution + TD X together or did you mean either of the two?
        Thanks again

        • Bjorn says:

          I’d get both. The Evo pretty much takes over where the TD-X stops :) Having these two on your board will provide a versatile setup that should be capable of covering most of David’s tones… as well as a whole lot more.

          • Rick says:

            Cheers Bjorn
            Much appreciated :)

            • Bjorn says:


              • Rick says:

                Hi Bjorn
                Thanks again for all the work you do :)
                After deciding on the Evolution & TD-X, purchasing them is proving nigh on impossible.I have sent 3 emails over a 2 week period to Buffalo and left a comment on the forum at Buffalo FX and not yet received a single reply.Really disappointed with the poor customer services.Is anything happening their end that you’re aware of?
                Kind regards

                • Bjorn says:

                  Sorry to hear, Rick. Steve usually responds right away. Try their Facebook page.

                • George says:

                  This website can make boutique builders with obscure products insanely popular. Im on a six week waiting list for my TD-X, and thats before waiting for it to be shipped from europe. That was weeks ago. I suspect the wait time now is now so long he is building pedals and gave up on the email. Wait until the next popular overdrive pedal sucks in all the demand and then you might have a chance :)

  213. Punchy says:

    I’ve been using a DOD (Digitech) 250 as a boost for after my Triangle Big Muff. It works very well for that purpose.

  214. James says:

    Hi Bjørn,
    Thanks for site…great resource.

    I’m interested in obtaining a single pedal to create those sweet, singing lead tones like CN but which can also get similar great lead tones like on Jeff Beck’s Big Block (Guitar Shop record).

    I use a tele with vintage single coils into a 15W Deluxe Reverb type amp which is clean mostly, and usually bedroom volumes. What one pedal would you suggest irrespective of price (and a budget version option), or if not with one, what combo (prefer as simple as possible)?

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi James! I’d go for something versatile. Muffs go well with Fender amps but it’s not the ideal combo for Gilmour’s tones. You’d need more mid range, which the Fender amp don’t have. You could go for something like the Buffalo Patriot, which has plenty of mids, but I think pedals like the Buffalo Evolution, Arc Effects Soothsayer or even the new TD-X from Buffalo would all be better choices. You’ll find reviews of all three here on the site.

  215. Massimo says:

    Hi Bjorn
    Your site is almost my only source for my new pedals!
    A question: how would You compare the Buffalo TDX to the DOVER DRIVE? Are they similar in a way?
    All the best Massimo

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Massimo! Thanks for your kind words! The Dover is aimed at Eric Johnson’s tones. He’s using the Tube Driver with the bass and treble all the way down, which produce a tone similar to the Tube Screamer or OCD. It’s OK for David’s tones but not ideal, in my opinion. The TD-X is a straight clone of the Tube Driver, with a few modifications, which I think makes it a more versatile and bedroom friendly pedal than the original.

  216. Massimo says:

    hi bjorn, any thought about the Paul Cochrane TIM/TIMMY? are they similar to Buffalo PowerBooster or the new Buffalo TD-X in terms of boosting or light drive?
    Best regards Massimo

  217. Clark says:

    /Hey Bjorn How are you? How have you been? I have a question about a the wampler Plexi Drive. Does it have enough gain on tap for the solo tones that Gilmour got on Gdnask?

  218. Mathias says:

    Hi again Bjørn.
    Thanks for sharing all your endless rivers of knowledge in all aspects of David Gilmour tones and Pink Floyd-encyclopedia. Latest I have been reading about Effectrode Blackbird. – It sound very cool. But what is a Pre-amp like Blackbird exactly? Could I used it instead of an Overdrive, and how does it work together whit other pedals?
    (Small bedroom set-up). It seems like David Gilmour uses a lot of effectrode pedals so why isn’t fx. the Tube Driver not on your “list” (Buyers guide)?

    Thanks in forehand – Best regards Mathias

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Mathias! I only include pedals in the buyer’s guide that I have played myself. That way I can give an honest opinion of each of them :) Overdrive pedals are basically small preamps. The Blackbird is designed around the same preamp you have in most tube amps but it acts and sounds much like any other overdrive. You can either use it as a pickup enhancer or booster, clean booster or dedicated overdrive unit.

  219. loziodavid says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I just bought an EHX Soulf Food for 40€. How about this pedal? Why did you write:
    “It can sound a bit boxy and dull on its own but it cuts nicely through a dense band mix”?

    I’m not very satisfied of my 2 overdrives.
    Costalab Natural Drive MKII is a nice clean boost, I use it to add color to my clean sound, but when gain increase (above 1:00), the sound is quite thin. Used as clean boost pedal: 10/10,as overdrive pedal: 5/10!
    Joyo Vintage Overdrive, clone of Ibanez TS808, is more aggressive, has more gain, but sometimes it’s too gritty and not so smooth.

    How is Soul Food compared to this 2 overdrive? It can be used for low gain lead tones, like Shine On, Coming Back to Life, High Hopes final solo?

    • Bjorn says:

      Well, overdrive is perhaps the most difficult effect or pedal to get right. Which model to choose, depends on what guitar and amp you’re using and, of course, what tones you want. The Natural Drive sounds huge on bigger amps, with lots of presence and mids, but it can sound thin and even harsh on brighter amps and low volume. The TS808 sounds flat on it’s own but used with a slightly cranked amp, it makes almost anything sound amazing. The Soul Food is based on the Klon, which has ties back to the Tube Screamer. It’s a great clean booster and you can tweak it for warm and creamy overdrive. Again, whether or not you like it or if it fits the tones you’re trying to replicate, depends on your amp and guitar.

  220. Chris D says:

    Hi Bjorn, hoping all is well, I’m thinking of buying a rat 2, it will be my first pedal after my TU-2…Is a rat a good choice as a 1st stand alone pedal, until I can afford others, to go along with my TM-18..also..have you an opinion on the Modest Mike mod? Thanks again for this site, you have saved me countless $, by showing me ..what…where & how….Chris

    • Chris D says:

      What’s better the plexi or rat 2

      • Chris D says:

        Nevermind, lol I bought the plexi on impulse, I can get the rat next maybe, what you think? Sorry for all the comments..Chris

      • Bjorn says:

        Two very different pedals. The PD is an overdrive with lots of headroom. The Rat is a distortion, with very little headroom and lots of gain.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Chris! As far as I know, the current RAT 2 doesn’t feature the LM308 chip, which is essential for the smooth distortion character. The Mooer Black Secret does and it’s cheaper. Worth checking out :)

  221. Alessandro Borges Cordeiro says:

    Thanks Bjorn! Cheers!

  222. Bryan says:

    Throughout your site and videos, you talk about boosting one pedal with another, such as using a powerbooster to open up a muff. Can you explain how best to do this? Like what order do you place the pedals and what kind of settings would you use?

  223. Alessandro Borges Cordeiro says:

    Hi Bjorn, between the current version of ProCo Rat 2, Mooer Black Secret and Little Bear Rat with LM 308, which you recommend?

    I thank your help!


    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried the Little Bear so I would go for the Black Secret. Hard to beat the price and it sounds great!

      • Alessandro Borges Cordeiro says:

        Thanks Bjorn! Another possible option would be the TopTone DG-2. Do you think it works well as a distortion pedal, replacing a Rat? Between the DG-2 and Mooer Black Secret, what would be the best choice in your opinion?

  224. David says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I just realized I forgot one important question. I had thought about merging it with the previous Question #3..

    Do you think the Colorsound Overdrive can be as successful as the Colorsound Power Boost at reproducing the the classic Gilmour tones that are produced a) by the Power Boost alone, b) a Big Muff/Power Boost tandem, and c) a Fuzz Face/Power Boost tandem?

    Thanks again and sorry about the double post.

    • Bjorn says:

      Again, both pedals will work nicely for all applications. There really isn’t that big difference between the two. It depends on the amp and whether or not it can handle these pedals or not.

      • David says:

        Thanks so much for answering my questions. I really appreciate and value your opinion on this matter. Since there is not much difference between the Colorsound PB and Overdriver, I think I’m going to build the 9V version for now because I don’t have room for 2 9V batteries in the bright citrus orange enclosure that I’m planning to use.. (I’m old school and I like pedals that can be powered by batteries as well as DC power supplies.) If I don’t think it has enough headroom I can either sell this one or convert it to an 18V Power Boost version and put it in a bigger enclosure that will accommodate 2 batteries.

        As for my amp, I have a Fender Twin Reverb right now, but I’m saving up some money to buy a new amp. If I’m patient enough I’d like to buy a Hiwatt Little D Rig or perhaps a Hiwatt SF412 with Fane Speakers in a WEM cabinet. However, Hiwatt amps are a bit pricey and there isn’t a dealer within 400 miles of me that carries them. I’d like to find a good amp that sounds like a Hiwatt, but is considerably cheaper. Any recommendations?.

  225. David says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I just love your website and your playing! :)

    I hope you can find time to answer the following questions: I’m getting ready to build my own clone of the Colorsound. However, I’m currently undecided as to whether it would be best to build the 18V Powerboost or the 9V Overdrive. I hope you can find time to answer the following questions

    1) On one website, I read that the CS OD is capable of generating more distortion due to the lower voltage while the Power Boost is much cleaner. In your opinion, is the OD capable of generating more distortion than the PB?

    2) Right now I’m not playing in a band and don’t plan to do so in the near future. Of the two (OD or Powerboost),
    which would work best in a small home studio. (I live in a house, not an apartment so I can crank the volume up a bit more than someone who has an apartment..)

    3) Did Gilmour use a Colorsound Overdrive at any time? Someone claimed that he used one on stage either in the late 1980’s or early-to-mid 1990’s.

    Thanks a lot for any help you are willing to provide! :)

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi David! Thanks for your kind words!
      I haven’t done an a/b test so I can’t tell for sure. There are also variations between each model, as the original pedals and the different generations of reissues from Colorsound/Macari’s differ. The OD and PB is supposed to be the same pedal. They were anyway. From what I understand, the current OD does have less headroom than the PB. 9V would give you less headroom anyway, compared to 18V.
      I guess both of them would work fine. The question is whether your amp can handle these pedals or not. They can sound pretty harsh and fizzy on brighter and mid scooped amps.
      David is seen using an Overdriver in the early 90s on some guest appearances and for the recording of the Carrera Pan Amercia soundtrack.

  226. George says:

    just bought a Little Bear Rat clone for under $50 on the bay. Has LM308 chip. cant wait!

  227. nick says:


    Love the site. Such a resource! One thing: right now, there is not a link to the review for the Arc Effects Soothsayer.

  228. John Noir Smith says:

    I see there’s a lot of talk about the Mooer pedals here, but have anyone tested the Hotone pedals (which are about half the size of the Mooers)?

    • Bjorn says:

      Don’t have any experience with those… anyone?

      • Bern Merchant says:

        I owned the Hotone Grass for a little while – it’s actually quite a good pedal. I’ve also seen some pretty good reviews of this one over on TGP as well. They market it as a Dumble-type OD – how accurate that is, I’m not sure, as I’ve never played a Dumble! But it sounds great and despite the size, is built very solid. I only sold it because it was redundant to my OD needs, having bought an Effectrode Tube Drive (plus owning some other ODs as well). But if the Grass is typical of their line, I’d have no trouble recommended Hotone.

  229. Greatly appreciate the help Bjorn!

  230. Bjorn,
    I am wanting to give The Rat a try for no other reason than just to try it on my rig. I see many different versions. The current Pro Co Rat 2 is very reasonably priced, but I am wondering if that is the model I should try out. Can you please advise, so that I buy the one that people seem to rave about. I appreciate it greatly!

    Chad from Dallas

  231. Roger Sartori says:

    Hi, Bjorn. What’s the best for Gilmour tone: a boost pedal like Top Shine or an equalizer like Boss GE7 to act like a volume boost with mids boost configuration? Cheers.

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on what you need. EQs are tools for tone shaping, while boosters are often used to beef up an amp. I prefer using boosters because they sound more natural and they also seem more versatile… for me at least. The Shine Boost is an excellent choice for boosting a clean amp or a gain pedal like a Muff. The mids switch also allow you to add some presence.

  232. Hi Bjorn, I thinking to have BYOC rams head. Its very versatile to play like albums wall, pulse, Gdansk. But on the other hand Big muff vintage ( 80s ) are the “truely” decission… what do you think? I have a tube chandler driver. Is it better to have a big muff vintage or BYOC having the TD chandler. I will have in a future a procorat too.. Merci ! Hope you are doing well

    • Bjorn says:

      The BYOC is based on the ram’s head and the original early 70s circuit so in that sense, it’s vintage. I wouldn’t og buying a vintage pedal off Ebay unless you really know what you’re doing. You never know what you get. The BYOC goes nicely with the Tube Driver.

  233. Chris says:

    Hey Bjorn, longtime reader and fan of your work, and just wanted to say a few things. I bought my Laney CUB12R based largely on your recommendation, and it’s an amazing little amp.

    What I really came here for is to suggest that you look into a new(ish) pedal by MXR’s Custom Shop – the Il Torino Overdrive. I know you’re a big fan of the BD-2, but you might give this one a try in its place. It’s very transparent, has two switchable gain modes (boost and overdrive), and is playing very well with my BYOC Large Beaver in both modes. It also has a three-band EQ, which in my mind makes it more versatile than the BD-2. It might make for a good budget boost/OD; retail is $120USD.

    Anyway, thanks for all you do

  234. Bill says:

    Quick question, just as a point for clarification: did you review the Rattler, or the Rattler +. It seems the picture is of the Rattler +….but from the text it seems your reviewed the Rattler. Just curious….

  235. Steve says:

    Hi Bjorn First off I love your site read it everyday and appreciate all the work you have put into it. Thanks! I would appreciate some advice. I have a musket, nano big muff and deluxe big muff I am playing an American deluxe ash strat with n3 pickups through a 65 fender twin reissue and looking for a boost my choices are either throbak overdrive, keeley phat bd2, tc spark or xotic rc boost please help. Down the road I am going to pick up another amp. but for now your thoughts on boost would be a lot of help.


    • Steve says:

      This is the greatest guide on the web. What a treasure for all of us Floyd fans, I first saw them in 1973 at Cobo Hall in Detroit and have been obsessed ever since. I have learned a lot from you Bjorn and can not thank you enough.

      • Bjorn says:

        Hi Steve! Thanks a lot for your kind Words! Wow, Cobo Hall! They tore that down recently, didn’t they? Being a Kiss fan I know Cobo Hall is a place with quite a history :)

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Steve! I’d go for the BD2. It’s a great combo with Muffs and bright souding amps. You might even want to check out the EHX Soul Food, which has a lot of mids, which the Twin doesn’t have but it can be fairly transparent as well.

  236. Mario says:

    Hello, Bjorn!
    MXR Micro Amp CSP233 it’s a good booster for David Gilmour tone?
    Excuse my english, i live at Quebec city.

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried it but it’s basically a clean booster so I guess it will work. Personally I prefer boosters with a bit more gain.

  237. thunderr723 says:

    hey im using a marshall AVT 50 and a gibson traditional through a basic audio scaraba deluxe fuzz.i only have either a digitech distortion factory or a screamin blues pedal as an overdrive and was wondering if anyone has used a radial tonebone trimode wich is a true tube pedal.or are there anyother sugestions as a good overdrive for this combo.

    • Bjorn says:

      I don’t have any experience with Radial. Pedals like the Tube Screamer, RAT and even the BD2 seems to work nicely with Marshall. I’d stay away from Big Muffs.

  238. Alex says:

    Hello, Bjorn!

    I have a tube amp with 2w mode and I haven’t got any pedals. I want to achieve distorted sound on lead channel, but even in 2w mode the amp is pretty loud. If I understood you correctly, with proper overdrive/distortion/booster pedal I can achieve desired sound with low (actual) volume. Am I right?

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Alex. What amp is this?

      • Alex says:

        This is “made in Russia” amp Yerasov Gavrosh 12V with 2xEL84, 3x12AX7/ECC83, 1x12AT7/ECC81 tubes and 12” Celestion Vintage 30 speaker, 2/10w power modes. It has 2 channels – clean and lead with high-gain mode on lead channel.

        • Bjorn says:

          OK. I’d go for something versatile that can tolerate low volume without losing character. Big Muffs, fuzz etc needs a bit of volume to get that smooth sustain. The RAT distortion and Tube Screamer overdrive is a nice start. These will give you a wide range of tones suitable for all kinds of genres, including Floyd. Depending on your budget, you could either check out the Mooer Black Secret and Green Mile or something in the boutique segment, like the Buffalo FX Evolution and Wampler Plexi Drive.

  239. Andrzej says:

    hi again Bjorn
    I have another question
    Just I bought new pedal to my setup – it is Maxon RTD800. I try to use this effect with my BD-2 and Pig Hoof MK II.
    My current guitar chain is: guitar>wah>compressor>pig hoof MK II>BD-2 Keeley. It is nice setup for Gilmour`s sound. For blues and high gain solos I bought RTD800.
    What’s your opinion about best place for RTD800 in my chain ?
    b.r. from Poland
    Andrzej Kwiatkowski

    • Bjorn says:

      I’d place it after the Hoof and use the BD2 for boost for both the Hoof and RTD.

      • Andrzej says:

        Thanks a lot Bjorn, I thought the same :)

        Next quick question: which pedal in your opinion is the best for boost Pig Hoof MKII (or Big Muff RamsHead) to get Gilmour`s tone :
        1) TopTone Shine Boost 10/10 Gilmour tone
        2) Wampler Plexidrive 10/10 Gilmour tone
        3) Boss BD-2 Keeley Mod 9/10 Gilmour tone
        I now use BD-2 Keeley. Is Shine Boost or Wampler Plexidrive much better than my BD-2 ?
        I play bedroom on Fender Devil Twin Amp with Gold Alnico speakers.

        • Bjorn says:

          Sorry for my late reply. The Wampler has a bit of mids and compression, which don’t og that well with a Muff. The BD2 should work nicely, as you can boost both the gain and volume, without much colouring. The Shine Boost is a clean volume booster, which might sound a bit too bright when you combine it with a Muff and Your Fender amp. The MKII was designed specifically for a Hiwatt type of amp, which has a lot of headroom and presence in the high mids. I don’t have any experience using it With a Fender.

          • Andrzej says:

            hi again Bjorn :)
            my english is a little poor, can You explain what does it mean ” which don’t og that well with a Muff ”

            • Bjorn says:

              I recommend using transparent boosters with Big Muffs as they tend to sound dark and muddy if you boost them with pedals that has lots of mid range and gain. The PlexiDrive has quite a lot of mid range and therefore not ideal for boosting Big Muffs.

  240. rick says:

    has anyone tried the Radial tonebone trimode or the radial hollywood overdrives

  241. Matthew Kehley says:

    Quick question: does anyone know anything about the Catalinbread Galileo MKII? I’ve just got the Deluxe Big Muff Pi and it sounds awesome but I need a good OD/Booster to go with it. Currently I am using a stock Boss DS-1 (I know, it’s all I had) and it works but not well. Am also looking at a EHX Soul Food

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried it. Anyone?

    • Pete W. says:

      I have not tried it, but the friends that have all said the same thing. It gets the Brian May sound, but also adds a lot of noise.
      My recommendation, get the Soul Food.
      (Just my opinion of course.)

  242. James Neu says:

    Hi Bjorn! Thanks to your advice I ordered a Pig Hoof (Original) and Banana Boost from Electronic Orange. They just arrived today and are sweet!

    Jan has now improved the Banana Boost to a Mark II version. It doubles up the 9 volt circuit to 18 volts. He says this gives it much more clean headroom and makes it closer to the original Coloursound Powerboost. I don’t have anything to compare it to other than a clean boost on a TC Nova, but I can say the Banana Boost is a) really loud, b) really clean, and c) adds just a bit of ‘sing’ and sustain to the sound – not sure how to describe it. Those are first impressions, right after setting them up using an old 100w hybrid Carvin amp (tube power stage). I have yet to play around with the settings.

    Both pedals are great – thanks for your advice!


    P.S. I have Banana Boost Mk II serial #1!

  243. joao bicudo says:

    Hello Bjorn, how are you?

    Wish of those pedals do you prefer for boost Big muff, TC ElectronicsSpark Booster or Boss BD2 Stock or Mooer Blues Driver?

    I play a Strat with SSL5 and 69’s thro a Hiwatt T20HD


    Joao Bicudo

    • Bjorn says:

      The TC is a clean booster and I prefer a bit dirt when I boost my Muffs. I would have to say the Mooer :)

  244. Anmol says:

    Hey bjorn,
    What c will be type recommended settings for the maxon od808. Also when boosting the muff the chain should be guitar to od to muff to amp???

    • Bjorn says:

      The OD808 and other Tube Screamers can be a tad to dark for a Big Muff but I’d set it as clean as possible with a fairly neutral tone setting. Place it after the Muff.

  245. I miss the Boss OD 1 Overdrive. It’s the best driver I think

  246. KEITH says:

    Hey Bjorn, I didn’t know where to post this, so here it is! All my musical life, I played Marshalls, with humbuckers on stage, no effects at all except a period where I used a modified Roland JC 120, and a Boss Heavy Metal 1. I found that at almost any volume I could get beautifully rich harmonic feedback. Now using the Reeves, and vintage single coils, I find that I have to really crank the volume to get any controllable feedback at all, and I was wondering which of my pedals would help me get that great controlled feedback. Would maybe a bit of compression help? I have the Muff, the Musket, Si, and Ge Fuzz, but really haven’t experimented enough to see what will give me that particular feedback, without breaking windows! Perhaps a dedicated distortion pedal, as opposed to the pedals listed, or the Throbak, that I forgot to list. Or, would a great overdrive such as the Butler TD, or Plexidrive help. If you can think of anything I can do with my current rig to achieve that’s always been a signature of my sound it would be greatly appreciated. I feel kind of naked, and thrown off my game without it. I find it one of the greatest sounds a guitat can make, and never had any problem achieving it with a Marshall, and a Humbucker loaded Gibson.

    Thanks, KEITH

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Keith, as you know, the setup you have now is quite different to the Marshall and humbuckers you used to play. I also suppose you didn’t keep that rig at home? Hiwatts, or the Reeves, have a lot of headroom and even though Marshalls can sound clean, they still have a pretty aggressive tone and the combo with the speakers, pedals and often humbuckers, makes it easy to create feedback. I rarely get feedback with my Reeves using overdrives unless I kick in a compressor, which I often do at certain parts. I’ve found that Sovtek Muffs or clones easily sustains or feedback, while ram’s heads needs a bit of boost or even a compressor. Again, it depends on what pickups you use and how hard you drive the Reeves. You might want to increase the channel volume(s) quite a bit and keep the master low to push the preamp section for a hint of dirt or at least less headroom. My go to pedal for feedback is the AnalogMan Boss DS1 with a mids control. I’ve used that on several recordings and the thing sings endlessly. You should check it out :)

      • KEITH says:

        I may do that,( the modded DS1), but I was right thar comoression may help. One more quick question. You said the Sovteks are good for feedback, how about the Musket, with a bit of compression? Think that might do the trick? My hands are a bit tied until I get a studio space, and it looks like I finally found one that’s already been treated, and used as a studio, and it’s inexpensive, so the added volume will certainly help!

        Thanks for the lowdown, KEITH

  247. Guilherme says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    To my ears, when David play the comfortably numb 2nd solo with bridge pickup on Pulse, it sounds like if he was using the neck pickup. I mean, it’s like the neck pickup voicing but with the crunch and sustain of the bridge pickup. Is it the Butler overdrive pedal the secret behind this tone? I have a 57 Reissue strat with the EMG DG-20, and my amp is a Mesa Boogie Mark V. I don’t know if you are familiar with this amp but the Mark V have several amp modes, but I still could not get close to this comfortably numb tone with the bridge pickup.

    • Bjorn says:

      His tone on that version is a combination of many things but he does use the bridge pickup, with the SPC rolled up to about half for boosting the mids. He’s also using a Sovtek Civil War Muff, which has a dark tone with lots of mid range. This is paired with a Tube Driver boosting or acting like an EQ adding a bit of colour. This setup has a lot of mid range, which is essential for that fat and smooth tone. Add to that the mid rangy Hiwatts and the fact that he plays VERY loud, which again adds natural compression and mid range. I don’t think you can achieve this on a typical bedroom setup.

      • Guilherme says:

        I actually could reach a much better tone by simply turning off the built in 5-band EQ of my Mesa Mark V, which had the bass and treble boosted and mids scooped all the way down (I use it mostly for Metallica covers with other guitars). But indeed, the lowder I crank the amp, the closer I get to that fat tone.

  248. Bern Merchant says:

    Hi once again Bjorn. Another question for you. Out of the various overdrives you recommend, which fits this description the most (or is there another you suggest trying): smooth rather than crunchy, really excels at edge of breakup and low gain tones, dynamic and touch responsive (i.e. responds very well to pick attack and guitar’s volume knob), and works well going into a clean low-volume bedroom tube amp? Maybe that’s a big ask!!! I’m having a lot of trouble finding something that fits. I have the Power Booster, which I pretty much use mostly for a clean boost and the basic platform for my amp – I use it almost as a clean pre-amp (so that various dirt pedals can actually work at bedroom volume), and I have the Evolution, which is fantastic at medium to higher gain tones. I’m looking for something that fits in between those two gain-wise. Ideally this pedal would be an all-rounder and so be good for other styles such as bluesy stuff too. I should add that I’m not looking for the Tube Screamer sound either. Like I said, maybe this is a big ask!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Bern! How much dynamics and picking sensitivity you get from your pedals also depends on how they interact with your guitar/pickups and the amp but based on what you already have, I would think that the Wampler PlexiDrive should fit nicely in between. It’s got a tad more mids than the Powerbooster but not as much as the Evolution nor the Tube Screamer. The gain ranges from super clean to where the Evolution begins. It’s also extremely responsive to your playing.

  249. Danny says:

    Hi Bjorn !…I Just got a Vick Audio Overdriver recently and I noticed that when I dig into my strat a little a harder the overdrive seems to squash out a little bit , like I have a compressor in my chain ( which I don’t ) …I have an ssl-5 in the bridge position and CS69’s on the other two . The issue only seems to occur when I’m using the bridge pickup . I lowered the pickup height quite a bit and it still happens . The drive level on the Overdriver is generally set between 2-3 o’ clock…I think it’s a great overdrive but this is the only thing about it that’s bugging me . My amp is set clean and am playing at bedroom levels . Any idea what could be causing this ?..Or is this just the nature of this particular circuit ?…Thanks !

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Danny! It does bleed out a bit but that’s the nature of the pedal and its silicon transistors. Try not to have too much bass from the pedal and amp and too much volume boost will also make it squeeze a bit so you might want to lower it. Are there any buffers in your chain? It really don’t want any buffers near by.

      • Danny says:

        Yes…two buffers , A boss TU-2 first in the chain and a Boss DD-2 last in the chain…The others are TB….I will try your recommendations Bjorn…Thanks and love your site !…Cheers !

  250. Franklin says:

    Hey Bjorn, how are you doing?
    I have a strat and a laney cub 12r amp, and i’m going to buy a booster/drive pedal. I really want the TopTone Shine Boost, but i don’t know if i’ll miss the drive, so i’m considering buy the EHX Soul Food. Between these two pedals, wich one you think would work better as booster and overdriver?
    Thank you. You don’t know how u are helping me to make my gear.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Franklin! The Shine Boost is an all clean booster so other than driving your amp’s gain it doesn’t do much to overdrive by it self. I’m using it to drive and boost my dirt pedals. The Soul Food has a wider span, from clean to quite heavy overdrive and a lot of volume boost. It does have lots of mid range though, which can make it sound a bit boxy but it works nicely with the Laney. I also recommend the Wampler PlexiDrive, which has a similar character but a more transparent tone.

  251. Greg D from Cali says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I’d like to thank you again for creating such an excellent website. It has really taught me a lot about tone and electric guitar tone building. I recently got a Buffalo FX Power Booster based on your recommendations, and I really like it. I’m using it as a powerful clean boost, running a Maxon OD820 into it.
    One of my tones I am after is a powerful blues tone – think of Stevie Ray Vaughan. I am playing a 2014 American Standard Strat with Fat 50s neck and middle, SSL5 in the bridge, into a clean channel of a Fender EVH 5150iii (Gain at 9:00 o’clock, bass and mids at 5:00, highs at 9:00, presence at noon) for my blues tone. I have a Maxon OD820 (best Tubescreamer pedal I have ever used btw) with the level all the way up, and gain knob all the way down. Tone knob between 12 and 1 o’clock. It goes into the Power Booster which is set to Bass and Treble knobs in the center, level all the way up, gain all the way down.
    I have to ask – for a powerful clean boost for blues, do you prefer the Top Tone Shine Boost or the Buffalo FX Power Booster? I like my Buffalo FX Power Booster alot; but I was wondering on your opinions regarding your two “Gilmourish picks” for boosters when put in a head-to-head competition against each other. Are they any different from each other?

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Greg! The Shine Boost is an all clean booster, with aprox 30dB boost. It also has a switch for adding a tad more high mids, which is similar to the preamp in the old Echoplex units. It doesn’t do anything than boosting clean so in that sense it’s very different from the Powerbooster, which has an EQ section and drive control. Based on the tones you describe I would stick with the Powerbooster :)

  252. Alessandro Borges Cordeiro says:

    Hi Bjorn. greetings!

    What do you think of the Xotic RC Booster as reinforcement of a Big Muff?

    Thank you for your attention!

  253. Ben Ferwerda says:

    Hello Bjorn!

    I was hoping to get you advice on something. Lately I’ve been thinking that my clean tone from my Fender HRD is lacking some character. I love the tones I get when I use my Plexidrive or Evolution, but when I’m not my sound seems flat. Would it be okay to use a clean boost like the Power Booster to give my amp some life, then add the overdrive or distortion pedals on top? I think you’ve said that neither the Plexi or the Evolution needs a clean boost, but would it hurt?


    • Bjorn says:

      I’d say that most amps would benefit from a booster of some sorts. Especially when you run them all clean. The Plexi and Evo doesn’t need boosters but that doesn’t mean that you can’t combine them with one. If you do though, make sure that the booster is really clean and transparent, otherwise you’ll be colouring your tone and adding gain to those pedals, which will make them harder to control. The Powerbooster could be one way to go but you might also want to look into dedicated clean boosters like the Effectrode Fire Bootle and TopTone Shine Boost.

  254. Doc Dave says:

    Question- A guy I know who is playing a show doing both DSOTM and WYWH albums in full and he uses only Fulltone ’69 and Fulltone ’70 for dirt and swears by them. I dont know how he does it but he sounds spot on. Do you have any experience or thoughts about these pedals? Not that I need another pedal, but I have an opportunity to buy both for about half the going price so was wondering about going for them and experimenting (not just for Gilmour stuff of course). The negative power input scares me off a little, needing either non-alkaline batteries or Fulltone’s dedicated power supplies (I think – I havent researched that part yet.) He LOVES Fulltone and yet other pedals Ive tried have always left me feeling underwhelmed. Of course this guy is an amazing player and I stink.

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on what tones you’re looking for and what amp and guitar you have. The Fulltone fuzzes are great but like all fuzz pedals, they’re very sensitive towards the amp in particular. If you’re certain that your amp can handle fuzz pedals and make them sound good then the Fulltones are a good choice. If not, I’d consider something a bit more versatile. The Fulltone OCD could be a way to go or a RAT or the Similar Evolution from Buffalo FX.

  255. Alessandro Borges Cordeiro says:

    Dear Bjorn,

    My name is Alessandro, I’m classical guitar Professor in Universidade de Brasília – Brasil.

    Like you, I love guitar and Gilmour tones. Congratulations on the great site. I have learned a lot from their tips.

    I would like to have your opinion, I am in doubt between buying a used Tube Driver – Tube Works / BK Butler (3 knobs) or a new Wampler Plexi Drive. Both are at the same price. What do you think?



    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Alessandro! Depends on what amp you’re using. The Tube Driver, in all its variations, can sound a bit harsh on the “wrong” amp. I would say that the PlexiDrive is a more versatile pedal and easier to make work on different amps. Cheers!

  256. joao bicudo says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    I would like to know your opinion about 2 OD pedals. The Maxon od808 and Lovepedal Dover Drive.

    I play a mexican strat with 69’s neck and middle pickups and ssl-5 bridge pickup thro a hiwatt t20hd with marshall 1936 cab with 2x25w greenbacks.

    My current guitar chain is:
    Guitar, boss cs3, mooer big buff, ehx bass big muff, rat, ehx soul food, boss bd2 stock, ehx small stone nano, mooer eleclady, mooer king ensemble, ernieball volume pedal, vox time machine, mxr buffer, amp.

    I’m very pleased with this rig, it’s was all following your tips! But i think i can improve even more, that’s why i need your opinion about overdrives.

    I currently use for overdrive the ehx soul food and like you said, it’s sounds weird or dull ! In my rig it changes my tone when activated. So i decided to swamp it for a better one.
    In this page you describe diferent overdrive pedals, so, between the lovepedal and the maxon what do you think can work better in my rig!?

    P.s. changing the stock tremolo block of a mexican standard strat for an schaller block would make a big diference in terms of overall souding, sustain?

    Joao bicudo.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Joao! The Soul Food has A LOT of mid range. Hiwatts do too and this combined will often sound “boxy” or dull. Although I think the Maxon OD808 is hard to beat for overdrive tones, it has the same “problem”. So does the Dover. These pedals tend to work better with Fender amps and other amps that has less mid range than Hiwatts. One of my favourite overdrives at the moment is the Wampler PlexiDrive. Tonewise, it’s somewhere between a BD2 and OD808. I haven’t tried the Schaller term systems so I can’t really tell. I’m using Callaham myself and are very happy with those.

  257. Spencer says:

    Does the Gilmourish stamp of approval go with the pedal above or the pedal below?

  258. Brad says:

    Do you have a recommended tube/settings for the bk butler tube driver?

    • Bjorn says:

      With what guitar/pickups and amp? What tones are you looking for?

      • Brad says:

        I’m using a 50s reissue strat with fender cs69s. My amp is a 59 fender bassman reissue. I’m looking for the first leads in shine on you crazy diamond and the leads in comfortably numb. For numb, I’m also using the Vick audio Rams head and rt20. Thanks!

        • Bjorn says:

          Start with setting up your amp. Check out the amp setup guide for some tips. The Tube Driver has a scooped mid range, which also goes for the Bassman. Ideally, I’d either use an overdrive with more mids or an EQ to boost the mids but experiment with the amp settings and try to get it as smooth as possible. I usually keep the volume on the Tube Driver at 2:00 no matter what. This boosts the pedal a bit and rolls off the harsh overtones. Keep the treble moderate and set the gain as desired. For boosting you should set the TD as clean as possible and roll down the treble considerably, especially with a Fender amp. You might also want to engage the mids boost on your Vick.

  259. DSL says:

    Greetings, in your opinion, how well does the Wampler Plexi Drive stack with a silicon (BC108) fuzz face? Any recommended settings, if you think the two are compatible, of course.

    • Bjorn says:

      Ok but usually I prefer using more transparent boosters or overdrives for boosting. The Plexi has a nice mids boost and a hint of compression as well, which can make fuzz and Muffs sound a bit too dark and muddy.

  260. Sam Johnston says:

    Great review on these pedals! One question i had is if the Keeley Katana was a good substitute for the Coloursound Powerboost? Thanks

  261. Jeff says:

    Hi Bjorn, does the Wampler Plexi Drive work well as a booster/EQ placed after the big muff? Also how to you counter the volume drop on the Moore Elec Lady?

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Jeff! The Plexi Drive has a hint of mids boost and compression, which will colour your Muff or distortion to some extent. I’ve had some success with it but it can make the Muff sound a bit too muddy and dark. Ideally I’d use a more transparent booster.

    • Pete W. says:

      Hey Jeff, regarding your Elec Lady question. There is a sweet spot with the color knob. It’s around 10 or 11. When you find it, you will notice the volume drop is gone.

      • Jeff F. says:

        Thanks Pete. That’s where I set mine. I’ve tried every spot on the color knob. I’m now running it in a parallel blend/mix pedal. This has solved the problem and it also sounds much better mixed with the dry signal. I have my Elec Lady, CE-2, and Phase 90 running this way, what a dramatic improvement with all three pedals!

        • Pete W. says:

          Dig it! Glad it worked for you.

        • joao bicudo says:

          Hi Jeff!
          I have the same volume drop issue with elelady, can you explain how to run in parallel blend/mix pedal?

          Joao bicudo

          • Jeff F. says:

            Hi Joao, I am using the Radial Bigshot Mix pedal. There are many others like it. Basically they provide you with a parallel FX loop that you would run the Eleclady through. You just blend the fx signal with your dry signal. Your dry signal doesn’t loose any level so your over all level stays the same.

  262. Diogo Lopes says:

    Hi Bjorn

    I just discover a pedal company in Italy wich seems to have a lot of David Gilmour “inspired by” pedals

    Here’s one: http://www.baroni-lab.com/dg-island-overdrive-pedals.html

    Have you ever heard of them? And if so how do they perform?


  263. sebastien says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    Please can you tell me your opinion about Vick audio Rat VS Buffalo Évolution.

    I want to replicate those gilmour Rat and Pete Cornish G2-tones (div bell for rat, on an island for G2) .
    That ‘s all I want.

    Would the Vick RAT DO THAT?
    Do I need the Buffalo Evolution?

    Of course I will only use Strat with single coils.



    • Bjorn says:

      You could go either way I guess. They’re very similar. The Evolution has a tad less mids, which makes it sound brighter and a bit more open. It also has a bit more low end. The RAT has more mids and an overall more saturated tone. I like them both but I’d probably go for the Evolution on darker amps and the RAT on brighter amps.

  264. Cameron says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I think you should try out a behringer vt911 or vt999. It would be interesting to see how they compare to a bk butler tube driver and if they can produce gilmourish tones.

  265. Ben says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Great job on he new look website and the solo album. Need your advice, I’m currently running a W&C Box Of War, Spark Booster and a Crowther Hotcake into a Laney Cub head and cab (home/recording) and an old AC30 (gigs). I’m fairly happy with the drive options but i’d like just one more to complete a versatile setup. I’m thinking maybe an OD808 or maybe a BD2 given that there’s a midhump option on the spark booster if i need it? I’m looking towards the plexi drive as well as the OCD as other options. What do you think?

    The best always,


    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Ben, the OD808 and OCD are similar, with a nice mids boost, while the PlexiDrive and BD2 has a more transparent amp-like tone. I’m loving the Plexi and think it would go nicely with your setup but all of the ones you’ve listed are safe. Depends on what tones you’re looking for.

  266. uwe stevenson says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    What would you think about Vick Audio Classic RAt VS Buffalo Fx Evolution, in terms of replicating both Classic LM308N Pro CO RAT, and Pete Cornish G-2?

    Do you know if the Vick is fine for bedroom amps like Laney Cub? (I’m asking because Vick Overdriver is not so good for bedroom setups…)



    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Uwe! The RAT and the many clones, are very well suited for bedroom setups. Most mids boosted pedals are. The Evolution has a tad less mids and a more open sounding tone. A bit more low end too. They’re very similar sounding thought so it depends on how much mids you want.

  267. Ben Ferwerda says:

    Hello Bjorn!

    I was wondering if you had seen the new Plexi-Drive Deluxe from Wampler? It certainly is a much more tweakable pedal than it’s predecessor. I watched Shnobel’s video of it in comparison to the Buffalo Fx Evolution and was surprised at how (somewhat) similar they sound. Here’s the link:


    Anyway, do you think there are any new “Gilmourish” qualities to the deluxe that would justify buying it if you already have the original? (Love my Plexi-Drive by the way!)


    • Bjorn says:

      Yeah, I saw and I’m sure I’m going to pick one up eventually. The fact that you now have three EQ controls instead of just the single tone knob makes it very versatile. Still, not sure if it makes a huge difference for me and my tones. I love the simplicity of the standard too :)

  268. Kostas says:

    Hello Bjonrn!!!

    Congratulations for your excellent work and help, .I really love your articles!!

    Im a little bit confuzed, i have the following pedals and im asking you the suggested order of arrangement.
    Im playing at home in a Small tube amp.
    The pedals are:
    Boss CS3, BK Buttler Tube Driver, Pete Cornish G2 Clone,EHX Soul Food.

    Thank you very much!!!

    • Bjorn says:

      Thank you, Kostas! The pedal order seems fine :) If you’re using the Tube Driver and G2 together, then you might want to switch places between them but otherwise it’s how I’d do it :)

  269. Sean wilke says:

    Great site bjorn. My signal order is 62 custom tele into boss tu3 – soul food – sl drive- deluxe mistress- boss dd7. I use the sl drive as a tube driverish sound and keep it on all the time. I use the soul food as my main lead tone. Just wondering how u would set the sl drive and soul food. I have it running into a fender deluxe reverb bass at 5 treble 2.5. Low volume. Reverb at 3. I also have a tube screamer and can’t decide if I want the tube screamer or soul food. Any words of wisdom on this?? Thanks Sean

    • Sean Wilke says:

      Or how u wud set the Macon od808

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on how you’re using the pedals. If you intend to boost, I’d keep the volume on the SL at about unity level, the tone rolled down a bit and the gain as desired. The Soul Food is a better booster for other pedals than a 808. Set it as clean as possible and if needed, just a hint of volume boost. The exact settings needs to be set according to your amp and guitar. I’d use the 808 as a dedicated overdrive.

  270. Dimitris says:

    These little drive units can help you express every feeling imaginable, from your deepest sorrow to the most fiery anger! I am about to record some songs in my home studio and I’d like your opinion on something.
    I use a Lionheart 5w, Analogman BC109, an CB Echorec and I want an overdrive/booster for drive tones like Gilmour’s on Dark Side and WYWH.
    1, I’m having a luthier make me a left-hand maple neck Strat, in which I’ll fit my voodoo69 pickups. Would all the rig sound too trebly, with such a neck? My only reference is Gilmour, who -mainly- used the Powerbooster while the rosewood neck was on his Black Strat. Should I go for rosewood?
    2, Great video, on how to boost Muffs and get more presence and attack. How would my BC109 behave in combination with a PB? Also, you said that on Dark Side tours Gilmour added fuzz on top of overdriven PB. Different approach than the mild crunch for Muffs?
    3, Finally, which one would you suggest as a main overdrive/booster unit, the Vick Audio or the Buffalo, for this home recording rig of mine?

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Dimitris!
      1. There isn’t that big difference between maple and rosewood. It’s a subtle thing and more down to what you’re more comfortable with. It also depends on your amp and pedals. A maple neck can make a bright amp sound brighter but a rosewood might round things off.
      2. David used the Powerbooster for overdrive, as you can hear on songs like Time and Have a Cigar. If you listen to the Wembley 1974 show, you can hear that he kicks in the fuzz onto of the Powerbooster on Time. On a smaller setup I’d perhaps use the fuzz alone and maybe add a booster in the same fashion as demonstrated in my clip. It will round off the harshness of the fuzz and add a bit of sustain.
      3. The Buffalo is the most versatile of the two and probably easier to record as well.

  271. Cameron says:

    What are you thoughts on the vick audio overdriver pedal as a power boost replica. I plan on purchasing that an the 73 rams head just curious if you think a different manufacture makes a better reproduction for the price range.

  272. Lukas Schmidtke says:

    Hey Bjorn, hey everybody !

    I really appreciate you gathering all this information for us, Bjorn. Could you comment on the Electro Harmonix Double Muff (nano) ? I’m having one at home for testing at the moment. I’m using a Telecaster and a Laney Cub 12R as an amp, which i actually bought after researching your site, and I’m just soo happy with it:)

    The Double Muff seems to do a pretty good job as an OD pedal (which i would consider it to be). After reading your article, i will probably get a RAT for Distortion, too … Now I’m thinking about giving back the Double Muff and getting a maxon OD808 instead (and yeah, im after Gilmourish tones:) …).

    The problem that i see in general with finding the right pedals is, that it’s one thing to try all the different pedals in a musicstore, but another, how they will work for me at home / on stage, with my guitar and my amp ? That’s where the experience of guys like you really helps me out at the moment. I’m the kind of person who practices a lot in the bedroom, but i also do perform occasionally and will be performing more in the future. … maybe you haven’t tried the Double Muff, so in that case i guess your answer would be, get an OD808 instead, and you’re on the safe side;)

    Anyway, big thanks again,

    Cheers from Germany !

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Lukas! It’s impossible to give an exact definition of how pedals will sound on different amps because how they ultimately sound is also determined by the guitar, your settings, the room and not least, how you play. The safe way is always to go for something versatile, which often means pedals with a pronounced mid range and darker tone. Typical late 60s and early 70s pedals were designed for large tube stacks because that’s pretty much what you had back then, so when choosing these pedals for a bedroom setup you need to be sure that your amp has enough mid range and tone on lower levels or it will sound very thin.

      • Lukas Schmidtke says:

        Thanks for your quick reply ! I think i get what you’re saying. I will probably just get an OD808 to try at home, as well, to compare it to the Double Muff ( it’s easy to send products back at no cost from some dealers in germany, i don’t know about other countries … ). It seems that the pronounced midrange you’re talking about, could really be the way to go for me at the moment. Would you put the Double Muff into the same category with other late 60s and early 70s pedals, though ? Obviously, the two muff fuzzes within the double muff respectively fit that description, but i feel that the combination of the two makes up for a whole nother sound… or would the fact that you’ve basically still got some muffs preclude that they’re ever gonna sound anything like a tubescreamer, no matter what ? Please don’t mind my ‘uneducatedness’, i’m just so curious and find it really difficult to dig up this kind of information anywhere.

        • Bjorn says:

          No worries at all :) Happy to help! The Double Muff is certainly in that early 70s category so a TS808 might be the way to go. Especially if your setup needs more mid range.

  273. Roger Sartori says:

    hello, “professor” Bjorn. Your page is just my guide to my happiness! LOL
    Gilmour used the Colorsound Powerboost to set Fuzz Face and Big Muffs on FIRE! Do you know if he used the Colorsound OVERDRIVER too?

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Roger :) Not sure if he used one in the old days but there is a picture in Phil Taylor’s Black Strat book from the 1992 La Carrera recording sessions where an Overdriver is spotted. It’s really the same pedal as the Powerboost. Only the chassis and name was changed.

  274. Luc Huard says:

    Hello everybody,

    About the Mooer Black Secret, I bought one and it sounds great. I have a Blackstar ss amp and the combination of the Black Secret with my Boss BD-2 = Excellent combination for Gilmour’s tones. If you are looking to buy a Mooer pedal go to that website . It is in China but they have warehouses in the US and UK. A friend of mine recommended that site. The Mooer are in liquidation mode, the will not get other models than the ones one the site. For example, you will pay for a Mooer Black Secret $ 51.80 US and it is free shipping. But you have to be patient, mine took two weeks to be delivered. I am in Canada. For me it is worth the wait because I am on a low/medium budget and they have great deals. They also carry other brands like Joyo and Biyang. I bought a Joyo Vintage Overdrive for $30, it’s a TS-808 clone. For a modest bedroom/home studio like mine a good sounding OD for $30.00 = great deal. I am using the Joyo OD with the Boss BD-2 for Shine On and it sounds pretty good. I also bought a Biyang Fuzz that sounds like a muff. I will talk about that in the Muff section.

    I wanted to share this because I know that there is a lot of people with a smaller budget.

    Cheers from Canada… :-)

  275. Eric says:

    I may have missed this somewhere on the site but Gdansk Echoes sounds like Gilmour is using an older fuzz rather than his Muff. Did he dig up his old fuzz face for Echoes? Thanks.

  276. tolchok says:

    I’ve heard some buzz about Bondi Effects’ Sick As overdrive. I’ve listened to clips on Youtube, and for my money, it has a rather neutral tone, maybe with some additional brightness (which, if problematic, could be mitigated by rolling off the treble). Do you have an opinion on it?

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t had the chance to try one myself but judging by the clips I’ve heard it seems to be a very cool sounding pedal. Much like a Tube Driver or at least somewhat similar, as far as I can tell. Very transparent and amp-like. I would imagine it would work nicely as a booster and overdrive in terms of David’s tones and of course, a wide range of other tones as well.

  277. Matt says:

    So using them as a pair would work better? Like putting Big Muff at the start of the gain channel and the Soul Food as a booster after it, so that the Big Muff dominates the signal chain?



    [That would be the way to go. The Soul Food has a lot of mids though, which can make your Muff sound a tad too dark but depending on the voicing of your amp I think the combo of these pedals sounds great. – Bjorn]

  278. Matt says:

    I was wondering which pedal you would take for Gilmour tones: A EHX Soul Food or a Bass Big Muff Pi?
    I am leaning Soul Food since it has a higher rating and is probably more versatile but then again, can it take the place of a Big Muff?



    [Two very different pedals and I don’t think you can compare them. The Soul Food is a booster/overdrive. It’s capable of producing anything from clean to crunchy overdrive. The Bass Muff has tons more gain and isn’t designed for boost nor overdrive. It’s a dedicated lead or distortion pedal. I would say that both would nail David’s tones but they cover different tones. – Bjorn]

  279. Andy says:

    Hi Bjorn i’ve only recently found this site (I am amazed by it, great work), and i’ve been checking out the gear guides as I’m looking to buy a few pedals to get close to the Delicate Sound of Thunder tone. I’ve got a Les Paul custom so I’m obviously aware I won’t be able to nail it, just trying to get the right drive and effects combo. I already own an EHX big muff w/ tone wicker and a TC electronics spark – not your most recommended pedals i know but i had purchased them before finding your blog! If you can give any tips as to which pedals i should get that’d be really appreciated, thanks.

    [Depends on your amp but if you don’t own one already, you should have a delay. It’s essential for all of David’s tones. The TC Electronic Flashback is probably your best buy but there’s a huge range of different delays out there serving different purposes. If you’re considering replacing the Muff for something a bit more versatile and suiting for your LP, then the Buffalo FX Evolution might be what you’re looking for. It’s capable of nailing almost any of David’s lead and overdrive tones from the 80s to present. Aside from that… perhaps a chorus, which is typical for the 80s. The Mooer Ensemble King is actually very good and it’s based on the legendary Boss CE2 that David used. Hope this helped :) – Bjorn]

  280. Sergey says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    Thank You for great work with guitar gear on that site! Tones of useful information for guitar maniacs :)
    I have a question (may be someone asked you already) about Throbak Overdriveboost and Buffalo Power booster. What is the sound difference between them? and which one seems to be more flexible in it’s settings?

    [Hi Sergey! Depeneds on your amp and pickups but in general the Buffalo is darker and has a smoother breakup and more creamy overdrive. The ThroBak is slightly brighter and the overdrive tone has more top end. Both are great clones of the original so it’s a matter of what fits your amp the most I guess. The Buffalo for brighter amps and bedroom setups and the ThroBak for darker and bigger amps. – Bjorn]

  281. Richard says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Any thoughts on using the Xotic SL Drive perhaps in SB mode with a silicon fuzz? Once again, I am searching for a pedal like the DLS MKIII, which didn’t work for me at all.

    Thanks much.

    [I haven’t tried it but I think you’d be having problems with too much gain and noise. – Bjorn]

  282. Matt says:

    Hi Bjorn. I hope you are keeping warm. I was wondering if you have had any direct experience with the Sarno Earth Drive post muff and/or post Germanium Fuzz Face? Thanks Bjorn!

    [Never tried it so I can’t really tell. Based on the reviews it seems to be a very transparent overdrive, which should make it a nice companion for Muffs and fuzz pedals. – Bjorn]

  283. Ben says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    I am looking for a dedicated overdrive to get tones close to “The Blue” and “Marooned”. The two I’m looking at right now are the OCD and the Dover Drive but I am open to all suggestions. Do you have a preference for getting close to that tone? I’m playing at home (low volume) on a strat through a fender hot rod deluxe and my signal chain is: ST-200 > Vibe Machine > Retro Sonic Distortion > Sunface > Buffalo PB > Analogman Mini Chorus > DD-20. Are there any in particular that would go well with my setup?

    [Both should do the job. The OCD is probably the most versatile of the two. I also recommend the Wampler PlexiDrive, which is probably as close as you’ll get to a Tube Driver. – Bjorn]

  284. David Auchterlonie says:

    Hi bjorn, have you tried the pickup booster by seymore duncan, a really awsome and versatile boost. The boost has 25 db with a resonance switch, designed for single coil pickup. The resonance switch can make a single coil either a classic humbucker or high output humbucker. The resonance switch at 0 produces hi def boost. This pedal is the best boost i have heard, but, this is a big but, it is very noisy. Worth a try

    [Never tried it. I’m using the Effectrode Fire Bottle, which I guess is similar. – Bjorn]

  285. Matthias says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Instead of 2 small pedals, I could also consider one larger pedal covering all, like a Buffalo Evolution. I’m interested to know what you would pick.
    Take care,

    [Two pedals is obviously more versatile but the Evolution is able to cover both overdrive and distortion sounds. – Bjorn]

  286. Matthias says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I’d like to set up a very small pedalboard for band rehearsal and bedroom practice.
    If you could pick only two MXR sized overdrive/distorsion pedals to cover most of your needs, what would these be?
    Thank you in advance.
    Take care

    [Very sorry for my late reply, Matthias. For Gilmour sounds? Depends very much on your amp and pickups but my best tip would be the Wampler PlexiDrive for the Tube Driver tones and the Vick Audio ’73 Ram’s Head for the Muff tones. – Bjorn]

  287. KEITH says:

    Hi Bjorn, hope you had as wonderful a Christmas as we did here! Looking forward to the 2015 happenings here on Gilmourish!! I have a question about overdrives: I told you I was going to order a TD from BK Butler, but looked closer at my money situation, and put it off until my bills are all straight. Now I’m wondering if I’d do better with a Plexidrive. You should be somewhat aware of my amp, guitars, and pedals, and I think I’ve told you many times how much I love thay cranked Marshall, early Master volume, or even more the Jubilee model sound. Knowing all of that, could I get closer to those Marshall tones with the Plexidrive, and still get the same great Tube Driver tones? I’m planning on loading another 2×12 with Greenbacks, so I’ll get the speaker breakup of my old Marshall cab. So the short version, Plexidrive, or Tube Driver? Will the PD do the TD, and get me that Marshall sound?

    Thanks, and Happy New Year, Keith

    [Happy new year, Keith! I can’t really praise the PlexiDrive enough. Definitely one of my fav overdrives. It’s not as wild and huge sounding as the Tube Driver but it has a very similar flavour, both being early Marshallish. What I like about the Plexi is that it responds very much like a tube amp. The more you crank both the gain and tone, the more compression it adds so it’ll never sound harsh. I think it would go nicely with your setup. – Bjorn]

  288. Bill says:

    Hello Bjorn, great site, lots of good info here! I’m pretty new at playing and have the following setup, a standard strat –> Skreddy P19 –> EH Soulfood –> TC Flashback –> Fender blues Jr III I have a question about dialing in Gilmour tones, should I be using either the P19 OR the Soulfood to dial in the desired tone or both together? I’m using this as basically a “bedroom” environment. Any tips you could give here would be appreciated. Thank you

    [Very sorry for my late reply, Bill. The P19 is designed to be used alone as it’s already stacked, meaning that it’s designed to sound like a Muff+booster combo. You can combine it with a booster but I think that takes away some of the characteristics of the pedal. I’d use the Soul Food as a clean booster or dedicated overdrive. – Bjorn]

  289. Richard says:

    Has any tried stacking a silicon fuzz with the Wampler Plexi-Drive? If yes, how well did it work?

    [Hi Richard! Sorry for the very late reply. I’ve done it but it didn’t work that well. At least not for me. The Plexi has a bit of mic range and compression, which makes the fuzz dark and choked. Better with a more transparent booster. – Bjorn]

  290. Matt says:

    Hello all. I just wanted to share a pedal stacking combo that I have discovered with the Gilmourish community. Bjorn has been incredibly generous with both his musical and tone advice so I wanted to take this opportunity to give back a little:)

    As we all know, pedalboard real estate is always a factor for a myriad of reasons. So when you discover a pedal that can serve multiple purposes, a “happy dance” often occurs:) This pedal is the Catalinbread DLS MkIII in Superbass mode. It’s original purpose for me was to push it with a Germanium fuzz face to really nail Jimi Hendrix sounds. And it does that in spades. I use a Rivera 6L6 based very fenderish 55 watt tube combo set crystal clean. It works beautifully in that application. Then I also discovered that even boosts and mild overdrives sound at least as good, and almost always better, pushing the DLS as well. And the recent test was could it “boost” a muff? On Bjorn’s recommendation, I had purchased the EH Nano Bass Big Muff Pi. It was stupidly cheap and I got a discount on top of it:) I am very pleased with the pedal but, of course, I wanted to see if I could squeeze more out of it. And I was able to running it into the DLS and bring it to another level. They key for me was setting them both to moderate gain. I had the DLS at 12:00 and the muff at about 1:00. And the beauty of the DLS is that every application I mentioned above I use the same settings on the DLS. I don’t ever have to touch it. It just transforms almost anything you push it with into something better – and it never seems to make anything sound worse. Again YMMV, but here are the approx. settings that I use on the DLS – 18V, master at or a little above unity, treble 11:00,mid 10:00, bass 8:30, pre amp 12:00.

    Happy Holidays and Happy Stacking everyone!

    – Matt

    [Thanks for sharing Matt! – Bjorn]

  291. Lucas says:

    The Ibanez Ts9 would work for drive the Big Muff Civil War? im searching the tone of PULSE. Sorry if my English is not so good

    [It’s not ideal due to its boosted mid range which can make the Muff sound very dark and choked. I’d use a more transparent booster like the Boss BD2. – Bjorn]

  292. Dutch Blomenkamp says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Have you listened to the Black Arts Toneworks Black Forest Overdrive? Basically a Colorsound Overdriver circuit, with a “depth” switch that varies the input capacitors for some interesting tonal nuances. I got an excellent deal on one, and while I haven’t had a chance yet to try it with my Bugera V22, I did try it on a modeling amp with a Vox AC30 model, and so far I’m loving it. Can’t wait to try it with the Vick Audio 73 RH I’ve ordered.

    If they play as nicely together as I hope, I’m probably going to get the Vick Audio Overdriver as well. I’m loving what the CSOD circuit is doing for my tone in general, and since I have to cover a lot of different tones (I play in a old folks band that covers everything from blues to Bad Company, and the Stray Cats) it’d be nice to have one box dedicated to just to boosting the Muff, and to have another to use for medium overdrive.

    [Never tried it but it sounds very interesting :) – Bjorn]

  293. Edwin den Hertog says:

    Hi Bjorn! Thanks for your reply! I traded my You Dirty Rat for a Mooer Black Secret and I must say that the little Mooer simply outperforms the YDR… The distortion is thighter, clearer, warmer and the Mooer generates a lot less noise. I put a Mooer Flex Boost behind it like you suggested, giving the already great sound of the Black Secret that extra searing quality of David’s sound on Castellorizon, while preserving the clarity of the signal. Thanks Bjorn!!

    [Great! – Bjorn]

  294. David says:

    Thanks for the info! Do you recommend putting the TS808 in front or behind the SL Drive as a boost? Also did you run the SL Drive on 18v or 9v? I would assume running on 18v would give it more headroom, I’m really keen to pickup this pedal it seems like a great versatile little pedal for that classic Marshall lead sound!

    [I had the TS in front… just like you would on a Marshall+TS combo :) Think I set the SL pretty moderate and the TS full on. Try both before and after and hear what suits your setup. I powered it with 18v. – Bjorn]

  295. David says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I’m thinking of buying an Xotic SL Drive and using it as my main distortion pedal on my board. I’m only playing in my bedroom and small gigs, it seems like a great pedal for the money, and I love it’s small footprint (I’m also a huge fan of Mooer pedals sound/price/footprint). You’ve got it listed as an overdrive pedal here but would it work for those more distorted lead tones? I’ve already got an original TS808 so would it be much different from that? Cheers!


    [The SL is an overdrive/distortion. Works as both. It has enough gain to be used alone but it also works nicely paired with a Tube Screamer boosting it. – Bjorn]

  296. Ryan says:

    Hi Bjørn,

    I’m new to the site, and let me begin by expressing my thanks for providing such a great resource not only for all things Gilmour, but also for information on all this vintage and modern gear.
    I have a question about alternatives to the Colorsound Powerboost. I don’t know if you have much experience with the Xotic Effects pedals, but I was wondering if either the AC Booster or the BB Preamp would give a similar result and which one would be closer to the character of the original?


    [Hi Ryan! Welcome to the site! The AC Booster would be the closest I guess. It has a nice headroom and you can still crank it for classic overdrive. – Bjorn]

  297. Santiago says:

    Hi Bjorn! First time poster here. I’ll try to keep this brief if I can. I have been playing for over 20 years but I never really used pedals. I am fixing that now and I’m trying to get good stuff. I have mostly played 70’s hard rock and 80’s heavy metal and thus my interests were always on getting gear that could get me there. The cranked Marshall sound. But deep down I always lusted for the Comfortably Numb lead sound (don’t we all?)
    This song drives me crazy because there’s so many ways to play it (as David has done it over the years) and I noticed that his tone has varied a lot over the years. In some old Wall era clips it sounds pretty raw. Then on Delicate Sound of Thunder it sound less aggressive, then in PULSE it sounds even more mellow (to me) and then on Gdansk it sounds more dirty again. If I could choose, then Gdansk would be the one I am looking for, a more aggressive version of what is generally the same tone.
    Anyway I have been obsessively listening YouTube Clips and reading everything I can at you site and pretty much got it down to what I need. My current gear is a partscaster with a Seymour Duncan humbucker at the bridge that I built and a Gibson Explorer. These are great for metal but I am thinking on buying or building a normal Strat for this (as well as for the Deep Purple stuff. You just need the single coils) for pickups I noticed that those DiMarzio Area pickups sound awesome in some clips in YouTube but if you have any other suggestion I’m all ears.
    I have an old BOSS Chorus and a Keeley Modded DS-1, the orange distortion. I also can get a very good deal on a Joyo US dream. I like the way these sound but I understand they are way too aggressive for the Gilmour sound. After carefully reading I think I am gonna get a Mooer Blues Mood for boosting, but my MAIN question would be the overdrive. Keeping it in the Mooer department, I think either the Black Secret (RAT) or the Triangle Buff (Big Muff) would suit me. But which is my better option? My first idea obviously was the muff, but you keep repeating on the site that these are hard to control. The RAT seems more versatile but I noticed you recommended it for Delicate Sound of Thunder/PULSE tones, and I want a dirtier version of this tone. Can this only be obtained with a Muff?
    I am also gonna get a digital delay (a boss or something similar, and I think maybe a compressor if needed but it’s very low in my list so far.
    I have old Marshalls from the 70’s that are way too loud for my current application so I don’t really use them anymore. I am basically going to be using a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe in the clean channel (a very good clean, I can set it to a sorta Dire Straits clean sound quite easily). The amp is in its original condition so it has the common “too much bass” issue these amps are known for. I am gonna start playing in my bedroom (yeah, I use a tube amp at home, even if I don’t crank it. I can’t really play solid state anymore. Hate the tone) but I eventually wanna move to playing this song with a band.
    So any suggestions/ideas? I would really appreciate the input. And congratulations for such an amazing site.

    [Hi Santiago! Thanks for posting :) Based on your setup I’d definitely go for a versatile distortion. A Muff can sound bright and harsh on a Fender amp although with some tweaking you can get it to work. The Black Secret is an excellent RAT clone, which will provide the tone you want. You might also want to look into the Buffalo FX Evolution, which is based on the G2 distortion David used on Gdansk. See the Comfortably Numb tutorial feature for some more tips. Hope this helped :) – Bjorn]

  298. Edwin says:

    Hi Bjorn! It’s me again… :-) Just wondering: What do you think would work best with a Mooer Black Secret? A Mooer flex Boost or a Blues Mood? And would you put the Black Secret before or after the booster? I’ve really fallen in love with these little fellows……..

    [Both would go nicely. I prefer the BD2 or Blues Mood myself. Place it after the Black Secret. – Bjorn]

  299. Edwin den Hertog says:

    Hi Bjorn! Thanks a lot for your reply! My neighbors are nice people, but playing insanely loud would harm the relation…… I bought a TC Mini Spark yesterday for boosting, and perhaps to add some sparkle to the clean sounds. I’ll try the compressor/Rat combo this weekend when the missus is out :-)

  300. KEITH says:

    Okay, that makes sense, do you ever boost the TD when you use it for OD? I hadn’t thought about using both, just the TD for higher gain OD, and the Throbak as a clean boost, but would it enhance the TDs OD to use a clean boost after it? If so, I’d probably use the Spark, after the TD, and for my DSOTM era board, use the Throbak as DG used the CPB. Does that sound about right, knowing my amp, speakers, and Cymbaline?

    Thanks for all the help Master, I’m almost there. Even learned to program MIDI drum tracks yesterday. Drums are the only thing that was keeping me from laying tracks for my first demosof the material for the album!

    Peace, your faithful Padawan :)

    [Awesome! Do share when you got some songs ready :) I’m currently boosting my TD with a TopTone Shine Boost placed in front of it. It’s basically a treble booster but it’s got some mids too which make the whole difference. I normally place all boosters after the pedal they’re gonna boost but this one sounded best in front. The Tube Driver is set for a moderate break up, which is my main overdrive and rhythm tone. Kicking in the booster, I get a bit more presence and a nice gain boost, which is enough for typical overdrive solos, where I don’t want to go all the way to distortion. It’s basically like boosting an amp, with the TD acting like the pre-amp. – Bjorn]

  301. Edwin den Hertog says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    First of all, compliments on your website! How much info on DG can you accumulate in one spot…..
    I do need some advice however….

    First of all, this is my rig:
    2008 Fender American Standard Stratocaster with Alnico 5 PU’s -> Boss CS3 -> Ibanez TS9 -> Proco You Dirty Rat -> Mooer ElecLady -> Laney TT50 combo on clean channel with a TC Electronics G-Major 2 in the effectsloop for delay and chorus duties.

    The clean sounds are nailed as far as I’m concerned. Amazing what a compressor and flanger can do for a decent Gilmour-sound…
    Now to the dirt: I love the