Overdrive and distortion

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

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

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

Know your amp!

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

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

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

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

Stacking pedals

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

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

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

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

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

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

Transparent boosters and overdrives

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

Colorsound Powerboost/Overdriver

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

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

Buffalo FX Power Booster

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

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

Throbak Overdriveboost

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

Effectrode Fire Bottle tube booster

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

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

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

BK Butler Tube Driver

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

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

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

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

Buyer's Gear Guide - Gilmourish PickWampler Plexidrive

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

Boss BD-2 Blues Driver

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


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

Ibanez TS9/Maxon OD 808

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

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

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

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

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

Fulltone OCD

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

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

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

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


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

ProCo Rat

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

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

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

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

TopTone DG2

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

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

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

1,815 Responsesso far.

  1. Phillip says:

    Hey Bjorn, how’s your pedalboard looking these days?

    • Bjorn says:

      It’s been a while since we did any shows so at the moment my board is just a mess. I’m recording for others and rehearsing new Airbag material, so I’m just plugging into a bunch of pedals to find some interesting tones. I’ve been using the Thorpy Scarlet Tunic a lot lately. Awesome pedal. I’ll have a review up in a few days. I’m also using fuzz a lot too, like the Jam Pedals Fuzz Phrase and the Dunlop JHF1.

  2. Walter H. says:

    Hello to my friend “Bjorn the Bender!” I hope you and yours are well…
    I have a sad story to tell. My 2016 Buffalo FX Power Booster just died yesterday…it was a limited edition of a run of only 50 Steve made in Orange, not black. I’m going to try to get it repaired but can’t guarantee that will happen.
    Please Search your brain for the best obtainable Clone in case I can’t get it fixed locally. I trust your opinion and knowledge as 75% of my gear is Bjorn approved or recommended. Hopefully it’s something you have tried.
    Walter H. ???

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Walter, have you looked into the Past FX pedals? They’re clones of Steve’s. Check out my review of their TD-Y.

      • Walter H. says:

        Bjorn, Thanks for your prompt reply!
        I have just picked up two Past FX pedals & one is thanks to you. The Electric Mattress and the Chorus Ensemble MN 3007! Love them both for sure…the Chorus Ensemble is a dead ringer for the original Boss CE-1 chorus. Verlie is also fantastic to deal with at Past FX in Australia…
        They have a Power Booster clone too along with the TD-Y and their Canberra that mimics the Carrera Buffalo FX.
        What other pedals do you think would replace the Buffalo FX Power Booster? I’m currently playing through a Laney Cub12R combo with upgrades to the Tubes (JJ) and speaker (Celestion).

  3. YJ says:

    Hi Bjorn.

    I’m currently debating whether to buy Vick Audio Overdrive or PastFx TD-Y (TD-X clone). In addition to boosting my Stomp Under Foot ram’s head muff to for a Gilmour tone, I want a drive pedal that can do a 70s cranked Marshall tone, like Zeppelin.

    I am guessing that powerboost type pedal won’t be a good choice for that sort of tone.
    Would TD-Y a good overdrive pedal for that 70s hard rock Marshall tone?

    Or should I just buy a Plexi drive for both Gilmour tone and Zeppelin-esque tone?

  4. Ron says:

    Hi Bjorn, I have a stock mid-80s MIJ strat with a stereo mid-70s Twin Reverb/ newish-SCx2 set up and am looking for the best Colorsound Powerboost/Overdriver clone for it for SOYCD tones at about 80db or so. For Gilmour muff tones I like to use a Menatone Menawatt after a Vick 73 Rams Head which works well. For SOYCD I like to stack multiple ODs into the Menawatt and it sounds good, but would like to try a Colorsound clone. Currently I am debating between the Vick Overdriver and PastFX Powerbooster, which would you recommend? Sounds like the Overdriver has more compression than most clones so that may be a plus for my amps? Thanks for this great site!

    • Bjorn says:

      The Power Boost might be too bright and mids scooped for a Twin amp. The Overdriver has a bit more compression, while the Past FX has a slightly rolled off high end. You might want to consider other pedals too, like the Boss BD2 and EHX Crayon for similar and perhaps more versatile tones.

  5. Douglas Echaiz says:

    Pardon the clumsiness, but now a days, what is/are good replacements for the Tube Driver and the Dover Drive?

  6. Bob says:

    Hi, Bjorn. Thanks for everything you do here! I’m always checking your site before I make my purchases in pursuit of David Gilmour’s tone…

    I’m taking your advice in regards to Rat style pedals for mid-scooped amps. Do you think the Tru Fi Rat Pack would be a good choice for a Fender ToneMaster Deluxe Reverb? Is there something you would recommend instead if there’s a better fit?

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your kind words! The TruFi is a great Rat clone. A bit more gain compared to most others. You might also want to check out something like the OCD. It has less gain and a more flat EQ but works great with most amps.

  7. Anton says:

    Hi Bjorn! I’m hesitating a little. Need some experienced advice. Fulltone OCD v.1.4 (or 1.6) or Wampler Plexidrive?
    I’ve got a Hiwatt T20 combo and aiming for PULSE tones. Thank you!

    • Bjorn says:

      Both works great with the Hiwatt. The Plexi Drive is more compressed and perhaps a tad brighter, while the OCD has a full range character, with less compression. The OCD is perhaps easier to set up, while the Plexi has more mojo in my opinion.

  8. Paul says:

    How good is Tube Pilot from TC Electronics serve as alternative booster for the Tube Driver? or the Blues Driver still better?

  9. Eclipse says:

    Greetings Bjorn, I have been a lurker for 2 years now and to be honest this terrific website is a godsend. it has so much information and its all thanks to you, I have been building my entire setup from amps to pedals using this website as the core of it all and so far it has been probably the best decision I have ever made. so far I have a very modest pedalboard comprised of a ts9>green russian>bd-2>flashback delay 2 into a Vox ac15 (unfortunately it was the only tube amp available in my country so I didn’t really have a choice).

    I always dismissed distortion/rat pedals because i love to get my distortion from 2 overdrives but I cant help but wonder how a rat pedal feels like and now i am finally about to pull the trigger one and I took an interest in the colorsound powerbooster shape and cant shake it off so now since you dropped the review of the tru-fi rat pack it seemed like the perfect timing. so my question is what are the bedroom/gilmourish scores you would give that pedal?

    apologies if my English is iffy, I never really learned to type it formally :p

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi! The Rat Pack definitely fits a typical bedroom setup. I haven’t tried it on a Vox amp but it sounds awesome on my Laney Lionheart, which is in that ballpark. The Rat Pack has that mid range and compression you want at low volume. It will retain it’s character and provide great tones at any volume. You might also want to check out the Fulltone OCD. It goes very well with the AC and it’s perhaps more capable than the Rat to provide both overdrive and heavier stuff.

      • Eclipse says:

        I just ordered an ocd to get a feel for the distortion since I didn’t want to risk it with a rat type stuff this soon since I’m not very fond of them.

  10. Alex says:

    Hey Bjorn, it has been a long time since I have posted. I have been a long time follower and have gone through many iterations of my Gilmour-inspired home rig. In recent years, I have paid less and less attention to tone-chasing through pedals and really focused on my playing and touch on the guitar, often plugging straight in with pre-amp volume set slightly higher than break-up using my volume and tone knobs more and more. These have been some inspiring years of playing, but I have found that I do lack some gain and compression playing at home and have always missed having a bit of modulation and delay. Recently, I started gradually re-incorporating some drive pedals into the mix to achieve that, but more in the SD-1/Tubescreamer world as opposed to Muffs and things like that. My next project is going to be to try to develop a small board with a drive pedal, mod and delay. I’ve found over the years that I prefer my old DD3 to all other delays (maybe because I slant towards Division Bell ambient sounds as opposed to say the Echorec years), modulation tends to stay with my old Lovepedal vibe pedal and for drive I have been swapping between the SD1 and Tubescreamer. Would you have any tips with this set-up? I feel like with the preamp gain and pedal gain knobs high like this I am lacking some dynamics in playing, but if I slant towards a cleaner edge-of-breakup sound on the amp I struggle to get the compression i need at lower volumes. Anyways, whatever the set-up I have at home, I have continued to enjoy the content here as well as all your solo/Airbag work. Sadly missed your Quebec City show, but hopefully you will be able to make back across the pond sometime in the future and thanks for all the advice over the years!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Alex, sorry for my very late reply. Thanks for all your kind words! Let me know what amp and pickups you have and I’ll try to comment.

      • Alex says:

        Thanks for the reply Bjorn. I have a little single EL34 combo that in essence is a Hiwatt clone (the builder called it his Lowatt hahaha!)It even has the Brill and Normal inputs. I generally run it in the Normal channel and keep the preamp and output volumes high (about 3/4s). The amp has a pentode/triode switch as well which i generally keep on triode at home to tame the output a bit. Most of the time i’m playing with the volume on the guitar all the way up for Have A Cigar/Young Lust type tones. I can do bluesy solos on the neck pick-up (Shine On, Breathe ‘74, etc) and then use the TS Mini or Sd-1 when I’m playing more of the fuzzy solos (Time, Money, Numb). I started doing this after watching Guillaume from Thomann’s do a Hit the Tone on Numb where he stacks an SD-1 with a Marshalley overdrive and it has been working well, but i feel i just need a little more push.

        • Bjorn says:

          This is a difficult thing to answer because tone depends on so many things. I’m not sure what you mean by push but although the SD1 is a great overdrive/booster, it doesn’t have that much gain. Also, on an already mid range oriented amp, such as the Hiwatt, it can sound a bit flat and boxy. So, the lack of dynamics may be the result of the SD1. You may want to consider something like the BD2, which is a much more transparent pedal that doesn’t really take anything away from your amp but adds gain or boost to what’s already there.

  11. Walter H. says:

    Hello Bjorn here’s wishing you Well!
    I have a quick pedal line up question today. My chain starts with my Pigtronix Micro Compressor-Pettyjohn Chime MK II (Set as a Preamp)-Buffalo FX Power Booster-Svisound Overzoid+- then my Pettyjohn Rous(Their Rat style pedal)
    I’m asking about the Rat or ROUS(Rodent Of Unusual Size) style pedals location? Should I have that earlier in chain? I’d like your take and suggestions please…Or, What order for all 4 of those pedals would you suggest?

    I then have my ambient line up: MXR Analog Chorus-Jam Pedals Ripple-Moore ELady-Boss Dimensions-Catlinbread Echorec-MXR M300 Reverb. I also have an MXR Copy Cat Delay & MXR Phase 95 in my Laney Cub12R Combo effects loop….the ambient line up gives me many options as to where a delay or chorus effects can play…lots of my chain is Bjorn Inspired and I thank you for all your help. Finding your site was one of the Best things I’ve done since 2018 when I started my never ending pedalboard project.
    Btw I’ve been using your Cub12R settings suggestions too!
    Thanks for the help.
    Walter H…

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks Walter! Where to place the Rous depends on whether you want to combine it with other gain pedals or not. Doesn’t matter where you place it if it’s used alone. Adding the Power Booster in front adds more gain. Adding the Power Booster after, adds more tone like an EQ. Personally I like to use RAT style pedals alone as they have enough gain, mids and compression already.

      • Arya Boustani says:

        I have a 2nd gen vintage rat and it’s very mid-range focused (cuts a lot of lows if I use neck pickup). I put it in front of Boss DS-1 that get choked with too much low coming from the neck pickup. In low setting (overdrive behaviour) it opens up the tone coming from DS-1 and creates a hybrid of neck tone lushness with punch that normally you expect from bridge pickup.

        • Bjorn says:

          Combining a Rat with a DS1 creates a lot of compression due to the high ammount of gain. That’s why the tone chokes up.

  12. Dear Bjorn, Please, have you already tried the Behringer Vintage Tube Overdrive Vacuum – VT911, which replicates the BK Butler Tube Driver?

  13. Toftaky says:

    Hi Bjorn !

    I hope you’re doing ok.

    I tried what you usually recommend by stacking my Crayon and Green Russian going Green Russian first and Crayon second and the result was a really really muffled sound whatever the knobs were at on both pedals. I reverse the order and it was suddenly perfect, did you already encounter this problem ? Is it a problem with the Crayon not being able to handle the amount of gain produced by the Green Russian or is it something else ?

    I am not planning on going back on the order because I really love the way it sounds as it is now but I am just curious about why it happened.


    • Bjorn says:

      What amp are you using?

      • Toftaky says:

        A Laney Cub 12.

        • Bjorn says:

          OK, so it dends on the settings of the amp and pedals but placing a booster first will add more gain to the other pedal. Placing the booster after, which is what David does, will be closer to using an EQ. The booster, or overdrive, pedal should be set to about unity level, with very litle gain. Almost clean. The tone controls should be set to get the tone you want, much like how you’d use an EQ. A darker mid rangy or fullrange overdrive might be a bit too dark, while a more transparent overdrive or booster, with less mid range and compression, will often work better as it doesn’t colour as much. As Arya said, more gain also means more compression, which will create a darker and more choked sound.

          • Toftaky says:

            It is very clear now, I was not too far from the truth from what I get from your response.
            So the Crayon is not well suited to be placed after and act as an EQ, I will maybe try one day to buy a real transparent booster/overdrive (a TC Electronic Spark ? A Timmy ? Any advice ?) and try it after the Green Russian to see how it sounds, in the mean time having the Crayon still allows me to shape the sound and change the general sounding of my Green Russian when I want it too (maybe not as drastically as if it was placed after it but it still does what I want it to do).

            Thank you very much for your answer, once again I really learn a lot through your website and the time you spend answering to all of us !

            • Bjorn says:

              The Crayon will add some colour. Although it’s very similar to the Tube Driver, it has a tad more mid range and compression. I think it works nicely as a booster/EQ but again, it depends on the Muff, amp, pickups and all the settings. I think the booster should have some character. A clean booster will only add either gain or volume, depending on where you place it, but you really want a bit more mids and compression too. At least for David’s tones. The BD2 is an excellent option and i think the Tree of Life works really well too.

              • Toftaky says:

                Ok so I forget about adding a real transparent booster/overdrive and will first give another try and test again different combinations ! Maybe I was simply not familiar enough with the pedals and all the interactions I have to take into account back then when I first tried the Crayon after the Green Russian. I will give a return for the community once I tried all that.

                Duly noted about the BD2, I have been considering buying a Keeley Super Phat Mode for a long time now but had other more important purchases to make before considering adding a third overdrive pedal. And besides I was saying to myself that 3 overdrive pedals was maybe a bit much (is it really ? :)) but I know myself, I am going to eventually buy one, too many people saying that a BD2 is pretty much a must have on any pedalboard, I have to try !

                Thanks again for the advices Bjorn !

                • Bjorn says:

                  You might want to raise the tone on the Green Russian a bit too. It darker than a typical Ram’s Head. People are often afraid to have too much top in the Big Muff but David’s are actually very bright but he’s using the booster/overdrive to tame that a bit. That way the Muff sound open, with a noticeable attack, and the overdrive adds mid range and compression.

                  • Toftaky says:

                    Well I tried everything, following every advices you gave me but I can’t achieve a good tone placing the Crayon (or the Tree of Life for that matter) after my Green Russian. I always have that feeling that I am playing with a blanket over my amp when my pedals are placed in that order. I don’t know if it’s a problem of headroom or sound level (I can’t play incredibly loud since I live in an apartment) or just me being unable to dial correctly every parameter but definitely I can’t achieve a tone that I like in that configuration.

                    I will try with a BD2 once I will have fall for one !

                    Thanks again, at least I tried, like you often say it is the only way what suits us and/or what works with our gear !

                    • Bjorn says:

                      Volume definitely plays a role but do you need to stack those pedals? The Green Russian sound great on its own and should provide the tones you need for most of David’s Muff tones.

                  • Toftaky says:

                    Answering here to your last message since there is no Reply link under it (I don’t know why).

                    No I don’t especially need to stack those pedals, I just wanted to see what I could obtain by stacking them, now I saw !
                    And yes I totally agree, the Green Russian sound terrific on its own and when I want something a bit “more raw/less polite” I can still activate the Crayon in front of it, that works for me, I like what I hear !

    • Arya Boustani says:

      I always find which overdrive has narrower range of frequencies especially less fatness and put it in the beginning of the overdrive stack and as it goes toward the amp I use the broader and fatter sounding ones. Overdrive also acts as a compressor so sound tries to get through the clipping stage and if the tone is too fat it squishes and chokes the rest of the frequencies along that process. I think that’s why people don’t prefer using a fatter sounding neck pickup into a heavy overdrive and they use bridge pickup with narrower range of frequencies to avoid a choked and heavily compressed sound. That’s my 2 cents anyway.

      • Toftaky says:

        By trying different combinations it is finally exactly what I ended doing (but without having in mind how the range of frequencies, besides gain and compression, enters in the equation) going Crayon > Tree of Life > Green Russian.
        Great added knowledge to me, thanks ! :)

  14. Lorenzo Lloveras says:

    Hey Bjorn, I wanted to know if the TC Electronic Tube Pilot Overdrive would work as an alternative to the Tube Driver

  15. Sime says:

    Dear Bjorn,

    Thank you for all your hard work that you do providing us with all of that priceless data. I was wondering could you help me a little bit regarding pedalboard stack. Recently i have purchase Fender BJ tweed and so far I have JAM Rattler and Ecosex baby. Plan for me is to buy one Overdrive pedal and I would really appreciate your advice wich one would be the best in price rang up to 250€. Also could you be so kind and suggest some other pedals wich can contribute for those Gilmour or overall tones.

    Thanks in advance,

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Sime. I would go for pedals that has a bit of mid range, as the BJ has less compared to typical British amps, like a Hiwatt and Marhsall. The Boss BD2 and EHX Crayon are very good alternatives to the Tube Driver. I’ve also been using both the OCD and Wampler PlexiDrive with the BJ, with some great results.

      • Sime says:

        Thanks a lot for your quick response. Maybe to go with Butler Tube driver along with Jam Rattler? Or if that’s not the best case for BJ I would go with OCD but my concern is how will it work together with Jam Rattler, will they compliment each other?

  16. Renato Li says:

    Hi, Bjorn! Your page is just pure gold. I didn’t understand very well though how you can place boosters/transparent drives, tubescreamer-like drives, distortions and muffs or in which combination to get THAT Gilmour sound. Just to help you, I currently have an American Special Strat (with Texas Specials and a bridge humbucker), a Laney Lionheart L20T-212 and, regarding pedals, a BB Preamp Comp version, a Boss BD-2 (planning to Keeley-mod it), a Klon clone, a Morning Glory clone, a Joyo Vintage Drive and a Nano Big Muff. Help very much appreciated, thank you!

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your kind words! This is a question that require a long answer but to keep it short – the best way to start is to set up the amp. The amp is your foundation and all the pedals is just icing on the cake. Make sure you have a good tone from the amp before you start adding pedals. David often stack pedals. Not so much for boost but rather for tone. A Muff is often combined with an overdrive, set for very little gain and about unity volume. The overdrive acts very mcuh like an EQ, adding a bit of flavour to the Muff. If you don’t stack, then it doesn’t matter how you arrange your pedals. If you do stack, then I recommend having higher gain pedals first and then the overdrives and boosters after.

  17. Ron says:

    Hi Bjorn, do you have any thoughts on the Menatone Menawatt? From what I am gathering it is a Hiwatt amp in a box pedal that works well with Fender black face amps. I wonder if it helps compensate for such amps’ lack of mids so that they work better with pedals like mids scooped muffs and powerboost clones to get Gilmour tones, or is it meant to be a stand alone pedal for Hiwatt like tones? Thanks as always for your help.

    • Bjorn says:

      I haven’t tried it so I can’t really comment on the tone. From what I understand reading up on their site it will function both as a tone foundation and a more conventional overdrive, with that Hiwatt flavour.

  18. Rich P says:

    Hi Bjorn, when David used the Power Boost, do you know if the overdrive was created within the pedal itself or is the sound we hear that of the amplifier breaking up from being driven hard, with the the Boost just acting to drive and colour the sound? From what I know the Power Boost doesn’t clip until the very top of its range and I’m unsure how David used it.

    I’m guessing that the Tube Driver is the opposite with the sound we hear being that of the pedal itself breaking up rather than the amp being pushed into breakup? Many thanks.

    • Bjorn says:

      He might have used it for both boost and overdrive. Those old models didn’t have a master control so they distorted much earlier. If you listen to Jeff Beck’s Blow by Blow album, that’s the Powersound with a Les Paul and you can hear its gain character even at reasonably low amp volume. David did use the Colorsound on rhythms for songs like Time and Have a Cigar and it sounds very much like the Powerboost and not the amp.

  19. Ron says:

    Hi Bjorn, I have a stock mid-80s Strat and a Fender Super Champ X2 head/cabinet and would like to get close to the Shine On YCD heavy driven Powerboost tone, but I know my amp is not ideal with its lack of mids. I have managed to make a Vick Audio 73 RH work pretty well for The Wall tones and would like to do the same for Gilmour’s earlier tones. Dialing back the 73 RH sustain and/or tweaking some other pedals in my chain (SD-1, Hot Wax, GE-7) does a pretty good job, but I wonder if you think I could get closer with one of the other Vick Audio pedals? The Overdriver may not work best with my amp, do you think Tree of Life or V-2 would be good options and if so, which would be best? Thanks

    • Bjorn says:

      The Tree of Life would probably get you closer. It’s perhaps overlapping the Hot Wax to some extent but it’s also much more than that. One of my favourite OD pedals and it seems to work well with most types of amps.

      • Ron says:

        Thanks for your help Bjorn. I was able to get a nice tone stacking the SD-1 into both sides of the Hot Wax, so I’ll have to find another way to justify that next pedal purchase LOL. I still see a Tree of Life or V2 in my future!

  20. Joe says:

    What do you think about the EQD Plumes for a booster?

  21. Iosif says:

    Hi Bjorn!! First of all thank you for this site, you don’t know how useful is to research tone jajaja I always comeback here when I’m in doubt and it never fails me, I think it’s because Mr. Gilmour has a very organic and complete way of organize the various aspects of the rock tone… Anyway I have a few questions regarding overdrives/boost:

    I imagine you saw the extras in the 2011 WYWH documentary. In one scene David plays SOYCD on the black strat and I find it sounds cool! Do you think is only the amp (and what amp? in the back there is a mic’ed wem cabinet) or has a booster like a clean Tube Driver?

    Here is the clip


    My next question is about a fuzz and overdrive pairing. Do you think that an overdrive like the Boss BD-2, Wampler Plexidrive or the EHX Crayon can make a fuzzface-type pedal work in a fender style clean amp? I have a Stratocaster and a Proco RAT 2 and I’m in the search for an overdrive and authentic fuzz.

    Pd: sorry about my english and the nerdy first question :)

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for the kind words! Hard to tell what David’s using for that clip. It sounds to me like a Fender amp, probably a Twin or Bassman but it could very well be a Hiwatt too. There’s a lot of compression and the UniVibe, with a bit of delay that’s set for multiple heads Binson type although I don’t think he’s using the Binson here. Probably an MXR rack. He might be using a Tube Driver but it might very well be the amp too, which again leads me to think of a Fender set for a very mild breakup.
      The BD2 is an excellent booster for fuzz and Big Muffs.

  22. Alban says:

    Hi Bjorn.
    First, thanks for the wonderful job you are doing here, just stunning. Your site is really the first I read when I need some informations about the Gilmour sound, or even pedals in general.
    That being said, I haven’t seen some articles about the Blackstar pedals on your site. I have seen some pictures of Gilmour’s gear with the Blackstar HT Dist in it, but I can’t find any information on the web about Gilmour and Blackstar.
    Have you tried one of these ? I have a HT Dist, that I used a long time ago, to play heavy stuff. It sounds great, but I’m not sure to manage to have a Gilmour tone with it… Feel free to share your knowledge man :)
    Thanks !

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your kind words! I’m not too familiar with Blackstar pedals. The HT Dist, as you point out, is a fairly aggressive pedal so I have no idea how David’s using it. I saw that in his home studio. It might have been something he tested or, something he required for a specific tone. It’s got a very tube amp-like distortion perhaps similar to his Tube Drivers but with more gain.

  23. Phoenix Vamvakias says:

    When I see the Gilmourish choice symbol, is it referring to the piece of gear above it, or below it?
    Thanks, this has always confused me.

    • Bjorn says:

      On a desktop computer the symbol should be to the left of the text. This site is old and looks like shit on a phone so my apologies. Compare with the score. A high score should have the symbol.

      • Phoenix says:

        Okay, I just used the laptop and I see the gilmourish picks are beside the pedal–now it makes sense.

        Also, just a couple things–thank you so much for this site. I can’t tell you how useful and inspiring it has been over the years.

        And, I got a Chase Tone Fuzz Fella fuzz, silicon BC108 chip. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Kyle Chase’s pedals (I’m in no way affiliated for the record). I have his Chase Tone Secret Preamp and the Fuzz Fella. They are the most reasonably priced and excellent pedals. In a way, they remind me of Vick Audio, high quality, reasonable cost (I actually drove out and met Mike Vickery at his house in Arizona, and bought the 73 Ram’s Head from him–also a great pedal).

        I’m wondering if you’ve heard of Chase Tone and tried the Fuzz Fella? Also, I’m considering the Phil Robinson fuzz pedal you reviewed. I run a Jerry Cantrell wah, and a Drybell Vibe Machine before my Fuzz Fella (Fuzz Face) and a Cali76 and a number of drive pedals afterward, and I am trying to avoid losing tone because of buffer issues.

        Any thoughts on the Phil Robinson Fuzz and it’s placement with relationship to the pedals I mention and buffer issues?

        Stay stoked Bjorn.


        • Bjorn says:

          Don’t have any experience with Chase Tone. Thanks for the tip! The Phil Robinson is perhaps on the lighter side gainwise compared to other silicon fuzz pedals like the SunFace but that’s also what makes it versatile IMO. Great with single coils in particular but works very well with buckers too. It’s not sensitive to buffers so you can place it pretty much everywhere.

  24. Clark says:

    Hey a Bjorne hope you have been doing well. I recently been getting back into G2 tones. Obviously a real one will cost too much. I saw Buffalo fx is no longer active. I was hoping you could recommend a G2 clone that is easy to find and has THAT sound. I currently am using and OCD GE for that tone. But would like something that’s a little closer and has a little more gain on tap.

  25. Hi Bjorn

    How about the Xotic EP Boost and The Tumnus Deluxe? Have you tried it?

    • Bjorn says:

      Yep. The EP boost is a nice clean boost with a hint of mid range. The Tumnus is a Klon, with a transparent clean boost and mid rangy overdrive.

  26. Johnston says:

    Hi guys,

    I’m here for a feedback on the tube driver. I bought a brand new 2020 tube driver from BK butler himself on his reverb market. The sound was ok but this pedal was a huge disapointement. Indeed, It’s noisy as hell when activated. It’s NOT true bypass and the tone suck was HUGE to say the least. I lost all my dynamics (If you already own one of those new TD try to plug direct to your amp). After some research, it seems that mr Butler do not sell the early circuits. The quality we could have expect is not, for me, here. You get a cheap quality PCB, the components might not be the best. I don’t think he even bother to check the tubes he puts in. Anyway, I’m not here to bash the guy, but be advised that gilmour and EJ names to sell a product that is NOT is original circuit.

    hope it helps

    • Bjorn says:

      The Tube Driver has gone through countless changes over the years so no, you’re not buying the original cirquit in terms of a clone of te first model. BUT, it’s the authentic Tube Driver made by Butler. Let’s put it that way. Before I can try to help, please let me know what pickups you use, what amp and its settings and what other pedals you run in the chain. All this will affect the TD.

      • Phoenix Vamvakias says:

        I know everyone has different ears, but I got the 5 knob version and put in an amperex bugle boy 12AU7. With eq knobs cut and drive set low, I feel like it does great things to my Bludotone high plate skyline, even at bedroom volumes 90 dB)

        I use it with the gain channel of the amp with gain set at 9 o’clock.

  27. Walter H. says:

    Hello Bjorn here’s wishing you well in 2021! You have helped me and many other people during the past crazy 12 months with your reviews and insight, TY…
    I need your input on my drive line up. I just can’t get it right yet. I use and love a Laney Cub12R combo (thanks to your recommendation) into my board. The drive section starts with my Pigtronix Micro compressor, Svisound Overdrive+, Buffalo FX PowerBooster, Pettyjohn Gold OD. The thought was to use the Svisound as the fuzz. The PowerBooster for an always on clean up drive then the Pettyjohn for the extra distortion. I’ve tried the EHX Green Russian and Vick Audio Rams Head before the PowerBooster but they didn’t sound good at all. I thought maybe a Rat instead of the Overdrive+ or Do you think a Tube Screamer type pedal is missing? I also own aTree of Life OD…after the drive line up I have a fun ambient array. You can probably see your influence on my selection of items I’m guessing? One note: With the Pettyjohn Gold
    OD I can only turn the volume and gain to 8-9 or it’s way to loud as I play in my music room only, no gigs anymore. That with the amp volume @ 4-6. Let me know what you think…
    Walter H. ?

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Walter, thanks for your kind words! Remind me what pickups you use and your amp settings.

      • Walter H. says:

        Hello & TY for your reply. I’m sorry for the incomplete question, I almost listed more info too…I have three guitars all HH set ups 2 with coil tap.
        1-Fender American Strat with Black Cobra neck & Sidewinder bridge. With coil split. I’ve asked Fender for the specs on these with no success. By the name I’m assuming they are a semi Hot made in USA pup.
        2-PRS Custom 22 Semi Hollow body with PRS Std 2017 Humbuckers.
        3-Epiphone Les Paul Custom Koa. ProBucker 2 neck ProBucker 3 bridge with coil split.
        That’s my electric Guitarsenall.
        I usually run a clean Cub12R with the gain @ 2-3 max…at the 15 watt input. The .75 input sounds empty to me but maybe I don’t know what I’m doing?
        Thanks again, Walter ?

        • Bjorn says:

          The 15w sound better. For a clean platform, I’d keep the gain as low as possible and the EQs around noon, with perhaps a bit of treble roll off and mids boost. You’re using humbuckers, which might compromise the headroom of the amp a bit but you should be able to set it fairly clean. Personally I prefer just a hair of breakup. The SviSound pedals have a lot of Tube Screamer-sih mid range around 400k, which works really well on Fender amps but not so much on British mids oriented amp like Laney, Marshall and Hiwatt. The Powerboost might sound a bit dark with humbuckers and your amp? Works better with single coils. I remember using a Wampler PlexiDrive a lot with the Cub and the OCD. These two seemed to fit the amp perfectly and they will cover pretty much everything from clean boost to heavy distortion.

          • Walter H says:

            Thanks Bjorn so much, Again!
            I played my Am Strat today in the Single coil not Humbucker mode and it sounded so nice and tight. I was actually able to run all three of my drive pedals at once, it just took a bit of time to find the settings but worth it. With my new Boss DC 2W Dimension & my Catlinbread Echorec through my effects loop it was a tone home run!
            W ?

  28. Nick L says:

    Hey Bjorn! I’m picking up a Silver Sky and it’s been a few years since I’ve owned an all single coil guitar. At least at first I plan to keep the vintage output pickups in there, is there any distortion pedals you’ve found that work great with vintage type bridge pickups? Thanks in advance for your time.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Nick, that depends on the amp really. I’ve found that most pedals works with most types of pedals but you might want to look into something with a bit of mids and compression, like a Plexi style pedal, rather than a so-called transparent overdrive. Then again, back in the day, that’s all you had and tons of great tones were produced.

  29. Salem chemlal says:

    Hi Bjorn, I don’t how many more years my pink floyd tribute project should have taken without this site, and for that I can’t thank you enough,
    I have bough (an OCD, BB preamp, BD2 waza, Buffalo fx TDX, Buffalo Fx power booster, jhs @ndy timmons od, J rocket the dude, all the three reissue green russian, triangle and ram’s head big muffs) and buffalo CVIII silicon fuzz
    my amp is a mesa boogie mark V fender princetone, and a standard USA strat
    My questions are :

    1- is there any of my pedals that I can use to get the proco rat or the G2 tone (like money solo in pulse or do you recomande to buy a dedicated proco

    2- does all proco rats even reissue models close in tone to the original used by david gilmour.

    3- having in mind that I’m in a project of a full scale tribute show I’m tryin’ to achieve the closest tone possible to gilmour tone, what do you think is missing in my drive rig ?

    compression : effectrode PC2A, carl martin Andy timmons compression,
    Delay : boonar + eventide time machine
    modulation Boss CE2 waza, strymon mobius, neo instruments micro vent, drybell vibe machine, retro-sonic flanger.

    Again many thanks for all the time you’re dedicating to share your knowlegde with us.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Salem, sorry for my late reply.
      Seems like you have a great rig there! I can’t really think of anything else.
      1. The OCD and the Andy Timmons I guess.
      2. Yes, but you should look into some of the clones out there as well.

  30. Michal says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I would like to ask, do you prefer Electronic Orange Bananaboost or Tru-Fi Colordriver?
    I’m just wondering which one to buy. When it comes to Tru-Fi Colordriver, have you played both 18v and 9v versions?

  31. A1mos says:

    Hi, I wanna know which of these pedals can pair better with my Fender Blues Junior IV: Big Muff, Rat, OCD or Tube Screamer. Thanks.

    • Bjorn says:

      Rat and Tube Screamer. The OCD works too but a Muff often sound too bright on Fender amps. You might want to look into a Muff that has a mid range boost, like the Vick Audio models.

    • JMurad says:

      I’m using a Vick Audio Ram’s Head 73 with the mid boost on through my BJ IV and it sounds divine. I do have my Treble set pretty low (4-5) and my Mid (10) and Bass (7) higher. The 73 Ram’s Head is very smooth. Sounds fantastic.

  32. Ofir says:

    HI Bjorn,


    Great reading material.


    I want to ask for your opinion on a specific pedal, whether OD or Boost, to pair with my setup: EVH 5150III LBX2 amp (with matching EVH 2X12 cab) and an American Fender Strat (SSS configuration) loaded with Fat 50s pickups.


    Using the Crunch channel (Blue channel…lots of gain, really…a lot!), the Strat alone (i.e., no boost) sounds pretty thin, especially in low bedroom-level volumes.


    I want to fatten up the tone, what would you recommend, an OD or a clean boost? What specific brand will do the job?.


    Thanks, Ofir

    • Bjorn says:

      I guess you could go for a Powerboost type, which has a bass and treble tone stack. A Klon type would add some mids to the tone. One of my favourites, the Vick Audio, can do pretty much anything from fat clean boost to heavy distortion.

  33. Bjorn,

    I’m still putting together the pieces for a Pulse era tones board. Based on your recommendations I’m currently using the following:

    Boost – EHX Crayon
    Muff: EHX Green Russian Reissue
    Drive: Vick Tree of Life
    Delay: Boonar

    There are two things I don’t yet LOVE in this setup:
    1. I don’t get the lovely amp-like breakup you get from your Buffalo TD-X demo from the Crayon. It’s incredibly useful as a clean boost or to add a bit more grit and boost to downstream pedals, but I don’t love it’s tones on it’s own (clean or dirty).
    2. The Green Russian is a little too “smooth” for me as it is. I’ve had some success getting more grit using the Crayon with a touch of gain as a boost before it but that gets noisy fast.

    I’m debating buying one of the following as an upgrade:
    – A TD-X as an upgrade to the Crayon
    – A Buffalo Evolution to move to more of a G-2 sound with more grit than the Green Russian
    – Maybe a V-2 instead of the Evolution?

    I only have money currently for one of these options. Which do you think would make the biggest improvement compared to what I have right now? Any suggestions?

    • Bjorn says:

      What amp and pickups?

      • Bjorn,

        Much has changed since that original post so please allow me to rephrase the question: If you were to put together a drive section of a board to cover as broad a range of Pulse era tones as possible, but were limited to no more than 4 drive pedals in total in your drive section (less than 4 is fine too, and don’t worry about compressors, delays, reverts or modulation) which would you choose from the following list? How would you use them (which for low gain? Which for overdrive? Any plan for stacking some together?)?

        Guitar is a Strat with CS69 / SSL-5 combo. Amp is Laney L5T.

        Pedals to choose from:
        – BC108 or 109 Sun Face
        – Tree of Life
        – Evolution
        – TD-X
        – 73 Ram’s Head
        – Vick V-2

        • Bjorn says:

          For Pulse and that tour, David mainly used Tube Drivers for different types of boost and overdrive, a slightly more compressed and mid rangy SS2 overdrive and a Big Muff. I don’t think classic fuzz fits this era. Since you ask, I’d pick one or two TDX, the Evolution and a 73 Ram’s Head (or the Buffalo Patriot).

  34. Rolf Hosemann says:

    Hi Bjorn
    I have been using the info on your site quite a bit to achieve the sound I’m after…I also bought the tree of life which sounds really articulate on the lower setting, but when I bought the Vick V2 I found that it sounded much too dark and muffled; I even wondered if I had gotten a damaged unit.?..it doesnt sound, judging by your review, that you had a similar experience. Just wanted to share my experience.

    • Bjorn says:

      Did the V2 sound dark or did it make the ToL sound dark? The ToL has a very open character, while the V2 is closer to a Rat, with much more mid range and compression. Two very different pedals.

  35. Dimitri says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I am making an affordaboard for the early sounds. I was looking for a nice Colorsoud poweboostish pedal and came across the TC Spark Booster which is on sale in my country, so is it a good pedal to replicate the colorsound powebooster? I am on a tight budget, the Boss BD2 and EHXs Crayon are quite expensive here. So another alternatives are the Mooer Blues mood or Flex boost (digging info from the comment section), which i can order them from Aliexpress, where also I found pedals that look like a powerbooster like the Caline CP-18 and Caline CP-54, but people say that those are a BB preamp clones (BB is different from powerbooster right?). Also is it true that the Tube Driver and Colorsound Powerbooster are the same circuit, you mention it in the EHX crayon review?


    • Bjorn says:

      No, the Tube Driver and Powerboost are not the same circuit but they sound very similar. The Hot Wax, which was the one I was reviewing, is a dual overdrive pedal with a Hot Tubes and Crayon featured in one. These will double nicely as your Power Boost and Tube Driver respectively.
      The Spark Booster is an all clean booster with different mid range options. It’s not that suited as a Power Boost. The Blues Mood can do a Power Boost and you might want to check out the Hustle Drive (OCD) for Tube Driver tones. The BB is more of a high gain Marshall type of pedal.

  36. Juergen Reis says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I love your cultural website as unique source for so many background information on DG and PF and it has often initiating ideas to get own tones, sounds und gear equipments. I often used it in the last years to have a look and to get more information on this or that. So many thanks for everything, keep on.

    Now, first time, I have a question and a high interest in getting more information on that topic from you, or out of the community.

    Album: About Face; Song: Let’s get metaphysical (instrumental)

    My main question: Which are the effects behind the sound of the first guitar nodes?
    My assumption is, it was played with the Esquire (workmate), and DG switched later in song to the Strat.
    But I am interested only in the sound of the first guitar nodes, it sounds huge and thick, I can not hear much flanger or chorus out there, the Esquire sounds thick anyway (see below, I know that), but there must be an effect behind on the sound. Distortion more than fuzz? Unbelievable Reverb additional to delays? This thickness of sound, is there a characteristic pedal to hear and used? Can someone hear it ?
    What do you think, how was achieved such broad sound (at the beginning) ?

    Short background.
    Well, I’m playing music since >35 years, several instruments (keys, b, dr, g, trumpet), but I would not name me a real guitarist, but I am playing instruments to understand the instrument point of view/sound. I am most interested to get Gilmour or Floyd sound, since 10 years I try to achieve to get it, meanwhile with e.g. BlackStratrelic, 56erEsquire, LP Goldtop, etc, also with Cornish, BKbutler, Muffs stuff etc etc. and I am close to THE sound.
    But still learning and collecting ideas to get it more close to my imagination.

    If you could help me finding that answer, or perhaps out of the meanwhile huge community worldwide, would be great! So many thanks again, keep on track.

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your kind words Juergen! Glad you enjoy my site!
      There’s very little documentation from the sessions. He might have been using the old Pete Cornish board that he used for the Wall and Final Cut session, which included a Big Muff. He has also stated that his setup featured a Boss HM2 and Mesa Boogie MkI, which seems to have made up his main overdrive and distortion sounds for the album and Momentary later on. To me, that song sounds very much like the latter and not a Big Muff. It’s hard to tell though as they did a lot of processing in the studio being the 80s and all. A bit of EQ, compression and some digital reverb can create a very different sound. As for the guitars… he did use the Black Strat and the Workmate Tele but probably other guitars too. Keep in mind that the red and cream coloured Strats were bought after the sessions. It sounds very much like the Black Strat to me. You can definitely hear some trem arm vibrato going on.

  37. grendel20002001 says:


    As always, thanks for putting together such a fantastic resource!

    I’ve followed much of your advice and currently own a Vick ToL, EHX Ram’s head reissue and a EHX Crayon (among others). I’m looking to get the Comfortably Numb solo tone off of the Pulse album.

    I find that the Ram’s Head is a bit soft around the edges and lacks the touch of “grit” he has on Pulse.

    I’m considering a Vick V-2, Buffalo Evolution or Green Russian to try to get closer.

    I also have a germanium Sunface and a Greer Lightspeed if you think stacking either somewhere in the chain might help? I’ve stacked the Greer before but stacking anything with the Muff seems really noisy.

    I’m playing a MIM strat with CS69s and SSL-5 into a Vox VT40X (yes, I know it’s the weak link and will bug you about amp questions once I’m ready to upgrade!). I use the Crayon as a clean boost / pseudo EQ at the end of my chain. I only play at home at reasonable volumes mostly.

    Thanks for your help!

    • Bjorn says:

      I think you will find the Green Russian to be a bit more defined than the Ram’s Head. This will also be closer to the Civil War Sovtek David used during that tour.

  38. Jim M says:

    Hi Bjorn –

    Thanks to you after several months of experimenting with different pedals and settings I have made great progress with my ‘Gilmour’ rig and am pretty satisfied with the tones I am getting!!!

    Here is my current set up:

    MIM Strat with SSL-5/C69 pickups > ?

    TCE Polytune > ?
    Xotic Sp Compressor >?
    Phase 90 > ?
    Vick Audio Ram’s Head 73 >?
    TCE MojoMojo (for mild OD) >?
    Tru-Fi Colordriver (for heavy OD) >?
    Mooer E-Lady (I have this in a loop with a TCE Spark Boost Mini to compensate for volume drop) > ?
    Boss CE-5 >?
    Strymon Timeline >?

    Fender Blues Junior

    I’m mainly going for Meddle – Animals tones, but also would like it to be versatile enough for Wall, DG78 and About Face tones.

    So after boring you with all of that here is my question…what would you add or change to achieve more versatility? Would you add a separate pedal for clean boost such as another Spark Boost, or EHX Crayon (or something else)?

    Would I benefit more from adding another overdrive/distortion pedal? If so, what do you think is the most versatile – Wampler Plexi Drive, Vick V-2 or Tree of Life, Top Tone DG2 or an Evolution?

    I have room for 1-2 more pedals.

    Thanks again!

    • Bjorn says:

      Seems to me that you’re pretty much covered. What and if you need anything else, depends on what you feel is lacking. Personally I like to have a more modern sounding distortion to compliment the Big Muff. A favourite is the Tree of Life.

  39. Andy Tilston says:

    Hi Bjorn, firstly thankyou for providing such a comprehensive resource, it’s an amazing amount of work you have gone to.

    My question for you is that I have a bedroom setup where i am playing my strat into a 15w fender blues junior amp. I’m looking to achieve the pulse tones and was just after some pedal advise please
    1) in terms of overdrive, I’m turn between a keeley modded bd2, a fulltone OCD or a keeley phat mod(is this an update of the boss pedal). I was just wondering if any of these pedals would be suitable for my amp to achieve pulse tones)

    Other pedals I’d like to get to achieve the pulse tone on my amp are:
    1) Boss rt20
    2) boss ce2
    3) boss cs2
    4) tc electronic flaskback
    5) ehx green Russian big muff
    6) boss ge7 equalizer.

    In your opinion would the above do the job in order to achieve the tone on the amp I have,or Is there anything I am missing here?

    Any advice greatly appreciated.


    • Bjorn says:

      Both the BD2 and OCD would work nicely although the BD2 might be more versatile, with more headroom and a wider range of tones. You might also want to look into the Buffalo FX TDX or the EHX Crayon for some Tube Driver tones. The challenge might be your amp, which often can be a bit too bright for replicating David’s tones. I’d keep the mids up hugh and the treble low. Experiment with the volume (preamp gain) and master. The best platform for your pedals is a clean tone with just a hair of breakup for a natural compression.

      • Andy Tilston says:

        Hey Bjorn, some really useful advice thanks.

        Based on that I reckon I’ll go for the bd2. I’ve been looking at the keeley modified version but they seem to have been deleted so are difficult to get hold of! Would the buffalo or crayon be an alternative to the bd2?

        Interesting to hear what you said on the amp aswell. Which tube amp would you have recommended as a home amp to replicate the gilmour tones?

        • Bjorn says:

          The amp you have is by no means a bad one for David’s tones you just need to be careful with the treble. If you are looking for something else, I’d strongly recommend looking into the Laney Cub or Lionheart.

      • Andy Tilston says:

        Hey Bjorn, thanks for your response.

        Based on your advise I have been having a look at the overdrive pedals. Much as I like the Buffalo FX TDX, it is a bit out of my price range at the moment. Would the keeley modded blues driver be a good alternative to this? I see the EHX Crayon is quite a bit cheaper, but would you say this is an adequate alternative?

        The key for me is trying to get those pulse-esque tones playing at home on my Fender Blues Junior(Sorry, I don’t ask for much haha!)

        Cheers Bjorn

  40. Vincent Iccardi says:

    Hello Bjorn

    I have existential problems concerning the choice and the stacking of the pedals :)

    I d like to play Pink Floyd songs but Blues Rock songs too.

    Gilmour uses 3 tube driver overdrives. Is it possible to combine in the same way :

    3 TOL or
    3 RYRA Overdrive or

    1 TOL (as a clean boost pedal or medium overdrive)
    + RYRA (as a clean boost pedal or medium overdrive)
    + something else like extra boost (RAT, Buffalo or even another TOL / RYRA)

    I use Fender Hot Rod Amp and Fender Blues Tweed for now with Les Paul, SG, Telecaster and Stratocaster.

    And also what do you think of the Vemuram Fuzz (Shanks 4D and Oz) to be in a Gilmour set but versatile set also to play Blues Rock ?

    I hope my question is not weird… :)
    Thank you for your kind answer and this beautiful website.

    • Bjorn says:

      On the last tour, David used 3 Tube Driver each set up with different amounts of gain – clean boost, overdrive and distortion. These were often combined in different ways depending on what tones he needed. To get similar tones, I recommend using three similar sounding overdrives, like three Tube Driver or clones, three Boss BD2 or something similar.

  41. Len says:

    Hey Bjorn, great site. After 30+ years of playing I still learn things from this site.

    I’ve got a Fender 68 Custom Deluxe Reverb that I set to edge of breakup, and use ODs to get Foo Fighters type modern rock distortion out of it. I mostly play humbucker equipped guitars.

    My favorite so far is the OCD since it results in a lower mid frequency hump compared to Marshall type ODs.

    I’m looking for something like the OCD and ran across the Vick Audio Tree of Life. How do you think the ToL would sound in my setup at heavier gain settings? Would the low end be too farty and loose?

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for the kind words! I haven’t played the ToL with a Fender amp but I wouldn’t think the low end would be a probalem. It’s very tight and well balanced. As much as I love and use the OCD, I do prefer the ToL. Its got a bit more gain and open top end, which at least on my amps, makes it sound more dynamic comapred to a OCD.

  42. piazzi says:

    while not really an overdrive pedal, I thought of sharing my experience with Fender Engager Boost pedal

    1. it is quiet, really quiet
    2. it’s cheap
    3. it built solid
    3. 3-band EQ with a good range on each band
    4. a switch that shifts mid focus
    5. lots of boost volume — i seldom go past 9-10 o’clock

    I have had it running into EHX Sovtec Deluxe Muff, both fuzz flavaros of Wampler Fuzztration, and into a number of over drive pedals — played through it by either ES 339 classic57 humbuckers or Strat CS69/CS69/SSL5 on Laney Linoheart 20H

    I have also played it on its own, without any other drive after it, into either one of Laney channels

    all it takes is a bit of tweak and it opens up everything put after it

    I could not have been happier for 75 dollars Canadian on a used one. I sold Wampler Equator EQ as there is no adjustment that I cannot make using the 3-band of Engager and the 3 bands + Tone of Lionheart

    BTW, the 200+ Dollar Wampler Equator pedal is noisier than the 75 dollar Engager

    I like the position 2 of strat (neck and middle) for mellow blues or Jazz both rhythm and melody, That position on its own lacks a bit of treble on High E to my ears and that’s why I got the wampler EQ. The engage fixed it to my taste much better than the wampler and with no hissy noise

  43. Noé says:

    Hi Bjorn
    IYO, what is the best booster pedal today ?
    My gig is :
    Comp>Fulltone>Skreddy LM>Leslie G> Laney L5> Tremolo> EHX Memory Boy.

    Thanks for all


  44. Otávio says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    Your work is amazing and you are the right person to help me! Could you tell me if David uses Muff a little higher than Tube Driver or both at about the same volume? Thanks!

    • Bjorn says:

      Impossible to know for usre since most of David’s pedals have been modified but looking at pictures alone it seems that he sets his Muffs to about unity gain, with just a slight volume boost from the Tube Driver.

  45. Daniel says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    What would consider between the colorsound boost reissue, TD X and the supa driver buffalo ? to combine with the evolution . or woumd you consider another to cover most of gilmour range tones? Thanks again for your wonderful reviews!

    • Bjorn says:

      The Power Boost and Supa Driver are two different pedals combined with the Evolution. IMO the slightly more amp-like and modern sounding TDX fits the Evo better.

    • Brian Paul says:

      Hello Bjorn,

      Could you recommend a pedal/s that would get close to the sound of a Pete Cornish SS-2? I couldn’t quite get the sound of the SS-2 with the current overdrive pedals i own (keeley bd-2, red llama, ts9)

      • Bjorn says:

        The BD2 should get you close but check out the Light Drive from TopTone, Evolution from Buffalo FX (although this one is closer to a RAT).

        • Brian Paul says:

          Thank you for the reply and helpful info Bjorn! I’ll check them out. Although i read in a few forums people saying that an mxr distortion plus could come close? What’s your take on that?

  46. Daniele says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I own a Laney LC-50 112 that i set on clean channel just at the edge of break up keeping it clean although. I’m trying to figure out how to use my soul food in conjunction with a muff ram’s head to obtain the comfortably numb solo tone. In my current setup i use the soul food at the end of the gain chain in an “always on” configuration with volume at max, drive at min and neutral tone in order to drive the gain stage of my amp at full input dynamics. Now i have some doubts and questions:
    1) Should i use the soul food in the actual configuration to drive my amp to the edge of break up or should i use the provided amp gain knob to reach the desired level? At the moment the gain knob is about 2.5/10 because all is demanded to soul food.
    1) is my current configuration of soul food the one adequate to work with after the big muff to make it more creamy for soloing even if it is now set as a clean “always on” booster?
    3) Have you some personal advice to set properly the chain composed by muff–into–>soulfood–into–>laneylc50?

    Thanks a lot for your work,

    • Bjorn says:

      I would always start with the amp and set it to match the guitar and pickups. Find the right balance between the pre-stage, EQ and output to create a powerful clean platform and then add boosters or whatever to enhance the tone if needed. Whether or not you actually need the Soul Food in that chain depends on what you feel is lacking or needed. Personally I often have a Klon type pedal set very clean just to add a bit of flavour, which can help a Big Muff to cut through more.

  47. Honzinus says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    Great informations here!!!
    I have Marshall DSL 20 and TS9. As you mentioned, it deosn’t do the job well, the sound is thin a lacks bass.
    I was thinking about BD-2 or TC Mojomojo. Tore, the guy from TC, explains, that Mojomojo retains the bass frequencies. What would be your choice? Mojomojo or BD-2? The goal is to get nice crunch.. I also have TC Spark but I’m still not satisfied with the results… It’s probably my fault… :/


    • Bjorn says:

      All of these pedals sounds great so it’s more a matter of finding the right match for your amp. The TS and MojoMojo has a bit too much mids for a Marshall. The Spark is a booster. I think the BD2 or something similar will do the trick.

  48. Robert W Horton says:

    Hello Bjorn how are you,
    I am curious on your thoughts of the ibanez ts9 tube screamer for a mid boost light od run into an eq pedal or power boost. I personally like the mid boost it gives but sounds a bit choked or dark. Also if I were to use an eq pedal to compensate for a ts9, what frequencies would I need to boost to assimilate the ts9 tube screamer midboost frequencies?
    Your thoughts please?
    Thank you
    Rob h.

    • Bjorn says:

      It all depends on the amp. A Hiwatt or Marshall wouldn’t need much mids boost but a Vox or Fender usually does. On mids scooped amps I like to boost the 800Hz range, for a bit of that Plexi mids. For TS9 you probably want to boost around 700Hz. Plexi is more of a boost, with the lows and highs maintaned, while the TS9 is more a flatter mid range, with cut on the lows and mids. The TS9 is a bit too flat and boxy as a booster for my ears but a BD2 or even a JHS Charlie Brown, with a 3-band EQ, works great for boosting the mids and maintaining the lows and highs.

      • Robert W Horton says:

        I’m using my twin reverb now.
        I don’t own a bd2 but do have a charlie brown jhs.
        I actually didn’t attatch to that pedal when first tried it so I put it away. Pulled it out the other day when saw your post reply here and now it’s starting to grow on me. I love it alone with my humbuckers for noodling. Has nice grit as well.
        Thank bjorn.
        Rock on

  49. Robert W Horton says:

    Hello Bjorn, how are you?
    I have both the solasound colorboost aussie version and the tru-fi colordriver and I actually prefer my colordriver over my colorboost.
    I was just wondering if your going to review and comment on here on the trufi colordriver pedal.
    It’s an awesome and very versatile pedal. I keep it as my last drive pedal in my chain as a clean always on color pedal set up slightly at the edge of breakup into twin, and also use it set on heavy drive set at 10:30 for playing pigs stacked with my dynacomp and muff. Colordriver has lots of headroom goes from clean to fuzz. I set the drive between 0 and noon.
    Thanks for reading. Rock on. :)

  50. Mariano says:

    Hi, i am having the chance to buy a used tdx. it is white, i dont know when it was made. Do you think that it will be the same at the black one? or the black is new and it has improvements? i also saw one black and silver. i dont know which is the newest or the better one

    • Bjorn says:

      From what I know, all TDX pedals have the same circuit but they have different colours as some of the other pedals in the Buffalo range.

  51. Daniel says:

    why my message does not appear

  52. Daniel says:

    Bjorn Hello

    I recently bought a fender blues junior Tweed amp which I am very satisfied with, however when I use my Boss bd2 pedal I find that it doesn’t work well on this amp – I would like to know your opinion on the compatibility between this pedal and the amp – is there a better choice?, which distortion or overdrive pedal to choose that is nice with this amp – last question wouldn’t it be wise to change the speaker you recommend the Cannabis Rex what is your opinion on the Texas Heat from Eminence?
    Thank you for your response and have a great holiday season.

    • Bjorn says:

      I’ve had great success using the BD2 with the Jr but it depends on how you set each of them. The Jr is very bright so you might want to increase the mids and roll back the treble. Keep the gain low but enough for the tubes to heat a little. You want that sweetspot just before the amp breaks up. The BD2 often sound better with the volume slightly boosted and the tone rolled back a little. Check out this feature for some tips on choosing the right pedal for different amps.

  53. Bruno says:

    Hello everyone. A good tip… Friedman BE-OD is a great alternative to fuzz solo sounds.

  54. wes says:

    I love this site!!! Thanks Bjorn!

  55. Ludovic De Schynkel says:

    Hi Bjorn, first of all, thank you for the information you give us, it helps me a lot to create a new pedal board.
    I am interested in this moment for boost pedals or overdrive.
    Many people are talking about EarthQuaker Feathers right now.
    What do you think? Have you ever tried it?

    Regards Ludovic.

  56. Daniel says:

    Hello! can i turn on vick audio overdrive on a source of 18V?

  57. Chris says:

    Hey Bjorn,
    I’m trying to fine tune my DSOTM tones. I’m having difficulty nailing the rhythm section of “Time”. I have the actual strumming close, but can’t get the same sound I’m hearing on record. For my DSotM setup, I’m using a Fender Strat with stock pickups, a multi effects pedal set to UniVibe, a Mooer Blue Faze, an EHX Crayon and delay, all into a Marshall MG100. I’ve tried tinkering with the Crayon settings, the UniVibe settings, and the amp settings, but nothing seems to work to my ear. Am I missing something? Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks!


    • Bjorn says:

      For the rhythms you pretty much just need to dial in a bright overdrive tone. Nothing more. The amp alone should do the job but you might want to run the amp clean and use the Crayon for the overdrive.

  58. Reuben says:

    “The OCD is basically a hot wired beefed up Tube Screamer with the typical mid range boost and dark, creamy overdrive.”

    Uh, nope, they’re not alike at all.

    The OCD is open and uncompressed, with no noticeable mid hump, pretty flat EQ-wise, yes, retains more bottom end.
    The TS is more compressed, with a very obvious mid bump.
    One’s an asymmetrical hard-clipping circuit (OCD). The TS is symmetrical + soft clipping.
    Suggesting they’re similar sound-wise is pretty misleading, even if they’re often used for similar purposes (boosting other gain stages/amps).

    • Bjorn says:

      Well, maybe I should have phrased that better but I was talking about the tone. Not the circuit. Yes they’re different and the TS has a lot more mids and compression but depending on what OCD model you have… and there are countless versions… some are more scooped or more mids boosted than others. I would still say that the OCD is more similar to a TS and SD1 than a BD2 or a Tube Driver.

  59. JTMurad says:

    Hi Bjorn – I’m considering a Tru-Fi Colordriver. You had mentioned in another post a couple of months ago that you were reviewing one so I’m curious what your impression was of that pedal and if you’re going to post the review.

    Also – have you had a chance to try the Skreddy Lunar Module? If so, what were your thoughts on that compared to the AnalogMan BC109? Thanks for all you do with this site!

  60. Bray Culpepper says:


    I just recently purchased the Thorpy FX Peacekeeper and I love it. Have you considered doing a demo for it? I already have the Thorpy FX Fallout Cloud (formerly Muffroom Cloud) and think it’s one of the best fuzz units I’ve ever heard. Adrian makes some great stuff. I particularity like the fact that they are SO quiet. Keep up the great work!

  61. Mariano says:

    Hi Bjorn, there is a new pedal that says that has David’s tone, the “comfortably plum” with an overdrive and a fuzz in the same pedal. What do you think about it. It would be great to see your review.
    Thank you.

  62. Diego says:

    Hi, Bjorn! Thanks again for the precious insights and effort, making this site a constant for tone building.
    Have you ever tried the ZVEX Box of Rock? It certainly has less gain and drive than the Tube Driver, but I think it might do a fair job, as it mimics a cranked JTM, and is open sounded (I think).
    What do you think?

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your kind words! No, I’ve never tried it. The Tube Driver has some of that JTM character although I would suspect the BoR to have much more compression and mids.

  63. Daniel says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    i have a 70ies Kelly 50 amp with kind of Fender Bassman 100 preamp and T&B architecture (no mid pot, non-master volume) and am also to receive a Selmer Treble & Bass 50 SVR. I suppose they are so-called mid-scooped amps with little compression ? Should i avoir anything with EQ ? What cathegoy do i fall into, AC30 ?

  64. Thomas Williams says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I’ve enjoyed this site for some time. It’s very informative and even entertaining but I don’t understand a concept regarding Gilmour’s modern tones, though the earlier e ones are my favorites. So if David is using a BK Tube Driver that sounds like a Marshall JTM amp, why doesn’t he just use a Marshall amp? I understand using a clean Hiwatt with lots of headroom and then have pedals blending to sculpt the tone. But if a Marshall tone is part of that chain, wouldn’t it sound better to use a distorted Marshall amp to push a Soviet era muff? Lastly, if I use an overdrive Pedal with a Marshall flavor, would an Amps Guru 1959 Double Decker be a good choice? It seems very versatile and has a tube which seems to make everything sound amazing.
    Thanks in advance

    • Bjorn says:

      Well, I guess he doesn’t use Marshall because that’s not quite what he prefer, although he’s been known to use JTMs in the studio from time to time. The Tube Driver isn’t a Marshall in a box but it’s closer to a Plexi than a Fender. The Hiwatt is based on a Marshall but the amp’s got much more headroom, less compression and less mids. The Hiwatt is a Marshall although it’s not. You need to try one to understand the difference. Adding a Tube Driver on top of a Hiwatt will produce a very natural overdrive, as the Hiwatt has that headroom, while with a Marshall Plexi, which is the closest equivalent, the Tube Driver would have sounded much more compressed and distorted. Tone is hard to explain :)

  65. Robert W Horton says:

    Hello bjorn,
    I’m looking for a pedal to place at the end of my chain for clean always on like an eq boost type pedal that will control the overall volume of my chain to keep a unity volume when stacking od pedals. So if stacking pedals and volume jumps won’t occur. Maybe a pedal with not so much head room.
    I tried all my clean boost/colorboost type pedals I have but still get the volume jumps when stacking od pedals.
    They say try a volume pedal but will that keep unity volume without any jumps without me having to constantly adjust the volume pedal when switching or stacking gain pedals before it? And if so then what type of volume pedal would you recommend, passive or active for the end of my chain, master volume?
    I’d rather have an always on clean eq pedal at the end of my od pedals for unity volume that I don’t have to adjust or touch.
    Thank you so much for your knowledge and generously sharing it with the world.
    Thanks bjorn
    Rob h

    • Robert W Horton says:

      I’ve also tried my dynacomp at the end of my od pedals but didn’t like the sound. I prefer the dynacomp before od pedals .
      I like a top end bite felt the comp took that away.
      Maybe a yellow comp might work better. But do you know of a clean eq/boost/limiter/reducer/gate type pedal to do the job of controlling volume jumps for od pedal stacking?

    • Robert W Horton says:

      I use my muff at unity volume with my guitar clean tone.
      I use my color driver as an eq. At the end of my chain at unity volume with guitar. But if I stack them I get a volume jump I don’t want.
      If I set the muff stacked with my colordriver at unity volume with my guitar, then I turn off the colordriver the muff is too low.
      I want to be able to toggle with them and other od pedals without getting the volume jumps out dips.

      • Robert W Horton says:

        Update ;
        I found that my tc electronics break up pedal actually works somewhat on the 1 setting which acts like a clean boost with a slight top end bite which I like.
        It has a cap on the incoming volume from the muff and colordriver stacked.
        Does the job for now until I find a kind of limiter pedal or something.
        This is for playing pigs when its all colorboost until the last solo then I stack on the muff into the colorboost and metal out the solo.
        Believe it or not out of my 20 plus od pedals I own I like the two cheapest ones the most.
        Aside my muffs and colorboosts,
        Favs are,
        Tc electronics break up and
        Behringer vintage tube monster.
        With those two pedal I can get anything from clean boost to light grit to heavy overdrive to full out distortion.
        With the full 3 band eq on the tube monster.

    • Bjorn says:

      I’m not quite sure I know what you mean. Adding a booster won’t level your volume just because its on. It would just create a platform for your pedals and you’d still have the volume issue. Keep in mind that loud volume is either loud volume, which can be adjusted by tweaking the level controls on the pedal, or the fact that you perceive louder volume because you engage or disengage pedals with less or more mid range and compression. If your amp and main pedal has little mid range and you kick in a pedal with more mid range, you’ll get a considerable volume jump. Sounds to me that you’re probably better off trying to level the pedals you have and use pedals that’s more compatible.

      • Robert W Horton says:

        Hello bjorn,
        Your correct. I placed the muff running unto my color driver and the volume jump was the cd tone was high. When i neutralized the tone down, there is no jump. The high tone on the color driver was boosting the muff as well when kicked on.
        Now what I do is run my muff into my color driver tone at unity then into a boss eq with the bass lowered and the highs up a bit to give me that high end bite my ears I so much enjoy. Boss eq is alway on when using my twin reverb amp. Now both pedals have the same bite when one or both on. No more tone jumps and still have the bite.
        Thank you very much for your knowledge. Ps. Contacted the hiwatt company nordsound.fi in Finland and their sending the correct U.S. standard cord for my hiwatt t20 amp head. Thank you very much. Love ya bud, my fellow gilmour guru lol.
        Rob h

  66. Todd says:

    Hey Bjorn, great site. Question, so what overdrive/gain pedal should I get to go with the katana 50 amp for the classic tones?

  67. Majd says:

    Hey, first of all hats off for everything you do this platform, there really is everything one needs so cheers for that. I was wondering if for my bedroom set up the Keeley dark side would work with the Roland microcube GX?
    Thank you!

  68. TMR1 says:

    Hey Bjorn, great site!
    So then in reference to this article, what gain/distortion/overdrive pedal would you use with a Boss katana 50?

    • Bjorn says:

      The Katana has wide range of different tones or amp character so it can pretty much handle anything. Depends on what sort of gain pedal you want.

  69. Frank Bizzoco says:

    Hey Bjorn. Idk if you were asked this yet, but have you tried the TC Electronic Tube Pilot? Apparently it’s only 50 USD, and i was curious how close it is to the BK Butler TD. It even has a tube in it. Just picked up an awesome powerbooster clone, and already have a fulltone ocd which should cover tube driver tones nicely. Just curious on your opinion of the TC tube driver clone (if it is a clone that is). I also am aware just because it has a tube, doesnt necessarily make it better than its transistor counterparts, but not too many pedals are 50 bucks new with a tube in it, so it makes me curious. Thanks!

    • Bjorn says:

      It’s not a clone it lack the tone controls. The tone is definitely in the same ballpark and it’s well worth checking out for the price but I think something like the EHX Crayon is much closer.

      • Frank Bizzoco says:

        Oh yeah, I actually forgot about the Crayon. I remember in your “hot wax” review, you said the crayon side had great tube driver tones, with the hot tubes being a decent power booster substitute. I’ll have to plug my guitar into it at the Guitar Center next to the OCD, and see how they compare. I just love overdrive sounds for David’s tones, or otherwise. Thanks!

  70. Mikky Whalan says:

    Hey Bjorn have you tried a overdrive pedal before a big muff? and if so what are you thoughts and where should I put it for Gilmour tones? or is it just a matter of taste? I find before the Muff gets better feedback after I find it makes a big muff Slightly Smoother

    • Bjorn says:

      It’s a matter of taste I guess. Placing a boost/distortion first adds more gain. Placing a booster/distortion after, like David does, doesn’t add more gain but rather more volume (if set to boost) and more tone. David’s using his boosters more like EQs, adding character.

      • Mikky Whalan says:

        Okay I might try it, I might try the boss BD-2w set slightly above Unity setup, but where should I set the gain in the BD-2w?

        • Bjorn says:

          Depends on what sort of tones you want, how the amp is set, what sort of pickups you use.

          • Mikky Whalan says:

            I kinda want something that I can use for the second solo to Shine On You Crazy Diamond but also to tame a big muff

            • Bjorn says:

              Again, settings always depends on many factors. It’s no use in me telling you how to set the gain as it will surely sound very different on your rig. Experiment and see what sounds best to your ears.

          • Mikky Whalan says:

            I have a Vox AC30vr on the normal channel with treble 11:00 Bass 4:00, The main reason I have it that high it’s because it’s a bit tinny
            I have Stock Squier neck and middle pickups and a dimarzio FS1 in the bridge

  71. Jay says:

    Hi Bjorn, I love your videos and website! I’ve read a lot of your articles, they’ve been very helpful.

    I have a strat, playing into a Fender Super Champ X2 (modular amp powered by tubes). I use the Fender Twin voice setting. I currently use an EHX Soul Food. What overdrive would you pair it with?

    Thanks for taking the time to read and respond!

  72. Emma says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Many thanks for the amazing information!

    I have a MIM 60s strat and a roland micro cube. Just a bedroom set up – not expecting mega tones just want to get the best I can out of the set up I have.

    I am after a versatile overdrive or distortion pedal that will fit this amp the best. I can’t workout which one would be the best even after reading the great “know your amp” article. I have a Boss Ce-2 waza that is also part of the set up if this sways things too.

    Any advice you can give would be much appreciated,


  73. Phil B says:

    Hey Bjorn,

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

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

    Thanks for your answers,

    • Bjorn says:

      I honestly can’t say. I need to check, if I can find it… My modded BD2 is very quiet and the mod is similar to the Keeley.

      • Phil B says:

        OK no worries :P

        What about the OCD with the Hiwatt?

        • Bjorn says:

          A tad too much mids for my taste but you’re right in that Marshall territory :)

          • Phil B says:

            Yeah I bought it and I think it gets you closer to the warm, mid rangy PULSE tone. Very dark and not fizzy at all. Thinking of using it as the main heavy OD pedal, replacing the Phat Mod on my board with it … hm, decisions, decisions :D

            • Phil B says:

              After a few days testing I think it will replace the Phat Mod :)
              It sounds best with the gain at 11:00 – 1:00 (anything higher is too much compression/gain) and tone at like 3:00 o’clock, volume set for unity.

              I’ve now seen videos by Fender for their new Tone Master amps claiming to be digital versions of their tube models.
              Thinking of trying/buying on of these since they have build in powerscaling for home usage etc.

              The OCD would work nicely with a Fender amp, wouldn’t it?

  74. Mikky Whalan says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

      • Mikky Whalan says:

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

  75. Patrick Kennedy says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  76. Rodrigo Cavallari says:

    Hi, Bjorn!

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

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

    Thanks!! Congrats!

    • Bjorn says:

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

  77. Ben says:

    Hi Bjorn,

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

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

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  78. Nitzan says:

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

    Thank you!

    • Bjorn says:

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

  79. Dave Sharp says:

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

  80. SilvioD says:

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

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

    Thanks in advance for your help

    • Bjorn says:

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

  81. Ned Riley says:

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

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

  82. Paris says:

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

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

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

    Thanks a lot in advance,

  83. Andrea says:

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

  84. Samuel says:

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

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

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

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

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

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


  85. Silvio says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

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

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

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

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

  86. Marcelo Angelo says:

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


    • Bjorn says:

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

  87. Evan Steidtman says:


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



    • Bjorn says:

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

  88. tim says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  89. Nick Love says:

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

  90. Kory A Davis says:

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

  91. Frank Bizzoco says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  92. Austin says:

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

  93. Dimitris Kovaios says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

      • Dimitris Kovaios says:

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

  94. Gabriel Tate says:

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

  95. Michael says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  96. Raffaele says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  97. Kent Rune Green tjønndal says:

    Hei Bjørn.

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

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

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

    can you give me some adwise?

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

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

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

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

    which would you recommend?


    • Bjorn says:

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

  99. Alessandro Borges Cordeiro says:

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

  100. piazzi says:

    Hi Bjorn

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

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


    • Bjorn says:

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

  101. piazzi says:

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

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

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

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

  102. NJ says:

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


  103. Phil B says:

    Hey Bjørn,

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

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

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

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


    • Bjorn says:

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

      • Phil B says:

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

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

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

        • Bjorn says:

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

  104. Mark Koenig says:

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

    Thanks! Mark

    • Bjorn says:

      Haven’t tried it.

    • James Filben says:

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

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

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

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

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

      • Mark Koenig says:

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

  105. Andrea says:

    Hi Bjorn,

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

  106. Derek says:

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

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

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


    • Bjorn says:

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

  107. Michel C Giroux says:

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

  108. Thierry says:

    Hi everybody,

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

  109. Lukas Schmidtke says:

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

  110. Corey says:

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


    • Bjorn says:

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

  111. Baskah says:

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

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

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

    Thanks so much

  112. Massimo says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  113. Tom says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  114. Tyler Mathews says:

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


  115. Richard says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

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

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

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

  118. Sergei Vlassov says:

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

  119. Sergei Vlassov says:

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

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

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  120. Pat says:

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

  121. Philip says:

    Hello Bjorn

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

      • Philip says:

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

        • Bjorn says:

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

  122. Massimo says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  123. Dimitris Kovaios says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

      • Dimitris Kovaios says:

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

  124. Mike says:

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

  125. Lindsay Stirton says:

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

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

  126. Pierre says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  127. Thomas Redmond says:

    Hi again Bjorn,

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  128. Shahriar says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Any opinion on Origin Effects Revival?

    • Shahriar says:

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

      • Bjorn says:

        Not sure I understand the question.

        • Shahriar says:

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

          • Bjorn says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

      Haven’t tried it.

  129. Zane says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

      • Charles says:

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

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  131. Dimitris Kovaios says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  132. Jesus Coll says:

    This world seems so complex for the small budget guys…

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

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

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

    • Charles says:

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

  133. Peter says:

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


    • Bjorn says:

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

  134. Filipe says:

    Hi Bjorn,

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

  135. Greg Kala says:

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

    • Greg Kala says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  136. Phil B says:

    Hey Bjorn,

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

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

    Also thanks for that awesome backing track!


  137. Andrew says:

    Hi Bjorn.

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

  138. James Pace says:

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

  139. Chris says:

    Hey Bjorn,

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

  140. Filipe says:

    Hello Bjorn,

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

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

    Many thanks!!!

    • Bjorn says:

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

      • Filipe says:

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

        • Bjorn says:

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

          • Filipe says:

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

            • Bjorn says:

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

              • Filipe says:

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

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

                Many thanks!

  141. Bruce LaVerdiere says:

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

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

      • Bruce LaVerdiere says:

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

        • Bjorn says:

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

  142. Pedro Moreira says:

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

  143. Phil B says:

    Hey Bjorn,

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

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

      • Phil B says:

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

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

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

  144. Daniel says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  145. James says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  146. piazzi says:

    Hi Bijorn

    wondering if you’ve tried earthquaker devices westwood drive?

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


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

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

    though to psot in case you could get one to try

  147. Silvio says:

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


    • Silvio says:

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

  148. Liung Yit says:

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


    • Bjorn says:

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

  149. Frank Bizzoco says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  150. F Javi says:

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

  151. Nick says:

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

  152. Yit Liung says:

    Hi Bjorn,

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


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


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

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


    • Bjorn says:

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

  153. Jacob says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  154. Yit Liung says:

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

    Waiting for a reaply.


    • Bjorn says:

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

  155. Tony Samperi says:

    Hello Bjorn,

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

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


    • Bjorn says:

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

  156. Yit Liung says:

    Hi Bjorn,

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


    Waiting for a reaply.


    • Bjorn says:

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

      • yit liung says:

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

  157. Yit Liung says:

    Hi Bjorn,

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


  158. Adam Wallander says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  159. Hettar says:

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

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

    Thanks for your incredible work here !

    • Bjorn says:

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

  160. Nicholas A. Rhoades says:

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


    • Bjorn says:

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

    • James Christopher Filben says:

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

    • Ben says:

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

  161. Massimo says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  162. Rodrigo Godoy says:

    Hi Bjorn!

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  163. Trey says:

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

  164. theterrigals says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

      • Russ Astley says:

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

    • Russ Astley says:

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

  165. Eddy says:

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


    • Bjorn says:

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

  166. Baris says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  167. Matteo says:

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

    thank you and as always congratulations for your work


    • Bjorn says:

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

  168. Dennis Berger says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  169. David Hollander says:

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

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

      • David Hollander says:

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

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

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

  171. Andrea says:

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

    Thanks for your help!

    • Bjorn says:

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

  172. Tim D Stinnett says:

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

  173. Kay says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  174. Baris says:

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

  175. Silvio says:

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

    • Silvio says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  176. James Pace says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

      • James Pace says:

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

        • Bjorn says:

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

  177. Greg G. says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

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

  179. Darth Bieber says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  180. Silvio says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  181. Max says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  182. Lee says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

  183. James says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

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

  185. 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!

  186. 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.

  187. 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.).

  188. 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

  189. 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.

  190. 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!

  191. 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!

  192. 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)


  193. 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.

  195. 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.

  196. 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!

  197. 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/

  198. 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.

  199. 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!

  200. 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.

  201. 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.

  202. 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

  203. 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!

  204. 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 :)

  205. Israel says:

    Are Timmy Overdrive one mid scooped?

  206. 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.

  207. 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.

  208. 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!

  209. 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.

  210. 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.

  211. 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.

  212. 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.

  213. 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?

  214. 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.

  215. james pace says:

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

  216. 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

  217. 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.

  218. 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.

  219. 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.

  220. 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.

  221. Daniel says:

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

  222. 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.

  223. 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.

  224. 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.

  225. 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?


  226. 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!

  227. 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.

  228. 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.

  229. 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.

  230. 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!

  231. 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?

  232. 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.

  233. Alessandro Borges Cordeiro says:

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

  234. 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

  235. 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..

  236. Omar says:

    I have a Boss CS-2 Compression Sustianer too.

  237. 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.

  238. Omar says:

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

  239. 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.

  240. 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.

  241. 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!

  242. marco says:

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

  243. Matthew Lee says:

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

    • Bjorn says:

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

      • Walt T. says:

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

        • Bjorn says:

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

  244. 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.

  245. 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.

  246. 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.

  247. 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.

  248. 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!

  249. 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.

  250. 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!

  251. 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.

  252. 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.

  253. 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 ?

  254. 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.

  255. 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.

  256. 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.

  257. 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.

  258. 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.

  259. 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.

  260. 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

  261. 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!


  262. 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: