Life too short for long YouTube videos? See the ‘Interesting bits and go-to sections’ info below.
We’re delighted to welcome back to the show the splendid Josh Scott of JHS Pedals, for a discussion about classic overdrive types and how you might better understand them.
We talk about stuff including silicon, germanium, opamps, FETs, diodes, transistors, clipping and more, along a broadly chronological timeline of pedal development.
This is not an exhaustive history of ALL gain pedals with EVERY gain pedal ever invented. It’s simply a gentle stroll through some technical terms and topics to help you navigate the kind of pedals you might like to try.
It’s also not a science lesson. It’s a discussion that covers things you may want to investigate further, rather than providing solid answers because, well, there aren't any and the sooner we all get our heads around that, the sooner we can get back to enjoying playing. Ha!
Interesting bits and go-to sections…
- Intro playing: 00:00
- What are we doing today? 2:30
- Why overdrive at all? Rewind: 4:18
- The first overdrive? 9:40
- Maestro FZ-1A, Keef and a Clyde McCoy tangent: 11:15
- The FZ-1A hits London: 12:50
- Tonebender & Fuzz Face, 1965/67, and transistors: 14:30
- Transistors or diodes? 16:25
- Eric Johnson Fuzz Face: 17:08 (17:30)
- What does ‘biasing transistors’ mean? Voltage/headroom: 18:26
- Moving on… the Colorsound Power Boost: 21:38 (24:10)
- And the Big Muff? 27:48
- Treble boosters? 29:12
- The importance of components: 30:25
- Germanium and silicon transistors explanation: 33:17
- Guitar pedals do not drive technology: 34:30
- What is a FET, MOSFET & JFET? 38:25
- Design is more important than the part: 41:35
- Analog Man Bad Bob Boost (FET): 42:03
- The opamp arrives: 43:25
- What do transistors and opamps look like? 44:18
- Clipping. Diodes: 46:30
- ProCo RAT: 49:40
- Hard & soft clipping? 50:55
- Diodes and clipping levels: headroom: 55:55
- Sovtek MIG-50 tangent: 1:00:38
- The hard clipping Klon and germanium diodes… or transistors… and temperature: 1:02:15
- Klon, Blues Breaker, Tube Screamer: 1:05:08 (1:07:10)
- Using opamp ODs with overdriving amps: 1:10:30
- Macmull Classic-S tangent: 1:13:40
- Back to FETs, Analog Man Bad Bob Boost and JHS Superbolt: 1:14:40 (1:15:40)
- What have we learned; summary: 1:20:30