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Woo Hoo! -- New pedal

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(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5599
Topic starter  

This should probably go in From Here to There, but I got yet another pedal recently in my never ending quest for great tones... The BBE Sonic Stomp.

BBE Sonic Stomp

A few weeks back a few of us GN members were discussing compressors on another thread. I mentioned how I hated how compressors "squashed" my bass tones. The only way to describe it is to say it made my bass strings (especially the low E) sound like rubber bands. Some might like this, but I hated it. I like all my strings to have a little bite to them.

Anyway, I think it was slejhamer who suggested the BBE OptoStomp that was favored by many bass players. I started looking at the BBE boxes and reading lots of reviews. The Sonic Stomp really got outstanding reviews so I took the chance and ordered one.

Well, let me tell you, this is really an outstanding pedal. It is supposed to be the famous Sonic Maximizer in stomp box form. The Sonic Maximizer has been pretty famous in PA circles for years, and I have heard and used them, but was not overly impressed. Our bass player Dom has one for his bass (rack version) and it is ok, but nothing mindblowing. Regardless, the reviews were outstanding so I took a chance. And I'll tell ya, 10 seconds after I fired it up I knew I loved it. It has all the characteristics of a good compressor with none of the negatives. It really brings your tone out in the open, super full. They advertise that it is like taking the blanket off your amp. Well, that may sound silly, but that is exactly what it sounds like. You have to switch it on and off a few times to hear what it is really doing. Man, I had pretty great tone I was happy with, but now it is so much better. It gives great fullness and warmth which is why I had been using a compressor. This is really the only reason I used a compressor. I dislike how a compressor totally ruins your dynamics and especially how it made my bass strings sound rubbery.

But this pedal does not squash your bass at all, my strings have great presence and bite to them. And it really brings out your highs too.

It seems like I have to use slightly different settings for each amp I've tried it with, but I like higher settings between 8 and 9 (out of 10).

Anyway, if you are looking for a pedal that will give your amp amazing fullness and presence, try one of these out. It is really great. :D

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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 lars
(@lars)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1121
 

So, it is a Woohoo-pedal? ;)

Sounds cool Wes. But, me being completely ignorant when it comes to guitar effects, what IS a compressor, what does it do, except obviously making the guitar sound better? and why? and what do I need it for?
`
Just curious

...only thing I know how to do is to keep on keepin' on...

LARS kolberg http://www.facebook.com/sangerersomfolk


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(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5599
Topic starter  

Lars

Compressors do just what they imply, they compress or squeeze your sound, especially volume. If you play a note softly, the compressor will bump the volume up. If you play a loud note, the compressor will cut or attenuate the volume. The idea is to give your playing a very even, balanced volume. Metal players especially like compression because it gives their lead guitar a very even, flowing feel, especially when using techniques like tapping that are difficult to play evenly. Compressors are supposed to increase sustain, but they really do not, although it does sound like it because the note will decay slower and suddenly cut out. But the note is not really longer than a uncompressed note at all.

But compressors also give a very warm fullness to your tone, especially clean guitar. Compressors are also very popular with Country players who play with clean tones. Now this is why I tried compressors, I did like the warmth and fullness they give.

And rhythm players (electric and acoustic) like how a compressor gives an eveness to strumming chords. This is a nice feature I do enjoy.

However, I do not like what compressors (I have tried a few) do to your bass notes. If you turn the compressor up your bass will sound just like rubber bands.

Compressors will give your guitar playing a "click". A great example of this tone is Just What I Needed by the Cars. Listen to the intro, the clicking sound is guitar with heavy compression:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fv32m51Ulyw

Here is a sound clip of the famous MXR Dyna-comp, one of the most popular compressors ever:

MXR DynaComp

I liked the warmth and fullness of compressors, hated the "squash" . This Sonic Stomp does not squash your tone whatsoever.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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 lars
(@lars)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1121
 

Thanks a lot Wes!

That sounds like a really good concept.

Maybe it is time to start collecting pedals

...only thing I know how to do is to keep on keepin' on...

LARS kolberg http://www.facebook.com/sangerersomfolk


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

You know, this thread made me stop and think - I've seen a lot of posts on here where people have been talking about different pedals, I've never used one in my life....makes me think I'm missing out. I tend to play electric one of three ways - clean (not very often!) some overdrive(varying, but mostly round about 5/10) or full overdrive, like on Dan's Jam.

I suppose they're handy if you want to go from clean to overdrive mid-song - or change to ANY tone mid-song - but I like to keep things simple. I mean, there's a million different pedals available, each with their own settings - I play mostly rhythm guitar, and I have a list of amp settings I use for each song. I've never gone into pedals at all - know nothing about them.

Compression? Well - there's a compression pot on my bass amp - it's always been around the 5/10 mark, I got the amp cheap with no instructions, so I haven't a clue what it actually does.

There must be plenty of famous guitarists - electric guitarists - who don't use pedals. So what are the advantages and disadvantages?

And price-wise - for what you paid for that pedal, Wes, you could have had another Squier 51! - are they worth the money? You seem happy with this one, so it's money well spent - seems to me to be a lot of money, though, for something you can't strum!

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Topic starter  

Vic

It's true, pedals can be a hassle. When I used to sing I preferred multi-efx because I could go from one preset to another without being pulled off the mic. Now that I only play guitar, I can tap dance a little again. :D

Individual pedals do tend to sound much better than multi-efx units IMHO. And they are easier to tweak too.

I really don't use so many effects. I have a Guv'nor Plus I use for classic Marshall crunch, my favorite guitar tone ever, I have a Behringer TO800 overdrive I use for Bluesy rhythm or crank a little for super smooth lead guitar. I always play through the clean channel of my amps. I have a phase and chorus I use a little on some clean songs, and a delay that I use a little on leads now and then. I do have one EQ pedal I use to get the tone I like, and another I use for a volume boost for solos. It is set flat with the volume pushed up. I was using a Behringer compressor (actually very good) for warmness and fullness, but hated the squashed bass. So I picked up this Sonic Stomp to get the fullness and warmth. It actually opens up your tone much better than any compressor I have ever used, and does not affect your tones, especially the bass.

You should try some pedals. Get an EQ, that alone will amaze you how tight your can get your distortion rhythm guitar. Tightens everything up solid, makes a HUGE difference.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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(@slejhamer)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3297
 

Good choice, Wes. Cool product.

Aphex makes similar gear for guitar and bass, called "Xciters." They do just that! And even Behringer is getting into the game, with a couple of new rack-mount versions of the BBE Sonic Maximizer and the Aphex Aural Exciter.

But just to clarify, these are not compressors per se. In fact, you can use one in series with a compressor, though obviously you'd want a good comp that won't squish your tone.

Vic: on a bass amp, my impression is that the built-in compressors are more like limiters, keeping your volume within a certain range when you switch from mellow fingerstyle to Flea-inspired slap funk. The difference between a compressor and a limiter is basically how much and how quickly the compression is applied once the threshold volume is reached. The limiter will keep the volume spikes to a minimum; the compressor will allow a little more volume range. Either one should be fairly transparent, tonally. The guitar pedal compressors like the Dynacomp are generally not transparent.

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


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(@kevin72790)
Prominent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 840
 

COngrats on the pedal, Wes.

What kind of EQ do you reccomend?


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(@u2bono269)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1188
 

i love compressors wes.

I fell in love with them when I bought my Vox AD30VT, cos it had a built-in compressor effect. Not long after, I got an MXR DynaComp and (later than that) a Boss EQ. With the EQ and the comp, my Epi Valve Jr sounds beautiful. It's the most subtle effect I have, but the most effective. One day my girlfriend asked me to show her the difference between the pedals, so I was switching each one on and off individually. She wasn't really paying attention, but she has good ears, and really picked up the Compressor's effect on the sound. It was her favorite. While I was raving to her about my favorite pedal (EH DoubleMuff) she just said "play that little red one again."

I've heard there are some reallllly good compressors out there, but for now I'm just happy with my DynaComp. One day when I'm a rich and famous author I may buy myself a super high end compressor...perhaps even the BBE.

Nice score, Wes!

http://www.brianbetteridge.com


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(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3460
 

Hi,

Great to hear about your new pedal Wes. Sounds like you quite like it... :D Very interesting to hear such a good explanation of it all too. I'm still in semi-darkness about how all the various effects really work and what the best way to use them is, so this thread has been very educational.

Cheers,

Chris


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(@nottheguy)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 164
 

Very interesting stuff guys - I am currently contemplating replacing my BOSS GT-6 with individual pedals and am in info gathering mode......

Its a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself.


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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5384
 

Way to go Wes. Compressors are probably the most used effects I use.


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(@dan-t)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5072
 

Thanks for the great review Wes, I'm going to check out that pedal next chance I get. :D

Dan

"The only way I know that guarantees no mistakes is not to play and that's simply not an option". David Hodge


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(@kent_eh)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1885
 

I'm still in semi-darkness about how all the various effects really work

For Chris, Vic and anyone else who is too shy to admit to slight gaps in their education, may I direct you to:

The Monkey FX guide

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


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(@mrjonesey)
Reputable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 470
 

STOP IT!!!

Enough already! I didn't know I needed one of these things until I read this.

My wife is definitely going to leave me one of the days .... probably while I'm at work and one of these brown packages magically shows up at the fron porch (as seems to happen about once a month or so) .... I'll come home to a brown box and no wife .... hmmmm .... so, seriously .. hmmmmm .....

"There won't be any money. But when you die, on your death bed, you will receive total conciousness. So, I got that going for me. Which is nice." - Bill Murray, Caddyshack ~~ Michigan Music Dojo - http://michiganmusicdojo.com ~~


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