That Pedal Show

How To Choose The ‘Right’ Overdrive Pedal – That Pedal Show

May 3, 2019

This is the audio for our video here:

Okay, despite the slightly click-baity title, this really is not a video for beginners. Or at least it’s not a video for anyone looking for quick and easy answers because we’ve spent decades and umpteen thousands of pounds finding out that there really is no simple answer to the question, ‘What overdrive pedal should I buy?’

However, we do have a better question for you that will be infinitely more helpful: ‘What do I want an overdrive pedal to do?’ We propose in this video that there are four common answers to that question and as such, help you significantly narrow down your OD pedal choices.

But we haven’t included //insert every pedal in the world here//. No. This video is about concepts and understanding – gain structure, headroom, dynamics, the guitar-pedal-amp ecosystem because, well, head back to the first paragraph.

TLDR? TLDW? We understand, but just know this: an hour and 17 watching this video, and a few others on our channel will save you years of getting it ‘wrong’, we promise.

Enjoy. If you dare…


Pedals & stuff in this episode…


TheGigRig Three2One


TC Electronic PolyTune 2 Mini

UK & Europe:




Tru-Fi Colordriver


JHS / Electro Harmonix Triangle Muff Illuminati Mod

UK & Europe:




Keeley Java Boost

No longer made


Ibanez TS808 (Keeley Mod)

No longer made


Paul Cochrane Timmy Overdrive


Xotic Effects BB Preamp

UK & Europe:



JHS Sweet Tea V3

UK & Europe:




RYRA The Klone

UK & Europe:




Wampler Tumnus Deluxe

UK & Europe:




Electro Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man 1100-TT

UK & Europe:


Xotic EP Booster

UK & Europe:




TheGigRig G2



Interesting bits and go-to sections…

- Intro playing: 0:00

- What are we doing today? 2:00

- Where do you begin with overdrive pedals? 2:34

- Why does this matter: gain structure is EVERYTHING: 3:25


- The four main reasons you might want an overdrive pedal: 6:40

- A smorgasbord of awesome OD pedals: 7:35

- Today’s amps: why these? 7:50

- REASON 1: OD pedal for your always-on core tone: 11:05

- How much gain? 14:50

- REASON 2: OD pedal for solo boosts: 22:32

- …clean amp: 22:59

– boost pedal before and after OD pedal: 23:30

- That thing Klon-style pedals do so well: 24:30

- Why OD pedals don’t lift volume into a gainy amp – HEADROOM: 27:20

- How to boost a dirty amp via the FX loop: 28:30

- Why treble boosters are horrible with clean amps: 29:35

- Why treble boosters are awesome with dirty amps: 30:15

- Treble booster > Timmy > clean amp: 33:05

- Tube Screamer > clean amp: 34:50

- Tube Screamer > dirty amp: 35:50

- Boost pedal in amp FX loop: 37:15

- Shaping drive tones with a boost/EQ :4115 (45:25)

- REASON 3: OD Pedal For VST – a Very Specific Tone: 48:10

- Oh please not SRV. Nooooo! 49:55 (51:10)

- Tone is not in the fingers: 50:40

- Big Muff and delay does not equal instant Gilmour: 56:00

- Why the Coloursound Power Driver is so cool: 1:01:10

- You’re never going to sound like them? 1:03:30

- Reason 4: OD Pedal To Do It All? 1:04:45

- A two-sided OD pedal: 1:08:15

- Good things to look for in a do-it-all OD pedal: 1:11:55

- Closing thoughts: 1:14:45


Guitars in this episode:

PRS DGT – watch Mick’s video at

Fender American Original ’60s Jaguar - no video yet

Gibson Custom 1958 Les Paul Standard – watch Dan’s video at

Fender American Vintage ’62 Stratocaster – Mick’s video at

Fender Custom Shop ’63 Telecaster – Dan’s video at


Amps in this episode

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III with standard speaker

Victory VX The Kraken with V112VC cabinet / Celestion G12M-65 Creamback speaker


We hope you enjoy this episode. Please subscribe to our channel.


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Please visit our preferred retailers!

UK & Europe: Andertons Music

USA: Riff City Guitar & Music Company

Australia: Pedal Empire

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