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62strat



Joined: 28 Mar 2005
Posts: 115
Location: Flint, Michigan

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 10:54 pm    Post subject: Sparkle Drive..... Reply with quote

What do you guys think about the Sparkle Drive pedal? I was thinking about gettting on to use as a second OD along with my Ibanez TS-9, so I could get a little different overdrive for different situations.

on a 1 to 10 scale, 10 being the best
then explain why.
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voodoo364



Joined: 23 Jan 2005
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would give it a 8.5...I miss mine. It was a very cool pedal, the clean blend feature was useful and unique. It nails the TS thing. I think the SD is VERY underrated as far as TS style pedals go. I could be wrong bit the Barber LTD had a very similar vibe without the clean option.
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TTrahan



Joined: 06 Nov 2004
Posts: 287

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jay,

The sparkle drive won't get you a DIFFERENT overdrive. Its essentially the same as a TS9.

I would recommend a Hermida Audio Zendrive. I just picked one up about a week ago, and its different for sure, but in a very good way. The sparkle drive would be redundant IMO.
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62strat



Joined: 28 Mar 2005
Posts: 115
Location: Flint, Michigan

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

so even though i just have the regular TS-9 with NO mods it will sound the same as the sparkle drive?
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Vaughanabe13



Joined: 04 Feb 2005
Posts: 161

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It will sound slightly different, but not enough to make a difference.

Let me just point out though, Stevie used two overdrives that were very similar. I would recommend the sparkle drive as as second drive pedal. The clean knob DOES open up the sound variety a bit more, but don't expect it to work miracles on your tone. It is a good quality pedal that hasn't gotten enough credit, but at the same time there are other quality pedals out there such as the Maxon OD808 and the MJM Blues Devil.
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TTrahan



Joined: 06 Nov 2004
Posts: 287

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I would ask what kind of tone you're going for.

If its the later SRV tone, maybe stacking two TS style pedals will work. But for his earlier tone, it will definitely not work. His earlier tone was Guitar->Wah->Overdrive->Amps.

Come to think of it, I've never seen a picture of his board where he used two tubescreamers! Anybody have one? I've seen people say that a lot, but I've never seen it. I personally think that two tubescreamers stacked is a less than pleasing type of overdrive...lol.

A TS9 with no mods is still a TS9. The Sparkle Drive's circuit is essentially the same as a tubescreamer, until you start adding clean blend. If you start adding ALOT of clean blend, then you might as well get a clean boost, IMO.
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62strat



Joined: 28 Mar 2005
Posts: 115
Location: Flint, Michigan

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

my EQ pedal would give me about the same CLEAN BOOST don't you think?
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Vaughanabe13



Joined: 04 Feb 2005
Posts: 161

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TT, there are very very VERY few pics of SRV's pedal board out there but I have confirmed it from several people that he did occasionally use two tube screamers (one was only used for solo boost stuff) and he basically put the drive low and the volume all the way up. My dad's friend (who is president of a blues society in Ohio, I forget which one) went to many SRV concerts and can vouch for that. But as for actual evidence like a picture... I don't have that.

I know his later tone was mostly using marshalls and a TS9-Fuzz Face combo; not so much double tube screamers.

As a side note, Kenny Wayne Shepherd (who seems to set up his pedal board very similar to SRV) uses two tube screamers, an original TS808 (unmodified) and a TS-9 which was modded to TS808 specs by Analogman.
http://www.analogman.com/graphics/kws/oldboard.jpg
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TTrahan



Joined: 06 Nov 2004
Posts: 287

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen pics of KWS's board, two tube screamers are always chilling on it! LOL.

I personally don't think that KWS gets close to SRV's earlier tone. The 2 tubescreamer thing is not hard for me to believe, but I don't think thats the tone people think of when they think SRV tone. But I could be wrong. I used the Keeley Baked and Keeley regular stack for a while. It just didn't feel right to me. Way to much midrange. I think one tubescreamer is sufficient for adding the mids needed to cut through.

How would you use the two tubescreamers? One just for a dirty rhythm sound I take it, and then one for a solo boost like you said?

Jay,

You have an EQ pedal? Didn't know that. Well than forget my idea then, LOL.

The Sparkle Drive is not a bad pedal, I wouldn't be afraid of getting it. I would just want a different flavor I guess..
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62strat



Joined: 28 Mar 2005
Posts: 115
Location: Flint, Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah i got a EQ pedal a couple weeks ago but I was thinking of returning it that is how all this about the Sparkle Drive started.

Troy, you know what tone I'm going after. 81-84 SRV is my fav. tone I would like to be able to get the El Macombo tone if at all possible. I'm not overly impressed with the Boss EQ pedal that I have it didn't do as much for my tone as I hoped. It was more of a volume boost then anything. I already get that mid range boost from using the TS-9 so I don't need that from the EQ pedal. I don't know I just thought that the sparkle drive would give me a little different sound. I had heard alot about the Blending and other features that the sparkle drive had so I figured I would give it a shot BUT I don't want to get something that I won't really benefit from.

Troy call me Tuesday and we can chat about the amp. I will have my phone on me all day. just don't call before noon. you called the other day at like 9:30 and my jobless ass was still in bed......

What do you guys think I should do?

my current Rig is my '62 Fender American Vintage Re-Issue Strat, Ibanez TubeScreamer TS-9, Fender Deluxe Reverb and the Boss EQ GE-7 which I'm not sure if I'm gonna keep or not. Like I said I wasn't overly impressed by it. If I return the pedal I will have about $90 to work with and I still get great deals at Guitar Center from when I worked there so like the Sparkle Drive which is $119 I could get that out the door for 90bucks.......WHAT SHOULD I DO?????? I kinda want a new toy but I don't want to waste money if I won't benefit. I could always use that $90 to live off of if there is nothing usefull out there for me.

Think A LA 1983 SRV Tone.......
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Vaughanabe13



Joined: 04 Feb 2005
Posts: 161

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

62strat wrote:


my current Rig is my '62 Fender American Vintage Re-Issue Strat, Ibanez TubeScreamer TS-9, Fender Deluxe Reverb and the Boss EQ GE-7 which I'm not sure if I'm gonna keep or not. .


Um, hello!!! I would die for that rig! Talk about SRV tone! Ok, here's the problem:

your guitar.

Screw the effects and the amps for now because they are great (unless you really want to get technical, then you should get a vibroverb). The problem is your strat. You NEED the combo of high-output pickups, big frets, a thick neck, and big strings. Oh, and the less finish on your guitar, the better. Is yours finished in nitro or poly because if it's poly that is a HUGE tone sucker.

I need to know more about your guitar to help you in your quest. But let me just say this:

I have a strat that used to be a mexican strat but I beefed it up into an SRV copy. I run that into a Vox Wah, a Maxon OD808, and a Peavey Classic 50 4X10 combo. Ok, we know Stevie didn't use that stuff back then (maybe the vox) but I can get a KILLER srv tone (El Mocambo) out of this thing. I attribute it mostly to the guitar because the other stuff isn't really high quality.
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62strat



Joined: 28 Mar 2005
Posts: 115
Location: Flint, Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

my guitar has nitro finish that is why i bought the '62 RI. It's finish is starting to wear down some BUT I don't want to relic it I want time to do it on its own I WANT THE MOJO. I have a guitar builder here in michigan building me a HUGE neck with Fat frets. I play on 12 gauge strings but I don't like to go any bigger because it isn't comfortable to play. I have the standard '57-'62 pickups in there still but only because I haven't decided on what pups I want to put in there yet. how much does a set of Van Zandts Rocks cost?

Honestly though about the vibroverb it's a great amp don't get me wrong, BUT who the hell could actually get a vibroverb to run at full force in todays clubs? WE JUST CAN"T TURN UP IN CLUBS NOw A DAYS THE WAY STEVIE COULD..... That is why I went with the Deluxe Reverb because I can get true tube break-up at a lower volume BUT can still fill most any club/smaller to medium venue with my amp.


Last edited by 62strat on Tue Jul 19, 2005 9:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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bluz_playa85



Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 180

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vaughanabe13 wrote:
Oh, and the less finish on your guitar, the better. Is yours finished in nitro or poly because if it's poly that is a HUGE tone sucker.

first off this comment isint all that accurate. Even Joe Bonamassa said "the audience cant tell the difference between a new and an old guitar" and i agree with him. If thats the case, why isint the SRV signature strat done in nitro finish? I'm sure they kept that in mind but apparently it wasint that big of a concern to them.


Vaughanabe13 wrote:
I need to know more about your guitar to help you in your quest. But let me just say this:

I have a strat that used to be a mexican strat but I beefed it up into an SRV copy. I run that into a Vox Wah, a Maxon OD808, and a Peavey Classic 50 4X10 combo. Ok, we know Stevie didn't use that stuff back then (maybe the vox) but I can get a KILLER srv tone (El Mocambo) out of this thing. I attribute it mostly to the guitar because the other stuff isn't really high quality.


so basically what you are saying is that all the rest of your gear isint up to the quality of a MEXICAN strat? dont get me wrong i've played some decent mexican strats, but i've done research on them and they are only a step or 2 higher than a squier as far as manufacturing is concerned. I HAD an OD-808 (its priced a little high) and it thought it was one of the best overdrives I've ever used, and i STILL use a vox wah and i love it. Hate to break it to you bro but its not mostly your guitar that gives you your tone.
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TTrahan



Joined: 06 Nov 2004
Posts: 287

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The big string theory is not really a big deal.

I have a friend who plays with 9's (yes, 9's) that gets HUGE tone. Its all about your attack, and rig. Billy Gibbons used 8s and he has huge tone for days. The only way big gauge strings will benefit you is if you can throw them around well enough.

I used 12s for a LONG time, and just recently went down to Snake Oil Brand 11 gauge. I started having trouble with bending and endurance because I'm not playing as much. I notice no difference in the beefiness of my tone. The biggest attribute to beefiness (lol) is the size or square inches of speakers in my experience. A 15" sounds huge compared to a 12, and a 4x10 kills a single twelve IMO. Two 12s sounds great as well. (we hear KWS with his Twins all of the time). If you can really crank up a 12, it will sound great, and even better if you can get a 15 moving.

Aggressive, precise attack will be the most important thing in achieving a BIG sound.

SRV's early sound was, IMO, was very glassy cleans with really GREASY overdrive. I think the glassy cleans came from the Aluminum domed JBLs in the Vibroverbs. Not too mention the crystal clear highs from the Super Reverbs. The grease came from the combination of power tube breakup and the TS808 cranked for a boost (drive was probably never past 11:00).

I wouldn't get pickups that are super high output. They tend to get really midrangy, which will be overkill when you kick the TS9/808 on. The sound gets a tad too honky. But hot pickups are a good thing, just not SUPER hot one's. Catch my drift?

V-13 has a lot of good points as well. I just don't think the string thing is a MUST. Having a big neck is good, but if you're not comfortable with a huge neck, then you won't have any success making anything sound good. The big frets aren't for tone as much as they are for the whole step (and further) bends, and wide vibrato SRV was known for. The frets make those tasks ALOT easier.

....I think the Van Zandts are like $170. I can't remember. You can try mine again sometime if you want to demo them. You'd have to come over because they aren't leaving my guitar!!

Oh yeah...YMMV, IMO, FWIW, blah blah...
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bluz_playa85



Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 180

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TTrahan wrote:
The big string theory is not really a big deal.


this is true as well, although you cant deny the fact that the more metal there is vibrating over the pickup, the more sound you are going to get coming out. Plus lighter strings are harder to keep in tune. I think 11's are the perfect string size that alot of people tend to use (although 12's are ok too). They arent so big to where you will get arthritis playing on them, and they arent too thin to where they wont stay in tune if you bend them like crazy.
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