Author Topic: Pedals that work nicely for slide guitar?  (Read 7059 times)

sengo

Pedals that work nicely for slide guitar?
« on: October 01, 2007, 11:07:27 PM »
Hey guys,

    I was wondering what any of you who play slide guitar use in the way of pedals? It's hard to say what I'm looking for, because I pretty much like slide guitar in general, from smooth to really heavy overdrive, it's all good stuff. I breadboarded a Blue Magic, but I'm not sure its working properly as I need to use a booster in front of it to get any clipping at all, and it sure doesn't sound like the clips at GGG.

So, any recommendations at all would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Nick   

ocelot

Re: Pedals that work nicely for slide guitar?
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2007, 11:27:00 PM »
I use a MXR Dynacomp which I modded to Ross specs damn fine.

Cheers

BubbaKahuna

Re: Pedals that work nicely for slide guitar?
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2007, 12:24:20 AM »
I modded my HRDx to use EL84 power tubes, crammed it full of NOS preamps, swapped the stock eminence driver for an 80s Carvin British Series and push it with a GGG Bluesbreaker clone. My guitar is a 92 MIM Strat stuffed full of CSTS pups and strung with Ernie Ball SS 9s (of all things!) and Graphtech saddles. I usually run the amp on the drive channel and hit the BB clone for solos with a Clayton glass slide. Do a YouTube search for "Dirty Ernie Band" if you want to hear it. I use the same guitar for both slide and fretting and have no problems going back & forth. Not very conventional, but it works for my needs. I even use the slide on my middle finger and chord & play leads around it with my other fingers.

I'm doing everything wrong according to some folks! 
Been doing it like this for about 35 years though, I'm not gonna bother learning how to do it right at this point. ;D

Cheers,
 - JJ

My Momma always said, "Stultus est sicut stultus facit".
She was funny like that.

tcobretti

Re: Pedals that work nicely for slide guitar?
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2007, 01:18:40 AM »
Compressor!

Or a booster if you use an old tube amp.

twangquack

Re: Pedals that work nicely for slide guitar?
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2007, 03:06:40 AM »
I've played slide for around 35 years and I've used so many pedals it's hard to keep count. There are actually quite a large number of pedals that would you might like, it really depends on the exact tone you're going for ... and probably, it'll be more than one (tone).

Since the 70's, when folks like Lowell George (who used a Dyna Comp) used compression to increase sustain (I believe he showed that "trick" to Bonnie Raitt, but it's commonplace now), a good compressor is a great thing for slide ... but there's also a lot you can do with a good booster or overdrive pedal, not to mention a good amp just turned up LOUD. Or maybe all THREE! ;D

For clean slide, I really like the Stratoblaster (Improved) with a J201 because it sounds nicely full without being too bassy or tilted towards any particular frequency range -- just lets the sound of your guitar come nicely through. My recent AMZ Mini-Booster build with AMZ presence control (improved BMP tonestack) also sounds great, especially since I added some MOSFETs to use as clipping diodes (switchable). That slight grit, either at 9V or 18V (also switchable) is really wonderful.

Overdrives, especially those in the low-to-medium gain category, are terrific. I've never been one to really enjoy too much dirt for slide -- lead playing, certainly ... but slide, the dirt turned down a bit. I think the mid-hump of Tubescreamer-type designs helps for slide work, especially for Fender players such as myself. And if you go crazy with switchable clipping diodes, you can do the "flavor-testing" for quite a while.

As far as some of the DIY stuff we see around here, I would think the ROG Peppermill might be pretty cool, and one of the incarnations of the Shaka Braddah ... haven't tried those two, but I would be surprised if they didn't sound pretty good (especially the SB). After adding different switchable clipping diode arrangements to the feedback loop of my SparkleDrive (MOSFETs, JFETs, different blends of 1N34A's and silicon stuff), I've really fallen for being able to combine the overdriven with the clean tone. Another option (besides a SparkleDrive clone or other clean-blend TS-type pedal) might be using a saturation control like those that Jack Orman has linked to ... one of the ones to dial in just the grit you want for your clipping diodes, if you build a booster that can also function as a lower gain overdrive pedal.

I even tried my Red Llama clone, but as someone else said, I'm not sure it plays nice with compressors if you turn it up too much. I know it loves my MOSFET Boost (they want to get married), but the old Ibanez CP-10 gives the RL a bit of a cold-shoulder routine. At lower dirt level, I ran the RL into my SparkleDrive, played with a brass slide (I usually use heavy glass/Coricidin bottle type) and it was pretty freaking rowdy ... but both drive levels were certainly not dimed.

Basically, you're going to find there's an embarrassment of riches in finding a number of things you enjoy; some will have subtle differences from others, and others will be perhaps more towards an extreme ... but I encourage you to try LOTS O' STUFF! :D And who knows, you might even check back and say you've fallen in love with this: Tele>Super Chile Picoso (or MOSFET Boost, or SHO)>Rangemaster clone>blackface Fender or top-boost Vox! Because everyone likes something just a tad different ...

"Chef? Yes, tonight I'll have a serving of seared eardrums ..."
« Last Edit: October 02, 2007, 03:24:28 AM by twangquack »

stobiepole

Re: Pedals that work nicely for slide guitar?
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2007, 03:22:04 AM »
I like the Red Llama with slide. It's does a good Beefheart-style honk.

Chris

twangquack

Re: Pedals that work nicely for slide guitar?
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2007, 03:29:32 AM »
I like the Red Llama with slide. It's does a good Beefheart-style honk.

Chris

Actually, you're right -- that's a good way to put it: "Beefheart-style honk." But I don't use it with my CP-10 compressor; the Ibanez units are known for being a bit brighter and I even modded mine to get a bit more high-end (thankfully, switchable). I'd like to try the RL with something like the Keeley comp or DIY and well-modded Ross clone.

Mark Hammer

Re: Pedals that work nicely for slide guitar?
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2007, 08:18:28 AM »
"Slide" is kind of a wide category for me.  Certainly compressors with long recovery times work nicely for clean glassy-sounding slide a la Cooder or George or Raitt.  One of the things they do nicely is let you work those little glissy sounds after you pick.  For lap steel or other "high density" slides and similar styles, I find that I like 4049-based overdrives.  Just a nice vocal tone to them if you lowpass filter them just right..

96ecss

Re: Pedals that work nicely for slide guitar?
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2007, 08:27:27 AM »
I don't really play slide guitar much anymore but I have a friend who is a great slide player and he loves the Orange Squeezer I built him. I had to twist his arm to try it, now he doesn't want to turn it off.

Dave

sengo

Re: Pedals that work nicely for slide guitar?
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2007, 10:45:20 AM »
Wow, thanks for all the information guys..... I'm going to be pretty busy for a while now.

I only have one tube amp that works, and it's nothing spectacular, a 2-5 watt bargain bin amp from the late 50's. I am hoping to find a pedal to put in front of it to give it a better tone. It overdrives easily with a booster in front of it, but It seems to be missing something, I don't know what though. Hopefully with all your recommendations I'll now be able to figure that out.

Thanks again,

Nick

twangquack

Re: Pedals that work nicely for slide guitar?
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2007, 05:11:19 PM »
"Slide" is kind of a wide category for me.  Certainly compressors with long recovery times work nicely for clean glassy-sounding slide a la Cooder or George or Raitt.  One of the things they do nicely is let you work those little glissy sounds after you pick.  For lap steel or other "high density" slides and similar styles, I find that I like 4049-based overdrives.  Just a nice vocal tone to them if you lowpass filter them just right..

Hmmmmmm, interesting ("high density") ... like David Lindley, for example, right? Because I've always gravitated towards the tone of George/Cooder/Raitt, the compressed "glissy" and long-sustained vibratos are the thing for me ... thus, the brass slide/Les Paul combo with a 4049-based overdrive would probably be a more popular combination. (As opposed to the Ross or Dyna-Comp + Strat school of slide).

However, your mention of "vocal tone" if lowpass-filtered just right sounds intriguing: the sort of thing that might actually make me buy a Les Paul after all these years ... or, at the very least, a cool old Supro lap steel! (I've always been completely blown away by David Lindley's lap steel playing). Further experimentation must follow. Must finish the Hot Harmonics build first ... then borrow friend's Les Paul ... maybe not give it back (for awhile).