Are you considering purchasing an overdrive pedal and not sure which one might be best for a guitar that is equipped with humbuckers? The thing is, you want to choose the right chorus pedal for the job of working best with humbucker guitar pickups.
To get started, let’s just jump into which of these best overdrive pedals that we choose.
Our Overdrive Pedal Recommendations:
Some Other Things To Consider
Overdrive pedals are remarkable and they are among the quintessential elements on the pedalboard of any guitar player. When choosing an overdrive pedal for a guitar with humbuckers, it is important to consider how you want it to work for you. Below are some of the ways in which it could work for you:
Complementing Your Guitar Tone
Overdrive pedals can be used by players to complement or enhance an amplifier that is already overdriven. One reason could be to focus or fill in particular frequencies for a sound which cuts through the mix in a better way. Additionally, it is great for adding a larger and more intense sound and incorporating a new gain stage to the signal chain.
To achieve this, you should set the amp to your ideal overdrive level. After that, it will be left up to you experimenting with the controls of the pedal. There is a Double-Double Overdrive that produces lots of options via its two separate OD circuits and distinct Bass and Treble controls. You should tweak these until you get a sound that works well with the natural overdrive of your amp.
Sometimes, all that is needed is a touch of boost to give the signal some color. Simply put, you can bump up your guitar signal output so it is mostly clean but will have the slightest bit of tonal coloration. This is similar to producing the sound of a blackface kind of amp on “10” but the volume is lower.
You can produce a colorful boosted sound by setting the amp to your ideal clean setting. Use the Double-Double Overdrive to select Hi or Lo for the ideal tonal profile and let the Drive knob remain almost fully counterclockwise. After this, the Treble and Bass controls can be used to shape the signal sound and the Level control to set the amount of boost you want. Obviously, taste will differ but this is a good starting place.
From time to time, the sound of the overdrive pedal is so great that this is all you want to hear. Pretty much, this approach is the “plug in and go” but if your pedal is tweakable, you should spend time to determine the breadth of available options. When starting out with a clean amp, this also provides a clean slate. Set the amp and tweak the pedal to your liking.
The blackface and the plexi are two of the most popular styles of amp currently available. Blackface-style amps produce a sound that is more scooped and cleaner. Typically, plexi-style amps produce a more mid-focused gain. Similar to the different types of gear, you must figure out they type of sound you want before choosing the better amp for you.
If your guitar that has single-coil pickups is run through a blackface-style amplifier and the overdrive signal is sounding a bit thin, you should try to turn up the Bass and Drive on the Double-Double Overdrive. If your humbuckers guitar is run through a plexi-style amp, you can try accentuating and boosting the mids to produce searing solo that can cut through the band’s cacophony. Try to bring the Drive down and lower the Bass setting while allowing the amp to provide most of the distortion.
The majority of players use humbucking pickups or single-coil pickups. Typically, single-coil pickups produce more highs and lows (a more superior tonal range) with a lower output. Humbuckers produce a higher output and produce a more focused sound in the low mids and mids. But how does this impact the overdrive pedal settings? Well, a great-sounding setting configuration with humbuckers pickups might not sound that remarkable with single-coil and vice versa.
For example, to get a good baseline with the Double-Double Overdrive, the Volume and Treble should be set at noon, Bass should be off and the Drive set to very low. Pay attention to how everything sounds and make any necessary adjustment. If your single-coil signal needs beefing up, choose the Hi setting. You will also want to roll off the Treble, turn up the Drive and add some Bass. To tighten up the humbucker signal to produce a more focused lead tone, you should go for the Lo setting with Treble at 2 o’clock, the Bass off and Drive to taste. It ultimately depends on what goals you want to accomplish; for example, should the overdrive sound complement the tonal profile of the pickups or provide it with something that is missing?