...Just a thin review of the new pedal i got. Feel free to share similar experiences with this same pedal or any other pedal you've just gotten...
I just received my Timmy pedal the other day and I have to say, it's a nice device. It takes no time at all to dial in nice tones with single coils or Filtertrons. I haven't tried humbuckers with it yet.
For $129 shipped, I like it much better than oh so many boutique pedals I've tried and is certainly above the Boss and MXR pedals I've owned/played.
It covers a lot of territory without ever getting fizzy or buzzy. There is nothing I hate more than the sound of a bum overdrive that trails off with fizz and buzz (BD2 comes to mind). This doesn't do that.
What I like so far:
- Subtractive tone bass and treble - Very useful range here. Bass is post gain, treble is pre-gain. I think this is what makes this pedal so useful. These controls are capable of completely changing the character of this pedal.
- Build quality - this thing is truly boutique quality. All of the components inside seem to be the highest tolerance possible. AND - the letters are under a layer of clear coat, so they won't scratch off.
- Drive Quality - No, it doesn't sound like an overdriven Tube amp. No pedal ever does no matter what "they" claim. However, this pedal does have a nice drive sound that is free of fizz and buzz and no one will know you're using a pedal. It works very well for low gain to mid crunch. I even found some smooth/creamy tones that weren't unlike Dumble territory if you're into that sort of thing. Not a Tubescreamer at all.
- Clean Boost - I've done a bit with it as a booster and it does it well. Perfect for creating an alter-ego in your rig.
Your mileage may vary, but I personally find this to be one of only two overdrive pedals I'll ever want. And I suspect it's one of those pedals where people will say, "wow, your tone is great", but never, "you're playing through a Timmy aren't you?"
So what have you purchased recently that you'd like to share?
Anyone else have Timmy experiences?
Was this $129 new or a careful used deal? I like my coolcat transparent overdrive, but it gets a bit too loose if the gain is pushed.
New, shipping included. I think for a "boutique" pedal, it's very reasonable.
I rarely like an overdrive pedal - I've sold every one I've owned at this point. This one isn't going anywhere as it is capable of handling a lot of things I need.
This pedal is said to inhabit many a pedal board in Nashville alongside Keeley compressors. Not that I strive to be like Nashville session musicians, but it does say something.
Why is there a CoolCat line of pedals?
Do you mean what is the coolcat line of pedals? They're by Danelectro, and the TO was supposed to be a Timmy clone.
They were all budget pedals, but cloned (to a degree) from various boutique makers designs (all of which are clones to a degree of other makers designs). I have a fuzz too, which is supposed to sound like the Peach Fuzz, and at some stage I'd like to try a few more, but particularly the Drive and Trem. I also had a Vibe, but when you kick the vibe in it boosts well above unity gain, and it was really excessive - nice tone otherwise though - and I might still try to pick up another some time for modding.
So the TO is a Timmy clone. Must mean Cochrane is doing something right.
Yea, I was wondering if that brand was a pure Danelectro invention, or if they bought the name.
And it sounds like they're a line of pedals intended to fulfill that age old niche of "if you like Ralph Lauren Polo, you'll like this". Is that about right?
That's not a reference I know, but I think the essence of it is correct. There was however a bit of an outcry about how similar the circuits were, and they ended up producing a lot of version 2s that were changed, though they still sound good. Danos tend to be a bit patchy - some models are excellent like the PB&J and some are just nasty (I had a Wasabi distortion that was unusable for creation of music).
If the diode noise doesn't happen at the end of the note, then I wouldn't mind having a Timmy. I don't know if I'd use it often, but I might use an od more often if I could find one that didn't detract from the clean tone at low drive levels. Sounds like you found something that doesn't.
We might be of kindred spirit on this one. Give me some things to listen for and I'll give it a try.
This pedal seemed to fill a couple of voids I was experiencing. So much so that I almost used it in church yesterday.
It all started with the 808. Various cut-replace-solder mods have appeared in order to smooth the o.d., change the voicing, reduce noise, or just plain appeal to snobbery. People have installed sockets so they can roll op amps, tried all different kinds of capacitors, resistors, and brands of solder. Back in '05 there appeared a schematic by j.c. maillet called the SRV special. It stripped the circuit down quite a bit with the stated intent of removing any coupling caps which filtered the audio from the 4.5V bias voltage only to add it back in on the other side. Most schemas claiming to be the Timmy circuit appear to be a step further in this process in that it eliminates the input and output transistor buffers and simply presents the input signal to the op amp (on approx 5V of bias). The output from the first op amp is presented to the second op amp input with only a simple treble roll-off control. The second op amp has a gain of 2, just enough to run the output through a 1uf cap to remove the 5V and then to a 10k vol control, then out the jack. I'm building one for research purposes with some ideas of my own. They're all copies more or less of the 808, with incremental changes from various builders. The dual op amp topography has become a standard starting point for trying stuff out - it has become as foundational for overdrive builders as the RCA receiving tube manual - Fender - Marshall circuit. Everyone builds those because it's hard to copyright something that has been a standard part of electronic knowledge since the Williamson nfb amplifier in the forties. I think the 808 circuit and its children likewise have now started to become part of the lore. Not saying the Timmy isn't a phenomenally good sounding variation, it most certainly is, just that it is one of a wide variety of 808 descendants, and one that hasn't got too much NEW new stuff in it. Paul C hit on just the right combination of values to get a really useful overdrive sound without a bunch of baggage on the side. Is it getting better as you experiment, or are you getting tired of it yet?
I've never really analyzed the design of any guitar overdrive pedal, but I sense that the Timmy is about as far away from an 808 as one can get. It neither acts, sounds nor smells like one. The response is different and the resulting sounds are different. Can it still be a true descendent of the 808? I don't know, you want me to send some gut shots? It's my impression that there are only two or three original pedal designs (just like guitar amps) and everything else is just variation on a theme.
Sometimes reading people's reviews and discussions about effects can approach the nonsense level formerly the property of the audiophile crowd. Remember the discussion about cables where we discussed high end audio interconnects? Even Paul Cochrane admitted at one point that the Timmy was just a "yats" (Yet Another Tube Screamer). That stripped down "yats" with the simple tone control does something special, though. I'm stripping it down further and dropping the bass control from the gain loop - back to a three knob ts. Just trying to find out how stripped down I can go and still produce an acceptable result. I'm going to use the TL082 instead of the 4558D, because it's what I've got. Should be fairly hi-fi and low noise. Also, I'd like to have a better understanding of how important the op amp is to the tone. Also, from some simulations of the clipping loop I've found that the technique of adding some resistance in series with the diodes is almost inaudible in the 808/Timmy circuit. There's just not enough current flowing to make much of a change in the waveform until the resistor gets fairly large. I'll put it in with a switch so I can A/B it.
Old Paul C breadboad version Timmy:
La Revolution Deux discussion of the Timmy with a really nice demo:
I've also been looking for the earliest example of op amp output limiting using diodes like the circuit under discussion. So far I haven't found much before the 808 (1979-1980 ish?). I have to imagine that this sub-circuit was designed earlier than 1979, not as an audio clipper but as a method to keep the op amp from hitting the rails, but I haven't found any references to it yet.
When you say, such and such is "just a stripped down TS" - you're not really saying much about how it sounds or performs. I wrote the review for people who might be interested in buying one and possibly knowing how it sounds or performs.
I certainly don't want it to get to the nonsense level, I'm just saying that I treat it like a black box. I like how it functions and it doesn't really act like a TS - information for anyone who might be interested in getting one for their rig. If you have a TS, it would be a nice addition to your stable.
Sorry, I wasn't referring to this thread as nonsense but some of the material elsewhere about this or that clone being THE overdrive approaches the level of religious discussion. Timmy IS different, but not necessarily revolutionary, just well thought out. There's stuff not in Timmy which many other clones include. Transistor buffers in and out to make the pedal behave well with other pedals have been deemed necessary, but really, they were included because they make it easier to do whatever you want in the rest of the circuit without considering impedance matching. Careful selection of component values in circuits like the Timmy means the op amp inputs and outputs are sufficient. Having fewer active devices in the audio path seems like a good idea to me. And really, for me having a nice transparent OD is unimportant to my church playing. The fact that I'm playing the electric guitar at all is the limit of understanding for many in my congregation. Having a nice overdrive sound would be just another distortion to many of them, and therefore unpleasant. We still have members who don't think the debate over drums is over yet!