So, this weekend me and the GF headed to Stu's, and James decided to join us to go and see Karnivool and Tesseract. We had all of Monday morning and afternoon, and all of Tuesday to play FindBlankPlankANewBoostAndTestAsManyThingsAsPossib leTM. There's no pics, although I think James might have gotten some footage from ToneWorld.
On Monday at RichTone, we tried;
- All 4 Mesa pedals (Grid Slammer, Throttle Box, Flux Drive, Tone Burst)
- Blackstar LT Boost
- Ibanez TS9
- MXR Custom Badass Modified OD
- MXR Distortion of sorts
- Assorted fuzz pedals that picked
The test rig for this was my RGD2127z w/81-7H > Diezel Hagen > EVH 412 cab. We also tried the Iron Label RG8 with the Grid Slammer. Now, while trying these boosts, I decided not to compare them to the Bloody Murder, as I need a pedal, and don't want to make myself want to keep it. It's safe to say that out of the pile, the MXR CBMOD and Grid Slammer came out on top. The TS9 and Blackstar LT Boost felt very weak by comparison. We discovered that the Throttle Box would be an awesome addition in front of a clean amp. Not quite to my tastes, but it certainly put a grin on our faces for the sheer hilarity of how awesome it was, and I can see Stu owning one at some point. The MXR Distortion was awful IMO, but it's not exactly something I'd use either way. I didn't bother with the fuzz pedals, so Stu can chime in for those. I don't remember much of the Flux drive and Tone Burst to form an opinion of them either...
Good start to the day. I've talked myself out of a £200 Overdrive (the ProTone I wanted) and found a marginally cheaper one at £149. Worth noting that the RGIR28, while a solid guitar, really could do to lose the 808's. They're so ridiculously hot it's unreal. With some better pickups in there, I could see myself owning one.
Since I've gotta head back past Manchester anyways, and since James hadn't witnessed the wonder of ToneWorld, we decided to pop in. Bad idea for at least 2 of us. Still wanting to try more boosts, we found the Suhr Kokoboost (the only boost in store I hadn't already tried), and decided to pit it against the Grid Slammer since that's what I'd picked. Again, we brought my Hagen in store and noticed there was also a VH4 in, so decided we'd pit the Hagen against my VH4. I was hoping there would be a Diezel cabinet in to try and see if I still hated them, alas, there wasn't, so we ran it through a Blackstar Series One 412 with V30's. We tried the Grid Slammer and Koko extensively through the Hagen on all 4 channels, different modes of the Koko etc. and discovered that I now wanted the Koko rather than the Grid Slammer.
Bad Idea Number 1: I've now went from wanting a £149 boost back up to a £199 boost.
Next up: Hagen vs VH4 time
This is the first time I've had proper play with a VH4, last time was a low volume affair for all of 5 minutes. From the first 3 or 4 chords I decided I have to have one at some point. It shares a few similar charactaristics with the Hagen but enough of a difference to justify the price by a country mile. Jesus fucking christ that thing was absolutely savage. Every note jumped out at you, clear and articulate. The midrange really wanted to tear your face off and it was beyond tight. Definitely didn't need a boost at all, but with some tweaking, the boost sat quite nicely IMO. Now both me and James have VH4 GAS, although James moreso than me.
I'm in no rush to get one, as I have a few other amps I want to get first (Dual/Triple Recto, Pittbull UL), but it's definitely on the list. I think James' GAS has reached critical mass though
Lastly, I wanted to try the Splawn Nitro, and Stu wanted to re-try it. After hearing clips I had GAS for one, but after trying one, I think that's sufficiently been quashed. Anything it can do, the Hagen can do better IMO. However, it does have it's plus points. It has the very Marshally sounding mid range which I find fucking awesome. It was grindy and it was clear with not too much sizzle. There is an unholy amount of unneccesary bass though. We had the bass a hair over off and the resonance at the same and that's where it sounded best. This amp definitely benefitted from a boost.
Also an honourable mention, the PRS SE-7. Played exceptionally well, built solidly, looked gorgeous and for what it was, sounded fairly awesome even with the stock pickups. Sadly not something I could use in SSIR, if joined a cover band, this would be my first choice no doubt.
I now want a £200 boost after talking myself down to £150 from £200 and want a VH4 so I can become (and believe me, I hate being called Tony) Tony Two Diezels.
James really, REALLY wants a VH4. Stu is a cunt and wants nothing.