#CoffeeAndKlon 26: Mythbusting The Timmy / OD11 / Amp11 Controversy

This conversation originally happened on my Twitter feed.

I haven’t done a #CoffeeAndKlon yet this year. Time to put that right 🙂 Instead of writing the thread all in one go, I’ll be adding to it as I go along this morning.

Let’s start with some coffee. Because the day doesn’t officially start until there is coffee 🙂

This morning, we’re drinking Mexican Lion Boy from @CortileCoffee. It’s become one of Kristi’s favourite roasts.

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I think it’s a very easy coffee to drink. It’s not a million miles away from (say) Costa Coffee, but it’s got that bitterness and bitter aftertaste that high-street coffee sorely lacks.

Some Shoutouts

I’m going to do something different next: some shoutouts.

First one is to @crataegustess – the other half of our band Corynthium. The hardest part of this necessary lockdown is that I’m unable to rehearse and gig with my long-time collaborator and inspiration.

I’m *supposed* to be using the time to prepare some decent demo tracks for when restrictions ease. They’re coming, I promise 🙂

Speaking of inspiration, here’s a shout-out to @archeteer. He’s one of the people who’s encouraged me over and over since I started the http://hometoneblog.com. It’s *entirely* his fault that I picked up the Ceriatone Centura earlier this month (honest!)

I still haven’t bought that D&M drive though, despite his best efforts in the last couple of weeks 😀 Hope you’re still loving the SHOD. And if it isn’t for you, I could always use a spare 😉

Another great supporter has been @dnpage. He has this amazing knack of sliding into my DMs whenever I’m feeling less than shiny about music, and either asking a question or sharing some music that just gets me all enthused again.

Dave and his son have put some acoustic songs up on YouTube. I’ve enjoyed them a lot 🙂 You can find his channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-OwkI0jWSGxxGMJVGdRsPQ

I’ve got two shoutouts left that I want to do, and then I promise I’ll bore you all with pedal talk for a bit 🙂

Every Saturday, @lisaplaysguitar does shout-outs for dozens of music & gear folks here on Twitter. No-one else on here is building and connecting the community quite like she is. Please give her a follow, and take a look through all the folks she’s done a shout-out for.

My final shout-out goes to my mate @matthew_darcy. We met through work many years ago, and he’s one of those people who’s on my “drop everything” list, if he said he had a job he needed me for. (It’s a very short list!)

He’s also the reason this white Archer is on the board this morning. He knows a damn-sight more than I do, so when he tells me something is good, I’ve learned to pay attention.

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And having said that, I’m going to take it off the board now. And the Centura too. Because, this morning, I want to explore the whole Timmy / OD11 / Amp11 controversy. BRB as soon as I’ve swapped the pedals over.

Found them 🙂 They’re wired into the pedal switcher, so that I can use them on their own or together with the SHOD.

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What Is The Timmy / Lovepedal Controversy?

This is a topic that comes up time and time again on pedal & gear forums. When it came up again in the last couple of days, I thought it was time to sit down and revisit this for myself. But what is the topic?

It’s often said that the Lovepedal OD11 (and/or the Amp11) sounds identical to the Timmy. I’ve never subscribed to it.

This morning, I’m going to A/B the pedals through my rig, and see if I change my mind or not.

Before I do, here’s where I stand on it from my previous experience with both.

  • I’m not a fan of the Timmy. It’s legendary for a reason, but it’s never done much for me.
  • The Amp11 / OD11 is one of my all-time favourite drive pedals.

Are They Identical?

The first step is to run them into a clean amp, and try to get them to sound identical. And I’m already struggling to match them up.

For a start, the OD11’s controls definitely aren’t identical to the Timmy’s. The Timmy’s Bass is a bass cut, before the drive circuit IIRC, and the Treble is a treble cut that sits after the drive circuit.

Turn down the Bass on the Timmy, and it directly affects the character of the overdrive produced. If I turn down the Bass on the OD11, the overdrive character is not affected. The output just has less bass. At least, that’s what I’m hearing.

I’ve now setup the OD11 for my preferred main overdrive sound. I *can* dial the Timmy in to sound very close. It’s not identical, but I accept that many people would struggle to tell the difference.

I found the OD11 much easier to dial in for a great overdrive sound, because of the difference in how the Bass control responds. With the Timmy, I feel that there’s a very narrow sweet spot. And even then, the bass response booms if I’m not careful with my picking.

I’ve finally managed to nudge the Timmy’s Bass control by the right number of hair widths, and now the two pedals sound almost identical. I’ve never had the Timmy sounding this good as a main overdrive before.

To my ears, the OD11 is *slightly* smoother. The lower mids are a little less pronounced too. Differences anyone would struggle to hear, especially in a mix. The bass response (when playing the low E string) is the main giveaway now.

Before I change all the settings, here’s a photo showing how I dialled one the two pedals. The OD11 is setup to be my favourite drive sound, and the Timmy is dialled in to match.

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The Timmy Works Wonders With A Strat

Switching from my Les Paul to a Strat, the differences between the two pedals are far starker, at least to my ears. (The Strat remains such a great tool for telling pedals apart!)

Now, the OD11’s overdrive is a little too smooth and a little too cold for my liking. The Timmy comes across as more aggressive. There’s a very clear difference in the bass and the mid-hump that really suits the Strat.

The Timmy’s bass response *really* comes into its own when I switch to the Strat’s bridge pickup. I’ve dialled back the gain, dropped the Bass cut to just after 9 o’clock, and just enjoyed the results. Can I get the OD11 to match this?

No, I can’t get the OD11 to sound like the Timmy. Not for the bridge pickup of my Strat, anyways. The OD11 just doesn’t warm up like the Timmy does. The Timmy farts out a bit on the low E string, but as long as I stay away from that, it sounds really nice.

Not The Same Pedal

I’m going to call it here. (I’m probably reaching the limit of a Twitter thread and your attention span!) To my ears, the Timmy and the OD11 / Amp11 aren’t the same pedal. They can sound similar, but the bass control and response is quite different between the two.

I still love the OD11 / Amp11 as a main overdrive sound into a clean amp – for humbuckers on a Les Paul. It’s far easier to dial in, no problems with the bass farting out, and the smooth overdrive does it for me.

If I was playing a Strat, I’d reach for the Timmy instead of the OD11 / Amp11 100% of the time. All the things I don’t like about the Timmy with humbuckers work really well with a Strat – especially on the bridge position.

The Timmy has another use too, which I haven’t covered today: it can be used to boost a dirty amp or pedal. ie as an alternative to the Klon or the TubeScreamer. That might just have to be next week’s topic 🙂

#musicMonday

If you’ve read this far, thank you very much for your support! Can I encourage you to give your support to actual musicians too? On #musicMonday, we buy (not stream) an album or two to support musicians who can’t earn from gigs at this time.

I’m not a musician – I’m just a guy who plays guitar at home for fun. And sanity. Probably mostly sanity. Or maybe it’s just too late for that 😉

Grab an amp and maybe some pedals, and go find the tone that inspires you. Stay safe, stay well.

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