Posts Tagged ‘timmy’

I was in a rush yesterday to get to my weekly church gig, so I grabbed Katie May, my VHT Special 6 combo, and my small gig pedal board that had my Timmy on it, loaded up my car, and jetted off to pre-service rehearsal. The set that I picked out for yesterday had a couple of rocking pieces and I figured that when I needed dirt, I could get it from my Timmy.

Rehearsal was going great until we got to one of the songs where I needed some dirt. When I switched on the Timmy, it was about the ugliest overdrive sound that I’ve ever heard! I tried to mess around with the EQ on the amp and the pedal and Katie May, but to no avail. Then I remembered that the Special 6 doesn’t do well with overdrive pedals. It works best with a booster and making its own overdrive; and it didn’t help that Katie May already has a naturally bright and thin voicing, and the Timmy doesn’t do anything to tame that. Unfortunately, to get the Special 6 to break up, the volume would’ve been too high for church because the Special 6 has so much clean headroom, and I didn’t have my attenuator.

So I ended up just playing clean and adapted my playing to the clean tone, which actually didn’t sound too bad. But man o man, did I learn a couple of lessons:

  1. Be prepared; that is, make sure you know that the gear combination you’ve chosen is going to work BEFORE you go to the gig. Shit! I know this and normally do it, but got too pressed for time. In the future, since I now know that that combination doesn’t work, I won’t use it.
  2. As much as you might like to play a certain guitar, don’t try to force the issue by just wanting to play that one. I’m pretty attached to Katie May, but what I should’ve done was grab Amber or Ox (my Les Pauls). I know that either of them work great with that combination, and the Timmy seems to like them a lot.

Read Full Post »

…the problem is that I have my Timmy and Abunai 2 overdrive pedals on my board, and I haven’t found anything that’ll beat them. Believe me, I’ve tested and even purchased various overdrive pedals, like the Doodad Check-A-Board Overdrive/Booster, or the GeekMacDaddy GeekDriver. I had the GeekDriver on my board for quite awhile, but once I got the Abunai 2, that went. Then I got the Timmy and the Check-A-Board went. Since then, though I’ve tried out several other pedals, I haven’t found anything that’ll perform well with my various rig setups.

I think that’s that key to why these pedals are likely to stay on my board. Since I play a few different amps (plus three different cabs), mostly depending upon my mood, having overdrives that’ll work with all of these combinations is extremely important to me. Thus far, these two overdrives are the only ones that give me a satisfying tone with any amp I play. I loved the Check-A-Board for its TubeScreamer-like tone, but it seemed a little narrow. The GeekDriver is an interesting driver based upon the classic Range Driver overdrive. Unfortunately, it really only worked well with my Aracom VRX22. It did not sound at all good with my Aracom PLX18-BB or VRX18 plexi-style amps.

With either of those pedals, no amount of tone control tweaking would give me what I wanted. On the other hand with both the Timmy and the Abunai 2, I just make a couple of adjustments to the tone and gain knobs and I’m off to the races. With the Timmy, I rarely touch the tone controls. They remain wide open, and just get a little above unity volume and adjust for the amount of gain I want to have.

So along comes the Pigtronix FAT Drive. The recordings sound absolutely killer, and unlike other Pigtronix pedals that are rife with knobs and switches, Pigtronix has gone the more traditional route. I really want to try this one out. At $139, it’s a great price. Yikes! So tempted with GAS right now. But I’ll see where I can play one and try it out… It surely looks promising. 🙂

Read Full Post »

Paul Cochrane Timmy Overdrive

Summary: Others boast transparency, but the Paul Cochrane Timmy overdrive is one of the very few transparent overdrives I’ve ever used, and to me it is the best OD I’ve ever owned!

Pros: Super-simple to dial in a great tone for the guitar you’re using. Bass and Treble cut knobs make all the difference in the world with respect to dialing in your tone!

Cons: None.


  • Separate Bass (pre-distortion) and Treble (post-distortion) cut dials
  • Gain knob to control amount of clipping
  • Volume/Boost to control output gain
  • Three-way clipping switch to choose between two types of symmetrical clipping (up, middle) and asymmetrical clipping (down)

Price: $129 direct (twice as much on ebay if you don’t want to wait 6 months)

Tone Bone Score: 5.0 ~ I’ve only played with this for a little over an hour this evening, and already I’m in love with this OD pedal! You know me, I love OD pedals, but this one was well worth the wait. I can confidently say that this will NEVER leave my board.

Like many, I had heard of the Tim and Timmy pedals from Paul Cochrane, but I had never played one. I had only heard accounts online, then heard one in action at a concert. After speaking with the guitarist (Dylan Brock of Luce), and hearing him rave about the pedal, I finally got around to ordering one from Paul Cochrane back in October 2010. I finally got the pedal today, and it is hands-down the best damn overdrive pedal I’ve ever played in my life – and I’ve played a lot of them.

I now have only two overdrive pedals on my board: My trusty Tone Freak Effects Abunai 2, and now, my Timmy pedal. They will never leave my board. The Abunai 2 is much more of a distortion pedal than an overdrive and I love the color and compression it adds to my signal. The Timmy, on the other hand, is truly transparent. It takes your tone and give you more of it. And while other pedals will give you a midrange hump or scoop your tone, the Timmy lets you dial in (actually cut out) the amount of bass or treble you want in your signal.

Volume and Gain are pretty standard, so no need to go into those features. What makes this pedal special are the EQ knobs. Both are cut knobs. Fully counter-clockwise, they let in all the bass or treble. As you turn the knobs clockwise, they cut out. It’s a little backwards, but it makes sense once you start messing with the pedals. Paul says he made these like that because of the taper of the pots and doing it in reverse avoided dead spots.

The bass knob functions pre-distortion or before the clipping circuit. Other pedals dial out bass at a fixed level to avoid the bass being too muddy. The Timmy allows you to dial in as much or as little bass as you want. The treble knob functions post-distortion. Again, other pedals have treble set at a fixed point after the circuit to avoid fuzziness. The Timmy lets you dial in as much or as little as you want. The net result is a finer level of EQ control than I’ve ever experienced with an OD pedal, and those two knobs make that pedal very special for me.

I thought I was done with Overdrive pedals…

I actually thought I was done with Overdrive pedals for the most part, and instead started relying on my clean boost and occasionally would fire up my Abunai 2 to add some color and compression to my tone. But that all changed when I got my latest Strat. Even though the Kinman pickups and the X-Bridge pickups have more gain than stock Strat pickups, even cranked, they don’t have enough gain to get my vintage Plexi-style amps into their sweet spot – even with the amp cranked. For instance, I had to use my clean boost and/or my Abunai 2 this past weekend to push my amp into its sweet spot.

The clean boost works great in giving me the gain I need, but it doesn’t give me much sustain. The Abunai 2 gives me sustain, but it colors my tone and adds compression (I like that only for certain situations). Enter the Timmy. With the Timmy, I can get the gain boost I need to push my amp into its sweet spot, and with its clipping circuit, I can get a bit of sustain – but without the compression, which is HUGE for me. Mind you, this is all for a Strat. It’s a completely different story with my Les Pauls, as they have plenty of gain on tap, and have LOTS more natural sustain than a Strat. With a Strat, you always need some help. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just it is what it is.

With the Timmy, I think I’m now all set for OD pedals for awhile. Notice I didn’t say I was done… 🙂

I know, I normally do some description of how it looks and how it’s built, but suffice it to say that the pedal’s built solidly, and the purple finish is cool. ‘Nuff said. It’s how it sounds that is important.

How it sounds…

As Paul explained to me six months ago, the Tim and Timmy were designed to be transparent overdrives; that is, they take your tone and give you more of it. Though the signal path does include a clipping circuit, unlike other OD pedals, the Tim/Timmy circuit doesn’t add any color. In any case, here are a couple of clips.

In both clips, I have my Aracom VRX22 set up in its drive channel with the master and and volume knobs set to about 1pm each. With a Les Paul, cranked up in its bridge pickup, this will give me a sweet overdrive tone with lots of harmonics. With a Strat, these gain positions set it at the edge of breakup, and I have to really dig in to get distortion out of the amp.

The first clip is just a raw recording switching between just the Strat cranked up in its bridge position, then playing the same thing with the Timmy engaged. I did add a bit of extra volume to the Timmy so I could make sure that the amp got pushed into its sweet spot. Give it a listen:

The next clip is a re-recording of the song that I used for my Strat review. This time, I play the first part with the raw Strat, then in the second part add the Timmy to finish the song:

Overall Impression

In my mind, there’s nothing not to like about the Timmy. When Dylan Brock said to me, “Man, I just love my Timmy pedal,” I really couldn’t understand what he was talking about at the time. I now understand, and I mentioned above, the Timmy will never leave my board.

Read Full Post »