I've built a few pedals on PCBs, and have some existing pedals on my board that I like for crunchy rhythm, and more rock lead tones.
But a sound I particularly like is that warm almost-breaking-up but not muffled or dark tone that I associate with people like Kenny Burrell (on Midnight Blue), or Oscar Moore on some of the Nat Cole Trio ballads, or Wes Montgomery on some live dates when he's almost but not quite overdriven.
I think that sound was largely produced by tweed Fender Deluxe or maybe Twin amps? Or mid-sized Gibson combos. But I'd be happy to be steered in another direction if I'm wrong.
Anyway, recommendations for a new pedal build that nods in that direction? I'm guessing a low gain overdrive, or possibly something with a bit of boost/compression/EQ?
Great album. I think a tweed amp like the Deluxe, Bassman, or Twin would make it easy to get that type of sound. I built a Fender Deluxe clone and to get this sound I would probably plug into the low input of the normal channel. That amp has a beautiful natural compression and dynamic breakup
It's going to be more difficult to emulate with pedals, especially depending on the guitar and amp you are using. But for pedals you'd probably want a compressor and maybe a very light OD like a Timmy
Yeah. The other thing that occurred to me was something like the BJFE/Bearfoot Honey Bee or the Model G.
I have a copy of the Sweet Honey which has the kind of overdrive structure and responsiveness to pick attack that would work. It's just a little brighter than perfect for that style, and has too much gain, and is maybe a fraction too uncompressed. Although I like it very much for other things.
A similar pedal, but where say the whole range of the gain knob covered more like the first 1/3 of the gain range, combined with a bit of gentle compression/warming up might do it.
Have you ever tried a Klon before? If I'm starting with a clean blackface Twin Reverb sound then I think the Klon is probably the closest I can get with one pedal (at least out of the ODs that I have built). The Klon adds compression and mainly focuses on that low gain range, I think it might be perfect for you
I looked up some info on what Kenny used on that record and I am unsure but most people are saying that he primarily used a tweed Deluxe. The Deluxe is a really special amp, if it's at all possible for you to build one in the future (you could build one for around $500) then I think it will give you the sound you are after with no pedals. Having the perfect amp always tends to sound better compared to using pedals but of course an amp is a much bigger investment.
I'm not quite ready to build an amp at the moment. I think that's probably a project for the future. However, if/when I do get round to doing that, the Deluxe is definitely the one I'd make, so yeah, that's an excellent suggestion for a year or two down the line.
The closest I've come to the perfect sound in my head -- which isn't quite the sound described above, but close -- was playing through a Deluxe reissue, with a good vintage (60s) Fender.
I'm not sure there's a 'Deluxe-in-a-box' pedal, though? I know the Catalinbread Formula 5 claims to be that, and in some clips with the guitar volume low, it gets close. But most 'tweed' or Fender-in-a-box pedals are demo'd on Youtube with a much gainer (verging on harsh) sound than I would use.
You could try the Wampler Tweed or Black pedals. The Formula No 5 does the Neil Young Tweed-all-the-way-up thing, which is different from what you want; as far as I can tell, it always sounds like "Cinnamon Girl" until you turn the guitar down a lot.
There's also the Sansamp Blonde / Joyo American Sound pedal, but it is complex and more for buying than building.