Okay, I've got a friend. John Mark Herring (do the initials look familiar? J.M.H.; James/"Jimi" Marshall Hendrix) Well, he came over and we've sort of gotten into this cool collaboration together.
He brought over his Analogman Silver Modded TS9 and Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive, along with a reverb-impaired Blues Jr., a Stock GCB-95 Crybaby Wah, and a Danelectro Fab Metal he had gotten for Xmas.
He jammed on my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe with My Strat for a while. Then I set up the A/B tests for him.
Analogman TS9 vs. Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive-
- The tone and feel of the TS9 is very desirable, but somewhat overbearing and not as reactive to his playing as John Mark prefers.
- The Voodoo Labs doesn't have as much available ad useable gain as the TS9 (even though it doesnt have much), and he LOVES the clean/grit blend on it.
Result: Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive
Analogman TS9 vs. My SD-1 (Modded)
- Again, the TS9 has a nice compression to it, but its just a sort of lifeless tone, with the treble response lacking of Johns's needs.
- He tried out the SD-1 and Loved it! He played for close to if not a full hour just jamming on a slow clean breakup setting with a nice does of twang to it, but not icepicking tone.
Result: Stargazer FX Modded SD-1
Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive vs. My SD-1 (Modded)
- The two that he preferred was his favorite competition.
- He always loves the clean blend on the Sparkle Drive; but when using it for a bit of grit, its not always his cup of tea.
- The liveliness and clarity in My SD-1 still amazes him of how I managed to make it sound the way it does. He mentioned a few times that since it's a Fender on Fender orgy of tone, the only difference he would make is to maybe add a slight bit of bass more into my design (which is perfectly doable upon request :) ) And he'd really LOVE a clean blend, which would be a "Stargazer FX's JMH Custom SD-1" design (yes, with the added smoothness of bass to it.)
Result: John Mark ended up taking My Sd-1 home to play through his Twin,and if I'm not mistaken, he's probably still jamming on it right now. ^_^
Take from these tests what you need, and see what kind of overdrive it really is that you need.