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Deco – Transparent Overdrive

Deco Transparent Overdrive - Tape Saturation

There are many ways to saturate a guitar signal, including overloading diodes, transistors, and vacuum tubes; and over the years hundreds of guitar pedals have been designed offering different flavors of overdrive and distortion. If you want overdrive that preserves the natural tone and personality of your guitar, that works together with your favorite amplifier to bring out its inherent growl, and that responds to your playing dynamics rather than obliterating them, then a really transparent overdrive is what you’re looking for. Of all the methods for creating a pleasing transparent overdrive, it’s hard to think of a more effective (and luxurious) method than tape saturation. And thanks to Deco, you don’t have to lug a reel-to-reel tape machine to your gig.

At lower input levels, Deco’s tape saturation provides warmth while retaining a very high degree of transparency. As the volume is increased, stronger tape saturation provides overdrive while still allowing you to hear the snap of the string underneath the grit. Check out the video below to hear examples of Deco’s tape saturation being driven at various levels by a variety of pickups.



In the next video (below), Daniel and Mick from That Pedal Show use Deco’s tape saturation for transparent overdrive in front of a Mallard 18-watt Marshall clone. The link below starts the video at 7:18, and they play with the tape saturation until about 8:37.



With its warm, tape-style dynamic compression and saturation, Deco delivers transparent overdrive that lets the character of your guitar, your amplifier, and your playing style shine through.


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6 Responses

    1. @James – The TimeLine can provide a wide variety of delay sounds, however, it does not have the ability to add gain to sound like the Tape Saturation of the Deco. The Deco is our only pedal that can provide this type of overdrive to your sound.

  1. Any suggestions on the best way to stack overdrives in front of the Deco for rhythm & lead sounds? I use the deco with the tape saturation around noon & always on in life situations. Thanks!

    1. @Bob – you can use the Tape Saturation to boost the level of your current driven signal, however, if the Tape Saturation is always on, you can look into using a Favorite switch to toggle between a low and high VOLUME setting on the Deco to use for boost.

  2. Does the Tape Saturation side have enough output to be used as a clean boost for solos? I’m currently running a Durham Sexdrive pedal after my King of Tone to simply boost the overall volume level (gain and volume knob are set at noon if you’re familiar with the pedal, quite a lot of volume jump to be honest). I’d love to add some of that tape warmth and subtle compression without adding much grit but a big boost in volume. Thanks!

    1. @Jake – Yes, you can use the Deco’s Tape Saturation as a clean boost in this manner. You can get about +6dB max of clean boost with the SATURATION knob set to 0% and more when turned up, however, it will no longer be ‘clean’.

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