Before You Start
The Precision Drive has a draw of 9 volts or 16mA. Make sure you’re using a center negative 9v supply to power your pedal. Dunlop offer great single-spot units, as well as isolated multi-pedal units. Alternatively, a 9v battery will work fine.
Place the Precision drive before your amp (or pre-amp, if you are not using a traditional guitar amp), not in the FX loop.
As mentioned above, in order for the tonal benefits of an overdrive to work properly, it must be placed before your preamp (where the core of your tone is generated). When using a normal amp, this means that you should run the pedal in front, not in the FX loop. If you are using the Precision Drive in front of a preamp/distortion pedal, like the 5150OD, make sure the Precision Drive is before that pedal in the chain. The same logic applies to modeling units or plugins. Just make sure the Precision Drive is before the amp block or the plugin when routing! The Precision Drive will always work fine in front, but different units handle pedals (especially drive pedals) in their loops differently. Make sure you set your levels cleanly and properly to avoid noise issues.
For distorted tones, you can feel free to dial in very thick and undefined tones, then clean them up with the Precision Drive. You could also keep your amp’s settings on the dry side, and then shape that tone with the Precision Drive. For cleans, you can set that channel up to taste, and use the Precision Drive to dial in more mids and crunch, almost acting like a second channel. There really are no rules, though, I’m sure you will come up with way cooler ideas!
6 on the Precision drive is roughly equal to 10 on a Tubescreamer. So starting the volume at noon is usually a good bet. Adjust to taste from there.
We made sure this control could be very bright in order to help make dark or muddy amps cut. So be careful when using the pedal for mid/low gain tones, because it can be a bit harsh in the upper portion of its range. When doing this, don’t be afraid to turn this knob pretty far to the left. It will tame it right up!
Towards the left is more of a lower mids punch, and to the right can get very defined and pick-y. Left is a little more oldschool and thick, right is very modern and clear. You can get tons of unique combinations combining the attack knob with the bright knob. Turning bright up as you turn attack to the left can help keep your sound balanced, and vice versa. Or totally double down with both to the left for doom-y tones, or both to the right for super bright and cutting tones.
You’re going to want to start with this near zero at first, as with most pedals. A cool trick is to dial in a really dry and clear tone, then slowly turn the drive knob up to around 1-2 until you get the level of saturation and thickness you’d like. We put a lot of effort into this portion of the circuit to make it actually usable, so feel free to turn it up for mid-gain tones, or to add saturation and sustain to your solos.
Towards the left, the gate will eliminate most noise, with minimal tonal effect. To the right, you will get very tight bass response, but it will begin to interfere with your soloing a bit. Noon is a good middle ground that will work for most players and their applications. Like any gate, as you use your gain, your sound becomes less tight. However, please take note that using a lot of gain (tons of amp gain, tons of pedal gain, tons of both) can simply overload the gate and keep it from working properly. No one wants to be that guy with screeching undefined tone, so using the proper amount of gain is always a good call!