Here's something I wrote on the Madbean forums in regards to recommendations for dirt pedals:
"As far as high gainers go, I've built the BE-OD, BSIABII, Crunchbox, jfet JCM800, Mudflap (triple wreck clone with modified boost), Dr Boogie, Boneyard (dual and single channel), Superjudge, Purple Plexi 800, None More Black, Plexidrive, Sovereign, Big British Distortion, Seventh Heaven, and probably a few more too.
I still haven't quite found anything I like as much as my HT-Dual. Even the LT-Dual didn't come up to it. Funnily enough, jamming with the cover band sees me using the Zendrive 90% of the time and the HT-dual stays at home.
A quick rundown of of a couple opinions would go like this (these are just the ones I can recall right now):
- Mudflap: (Triplewreck clone) Insane amounts of dirt. There is no mid or low gain on this, just slightly less dirt. Pretty noisy. I'm going to use it with a gate.
- BE-OD: Nice, but I think mine suffers from 4148/914s in place of the Bat46s. I have two more of these to try out. Didn't think it did low gain that well. Bit dark too.
- Seventh Heaven: Cold? Sterile? Doesn't have the "edge" of other pedals but does have it's own thing going on. Almost like a high gain blues pedal, if that makes sense...
- Marshalls in a box: In order of lowest dirt to highest - Superjudge, Plexidrive, Boneyard, Crunchbox. All these do a nice plexi but you can do metal with the crunchbox... The Superjudge really needs a buffer in front of it, but kicking it with a boost makes it magical. The plexidrive is a good allrounder, the Boneyard takes that a little further, but the crunchbox tops these but is a little woody imo. The BSIAB is similar to the Crunchbox in terms of gain, but does the lower gain thing better and is less woody.
- Purple Plexi800: had a farty note decay in my build. Seems to be an issue with the 386 based builds. Was a bit noisy too.
- Big British Distortion: A bit bass heavy for my tastes. Basically a 3 knob jfet marshall layout (gain, tone, vol).
- None More Black: I really liked this one, but it seemed to have an undercurrent of noise that I'm putting down to the charge pumps I had (I had a really bad run of noisy pedals using charge pumps). Going to try it again.
- Sovereign: If you have a single coil in the bridge, you need to try this out. It ca have a strange spongy attack with humbuckers, but with a tele it really is fantastic.
- Jfet JCM800: The eq on this doesn't really work that well at all but you can clip a capacitor to fix that. However, this rendered the High/Low input mod unusable in my build when I couldn't one of the j201s to bias correctly after clipping the cap. Fixing the cap meant the High/Low inputs worked.
- Dr Boogie: Pretty similar to the Mudflap/Triplewreck soundwise if different in topology. I think the Mudflap might have a more cutting distortion though."
I've also build Baja's JVM410, I have a video up of that in the thread at freestompboxes, but if I was to make that again I'd just put a single tonestack at the output, not having one each on the crunch and OD channels.
I've also got an @t drive, which may or not get boxed. It's ok.
My current high gainer is a Brown Betty with switchable gain pots.