Amp drive or pedals ?

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by Mockbel, Oct 11, 2017.

How do you get your dirty sound?

  1. Amp dirty channel exclusively

    16 vote(s)
    28.1%
  2. Pedals exclusively

    11 vote(s)
    19.3%
  3. I can't live without both

    30 vote(s)
    52.6%
  1. Mockbel

    Mockbel Senior Member

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    Hi guys.. it is a simple poll just to get an indication how majority of people do... and accordingly, I may change my current setup :D
     
  2. StillLearning

    StillLearning Senior Member

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    Need 4th option for depends on my mood...I tend to be moody
     
  3. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    For the volumes I play at the amp drive is slayed by pedals.
     
  4. Mockbel

    Mockbel Senior Member

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    So you can't live without both !

    I didn't mean that it is necessarily you are using both at same time !
     
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  5. T00DEEPBLUE

    T00DEEPBLUE Senior Member

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    I do both. Namely using a Green Rhino as a clean boost for my 5153 when nailing a tight progressive metal tone. I think most people here are going to say that they use both.

    I think the question you're asking is too simplistic for any information to come out of it to be very meaningful. More often than not, people are aiming for a different tone to what you're aiming for and they're doing it with different gear. So unless they're coincidentally aiming for the same tones you are and they just so happen to have the same gear as you, what they do is unlikely to be indicative of what you should be doing.

    I think your answers are going to be more meaningful if you give the question some context. "Do you use a drive pedal or just the amp by itself when nailing a SRV-style tone and why?"
     
  6. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    Depends on the amp. Some amps give me the goods without help ... others, not so much.
     
  7. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    My preference is to always work with what the amp provides first. I can usually get to 95% of what I want to hear straight from an amp. From there I will add a boost of some sort, more often than not an MXR DynaComp set like this:

    [​IMG]

    Works well with pretty much every amp. Of course, small tweaks need to be made for different amps. I leave the DC on all the time. It's just part of the sound. If I need to add a little more gain for leads or whatever, THEN I go to an OD pedal - but MOST of the time the DC hitting the front of a driven amp gets me where I need to go.

    These days there are too many flavors of OD/Dist. It takes forever to find one that matches well with EVERY amp....
     
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  8. Alderbeck

    Alderbeck Member

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    I think a lot of people may be turning to the sound alike options amp sims give you now. I have the boss katana 100/212. With it you get tone studio and you can download a sound a like option to put in a preset on your amp. So for example you can download a set of hendrix tones one of which is called " purple fog " and in seconds you have a tone that mimics exactly the setup hendrix had for purple haze. Unless you like the challenge of twiddling knobs and experimenting this is the way to go. Personally I want as much time on playing my guitar rather than spending too much time trying to get the sound right from scratch.
     
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  9. penguinchit

    penguinchit Senior Member

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    All pedals for me. I can't play loud enough to get that great grit sound, so I rely on pedals. I have a mean clean tone though!
     
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  10. freefrog

    freefrog Senior Member

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    I do both.

    I also tend to play the game according to my own rules: diverting the logic of FX send/return and the stereo capability of some MFX's, I use the preamp of a Marshall amp as a kind of big dirt box feeding the guitar input of other amps, in order to have a stereo signal... Obviously, it requires some level matching and EQing but it works well enough to be one of my main tricks on stage for 10 or 15 years now.

    EDIT - I also use amp modeling but only if the situation allows to coax good tones (a modeler plugged in a crappy local PA can be extremely frustrating IME/IMO).
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  11. bossaddict

    bossaddict Premium Member

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    This is pretty much me as well. I'm currently using a Marshall Astoria Classic (no built-in drive) with the KoT, Spark Mini, and (occasionally) Sunface for my dirt signal. I use a completely different amp for cleans.
     
  12. gball

    gball Senior Member

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    I get the vast majority of my gain from my amps (both Mesa Boogies, so they have more than enough gain), but there are times when I use a pedal in front of the clean channels to get a certain texture, usually when I need something low-to-medium gain.
     
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  13. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

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    I get my dirt in three ways. I keep my Orange Tiny Terror set at medium gain (noon). I will use this for a moderate Rock distortion. When I want a bit more, I use my Bad Monkey OD or Soul Food pedal to goose the TT. If that isn't enough, or I want a bigger low end sound, I run my Cornish G2 clone through my clean VOX Night Train.
     
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  14. Tobin1634

    Tobin1634 Senior Member

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    I get the pedal thing, but I feel like a good rock amp should have good distortion on its own! Like a marshall! though I know plenty use drive pedals with them..
     
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  15. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    An add-on to what I said earlier....

    I never try to get an amp to do something it is not designed to do. If I want balls-to-the-wall gain, I will go to an amp that does that. If I want classic jangle, I don't try to play a 5150. If I want a clean amp, I will play a Fender.

    At one point I kept 35 amps around for varying uses, volumes and genres. I am aware not everyone can do that (or wants to). My main point is to start by looking at the tool (amp) you are using to achieve "X" sound.

    I spent my early years using Fender amps (could get Fender heads all day long in the pawn shops for less than $200) to play metal. I was using multiple gain pedals to get over the top distortion (my thrash and death metal days....87-90). It was "ok" at best. I never sounded as good as the guys using amps that were DESIGNED for extreme music. Once I started moving up the "food chain" and got a Mesa and then my Rivera I was in a better place for distorted tones.

    Even today, my Rivera still sounds better using the natural gain characteristics over hitting the front with different drive pedals. However, my Fenders always sounded AWESOME with drive pedals.

    What is your current rig, and what are trying to achieve?
     
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  16. zamdrang

    zamdrang Member

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    I prefer the grit comes from the amp. I have always felt pedals were to augment tone not be the tone. Over the years more and more I have noticed the idea that the only way to get good tube amp drive is to turn it up, and if you can't do that you rely on pedals. To me that sounds like an idea put forth by pedal manufacturer propaganda and the rise of lunch box amps with power attenuators a' la EVH.

    Don't get me wrong power tube break up IS great, but it's not the be all end for grit/gain. An amp with a well designed pre amp (geared towards such a thing) still kills any pedal i've heard and doesn't have to get you evicted to do it. Pedals have their place but they still sound like pedals....to me.
     
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  17. lung plunger

    lung plunger Senior Member

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    I run my spitfire clone dimed. It doesnt get heavy saturation, but thats what my germ fuzz is for.
     
  18. Bobby Mahogany

    Bobby Mahogany Senior Member

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    Both.
    If you can "open" the amp, fine.
    Then you can also kick it with a pedal for solos.
    If volume is an issue, no choice but pedals.
     
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  19. freefrog

    freefrog Senior Member

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    FWIW, something like the Blackstar HT-Dual fills the gap: it is a 300v powered tube preamp in a pedal and it sounds as such IME/IMHO (even if it's not a "pure tube drive" unit; but after all, many amps don't rely on "pure tube drive" either and those still doing that don't always sound good, like the Fender HRD).
    I prefer the Blackstar to my OCD, albeit the OCD is one of the least "pedal sounding" drive boxes that I've owned.

    But I agree: most drive pedals sound like pedals and many are more convincing when used to push an amp than if they feed a clean channel. :)
     
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  20. Mockbel

    Mockbel Senior Member

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    I have Laney ironheart studio... it is a high gain amp.. 3 channels.. i rely on it for all clean and drive sounds.. i just noted that there are tons of drive pedals.. and sone of them really sound good so i thought of replacing my head and get a super clean single channel head and rely on pedals for drive.. but i think i am not going for that extreme after this thread.. i will keep the amp but i may try pedals as well
     
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