Amp that's good for taking pedals

Rena Rune

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3,218
I'm thinking of getting rid of my Ad30VT because it's not so good at taking pedals. At the same time, I've found a pedal that can nail most of the tones I like(Barber Dirty Bomb). It sounds good through my ZT Lunchbox, but the Lunchbox has a kind of very focused range so I don't get the full whack of the sound.

I'm looking at good SS, cheap Tube and modeler amps here. Ideally I'd like to have something with reverb built in as I don't like having to hook up an external unit for such an elementary effect, but most of the options I'm looking at don't seem to have it.

I can get an Orange AD5 for about €200 off some site at the moment, but that has no master volume(I want it mainly for bedroom jamming and recording etc.), no reverb etc. The Vox AC4 seems like a good bet, it looks cute, has a master volume. Though it hasn't got reverb and only has an 8 inch speaker, which might not give me an awful lot more bass response than the Lunchbox. There's the 10" version but that costs another €50. Might be somewhere I can get it cheaper than Thomann though.

I could also just get a cab for the Lunchbox, but I'm unsure.
 

jcoggins7

Member
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1,197
If you want an amp that's good at taking pedals, it generally has to be a tube amp. It would be best to go with a Fender type of amp, because almost all pedals are designed using Fender amps. Vox amps are particularly terrible with most overdrive pedals.
 

celestion101

Gold Supporting Member
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1,838
I'm a pedal geek and am gigging 2-3 nights per week with the following; 65 Royal Albert and a Matchless Avalon. Regarding Fender's vs. AC30's, I do not think that is relevant as Brad Paisley has done well with pedals through Vox'ish amps (as have many others). It's more about finding the right pedal for the amp. I think it's more about how the front end of a amp is desgined when it comes to an amp liking pedals or not. For instance, most Fenders are indeed great with pedals, however I would suggest the low input and bright switch off if you end up with a Twin. My Twin loved OD pedals when used like this.
 

Jahn

Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver
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can you find silverface fender reverbs up there? you should be able to find one, get it up to speed, and have a great platform for pedals on your hands.
 

Leonc

Wild Gear Hearder
Platinum Supporting Member
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18,135
Vox amps are particularly terrible with most overdrive pedals.
What???!?! Wow...that's news to me. I think my AC30 sounds fantastic with overdrive/distortion/boost pedals in front!!! Think about Brian May and Queen--what would he have sounded like if he wasn't playing pedals in front of a stack of AC30s?

I've played AC-15s with pedals in front that sounded great too. I even dig my little SS Vox Pathfinder (totally different technology, I know) with certain pedals in front. Of course I'm sure everyone has their own idea of what great distortion/overdriven sound is...and to me, these amps sound great with pedals in front.

Anyway, I think there are tons of amps that sound great with pedals. Why don't you give us a better idea of what kind of music or guitar tones you're into and maybe we can make some better suggestions...
 

Rena Rune

Member
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3,218
If you want an amp that's good at taking pedals, it generally has to be a tube amp. It would be best to go with a Fender type of amp, because almost all pedals are designed using Fender amps. Vox amps are particularly terrible with most overdrive pedals.
It depends, SS amps can be better for preserving the original tone. I'm mostly taking fuzzes which are meant to sound a bit harsh, and a Dirty Bomb which is very amp like in of itself so it's not necessary.

The AC-4 is the only Tube amp I'm all that interested in at the moment. I can't think of any Fender type amps I'd like, mainly because my Lunchbox and Dirty Bomb do a pretty good impression. The problem with Fender amps is that generally they have to be fairly loud before they sound good. The AC4 has a built in attenuator. I'd be looking for amps like that in general. Ideally I'd love to be able to afford a Tiny Terror but I don't see that happening.
 
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clintb

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1,037
Personally, I don't like distortion pedals with blackface or silverface fender amps because they have a scooped midrange that sounds good for cleans, but not so good for distortion pedals. Some, like the Deluxe Reverb even have bright caps around the volume controls which often make distortion pedals sound buzzy and fizzy. I suppose the distortion pedals would sound good if you cranked the Fender amps like Stevie Ray Vaughan, but I'm assuming most of us don't have that luxury.

Personally I would look for a tube amp with a warm, fat, clean sound. Perhaps a Fender Bassman, Marshall JTM45, etc.

Some amps that are advertised as pedal amps are:
- Visual Sound Workhorse amps (discontinued)
- Vibe amps (http://www.valveampusa.com/vibe.html)

I don't like playing distortion pedals through neutral, clean speakers. I like how many Celestion speakers impart a "woody" tone to the distortion.
 

Rena Rune

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3,218
Keep in mind the AC4(€250 or so) is about as high as my budget will go. I doubt I'll get more than €180 for selling my AD30.
 

NativH

Platinum Supporting Member
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627
Hiwatts and old Marshalls are superb with pedals.Gilmour,Hendrix,nuff said.
+1. The JTM45, 1987 and 1959 nonmastervolume Marshalls are some of the best because they have glorious clean tones when setup just on the verge of breaking up. Put pedals on and go for it. Plus you have a killer amp if you just want to plug and play using the natural distortion that nice tubes provide, without any pedals to color the sound. Have it your way baby. :dude:dude:dude
 

Leonc

Wild Gear Hearder
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18,135
Well...not too likely you'll find a JTM-45 or similar in your budget. I don't know how easy it is to find old Ampegs where your located, but something like an old Ampeg Jet, Rocket, Mercury or ReverbeRocket may very well be within your budget. These take pedals very well and are loud enough to gig with if you have a decent speaker in them. I'd certainly prefer one of these to an AC4. They will also hold their value better.
 

Rena Rune

Member
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3,218
It's pretty hard to find anything used where I live. Best thing that's showed up is a JCM2000 head for €600, but it wasn't great quality.
 

-analog-

Member
Messages
3,269
For the past 6 months I've been on the same "quest" for a good pedal amp.
Ultimately after buying/trying/demoing 13 amps since July I'm right back to Marshall JCM800 2203s and 2205 heads dialed in. Sucks to move a 4x12 around so I'm looking at those sour mash oversized 1936 2x12 cabs for $300 unloaded on ebay.

Fender: KING for Cleans, reverb, TS808 style drive and maybe a bit more.
I've produced some of the *******st, crappy CRUD tone with a DRRI and the best high gain OD/Dist pedals around.. A klon stacked into an OCD or Crunch box into just about every black face fender reissue I've played has sounded farty, bloated and just lacking.. The exception to the rule has been a 1968 silverface super reverb, that was the only fender I've pedaled with that sounded good.

I don't get it with the fenders, There dead to me, I'll keep 1 or 2 for novelty sounds like SRV tones but my main giggin stuff will never be fender again..
 

Dave_C

Member
Messages
14,114
The Fuchs Clean Machine was specifically designed to take pedals well and the clips I've heard of Fuchs/Plush pedals into the Clean Machine sound as good as or better than dedicated distortion channels on most amps. I own a Fuchs ODS-HRM whose clean channel shares much in common with the Clean Machine and it takes pedals like a champ. Other fantastic pedal amps, which I currently own, are the Dr. Z Maz 18 Jr NR, Allen Accomplice, Quinn SDO and Suhr Badger. In fact, I don't keep amps that don't behave well with pedals.
 

Rena Rune

Member
Messages
3,218
Fuchs Clean Machine
Honestly for that price I probably could get all the amps that the Dirty Bomb seems to emulate...

As I said I'm on a pretty limited budget. By default, I'm going to get an AC4, failing that, maybe a decent bass amp.
 

Powderfinger

Platinum Supporting Member
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11,325
I may get flamed, but I used to gig with a Line 6 flextone and pedals. Amp didn't sound too good clean by itself but sounded just fine with good pedals. You can get them used for dirt cheap.
 

Rena Rune

Member
Messages
3,218
Modelling amps are handy to have. There's some stuff I really like about my AD30VT, but I just don't use it.
 

NativH

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
627
Honestly for that price I probably could get all the amps that the Dirty Bomb seems to emulate...

As I said I'm on a pretty limited budget. By default, I'm going to get an AC4, failing that, maybe a decent bass amp.
Rena,

Sorry for flat missing your budget constraints. Any tube Marshall will blow your budget, even a knockoff. But the AC4 is a nice amp. Wish I had one. Best of luck on your quest.
 




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