Badger boosted by a Psionic Triad - Gain vs. Boost

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by troykennedy, May 26, 2008.

  1. troykennedy

    troykennedy Member

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    All you amp guru's. This may sound ignorant but I have a quick question. How would you describe the difference between boosting the preamp gain on an amp like the Badger vs. hitting the preamp harder with a boost pedal.

    I tried this yesterday and it was really nice on the badger. Had the badger gain at about 3 1/2 then hit it with the third gain stage of the triad with just a few db. Seemed to be a much bigger, fuller sound than merely gaining up the badger preamp itself. Pretty cool. Nice thing is the badger compresses a bit. So, it didn't get much louder. Just fatter and gainier.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. troykennedy

    troykennedy Member

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  3. ChazMania

    ChazMania Silver Supporting Member

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    Good question......... I don't know about how the Triad sounds with Badger (although I want a Badger 30 soon) but the Triad is an amazing pedal. I love how it boosts my Magic Brit (AC15 style) better than just gaining up the amp.
     
  4. troykennedy

    troykennedy Member

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    It is a very cool pedal. Been very handy in many ways.

    I was wondering if conceptually and mechanically there is a big difference between gaining up a preamp and just hitting it harder with something like clean boost
     
  5. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell Member

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    Yes, if I can jump in here (thanks guys for the kind words about the Triad).

    If you use the channel volume, sans Triad or other booster, then the first preamp tube in the amp is just reacting to the output level of the guitar. Typically this stage is optimized for guitar levels, though of course it will react differently when fed with a Strat vs a Les Paul. But my point is this stage will reproduce transients fairly naturally and not add much compression or overdrive until it is turned up a fair bit, at which point the output of this stage is hitting subsequent tube stages harder.

    When you boost the input, this first preamp stage will compress and overdrive while not sending near as hot a signal to the subsequent tube stages as if you had the channel volume turned up.

    This behavior is similar to reducing the plate voltage to this first preamp stage. The sound will be more compressed and breakup earlier, but more importantly it will have a different tonal quality and break up in different ways than if you just cranked the channel volume.

    Now, in most good amps with good boosts, the sonic differences will remain subtle. The cranked preamp will sound similar to the boosted clean preamp - both will sound like the same amp, and both should sound natural.

    But they will sound different. The advantage of using the boost is that you can turn the boost off and get clean again, without the tonal compromises of just using a guitar's volume knob.
     
  6. troykennedy

    troykennedy Member

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    Awesome. Thanks for the explanation Lyle.
    I have been hitting both the AC30 and the Badger with that level and it makes sense the way you described it.
     

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