Boosting for Solos Question

gtrplyr00

Member
Messages
1
Hey guys!

I have a pretty dry overdriven rhythm guitar tone (a tad gainier than AC/DC) and when I boost for a solo, I want:

-a little bit more gain
-much more volume

However, putting an overdrive pedal (Bad Monkey/Cool Cat Transparent OD or even a MXR Micro Amp) in front of my tube amp gives me barely any volume (cuz the preamp tubes' headroom is maxed out) and gives me more gain than I could ever need resulting in a crappy overcompressed fuzz sound even when I crank the volume knob and reel in the gain knob.

Also, putting these pedals in the effects loop/between the pre and power amps results in the opposite: massive volume range (extremely sensitive knob) and a complete change in the entire tone and gain structure.

This problem seems to be almost historical but everyone has a different way of doing it. I'd like to do it with as little cables as necessary but am open to new suggestions.

I am very interested in some of the creative ways you guys deal with this if this is actually an issue for you at all. Thank you in advance for your time--highly appreciated!!
 

shredtrash

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,905
Instead of volume, you might want to consider what frequencies you want to accentuate when you boost, namely mids to cut through the mix. Check into the various treble boosters like the Keeley Java Boost or the AM Beano Boost. They can really help you cut through with volume and a frequency shift.
 

matt5150

Either U Know Or U Don't
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,583
I have found that a boost pedal in the loop (and after effects) is the least intrusive and most satisfying to me.

A boost pedal in front does nothing more than compress the signal even more and add gain where as one in the loop is an actual volume increase with no gain which is what I think you are looking for.

It works perfectly for me.

Matt
 

teefus

Member
Messages
8,947
try an eq pedal in the loop if you have one. i use a modded boss ge7 and it works well. on my non-loop amps i sometimes use a radial head switcher into 1 speaker cab. one amp is set for rhythm and the other is set for lead.
 

Full Monty

Member
Messages
312
There are boxes you can buy that go in your FX loop that allow you to cut the volume by a certain amount and then switch out for your solo. A volume pedal can do the same thing (I used a Morley with my Fender Super 60, I've seen a pro do the same with his Marshall DSL50 Stack) but you need to be careful since some pedals don't work well in a loop and some loops don't seem to work well no matter what you do. A Graphic EQ might do the job plugged into the front end but the more gain you have on the amp the less effective such a solution becomes.
 

harpinon

Member
Messages
8,976
The farther down the chain its placed, the less gain and more volume you get.
Try placing it at the end if the chain. The loop really does make it too hot imo.
 

Full Monty

Member
Messages
312
In truth I never found a solution using FX units or volume controls that I was really happy with. With a rack setup I'd programme up different pre-amp settings for solos, with my Marshall TSL-601 I used the footswitcheable FX loop as a solo boost (doesn't work on the bigger TSL-100 apparently) and these days I use the 'solo' option on my Boogie Mark V. There are no easy options I'm afraid if, like me, you play a lot of your solos at a high level of gain.
 

Structo

Member
Messages
9,558
What amp are you using?

Many amp builders are incorporating versions of the Preamp Boost found on Dumble Overdrive Specials.
The actual Dumble boost is a bit primitive in that all it does is take out the tone stack when switched on, thus removing the loss the tone stack imparts.
But you are at the mercy of where the knobs are pointing on the tone stack as to how big or small the boost is.

If the tone knobs are below noon, then the boost will be huge, but if the knobs are all turned up quite high, then the boost will be smaller.

If you are in the market for a new amp, Henry at Redplate Amps has several models that utilize a boost that by all reports works well.

If you want to just boost what you have, the guys that say to put a boost pedal at the end of the FX loop chain are right, that is probably the most transparent way to do it.
Even if you use a Screamer type pedal, if you turn the overdrive gain knob down you should be able to get a good boost without the over the top gain.

Good luck!
 

jlagrassa

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,382
I made my pedal that goes in the fx loop, it's just a 25k volume pot in a true bypass box. It works nicely so with the pot on it sets your rhythm level and when you do a solo it bypasses the pot for the full volume of the amp level you want for a solo it also does not affect the tone.

You can also use a clean boost pedal for actual boost a Boss GE7 works well too using just the volume slider!

here is what it looks like!
 
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cookieshoes

Member
Messages
649
You could try a simple EQ pedal, leave everything flat, and just raise the level a tad. Simply raising the db of your signal is usually enough for a boost. Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine was one of the first players I heard of doing that. Deceptively simple trick.
 

musica23

Member
Messages
4,194
You could try a simple EQ pedal, leave everything flat, and just raise the level a tad. Simply raising the db of your signal is usually enough for a boost. Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine was one of the first players I heard of doing that. Deceptively simple trick.
I did this for a while with none other than the Danelectro Fish & Chips pedal! Not much to look at and not very rugged, but it definitely did the job.

Later I acquired a Menatone Das Boost and put it at the end of all my gain pedals, but before my others. I honestly can't say it does any better of a job than my Dano, but most of my leads are at least a bit dirty and Das Boost helps with that.
 

DS88

Member
Messages
785
Alternatively you can use the cheapest way; just set up your sound with the guitar volume around 6-7 and when you wanna get more gain and volume, up your guitars volume!!
 

8len8

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,595
If you want to boost volume and distortion you should use less gain in your amp. Use a pedal for the gain and a clean boost for the volume. That way your amp will have more headroom for the vol boost.

Otherwise use an attenuator between your amp and speaker for the volume boost. Both the Ultimate Attenuator and MASS Lite have a footswitchable dual attenuation option.
 

thesjkexperienc

^^^ I made this guitar^^^
Messages
4,718
The Mad Professor Ruby Red Boost works very well for what you are trying to do. The bonus is it has a switchable buffer, so when you run it at the end you also the sonic benefit of the buffer. It also works anywhere from 9 to 18 Volts, so you can determine the headroom.

I also use a Sea Blue EQ by BJFE, but they are much more expensive.
 

joek86

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,250
I set up a good rhythm tone with my guitar's volume at half or so. Then I can crank the volume and hit a clean boost with EQ for leads. Works well for me.. Also , if you are mic'd, give the operator a list of tunes with names of the soloists, he can nudge you up at solo time.

~Joe
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,257
I made my pedal that goes in the fx loop, it's just a 25k volume pot in a true bypass box. It works nicely so with the pot on it sets your rhythm level and when you do a solo it bypasses the pot for the full volume of the amp level you want for a solo it also does not affect the tone.

You can also use a clean boost pedal for actual boost a Boss GE7 works well too using just the volume slider!

here is what it looks like!
nice! i made the exact same thing, working the exact same way, and it works great in a loop. it's confusing to explain to people how the unit is "engaged" with the light off and bypassed with it on, but on stage, it does the trick. step on the box, the light comes on for the louder sound, off you go.

is this your "effects loop" board? that's a neat way of doing it.
 




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