Confused by pedals

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by jimmybcool, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. jimmybcool

    jimmybcool Supporting Member

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    OK, I read an article in a magazine today regarding different stompboxes and pedals et al.

    And one of the primary objectives of some of them is to get that distortion tone.

    OK, now bear with me. If this is accomplished via an external pedal why in the world do we buy old style tube amplifiers that produce clipped "distortion" tone?

    Why don't we all buy more powerful SS amps and get the effects externally?

    I can see the reason for a wah wah not being incorporated into the amp but most of these features seem to be obvious for an amp builder.

    If this is like Guitar Basics 101 and there is a FAQ somewhere I will slink away and read it. Just give me an URL.
     
  2. MrMunky

    MrMunky Silver Supporting Member

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    I suspect that the primary impetus for the diversity of pedal and amp options is that people have different tastes. Pedals sound different from one another and different from amps, and amps sound different from one another.

    Some people surely prefer the sound of a particular amp's distortion to the sound of a combination of a particular pedal and amp.

    Its the same reason that there are different kinds of guitars, different kinds of musical instruments, different kinds music, different kinds of houses, different kinds of cars, jobs, etc.
     
  3. discountsounds

    discountsounds Member

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    In my experience, I've never heard ANY pedal that can emulate the incremental breakup I get from my tube amps.

    Like a lot of other players, I like to play in the 'sweet spot' where the tube amp is somewhere between clean and full-on saturation and making subtle adjustments with picking intensity, pickup selection and volume knob attenuation yield a wide palette of expressive tones.

    I'm no electronics expert, but it's my understanding that the gradual breakup really has to do a lot (if not completely) with the power tubes becoming more and more saturated and that seems to be very difficult to replicate in a pedal.
     
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  4. Madsman

    Madsman Member

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    Some people prefer to find an amp that has exactly the tone they want, with no pedals.

    Some people prefer to find an amp that has exactly the tone they want as a foundation for building a specific tone with pedals.

    Some people get the majority of their gain from preamp tubes.

    Some people get the majority of their gain from pedals.

    Some (or MOST, in my recent experience, of non "METAL" players) people get their gain as a mix of a clipping tube amp and an OD.

    It's like cars. Some prefer naturally aspirated. Some want boost. Of those who want boost, some prefer superchargers and some prefer turbos. Of those who prefer turbos, some prefer 1, and some prefer 2. Some people prefer a car balanced, weight-wise, and a mixure of the above.

    There are a number of ways to getting what you want. It's all just a matter of finding what works for you.
     
  5. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I know just enough about this stuff to BS...

    There are very few pedals that feel or sound like a cranked tube amp. I suspect that it's a combination of factors-voltage sag, non-linear response of tubes to increasing voltages, coupling stages imposing backwards reflected impedances on the tubes, transformers saturating-all stuff that's not really possible to do in a pedal. Granted some modellers, and emulation pedals like the Sansamp stuff can sound good, but an amp is better to my ears.

    As for why do we distort the sound before the amp-to give the amp more interesting textures to chew on. For example, I've noticed that a fuzz (which is a square wave, made up mostly of disonant, odd numbered harmonics) sounds pretty ugly thru a clean or solid state amp, put the same sound thru an amp that's breaking up a bit (which equates to adding even, low order harmonics) and the amp will reduce the gain and harshness of the fuzz.
     
  6. jimmybcool

    jimmybcool Supporting Member

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    Thanks for all that. I wasn't implying anything wrong with them if anyone took it that way. I am trying to figure out their purpose. If they had none I dount there would be so many.

    So, it isn't a matter of replacing he natural "tone" of a tube amp, it is added to or combined with to get differences. Dayum. I'm still trying to figure out all the settings on the amp. This is gonna set my plans to be the next great rock guitar player back WEEKS at least. :rolleyes: As for world domination - might have to postpone til Christmas.

    OK. I'll try and just lurk around here for a bit until I reach a point where I want a sound I can't get with the amp.

    BTW, it does seem like this would be a nice thing to merge all the efects into a single device. Is that done? Why not have a fuzz/distort/wah/trem panel in one box?
     
  7. Rollo Timbre

    Rollo Timbre Member

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    I love the interaction between a guitar and a great sounding tube amp. The pedals I use are pretty transparent with regards to preserving the guitar and tube transients, and also pick articulations. I use pedals to add splashes of color to my sound.
     
  8. Antero

    Antero Member

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    Because it's either a huge expensive box that someone might not want all the parts of, or crappy digital effects.
     
  9. PB Wilson

    PB Wilson Member

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    Convenience is another reason to use overdrive/distortion pedals. If your amp is a high-wattage one, it can be difficult (or near impossible) to get power tube clipping in certain clubs or at home. A pedal is a relatively cheap and effective way to get a good distortion tone in these situations. I like to use my overdrive/distortion/fuzz pedals to give me a pallet of tones at my feet too.
     
  10. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Korg did this with the PME40x. They were decent to excellent sounding modules, similar in character to Boss or Ibanez. However, there wasn't enough call for it to keep the product going. Foxrox builds a 3 module box, but most of the mainstream companies have gone digital with this idea...
     
  11. jimmybcool

    jimmybcool Supporting Member

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    I am so new I don't understand the overdrive thing. The only amps I have are a beginner G-Dec which has no overdrive and a Mesa Boogie Mark IV which has a master volume that allows me to overdrive without incredible volume.

    I "assumed" all amps had some means of getting that richer tone without full volume.
     
  12. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    "Some people prefer to find an amp that has exactly the tone they want as a foundation for building a specific tone with pedals."

    Exactly what I do... I start with a clean TopHat Club Royale. Basically a high quality handbuilt Vox, with a few tweaks. Then I carry around a pedal board with a Lovepedal Eternity for low to medium gain, a Keeley RAT or Tonebone Classic for medium to higher gain, and a Fuzz Factory for the crazy stuff.

    Why do I use a clean tube amp and add solid state distortions? Cause it sounds about a tetrabyte better than using a solid state amp as a foundation. Why don't I use the amazing distortion had from turning up the TopHat? Cause I like to keep my rig simply and I need a clean tone. With the Eternity/RAT/Tonebones, they all have close to the same EQ curve as I prefer my TH cranked. Maybe not the exact texture of clipping (distortion) but the same "tone". :p
     
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  13. Alex Law

    Alex Law Member

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    I think you've misunderstood our disease...

    The object of the game is to forever replace current pedal X with groundbreaking new pedal Y, and it's easier to increase the frequency of this process if we have individual units to send to eBay...

    (joking, sorta, not totally!)
     
  14. jimmybcool

    jimmybcool Supporting Member

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    Alex,

    I think I get it.

    And I'll probably get it (the desease) once I figure out what tone I'm missing.

    Until then I can have a life? I hope?

    See,s like a lot of machines to master as well as the damn guitar.

    Oh well, I didn't have anything better to do with the rest of my life.

    :)
     
  15. matte

    matte Senior Member

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    That's pretty clear to me.....
     
  16. EmandoDave

    EmandoDave Member

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    FWIW not everyone is looking for distortion. I want a great clean tone from my amp. Then I want to modify the sound to support different songs in differing ways. At the end of the day pedals are tools and a means to an end but are totally secondary to my base of a clean tone. If I play a stripped down version of a tune with no fx folks will know it for what it is and likely appreciate the treatment. If I overload a nice song with gonzo fx most folks I know would be underwhelmed.
     
  17. ThinPaperWings

    ThinPaperWings Member

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    Friend, you know this thread is 11 years old right?
     
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  18. Multicellular

    Multicellular Supporting Member

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    Again, I think the issue is different tastes. Me for example, there are several very popular overdrives that I like but I am very picky about my fuzzes and distortions. I want tremolo features that are found in only a few devices.
     
  19. EmandoDave

    EmandoDave Member

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    I did not see that. For some reason my tgp forum settings got wiped and it listed old to new! Thanks for letting me know so I can fix it.
     
  20. 68Injunhed

    68Injunhed Supporting Member

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    Gotta hit the Zombie thread.....:eek:
     

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