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Friedman Smallbox and boost / overdrive pedals

born_hard

Member
Messages
292
Hi,

me myself and i am considering a Smallbox as my next amp. Now, i read that boost and overdrive pedals are not that easy with the Smallbox. So what exactlx is the problem? Does it sound not good enough? Is it mushy?
And is this the case in both channels at higher gains?
Is this the case with th eother Friedmans , too?
Lets discuss..
 

big mike

Cathode biased
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,681
Not sure you'd even need one based on my limited demo of the Smallbox.

got plenty of dirt.

if you just want to control volume, I'd probably stick a volume pedal in the loop.
 

tone?

Member
Messages
4,535
If you have such reservations about a product , I would suggest to try before you buy.

The small box has plenty of gain on tap and takes pedals really well

But people's tastes vary

So try before you buy if you can.
 

iggs

Member
Messages
2,647
Hi,

me myself and i am considering a Smallbox as my next amp. Now, i read that boost and overdrive pedals are not that easy with the Smallbox. So what exactlx is the problem? Does it sound not good enough? Is it mushy?
And is this the case in both channels at higher gains?
Is this the case with th eother Friedmans , too?
Lets discuss..
Huh? Where did you read/hear that? I don't have a Smallbox myself but have a BE-100 and use the BE channel with ODs and boosts for all my low, mid and high gain needs and works amazingly well. It's anything but mushy and takes pretty much anything you boost it with. I mean ... within reason of course ... can't see it working well being pushed by BOSS Metal Zone.

If anything, Smallbox higher gain channel should take boosts and ODs even better then the BE as it is based off of the same pre-amp design with a bit less gain and better clean up.
 

Leftyman

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,651
Yeah, I agree with the above post in that I'm not sure where you heard that but I do not believe it to be accurate, although everyone hears things differently. There is plenty of gain on tap however, if you do not a boost, it shouldn't be a problem. I have a Metroamp kit (50 watt) modded with the Brown Eye which is going to be very similar to the smallbox and it takes boost pedals very well.
 

lgehrig4

Member
Messages
6,154
Played mine with a Honey Bee tonight and it sounds great on either channel. You can set it to make the tone fatter, thinner, more hair or just louder. It still sounds like the amp but like you rolled up the volume on your guitar.
 

timc

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
388
In my experience with amps that get alot of their OD from preamp drive (Carol Ann, Friedman), when turning the gain up, the signal is then maxed out due to the preamp being overdriven, so when you add a pedal it just kind of flattens out. Am I missing something?

The only way I use pedals with my Dirty Shirley is to turn the gain way down, so that the amp is fairly clean, then I can hit it with pedals, as the preamp signal still has headroom to expand. Otherwise, with the gain up, using pedals just flattens the sound out, as the signal has no more headroom.

I have sent my DS back to Friedman to add a switch that reduces the overall gain of the amp by around 80% so I can have the option of using pedals.

tim
 

jguitarslim

Member
Messages
1,387
I have sent my DS back to Friedman to add a switch that reduces the overall gain of the amp by around 80% so I can have the option of using pedals.

tim
Hi Tim...when that switch is not engaged is the amp like stock?
Interested to hear how much clean headroom is increased.
Please report when get amp back. Thnks
 

TheSmeeze007

Member
Messages
109
I think the smallbox takes boosts and overdrives really well. Just don't max out the level and gain on the pedal. I run several boosts and overdrives in front for different lead textures and they all sound great (rockett archer, bondi sick as, roger mayer voodoo-1, xotic RC booster, analogman ts-808 silver), and they all sound great. If you use an actual high gain distortion pedal, it doesn't sound that good, like a maxon sd-9 or xotic bb preamp. That's when you get that squashed muddiness. But why would you need a high gain distortion with a friedman? And the plexi channel clean tone is amazing. Smash that with a maxed out RC booster on a strat and you've got Texas blues. Love, love, love my smallbox. Best master volume ever.
 

bbe_rev

Member
Messages
306
Can you switch channels on the Smallbox manually, or is a foot-switch necessary to do that?
 

Phil M

Shapeshifting Member
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,693
It's got a switch on the front panel to switch channels.
 

TNJ

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
28,855
The Friedman Small Box 50 is a fabulous 2 channel amp with a great MV and efx loop.
One of the finest little amps I've had the pleasure to play.
If you dig Vintage Marshall OD krannnngg, and Plexi/syrupy type cleans...this amp has that to spare.

S.
j
 

bbaug14

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,491
The Friedman Small Box 50 is a fabulous 2 channel amp with a great MV and efx loop.
One of the finest little amps I've had the pleasure to play.
If you dig Vintage Marshall OD krannnngg, and Plexi/syrupy type cleans...this amp has that to spare.

S.
j
Thanks for chiming in with absolutely no information regarding the OP's question. :huh

In regards to boosts, the OP may be thinking of running the the Plexi side at edge of break up with a boost for medium gain tones. Then keep the BE side for high gain. It should handle this easily.
 

TNJ

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
28,855
Thanks for chiming in with absolutely no information regarding the OP's question. :huh

In regards to boosts, the OP may be thinking of running the the Plexi side at edge of break up with a boost for medium gain tones. Then keep the BE side for high gain. It should handle this easily.
This amp needs no pedals...boost or OD.
All he needs to learn how to use is his guitar volume knob and the 2 channel footswitch.
No more info needed, bra.

My .02,

S.
j
 

bbe_rev

Member
Messages
306
Thanks guys, guess I’m blind, or been looking at old images, even on the Friedman website.
 

bbe_rev

Member
Messages
306
This amp needs no pedals...boost or OD.
All he needs to learn how to use is his guitar volume knob and the 2 channel footswitch.
No more info needed, bra.

My .02,

S.
j
Have not played a SB, but this is what I would imagine, and why I'm thinking of buying one, to get rid of my OD pedals.

I have a Dirty Shirley, on the low input with gain set low, and master up, it takes OD pedals great, I've tried a Wessex, a Burnley, BB-preamp, and SL drive, all sound super.

The sensitivity of the volume knob on the guitar is just flippin amazing though on the DS! I don't know if the small box has that same sensitivity, but if it does, I'd guess that amp would be many shades of overdrive with just the guitar. Throw an OD pedal in there and man you could cover a lot of ground.
 

bbaug14

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,491
This amp needs no pedals...boost or OD.
All he needs to learn how to use is his guitar volume knob and the 2 channel footswitch.
No more info needed, bra.

My .02,

S.
j
It's a poor assumption when you assume that everyone can and should utilize an amp and pedals they way you do. Different strokes for different folks. I run OD pedals with my Wizard and it has independent boosts for each channel with way more gain on tap than the SB. It all depends on what flavor of distortion I want and what guitar I'm using, not necessarily what gain level I'm looking for. Everyone has different applications. That's the point I was trying to make.
 

TNJ

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
28,855
Fair enough.
If you get a chance, try this amp, and use it without pedals.
It will amaze, at least it did me, how much gain I had control over
with only my right hand on the guitar.

S.
j
 






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