Going Ampless?


Boss Deluxe Reverb Pedal straight into the board. Works great for me. I don't want to do it all the time, but for some gigs it's light weight and sounds fine enough.


For church gigs (i.e. extremely low stage volume) I go direct to the PA using a Boss GT-8 or a Sansamp, when I'm playing bass. The sound quality is much better than when I mic my amp -- Mesa Express on 5 Watt setting (we also use Avioms). Just guessing at the why but, given the low stage volume requirement, can't get the amp cooking, however the GT-8 and Sansamp emulate a cooking amp regardless of the volume.

The plug and play aspects are wonderful, but does feel weird not to be using an amp.

"Normal" loud gigs -- amp all the way!


The PODxt has presets to save and easily accessible tuner and can sit on a mic stand which works great for my uses.

So, if you're needing something more "on the floor" that Tech21 might be more successful on a budget. Otherwise, something up at your waist that is controllable might also work well.


Or you can use the PodXT floorboard, which is what I do when I use the Pod live. It's really the only way to make it useful live, unless you enjoy scrolling through menus on its small screen and frantically pressing buttons on stage.


Thanks for all of the replies, folks. I've tried the POD thing in the past and hated it. Probably because I'm such a bare bones type player. Give me a good tube amp and an overdrive and I'm a happy camper. I'm still intriqued with the ID of the sansamp or Koch type floor pedal (preamps). Simple enough to do the job and if you guys thing they are good then they must be. I don't see this setup every totally replacing my amps but in some cases I bet I'd be happy enough. Thanks again, I knew I could count on you guys.


My last gig I tried the sans amp para DI pedal I've been toting around as a back up. Indi monitor mixes so I could hear myself fine. Ehh I kinda wished I would've just rented an amp -my two main gigging amps were both down. Maybe I'm spoiled playing tube amps, but not having the touch response really made me have to fight for my tone. I like being able to dig in and get some growl. I never thought of myself as a real dynamic player and never ride the guitars volume knob but one night without a tube amp and I realized how much dynamics come into play.

It was worth trying it one night just to be sure.



I've been messing around with different direct options lately. I've been trying the Ethos, the Stage Hog and a V-Twin. While it's fair to say that none of them compare to a real amp (though the hog can be run as an amp), in a volume controlled situation a direct setup isn't the end of the world.

So far I've only been had a chance to run the v-twin live and it was fine. In the studio, I've played around with all as direct recording devices and I'm still undecided.

My initial impressions on each:

Stage Hog - fat. It just sounds big. However, it doesn't have a speaker sim type out, so it tends to be a bit bright or harsh. This brightness gives it a nice cut when used as a pedal into an amp though. I currently have it set up with a 12ay7. I'll try it with a 12ax7, though it already seems to have a lot of gain. I think I like the rhythm channel better than the lead, as the lead has a touch more fizz on the top end than I'd like.

Ethos - a bit thin and nasally. I'm a bit surprised at this one. It's early, so I'm not giving up yet, but frankly I've been dissapointed in this pedal both as a direct device and in front of an amp. Perhaps it's just not my style, though I've loved every Fuchs ODS I've played, so I don't think it's an aversion to Dumble style tones. The clean channel does work as a nice clean boost into an amp though.

V-Twin - a bit compressed. I've had this one the longest so I've gotten to know it better. The clean channel set to either clean or blues is pretty cool. Some decent tones to be had. The solo channel is definately set up for big recto style crunch. The heavy sounds are pretty good, but don't expect them to clean up much, if at all. The most flexible output options of the three -with outputs for mixer/headphone (with the a switch for each mode), power amp and guitar amp.

These are all on the spendy side, and frankly, I also had pretty good luck just running a bbpreamp direct, so I'm wondering about the bang for the buck factor here. Not sure yet whether any of these are worth it. I hope more experimenting will tell.

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