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How many play directly into an amp- no effects?

How do you play your guitar?

  • Mad Professor Forest Green Comp

    Votes: 9 5.1%
  • Pigtroniks Phoosphers Tone Germanium Comp

    Votes: 4 2.3%
  • Straight to the amp

    Votes: 63 35.6%
  • Maybe one or two effects

    Votes: 37 20.9%
  • A handful- 3-5 or so

    Votes: 39 22.0%
  • FX Master with pedals for dayz

    Votes: 17 9.6%
  • Meh

    Votes: 8 4.5%

  • Total voters

Keef Wichards

I really only play directly from my guitar to my amp, mainly for three reasons:
1. It keeps the signal strong going into the amp for superior tone
2. A lot of my favorite players from the 50s-70s didn't use em
3. I'm too poor to afford them

That being said, I do own a couple, I just rarely use them.

How do you guys do it?

David Garner

Platinum Supporting Member
I'd love to go direct, but honestly, I'd have to figure out how to get the cable run short enough to include a tuner without using a buffer (because what's the point if you are going to use a buffer anyway -- might as well throw in some pedals).

I barely use any effects at all. One day I might go with clip on tuners or something for between songs. Or just use a short cable from the tuner to the amp and maybe a 15 footer from the tuner to the guitar.


I enjoy plugging right in, but I don't find that practical at all. No gig I play allows me to turn up to those volumes. I also feel pedals make the Experience much more pleasant for an audience. I have my board (stereo and wet dry wet) configured so I never have more than three pedals in the path and all are TB with never more that 25' of total chord length between guitar and amp.


Plugging straight into an amp is what I would LIKE to do. I got tired of choking this THD Univalve down to apartment levels and now use a multiFX more drive at low volumes.


I use an LP Trad right into egnator rebel 20. I recently added a TS clone just for lead boost. Clip on tuner. Sounds good and crisp, occasionally use my LP Jr for a night.


Rick 325 or Gretsch 5422 straight into Fender Blues Jnr. Both guitars have such beautiful tone it seems a shame to do anything to them. The amp has overdrive facility if I need it. I've got a Jekyll & Hyde and a Barber Tone Press that I sometimes use live for quicker control over volume/dynamics in which case I keep the amp clean with no overdrive. But that's it. I don't need much for the music we play. Raw is best in my particular situation.


Gold Supporting Member
For me it's all about what the gig calls for. Right now I'm playing a production of West Side Story; the electric stuff is all '50s jazz/bebop/showtune type tones. There's no need for effects, so I'm just going direct from guitar to amp.

A few months ago I was playing an original show featuring music and choreography that consisted of a lot of post-modern textural and ambient guitar lines as well as some pretty industrial electronic sort of tones. That one required a lot of pedals to get the correct specific tones needed.

Going direct to amp is only a superior tone if that one tone happens to be the only tone you need ;)

Jo-Jo Beans

For clean tones I go straight in. I've found some killer settings on the Twin Reverb model on my Mustang III that are really sweet and sparkly. I don't like any of the dirty amp settings too much, so I use a Tube Screamer, Fuzz Face, or Big Muff for some dirt. I play mostly bluesy stuff with a little dirt and I occasionally do modern blues-rock stuff with lots of grit.


I don't know, I've never seen plugging straight in to an amp as "no effects". The amp/preamp just as much as an "effect" as a pedal.

People who do seem to be very proud, though. I went years with "no effects", I've used a ton, hell, I've even played with no amp!


I plug straight into the amp, LP into Fender amp. I may add a pedal or two when I get a tiny terror head, but for now I'm happy with the sound straight into the amp.
I am not against using effects stompboxes on gigs. But I have found from years of experience that I can get the sounds I need for the tunes I play with working bands by just plugging straight into the amplifier. My amplifier usually has reverb. And when I turn it up I can get some overdrive when I need it. It also means that it only takes me five minutes to set my stuff up.


I rarely use any effects but, then I'm not playing cover songs. I don't see how you could cover much apart from some straight blues or barroom rock without them.
In my case, it's simply the way I write. I have nothing against them.


I would like... I dig the "use the volume pot" to control tone, but the difference in volume between where the guitar stays clean and when its overdriven is not practical in a band context IME... also a nice delay / reverb here and there is nice

When practicing I love to do it.

Dr. Tweedbucket

Deluxe model available !!!11
Usually straight in.

If I'm going to play a long time, I'll slap a delay and fuzz pedal in there.


guitar->tube screamer->fender blues deluxe with a Celestion G12-65

occasionally I may use a Boss Chorus pedal if playing Jazz. I then only play clean.

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