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I don’t get pedals. What’s the big deal?

rizla

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,015
First: I’m not trying to stir a debate or a “you don’t need this, you just need to play better” debate. This is an honest to god question.

I started playing in the late 80s as a teenager. Couldn’t afford any kind of “real” amp, and the fist thing I used was an extremely cheap/bad headphone amp through my cassette player. Sounded like crap, so I saved up my paper route money for a single Ibanez distortion pedal. Better, but still not good. Eventually, a summer job gave me the income for a used Valvestate combo, and from there in it was guitar+amp for me, no pedals.

fast forward to now. I haven’t been following the guitar market and am now just getting back into it. Floored by how cheap tube amps are nowadays and that you can get a $250 modeling combo that beats most $1000 amps from my youth.

However, what’s puzzling me is the pedal craze. What’s the appeal of simple diode clipping that makes it cost $200+? I remember the RAT pedal from the 90s, and thirty years later it still reminds me of the terrible 15W/8” practice transistor amps we had back then.

Anyhow, didn’t want to dismiss things right away. My valvestate back then had diode clipping too, after all. Got my hands on a PCB, finished a lovepedal jubilee clone last week. Tried it.
Sounds exactly like what it is: overdriven transistors with a low pass.

i still have two more I pedals I want to build (amp in a box each, jfet stages), but I don’t see myself getting of my tube amp any time soon. Building is fun, I love that part at least.

What are you doing with your pedal boards full of buttons? Noodling around for fun? Not my cup of tea, but I can understand. Trying to nail sounds for cover bands? If so, wouldn’t a multi-effect/19”/MIDI setup be the better option?

ELI5, please. I see you’re all having fun collecting pedals and I feel like I’m missing out on something.
If thats all you can personally get out of a RAT I wonder if maybe you havnt really spent much time with one. Have you gigged with a RAT?
 

walldot

Member
Messages
87
I don't get guitar straight into amp, frankly.

It probably has a lot to do with the type of music each guitarist listens to and aspires to create.
And that is probably it. I don’t aspire to copy anyone’s sound.

When I play a Hendrix song, I don’t want to sound like Hendrix, when I play AC/DC I don’t want to sound like AC/DC - I want to sound like me. After all, when Hendrix played Dylan songs, he didn’t try sounding like Dylan either.
 

walldot

Member
Messages
87
I’m confused. Are you seriously trying to imply you can’t detect when an effect is being used in popular music, given you “have no idea how people use them in their playing”? Can’t hear the wah-wah on Tales of Brave Ulysses? The flanger on Barracuda? The delay on Where the Streets Have No Name? The chorus on Walking on the Moon?
I hear that. My question is, are you playing all of these songs with the goal of sounding exactly like the recording?
 

JCW308

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,951
You need to develop an ear for hearing what "flavor" of guitar makes a song sound like it's own signature. I would recommend first finding songs you love and then narrow the search down to isolated guitar tracks. You'll hear all kinds of effects like delay, flanger, chorus, compressor, was, etc....
 

walldot

Member
Messages
87
If like to know what amp OP is using that doesn't improve with an SD-1 or similar basic overdrive.
Improve is subjective. When gain at 2 o clock is all the gain I need from my amp, I don’t see what I would be using that overdrive for.

Now, if you want that modern metal sound, sure.
 

rizla

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,015
And that is probably it. I don’t aspire to copy anyone’s sound.

When I play a Hendrix song, I don’t want to sound like Hendrix, when I play AC/DC I don’t want to sound like AC/DC - I want to sound like me. After all, when Hendrix played Dylan songs, he didn’t try sounding like Dylan either.
What amp do you use? Probably the best way to sound uniquely you is to cultivate phrasing and touch that is uniquely you but you can get five guitar players standing around an amp, guitar and OD pedal and they will all make individual adjustments to the od pedal, amp and guitar.
I doubt you are alone or special in your desire to sound unique, pedals or not, and going direct to amp is only one way of cultivating a uniquely "you" sound.
 

walldot

Member
Messages
87
I would recommend first finding songs you love and then narrow the search down to isolated guitar tracks. You'll hear all kinds of effects like delay, flanger, chorus, compressor, was, etc....
That’s the recording - on stage, most of the guitar tracks I like can be described as “bridge humbucker and a cranked Marshall”.
 

rizla

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,015
I hear that. My question is, are you playing all of these songs with the goal of sounding exactly like the recording?
I can use what ever pedal I want and I wont sound like John Scofield or John Coltrane. I cant dial Charlie Christian sounds into my amps or pedals even when I mic with a period correct mike and use a guitar with similar specs. His pick attack is quite different to mine.
 

walldot

Member
Messages
87
What amp do you use?
At the moment, the amp I play the most is a Katana, Brown channel, gain, bass, middle, treble and reverb at noon. Haven’t touched those dials in weeks.
Probably the best way to sound uniquely you is to cultivate phrasing and touch that is uniquely you
I didn’t want to be the one saying that in this thread...
 

JCW308

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,951
That’s the recording - on stage, most of the guitar tracks I like can be described as “bridge humbucker and a cranked Marshall”.
Maybe stop arguing with everyone and get serious about listening. Even if you don't want to sound like everyone else, effects are great tools that might help you discover your own signature sound. Or just forget about effects and don't use them. Or hey, take up gardening.
 
Last edited:

walldot

Member
Messages
87
If thats all you can personally get out of a RAT I wonder if maybe you havnt really spent much time with one. Have you gigged with a RAT?
One of my favorite guitarists uses a Rat as always on pedal. Works great for him, but I just don’t see it working for me.

I am going to give it a chance though. I have a Rat clone PCB that I intend to build and try out different mods, to see if I can come up with something I like.
 

'90s Pacifica

Member
Messages
354
And that is probably it. I don’t aspire to copy anyone’s sound.

When I play a Hendrix song, I don’t want to sound like Hendrix, when I play AC/DC I don’t want to sound like AC/DC - I want to sound like me. After all, when Hendrix played Dylan songs, he didn’t try sounding like Dylan either.
But a guitarist who enjoys listening to Hendrix might well also enjoy listening to, and playing, songs that utilise vibe, wah, fuzz etc. That was my point. It's not about reproducing someone's sound, or "copying" them. It's a case of enjoying those elements of that style of music.

You started this thread claiming not to be trolling, but disingenuous summarising of people's honest answers by reaching for words like "copying" belie that claim.
 




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