In defense of clean plus pedals

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by David Garner, Sep 11, 2019 at 9:37 AM.

  1. David Garner

    David Garner Supporting Member

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    So a few years back I had a little epiphany when I got my first Les Paul and my first Marshall (Ceriatone) amp. The epiphany was I can do far more with the volumes and tones on my guitar than I ever can with a multitude of stomp boxes. I'm still there, sort of, but recently I had an opportunity to play a gig using my Deluxe Reverb, and I got a DLS to run into it since we were playing some covers that needed that MIAB tone. And I've had another epiphany.

    I still prefer the "straight into a cranked Marshall" approach. To me, when that amp is on, with a decent OD (I use a Fulldrive 2), it is magical. But there is an inconsistency to the tone. Some days it's great. Some days it's meh. Some days it's in between. It's always "good enough," but for whatever reason, cranking it up has too many variables for consistency in tone.

    The DLS into the Deluxe, on the other hand, is perfectly consistent. And since the pedal plays well with others, I can run my Sunface into it and get a multitude of tones, just like running the Sunface into the Ceriatone.

    I'm honestly at the point where I am considering selling off some amps. I don't want to be hasty, but I can't remember the last time I played my AC30, and I don't play the Ceriatone out as much anymore either. If I sold those two, I'd have the DR and a Mesa Express 5:25 1x10. I can't imagine I'd really need more than that.

    In any event, there was a time I thought getting your base tone from pedals was cheating. Pedals have now gotten so good, I'd rather have the consistency of an analog pedal into a tube amp and get excellent tone at any reasonable volume than chase magic (and irritate sound men) by turning the amp way up.
     
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  2. Johnny Fuzz

    Johnny Fuzz Member

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    Agree, but never sell your AC30! Unless it’s to buy another AC30. (You can use a DLS with it as well.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 3:08 PM
  3. David Garner

    David Garner Supporting Member

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    I never play it. It's too heavy and loud.

    It's my favorite amp, and I have no use for it unfortunately.
     
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  4. monty

    monty Member

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    Always been in that boat. Found it much easier to get a good consistent dirt sound from boxes rather than the amp, especially when the band was doing a lot of different size venues not to mention indoor/outdoor.
     
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  5. David Garner

    David Garner Supporting Member

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    What changed me is finding a pedal that will get that tone consistently AND clean up with the volume knob AND play nice with a fuzz pedal. It's kind of the best of both worlds. Analog modeling is probably the closest thing I can get to describing it. The tone is fantastic too. Zero compromises with this approach. I get the "straight into a cranked Marshall" tone and feel, only consistent and at varying volumes.
     
  6. Help!I'maRock!

    Help!I'maRock! Member

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  7. MoonshineMan

    MoonshineMan Member

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    I love going straight into my 2204, but mostly I use a low wattage tweed build for my base clean and dirt.
    But if you want to use pedals into a clean amp, you have my blessing. My friend does it and sounds great.
     
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  8. David Garner

    David Garner Supporting Member

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    :D
     
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  9. Bucksears

    Bucksears Silver Supporting Member

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    What flavor of Marshall are we talking? I can easily see a loud/clean Plexi or JTM45 doing the pedal thing well, and a setup I've been considering in the last year or two.

    Despite owning several dual/multi-channel amps over the years, I've always had a Fender amp + stompboxes setup on the side (typically as my mainstay). I still lust over different multi-channel amps, but the epiphany I've had with pedal setups has been slight variations on what I've been using, and it's mainly speakers. I've been opting for more midrange-focused/British speakers lately - that's made a big difference in drive pedals.

    I will say that a DRRI is one of those amps that (in the store) makes every pedal sound good. Don't know if it's the low-wattage or the 6V6s, but there have been more than five pedals I've played in the store through a DR, only to get it home and disappointed with my SRRI head/212 cab.
     
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  10. Matt Dillon

    Matt Dillon Member

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    Everyone should buy as many overdrives as possible

    Glad you’re digging the setup, good for you bro
     
  11. David Garner

    David Garner Supporting Member

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    Mine is an 18 watt. The pedal is modeling a Plexi, so it is a bit tighter. Some of that is no doubt the tighter response of the Deluxe Reverb. I run the DLS at 18 volts, which is supposed to make it react more like a hundred watter. I'm thinking of trying it on the Superbass setting at 9 volts though, just to see what I get. I doubt I'll be sticking with it because I love the 18 volt Superlead setting.

    I thought about trying the DLS into the 18 Watt, but that thing breaks up when you set it to "on," so I doubt it will work very well.
     
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  12. Hawkmoon269

    Hawkmoon269 Member

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    There was a period for me when I was using different amps for different gigs because of logistical reasons (read: I didn’t have a car). So I would set whatever amp I was using to a light breakup and then use my MIAB for the main sound. It was more important to be consistent from night to night than to sound amazing on any one given night. I actually ran my MIAB into an actual Marshal sometimes, which still sounded quite nice.
     
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  13. d-rock

    d-rock Supporting Member

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    Clean plus a pedal is perfectly fine to mock a tone. Sure a dimed Marshall tone is glorious but to play every venue at the same volume to achieve that is just not practical.

    There are pros out there who use a pedal to achieve their base tone with backline amps. No biggie.
     
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  14. jackson

    jackson Member

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    It's a convenient and consistent approach, but a twin reverb on volume 2-3 is not going to sound good with any type of distortion pedal, if you're using a lot of gain from the pedal.
     
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  15. drri

    drri Supporting Member

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    Yeah I pretty much gave in to this about a year ago. Have owned a Deluxe Reverb for a few years and come and go from it but wouldn't consider selling it. Earlier this year I remembered the Marshall Silver Jubliee mini heads and bought one..... The clean tone was great, the OD was that magic Marshall tone I loved.... But it didn't work so well with channel switching so I opted to just use the clean channel and run my pedals like usual.... Stopped using it when I got a Vibroverb RI. Just like the DR, perfect clean tone at any volume (I run speakers that exceed the wattage so no breakup). I spent the summer going through different drives and pedals and fell in love with J Rockett's The Dude! I could easily do all I want to with 3 pedals now. The Dude, a delay, and something for a boost (sometimes a boost, other times a compressor).
     
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  16. Silent Sound

    Silent Sound Member

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    The audience doesn't care how you get your tone. The audience doesn't even care about your tone. The audience cares about things like how far you can stick your tongue out, can you play a solo with your teeth, and how high you can kick in the air and not rip your spandex.
     
  17. Obsessive Tinkerer

    Obsessive Tinkerer Member

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    I have to agree that a pedal to get a dirty tone is a completely practical and realistic approach. It may be a compromise but who in the audience can really hear the difference between a well done Marshall in a box pedal and the real deal through a DRRI (cap clipped of course) in a band mix and a few drinks on board? Possibly the player may question it based on predisposition, advertising, investment. There might be a bedroom player that reads about gear all day and doesn’t have stage experience but feels they need to heckle to be validated...

    I totally see value in Lille amps in the sweet spot for recording... live is a whole different kettle of fish.
     
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  18. thereeds

    thereeds Silver Supporting Member

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    Apologies for my ignorance ... what is a DLS?
     
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  19. bobcs71

    bobcs71 Member

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    Agree. BF Fenders don't have the same tone on 2 as they do on 6.

    I did use a Catalinbread 5F6 in front of BF Fender amps (never a twin) as a master volume & edge of breakup substitute. IMO it worked well enough live.
     
  20. moore_for_less

    moore_for_less Supporting Member

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    Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret, most likely the MkIII as that is the most common version. It’s a wonderful Marshall-in-a-box pedal.
     
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