My overdrive pedals sound better through my Fender Deville than my Bluesbreaker? Why?

robojim4000

Member
Messages
95
I have a Crowther hot cake (double) and an emma reezafratzitz. Both of these sounded VERY 'amp-like' on my Fender Hot Rod Deville, but when i ran them through my marshall bluesbreaker and an ac30, they sounded cheap and VERY 'digital', very compressed, very 'pedal like' - This is really annoying, shouldnt this be the other way round?
 

robojim4000

Member
Messages
95
Why am i paying MORE to have my expensive pedals sound WORSE? This amp (bluesbreaker) is brand new there is nothing wrong with it, and the Vox was even worse. The reezafratzitz sounded like a toy, really fizzy in both of them. It sounded amazing in the deville, but awful in the vox and marshall. I cant belive there is such a difference. I just dont get it
 

ed84246

Member
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1,002
You're talkng amps that have very different characteristics. Your DeVille is toned very typical Fender - more warm and round. The bluesbreaker and Vox are, to my ears, much brighter amps and therefor some pedals are going to sound more brittle through them. These three companies approach their tone circuits differently and pedals are going to reflect that. I have a Bogner Shiva and sometimes it's very hard to dial in pedals, or I have to dial them in in ways I never expected. Using a Zen drive, Lovepedal Eternity or Jetter GSR in the Shiva's clean channel, only the Eternity sounds great. But all three sound incredible if I run them through the dirty channel with the gain so low it starves and almost chokes out the sound by itself. Yet these same three pedals sound great (but in a different way) on a clean setting through my friend's Blackface Deluxe Reverb.
 

odourboy

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672
I suspect it's because a lot of pedal makers optimize the voicing of their pedals for use with fender style amps.
 

robojim4000

Member
Messages
95
i wish i could explain it better. Its not just about dialing in. Its like the fender is a tube amp and the marshall and vox are just solid state amps. The pedal sound is better than the amp distortion on the deville (not too hard), but put those pedals infront of the marshall or vox and it sounds worse than the distortion channel on the deville.

Its like there is a 'cap' on the sound. There are no gritty bits, its just smooth but in a bad and uninteresting way. Now im really pissed off
 

robelinda2

Member
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2,648
hey i have the same two amps as you, and i find the same thing! my deville just sounds so much better with any overdrives, but at higher volumes its a slightly different story, the bluesbreaker really comes into its own.

did you say the bluesbreaker is solid state?? Its all tube.
 

kingsxman

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,841
Interesting. I was just reading in Premier guitar about the bluesbreaker and had been thinking that maybe I should try one out. I've currently got a Budda SD45, 59 Bassman reissue and a Lil Dawg Deluxe. I've found pedals sound great through the Lil dawg and Budda and then not so good (thin, fizzy) on the bassman sometimes. I would have expected the Bluesbreaker to be a great match for most pedals.
 

fr8_trane

Silver Supporting Member
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6,912
Yup this has been my experience as well when comparing the whole Hotrod series to REAL vintage fenders. The hotrods may be the greatest pedal platform amps ever in my experience.

I certainly do not ever think of vintage fenders as warm and round either. BF and SF fenders are BRIGHT! I ususally set the treble at 4 or below on my '78 Deluxe. Even then the hotrod amps STILL sound better with OD.

I have looked at the clean channel preamp circuit in the hotrod series and they are fairly similar to the BF era with a few minor tweaks. It might be something in the power section but somehow I don't think that's it either.

The number one suspect IMO is the SPEAKER. I think the Hotrod amps have a darker style speaker in them (some kind of eminence I believe).

The easiest way to test this theory is to run your bluesbreaker with pedals thru the Hotrod speaker cab.

Let us know the results if you do.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
27,626
There's no question that AC30s are very fussy about pedals. It's even an amp by amp thing: I've done 25 pedal shootouts with my 65, and found a few that sound great with it and sound fizzy or harsh with my AC30HW and vice-versa. There're some pedals that sound great with everything (Zendrive, Sansamp, Mosferatu, Klon) and others that like one particular kind of amp and sound harsh with others (and TS808 clone including the original, Treble Boosters, Fuzzes etc). There's nothing wrong with the AC30 or the BB, you just have to find the right pedals. Interestingly, a cranked BB or AC30 (just to the point of breakup) is one of the few places a simple treble booster sounds great, it just sounds harsh into most of my Fenders. There's no question that MORE pedals sound good into Fenders, they're just a great platform to work with, and as the commonest single brand of amps out there, the place that most pedal designs start from (after all, what was a TS808 except a way to make a Twin or Super sound like a cranked Marshall)....
 

KBN

Member
Messages
1,087
Whenever I change to a new amp I fully expect to have to change my overdrive pedals. Nature of the beast. They are so interactive. That is why I rarely pay attention to overdrive reviews / demos unless they talk about the amps they use the pedals with. I had an Xotic AC and it sounded absolutely brilliant through a Traynor YBA-1, but I didn't like it through anything else. I also had a TC Electronic Vintage Distortion (T-rex Mudhoney) and a Menatone Red Snapper (4 knob) and they both sounded amazing through a 65 Bandmaster, but sounded horrible through a Reeves 50. The inverse was true of the Reezafratzits. It sounded decent through the Bandmaster, but amazing through the Reeves.
 

meterman

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Messages
7,902
There's nothing wrong with the AC30 or the BB, you just have to find the right pedals.....
+1 from my experience as well. BF style Fenders including the Deville's clean channel have less mids than Vox or Marshall, more bass and treble so an OD that fills in the mids (most of them, especially TS types) works great. That same OD could impose on and compete with the inherently richer, fatter mids of the BB and Vox and sound honky, nasal, overcompressed, etc. Similarly, running hard clipping distortion pedals into amps known for their own natural overdrive can be too much and end up sounding fizzy, thin. My advice with the BB and the Vox is to run the amps on the edge of overdrive and then use boosts and fuzzes, these are what work best with my TopHats which are based on Vox and early Marshall designs. With these amps you want pedals that enhance and bring out the amps' inherent tonalities, rather than imposing the gain and EQ structure of a SS dirt pedal on the sound.

The one pedal I've had that sounded good with every single amp I've tried it with is the TIM, and I chalk that up to it's lack of compression and very versatile EQ which allows it to sound very natural and amplike and dial in for any amp.

Just my $.02, good luck!
 

myles111

Member
Messages
2,954
One gain stage in the Fender ... three in the Marshall. Cathode follower tone stack in the Marshall as well.

Very different front ends with very different gain and other characteristics.

Right off the bat with tone controls set to midpoint there is a lot more gain in a Marshall. Remember .... +3dB increase is the same as doubling your power output.

Pedals with higher output can easily drive input sections of amps into compression and distortion at much lower amp level settings.



Above is a little chart I did when people wanted to know why a vintage Fender and Marshall amp were different. This was one of the many differences.
 

fr8_trane

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,912
I still don't think this is an apples versus oranges thing or fender vs Marshall issue although its true that some pedals work better with certain amps. There are many of posts about how well the the Hotrod deluxe takes OD pedals and Lots of posts about how the deluxe reverb is picky about OD pedals. I have had both amps and I find this to be true in both cases. These amps share some DNA. So why the big difference?

For me the problem lies in the treble response. IMO too much treble above 5k, regardless of the amp, makes OD pedals sound fizzy and unnatural.

The quick fix is a darker speaker. The downside is that you may not like what it does to the amps natural tone.
 

DanD

Member
Messages
320
First time I plugged into a bluesbreaker combo w/p-90's I just about went through the roof. An amp that doesn't need a bunch of pedals to sound good.
I use an ac30 clone and it is not pedal friendly at all, that is until I get to the gig and open her up and get cooking. Then it's "Oh my God, how wonderful this amp makes me sound". "Let's play some more guys." "Put the pedal to the metal".

Good luck,
DanD
 

meterman

Member
Messages
7,902
For me the problem lies in the treble response. IMO too much treble above 5k, regardless of the amp, makes OD pedals sound fizzy and unnatural.
Bright switches and treble bleed caps also tend to emphasize fizz, doesn't the DR have a treble bleed cap that basically equates to the bright switch being on all the time or something?
 

PLAYLOUD

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Messages
2,251
There's nothing wrong with the AC30 or the BB, you just have to find the right pedals.

Exactly, I have the same issues with our pedals.
 

Rod

Tone is Paramount
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
21,832
Ist off, thankx for the graph Miles.....very interesting....
robojim, your conclusion doesn't surprise me at all...all my great OD pedals [Mosferatu, Jeter GSR, ect] sound best through the clean channel of my Two-Rock...VERY old Blackface sounding...My SD18 Budda...OD pedals sound HORRIBLE through it...tried a newer Vox 15CC last week..brought my pedals...again...sounded horrible..I did have a Rockytop JTM45 that pedals sounded great with...rune your pedals through the normal channel of the bluesbreaker, lower input..keep the treble down...should sound pretty good...
 

bastet

Member
Messages
63
I have the same amps. The AC30 is allot better by itself. Using Les Pauls and Strats

Any pedal suggestions for all of these styles; blues - rock, classic rock, hard 80's rock and metal would be great. I guess $100 to $200 range.

I currently run an OCD V3 (don't really care for it) Subdecay F-bomb (very cool) Metalzone (gets me by).

I bought these amps (Bluesbreaker and AC30) as clean and versatile set-ups but think maybe I should have gone the Fender route. :(

Please help!!
 

daneswede1

Member
Messages
195
Why am i paying MORE to have my expensive pedals sound WORSE? This amp (bluesbreaker) is brand new there is nothing wrong with it, and the Vox was even worse. The reezafratzitz sounded like a toy, really fizzy in both of them. It sounded amazing in the deville, but awful in the vox and marshall. I cant belive there is such a difference. I just dont get it
if its the old 1991 blues breaker with the iomprinteed stamp on the back ill buy it . call me at 561 305 2530 and ill call you immed. back its free for me we can go thru legit channels i.e ebay only if interestd .
the blues breakeer is meant for your amp but truly thu a n old NMV 70s marshall they shine best IMHO!
 




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