Overdrive Pedals and SS Amps

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Ikaros, Jan 25, 2006.


  1. Ikaros

    Ikaros Guest

    I know all the tube amp people will discourage this but can I get opinions form people actually using solid state amps instead? Since I'm a home hobby guitarist, I'm stuck with using a 15 watt solid state practice amp because I can't blast out the neighbors or my family. I'm a using the Marshall MG series amp with my Fender Stratocaster.

    I don't care that they sound better with a tube amp, thats a given. I want to now how much of a tube amp simulated overdrive tone you can get with an overdrive pedal and SS amp.

    So here is my question for solid state amp users: Have you used any overdrive pedals with your SS amp? If so how are the results for you?

    Also, post your SS amp model, overdrive pedal, and guitar pickup type that you use. If you have any sound samples of the tone you get, it would be helpful if you can link a sound clip to listen to. If you do get a nice tone with your overdrive/ss amp combo please post your tone settings as well so others like myself can duplicate the sound you get.

    Thanks....
     
  2. rabbit

    rabbit Member

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    At the moment I just have a 15watt solid state practice amp at home since my rig is in the band´s rehearsal room and I´m still on the quest for a decent small tube amp. So a similar situation to your´s I think.

    I really get nice low gain od tone with my Red Snapper into this amp. I recommend using a (quality) od/dist into the clean channel of your amp, I´d rather not mud up the SS od channel mud any further :) . Depends on the clean channel of your amp as well.
    I also recommend to set the gain and volume fairly low since you won´t be able to really push your amp into nice "tubey" overdrive anyways.

    The results I get are ok but nothing in comparison to using a real tube amp and an overdrive pedal.
     
  3. LouRossi

    LouRossi Member

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    I use my Boss SD-2 with the SS amp at a rehearsal room & it works out fine. I read on Nels Cline's site that his Klon saved the day when he was faced with 'amp d' jour'. Funny story too...
     
  4. drolling

    drolling Member

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    When I was using SS amps, I got the best sounding overdrive w/a tube powered pedal into the clean channel. I used a MesaBoogie V-Twin and/or a Tube Works Blue Tube.

    Interestingly, neither of these pedals work for me w/the tube amps I'm currently using, and all my pedals are transistor or chip based.

    But a preamp tube based pedal's a great choice for warming up the tone of a SS amp. Even your clean tones will sound much better..
     
  5. exodus

    exodus Member

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    a v-stack is the best way that I've found to turn a ss amp very tube-like... even with the gain set low.
     
  6. Ikaros

    Ikaros Guest

    This all sounds good to hear, thanks and keep more info coming! When I get an overdrive pedal (either one of the Boss models or the YJM308 overdrive that I'm favoring because I love Yngwie's signature tone) then I'll experiment on clean channel vs. dirty channel. Right now only using a Boss DS-1 w/mild 70's distortion on the dirty channel with minimal gain and I can still get a clean sound when I toggle the DS-1 off.
     
  7. johndara

    johndara Member

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    I have a Tech 21 Trademark 60 for practice and there are some pedals that sound pretty crappy going through solid state amps. Channel 2 of the amp is already a pretty heavy distortion so I use channel one to get a nice clean fender tone and for my overdrive tone I have used a Menatone Red Snapper which works really well with it..also used a Emma Reezafratzitz, Barber DDSS, Jekyll & Hyde to name a few all with great results. Channel one on the Tech 21 also has a real nice overdrive tone by itself when set up right and you can use these pedals just to push it over the top. One more thing: I'm not sure if this is true for all Treble Boosters, but normally you would use a treble booster in front of a tube amp, but I have tried a few through this solid state amp and made this amp scream.
     
  8. el34power

    el34power Member

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    Like others said i would look into something "simulating". I just got a digitech DF-7...it's got 7 od/dist. TS-9, DOD250, DS1, RAT, MT-2, Metal master, Big muff. When you get tired of a certain tone, you can switch. It has 2 outputs, you can plug into a mixer or 2 or 2 amps in stereo and the stereo feild is adustable, cab simulator and so on. If you ever get a good tube amp, the TS-9 and 250 make for respectable Overdrives... Sound pretty good threw my sons rage 158 and my JCM800.
    For the price, i love it.
     
  9. jpagey

    jpagey Member

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    I think either a Keeley modded ts-9 or a Lovepedal CoT would work great. ts-9's are nice and warm sounding and the Keeley mod makes it very versatile. As for the CoT, I thought I once read that Sean built it to take to jams because he was always getting stuck playing sh***y amps at jams and wanted a pedal to give him a consistent good sound.
     
  10. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    I use a marshall AVT amp all the time. With my EQ pedal, I get great, fat tone out of it at all volumes.

    Anyhow, I use a Tonebone Hot British into it (sounds unbelievable) as well as a TCJ DGTM OD pedal, which also sounds beautiful.

    I have a humbuckered guitar as well. I love my tone.
     
  11. danut

    danut Member

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    +1 on the Keeley Mod Plus TS-9. I use it with my SansAmp TRI-A.C. analog preamp, which drives a Tech 21 Power Engine 60 SS powered speaker cabinet, with excellent results! It's on the expensive side, though...
     
  12. exodus

    exodus Member

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    there is one other thing I want to add to my last post--

    Besides pedals, I think the best thing you can do for a SS amp that will make the most dramatic and profound tone difference-- is to swap out the speaker or better yet, run it to a quality cab.

    I have a Trademark 60 that I tool around with in the apartment, but I line it out to a Germino 2x12 loaded with greenbacks. It is like night and day. :YinYang
    It also makes the v-stack sound better and any other od pedals I use sound a hell of a lot better. It really opens up the tone--things don't sound so boxy spuddering.

    You have to figure that with a budget SS amp, speakers and cabinet build is the first area where costs are cut.
     
  13. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    That's an excellent suggestion, exodus. Mayhap I should start looking into speaker cabs....

    Yay, GAS is back!
     
  14. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    If your clean sound is good on a ss amp the pedal will work as well as with a tube amp. Just don't use boosts if your ss amp cannot handle them.
    People seem to always compare primo tube with low-budget ss and say tubes sound far better.

    You MUST compare using similar and appropriately chosen speakers. The differences are not near what tube fans seem to believe.

    Try a Bad Monkey.
     
  15. drolling

    drolling Member

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    HAH! The cravings will COMPLETELY leave...





    ....but they never get very far;)
     
  16. exodus

    exodus Member

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    i love being an enabler. :p
     
  17. carltonh

    carltonh Member

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    I think you'd want a pedal that doesn't mess with the eq with humps or scoops, and so I'd avoid any Tubescreamer type. Plus it would need to be something that could sound good clean to leave on constantly and just warm up the clean tone and be always on. Probably something like a Keeley BD-2, Boss OD-3, COT50, maybe the MI Audio Crunchboy when it comes out, Timmy, etc. Of course, you could have one to warm up the tone and others into it to be gain pedals.

    If your SS amp were a Pritchard, then all else would be irrelevant, but I get the picture you are dealing with a cheap improvement to a cheap SS amp.
     
  18. amper

    amper Member

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    Well, I've never really bothered with overdrive pedals when I use my Ampeg VH-140C solid-state amp, because I haven't come across a pedal that sounds as good as the distortion I get from the amp itself. I frimly believe that the VH-140 amps have the best distortion I've ever heard from a solid-state amp--the equal of many tube preamp designs. For people who get all of their dirt from the preamp rather than the power tubes, you won't get a sound that's any better.

    Now, if you want power tube distortion, that's a whole different ball of wax.

    Of course, the VH-140C is/was quite a bit more expensive than your practice amp. It's a 70/70 W stereo chorus combo (at 8 Ohms/side. it'll do 100/100 into 4 Ohms) with reverb. Awesome detuning chorus, too, BTW--and a huge spring reverb. It listed for something like $1100 back in 1990 when I got it. Too bad they don't make it anymore. I understand it's very popular with heavy metal players. Me, I'm an indie rock kind of guy.
     
  19. Ben Furman

    Ben Furman Member

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    I sold my TM60 not too long back, so I had just a bit of experience with this. I got a Fulltone OCD when they first came out, and it worked pretty well with Channel 1 of that amp. Like another poster said, that channel already as a decent overdrive sound, and pushing it a bit worked well.

    The OCD is a versatile pedal in that it covers both smooth overdrive and higher-gain dirt. It is pretty tube amp-like in some of its responses. Of course, like any SS pedal it doesn't sound good all over. There are definite sweet spots. Fortunately, it doesn't mess too much with your guitar's basic sound, although there is a bit of bass boost.

    I don't know whether you're amp's input will tolerate pedals or not, but there is definitely some hope. It's definitely true that a high-voltage tube pedal would help give you some tube warmth and sparkle, but those are a bigger investment. Worth it if you can swing it.

    Right now, I think mint used OCD's are fetching about $120 now that the hype has died down. Dave Barber's pedals are also in that price range (new).

    -Ben
     
  20. Ikaros

    Ikaros Guest

    Well last night I ordered the DOD YJM308 Overdrive pedal. It is basically a modified DOD 250 to sound like the classic grey original version (they say the new re-issue doesn't sound the same) to match Yngwie Malmsteen's signature tone. I'll let you all know how it is when I get it in the mail. I can't play no were near like Yngwie but I love the tone he gets. I'll be pairing it up with my Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal so I'll experiment on the tones I get in combination and with the DS-1 off when I don't need it. They will be the only pedals I'll use for the time being. I'm trying to keep the effects chain itself as minimal as possible without going crazy. If it gets too noisey I'll have to add the Boss NS-2 to the mix.
     

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