Pedal players.... what amp to run pedals into?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by tlester, Oct 10, 2005.


  1. tlester

    tlester Member

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    Hi Guys -

    I'm re-working my entire rig. 12 years ago I used to play with multi-channel amps w/ a multi-effects processor. Things have changed over time and I've some how got my self playing through a PodXT. Well... I'm sick of it, but I also don't want to go back to my old sound either. So, I'm on a quest to reinvent myself (my sound).

    I'm in the middle of the debate between "get my sound from the amp" or "get my sound primarily from pedals". I haven't settled, yet. I know I want a great sounding tube amp with tons of tone. But do I'm not sure if I want to go with a really nice sounding single channel and go with pedals to shape the rest, or to find a good mult-channel amp and augment a bit with pedals.

    Any thoughts? There are so many cool pedals out there these days, it's hard to not want to take advantage. My question is for those that get a lot of sound from their stomps... what amp are you running them into? How much are you doing with the amp? Or are you just dialing up a nice clean tone and getting the rest from the stomps?

    HELP!

    -Tom

    PS. I'm kind of going for anything from Indie Rock (Radio Head, Killers, Modest Mouse, Cold Play, etc), to straight up rock (U2, Jimmy Eat World, Jet, etc), and maybe a bit of fusion (Scott Henderson, Guthrie Govan, etc).
     
  2. sdlogan9

    sdlogan9 Gold Supporting Member

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    All depends on the wattage you want but a good place to start is a Deluxe Reverb ($550.00 - Used on E-bay).... If you want more volume Try a Vibrolux Reverb($600.00 Used on E-bay)...... This is the only way in my opinion to get killer sound Clean, Chorus, and Gain. These amps rock!!!!

    Although there is some other options out there if your budget is $1000.00 + You might Try a Carr Rambler for the next step in Gear Slut Adultry.... Or even go $2000.00 + for a Two - Rock, If you got deep pocket's.... This is just my opinion.....

    If your a Marshall based Tube Fan you will need a person with Knowlege in that area........ - But I do Have a Favorite $500.00 range ( E-bay Price of coarse ) Amp..... The Dsl-401 is a real nice tube amp - el-34 based realy nice clean channel for blues break-up.. Oh well rambling on ...... Good luck in your search!!!!!

    Shane:dude
     
  3. jcshirke

    jcshirke Silver Supporting Member

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    Hey,

    A while back, I did the exact same thing you are doing. I dismantled my old rig and started over. I had very specific tones in my head that I wanted to get, so I started checking out all kinds of amps until I found what was right for me. Since then I've expanded my sound(s) by getting into the very dangerous, very expensive world of boutique pedals. :)

    There are so many great amp builders now, you're bound to get tons of different opinions.

    My .02, though, is that you should check out Dr. Z's stuff. All of his amps sound fantastic, and they aren't "clones" of anything. Everything I've heard, too, is that they take pedals extremely well. There's a Dr. Z amp in my future at some point.

    If you want an old Marshall sound, check out Germino amps. Old Fender BF and Tweed--Tone King Meteor II. I own a Germino Lead 55 and a Meteor II.

    Bogner, Fargen, Fuchs, Two Rock--all great. People swear by Bruno amps, too. Check out the Tone Merchants web site and browse the brands they carry. Check out Fat Sounds in (I think) North Carolina and Flynn Guitars in Evanston, or Make N Music in Chicago. All these dealers really know their stuff.

    If you're looking for a great Vox sound (you mentioned you were into U2...), consider Top Hat.

    All great choices. I don't think it's an overstatement to say we're living in a new golden age of amp building. Good time to be alive. ;)


    Jeff
     
  4. al carmichael

    al carmichael Member

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    I wish it were easy to give solid advice here, but so much depends on what tones you seek. Not all pedals sound good with every amp either. Set an amp for good, crisp clean tones and chorus, vibrato, delay and compression work great--but maybe that distortion or fuzz sounds buzzy and bad.

    On the other hand, an amp set so its just starting to overdrive on its own can be a source of great tones from boosts, overdrives and fuzz boxes--but that setting might distort your delay or time based effects.

    I think you have to ask yourself what are the basic sounds you want capture. I decided a while back to go with a great clean sound and add pedals for the dirt. For me, it worked pretty well--to a point. I play an Allen Old Flame, kind of a boutique Super reverb clone. Great for everything except fuzz and saturated distortion, which I rarely use. Now I sorta see why a guy like Eric Johnson uses both Marshall's and Fender's in his rig. Now, I'm thinking about a channel switching amp, like a Rivera, that has a Fender channel and a Marshall style channel.

    I will say this. Most of the tubescreamer clone type pedals sound pretty decent with just about anything.
     
  5. THROBAK

    THROBAK Gold Supporting Member

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    A Vox AC-30 would be my choice. It works very well with just about any overdrive, fuzz or distortion that you run into it.

    If you need a master volume then I would go for a Matchless Lightning clone.
     
  6. dinrodef

    dinrodef Guest

    yeah a vox ac-30 is a great all around amp and takes pedals well

    Just a heads up... not everybody gets a nice clean and builds off of it. I've had more luck doing the opposite.. I use a high gain multi channel heads and then use goodrich volume pedals to adjust my input... roll back the pedal for nice cleans and push it forward for tons of overdrive

    Just depends on the kind of player you are... give it a try before you spend lots of money looking for the "perfect" overdrive + amp setup. Maybe, find a good high gain amp that reacts well with a volume knob
     
  7. dinrodef

    dinrodef Guest

    i bet you'd love an orange rockerverb 50 watt
     
  8. tlester

    tlester Member

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    I've looked at the RV50. I do like it... I like the AD50 as well. Any thoughts on how these two amps take pedals?

    -Tom
     
  9. KLB

    KLB Member

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    Fender platform - Tone King Meteor II 740A 1x12

    Bassman/JTM/Plex platform - Germino Club 40 or Heritage Colonial

    Voxey/Bassman (EL84) platform - Heritage Briton
     
  10. jcshirke

    jcshirke Silver Supporting Member

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    If you go for an AC30, exercise a bit of caution. Most people think that the reissues from the 70s and 80s aren't very good. Korg took over production in the mid (?) 90s, and those are usually considered to be better. I own a '95 AC30 reissue, and it does sound great. But I also had mine modded by Don Butler.

    Do you want to dish out the bucks for an original JMI Vox? That's another option to think about.

    I personally don't think I'd go for a new AC30CC, but you may still want to consider it. The reviews are mixed, though, so you should certainly check them out for yourself in stores, if you're able.

    That's why I recommended a Top Hat, to be honest. You'd avoid all this trouble and get a great hand-built amp whose tone smokes just about every AC30 reissue made (Butler modded amps being the possible exception).


    Jeff
     
  11. sabbath90

    sabbath90 Member

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    i agree with a lot of the above posters in that you should go for something in the vox style. the new cc's are great sounding, but you should also check out valvetech, top hat, dr z, matchless, and bad cat.
     
  12. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    Check out the Roland JC-120. Extremely clean and is one of the only solid states that even tube-whores respect.

    Another great very clean amp is the Fender Twin. Almost impossible to get gritty.

    Myself, I prefer clean amps that are very hard to break up into a bit of grit. This is partly due to my pedals (tonebone hot british and TC Jauernig DGTM). The HB sounds horrible into amps that aren't clean, and the DGTM can give me the bit of grit I may require if need be. Another reason I prefer clean amps is the type of music I play, which isn't typical "guitar-rock"
     
  13. theHoss

    theHoss Member

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    If VOX is your deal, I would check out the Heritage Britton? As for your question, I have moved to the clean/pedal side of things. I have a Heritage Liberty with a Timmy. I am a blues player, so take it with a grain of salt. But now, as per an earlier post, I am thinking an EJ set up would be cool (2 amps, no pedals). Well, minimal pedals I guess....I can never go without (maybe in 40yrs or so?)
     
  14. themusicboxstudios

    themusicboxstudios Member

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  15. dowlingk

    dowlingk Member

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    I'm going to need toliet paper for my nose after this post, but do a search for "guitarzan". This guy Josh is not only a great player but also knows his gear. He's a great example of taking a clean amp and running pedals through it. I think he's got a SF '70 Super and a plethora of Love pedals. Just my .02.
     
  16. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Tough question!

    If you want the best, no compromises clean tone, I think you're going to have to go for a NMV, single channel tube model. Everything else involves compromise.

    Next choice, do you need flexibility volume wise, or can you make do with a smallish amp and a mic? For example, many (myself included) really like the BF Fender tone, but there is kind of a sweet spot with the amps and you have to pick the size based on the venue, or mic them. A quiet drummer would allow you to practise with a 2 6V6 amp like a Princeton Reverb, Deluxe Reverb or PRII/Superchamp. If he hits harder you're going to have to move up to Vibrolux Reverb, Tremolux or Bassman-all great sounds, all pedal sluts and all mic very well for bigger venues.

    If you want to branch out a bit, other great clean tones include Matchless, Dr Z, Bruno, Fuchs, Two Rock, Vox, Blonde Fender, Tweed Fender/Victoria/Clark. Most of those are a bit more expensive. If compromises have to be made, Ampeg, Traynor, Sunn, Groove Tubes, Tech 21 all make amps with great cleans that are undervalued...
     
  17. jcshirke

    jcshirke Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm assuming "NMV" means non-master volume?

    If so, there's a non-compromise solution in an incredible two channel amp: Tone King Meteor II.

    Jeff
     
  18. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    jcshirke-I have played a Meteor and though it was a great amp. I've also played a lot of channel switchers, but I've never found one that I thought had simultaneously great clean and great crunch. I think it's because, to my ears crunch comes from power tubes. If you're going to overdrive the power tubes, there's no way you can back off to clean it up by switching channels without it getting a lot quieter. The Trainwreck amps get around this by having a very compressed preamp that allows all kinds of colors from clean to drive with just the volume knob on guitar, the output section is driven about the same on all settings. There's a lot of good sounding crunch out there, but even the amps like the Trace Trident that uses an overdriven EL84 in the crunch channels still sounds like a distorted preamp thru a clean power amp to me. Now if someone had a footswitchable or midi controlled configuration on the amp where it would run class AB, Fixed bias, high B+ for clean and drop to class A, cathode bias, lower B+ for the crunch channel so the output was the same... London power has all these options on their power amp, but it's not footswichable or midi controlled. Another possibility would a footswitchable attenuator that would automatically kick in on the crunch channel...
     
  19. jcshirke

    jcshirke Silver Supporting Member

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    I suppose it depends on how much crunch you want out of one of the channels.

    The Meteor II has a vastly improved (imo) "Tweed" side that gets sweet, warm break up that's great for blues. Yes, you've got to turn up the volume a bit on that channel (or use a boost or pedal, if you prefer), but you can easily switch back and forth between the "Tweed" and "Blackface" sides of the Meteor II to have a very nice, NMV, two channel amp. I guess that was all I was trying to convey.

    But, in the end, he may not want a Tweed/Blackface style amp at all. There are tons of options, like you and others have said. My solution is just to buy several amps. lol Dr. Z is prob. next on the list.

    Jeff
     

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