Should I move pedal to amp for my drive?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by guitarchris76, May 5, 2016.

  1. guitarchris76

    guitarchris76 Member

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    I know this question has been asked in the past. I have even asked about ditching my Dr. Z Max 18 for a Mesa Mark V. I switch my setup around every couple years and am going back and forth between a just bucking that trend and sticking with my Dr. Z Maz 18 and using pedals to get my drive tons or getting rid of it and all my pedals in favor of an amp with several levels of drive such as the Mesa Mark V. I don’t play out anymore so my playing consists of soloing over backing tracks or looping and soloing over that. The styles I play range from Jazz to Hard Rock but never really in to metal. My biggest hesitation is that I do love the different sounds pedals give. I can currently get tones I love and if I could I would just by a Mark V in addition to what I have but don't have the disposable income. Any thoughts?


    Pedals for Drive

    ·Analogman King of Tone

    ·Klon KTR

    ·Paul C Timmy

    ·Fulltone OCD

    ·Dr. Scientist The Elements

    ·Pro Co Fat Rat

    ·Ibanez TS9

    ·Celestial Effects Capricorn

    ·Suhr Riot Reloaded

    ·Mad Professor 1

    ·BK Butler Tube Driver

    ·Wampler Velvet Fuzz

    ·Earthquaker Hoof Reaper

    ·MXR La Machine

    ·EHX Big Muff pi Delux
     
  2. Mejis

    Mejis Member

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    I may be in the minority, but I'd say keep what you have. I really like the flexibility of drive sounds you can get with good pedals going into a good amp. I've owned a bunch of high gain amps, including the SLO and a VHT, and I still went back to a cleaner amp with pedals pushing it.
     
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  3. dwoverdrive

    dwoverdrive Supporting Member

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    Just judging by your drive pedals, if you got rid of what you have to get a Mark V (which is an amazing amp you'd love by the way) you will eventually want something else. If you are one of those guys that likes all those different flavors of drive pedals, you will never be able to get by with one amps overdrive channels. And thats coming from a guy who uses only amp drive. Go with what you know I guess.
     
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  4. Phletch

    Phletch Member

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    Lawd have mercy that's a whole lotta drive pedals! In 30 years I have never owned that many pedals in total and thought that having 2 OD pedals on my board of 6 total was maybe overdoing it. :rotflmao
     
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  5. Beam Tetrode

    Beam Tetrode Member

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    Go for the Mesa. Tubes rule.
     
  6. eigentone

    eigentone Supporting Member

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    The Mark V can get many great drive tones and there are many ways to tweak the sound and power stages.

    Personally, I don't do tons of high gain stuff either. I like many flavors of low/mid gain -- in addition to silly clean. I found the cleans and heavies great on my Mark V, and the low/mid gain tones quite good (using good tubes). I use the Mark most for clean, modern, and heavy sounds. Or just for an EL34 character. For low/mid gain tones, I go to my AC30 and 5E3 most days.

    My advice: If you love that Maz and your stomps, just save up and keep an eye out for deals on Marks. They do happen. I saw a combo listed for $1200 recently. Once you have it all, learn it all and consider selling what doesn't get used for months.

    PS: I used to gig with dual pedalboards -- over 2 dozen pedals. These days, I'm just using amps for drive. Adding amps will likely make some of those pedals obsolete. Decision is just choosing the amp that gets the sounds you need most.
     
  7. BADHAK

    BADHAK Member

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    I reckon you should find an amp that you love the OD sound of without pedals, then use selected pedels for solos / heavy, or even abit of variety.
    Also, once you get used to setting your amp loud and bright and using your guitar vol , you will have a large range of tones and subtlety to choose from just using the guitars controls.

    And going from a Z (even with pedals for gain)to a Mark V is going to be a big shift tonally
     
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  8. TeletoneH137

    TeletoneH137 Member

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    I was a pedal guy until I tried the right amp(s). For me it was a 5e3 and plexi circuit. Now it would be tough for me to go back to pedals. As a bonus I spend more time focusing on my playing. If I owned the number of drive pedals that you do, I would go nuts with the distraction. YMMV obviously.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
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  9. jota

    jota Member

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    I have a board for my band and a couple of pedals to play at home. The sound my band needs is a bit different from the sound I like.
    Once I had a board full of everything I like and everything I need.
    After I made this little board with just what I like and need to play around the house I feel I don't need more than two or three drive pedals.
    I love overdrives. I could live with thousands but in the end I make them sound pretty much the same!
    Once you commit to 2 or 3 you start to play more and don't worry much about little nuances.
     
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  10. slybird

    slybird Member

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    You have 14 dirt pedals and don't have disposable income?

    The mark amps are a bit much for playing along to backing tracks.

    I don't care if my drive comes from the amp or a pedal. Makes no difference. I do think you own too many dirt pedals. Nobody needs that many IMO. I own a Triaxis and have never needed more than three settings.

    I say keep what you have. There is nothing wrong with pedal dirt, but sell some of them, you don't need that many.
     
  11. guitarchris76

    guitarchris76 Member

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    Wow thanks for all the great responses. I know I do have a lot of drives but I should decsbribe my playing setup. As I said, I play alone and solo over backing tracks online or ones I create. I have always played instrumental guitar music and there is not much call for that type of playing in my area anyway. I want to warn you, you are going to want to rag on my but try and suppress that urge.

    All of my pedal are in my music room in a glass front display cabinet. When I am able to play (medical condition I won't bore you with since it is in another post) I take out one or maybe two pedals if I am using 2 drives or a drive and a wah that go with the song I am playing. If I decide I want a new flavor I put the pedals away and take out the new ones. The only pedal that stays out is a line6 M13 I use for delay and modulation. I have tried multiple pedal board setups but it ends up being inevitable that the pedals I put on it don't all work with each other and quickly go back to the old way.

    This is a big reason for looking at this switch. It would be kind of nice to just plug straight in to an amp and play.
     
  12. Mrosinski11

    Mrosinski11 Member

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    Actually, I think a Mark V sounds great at low volumes for backing tracks. As so much of its sound is preamp driven it is not like a Plexi that requires loud volumes to get the whole character of the amp. I actually liked my Mark V better at low volumes then loud volumes where the stiffness of the power amp showed more. It also has 10 and 45 watt modes.

    Regarding getting a Mark V, if you like its sounds, you should. You have 14 drive pedals but are currently putting them through an EL-84 18 watt amp. That will give you 14 different flavors of preamp distortion that will always be colored by the EL-84's lack of low end, and your amps lack of headroom and smaller transformer, though obviously for bedroom playing you will have head room enough. However, many flavors are hidden in those pedals that you won't discover unless you try it with amps with vastly different topology. With the Mark V you could see how it sounds with 90 watts of high headroom with EL-34s or 6L6's, or in 10 watt modes etc, or though each of the 9 preamp settings... Then you can tailor to taste with the GEQ on the amp..

    Pedals are like different colors of water and amps are like differently designed and colored glass containers. You will always see the pedal through the medium of the amp holding its particular "water". The Mark V would give you new insight into your peda'ls sound.
     
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  13. mikebat

    mikebat Member

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    considering you will be playing at low volumes, stay with pedals.

    If you are playing at loud volumes, with a band, I would have said, "go with amp drive, 100%".
     
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  14. Eric Porter

    Eric Porter Member

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    I love OD from an amp - but when playing at home, sometimes you need a pedal to do what you want. The Maz is a great amp, keep it and with all the pedals you have - something should get you the sound/tone you are looking for
     
  15. Vai81

    Vai81 Member

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    A very thoughtful post. Great post!
     
  16. rollyfoster

    rollyfoster Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a mark V and use a tubescreamer to goose it, but rarely since I love the amp drive so much. It's anything from touch sensitive and creamy breakup to all out dragon farts. For me, I can seem to accomplish any kind of gain I want other than fuzz, and even then cranking the tweed mode on 10 watt variac gets pretty damn fuzzy.


    It is incredibly usable at low volumes, maybe more so than any other amp I've played because it has a global level control so you can do whatever you want with the preamp and channel masters and use that to take it down to conversation levels or crank it and blow out the windows.
     
  17. Geetarman74

    Geetarman74 Member

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    Here's another thought. Keep your three (or so) absolute favorite drive pedals. Then sell all the rest and purchase a used Mark V.

    Now you have both amps and a few great OD pedals. :)
     
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  18. Silent Sound

    Silent Sound Member

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    If you don't play out with a band, then it really doesn't matter. It's just for your own personal enjoyment, so use whatever you enjoy more. None of us will know if you'll wind up liking pedals or amp OD better. Nor can any of us possibly know if you'll like the sound of the Mark V. You're asking us what your opinion is, and we're not qualified to answer that.

    Personally, I wouldn't waste my money on new gear if you don't have the money to waste. Since you won't be seeing a return on this, you can't call it an investment, and it wouldn't be prudent to buy a new amp when your old one has served you fine for this long. The grass will always be greener on the other side of the fence, no matter which side you're on. So if I were you, I'd just save up my money until I could afford to buy the Mark V outright, without having to sell anything or eat ramen noodles for the next year. That's my gear buying philosophy. If you're not making money off it, then don't go into debt trying to "upgrade". It's not an investment. It's a hobby. Don't buy stuff you don't need, and don't sell stuff you like because you want to buy more stuff that you may or may not like. Sell the stuff you don't use or don't have room to keep. It gets expensive when you get into the gear flipping habit, and it won't make you happy. The joy of playing music should come from playing music, not from buying gear. That's something different. If you just want to buy stuff because you like buying stuff, buy stocks, bonds, precious metals, or maybe some art. At least that stuff has a chance at going up in value after you've owned it.
     
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  19. trap

    trap Supporting Member

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    You have a King of Tone? You're done!
     
  20. Phletch

    Phletch Member

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    That is pretty much exactly what I do and how I do it - with a Mini Rec and 2 ODs. At home, everything is a compromise anyway, but live with the band (trio) I open that sucka up and doing as you described I have a nice variety of cool, usable sounds just with the amp OD; using one of the pedals on a few different tunes is a bonus but nothing I couldn't live without. I often do an entire night and never use anything but the amp OD.
    Me too, 3 OD pedals, 2 kept on the board, and I tend to (unconsciously or whatever) dial them in to sounding almost like the amp drive. The one that really has its own thing is my Distortron clone.

    But that's the thing, too. I think for people who have a sound in their head, that's going to happen even with different amps. Even if I use a backline or borrow a friend's amp that's very different from mine, I fiddle with it until I get as close as I can to what I want to hear and feel. Some amps, obviously, get closer than others, but once I figured out (it took many years) that I can make just about any amp do what I want it to do (or close enough) I really didn't feel the need to fall into the rabbit hole of GAS and the endless windmill chase of the tone quest. My wallet and my wife are thankful.
     
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