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The Solution to All Dirt Pedal Choices . . .

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Baminated

Senior Member
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6,491
Get an amp w/a great master volume already ! the five $200 pedals ya bought coulda gone towards a great amp, and you have sold them at a 30%-40% loss !
 

mspizziri

Member
Messages
286
But what if you like different types of dirt, that is a lot of amps....do they make an Amp Train board

Plus buying, selling and trading pedals is fun....have you ever tried taking a big amp to the post office, much easier to ship a pedal
 

MRCHILL4

Member
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2,939
Nope , not here. The dirt pedals I have sold, I made $$ on. Sold the OCD twice and made my cash back. I love varying shades of dirt. No amp I have tried yet gets me a wampler slo, plextortion, kanji, boiling point, lunar module, and screwdriver all in one amp. I think of dirt pedals as different "amp" sounds. Love to have them on a loopmaster and switch them in and out at will. That is a lot of satisfaction and fun to me
 

Baminated

Senior Member
Messages
6,491
There is just a certain fidelity shortcoming to my ears, when making the pedals my base OD tone - and I have owned/sold tons of OD/dist pedals - Just no comparison quality wise to an amp w/an above average master volume, although perhaps less varied.

This is particularly obvious when going for convincing rhythm tones

I use the dirt pedals as a color , not a base. I believe the process is inverted & perhaps compromised when attempting to make an OD pedal the base OD tone from a clean platform
 

Heady Jam Fan

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9,009
I have a PPIV and it is a master volume that actually works, but I still like overdrives, mostly cuz I like fuzz into a clean amp, but also cuz there is too much of a volume change using a volume knob for clean and dirty on an amp. Although I guess you could go with a 2 channel amp, but then you need a switcher/selector, plus different settings for both channels since you probably want to eq them differently (more treble shifted on the dirty channel).

Ultimately, I have 1 dirt pedal to simulate amp distortion. I think that is cheaper than a more complex amp, which would require more wires (for the channel switcher). Adding complexity to an amp can also diminish the sound quality. For example, I think that is why many people still prefer a good ole fender over many of the amps designed after a fender, or why Kim from Surprise Sound Lab was able to improve upon H&K's work by removing unnecessary circuitry (particularly what was before the tubes).

I have also broken even or made money on most of my pedals that I have bought and sold, so I don't feel bad about testing cool stuff out. No to mention, this is cheaper and easier than trying multiple amps. My other pedals are stuff I would still want even with a multi-channel amp - even if the amp does a good overdrive, you probably still want a Tube Screamer for solo/lead. Not to mention, having a Micro Amp Boost, after my dirt, I can dial in the exact amount of distortion I want out of any pedal by rolling back my volume knob, then getting back to unity using my foot on the boost. You cannot do this on an amp, you would have significant volume changes.
 

cosmodog

Member
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250
I don't have the breadth of experience many of you have, so this is just one man's opinion, but so far I've found it far easier to start with an amp for it's great clean tone and use a pedal to get a very good dirt tone, than it is to pick an amp for it's great dirt tone and somehow find a way to get a very good clean tone.

For me, there's just nothing as good as a great Fender clean tone - but I'm not a fan of the blackface dirt sounds except in very specific instances, and much prefer a Plexi sort of dirt sound in general. I can get very close to that with a great pedal on the blackface. But a Plexi just simply doesn't have a great clean sound. And I'm not really interested in using two separate amps. The pedal route is simply more practical and gets very, very close, IMHO.
 

Heady Jam Fan

Member
Messages
9,009
I don't have the breadth of experience many of you have, so this is just one man's opinion, but so far I've found it far easier to start with an amp for it's great clean tone and use a pedal to get a very good dirt tone, than it is to pick an amp for it's great dirt tone and somehow find a way to get a very good clean tone.

For me, there's just nothing as good as a great Fender clean tone - but I'm not a fan of the blackface dirt sounds except in very specific instances, and much prefer a Plexi sort of dirt sound in general. I can get very close to that with a great pedal on the blackface. But a Plexi just simply doesn't have a great clean sound. And I'm not really interested in using two separate amps. The pedal route is simply more practical and gets very, very close, IMHO.
That is kinda what I was describing about altering the Fender circuit. That is what Marshal did and IMO they lost the awesome clean tone that Fender has. I don't dislike a Fender dirty tone, but I sometimes find it can be tricky to get what I want (on my Bassman, it is usually too bassy for example).
 

excane

Member
Messages
497
Sorry, but master volume sucks IMHO. I much prefer a non master amp with a great pedal.
+1

with a few exceptions....

If you never vary your sound, you might choose a single great master volume amp to get your dirt sound and leave it that way. (if you play metal let's say - a Mesa dual rec might be the sound you always love and use)

A non-master volume amp is the best way to go (in my opinion obviously) with pedals and the design of the amp has to be considered as well.

My most recent amp is a non-master volume Blackstar Artisan 100 and this thing takes pedals like nothing else I've ever heard. (Current production amps)
A Marshall plexi, Fender Bandmaster, Showman, Hiwatt, etc with dirt pedals sounds amazing.

It all depends on your preference and what you need your rig to do.
 

Rock Steady

Member
Messages
625
honestly bro. I put away all my pedals (except my phase 45) and Im just running my guitar straight into my amp. It sounds absolutely amazing. My best tone is Guitar-> amp, straight up. No pedals or anything. I do love the pedals for dicking around though.
 

Pentode

Member
Messages
353
+1

with a few exceptions....

If you never vary your sound, you might choose a single great master volume amp to get your dirt sound and leave it that way. (if you play metal let's say - a Mesa dual rec might be the sound you always love and use)

A non-master volume amp is the best way to go (in my opinion obviously) with pedals and the design of the amp has to be considered as well.

My most recent amp is a non-master volume Blackstar Artisan 100 and this thing takes pedals like nothing else I've ever heard. (Current production amps)
A Marshall plexi, Fender Bandmaster, Showman, Hiwatt, etc with dirt pedals sounds amazing.

It all depends on your preference and what you need your rig to do.
That's just it, depends on what tones you are trying to achieve. A master volume may work for people who prefer preamp gain/distortion.
 

Baminated

Senior Member
Messages
6,491
Sorry, but master volume sucks IMHO. I much prefer a non master amp with a great pedal.
Let's take some of the best hard rock OD tones in history in whian MV Amp was used

Anything w/a JCM 800 & say, Jerry Cantrell's Tones on the Dirt Album.

Can you produce any demos where they take those amps, then A/B with a non-mv amp w/pedals ?

If not, then I don;t find your statement to be conclusive which would refute those already proven recorded examples
 

nkjanssen

Member
Messages
648
Well, if I want to change gain level mid-song or between songs and had no pedals, I'd have to use multiple-channel amps (or multiple amps). Pedals are cheaper overall and give me far more tonal options. So they are a better choice. Obviously a lot of players agree with me on that.
 

teleclem

Member
Messages
4,690
Well, if I want to change gain level mid-song or between songs and had no pedals, I'd have to use multiple-channel amps (or multiple amps). Pedals are cheaper overall and give me far more tonal options. So they are a better choice. Obviously a lot of players agree with me on that.
I agree.

With the music I play and gigs I do, it is not practical to go dirt pedal-less. I'm not gonna carry (or pay for) multiple amps just to get different sounds.
 

Cableaddict

Member
Messages
153
Get an amp w/a great master volume already ! the five $200 pedals ya bought coulda gone towards a great amp, and you have sold them at a 30%-40% loss !
So unbelievably wrong.

Using a master volume kills your dynamics. It makes it easier to play, but lessens the musical impact.

Many of the great pedals do their best to maintain or even enhance dynamics, so you can get that "cranked" amp sound at lower volumes. A great example is the Wampler PlexiDrive. Compare that to their PlexiTron, which is creamier but with much less life, and sounds just like a master volume has been turned down. Blech.

But you know, if you can't really control your fingers .......
 

shredtrash

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,131
Sorry, but master volume sucks IMHO. I much prefer a non master amp with a great pedal.
Same here. I HATE master volumes. They just don't sound right or respond right IMO. Give me a great pedal any day over that. YMMV.
 

ThePenwellCrash

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,602
Hmm. Interesting. I've always been a Non MV kinda guy; mostly vintage Fenders, Vox, and Gibsons. Favorite amp right now is a Maz18 which IS a MV and it takes pedals (including dirt) better than any other amp I've played.
 

shredtrash

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,131
Hmm. Interesting. I've always been a Non MV kinda guy; mostly vintage Fenders, Vox, and Gibsons. Favorite amp right now is a Maz18 which IS a MV and it takes pedals (including dirt) better than any other amp I've played.
My Matchless Nighthawk is also a MV (even though I don't like them) but I run the master wide open to bypass it and yes, it takes pedals like a champ as well.
 
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