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To the OD Stackers: What sort of amp?

freaksho

Member
Messages
3,998
i'm a bit new to OD pedal mania (tho i've taken to it like fish to water!) but i'm curious about the people who stack/combine multiple OD pedals:

do you use pedals for ALL your dirty tones? tube amp or SS? no amp gain for you at all? which amps?


(just curious)
 

teestone

Mostly Regular Member
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,613
I consider myself a stackaholic.....everything gets stacked at some point, not just dirt boxes!!

Personally, I have always preferred to use a clean amp as the starting point...in my case it's a Rivera S-120 all tube amp on the Fender based channel.

Once I have the crystal clear clean sound from the amp dialed in, I start setting all of my dirt pedals. I use the clean/boost function on my Pro Analog Dual Drive to goose the front end of the amp into the edge of breakup. For a medium overdrive, I use a Zendrive and for my lead tone I use a Mosferatu. The Dual Drive does a great job at pushing either the Zen or Mos into saturated ecstasy. It also gives me two levels of gain to mess with, just the clean/boost or the added distortion from the drive channel.

With just 3 pedals, I've got any number of different usable combos.
 

re-animator

Senior Member
Messages
8,240
fenders!

they tend to eat up a lot of the gain/compression in the peramp, which is why i think they are great for stacks.
 

mprvise

Member
Messages
6,404
Occasional stacker here. Main amps are a JRT 9/15 running with at least some breakup (usually a fair amount with guitar volume all the way up) and a Pure 64 run clean with a bit of "hair". If two OD's are on at the same time it's the RC and either a Carb or an Eternity. The Carb works very well with the Option 5 DR Single in OD mode. Carb plus Eternity is a gainy as I get, and sounds wonderful. I use all these stacks with both amps at gigs, but maybe only once or twice per night per stack.
 

improv4

Member
Messages
271
Well, I think tube amps are your best bet. Many of the pedals out there seem to have been designed to work with tube amps. I use a fender bassman reissue; it takes pedals very well and has a great tube distortion on its own when cranked. The cool thing with boost, overdrive and/or distortion pedals is that they will drive a tube amp harder and cause the amp to distort sooner.
Generally a tube amps natural distortion is more preferred over a pedal's distortion (this is a matter of taste though); but, you can use the pedal's drive to distort a tube amp sooner and not have the amp volume be excessively loud.
Now, stacking pedals is a very similar concept. The first distortion/ fuzz/ OD pedal will drive the next dirt pedal harder (more distortion) and in turn the amp is also driven harder (more distortion). All this is cool because you'll have a huge pallet of dirt sounds available and still have a little bit of control with the overall output volume. Multiple gain stage amps work very similar as well.

Sorry to be long winded; but, I hope this answers some of your questions. Good luck on your search; your in for a great trip.
, Chris
 

afterburner

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,548
Well, I think tube amps are your best bet. Many of the pedals out there seem to have been designed to work with tube amps. I use a fender bassman reissue; it takes pedals very well and has a great tube distortion on its own when cranked. The cool thing with boost, overdrive and/or distortion pedals is that they will drive a tube amp harder and cause the amp to distort sooner.
Generally a tube amps natural distortion is more preferred over a pedal's distortion (this is a matter of taste though); but, you can use the pedal's drive to distort a tube amp sooner and not have the amp volume be excessively loud.
actually, I believe a tube amp only distorts when it has run out of headroom i.e. when it's as loud as it can be

so using OD pedals doesn't really drive the tube amp harder such that the power tubes distort and provide more amp distortion. The OD pedals are providing whatever drive you set them at.
 

Sid

Member
Messages
3,430
my favourite sounds come from a slightly dirty amp(low on the preamp gain but cranked up volume) pushed by one or maximum 2 pedals...Ive not really found an amp with a preamp gain sound I like....I have found some pedals that make great preamps.......Fender style amps seem to work great as a very neutral sound to use pedals with...not too distinct a flavor....
 

mcdes

Member of no importance
Messages
7,549
i use my main od all the time and add a hotcake ontop of it set to low levels of gain and it gives it that extra gritty overdrive for slightly heavier sounds i need sometime.

always through the clean on my amp, i like the overdrive from my amp in the top boost channel, but without using the effects loop, i dont like the sound of overdrive over delay, always sounds better to me with dirt first then to delay it and get clearer delays.
 

jcoggins7

Member
Messages
1,196
I have a Boogie F-50 that I stack my Menatone pedals with. This amp has a good clean channel and a lot of gain on its gain channel. I use the pedals for low-mid gain sounds, while the amp's gain is fine by itself for high-gain applications. What I've been doing lately (I've just recently had the pleasure of stacking like this) is putting the Foxy Brown last and setting it just on the edge of breakup (~9:30). This way it sounds basically like the amp it was designed to sound like at a reasonable volume, though I used to set the gain around noon. When I need more gain for a lead tone, I pump it with the Blue Collar, which has its gain knob around noon. Together, they sound really good. I've also got a Red Snapper, but I haven't experimented with stacking it with either the Foxy Brown or the Blue Collar enough to figure out if I'd like to use it for that or not. My amp has plenty of gain, but I've considered setting the Red Snapper's gain kinda low and using it by itself and/or in front of the amp's gain channel to tighten up the sound occasionally just for kicks. Idk. But that's what I do.

actually, I believe a tube amp only distorts when it has run out of headroom i.e. when it's as loud as it can be

so using OD pedals doesn't really drive the tube amp harder such that the power tubes distort and provide more amp distortion. The OD pedals are providing whatever drive you set them at.
Actually, I'm pretty sure that they can drive the (preamp if I'm correct) tubes. It's easy to check. Get an OD or boost, plug them into a clean tube amp, and then (with the gain all or most of the way down on the OD), begin to bring the level up. The amp will get more overdriven.
 

screamingduck

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,056
My Blackface Super Reverb just loves pedals either alone or stacked. It is a nonmaster volume amp (which I prefer) and set clean as can be. I have too many OD pedals but I love it. Four are Menatone pedals which let me cop different amp sounds. The rest are differently flavored OD's (Zen, Eternity, FDII, OCD, ReezaFratzitz, 69 Fuzz) that I use to drive my different "amps" or the clean Super. I have a Timmy pedal at the end of the OD chain and this is my clean boost set with just a bit of hair if I go to 10 on my guitar volume knob. It's overkill to say the least but we do some cover gigs and I dig having fairly accurate tones for the songs we play.
Also, Visual Sound just came out with two amps - 60 and 30 watt models that are designed to use with pedals. No frills amps which give you a clean pallette to paint your dirt on. Wait a minute. That's what I'm doing with my Super.:BEER
 

improv4

Member
Messages
271
actually, I believe a tube amp only distorts when it has run out of headroom i.e. when it's as loud as it can be

so using OD pedals doesn't really drive the tube amp harder such that the power tubes distort and provide more amp distortion. The OD pedals are providing whatever drive you set them at.
I'm fairly certain that as the input signal is increased to the amp the pre amp tubes distort; yes the amp has run out of clean headroom. The pre amp tubes are the first stage of distortion in a tube amp. Next, if the power tubes are driven hard enough they will also add some distortion. Then, lastly, if the speaker is driven hard enough we will also throw some speaker distortion into the mix. The character of the distortion all depends on the quality of the different elements. Some amps sound beautiful distorting, some not so great.

A great test...put your tube amp at a lower level and use an OD pedal with it. The majority of the distortion heard is the pedal; it might sound ok. Now crank the amp up just before distorting and then kick the pedal on. The distortion you'll hear is a combination of the OD and the amp now distorting, this is usually a great sound. This is where most OD pedals really shine.
I' ve gotta go practice; happy playin everyone!:crazyguy
, Chris
 

Frethog

Member
Messages
1,333
Occasional stacker. Dr.Z Maz 38 Senior set clean with pedals, but if I was recording with it, I might just turn the master volume up significantly, if not all the way.

Pretty f'n loud.
 




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