Who uses amps only for its clean sound and pedals for distortion?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by gearo999, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. gearo999

    gearo999 Member

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    I have yet to find a pedal that just kills in front of a clean amp. I just love high gain amps that use multiple tube stages for distortion. Anyone just the opposite using only clean amps and pedals for overdrive and distortion?

    M
     
  2. afterosmosis

    afterosmosis Member

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    I've been doing that a lot lately, using the clean on my Mesa Rectoverb and getting my gain from OD pedals, sometimes stacking them for more saturation. The amp's gain is more suitable for rock and metal, which I'm simply not into playing anymore. I'll likely be selling it in the near future and picking up an amp with a killer clean tone.
     
  3. erksin

    erksin Member

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    I do - mostly because I play non-master volume tube amps at low volumes.
     
  4. claptonisgood

    claptonisgood Member

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    yup...i have developed a style that, pretty much, requires three tones: Fender clean, Hairy rhythm/lead and woman tone (Damn you Eric Johnson!)...I use various Fender amps depending on the room (modded Pro Jr in a 1X12 combo, Blues Deluxe, Bassman Ltd RI, Super Reverb or Twin Reverb.) My current pedal for latter two sounds is a Barber Tone Pump EQ. I have been using it for a couple months and it does everything I need. It has just enough gain (red channel) with a Strat, and, with a Humbucker guitar, i usually back the "Pump" down a bit. The Barber works amazingly well in front of Fender amps...I will honestly say that it doesn't sound like a pedal at all--it sounds like a beautifully pushed 50W Plexi and that tone scales-up with whatever volume the amp is set on...:)
     
  5. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    Well I guess that is one way to start a membership! Sounds like you have been posting at HC for a while. M.E.
     
  6. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    That is what I do - I just choose the clean amp(s) to fit my volume needs. I used channel switchers for a long time, but ultimately decided they were OK at clean and dirty, but seldom great at either/both. Instead, I use an amp with a great clean sound and then have an overdrive, a fuzz, and a distortion pedal for different levels of grit.

    I do spend probably 80% of my time playing clean, so this works well for me. If a player spends most of their time distorted, then I could understand going with a channel switching amp.

    Bryan
     
  7. Deaj

    Deaj Member

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    Up until the middle of last year (and for more than a decade before then) I was pretty much a guitar->cable->amp guy and only rarely used effect pedals. I owned alot of amps and I had a variety of stellar tones available. Most all of these amps were of the vintage NMV variey (Marshall, Fender, Orange, Traynor, THD, etc.) ranging from 40w to 120w and with overdrive came lots of VOLUME! There also weren't that many great OD/distortion pedals on the market ten years ago as I remember. I had a Tube Screamer OD and a MXR Micro Amp clean boost. These rarely came out of my gig bag though.

    I decided to give my rig a facelift last year after becoming more increasinly involved in a variety of musical projects. I actually had every intention of going the guitar->cable->amp route again but, thanks to exposure on this forum, I began to experiment with overdrive pedals. I now use OD pedals more often than I do a cranked amp. I'm currently using a Hermida Mosferatu as a low gain OD/boost (and to goose the other OD pedals), a Hermida Zendrive for low/medium gain smooth OD, and a Clay Jones OD for medium gain OD with some teeth. I run these into the clean channel on a Rivera Jake 1x12 combo (chosen for its exceptional clean tones). This makes for a very compact rig that's far more flexible than anything I've used in the past.

    Can I tell the difference between this rig and, say, one of the JMP-50's I used to own? Sure I can. But I wouldn't describe the difference between them as better or worse - not in the least! There's about as much difference between my Rivera + the CJOD pedal and a JMP-50 as there was between any two of the JMP-50 heads I've owned (very inconsistent, those). I still get rich harmonic complexities, great dynamic response, gain control from the guitar's volume pot, and great tones! The big advantages with this rig are scalable volume and a wider variety of tones. I haven't noted any disadvantages yet. :cool:

    There are so many great OD/distortion pedals available these days. Whether you like just a little fur, full meltdown, or somewhere in between - whether you're a Fender, Vox, Marshall, Mesa, or Dumble fan - whether you play stadium loud or apartment-at-2:AM quiet - there's almost certainly an overdrive pedal that will get you what you want.

    Your Mileage may vary.:)
     
  8. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny Member

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    hmm...

    ironically enough, its been harder for me to find a great two channel amp with a decent clean channel! only my Fuchs and GDS have passed the test.

    still, just this weekend, i did a conference at Hofstra with my Clark Lil Bit LTD and Foxrox ZIM, and loved the tones i was getting. nothing transitory or flat about it, and very dynamic with the picking.

    but best of all, i loved the terrific fatness in the mix. with most pedals, my tone sounds fine at home, but in the din of a band, suddenly sounds thin, weak and yes transitory. but the voicing of the ZIM helped me find a tone that best fit in the stage mix.

    another killer pedal is Pete Cornish SS2. that dooder knows tone, and IMHO, one of the best "mind melding" pedals i've ever used. like adding a second channel to any amp.
     
  9. mountain blues

    mountain blues Member

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    +1, monsieur jae.

    And, the Matchless HotBox is another wonderful "second channel" pedal to put in front of a clean amp.
     
  10. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    Thats me. :D Yes, it is true. I was wrong.

    It was also before I owned a Bruno.

    And that........ changed everything.
    :cool:
     
  11. BPlexico

    BPlexico Member

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    Course that begs the question on how you spent your other 789 posts...:eek:

    -- Barr
     
  12. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    Talking about Benson. :)
     
  13. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    I like amps that "crunch" with the guitar's volume up. Roll off the guitar's volume for cleans, hit the front end with a boost and/or OD pedal for higher gain tones. In other words, the good old fashioned way. :cool:


    Fender BF Bassman, Germino Club 45, for example.
     
  14. spencerbk

    spencerbk Member

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    In NYC I play alot of house amps ... sometimes a Twin, sometimes a Deluxe Reverb, sometimes a mystery amp.

    I always bring a distortion pedal with me and try to dial in a good clean sound on an unfamiliar amp so I'll have a general idea what my OD will sound like, even though I could probably make do with some of the Peavy Classics or DR's that I play.
     
  15. celestion101

    celestion101 Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a Sparkle Drive, a Drivetrain, and a Mentone KOB on my board (plus delay and chorus). Most of my amps are single channel amps and the pedals are used for various degree's of overdrive. I gig fulltime and it's great for when you need a heap of sounds. I have a Roccaforte coming this week, so it may be time to employee the Headbone headswitcher, lose the pedals, and go between the Rocca and the /13! That said, it will still be pedals at the gig!
     
  16. SuperReverb2

    SuperReverb2 Member

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    I have re-tubed my Fender 57 Tweed Twin, (12AY7's in the first three positions) for more of a "50's" low gain tone/sound/vibe. This allows me a lot more versatility with the humbucking equipped guitars (Heritage Classic 535 and an Epi Les Paul) that are my "primary" guitars. Using a Y-Cable into Normal 1 (volume on 3) and into Bright 1 (volume on 4) with my ES-335, yields a GREAT, fat, cleanish type tone with LOT'S of character, and stepping on my Fulltone OCD set to a "moderate" gain in the LP mode adds a GREAT solo tone/sound with incredible touch sensitivity and harmonics. I like the tone and vibe of this set up MUCH better than simply plugging straight in and turning the amp up to get it to break up. (too loud!)

    Chuck
     
  17. HHB

    HHB Member

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    I like a cleanish amp w/ pedals for OD and distortion, it just works better for what I need in my gigs. I do love to wail through a dirty amp, but it's too limiting for my current needs
     
  18. G'OlPeachPhan

    G'OlPeachPhan Member

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    Medium gain tube amp that responds well to guitar volume changes for different shades of gain, then add a couple boost/dirt pedals for changing up the flavor or increasing gain. To me it's important that those pedals also respond well to guitar volume changes. Works for me.
     
  19. Swarty

    Swarty Member

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    I was a guitar to amp snob for many years and played a gzillion classic rock gigs like that. Turn the guitar up to grind and turn it down for cleanish. This was the pre-boutique era, I relied on modded Marshalls and Fenders and they delivered quite well. For the last 10 years I've been playing in church, and have done a complete 180. I use a amp running pristinely clean (currently a '69 Marshall 20w, but have used a variety of old school Fenders) and currently use a Timmy for light OD into a Menatone Blue Collar then some modulation stuff; often phase, chorus, vibe then echo and then, if I need to jump out more I plug in a Blackbox Cobalt for clean boost. If you have an amp that is on the verge of breakup it is really hard to get any more volume out of it by hitting a boost, it will just get dirtier.
     
  20. paulg

    paulg Supporting Member

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    I've been enjoying my OCD. I find it works pretty good for low volume bedroom sounds. One thought that occurs to me is when your pushing your amp fairly hard and you hit your OD, how much is the OD and how much are your tubes compressing. I think this is why most pedals sound OK at low volume and great at higher volume.
     

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