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Great amp why use a pedal?


souvenir

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I've noticed that some guitarists use really incredible amps and they also need to use a distortion / overdrive pedal too. Why is this?

 

I mean Zakk Wylde uses Marshall JCM800's surely these have enough distortion so why does he use a tone sucking pedal?

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Hey Souv,

 

Many many axemen use pedals to effect their tone, esp. live.

 

Especially common are various examples of "Tube Screamers". On the surface, it is hard to understand why Carlos Santana, or Stevie Ray Vaughn (the list is a long one) would use a pedal, since they obviously were/are using top notch tube amps. The "tube screamer" overdrives the amp at a lower dB level, and can give the sound a "boost". They might just use the pedal when playing a lead, to help achieve a certain tone, or to step out of the mix, and make the lead more noticable....etc etc.

 

Tone is the destination....there are many ways to get there!

 

Don

Don

 

"There once was a note, Pure and Easy. Playing so free, like a breath rippling by."

 

 

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=574296

 

http://www.myspace.com/imdrs

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I tend to agree with you, Souv.

 

Peter Frampton, who has a very characteristic tone of his own, uses an elaborate live rig, with many "processors", etc.. But, he always has a 100 watt Marshall Plexi that plays his "guitar to plexi sound" unaltered (i.e. no processing, no effects) all the time....meaning that what ever he is playing, there is always the "Peter to Plexi" tone in the mix.

 

That's kind of the way rock and roll "should sound".

 

Don

Don

 

"There once was a note, Pure and Easy. Playing so free, like a breath rippling by."

 

 

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=574296

 

http://www.myspace.com/imdrs

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Well, if you had a realy nice steak, would you deprive yourself of some garlic butter, pepper sauce, gravy, saute onions and mushrooms... or whatever to go with it? Would you be a beef purist? :D

 

99.99% of all great amps are valve amps and valve amps like to be pushed, slammed and overdriven with hot signals. Pedals provide a convenient, tweakable way to hike your signal and get the valves cooking. Most vintage amps have just one channel, pedals offer two channel amp variety from these simple and effective designs.

 

Brian May has about 9 to 12 AC30s on stage and still chooses to use about £20 of transistor and resistors in a box to complement the tone of the amps. Hendrix whacked his Plexi with a Fuzz Face, SRV had his Tubescreamers, Page his Tonebender, the list goes on.

 

They all did it/do it because it works for them! :thu:

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He (zakk) uses a pedal cuz it is even MORE distorted making it easier to play fast licks without apparent sloppiness.

 

Unfortunately there is a trade off. It will bury you in the mix compared to the amp by itself. But being that he is Zakk Wylde and probably has the best soundman on the planet, I don't think it is an issue..

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That JCM800 could possibly be set for a heavy rythym crunch, and a distortion/overdrive pedal could be used to kick it up a notch for leads...

 

or

 

The pedal and amp could be used for various rythym tones, and then a SECOND dist/od pedal could be used for leads. Example -

 

Amp = clean

Amp + OD (Tube Screamer) = dirty

Amp + OD + Distorton (Boss Metal Zone) = lead

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Yeah there are a million things you can do.

 

I just assumed Zakk was using it in conjunction with alot of gain from the amp cuz of the way it sounded. Dunno for sure.

 

Rhandy Rhoads used to use 2 distortion pedals at once through an old PLexi era Marshall. His tone was brittle and solid state sounding but very unique and perfect for Ozzie's music.

 

Pedals are cool, it depends on the amp you are using though. Some amps take pedals into mind in thier design. Myles explained that the Dr. Z route 66 is like this. Does something at the front end that gives it more room, doesn't compress it and make it small.

 

My amp is good with them, but I haven't experimented with them. It woudl really8 open up some options

 

 

Funkjazz has a Bivalve too, and he uses the amp running just a tiny hot and then uses a sparkle drive for boosts. He loves it. I don't have access to alot of pedals cuz the only store near me is GC and their selection is pathetic.

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Oh yeah, I totally agree in that it's what works for you....

 

Talking of unadulterated tone, I was listenin to Gary Moore's Corridors of Power album today and it's gotta be one of the best tones recorded during the 80s. His tone on his live at monsters of rock DVD is terrible IMO, it sounds like he's left a wah pedal on as a filter or something. His Strat into a Marshall running on full tilt sounds fantastic.

 

Talking of amps that are designed to be used with pedals check out SWD amps -

 

http://www.swdamps.com.au/

 

These are valve amps with alot of clean headroom and are designed to be used with pedals. Brett Garsed is now using one of these with a Tube Zone pedal for overdrive....

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I ran into that problem with my new amp and the BOSS SD-1. The BOSS SD-1 was great to boost my own amps gain channel, but my new amp doesn't even have a gain channel, and i find the SD-1 sort of chokes the signal, even when it's off! (The bipass isn't that great, apparently). To be fair, it sounds like an entire different pedal now with the valves than it did with my SS practice amp. But I think I need to step up to something that won't choke the signal and delivers a heavier crunch by it self.

 

I'm thinking a Fulltone OCD or go all out for a Seymour Duncan Twin Tube Classic. Any ideas?

-Andy

 

 

"I know we all can't stay here forever so I want to write my words on the face of today...and they'll paint it"

 

-Shannon Hoon (Blind Melon)

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For the past number of years, I've been playing pretty much straight through my JCM800 with just some eq. But lately, due to advice from this board, I've been experimenting with an overdrive in front of the amp. Definitely kicks up the volume and tone... Still working on the perfect sound!!!

"Spend all day doing nothing

But we sure do it well" - Huck Johns from 'Oh Yeah'

Click to Listen to Oh yeah

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Originally posted by Teahead:

Well, if you had a realy nice steak, would you deprive yourself of some garlic butter, pepper sauce, gravy, saute onions and mushrooms... or whatever to go with it? Would you be a beef purist? :D

Yes, but what does that have to do with pedals? :confused:

 

Originally posted by souvenir:

Yeah I know but if I had a top notch amp I'd probably just run my guitar straight into it, maybe use a chorus pedal and control my gain level with my guitar's volume knob.

That's all fine and good, but there are many good pedals out there that don't suck your tone out, and for live applications it's a lot easier to give yourself a tone change or a volume boost by stepping on a pedal than it is to run over to the amp and play with knobs - particularly if you're the only guitarist in the band. That's precisely the reason they started making stomp boxes in the first place - because no one has time to play with a knob in the middle of a live performance.
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Originally posted by Teahead:

... and valve amps like to be pushed, slammed and overdriven with hot signals.

Not necessarily...

 

Much of the "vintage" Rock sounds that everyone craves were not gotten that way.

Pickups where of much lower gain...and there wasn't a slew of stomp boxes all daisy chained together between the amp and the guitar to pump up the signal.

Most times it was just the guitar and the amp.

 

I don't much like high gain PUs. You get to a point when the signal gets so hot...it's pretty much flat-lining...and after that it's just a tonal soup...IMO.

 

There's just something raw, sensual with a lower gain tone...it's almost 3-dimensional compared to a screeching hot signal that sounds like a buzz saw....

..but, YMMV...

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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In Zakk's last cover with GP, he clarified during the interview that his sig distortion pedal contributes very little to his live rig. Yeah, it's in the loop in front of the tubes, but it's "barely" on. He's getting his growl from his tubes baby. I have ZERO distortion pedals at my feet, but I can still match Zakk's tones, no prob-lem-o. Same with Rhodes, except I DO stack quadrophonic chorus over the growl, and wah-lah. I've been telling guys for years...matching the tones of these guys that play through Marshalls isn't the hard part. Just buy the same Marshall and add some chorus, and then some delay during solo's. Matching their licks is the real key to getting their sound.

 

Pedals-smedals...in my opinion.

Kerry
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Originally posted by Teahead:

Well, if you had a realy nice steak, would you deprive yourself of some garlic butter, pepper sauce, gravy, saute onions and mushrooms... or whatever to go with it? Would you be a beef purist? :D

 

99.99% of all great amps are valve amps and valve amps like to be pushed, slammed and overdriven with hot signals. Pedals provide a convenient, tweakable way to hike your signal and get the valves cooking. Most vintage amps have just one channel, pedals offer two channel amp variety from these simple and effective designs.

 

Brian May has about 9 to 12 AC30s on stage and still chooses to use about £20 of transistor and resistors in a box to complement the tone of the amps. Hendrix whacked his Plexi with a Fuzz Face, SRV had his Tubescreamers, Page his Tonebender, the list goes on.

 

They all did it/do it because it works for them! :thu:

This is great. I have so many combos of pedals/amps/cabs, that I can't keep pace. It is a really good way to spend a day. Just finding out what can do what. Get a good recording device and let it roll while you "play".
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IM BACK! Allright, Pedals and amps! I like the way the one guy explained it with the steak. Think of it this way: Your amps your steak, The heart of everything. Its bloody awsome AS IS. BUT...Add a little fuzz, Or a little chorus, Or mabye even a little roto sounds and youve got an even BETTER Filet minioun! Lots of people use pedals just so they can have a Boutique amp with all clean pathing and beable to get that " Pushed " Sounds without having to blow your windows to Hell. As another guy said...Using a pedal often dosent give you the true tone, And it really dosent. When you do that you push the preamp tubes with a higher signal, But the PowerSection dosent get to grow up with it. All tube amps no matter what sounds better when that Volume is pushed. Dosent matter if it stays clean or gets nasty, Its just the way god made it!
Never trouble trouble till' trouble troubles you.
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Yes some good examples here of why devices between the guitar and amp are used. It is for variety of sound, every time you introduce a different element in the chain the possiabilities for sonic deserts are opened up. But nothing you can add in the chain can really makes a bad amp good, it can only make a good amp better and more versitile.
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Delay has to be leard too. Ever hear a guy that can get his delay to sync in the music. That is why I like the expression pedal on my line6. I can adjust the delay right into the time. Plus it makes all sorts of really weird effects. Anouther is bending against the delay. Very interesting to play with as the bent note goes in and out of tune with the repeat signal.
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Originally posted by miroslav:

Originally posted by Teahead:

... and valve amps like to be pushed, slammed and overdriven with hot signals.

Not necessarily...

 

Much of the "vintage" Rock sounds that everyone craves were not gotten that way.

Pickups where of much lower gain...and there wasn't a slew of stomp boxes all daisy chained together between the amp and the guitar to pump up the signal.

Most times it was just the guitar and the amp.

 

I don't much like high gain PUs. You get to a point when the signal gets so hot...it's pretty much flat-lining...and after that it's just a tonal soup...IMO.

 

There's just something raw, sensual with a lower gain tone...it's almost 3-dimensional compared to a screeching hot signal that sounds like a buzz saw....

..but, YMMV...

Since playing my dad's '65 SG, I've come to this same belief. Despite it being a tad more difficult to play with less gain, feeling and the players' personal quirks tend to come through better. I like the use of "raw" to describe the sexiness of the tone. To be raw can definately be sexy; ex. Iggy Pop.

 

Look at this way, who's tone would you rather sleep with-Angus Young's or some nu-metal guy?

Lyrics-wasted time between solos.
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Originally posted by Sleaze_Disease:

Originally posted by miroslav:

Originally posted by Teahead:

... and valve amps like to be pushed, slammed and overdriven with hot signals.

Not necessarily...

 

Much of the "vintage" Rock sounds that everyone craves were not gotten that way.

Pickups where of much lower gain...and there wasn't a slew of stomp boxes all daisy chained together between the amp and the guitar to pump up the signal.

Most times it was just the guitar and the amp.

 

I don't much like high gain PUs. You get to a point when the signal gets so hot...it's pretty much flat-lining...and after that it's just a tonal soup...IMO.

 

There's just something raw, sensual with a lower gain tone...it's almost 3-dimensional compared to a screeching hot signal that sounds like a buzz saw....

..but, YMMV...

Since playing my dad's '65 SG, I've come to this same belief. Despite it being a tad more difficult to play with less gain, feeling and the players' personal quirks tend to come through better. I like the use of "raw" to describe the sexiness of the tone. To be raw can definately be sexy; ex. Iggy Pop.

Or you could learn to play with sensitivity (not you personally, necessarily).

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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Originally posted by skipclone 1:

Or you could learn to play with sensitivity (not you personally, necessarily).

I think you missed his point.

 

When you have the signal screeching hot...any playing sensitivity will not come through as well as when you have less gain going.

 

With a hot signal...things just tend to level out...flat-line.

 

I know it's a bit tough to go less-gain in a live situation...and that's where a mic in front of your cab will help.

In the studio...I hardly every turn the amps on "11"...as I find for getting that "vintage" R&R tone, I get much better results with things set between "3-7"...

...but, as I saidYMMV...

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by Scott Fraser:

<

 

I'm guessing the pedal he uses doesn't suck tone.

 

Scott Fraser

I digress: In Zakk's last cover with GP, he clarified during the interview that his signature distortion pedal contributes very little to his live rig. Yeah, it's in the loop in front of the tubes, but it's "barely" on.

 

If you had a stomp box manufacturer offering you a deal to put your name on their pedal for let's say...ummm, $2,000,000 in up front royalties and then 15% commision on all sales, and all you had to do was endorse it, wouldn't you put it in your loop too, but turn it down or off if it wasn't condusive to your already established sound?

 

Zakk, Dime, Donnegan, EVH, and anybody else that has a signature pedal, is no different than an NBA player having a sneaker deal. It's only meant to sell a product at a level that it would normally never achieve without an endoresment.

Kerry
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