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AeroG33k

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What would be the best way to push a low-wattage, single volume tube amp (epi valve jr. or fender pro jr.)?

The obvious choice would be a clean boost (like the SD Pickup booster), but I also heard that compressor pedals (MXR Dyna Comp, for example) can be used to boost an amp. Personally I don't like to use a lot of compression, but a boosted signal with a little compression might really thicken up the sound, although I'm not sure if it would provide as much gain.

 

So which of these two pedals would be best to thicken your sound and push the amp into overdrive?

-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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So which of these two pedals would be best to thicken your sound and push the amp into overdrive?>>

 

Gain is gain, so it doesn't really matter where it comes from, unless the circuit is doing more than just gain, like changing the EQ. You can turn the amount of compression down & just use it as as a boost, although guitar pedal compressors tend not to be as neutral as studio units when set to essentially leave dynamics alone.

 

Scott Fraser

Scott Fraser
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Thanks,

so what's the big deal about clean boost pedals like the pickup booster, when a compressor can do exactly that AND thicken up the signal?

-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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Stomp box compressors are cantankerous little contraptions. Setting high enough to get you a boost often squash your dynamics flat. A good use of a compressor if you want thickness is to put it in line after the boost pedal. Set the compressor so that without the boost off, you barely notice it, and leave it on. Then when you kick in the boost pedal, the compressor will clamp down on the signal to some degree and you get the thinkness you want. The settings on both pedals have to be tweaked very carefully, and you want to get the sound you're looking for out of the boost pedal before you start tweaking on the compressor. Be sure to set the boost pedal just a tad brighter than you normally would, because compressors tend to darken a signal up a bit, and you'll want to do a good bit of back and forth between the two pedals before you find the sound you want. But you'll have a great tone when you get done.

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

 

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There are plenty of boost pedals out there, take your time and pick one that knocks you out.

 

I love playing with a compressor, it is a lot of fun and the Barber compressor is a great toy or tool depending out how much self control you can exercise, but use a compressor for it's purpose-- which for me is often just to make me giggle when I'm practicing leads-- and for what you're looking for use a boost: Klon or some other quality pedal.

check out some comedy I've done:

http://louhasspoken.tumblr.com/

My Unitarian Jihad Name: Brother Broadsword of Enlightened Compassion.

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The Barber Tone Press is pretty unique in that the compression circuit runs parallel to the dry uncompressed signal, allowing you to blend a desired amount of compression in with the straight signal, leaving attacks intact. To my ear it's the most dynamically natural compressor stomp box I've heard. AND it will do clean boost without screwing your dynamics, so you can use it as a booster if you want.

 

Scott Fraser

Scott Fraser
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<

so what's the big deal about clean boost pedals like the pickup booster, when a compressor can do exactly that AND thicken up the signal?>>

 

A lot of people don't like the side effect of most compressor pedals, which is that with the thickening you get a loss of attack transients. Most compressor stomp boxes don't give you any control over the attack characteristics, like a studio unit does, & those that do, like the Analogman comp are pretty expensive. But, that said, a really good comp can be turned down enough to not mess up the attacks, while still giving you a clean boost.

 

Scott Fraser

Scott Fraser
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I really like the MXR Dyna Comp -- at least, the older units without the LED. But it's not the same as a boost, and it's something you learn to use and then like or dislike depending on your style. It's easily abused and can sound terrible. And as mentioned above, if you crave ear-splitting attacks, a compressor will reduce them.

 

The Barber sounds interesting.

 

One thing I like about the MXR is that, when disabled, it's completely bypassed (passive).

 

In any case, a compressor isn't for everyone. Try and see, and learn to play it because it's a new thing. If all you really want is a boost, then just get a boost.

 

PS: the amount of boost you get from a DynaComp depends; if you have SC pups it'll be a LOT but be prepared to deal with the buzz. With normal humbuckers (e.g., 490's), it's significant but not astounding (say, 6dB). I suspect that with really hot overwound pups it will be minimal.

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I have the Epi VJH...and I'm not quite sure what it is you want out of it...?

 

Shit...I turn it up to 2-3:00...and it's quite fat and crunchy...

...and all the way up on full...it's got tons of creamy sustain. :cool:

The last thing I would do is stick a comp stomp in there to suck the life out of the glorious tone/dynamics.

 

 

If you want MORE crunch distortion...get a distortion box of some sort....not a comp.

Or...experiment with differetn tubes.

 

If you just want more level...use a bigger amp. :)

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

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

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I don't have such an amp yet, I was mostly just curious. I AM thinking about getting a Fender Pro Junior for that purpose though, cause it has the same simplicity and I won't have to buy a cab for it...so it comes out at the same price as an epi+good cab, and I hear it sounds better than the vj.

From my experience though, all fender amps I played, while crips and clean, tend to be on the thin sinde. Im not sure if that applies to the Pro Jr. too, but I'll try it before I get it.

-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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Hey Scott, thanks for adding the details about the Barber pedal. I agree about it's being more natural sounding, the blend control is a great feature.

 

Would you use that as a boost pedal though, if that was all you wanted it to do-- act as a boost that is? I love the pedal but I've not used it as a boost.

check out some comedy I've done:

http://louhasspoken.tumblr.com/

My Unitarian Jihad Name: Brother Broadsword of Enlightened Compassion.

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Originally posted by AeroG33k:

I don't have such an amp yet, I was mostly just curious. I AM thinking about getting a Fender Pro Junior for that purpose though, cause it has the same simplicity and I won't have to buy a cab for it...so it comes out at the same price as an epi+good cab, and I hear it sounds better than the vj.

From my experience though, all fender amps I played, while crips and clean, tend to be on the thin sinde. Im not sure if that applies to the Pro Jr. too, but I'll try it before I get it.

I checked out the Pro Jr. a couple of years ago when I was looking for a small combo (before I bought my pair of Epi VJ heads)...

...and not to offend anyone that likes the Pro Jr...

...I kinda' thought it sucked.

It looked cheap and it sounded cheap...but YMMV...

 

I ended up buying the Traynor YCV40 then...which IMO...is a much better combo than the Pro Jr.

 

But these days...I can't get nothin but great tones out of the Epi VJ heads...though I don't gig with themthey are strictly studio amps for me.

I've plugged the VJH into several of my cabs (112, 212, 412, 115)...and it sounds great in any of them, though I am partial to the darker sounding 115.

 

For a grab-n-go combofor practices and basic gigs/jams...the Pro Jr. might do you fine.

But if you are looking for tone...I think the VJH is better than the Pro Jr...though you will still need a cab.

But heck...the dinky speaker that you get with the Pro Jr...ain't much of a speaker anyway, IMO...so you are still going to be in need of a good cab (which is one of the reasons I picked the Traynor YCV40 over the Pro Jr, since it came with a nice 12" Celestion).

 

Of course...we all have different ears...so the tone that I like, may not be the tone you like.

Bottom line...you won't know what amp you like best until you try em'...

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

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

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<<...and not to offend anyone that likes the Pro Jr...

...I kinda' thought it sucked. >>

 

I tried one just for reference when I was looking for a Marshall combo. I felt the overdrive on the Fender was really thin & fizzy. Didn't float my boat all, & the clean side of things didn't sound as good as my Deluxe, so I quickly moved on.

 

Scott Fraser

Scott Fraser
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<>

 

Yeah, after I got my Barber I went through all the presets in my Boss preamp & turned the overly aggressive compressor off. Much better clean tone IMO.

 

<>

 

Well, I go through a ton of rack processors before hitting the amp, so I always get my distortion with effects units rather than overdriving the amp. But there's certainly clean gain available on the Barber if I wanted to. Now I'm just going have to try it without the rack, just plugged straight into the Marshall or Deluxe & see how I like it. I'll report back.

 

Scott Fraser

Scott Fraser
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