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Question on Tube Screemers


Rampdog

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I have a Bad Monkey Tube Screemer on my pedal board running straight to the amp...Peavey Classic 30... I also have the overdrive/gain on the amp... I hear some of you guys have 2, 3, or more tube overdrives... what is the advantage of having that many?
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It depends on the combination and gain levels. I use a Jekkyl and Hyde just for grins that is built to combine two different overdrives, and so far, that is the only way I have found to achieve my desired sustain and prettiness (if that's a word). Other pedals without dual gain stages sound raspy and weak, which is not necessarily a bad thing, it's just not what I want for leads.

 

However, like Bluesape said, running more than one pedal together, especially ones not made to operate together gives a very thick and sometimes nasty distorted sound. You have to be careful. My best advice is to use a damn good pregain distortion pedal followed by a much more subtle but still coloring overdrive, perhaps even a booster instead.

 

On a related but different note, the Boss Metal Zone utilizes the dual-stage gain feature to create what they call "cascading gains." Essentially, it's two overdrive/distortion channels in one pedal, which explains why it can be hissy and amelodic with the wrong settings. However, because of that technology, it enables it to do things other pedals simply cannot, which is probably the only reason I still even keep one around (Read: It will be replaced with a good metal tube amp one of these days).

Shut up and play.
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I have run a TS and a DS1 together for really thick distortion.

 

great - I gave away my DS-1 and just been using my TS... never once tried them together :(

"well fellas... there's 1 other thing yer gonna need to make it in Rock & Roll besides all them guitars and amps and drums and things. They call it A SONG..."
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The more gain you use the less people will hear you live or in a mix. You will become a mime.

 

I think most guys use multiple pedals so they can have multiple different distorted tones. Stacking them up seems like it would just make it more distorted and compressed. I can't imagine this sounding good micd. But I am not pedal expert but usually your power section is what makes you stand out of a mix, not the front end preampy distortion.

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Yup, and I never really believed that until recently, when I started playing in a band again after 15 years. I noticed that I turned down the gain on my amp about three times, and I was still very pleased with the way it sounds! And my amp is a Peavey Classic 30, not something with tons and tons of gain. I set my Marshall Guv'nor to slight gain for things with a dirty, but not overly distorted sound, but I can also kick it on to use as an overdrive with the amps distortion for over-the-top distortion.

Avoid playing the amplifier at a volume setting high enough to produce a distorted sound through the speaker-Fender Guitar Course-1966

 

 

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Its funny alot of people say the Peavey Classic doesn't have alot of gain. To me it has tons. I mean you turn the preamp to 10 and it will feedback if you turn it up a little bit.

 

TO me not alot of gain is like AC/DC. They barely use any, but a classic has like 3 times that amount. I wouldn't compare it to a Duel Rec, or a Soldano but compared to alot of amps it really has plenty of smooth sustainy distortion.

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Its funny alot of people say the Peavey Classic doesn't have alot of gain. To me it has tons. I mean you turn the preamp to 10 and it will feedback if you turn it up a little bit.

 

TO me not alot of gain is like AC/DC. They barely use any, but a classic has like 3 times that amount. I wouldn't compare it to a Duel Rec, or a Soldano but compared to alot of amps it really has plenty of smooth sustainy distortion.

:thu:

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Yeah, I guess that I would have to agree with you, Flag. But it is more of a classic rock/non-master volume Marshall type gain rather than the more modern, metal gain, which to me personally, is very unmusical.

Avoid playing the amplifier at a volume setting high enough to produce a distorted sound through the speaker-Fender Guitar Course-1966

 

 

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But seriously now... I used to use a Tube Screamer and the Tube Driver in tandem. I set the amp for a bit of breakup. The Tube Driver was for crunchy rhythm, and I'd kick the Tube Screamer on for solos.

 

Now, I like to combine pedals for different textures. Having one pedal goosing another can give more than either one by itself.

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The more gain you use the less people will hear you live or in a mix. You will become a mime.

 

I think most guys use multiple pedals so they can have multiple different distorted tones. Stacking them up seems like it would just make it more distorted and compressed. I can't imagine this sounding good micd. But I am not pedal expert but usually your power section is what makes you stand out of a mix, not the front end preampy distortion.

 

And I couldn't agree more. But in order to get certain tones it will take more than a power amp. I'm not even into gain that much, especially for people my age. But I promise that almost any "lead" tone from someone like Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, etc. comes from saturation of a preamp. Not to a ridiculous amount, of course, but it's still there.

Shut up and play.
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I have 4 overdrive pedals in my board, an OCD, A 808 tube screamer, a big muff and a seymour duncan twin tube. :crazy: It's out of controll. I hardly ever use any of them, I mostly just roll back the volume on the guitar for rythm and roll it up for leads. Sometimes I'll step on one of them if I want a little extra. Normally the OCD or the tube screamer. I also have a seymour duncan pickup booster which is a clean boost, I actually use that more than the overdrives. I need to get rid of some of this stuff.

 

 

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I have 4 overdrive pedals in my board, an OCD, A 808 tube screamer, a big muff and a seymour duncan twin tube. :crazy: It's out of controll. I hardly ever use any of them, I mostly just roll back the volume on the guitar for rythm and roll it up for leads. Sometimes I'll step on one of them if I want a little extra. Normally the OCD or the tube screamer. I also have a seymour duncan pickup booster which is a clean boost, I actually use that more than the overdrives. I need to get rid of some of this stuff.

 

A formula for Tonal Success (once and for allways)....Dig... Tonal Bliss = KLON

 

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I use the Marshall Bluesbreaker II in boost (not Fuzz) mode into the clean channel of my Laney VC30 and I get a terrific crunch - I love it.

 

I haven't seen much mention of the Bluesbreaker here - I prefer it to my Guv'nor.

 

G.

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The more gain you use the less people will hear you live or in a mix. You will become a mime.

 

I think most guys use multiple pedals so they can have multiple different distorted tones. Stacking them up seems like it would just make it more distorted and compressed. I can't imagine this sounding good micd. But I am not pedal expert but usually your power section is what makes you stand out of a mix, not the front end preampy distortion.

 

And I couldn't agree more. But in order to get certain tones it will take more than a power amp. I'm not even into gain that much, especially for people my age. But I promise that almost any "lead" tone from someone like Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, etc. comes from saturation of a preamp. Not to a ridiculous amount, of course, but it's still there.

 

I agree, lots of players rely on preamp gain soley. Like you mentioned Satch. But you will notice in live clips on Youtube with Vai, Satch, and Petrucci that Vai stands out far more. Everything he does you can hear, then they play and you can't hear it anymore. Its my theory that its because Vai doesn't use as much gain. It sure sounds like he has plenty, but thats cuz of how he plays through what he has running. Also the live stuff I have heard from Van Halen in the later Hagar years totally gets lost in the mix when he is doing anything cuz it is all preamp soup from the 5150.

 

Compared to the Marshall era of VH it is totally buried sounding.

 

I think the best tones are a ratio of pre/power amp gain. I have experimented tons with the THD Bivalve/univalve and there is no question that when the power section is a ratio of your gain it is going to cut through a mix more. Sometiems it sounds flabby on the low end, but thats an illusion to the player. Micd it is just completely in your face.

 

I remember comparing the Mesa Boogie Maverick to the Univalve with a KT 88 in the power section and an AT 7 in the input. The Mesa sounded good but you could totally hear how much more compressed it sounded. using the At 7 in the Uni made the power section work more (it has the attenuater) and the result was a more organic punchy tone that sticks its head through anything.

 

Not all amps can get power tube breakups. I have heard Peavey's don't do it. I think thats where the bux come into play. Relatively speaking

 

 

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Yeah Lee, I think I'm going to have to order one of those. I've been waiting for Doc to do his overdrive comparison, hint. ;) I wish I could just walk into a store and buy one, I'm way too into instant gratification to want to wait, but it is what it is. What have I got to loose? Worst thing that could happen is I end up with 5 OD's in my board. LOL.

 

 

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I remember comparing the Mesa Boogie Maverick to the Univalve with a KT 88 in the power section and an AT 7 in the input. The Mesa sounded good but you could totally hear how much more compressed it sounded. using the At 7 in the Uni made the power section work more (it has the attenuater) and the result was a more organic punchy tone that sticks its head through anything.

 

 

The KT88 requires a lot of voltage to drive it. So, if you like the sound of the KT-88, it is probably because it has LESS power tube breakup.

 

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It has way more clean headroom, your right. But it also sounds bigger than other tubes. Keep in mind there is an attenuator so it can milk all of the power tube section. Supposedly in the UNI and Bivalve if you use a low gained preamp tube on the right side (input I believe) it makes your sound more power amp driven. If you use a 12ax7 it will make it more preamp driven.
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A tube screamer or "overdrive" pedal will be more useful for pushing an amp that's already in moderate distortion into a more sustaining type tone.

 

For instance, Gifthorse mentioned AC/DC. The sound Malcolm uses for rhythm guitar is not very distorted, but it sounds huge. That's a great example of not using too much distortion. Take that sound, and add a tube screamer in front of the amp and you will push the input section harder and get a more sustaining, lead guitar type tone.

 

A distortion box will just give the buzz, without really enhancing the natural qualities of the amplifier.

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Billster is right about that. If an amp doesn't have clean headroom then a tubescreamer will just make it overly distorted and compressed. It will bury you not boost you in the mix.

 

A good example is when I used one through a Univalve cranked with Kt 88's. Even with low gained pre tube and the massively loud KT 88's it was too distorted to have any use with the Tube Screamer. But when I ran the JCM 800 also with lower gained pre tubes and KT 88's, with the volume not all the way up (through a Dr. Z airbrake) the tube screamer was usable and didn't overly distort. The Marshall was the only amp the tube screamer didn't compress and soup up.

 

But it still doesn't sound nearly as nice as the regular amp tone doing all the work.

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