Advice please. Amplifier overdrive vs. pedals/effects units...

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Advice please. Amplifier overdrive vs. pedals/effects units...

Post by The Chad on Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:18 pm

I'm soon to buy a new amp. The Carvin V3MC was sent back to Carvin.

I love the idea of just plugging straight into a great tube amp. Without needing overdrive/distortion effects, just straight in. I love the rich overdrive tones of *some* amps, although many I dislike. For instance, I love the overdrive of the Mesa Rectifier and even the Marshall JVM 410H. These are amps I could use the overdrive channels without a pedal, which is ideal.

Question:

What I'm deciding is this... should I concentrate on a tube amp with both a great clean channel and a great overdrive channel (which costs big money), or just buy a tube amp with a great clean channel (like a Fender Hot Rod 4x10) and use a good effects board like a Boss GT-10 for my overdrive and such?

My reasoning...

They make hybrid amps. Such as the Marshall JMD:1 and Peavey Vypry 120. These have solid state preamps and tube power sections. People turn their noses up at these hybrid amps, however if someone uses an all tube amp, but uses an overdrive or distortion pedal/effects in the effect loop, aren't they essentially turning their amp into a "hybrid" at that moment? scratch Know what I mean? Am I wrong here?

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Re: Advice please. Amplifier overdrive vs. pedals/effects units...

Post by colt933 on Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:59 pm

Currently I have a 3 channel Dual Rectifier running through a 4x12 Recto cab and I just acquired a JCM2000 DSL and 1960A cab. The Recto was my first 'good' or professional quality amp. Before that I had a series of combos, with the best being a Peavey Classic 30 (really pretty good if you don't use the 'mid boost').

The answer will depend on what kind of clean tone you're looking for.

When I play Tool songs, I use channel 3 of the dual rec voiced as modern, and just roll the volume down on the guitar to clean it up. This sounds just right for this kind of music.

But for Dire Straits or blues, nothing beats channel 1 on the dual rec (I forget the voicing but it's the hotter of the two).

And for AC/DC or classic rock, it's channel 2 voiced as vintage on the dual. Of course you can roll the guitar volume back to clean it up too.

Country players I know use a volume pedal and compressor up front. They set their amps clean and use a distortion pedal. This setup allows them to control their stage volume with the volume pedal without affecting the gain/distortion. This sounds great. But they're not rock and roll players and the feel is very different, especially with all the compression.

I will start to incorporate the new JCM into my rig with the ultimate goal of running both amps simultaneously (dual rec and JCM). I think can run delay and chorus in stereo, one channel in each amp's effects loop, as these 2 pedals have separate left and right ins and outs. The other modulators I'll try in one loop and the other so only one amp will have that effect - my pedals do not all have left and right ins and outs. And I'll go from the guitar into the standard wah, into the q wah, into the compressor, and into an a/b/y to get the signal to both amps' inputs.

This is all speculation as I haven't gotten around to doing any of the wiring yet. I may use the delay and modulation in only one effects loop and leave the other amp dry - who knows!?!


Last edited by colt933 on Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:58 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Advice please. Amplifier overdrive vs. pedals/effects units...

Post by midhilis on Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:18 pm

Or take the middle path - I've just got a Zoom G9.2TT (Twin Tube), the combination of valves and amp modelling makes it sound great pretty much regardless of what you're sending the output to.

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Re: Advice please. Amplifier overdrive vs. pedals/effects units...

Post by Barry on Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:28 pm

I'd second that.
If you want a good all round amp that will serve you for most situations, with the benefits of tubes and modelling, you can't go wrong with one of the Valvetronix series from VOX.

'Course if you're independently wealthy and need to kick some serious arse, go for one of the VOX AC30 series! Twisted Evil

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Re: Advice please. Amplifier overdrive vs. pedals/effects units...

Post by corsair on Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:28 pm

I vacillate between the no pedal train of thought and the boatloads of FX... currently using a tiny wee Boss multi FX unit which has the silliest expression pedal I've ever used, and a very small SS amp but I'd be lost without chorus, reverb and delay, and to do Satch type stuff you do need distortion a la Boss DS1, so I dunno...

I have an old combo amp that I used up until I quit playing out, which is loaded with 2 x 6550s and 4 x ECC83as, and has more headroom than Mars, but these days, playing out, well, I'd go straight to the board...

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Re: Advice please. Amplifier overdrive vs. pedals/effects units...

Post by gittarasaurus on Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:44 pm

two questions to consider when buying an amp:

how much does your sound change

how much does your performance location change


when i played with a band, my style involved lots of different sounds. i found that a good clean solid state amp and bag full of pedals gave me the most versatile sound palate, and i could replicate 'my sound' in most any situation. solid state amps can provide a fairly consistent sound quality at low and high volume. they are more durable for touring too.
and usually less costly, i might add.

when we started out, i used a Fender Twin Reverb, but it was too powerful for the smaller clubs. but you know, turning the volume down just kills the beauty of the tube overdrive. it was always a battle with the in-house soundman. so instead i developed my sound thru my custom homemade effects along with some commercial pedals. then i depended on a transparent amplifier to get the sound out.

'my sound' when playing live with the band was not always what i had idealized it to be, but it became a balance between practical necessities and available funds.

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Re: Advice please. Amplifier overdrive vs. pedals/effects units...

Post by midhilis on Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:47 pm

I tend to think that the amp is just there to make the sound louder, the sound you make comes from the effects you're using and the way you play. Give me a clean amp any day.

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Re: Advice please. Amplifier overdrive vs. pedals/effects units...

Post by The Chad on Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:16 am

I'm looking at two right now...

Marshall JVM 210 combo = All tube, around $1500 used

Marshall JDM:1 combo = Tube power section, SS preamp, around $800 new

Really leaning towards the JDM:1... and it'll from Guitar Center, so if I don't like it, I'll just take it back for a full refund!!!

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Re: Advice please. Amplifier overdrive vs. pedals/effects units...

Post by caucajun on Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:20 am

Twisted Evil MWAH_HA_HA_HA!...............the joke is on you, ma fren!

the fact is....."those are ALL legitimate ways to get YOUR SOUND from your brain- thru your fangers and out yer amp!"

you have ALL the info, and the final say is YOURS!



i've tried them all, and have always been happiest w/ the gear that cost me the least and survived the gig!



right now i'm enjoying the crunchy angus like tones of a BK butler MOSVALVE combo and a 96 fender hot rod deluxe AND a VOX pathfinder in a custom 112 cab. the only dirt pedals i have are a 80's BOSS heavy metal pedal and a washburn solo distortion.........sparingly!

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Re: Advice please. Amplifier overdrive vs. pedals/effects units...

Post by The Chad on Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:56 am

Once I get the refund from Carvin, and the Guitar Center July 4th sale comes around, I'll get the JMD102. That will afford a good sound at low and medium levels (which is mostly what I play), and great at loud levels.

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Re: Advice please. Amplifier overdrive vs. pedals/effects units...

Post by beavis on Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:56 am

I still don't understand why the boss gt-10 is considered to be good..

As far as amps go, imho tubes will always beat solid state as soon as the volume is cranked up. Whether you're leaving the amp clean and using your boxes for fx or just the onboard disto.

But if you want versatility, sounds like the combo is the way to go.

Now, this is coming from a guy who's happy playing with Sansamp gt2 through a 15W peavey Very Happy

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Re: Advice please. Amplifier overdrive vs. pedals/effects units...

Post by thegig10 on Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:43 am

For me it comes down to whether I'm jamming with the boys(band) or solo. I'm an old 80's metal head and still tend to play mostly hard rock so overdrive and getting that perfect tone are extremely critical and important.. I like the idea of having an amp that sounds and does everything you want and need without any pedals, racks, effects, etc. I use the Crate GFX model amps when playing solo or recording and they seem to provide the tone and sound I desire without using anything else. But when it comes to playing with the band at a volume that must compete with a hard hitting drummer then it's a completely different story. For this situation I have used the same rig since the 80's. I use a Sound City 120 head from the early 70's(all tube powerhouse equipped with 6 vintage EL34 's) above a full Marshall stack. With this setup I use an old original Dunlop Crybaby Wah that I've modified installing inside of it my old DOD Pre Amp Overdrive(the original grey box model). I hate having a bunch of pedals or effect boards and with just this modified wah pedal I can make any amp give me a good metal crunch with the tone I like. But with a big tube amp like the Sound City it is the perfect match. I crank the head full blast and use the master volume from the DOD. This allows the tubes to give that great warm overdriven sound and I get the tone that will punch its way out of any mix. There is a good reason these original grey box DOD PreAmp Overdrive pedals sell for around $500 on eBay. Mine has been with me since 1980 which now its guts reside inside the wah pedal and I don't know what ever happened to it's grey metal box shell. Oh well, I ain't ever selling it.

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Re: Advice please. Amplifier overdrive vs. pedals/effects units...

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