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More knobs = option overload

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by klkampman, May 15, 2018.

  1. klkampman

    klkampman Tele-Meister

    Age:
    31
    116
    Jun 16, 2016
    US
    I used to be a plug and play guy. Tele straight in to a cranked fender tube amp.
    I caught the pedal bug and been adding something new one at a time, up to 6 pedals now. Here's what I've learned.
    My next amp purchase should have usable onboard tremolo and reverb. That will cut my pedalboard size in theory, long as I don't get carried away with specific special trem/verb effects. I gotta stay true.
    The more pedals I have the more I spend fiddling with knobs instead of playing. Each pedal inspites a new riff or song, but the draw back is finding the recipe that is tasty. I think I would like to limit myself to just 3 main sounds. The less I have the more artistic I feel I am by using only what's available.
    I get my amp dialed in for a straight guitar sound. Adding just one pedal isn't bad, but so much to consider right away. Amp volume and baseline crunch from tubes. Pedal volume and tone. Once I get 3 pedals lined up there's more to consider. Pedal order, clean power supplies, amp volume again, pedal volume, FX loop or not, stacking drives, etc. Loud amp with unity gain, or push amp with pedals using less gain and more volume to push the front of the amp? At 6 pedals, not many compared to some but a lot for myself, there are so many options and variables I get tone anxiety. With my amp ripped wide open my ears are tired after experimenting with all the tones, volume combos, etc. It's hard to tell what sounds the best after all that. Playing can be tough enough and writing is a workout in itself. I hate trouble shooting and worrying about clean power to fix noise and finicky pedals. I remember now why I opted to go straight in from my guitar to begin with. And as much as I love fuzz, they seem to be the worst offenders when it comes to noise and placement. Sad.
    I am not trashing my pedalboard, but at this point I'm starting from scratch and adding only what's necessary. Power is a pain the butt.
    And #1, if your amp doesn't sound good, no pedal will fix it. Start with a guitar and amp sound and dash in the rest sparingly. It's amazing how big some people's pedalboards are and wonder how much time they spend trouble shooting and knob wanking.
     

  2. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

    May 24, 2010
    Scotland
    Sounds like you're still a plug-and-play guy, at heart......:)
     
    klkampman likes this.

  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    58
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    The pedal choices get simpler if you start with where you're at, rather than thinking something like; unity gain vs slam the amp when you already know how you like to use the amp.
    If you like the amps crunch then you only need a pedal that gets that at lower volume, or gives a volume boost.
    I get the thought overload and simply deal with one thing at a time, then later see if that thing fits with the other things I worked out.

    Once you have a few things that work alone, and also work together, you can start deciding which ones you can live without!

    I've recently been running a couple of ODs pushing the second channel of a two channel amp for some overdriven tube sound, but I didn't "choose" anything, just ran it that way for a while.

    Could choose to keep that arrangement if it makes sense...
     

  4. YeOldeTeleDuder

    YeOldeTeleDuder Tele-Holic

    Age:
    61
    861
    Apr 10, 2018
    San Diego
    Then there is going down the rabbit hole of modeling software like IK Multimedia AmpliTube MAX to get in the way of actually playing. I cannot imagine how many hours could pass playing a few notes or a riff trying "just one more adjustment" with all the options they have of all the cool gear I've never had the chance to use.
     

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