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Anyone play straight into the amp?....

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by J. Hayes, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. CoolBlueGlow

    CoolBlueGlow Tele-Afflicted

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    I fought this battle for the better part of a decade, working to find the ultimate combination of straight-wire tone while still meeting the need for modern effects. I believe I finally found a solution that answers both needs without compromising either one.

    First of all, I'd say that I have no doubt about it; straight wire without a bunch of pedals is good for pure tone, and also makes me think more musically and more carefully about every note.

    Nowadays, my entire rig is built around the premise that you generally want both worlds. I plug my tele or (scrapocaster) into my 66 Pro. Then, using my special "Tunnel of Tone" pedal, I take the final output of the Pro...AFTER the output transformer. That's my effects send for my entire reverb/echo setup, which is based around a Lexicon reverb processor driving a totally separate pair of amps (usually a heavily modded Princeton on R channel and a Gretsch 6159 on L)

    If I need crunch, I will put a heavily modded TS808 in the signal chain, with a true bypass switch. (not a buffered TS808) I don't even run my guitar through my tuner. I have a dead-end output dedicated to the tuner, when needed.

    In this setup I get the best of both worlds. Straight-wire delight, with all the swirly echoes and reverbs I could ever want, but POST the entire main "dry" amp. It's tone heaven!

    The only drawback is that I have to tote 3 amps, a small rack, and two suitcases for cords and such. It takes 15 minutes to setup.
     
  2. Jakeboy

    Jakeboy Tele-Afflicted

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    Been that way for years...best OD and distortion is from a cranked amp. Don't need or want pedals.....forces you to use the vol and tone knobs on both amp and guitar.
    Liberating indeed! TURN it up!
     
  3. JDRNoPro

    JDRNoPro Friend of Leo's

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    Almost always now...........the right amp and getting to know how the controls work is the key for me.

    The latter part of that statement may sound a bit silly, but I think a lot of players don't really understand how interactive the vol and tone controls are on their amps and guitars. Higher settings on everything usually doesn't sound best :).
     
  4. bigben55

    bigben55 Friend of Leo's

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    The downside is, as I've recently discovered, that if you rely on cranked amp for dirt, and cranked amp is too loud for the room, you're screwed. You can either go the pedal route or the attenuator route. I am saving my pennies for the latter. But I'm keeping my old FD2 as insurance.

    Something else that REALLY matters going amp>cord>guitar, TUBES! I have always bought decent tubes, but could never hear that much of a difference between I.e. new JJ power tubes and good NOS ones when using my former 9 pedal board.
     
  5. Scotty 2

    Scotty 2 Tele-Holic

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    To play distortion doesn't take to much talent.It's just noise anyway.
    But to pulg straight into amp and play clean,you better know what you're doing
    and how to do it because every note it definable.This is what scares some musicians.Just take a listen to Nokie Edwards.,,,,,:lol:
     
  6. e-merlin

    e-merlin Doctor of Teleocity

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    Oh, hellz yeah! That's why I have a pile of amps. For Clean I go with a Peavey Triumph 120. For dirty, I have a Peavey 5150 Combo. I have a bigger pile of amps, but those are my go-to unless I'm going for the Dan Baird tone, and then I drag out the Peavey VTM 60.
     
  7. Bulldog87

    Bulldog87 Tele-Afflicted

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    I never really play with pedals. I have a couple, but rarely use them. So yeah, just straight in for me.
     
  8. die Bullen

    die Bullen Tele-Meister

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    I never use pedals unless you count onboard reverb. I find that stuff to be a huge distraction to me and too much fiddling and not enough playing...
     
  9. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    It all depends on the amp I'm using. With my solid state Marshall I can get away with just a cord and go, because basically when you change channels it's the same as hitting a distortion pedal. But, with my Super Reverb I have to have pedals. (Well, I used to need pedals. I don't play anymore, but when I did...) Typical Blackface/Silverface, the amp will overdrive and sing like an angel, but it never develops the roaring distortion I like. If I was only playing straight blues or country and was playing primarily lead guitar I can get a basic sound from my amp that I'm happy with and do the rest with pick-ups on my guitar. But since I played mostly rythm guitar I needed a lot more versatility than a SR can provide on its own. We might in any given set jump from Haggard to Skynyrd to Metallica and wind up back to the Eagles or some old Funk song. No way a Blackface amp can handle that without pedals.

    Besides, I just love the way a little delay can thicken up the notes. About the olnly time I play anymore without pedals is either I'm test driving something or I'm just too freaki' lazy to hook everything up!:lol:
     
  10. Stubee

    Stubee Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    I used to use a Crybaby wah a fair amount plus a ProCo Rat into pretty big amps for gigs because I could never crank those bigger amps (Twin type stuff) to get any overdrive--oh WTH, they were clear to ear splitting levels. Then the past quite a few years I went Tele-Pro Jr only for most stuff...but to really get some thick tone you gotta be where you can crank the PJ a bit, and after messing around I decided I wanted reverb again + kinda miss some of the pedal stuff.

    So now playing around with a SFPR + TS9 and thinking of pulling out one of my old wah pedals again (the Crybaby plus a Vox) because I kinda miss that stuff. Maybe it's a cycle.

    I'd be very happy with guitar-PJ or SFPR for most things if I could crank 'em enough. I don't like heavy OD but sure do like a bit of edge to the tone vs. 'super clean' and in a small setting that's tough to get w/o master volume/gain knobs or a pedal.

    I know really good players who used arrays of pedals that boggle the mind, so I sure got nothing against 'em, I'm just too stoopid to bother with more than one or two at a time.
     
  11. jwag

    jwag Tele-Meister

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    Yes! I recently bought a Blues Jr for home practice. Really just wanted a solid small tube amp I could afford, that sounded decent. After a few weeks I really started diggin the sound. Just dialing in the amp and tone controls was alot more fun. Nothing to hide behind. Tried it at band rehearsal with my live rig(mesa 5.50) and liked it! So I reluctantly tried it at the next gig. I'm not gonna lie, after using the same gear for years I felt naked! Not having a pedal board, I thought I'd be limited tonally. To be honest at the end of the night I was really stunned. Like others stated before,you have no choice but to play! I've done this the last three weeks and don't see any reason to change back.
     
  12. tele salivas

    tele salivas Poster Extraordinaire

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    At home about 50% straight in. Either that or a 1967 Fuzz Face clone. In front of people I hide behind an MXR Micro Amp, but that is about it.
     
  13. RollingBender

    RollingBender Tele-Afflicted

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    Amp??? :?: I never liked the pedal dance either but also like that variety of tones. I use (for the past 20+ years) an old Yamaha FX500 plugged straight into the board. It has a MIDI foot controler. You can quick step to 5 presets, click any of the effects on the presets on or off or scroll though the 100+ factory and custom settings. In only use the 5 presets. 1 really clean and bright, 1 clean and mellow, 1 with a slight hint of crunch, 1 with bigger reverb and chorus for "pretty songs", and 1 with a healthy dose of Waylon style flanger.

    After it's set, its easier to operate than separate pedals and it is much lighter than an amp! There's an Ampeg Jet that I have my eye on in one of the local pawn shops but I would never gig with it... too much stuff to carry and trip over on stage.

    Now I'll hide behind something to avoid the barrage of rotten tomatoes:lol:
     
  14. Michel347

    Michel347 Tele-Meister

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    I never quite understood this one, since if I play a little bit sloppy on clean, it might goes unnoticed, although with a good amount of gain, if I play a little bit sloppy, then for sure it will be just noise.

    Pluggin' straight, that's what I do most of the time, but I like having a delay.
     
  15. pondcaster

    pondcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Tele + cable + Blues Junior = my tone.

    I do have a TS9 but hardly use it. Otherwise, get it all from super Fender clean to beautiful breakup by working the Master & Vol knobs... could not be easier.
     
  16. jkrischan

    jkrischan Tele-Afflicted

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    Always straight into 5e3 or 5f1 maybe a little wah from time to time.
     
  17. ADinNYC

    ADinNYC Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    That's just crazy talk! (read my signature)
     
  18. WireLine

    WireLine Tele-Afflicted

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    CBG, love that setup...used a similar rig for a while, but split from the clean amp's reverb send and used a MosValve 962 to drive the effected cabs...

    What are you using to bring the speaker level down to line?

    I guess in one way, there really are no 'pure' setups, as string and pick gauge, chord selection, choice of guitar or pickup, are all devices used to modify the timbre and could be seen as effects (I change pick gauges for differing sounds - doesn't everyone? <g> )

    Effects aren't evil, unless one can't play without them I think...
     
  19. pondcaster

    pondcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    "Do you have a pedal that makes it sound like I'm plugged straight into my amp?"

    Hey ADinNYC, I "borrowed" that sig line when I was chatting with my guitar tech/luthier a while back, he thought that was the funniest thing!

    I did give you credit, but not by name. Couldn't remember who's that was...?
     
  20. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I use one and only one drive box, into a clean amp, for years now... I don't have the luxury for driving a tube amp to 7, so limiting my signal to one pedal seems ok to me. I'm not Eddie Taylor neither, no need to look for "purity". Even a compressor is too much & will just complicate things. One overdrive pedal used tastefully & stealthily (ie no big jump or tone difference between on/off) is a big plus for me. I could get these Otis Rush & Freddie King soulful driven tones, without breaking the club. Just loose all the modulation pedals, the pedalboard, the comp, etc...
     
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