didi i buy an amp for nothing?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by pforsell, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. pforsell

    pforsell TDPRI Member

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    Hi all,

    I have a general amp/tone question. Probably should know this after all this time playing guitar but I've never really known for sure and I'm wondering if there is a technical explanation for this.

    I was chasing a tone and bought the exact amp that the player was using at the time. Have the same pickup and guitar for the most part. I have found that using a particular distortion pedal into the clean channel (with slight gain on the channel) NAILS the sound I'm going for. Part of me wants to get this sound from the natural gain of the amp's distortion channel, since that's why I bought the amp. I've tried that even with an OD pedal, but it's not the same. I also realize that the guitar player was probably cranking the amp, and I just can't do that in my apartment.

    So my question is: does the amp matter if you're using a distortion channel into a relatively clean setting on the amp and/or clean channel? I'm tweaking the presence, and all controls on the amp to get the tone with the pedal. Just want to know if it didn't even matter that I bought the amp.

    Any help will be appreciated. Thanks,
    Pete
     
  2. old goat

    old goat Tele-Holic

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    Sounds like you already know the answer.
     
  3. furtherpale

    furtherpale Former Member

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    You found the tone you were looking for...shut up and play now :p
     
  4. foundjoe

    foundjoe Tele-Holic

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    I think the OP is asking a fair philosophical question. It would be nice to have an amp that does every tone you want at every volume level you want. That's a big part of the appeal of a modeling amp or maybe even something like the Egnater Tweaker or an Ibanez TSA15 (with the tubescreamer pedal circuit built into the amp). A lot of players seem to feel that the solid state Vox Pathfinder 15R produces a wide variety of desirable tones at low volume without needing a pedal. Otherwise the option is to embrace the amp and pedal combination, and perhaps get into the mindset of building on your tone palette by getting different pedals and/or other amps to use in different combinations. As you would see with a lot of the guitar players here, many own multiple amps and multiple pedals. In that situation, the fun part is deciding which amps or pedals are your favorites.

    Back to the main question: the amp matters because your pedal probably won't sound the same with another amp or without an amp.
     
  5. CrisHendrix

    CrisHendrix Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah amps take pedals differently, if you got the tone with the right pedal + amp combo then score! You got the tone, and for all you know your favorite player might be using that same pedal.

    http://www.SunbeltRyders.com
     
  6. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    out of curiosity, what's the tone you're so feverishly searching for? what player?

    i sympathize with anyone that can't crank their amps from time to time. that must be an awful existence
     
  7. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire

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    In my experience, using it the way you are using it, the amp matters very little... it MATTERS, just not much. But you still need a good amp- you can't plug the pedal into a PA system, or a speaker.

    Did your "hero" get the dirt from the amp? Because that is where magic happens, at least with tube amps. I use dirt pedals, but only to add to the dirt I'm getting from the amp (yes, it's loud in a house), I get about 90% of my dirt from the amp itself- in which case the amp choice makes ALL the difference.

    For low-volume practice, I always recommend getting a modeler- I use the GDEC30 and it's great.
     
  8. rhythmjones

    rhythmjones Tele-Holic

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    I used to: "I have this gear, set to these settings, and am playing this way, so it should sound like this."

    Frustration ensued.

    Now I: "Let's see what happens when I turn this knob."

    I guess what I'm trying to say is I stopped chasing tone, and started discovering it.

    I know that doesn't answer your question directly, but as others have said, you nailed the tone with the pedal + amp combo, so go with it.
     
  9. pforsell

    pforsell TDPRI Member

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    Thanks everyone. It definitely is more of a philosophical question because if I have the sound, I have it. Just wanted to see how much the amp affects the tone when you use it more clean and have a tone box/distortion pedal on front of it. There are so many places to tweak or add eqs also so I started wondering how much the amp mattered when more clean.

    The tone I was chasing was a nostalgic old Lynch tone with the Randalls. A lots of people aren't fans of the tone but I dig it. Probably not a popular sound on the tele site, but the advice and responses here are almost always the right ones.
     
  10. bfulmercsd

    bfulmercsd TDPRI Member

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    You could always use the OD at home to enjoy the tone you want and then go somewhere where you can crank the amp and then get the tone you want that way. Yes the amp matter. I have several tube amps and a different OD for each of them.
     
  11. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

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    Even clean different amps sound different. So yes, in my opinion it matters.
     
  12. gwjensen

    gwjensen Friend of Leo's

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    Amps matter, but they certainly can be manipulated with EQs and OD/dist pedals to get into the ballpark of the tone you're after, and speakers are a huge factor that can greatly alter an amp's tone. As an example, I have a cheap Kramer SS amp I bought for $5 or $10 at a yard sale. It's the kind of amp you might find in a starter pack, or maybe one step above. I put a Weber Blue Pup in it that I wasn't using at the moment and I'm getting some fantastic tones from the amp by itself and with some OD and EQ pedals. Not as good as my tube amps, which distort much better and have a more complex tone, but played clean or dirtied up with ODs, it does just fine. Scary good, actually.
     
  13. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Folks often get a guitar and overlook the quality of the amp. Get the best amp you can afford. It is a never-ending hobby.
    I have a Vox Valvetronix AD30VT which is a fair step up from the Pathfinder in terms of desirable tones.
    But, now here's the thing, I can make my 5 watt Laney Lionheart L5T-112 produce all those complicatedly modelled tones with just a couple of extra stomp boxes, and it has a much better clearer voice, and much better sensitivity.
    £150 for the AD30VT or £600 for the L5T, you pays your money and makes your choice. Have you guessed which one I use most?
     
  14. neocaster

    neocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sounds like you have the perfect setup. When you have a chance to turn up, stomp on the distortion pedal until the light goes off.
     
  15. gwjensen

    gwjensen Friend of Leo's

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    A never ending hobby indeed... I have the same Vox amp, and to me it sounds cold I hate to say it, but the $10 yard sale amp sounds better. It doesn't have a plethora of tone choices, but I'd rather have an amp with a few good tones than one with a bunch of mediocre tones. That probably has a lot to do with the Weber speaker I put in there, but frankly, it wasn't that bad with the cheap stock speaker. This cheap amp really has me rethinking the whole quality/tube/price equation.
     
  16. teleamp

    teleamp Poster Extraordinaire

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    No two Players sound the same, no two guitars sound the same and no two amps sound the same... makes for lower chances getting it right the first time.......
     
  17. OlRedNeckHippy

    OlRedNeckHippy Friend of Leo's

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    I like that. Describes me perfectly. "what happens when I do this?"

    That's pretty much how I've learned everything I know.
     
  18. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    searching for tone is a funny thing. do you think your guitar heroes spent much time trying to rip off their guitar heroes? probably not. somewhere along the line... i think all of us get tired of blowing money on finding "that tone" and just accept the tone we have. who knows... maybe someday somebody will spend thousands of dollars trying to get the tone you "settled" on...
     
  19. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Which same amp?

    None of my amps are entirely stock. The AD30VT has a 10-in Greenback (makes a BIG difference) and the L5T is completely re-valved (because I've worn the originals out).
    The stock OEM valves in the L5T weren't bad but you can do better. The OEM TAD bottles failed, they didn't last long. Discussion of L5T valves here would go well off topic, besides I've done that on another thread..
    The trick with the L5T is learning to use that Tone knob.
     
  20. gwjensen

    gwjensen Friend of Leo's

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    Very good point. My AD30VT has the stock speaker.
     
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