Heresy - I don't find amp tremolo better than pedal tremolo

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Treeface, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. Treeface

    Treeface Tele-Meister

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    One of the selling points of these silverface amps is supposed to be the lush, organic tremolo. But I think you can get an equivalent sound, and more control, out of a tremolo pedal. And I'm not talking Strymon or something boutique, I mean an off-the-shelf $80 or $100 tremolo pedal. They have a longer sweep (slow to fast), the ability to boost signal, and you can usually control the shape of the wave. You don't get any of that from the amp.

    I'm very surprised to reach this conclusion, and for a while I pretended otherwise, but I've slowly convinced myself. Does anyone else agree or am I missing something here.
     
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  2. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

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    With respect to the typical opto-bug tremolo on many BF and SF amps, you're right. I like the Voodoo Lab 4-knob tremolo (and I'm sure others, too) pedal better than that. More control, bigger sweep, faster, slower, etc. But there are many types of tremolo. I've not heard a pedal that produces tremolo that is as good as the bias-vary tremolo on my brown Tolex 6G2 Princeton clone.
     
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  3. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I am also too dumb to see the superiority of amp trem over a good trem pedal :)
    To me the only advantage is the obvious one, you don't have to connect a pedal, but I think any decent trem pedal generally sounds better.

    And, in my experience, "lushness" often gets lost as soon as you add a full band to the mix
     
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  4. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    I used to have a '68 Deluxe Reverb ( sadly sold, needed $$) and a Blues Jr. ( still own ) that I would switch between for gigs ( BJ w/ aftermarket Emi Neo speaker is 9 lbs.lighter- bad back!)

    I also own a Boss Tremolo pedal which I modded ( you just 'yank' one component) so there would be no volume loss when engaging Trem.

    But I used to setup both amps ( BJ with Tremolo pedal) at home just to A/B Tremolo, and I could set pedal ( to the same way I set controls on DR) so you couldn't really tell difference between both amps' effect.
    Still miss ( forever!) the Deluxe- pretty much a perfect amp!
     
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  5. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I agree with you.

    I use tremolo a lot in the music I play, so it's important to me. I have some amps that have fabulous tremolo (62 brown Deluxe, a few old Ampegs).

    Yet, I almost always use a tremolo pedal instead, and not even a boutique one. I use just a good ole Boss TR2.

    That's for a few reasons: I have my pedalboard with me already, and I don't have to add another "pedal" by using a tremolo footswitch.

    Also, amp tremolo often changes the sound of the amp, sometimes making it sound like it has slightly more overdrive, is darker or whatever.

    A tremolo pedal doesn't really do that and it sounds just as good IMO.

    Tremolo on some Fender amps is kind of lame (Princeton reverb).
     
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  6. FenderLover

    FenderLover Poster Extraordinaire

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    I feel the same way. The way I use Trem is with a very shallow depth, just for a gentle roll in the background. A pedal does that just fine. I never get to the Crimson and Clover setting. Same with Reverb, barely on for added ambiance.

    It also simplifies amplifier design and construction by keeping the signal chain unburdened and centric to gain (an amplifier's primary purpose). Reverb (especially single-knob) and trem circuits add a lot of baggage to the main signal and to an amplifiers floor plan. I'd rather add reverb and Trem post-amp through another amplifier, when needed at all.

    The best argument for outboard effects (pre or post amplifier) is that you are not married to what is in the amp. Again - a single knob reverb? That's one (limited) option. My Flint has six options that are also capable of expression, and stereo, at less than half the price of a 6G15.

    If you play out, may as well have options because you are playing to non-guitarist who could care less how 'pure' an emulation is.
     
  7. ifallalot

    ifallalot Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I feel the opposite, as I'm chasing gettin that 68 CDR tremolo tone, or the actual vintage Blackface and Silverface tremolo tone through 6 pedals now and I can't find it. However, I haven't gone back to the good ol TR2 yet which I feel like gets the closest to the real thing
     
  8. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I'm starting to lean a little toward pedal tremelo too. It started as me being too lazy to deal with the BF footswitch. I started using the tremelo in my Donner Alchemy multi effects pedal. (8 effects in one pedal. $39!) I like it, it's more distinct than the BF tremelo and a lot less hassle than the switch.
    I moved on from Fender amp Reverb years ago. Too touchy, too crashy.
    The reality is, if you move on from both Trem and Reverb, the Fender BF circuit becomes dead quiet and dead simple to build. Two pre tubes! (ignore the pot/control scheme in this layout) Someone should start building these dead cheap for us whom are inclined. :>)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
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  9. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    I'm really concerned with the base tones of my amps. I have a couple of SF Bassman heads which I love- and I wouldn't trade that sound, for a Reverb or Tremolo circuit. I wouldn't complain, if someone built me a Bassman with extra bells and whistles- but with the amount of effects I use, pedals do the job just fine.....
     
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  10. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    The Demeter Tremulator is the best-sounding trem of them all, says me. Plus a nice little volume kick when engaged. A couple of the Flint ones are super-nice, too, and the Voodoo 4-knob will make some nice weirdo noises in addition to being a useful vanilla sound. All more useful to me than the regular AC15 / Princeton amp trem.
     
  11. NashvilleDeluxe

    NashvilleDeluxe Tele-Afflicted

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    I love the cathode-biased trem on my amp, particularly the feature that it is automatically reduced when going from rhythm to lead channels. However, I do use my Hall of Fame when I want something other than a spring trem...I like the "Plate" and "Tile" sounds, and sometimes the cavernous "Hall" one. The Spring trem on the Hall of Fame is probably its least convincing one.
     
  12. muscmp

    muscmp Tele-Afflicted

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    i like the tremolo from my 66 deluxe reverb, 75 vibro champ, 62 gibson ga79rvt and my strymon mobius pedal. each has their own voice. i just tweak until i like it.

    i just repaired a 67 univox for a friend that has a wonderful tremolo in it. similar to my silvertone 1482.

    play music!
     
  13. USian Pie

    USian Pie Tele-Meister

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    I’ll go one better.

    Amp-mounted spring reverbs are a fragile, archaic, noisy throwback to a time when that was the best technology could offer. With more affordable, reliable, and quiet modern options, they should go the way of rotary dial phones.

    Just my opinion, though. ;-)
     
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  14. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    now you're on thin ice, bud. the spring is the king! if that's the sound you're after, that is. If you want hall, plate, cavern or Hindu temple, digital seems like the way to go. but nothing sounds more like a spring reverb than a spring reverb.
     
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  15. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Tremolo, Reverb or Overdrive as well for me. Prefer pedals for all these.
    edit: I dont like spring reverb.
     
  16. WireLine

    WireLine Tele-Afflicted

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    Lots of high end pedalboards agree with OP, even with onboard tremolo.
     
  17. USian Pie

    USian Pie Tele-Meister

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    And nothing fails on an amp more than the spring reverb. ;-)

    I know. Some folks have to have that classic sound and that’s cool. I’ve just had to fix a couple and decided digital was good enough and didn’t have transducers and angel-hair wires to worry about.
     
  18. ifallalot

    ifallalot Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    And next you're going to say modeling amps are better than tubes? ;)
     
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  19. USian Pie

    USian Pie Tele-Meister

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    Whoa. Don’t paint me as extremist over one opinion, man.
     
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  20. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    I like both versions of tremolo.

    When I'm playing live, I use the Boss tremolo pedal. Way more convenient; I don't use it for every song, and the difference between the pedal and the amp sound is lost in the band mix and no one in the audience, other than a few amp wizards giving me the hairy eyeball, will know the difference.

    but sometimes, when it's just me and an amplifier, on my own sweet time, I like the slow soft pulse. SF Princeton or BF Tremolux. yep.
     
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