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

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

  1. mgreene

    mgreene Tele-Afflicted

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    The only amp tremolo that is better than all pedals (to date) IMO is Tone King's, which is a solid state circuit in a tube amp.

    I replaced the roach with a trendy part in my 70's deluxe reverb and it is the best opto trem I ever heard. I also modded the trem on my Princeton - very organic and sounds great in the mix but cant match the depth of the TOne King or most pedals.

    That said - I still have 3 trem pedals on my board right now. If I could get a Hemstead Signature (discontinued) it would probably replace one of them. (hint hint)
     
  2. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

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    Not tremolo. True pitch vibrato. Which is compelling with a capital C. My fave of them is the mono version in the Magnatone 260 (and equivalents). In lieu of the real thing, my next best for that is a Bigfoot Magnavibe pedal, which is good enough that I miss my old 260 a lot less now.
     
  3. boogie02130

    boogie02130 TDPRI Member

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    Thank you for pointing this out about the vibrato versus tremolo. I've got a Panaramic 1220 which is basically a Maggie 260A....tough to beat that. On my board I do have a Suhr Jack Rabbit even when I'm using the Panaramic. Different flavors....one trem, one "pitch changing" vibrato and I also have a Neo Vent II for a third flavor. If I need a grab and go amp I'll take my Gibson Falcon with built in trem/verb.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  4. bblumentritt

    bblumentritt Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

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    If your tube amp tremolo isn't sounding as good or different that your tremolo pedal, then I suggest that you haven't played a tube amp with killer tremolo.

    I have three different tremolo options:
    1. A DigiTech RP-150 digital processor
    2. A transistor tremolo pedal
    3. A tube amp with grid bias tremolo.
    (The tube amp grid bias tremolo I use is completely different that the Fender silver-face and blackface amps, which use an opto-coupler and light-dependent resistor to create an on/off switch to vary the power tube bias.)

    I did an A-B-C comparison.

    3rd place. The RP-150. I still use it for practice and recording because of the ease of use, but it's strictly a tremolo effect.
    2nd place. The Swamp Box tremolo pedal. This tremolo had more of that hard-to-describe quality... soul.
    1st place and the not-even-close hands down winner was the Texas Tone 12 tube amp tremolo. Depth, soul, character. Like I said, it was no contest.

    But, don't take my word for it.

    Mark Daven of the Guitar Radio Show, in episode 144, called it, "a pulsating tremolo... different than anything I've heard before." Starting at the 40 second spot you can hear him play on it.


     
  5. JDB2

    JDB2 Tele-Meister

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    Impossible to generalize as to which is better - amp or pedal. It depends on the pedal, the amp, what sound(s) you like or need, and how much versatility you want or need.

    For me personally: I like the sound of a Fender style optical tremolo. It is what my brain expects to hear and it helps me play expressively. However my amp doesn't do tremolo. So I've tried several pedals. The only ones that have been close enough to the sound I want are optical. E.g., BBE Tremor and Fulltone Supa Trem. Right now I'm playing a Supa Trem Jr., which has a digitally controlled optical unit, and I'm happy. I've haven't liked the sound of any non-optical tremolo I've tried yet. The best of the non-optical pedals I tried was a Wampler Latitude Deluxe, which lets you control the waveform in minute detail, yet I couldn't make it sound enough like a Fender amp tremolo, which is is what I personally want to sound like. Granted, there are many, many, many non-optical pedals I haven't tried. I can only guess that I won't like them as well as the optical ones.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  6. bigben55

    bigben55 Friend of Leo's

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    I've had 4 vintage BF/SF Fenders, all with tremolo, and I find it good enough. I've owned 2 amps with truly GREAT tremolo(a 1968 Traynor YSR-1 and a Savage Macht 12x). Those 2 had better trem sounds than any pedal I've owned. BF/SF Opto trem tends to not go slow enough for me, and next time my SR is in the shop, I'll have the tech change the resistor or whatever they do to slow it down.

    That said, I'm perfectly content with pedal trem. The Supa Trem is great. My Mojohand Bayou is great. And I'll eventually buy a Strymon Flint.
     
  7. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Friend of Leo's

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    My amp doesn't have tremolo but I'd be surprised if any can better the tremolo that my SupaTrem produces.

    Equally, although my amp (Maz 18 Jr) does have reverb, I prefer the reverb produced by my Keeley Delay station pedal.

    Maybe I'm missing the point but I'd have thought that pedals would be designed to offer effects at least as good as those that can be built into amps themselves.

    Then again, what's "better"? Much of our decision making is subjective....
     
  8. mgreene

    mgreene Tele-Afflicted

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    That is a pretty awesome sounding amp... I am pretty sure that I could get that trem sound with one of my pedals - but I definitely dont have an amp that sounds like that.
     
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  9. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Probably heresy, but I don't use tremolo although it's supposed to be pretty good on my '64 Custom Deluxe reverb amp. I think it does something with the bias to get the effect, but it's just not something I'd use.

    Sorry!
     
  10. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I liked the Tone King tremolo just fine when I had one, but I have at least two amps with (IMO) better tremolo. Even so, been using the pedal primarily.

    This thread is making me revisit my amp tremolo again though.
     
  11. ahiddentableau

    ahiddentableau Tele-Meister

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    As far as the classic Fender trem is concerned I think it's pretty open and shut. There is no good reason why a pedal can't do an opto based trem as well or better than an amp. Optoresistors work just as well at pedal voltages and the make up gain just isn't that important in a trem context because of its nature as a unity volume (or very close to it) effect. Add that to the problem of volume and tone loss in the classic circuit and I don't think there's any good reason to insist on amp trem. The harmonic trem might well be different and I don't have much of an opinion on that, but even then you've got DIY pedal options that are well regarded. I've heard Jon Patton's Cardinal tremolo and I own the PedalPCB DIY FV-1 project. Both sound good.
     
  12. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I just use my Phase 90 anytime I want rhythmic oscillation. Covers phaser, chorus, tremolo duties for me. This is live, anyway. For recording I am more inclined to try everything but the kitchen sink. But for live shows I like to keep things super simple.
     
  13. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    No, the New Magnatone Twilighter does have Tremolo = Amplitude Modulation “AM” and Vibrato = Frequency Modulation “FM”.

    https://magnatoneusa.com/products/traditional-collection/twilighter-stereo/

    The new Magna's are very different from the old 200 series.
     
  14. NashvilleDeluxe

    NashvilleDeluxe Tele-Afflicted

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    True, the tremolo of Tone Kings is really good (I have a Sky King), but it's different. It never washes out the note, and doesn't seem to cause the volume drop most tremolos do. It is DEEP, too...right in the chest.
     
  15. mgreene

    mgreene Tele-Afflicted

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    Couldnt have said it better - its tremolo but it seems like the note stays present the whole time.
     
  16. mgreene

    mgreene Tele-Afflicted

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    Do tell Senor?

    Please name them.
     
  17. supersoldier71

    supersoldier71 Tele-Holic

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    Me too! I use a Moog tremolo, but only because my dad "borrowed" my TR-2.

    I prefer the Boss because it's a lot easier to dial in--which is probably why my dad liked it--but once the Moog is dialed in to what I'm looking for, I probably couldn't tell the difference.
     
  18. chemobrain

    chemobrain Friend of Leo's

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    If it works for you forget the dogma.
     
  19. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I have a small 20" by 9" pedal board with 10 pedals crammed on it. I appreciate being able to toggle reverb and tremolo with just a tiny footswitch - and it sounds great..

    BTW< there is a tremolo on the board too, but it is usually set to "harmonic tremolo " cause it sounds so good, but also has standard optical trem sound and modes that speed up or get deeper when you play hard. "Keeley Dynatrem" It's nice to also just have the amp tremolo there and let the pedal do its thing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  20. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    62 Fender Brown Deluxe
    1959 Ampeg Jet
    1959 Ampeg Rocket
    Ampeg j20 Jet (Best tremolo I have heard in any amp)

    The Tone King I had was the Meteor, which is probably one of the best amps TK ever made. Tremolo was good on it for sure. But I prefer the others I mentioned.

    For the record, I’m not counting harmonic tremolo as I consider it a separate effect.

    But there are great pedals for that as well.
     
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