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Is there a simple but effective 3 knob b-m-t pedal?

Discussion in 'Pedal/Effects Owners Clubs' started by Bryan A, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. Bryan A

    Bryan A Tele-Meister

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    I have a 57 Champ Custom which imo is one of the greatest amps ever. But it’s simple 1 volume knob leaves me wishing I could roll the mids back to get that “honky-ness” sound. Is there such a thing?

    The closest thing I’ve found that kind of looks like what I’m looking for is the EHX Knockout. It has bass, treble, and “dry”. The question is, is “dry” = mids? Would this be a good choice, or something different?

    And yes, I’m aware of 7 and 10+ band EQs. That’s NOT what I want. I’m not looking for something to add volume, gain, or hiss. I want something more in line with a simple 3 band eq that most amps have.
     
  2. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Friend of Leo's

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    You might have some fun with one of the Joyo American Sound pedals. If I understand them correctly (I have the slightly gainier “British Sound” variant) they have a pre-gain-stage “voice” knob that applies a low-mid cut in varying degrees below that knob’s noon position, and varying amounts of upper mids boost above noon. So you can emulate a Fender blackface scoop sound or a pushed mids gnarlier sound in varying degrees.

    Then, after the voice and gain hoo-hah there’s a three-band active EQ (bass/mid/treble) for final shaping.

    One of these $40 pedals could work for you strictly as a tone shaper, to augment your amp’s limited controls, with the gain set low and output set to unity gain, but you could also push the output for a signal boost to slam your amp if you wanted. Or you could switch it on and off at higher gain settings as a distortion pedal. And you could record direct with it too, or DI into the PA at a gig as a backup solution if your amp ever fails.

    I have found the British Sound variant to work really well for recording fingerstyle rock P-bass and even lap steel on a recording project I’m doing. I never go past about 10 o’clock on the gain—should have bought the lower-gain American, not the British—but it’s a pretty handy device!
     
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  3. Bryan A

    Bryan A Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, I do have 2 joyo pedals, and the eq do work well in conjunction with everything else. But the volume and gain still add color to the Champ no matter how low gain you try to go. I’m not looking for any change to the Champs sound whatsoever other than cutting some mids and possibly sharpening the bass a little bit.
     
  4. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Friend of Leo's

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    Something like this might work for you. It’s intended for bass players, but it’s a clean preamp with three band EQ; semi-parametric mid.

    https://www.jimdunlop.com/content/manuals/M81.pdf

    More knobs, more $$, but you ought to be able to shape your sound as much as you want with a Tech 21 NYC Q-strip.

    The bass guitar world is full of separate-box preamps with varying proportions of baked-in coloration and EQ control. These two came to mind as less-colored options.
     
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  5. ahiddentableau

    ahiddentableau Tele-Meister

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    Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but if what you said about hating other EQ pedals is accurate I'm not sure that there is a solution for you along these lines.

    I totally get what you're saying about how a conventional 6/7/10 band EQ can add noise. Most people use them to boost treble and/or gain, and that's always going to raise noise to at least some degree. There's no getting around it. But you don't have to use the pedal that way. You can use the bands for subtractive EQ only (only pull the sliders down and never up) and without boosting overall gain. This will not boost overall noise in any appreciable way and may give you what you're looking for, although you will lose some signal.

    I say this because any 3 band EQ is going to be exactly the same kind of thing. It's just going to have fewer variables that work in a more aggressive way.

    tl;dr - if you are certain that a 6/7/10 band EQ pedal won't work for you, a simpler 3 band version of the same thing probably isn't going to work for you either. Bceause they are the same thing. The only difference is the interface and width of the bands under your control.

    The other thing that I think you should consider is that because a champ doesn't have an fx loop you can only put pedals in front, and a lot of people really prefer EQ in the loop/after the preamp. It does make a difference.

    Good luck with your search!
     
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  6. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    The Joyo American Sound is my secret weapon with my Champ-a-like. Tweak it carefully for clean and unity gain, get the voice just so and you have a set of TMB controls. Well worth the money. I set mine so I have clean Champ-ish ( 11 O'Clock on the volume dial ), then engage the AS and it truly does get very close to a screaming Champ without any increase in volume if I don't want.

    Down here in the cheap seats, where money is scarce and the only things we feel in our pockets is our gentlemen veg, we're that devoid of cash, we know the true value of the Behringer VT999. Replace the stock valve with a Sovtek or Ruby 12AU7, again, set the gain and level to unity, and you have a very good set of TMB controls. Set the gain up and level down, and it gets close to the sound of a pushed front end, which your amp then lifts. An oft scoffed at and overlooked pedal that has real possibilities.

    Play with the controls on your guitar too. A change where you pick can lead to massive changes in tonal balance through a Champ. You can get the honk through your right hand ( oo-er missus )

    Some pedals with a bass and treble control are actually TMB in disguise. Fixed mids. I built an amp like that. Drop the bass and treble = prominent mids, raise the bass and treble = scooped mids ( sort of, imagine a mid control set, well, midway )

    You may have the answer already.
     
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  7. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Friend of Leo's

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    Although by his choice of amp, it may well be that he lives in the “gimme some tube dirt” realm, and if that’s the case, having EQ before the distorting circuitry can be a pretty powerful tool.

    One thing that I feel has opened my mind (ears?) to guitars and EQ and tone and where along the signal path shaping or dirt is happening is playing guitar through my old Peavey TKO bass combo. It’s got all-active EQ that is totally unlike passive B/M/T tone stacks: high and low shelving EQ controlling the upper and lower slopes, with 7-band graphic EQ in between. Finding tones I like on this amp has been a learning experience and a hoot: once I realized that a preamp that stays pretty clean, coupled with a flexible EQ, could get me a sound I really liked (helped by the fact that a Scorpion 15 may not be a great bass speaker, but it’s got enough frequency response to be a decent guitar speaker on the warm end of the spectrum) I felt like my tonal needs were not as dependent on vintage tube mojo. Any aversion to graphic EQ (or many-bands parametric EQ) might dissipate with some familiarity with the controls and what they do, which just takes a little time and patience. Once you get a handle on what the frequency bands sound like, you can just visualize the basic curve you want and slap it into shape and get in the ballpark about as easily as spinning the familiar knobs.

    Not that I’m advocating sliders over knobs. I’m just trying to suggest not limiting yourself to only three knob B/M/T solutions.
     
  8. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I recommend this, 20 bucks (the gain pretty much acts as a mid)
    You can set it so it does not actually boost

    IME you can dial any coloring right out and still have control over the tone.
    But, yeah, to me an EQ pedal can do the very same thing
    So, as always, YMMV
     
  9. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    I was going to suggest the Danelectro fish and chips 7 band EQ. I see it may have been discontinued. It is a very quiet EQ. I bought two a couple years ago for my acoustic. On sale they were only $22.00 each.
    I see the amazon price is now double that. Yikes.

    Anyway as @ahiddentableau said there are many ways to use a multiband EQ.
     
  10. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Friend of Leo's

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    I have had a few amps that just worked better with a compressor in front of them; not to achieve the sound of The Fixx’s “One Thing Leads to Another” but to tame the transition into breakup, and resulting high harmonic action. That might be something to play with; it can have a positive or negative tonal effect at less extreme squash settings.

    I don’t recommend the EHX Soul Preacher Nano for this though. I borrowed one, and any settings with the footswitch set to “on” changed the very fabric of reality. Suddenly I was playing an oboe, I was a woman, I was on Neptune, and everything looked like a photographic negative. I was after a less drastic change than that.

    If you really want to keep the controls simple, and all-in-the-box for aesthetics or on-the-gig simplicity, I suppose you could approach it from a speaker selection angle too. Although the tradeoff is possibly trying a bunch of speakers, which could be a frustrating and expensive rabbit hole, before finding one that met your tonal criteria.
     
  11. beanluc

    beanluc Tele-Meister

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    The JHS ColourBox is incredibly tuneable for this purpose. It's $400 but there's nothing better for what you're asking for, outside of a studio rack.

    I also have used a JOYO British Sound pedal for this purpose. It might not work in every rig but between my guitar and my amp, with Drive at zero, I can get the tone and voice controls to pass my signal through very very nearly colorlessly, then tune the 3 EQ bands from there. It works, and additionally it can boost or cut volume. I'm sure that you could get even closer with one of the other JOYO amp-emulating pedals which might be closer to your amp's voice. British (Marshall), American (Fender), California (Mesa Boogie), and ACTone (Vox) is quite a spectrum, one of them is bound to sound pretty colorless into your amp.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2020
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  12. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Holic

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    The mooer pure boost can do this and is cheap and simple enough. It might not be the quietest but it is probably quieter than the lower tier stuff. I guess you could try the real RC booster too.
     
  13. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Fish N Chips is great, Caline CP 24 is even better though, and the same price (Amazon), metal enclosure and a larger set of adjustment array options
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    EQ pedal. EVH used a Eventide H9 Harmonizer pedal and they work great, but they are also quite expensive.
     
  15. ukepicker

    ukepicker Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    That MXR bass preamp is very interesting to me (I have a 5-ish watt Supro that gets a little thick in the mids sometimes).

    I also notice that MXR is making a mini pedal called Thump now - EP-3 style preamp for bass - with bass and treble and tuneable mids. VERY interesting.
     
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  16. scottser

    scottser Friend of Leo's

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    I have a VHT Special 6, so I'm used to a one volume, one tone set up. I've tried both the American Sound and an EQ to either push or scoop mids. I find a Boss GE7 more than adequate, its really easy to shape tone and set it to unity without extra noise. As with everything though, any setting on an amp or pedal is only as good as how it interacts with your guitar's controls as that's what you'll be adjusting most.
     
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  17. SheldonP

    SheldonP Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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  18. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    You beat me to it!
    The American Sound ( and even the British Sound- both run at low Drive settings) have wonderful well-tapered, 'friendly' Low/Mid/High EQ and work in tandem with where you set that Voice knob ( which kind of shifts overall midrange, it seems)

    I use either of these JOYOS to give me a better EQ ( and more mids ) with a little Fender Frontman 25R whose tone I really like on gigs-just needed a little tweak!
     
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  19. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I'll third the American Sound as a cheap possibility.
     
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