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"Takes pedals well" - what amps don't?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Minivan Megafun, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Holic

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    i put my mid hump OD in front of a non-scooped amp and now i have declared that under no circumstance is this amp suitable for pedals of any kind
     
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  2. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Holic

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    i also think "takes pedals well" is often just code for "can do dad rock sounds." i'm sure plenty of people would hate one of my favorite combos - blues driver overloading ds-1 into a dimed deluxe reverb, which basically sounds like a farting out synthesizer - but in my book that's the amp taking them pretty well.

    i've never met an amp that didn't sound awesome in some way when you abuse it with a fuzz pedal when already dirty. and that includes PC speakers and ipod docks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2020
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  3. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    It all depends on the combination. Some pedals sound good with one amp, not good with another amp, as others have said. Or you have to fiddle the settings when using it with a different amp. The Vox AC15 was fussy about pedals. I hated the Rat with it. But the Timmy was golden. With a Peavey Classic, the Timmy does not sound nearly as special. But the Blues Driver sounds great. So basically you need to choose pedals with a specific amp in mind.
     
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  4. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    Different pickups/different guitars same thing. To my ears Strats often sound less mid-humped than Teles so that's going to have a pretty big effect. I'd like to think the stereotypical Tele maybe pairs better with the scooped Fender amps and the stereotypical Strat could actually be better on a mid-humped amp if you're talking clean sounds, but then they're all kind of different.

    I was just using the DS-1 as an example. I don't think I'd want to use it if I had a Fender amp that is already all about tons of bass and treble and not much in the middle since the pedal likes to do that too.
     
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  5. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    Any amp that starts out with a sterile tone (I’m looking at you, JC-120!) generally sounds pretty cruddy with a pedal in front of it.
     
  6. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I loathe OD pedals with amps that break up very early and have a ton of mids (I'm looking at you, 5E3!). It's just a waste of my time to mess around with that combo, even if I'm typically trying to just add a little bit more hair or harmonic complexity beyond what the amp is already doing pretty well on its own. Or I may prefer an OD to tighten up the low end more than really add much more harmonics/clipping, but it doesn't work IME with these types of amps.

    I also can't stand Fuzz Face or Tonebender types of fuzzes with BF/SF Fenders. It's just a match made in hell, IMO.

    I haven't personally had a lot of luck using all sorts of pedals with the little 5 watts and less single-ended Champ-like amps, either, at anything other than (for me) unusable (e.g. too low) volumes. And it's not just OD pedals, but is also usually delay ends up having ear hurting qualities on the repeats, or trem that I can't really get a decent depth to, because the amp ends up homogenizing the trem amplitude.

    The hardest one for me is fuzz for really any given amp. There seem to be only a specific few that work really well, and IMO amps that are great with octave fuzzes tend to represent an even smaller subset.

    Oh, and I scratchbuilt an amp that originally had a lot of characteristics in common with a Trainwreck Express. That thing doesn't take any pedals well - not delays, trem, flanger, phaser - nothing! I wouldn't even bother to try it with reverb.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2020
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  7. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Some fuzzes are so specific they only take certain guitars with certain amps and cabs well.
     
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  8. TheOtherNeill

    TheOtherNeill TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    This is exactly how my TMDR reacts to a similar pedal and why I don't like the combo. But you're right: different strokes...
     
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  9. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

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    Of course, it totally depends on the amp and the pedals you're using. I play predominantly my 5e3 and 5f1 (both with low gain preamp tubes and an efficient speaker to minimize early breakup), and both of these amps sound AMAZING with all of my modulation pedals (chorus, delay, reverb, phaser, and tremolo). It's the OD pedals that are more iffy. My Klone and Timmy both sound great with these amps, the OCD not so much. My TS- well, some days it sounds good, and some days I don't like it.

    But I've been playing mostly clean lately (lower volume jams with my band on the back porch), and the 5f1 with the Klone (just to add "punch"- no gain), chorus, and delay is a magical combination. Even my drummer last night said, "man, that amp sounds amazing. It's just so crisp and clean". Those thick clean mids from the Tweeds, with some chorus and delay are amazing!
     
  10. Informal

    Informal Tele-Afflicted

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    Want to sell used bicycle...

    No current means of spinning the cranks, But takes pedals well.
     
  11. schenkadere

    schenkadere Friend of Leo's

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    As I've discovered with the JC-22
     
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  12. dburns

    dburns Friend of Leo's

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    I briefly had a Mesa Rockett 44 combo. Cool amp but my Carbon Copy didn't sound good through it at all.
     
  13. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Holic

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    I wouldn’t want to use it in every situation, but when it fits it really hits the spot. But then again, isn’t that all gear?
     
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  14. wabashslim

    wabashslim Tele-Afflicted

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    Much of the time it's mostly a matter of the speaker - some sound great clean (good trebles) but can really fizz up or harshen when fed some harmonic distortion.

    Also - Bright switch off = Takes pedals well. Bright switch on = harsh garbage. (Applies to Presence knob too).
     
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  15. jays0n

    jays0n Tele-Meister

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    This is a great thread for me right now. I have been struggling to get a setup I am happy with for the amp I play the most and have been selling (and buying) pedals for that purpose. I was just about to sell some more but after reading your posts, I now feel I should try those with all three of my amps to make sure one I am selling isn’t better for one of those other two.

    Thanks to all here for your posts.
     
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  16. nedorama

    nedorama Tele-Meister

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    Depends a lot on whether you have the stock speaker still in the Princeton - I have an 81 Princeton Reverb with a Kendrick Black Frame and a 74 Princeton with a Weber ceramic 10. Both really like my Barber Direct Drive or the J. Rockett Majestic, as well as an EP Booster, or a combo of the three. If your amp has the original Oxfart, it may not like being pushed...

    But also, one person's nasty tone can be another's nirvana, and vice versa.
     
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  17. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    You know what amp takes pedals well? Blackface Princeton Reverb is what. Every pedal I put in front of this thing sounds workable, and most of them sound great. I suspect that every pedal builder has one in the corner of his or her shop to check things out with. I mean, seriously, everything.

    AC15, on the other hand -- very fussy.
     
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  18. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

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    In my mind, amps that have real distortion modes don’t take dirt pedals well. However, I have used my Mesa 5:50 Express Plus with one channel in the highest drive setting and the other the cleanest clean and used low boost OD with the latter without issue. Also, various modulation effects can be used with distortion, but I find I need to be careful to not just have mud.

    OTOH, I think That Pedal Show did a show on amps that supposedly didn’t take pedals well and really they found usable tones with all of the test amps.
     
  19. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I don't want to get of topic, but I have to say ... I HATE playing with other guitarist who play with too much low end, and yeah, it's usually because they're inexperienced and have a modern amp with enough power to actually produce those frequencies without hitting the wall.
     
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  20. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    The key is figure out what your amps inherent EQ is.

    Then try pedals with different EQs.. don't fall into the trap of trying pedal after pedal that has the same EQ that you don't like.. same EQ will be roughly the same result.

    The problem is it's relatively easy to find out what the EQ of an amp is but pedals it's way more vague without buying them and learning what to listen for yourself.

    It's pretty bonkers to hear the same drive pedal into a Marshall or Orange and then immediately turn around plug it into a Fender or Vox. The pedal is likely to be pretty bad into some of them and amazing into one of them... and that's the one the builder voiced it for.
     
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