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Thread: Pedals vs Amp Distortion Put To The Test

  1. #21
    Tommyologist
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    Default Re: Pedals vs Amp Distortion Put To The Test

    i've gone back to using pedals for my higher gain sounds myself... i found it's easier and cheaper.... i leave my 5150 in my closet for many years now...

    but in my case with my club rig i use both my C30's OD sounds and various OD and Distortion pedals... with that rig i can cover a lot of sounds... my 5150/Classic 50 rig is pretty amazing too but the smaller lighter quieter C30 and pedal rig is more useful to me..... Once i get my 2204 fixed up i want to try my pedals in front of that set up kind of clean-ish.. as odd as that sounds

  2. #22
    WhoDatologist korovamilkdud's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pedals vs Amp Distortion Put To The Test

    Eh. I've been up and down Boss od/dist...I've modded them Keeley style I've modded them Indyguitarist style, I've tried the tube overdrive units (mainly Maxon's Real Tube series...quite good) but in the end the tube amp distortion is thicker and just FEELS better to me. That's the rub. People keep trying to compare ss to tube, pedal to amp, etc...but until the guitar is in YOUR hands and YOU are playing....you simply don't know. Not really.
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  3. #23
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Jackson Distortion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pedals vs Amp Distortion Put To The Test

    Personally, I like the amp's overdrive/distortion minus pedals. It's why I bought the amp--so I could use the provided amp's distortion, because I feel that would sound the best and elimanates the need for a distortion pedal. Besides, it gives me a signature tone from the amp and let's me know if I like an amp right off the bat. If I need a boost--just switch to another channel or use my EMG Turbocharger in my axe to boost the signal 20db's.

  4. #24
    Ultimate Tone Slacker NecroPolo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pedals vs Amp Distortion Put To The Test

    Either way you can get great results.


    On my part I love certain characters that come with certain amps and I like it pretty pure and raw. Guitar, cable, amp. That's my way to go.

  5. #25
    Buttery Toneologist Hot _Grits's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pedals vs Amp Distortion Put To The Test

    I prefer amp overdrive unless I'm specifically going for a certain tone a pedal gives, like a fuzz. But that's only really ideal for studio work and a small percentage of my gigs. Often at gigs I use pedals to push my amp at a lower level than cranking it. So they're a practical compromise for me.

    Though nowadays pedals are getting better and better, and the sheer number of them available means you can usually get something that works well with your amp. lots of dudes think 'pedal friendly amp', but i think 'amp friendly pedal'.
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  6. #26
    Something Cool uOpt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pedals vs Amp Distortion Put To The Test

    All I can say is that my Tonelab sounds better than I would have given anything with MIDI and blinkiblinki credit for some time ago.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Pedals vs Amp Distortion Put To The Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson Distortion View Post
    Personally, I like the amp's overdrive/distortion minus pedals. It's why I bought the amp--so I could use the provided amp's distortion, because I feel that would sound the best and elimanates the need for a distortion pedal.

    This is why I bought a Peavey Classic 30. I wanted to use less pedals, so I figured that I could use the amp's distortion for classic rock type mid-high gain. My pups aren't high output (Area 58s and a PG+), so I needed to crank up the pre-amp to get the level of dirt that I wanted. Sounded great in the store and at home, but with the band my sound just disappeared in the mix (and I was using plenty of mids). I ended up using pedals through the clean channel and that cut through just fine.

    So, no more channel switching amps for me! From now on I'm going to use single channel clean amps with pedals.

  8. #28
    Gear Ho Gearjoneser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pedals vs Amp Distortion Put To The Test

    Your favorite guitarist used the junkiest OD pedal known to man his entire career.
    Somehow it worked, and all your OD's are better, so I don't see a reason to buy more.
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  9. #29
    Looking for Real Life drew_half_empty's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pedals vs Amp Distortion Put To The Test

    man it's whatever to me

    i mean look at who used pedals - hendrix, trower, clapton had one built into his guitar, gibbons to some degree, srv, newer guys like frusciante & corgan, and i'm sure most everyone else has at least gone that route in the studio

    i mean there's something to be said for cranking an old nmv tube amp, but in my experience amps with effects loops & cascading gain cranked a decent amount end up being only a little more responsive than a good pedal, if at all.
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  10. #30
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    Default Re: Pedals vs Amp Distortion Put To The Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Gearjoneser View Post
    Your favorite guitarist used the junkiest OD pedal known to man his entire career.
    Somehow it worked, and all your OD's are better, so I don't see a reason to buy more.
    I have an OD9 & Fulldrive II as of now. I'm only going to buy a distortion pedal and replace my OD9 w a OD820 for a little more overdrive and less midrange spike. That's it after that. BTW Yngwie's DOD reissue pedal has mods available. It sounds actually pretty great modded.

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Pedals vs Amp Distortion Put To The Test

    Do you amp distortion fans actually push your high gain amps when you practice? Its like standing near a jet engine. I feel sorry for your bandmates, housemates, neighbors, and your doctor who will eventually have to WRITE "you should turn your amp down occasionally" when you go in for a checkup I tried to do the cranked high gain amp bit for a while, even putting the amp in a different room, but still didn't like having multiple city blocks hearing my chug chug all afternoon.
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  12. #32
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Johtosotku's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pedals vs Amp Distortion Put To The Test

    Quote Originally Posted by alex1fly View Post
    Do you amp distortion fans actually push your high gain amps when you practice? Its like standing near a jet engine...
    I think that modern high gainers aren't really built up for the power tube distortion as the old timers were. I equate modern high gain sounds with preamp tubes. So one wouldn't necessarily turn it that much up... The big wattage is there so that you get maximum headroom for your preamp and pedals.

    And high volume is an essential part of rock 'n roll... it's not only about hearing, it's also about feeling.
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  13. #33
    Buttery Toneologist Hot _Grits's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pedals vs Amp Distortion Put To The Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Johtosotku View Post
    I think that modern high gainers aren't really built up for the power tube distortion as the old timers were. I equate modern high gain sounds with preamp tubes. So one wouldn't necessarily turn it that much up... The big wattage is there so that you get maximum headroom for your preamp and pedals.

    And high volume is an essential part of rock 'n roll... it's not only about hearing, it's also about feeling.
    Older amps weren't built for power tube overdrive. They were built to avoid to avoid overdrive. Players cranked them to get overdrive.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly View Post
    ...but then again, I'm so deaf I can't even hear myself fart.

  14. #34
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Johtosotku's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pedals vs Amp Distortion Put To The Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Johtosotku View Post
    I think that modern high gainers aren't really built up for the power tube distortion as the old timers were. I equate modern high gain sounds with preamp tubes. So one wouldn't necessarily turn it that much up... The big wattage is there so that you get maximum headroom for your preamp and pedals.

    And high volume is an essential part of rock 'n roll... it's not only about hearing, it's also about feeling.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hot _Grits View Post
    Older amps weren't built for power tube overdrive. They were built to avoid to avoid overdrive. Players cranked them to get overdrive.
    Yes... I think that what I originally meant was that the sounds I associate with classic rock and similar styles is power tube overdrive. Modern rock and metal and such has tones that I somehow equate to more modern amps and their preamp distortion.

    I guess that my original post should have read "I think that modern high gainers aren't really built up for the power tube distortion tones that the old timers produce" or something.
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  15. #35
    Buttery Toneologist Hot _Grits's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pedals vs Amp Distortion Put To The Test

    I can dig it.

    I always find it funny how miserable classic amp designers often were at designing amps that keep clean. The tweed deluxe is pretty comically low-headroom. Mind you, gigs were really quiet. Amps that we would consider very underpowered were often meant to be a four input PA.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly View Post
    ...but then again, I'm so deaf I can't even hear myself fart.

  16. #36
    Ultimate Tone Slacker hanumanlangur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pedals vs Amp Distortion Put To The Test

    I prefer a pedal going into an amp's clean channel. Doing this means that my tone is primarily coming from the guitar and pedal, and I can plug into any amp's clean channel to get the tones I like. With a boost or a light overdrive along with a pedal, you can basically have a lead channel as well. For example, an SD-1, ProCo Rat, and HR Deluxe would be a very versatile setup, but very common and affordable as well.

    But no matter what method people prefer, it's important to have a good amp, or a good pedal, and to really know how to use it well.

  17. #37
    Showmasterologist Robert Delahunt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pedals vs Amp Distortion Put To The Test

    Just my 2 cents, I've heard both that sounded fine. I'm more of an overdrive (versus distortion) freak (i.e. "soft" clipping) anyways....

    I've heard pedals (Tube Screamers) and floor processors (ME-50) that sounded good. I've also heard an amp (SuperSonic) that sounded good. I didn't like the EVH series amps though.

    I need to try more amps and pedals though.
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  18. #38
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    Default Re: Pedals vs Amp Distortion Put To The Test

    i just played on the radio last night and had a chance to listen to my stuff totally isolated thru good headphones. the amp sounded best with no pedals, more natural and sweeter. the pedals didnt sound bad but the natural distortion of the amp sounded noticably more complex yet clearer and uncongested.

  19. #39
    MetalMike_II
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    Default Re: Pedals vs Amp Distortion Put To The Test

    1.) crunchy pedal -> amp with lots of headroom = delicious

    2.) no pedal -> distorted high gainer = what I've always done for better or worse

    3.) crunchy pedal -> less distorted medium to high gainer = mud, usually, unless a lot of tweak time is invested for that one sound


    2.) can be nice but 1.) is growing on me. 10,000 players saying 1.) works live/loud/cut-through-the-band-better must have a point. The key to 1.) is the headroom, and the key to 2.) is the source of debate in amp threads (what amp is better for sounding like ***?). 3.) requires a magical combination of many things that are just right for one sound only. 1.) and 2.) are simpler, and easier to get more sounds. If I had zero amps and was on the hunt, I think I would try 1.). When I'm rich (I have about $30 to my name right now) I will try 1.). But at least, counting my blessings, I have a few 2.)s, so I'm not blocked from getting after it. 3.) is for mad scientists with more time and money than I can afford right now.

  20. #40
    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pedals vs Amp Distortion Put To The Test

    i feel exactly the opposite. i think a roaring amp cuts thru the mix way better and with better tone than a crunchy pedal into a clean amp at the same overall volume level. a big part of it comes down to you really need a lot less gain than you think, even for really heavy music. yeah it may sound better on stage and is easier to play with more gain but in front of the stage, less gain goes a long way to making a better, fatter, fuller tone.

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