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2 Feb 2011
Before I ask my question, I'd like to point out that I have performed 99% of my "career" with an acoustic. I know how to get every sound I want out of my acoustic and feel very comfortable playing it. When I auditioned for my church band they all commented on how good the acoustic work sounded but didn't say anything about my electric guitar pieces. When they called me back to ask me to play with them, they said "just acoustic for now"... lol

I've been tinkering with electric for several years and trying out lots of different pedals and set-ups. One thing keeps bothering me...

Distortion either from a "Distortion" pedal or from an "Overdrive" pedal all have the same problem I keep hearing. If I want to hold a chord the distortion/overdrive quickly fizzles out and becomes a soft crackling sound right before nothing. That "crackling" sounds terrible in my ears. For the life of me I can't hear that in anybodies playing except mine. Here's my findings so far:

1. Overdrive Pedal into All Tube Amp -> No crackling... however, I used the overdrive pedal more like a booster (9 O'clock Drive) and let the amp do the overdriving.

2. Overdrive Pedal into Solid State -> Crackling after initial distortion. Pedal is used to push the distortion (12 O'clock)... amp is run fairly clean.

3. Overdrive Pedal into Sansamp into Preamp Input (no amp EQ) -> Crackling is much clearer and noticeable. Sansamp is run hot or clean and Overdrive is run at 12 O'clock.

It seems like the cleaner the preamp the the more noticeable the crackling and the shorter my sustain. Anyone have any advice or insight into this? I can't record the sound yet since I don't have an interface.


29 Jan 2011
I run a straight and simple setup:

Guitar > Boss TU-2 Tuner > Keeley Blues Driver > Keeley Distortion DS-1 > Boss Delay DD-5 w/ footswitch > Sansamp GT2 > Amp

I run a 200mA DC converter to the TU-2 then run a PCS daisy chain from the TU-2 to power the BD-2, DS-1, and DD-5. The sansamp I power separately.

3 issues (I think they are related)

1. When one of the unused plugs on the PCS Daisy Chain touches the metal on a nearby pedal it creates a line-level "hum".

2. Pedals randomly turn off and on (rarely but it happens).

3. The output volume will drop to near-zero level after a while. Getting mad and smashing all the pedals seems to get the volume back up for a bit.

I'm not sure if my DC converter is dying or if I have a ground issue. Why would the PCS plugs cause "hum" when you are only touching the outside of them (the positive side) to a pedal... unless something is trying to ground itself in the pedals?

I'll keep toying around with different configurations but any advice would be great!

28 Jan 2011
I'm currently looking for an interface on the cheap. The Presonus Audiobox is only $120US at right now and came recommended by a buddy already. Anything else compare in that price bracket?

22 Jan 2011
I have never played an original DS-1 from Boss... but I saw a local guy was selling a Keeley Modded DS-1 for $40US and couldn't pass it up. It looked completely un-gigged and is in perfect working condition.

The pedal has a switch that goes from "Ultra" mode to their "Seeing Eye" Mode. The Ultra mode runs the signal through another LED which in my opinion clips the signal just short of being noisy... leaving you with a creamy fat distortion. Almost no mid-scooping with this pedal (a huge problem for me with the Rick Franklin SD-1). The Seeing Eye Mode is a bit noisier on chords but gives you that wicked sweet screech and squeel when soloing... very metal/rock versatile.

Here's the wild part. The ultra mode distortion sounds good on individual notes, strumming chords, and even on open chords! I've never owned a distortion pedal that didn't sound like poop on open chords... maybe it's just me.

Anyway... this isn't a full review... just a new cool toy I thought I'd share with you all. Anyone else play around with the Keeley DS-1?

20 Jan 2011
I have been playing guitar for about 17 years and my skill and knowledge are sad. I was always a lazy guitarist and only learned the chords I needed to play the songs I was playing. If a song included chords that were too complex I simply used the more basic forms of the chords and fudged it. Every time I tried to learn scales or how to solo I got frustrated and gave up... I just went around saying "I'm a rhythm guy, not lead". Well, it's been 4 years since I picked up the guitar and I am dedicated to mastering it this time around. I have been practicing more than I ever have and my older age has apparently given me more patience because I'm not putting it down anymore and am working through my frustrations.


I know rhythm well.
Freeform Arpeggio.
Palm Muting (various techniques).
Lots of chords (I don't cheat anymore smile.gif ).
The first position of the Pentatonic Scale.


Blues Rock


I am a realist when it comes to this. I do not have aspirations to become the next SRV. But, I would like to learn as much as I can about blues and blues rock for my own playing pleasure. I also would like to become proficient enough at lead that I could take an existing song and add my own riffs here or there... and eventually develop off of that. Most of the music I perform is Christian Worship in major keys such as G, C, D, E, and F mainly. Every person I've ever heard play lead at churches sounds like a roadie from an 80's hair band. I'd like to add a modern sound to the music I play and possible utilize my blues roots.

I currently am learning all my church's songs but I would like some tips on how I can:

Learn the Scales I need to do what I want to do.
Increase Speed.
Learn to improvise.

I'd like to be able to go to practice, listen to a new song and, after being told what key we are going to play it in, be able to lay down a couple transitional riffs or even a solo part by the end of the night. Right now I am far from that.

Do I need to learn notes? Do I need to learn more than the Pentatonic Scale? Do I need to memorize all the positions for the scales? I am willing to put in the time and hours to advance my skill now. I just feel like there is so much to learn I don't know what I should be working on next. Any pointers or suggestions of what i need to learn and in what order to accomplish my goals would be hugely appreciated!


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