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> Effect Pedals Advise Needed!
Mer-V
post Jul 18 2007, 02:05 PM
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Hello all, as you might have noticed, I'm kinda new to this forum (altough not to the site) and wondering whether this topic belongs here, but since its seemed most logical to me, I just went and created a thread, correct me if I'm wrong please. Now lets get it on biggrin.gif

I have kind of a dilemma here which is; which guitar effects pedal/stombox (I don't know if stompbox can be used (I'm not english haha)) I should buy, and with which amp. Last summer I bought a new VOX AD100VT Amp combined with a KORG AX3000G multi-effects processor. Now, I've experienced that the KORG is actually to much for me. It has way to many features which I rarely use (in my common playing I use only 3 or 4 effects) and its just for versatile for me as a beginning (intermediate) guitar player.

So I wanna get rid of the KORG, and the VOX as well since I'm not fond with the low sort of 'humming' noise it makes when I'm playing with heavy distortion. This could be due to the sound input provided by the KORG combined with its BLACK 4x12 amp model, but for that I'm just not sure. Another reason for me to sell the amp is because its just to powerful for me. It has a 100 watt tube pre-amp and at just 10% off the max power its allready blowing my sleeping room away. In the days I bought it because I had planned on gigging with it, but since I've quit the band in which I was playing then, all the power is just to much for me to handle tongue.gif.

Now my initial thoughts were to buy a VOX ACC15 full tube amp. I've heard this one in the local music store and the clean sound this thing had was just amazing (better then Marshall's and Fenders IMO). Yet I still need a good guitar effect (or two) to go along with it. I mainly play rock and metal, but also bluesy kind of music for when I'm in the mood. I don't play any specific subgenre's so the effects can be pretty general as long as they sound good ^^.

Now my question is, whether you can give me an advise on which effect pedal I should buy, and/or in combination with which amp.

Regards, MerV
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Saoirse O'Shea
post Jul 18 2007, 10:19 PM
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Hi Mer-V,
as a possible starting point you might want to check out a distortion/overdrive, a delay or chorus and finally I'd suggest a good parametric or graphic EQ. There's a great review of the Distortion Factory pedal on the board which people seem to like a lot especially for rock and metal. (Rather like guitar amps there are different opinions on which is best - digital modelling distortion pedals or tube distortion or analogue. All I can say is that it is subjective imo.) Boost/overdrive/distortion/fuzz etc (sort of clean<some distortion<distortion<lots of distortion<higain ears start bleeding and you go blind distortion) sort of cover a single continuum. Irritatingly some manufacturers describe a pedal as distortion whilst others might say the sound range is more overdrive and so on. You'll need to think about what you want (ie metal - probably hi gain lots of distortion so a boost probably ain't going to do it), draw up a shortlist and choose according to that. For a delay you'll need to decide between analogue or digital. If its the former then Carl Martin - the Delayla - does a nice one, the latter maybe something like a Boss DD3 on a Line6 echofarm. Tap tempo is a good thing to have on a delay pedal btw. Chorus - probably a Boss. For Parametric EQ TC Electronics make a very good one, for graphic the MXR 6 or 10 band. (There is one line of thought that you should really have 2 outboard eqs - 1 pre and 1 post amp gain - to really have control over your tone. I still only use 1 for pre amp gain plus the amps tone controls.) If your budget is small do consider the Behringer pedals - haven't tried one but I've seen good reviews/feedback. If you have bucket loads of cash then go for an eventide delay and a TC Electronics g3 plus as many different distortions as you want biggrin.gif .

If you can though go in to a guitar shop and try out different pedals with your amp and guitar. Most guitar shops will oblige and most will stock the bigger brands like Boss, Ibanez, etc. Carl Martin/TC Electronic may be a bit harder to track down as they are closer to 'boutique' type pedals. This is the bit where I can't help you - I can't comment on what the pedals will be like with your amp setup as I ain't got a similar amp etc. If you can't get to a shop ask people's opinions, look at the review on this site and Harmony central etc.

With pedals you also need to think about the order you put them in. Conventional wisdom is something like guitar - overdrive/distortion effects-time shifters (delays/chorus/flangers/phasers)-amp. However don't be afraid to experiment - conventional wisdom isn't always right. Let your ears tell you what's good. The pedals may be linked to the amp's effect loop as well.

There are lots of other types of effects of course, wahs, autowahs, envelop followers, loop stations, compressors and so on. I wouldn't however say they are a must have until you have a clear idea of the sound/s you want and have had the chance to experiment a bit. Then you might end up with more than one set up rolleyes.gif . As an example my current set up on chain 1 is guitar-Keeley compressor-Clyde wah-Keeley modded distortion-eq-Fulltone OCD Distortion -amp: chain 2 is guitar- Black dog distortion- Emma Fuzz- amp: chain 3 midi guitar - Roland GI20 - EMU Proteus 2500 - Roland GT8 - mixing desk. Bleh - my office is like a snake pit of leads.

One possible problem with not using the effects loop (I don't as my main amp hasn't got one) is that some pedals which don't have 'true bypass' can suck the tone out of your set up leaving it sounding flat. Best advice is when you look for a pedal try not to try the pedal out all by itself - where possible try it out in the combination that you want to use.

One thing that people don't always consider - power supply. Most people stick the 9v battery in and forget about it until the battery is dead. For a lot of pedals though the sound can degrade as the battery runs down. For a few dollars more you can get a mains adaptor (which will pay for itself pretty quickly) and have consistent power and sound quality. Similarly poor quality cables = degraded tone so get the best you can.

Final bit you might want to think about in the future - pedals, like amps, can be modded by a good electronics whizz. Someone like Robert Keeley can take a stock Boss distortion and make it sound way way better.

Hope this helps a bit.

Cheers,
Tony

One other thing - if your's is a tube amp (sorry don't know the model) you might not have to change it 'cos its too loud. You can put a powersoak/attenuator between the amp and the speaker which will allow you to run the power tubes cranked but without deafening yourself. Marshall and THD make good powersoaks. (Note though you must have a load connected to the power amp out - whether its a speaker, a dummyload or an attenuator. If you have no load you'll wreck your power amp.) Sadly powersoaks don't work with transistor amps.

Cheers,
Tony


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Mer-V
post Jul 19 2007, 02:16 PM
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Wow...

Now that really helped me Tony smile.gif. Even though it is a bunch of information I do think that I see the best option for me.

Thanks for your help smile.gif

MerV
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