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> Good Clean Tone , Bad Distortion Tone
sumitnxt
post Mar 21 2016, 08:40 AM
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Hi folks,

i have a cheap guitar and a 30 watt marshall amp. the amp has some distortion modes
i am getting a great clean sound but the distortion sound totally sucks.
since Marshall amp has a good reputation it must be the guitar. normally i wouldn't suspect that marshal amp could be faulty
however i am wondering if the clean sound is so good, isn't the distortion completely dependent upon the processing of the clean sound by the amp. if so then perhaps my particular amp has got some technical issue.

On the YouTube demo of the same amp the distortion sounds great.

without figuring this out i cannot buy or replace anything to get a good distortion sound.

please advice.

thanks,

sumit
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Phil66
post Mar 21 2016, 09:20 AM
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Can you give us some details on the guitar? Pickups, are they single coil or humbucker? Also can you post some recording of the sounds please
Cheers smile.gif


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Mertay
post Mar 21 2016, 09:37 AM
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Whats the amps model? unless the guitars pickups are really low output the dist. sounds shouldn't be affected (if everythings working properly).

I have a Peavey which I love the cleans but hate the distortion smile.gif the distortion circuit is really about some preferences of the engineer so good clean sound can't mean the distortion must be good. Also there's the preference thing which is personal...

The more detail you share (settings, sounds...) the better idea we can have.


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sumitnxt
post Mar 21 2016, 12:04 PM
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thanks for the reply guys.

1. marshall amp model - mg30CFX

the link below describes 3 distortion modes of the amp
amp review

2. guitar is humbucker

3. recording of sounds - i am not good at creating tones , so i have recorded with Bass - halfway, middle - halfway, treble - halfway for all recordings .

Recordings have some strumming followed by some lead

clean sound

crunch sound

OD1 sound

OD2 sound

the distortion sound i want to hear is something similar to the rhythm and lead sound in the first four licks of desired sound

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Mertay
post Mar 21 2016, 12:42 PM
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Sounds nice to me, I don't think anything is wrong with your setup. Finally, could you turn the gain knob all the way up on od2 setting? That should be the max distortion the amp can produce by itself.

If you're still not happy, then yu need a pedal. To get shred distortion from an amp most amps need a pedal anyway. Strong distortion requires a lot of gain, when the amp itself is at the limit but we want more, we provide that gain with a pedal between the amp and guitar.

Its like increasing the output and adding dirt of the guitar. There are 2 common ways;

Overdrives; we select the amps distortion channel then engage an overdrive. Usually the output of the pedal is all the way up and some drive from pedal is used. Overdrives are intended to enhance an amps tone not change it.

Distortion pedals; Amp is on clean channel and we engage the pedal to get needed distortion. This replaces the amps distortion and help get a different sound ıf wanted.

In many setups a distortion pedal can also be boosted with an overdrive pedal. I for example use a boss mt2 distortion but boost it with a ts9 or bb9 overdrive. I usually advise getting on overdrive pedal first before distortion, overdrive pedals for such usage doesn't have to be expensive.


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sumitnxt
post Mar 21 2016, 02:13 PM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ Mar 21 2016, 11:42 AM) *
Sounds nice to me, I don't think anything is wrong with your setup. Finally, could you turn the gain knob all the way up on od2 setting? That should be the max distortion the amp can produce by itself.

If you're still not happy, then yu need a pedal. To get shred distortion from an amp most amps need a pedal anyway. Strong distortion requires a lot of gain, when the amp itself is at the limit but we want more, we provide that gain with a pedal between the amp and guitar.

Its like increasing the output and adding dirt of the guitar. There are 2 common ways;

Overdrives; we select the amps distortion channel then engage an overdrive. Usually the output of the pedal is all the way up and some drive from pedal is used. Overdrives are intended to enhance an amps tone not change it.

Distortion pedals; Amp is on clean channel and we engage the pedal to get needed distortion. This replaces the amps distortion and help get a different sound ıf wanted.

In many setups a distortion pedal can also be boosted with an overdrive pedal. I for example use a boss mt2 distortion but boost it with a ts9 or bb9 overdrive. I usually advise getting on overdrive pedal first before distortion, overdrive pedals for such usage doesn't have to be expensive.

thanks Mertay for the taking the time and helping out. I am glad that the setup is fine. your post is very helpful in understanding my distortion requirements and possible solutions. after reading , I think i will have to choose a overdrive or a distortion pedal so that i can get the heavy distorted tone. I am very grateful and hope i will finally achieve the correct tone.
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Mertay
post Mar 21 2016, 04:26 PM
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QUOTE (sumitnxt @ Mar 21 2016, 01:13 PM) *
thanks Mertay for the taking the time and helping out. I am glad that the setup is fine. your post is very helpful in understanding my distortion requirements and possible solutions. after reading , I think i will have to choose a overdrive or a distortion pedal so that i can get the heavy distorted tone. I am very grateful and hope i will finally achieve the correct tone.


Cool, you're welcome. You can pm Ben if you like to ask what setup he used in that video, I'm sure he'll be helpful.


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 21 2016, 05:09 PM
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If you want to use your amps distortion but just enhance it, you can put an OVERDRIVE pedal in front of it, with the volume on the pedal turned up and the gain on the pedal turned down. This will drive the amp harder. If you want to get all of your distortion from a pedal, you can always buy a DISTORTION (not an overdrive) and use the amp on the clean channel and just stomp on the distortion box when you want it.

Ben uses a very nice Marshall Tube Head for most of his stuff and as you will hear, most of a guitarists tone is in their fingers. This means more as you. But at first, it helps to have some high gain settings that help you work out your tone that is hiding in your fingers!


QUOTE (sumitnxt @ Mar 21 2016, 08:13 AM) *
thanks Mertay for the taking the time and helping out. I am glad that the setup is fine. your post is very helpful in understanding my distortion requirements and possible solutions. after reading , I think i will have to choose a overdrive or a distortion pedal so that i can get the heavy distorted tone. I am very grateful and hope i will finally achieve the correct tone.



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sumitnxt
post Mar 22 2016, 06:23 AM
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thanks todd,

regarding tone in the fingers, do you mean accenting the pick strokes ?

QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Mar 21 2016, 04:09 PM) *
If you want to use your amps distortion but just enhance it, you can put an OVERDRIVE pedal in front of it, with the volume on the pedal turned up and the gain on the pedal turned down. This will drive the amp harder. If you want to get all of your distortion from a pedal, you can always buy a DISTORTION (not an overdrive) and use the amp on the clean channel and just stomp on the distortion box when you want it.

Ben uses a very nice Marshall Tube Head for most of his stuff and as you will hear, most of a guitarists tone is in their fingers. This means more as you. But at first, it helps to have some high gain settings that help you work out your tone that is hiding in your fingers!

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Darius Wave
post Mar 22 2016, 02:45 PM
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Unfortunately at same point of our guitar adventure we are not able to judge if the problem is our playing itself or the amp. Of course any additional distortion pedal will amke the playing easier but MG30 has a lot of gain (subjectively...for me). And I think you should first challenge the amp buit-in distortion to spot any issues in your playing. I know the times changed but (I can speak of me and many of my friends, not saying everyone had it this way) bakc then a lot of us experienced the situation:

...We had some gear, alwasy saying it does not sound because it was cheap...it isn't mesa or something. But then after years of collecting money we finally by the amp of our dreams so we get our "mesa home" we launch it and....it sounds like shit. We want to throw it away but...then we think...why do guys like XY YZ or ZX sound so good on this. Maybe it's not that that does not sound proper but us, who are not able to "squeeze" the juice out of it. We were not able to "juggle" the gear like it happens these days, so we give it a chance. Most often it was us thinkign we already play hard enough and tight enough to sound good...but the amp demanded even more strength and precision. In other words ...it exposed our lack of skills. After some time dealing with it we were able to get what we wanted. Now the funny thing....after this experince we were able to get a dexcent sound from our old, cheap gear as well.

So what's the point of the story? It's to always search for the cause of tone issues in our hands, before we judge the gear. MG30 has a quite descent distortion for the price it costs. I think if there is no drastic issue with any other part of your gear, then you should be able to get descent tone out of it without additional stuff.

Of course overdirve pedal will affect the tone in a specific way but you firat need to make sure how to use it and is it really necessary. MG30 has a "easy play" type of drive". similar to red channel of some Marshall heads, it already has "sort of treble boost" in front of distortion. Unfortunatel MG series tned to sound very harsh at the higher volue level. For me personally...usless for band loud playing...unelss it's one of the very first MG's (probably 4 or 5 versions by far)

Also my advice would be to avoid assigning "good tone" expectations to particular brands. MArshall has a few famous head like jcm 800, 900, good old plexi and currently JVM. Those are iconic Marshalls. MG are cheap pracrise amps so the can't be expected to sound like the "famous MArshall tone from legendary recordings". In fact the still sound cool once we compare to other amps from that price level.


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 22 2016, 03:08 PM
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Both smile.gif And really your entire playing style, picking, finger pressure, muting, etc. It all goes in there. You can buy the same head Ben uses for about $2,000 US but it won't make anyone sound like ben. That just takes years of practice, However, it's easy to get a bit more gain/dist from your amp using a overdrive as a clean boost or just using a straight up distortion pedal. I"d take your amp with you to a music store and try out some pedals to see what you like!

Todd

QUOTE (sumitnxt @ Mar 22 2016, 12:23 AM) *
thanks todd,

regarding tone in the fingers, do you mean accenting the pick strokes ?



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sumitnxt
post Mar 23 2016, 08:14 AM
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QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Mar 22 2016, 01:45 PM) *
Unfortunately at same point of our guitar adventure we are not able to judge if the problem is our playing itself or the amp. Of course any additional distortion pedal will amke the playing easier but MG30 has a lot of gain (subjectively...for me). And I think you should first challenge the amp buit-in distortion to spot any issues in your playing. I know the times changed but (I can speak of me and many of my friends, not saying everyone had it this way) bakc then a lot of us experienced the situation:

...We had some gear, alwasy saying it does not sound because it was cheap...it isn't mesa or something. But then after years of collecting money we finally by the amp of our dreams so we get our "mesa home" we launch it and....it sounds like shit. We want to throw it away but...then we think...why do guys like XY YZ or ZX sound so good on this. Maybe it's not that that does not sound proper but us, who are not able to "squeeze" the juice out of it. We were not able to "juggle" the gear like it happens these days, so we give it a chance. Most often it was us thinkign we already play hard enough and tight enough to sound good...but the amp demanded even more strength and precision. In other words ...it exposed our lack of skills. After some time dealing with it we were able to get what we wanted. Now the funny thing....after this experince we were able to get a dexcent sound from our old, cheap gear as well.

So what's the point of the story? It's to always search for the cause of tone issues in our hands, before we judge the gear. MG30 has a quite descent distortion for the price it costs. I think if there is no drastic issue with any other part of your gear, then you should be able to get descent tone out of it without additional stuff.

Of course overdirve pedal will affect the tone in a specific way but you firat need to make sure how to use it and is it really necessary. MG30 has a "easy play" type of drive". similar to red channel of some Marshall heads, it already has "sort of treble boost" in front of distortion. Unfortunatel MG series tned to sound very harsh at the higher volue level. For me personally...usless for band loud playing...unelss it's one of the very first MG's (probably 4 or 5 versions by far)

Also my advice would be to avoid assigning "good tone" expectations to particular brands. MArshall has a few famous head like jcm 800, 900, good old plexi and currently JVM. Those are iconic Marshalls. MG are cheap pracrise amps so the can't be expected to sound like the "famous MArshall tone from legendary recordings". In fact the still sound cool once we compare to other amps from that price level.



thanks darius, i think you are 100% correct and its such a relief because now i can rely on my practice and effort and not worry about saving money for buying expensing stuffs. please keep us guided, so grateful for this.

QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Mar 22 2016, 02:08 PM) *
Both smile.gif And really your entire playing style, picking, finger pressure, muting, etc. It all goes in there. You can buy the same head Ben uses for about $2,000 US but it won't make anyone sound like ben. That just takes years of practice, However, it's easy to get a bit more gain/dist from your amp using a overdrive as a clean boost or just using a straight up distortion pedal. I"d take your amp with you to a music store and try out some pedals to see what you like!

Todd


thanks Todd, even though i was convinced by Darius that my Marshall amp was enough, i did ordered this pedal to get some mesa amp tonality to add some variety while practicing.

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Darius Wave
post Mar 23 2016, 05:59 PM
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You wellcome smile.gif We all go through the same "nightmares" at beginning smile.gif I wish you get rid of yours very soon smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 23 2016, 07:40 PM
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Darious makes very good points here. Still having a pedal can help a bit smile.gif Try turning the dist/gain on the pedal down and the volume all the way up. Then using the overdrive on your marshall. This will make the marshall drive much more powerful.

For a second options, use the clean channel on your marshall and turn the dist/gain UP on the pedal to use the pedal as your distortion / drive channel. That way when you cut the pedal off you get your clean channel. It's like using the pedal as a preamp.

Let us know how it goes smile.gif

Todd


you are on clean channel.
QUOTE (sumitnxt @ Mar 23 2016, 02:14 AM) *
thanks darius, i think you are 100% correct and its such a relief because now i can rely on my practice and effort and not worry about saving money for buying expensing stuffs. please keep us guided, so grateful for this.



thanks Todd, even though i was convinced by Darius that my Marshall amp was enough, i did ordered this pedal to get some mesa amp tonality to add some variety while practicing.



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