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Pedal or no pedal?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:51 pm
by hollywoodmark
Freddy's recent post re wanting to sell his pedals and just concentrate on guitar and amp got me to wondering how many of y'all use pedals, especially effects pedals. I know some of these promise to give you--among other things--a "bluesy" tone, but I wonder how much a pedal can really compensate for less-than-stellar amp and pickups.

I'm interested in theory but also because I just ran across a Zoom 606 pedal for $50 on CraigsList and am half-tempted to snatch it up and see if it helps out my setup. Might be a good stop-gap measure till I can afford that tube amp I dream of nightly.

Thoughts?

Re: Pedal or no pedal?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:04 pm
by maxx england
Most of my amps are second hand or borrowed old gear. I don't use pedals so far except I have recently come into possession of a Zoom 1010 rack, which I will investigate and an octave pedal which I've tried and am still working out the when and where of how to use it to it's best advantage.

One thing my lifelong poverty has meant is that I've had to develop as a player, rather than reach for the comforting little blue blanket of expensive technology; the result is that when I play in public, I get on stage, plug in and go with whatever amp, rather than spend 10 minutes employed as an electrician.

The valve amp tone is beautiful for what I want to play, my 100w Phoenix head (valve pre amp, s/s 2nd stage) takes care of the big rooms and I'm getting a Hacker audio slave amp (used in the 60s to run, matched, parallel with a normally mono Hacker record player to give stereo). Small raise in input current via a pedal or even a Flyspeck amp gives Elmore sound. This is good, I play slide, I will get The Tone, and as a bonus, parts of me are already turning black :mrgreen:

Have you considered finding a "cheap" small amp and using it through a bigger solid state to just amplify without any enhancements, or even use a small valve job mic'ed up through a p.a.?

Re: Pedal or no pedal?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:13 pm
by hollywoodmark
Food for thought, Maxx. Thanks for the insight and tips.

Re: Pedal or no pedal?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:27 pm
by Buffalo_Bill
Some basic effects are important, but if you can find them built in the amp, that's the final word in convenience.
I like reverb, overdrive and tremolo, they all came built into my Vox Pathfinder 15R. That little amp is ear blistering loud as is, but i also have a nice, simple 40 watt bass practice amp I can feed into if I needed to get really loud.
Bill

Re: Pedal or no pedal?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:51 pm
by zhyla
Usually my rig is tele->amp->cab, the way God intended. Occasionally I add one of: verb, trem, delay. I've got a couple overdrives but haven't touched them since I got a low enough wattage amp (1/2 Watt).

I've got a Line6 recording interface that let's me use the computer as a big bag of DSP effects ("Pod Farm"), similar to one of their Pod pedals. This can be a lot of fun to play around with. I especially like their cave reverb effect. But to me if I'm going to play blues it's just an amp and a guitar.

Re: Pedal or no pedal?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:18 am
by leftyguitarman
I mainly run my guitar straight into the amp, although I recently bought a volume pedal. I use it mainly for when I switch guitars and occasionally use it in a solo for a volume swell. I own a compression pedal, which I don't use all that much. I've always liked the pure tube tone, but after doing some recordings, I'd like to get a pedal board going in case I do more recordings.

Re: Pedal or no pedal?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:57 am
by The Breeze
Guitar - TS9 - Peavey DeltaBlues (reverb at 4). Crackin' valve amp for not much money.
Or: Guitar - Kustom Tube 12A. Stompin' 12AX7 powered practice amp.








(Edit-Corrected spelling)

Re: Pedal or no pedal?

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:36 pm
by Bournio
leftyguitarman wrote: I've always liked the pure tube tone, but after doing some recordings, I'd like to get a pedal board going in case I do more recordings.


Just a little bit of a heads up, if you're recording with effects, remember you can't undo them. BUT if you record guitar=>amp =>recorder, you can add FX afterwards, it's especially easy if you're recording on a computer!

I try to do this, but if it's a song that works around say the bounce of a delay, A la John Martyn, then it's definately a good idea to record with effects!

Re: Pedal or no pedal?

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:05 pm
by guitarslim101
In the heavy blues 2 piece I've been playing in the last few months, I've been mostly going straight into an amp with reverb and tremolo, but I brought my 5E3 clone the last time, turned up to about 5, with a Premier 90 reverb unit, a Danelectro Tuna Melt trem, and a Tonebender fuzz clone. It was easily the best tone I've had in a long time. Even the drummer commented on it.

For straight forward blues, I'll typically just stick with amp reverb and tremolo, or the Premier 90 and Dano trem combo. Every now and then I'll throw in some analog delay for slapback stuff, too.

Re: Pedal or no pedal?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:47 pm
by jaybee
if I turn up enough to get the amp to overdrive, that's it, otherwise I'll use a BOSS SD-1 for some grit apart from that - in my current band - there's a tuner and a delay pedal on the pedal board

mind you I DO use 2 amps normally: a Dan Torres Tweed Deluxe clone and a Laney LC15R

three reasons:

1 - the Laney stays CLEAN while the DT starts to bark real fast, so I get this "mixed tone" which I like
2 - the Laney has reverb - I used to use a reverb pedal, but prefer the clean reverb sound after the bark of the DT
3 - I have two amps 8)

Re: Pedal or no pedal?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 11:52 pm
by Invader.CC
I know i'm in the minority for blues players but i do use effects..
Here is my effects chain
Boss TU-2 tuner
Dunlop Crybaby GCB 95 wah
Damage Control Liquid Blues
Monte Allums Rectifier TRi Gain DS-1
EHX Russian Muff
Dunlop Rotovibe
Dunlop Uni Vibe
Dunlop Tremolo
EHX Holy Grail
Smart People Factory I-5 Analog Delay
Monte Allums/Boss Digital Delay

My amps are all high quality vintage Marshall's or reissue Fender tube amps..My guitars and pickups are also high end or mid grade ..It is just my style to use pedals ...I also enjoy the more modern side of blues along with the more traditional blues ..I like to play and hear things from the newer style blues based players like Jack White and the Black Keys..I also play some Robin Trower,Hendrix,Eric Johnson that is almost impossible to play without effects....

Re: Pedal or no pedal?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:00 am
by Invader.CC
Buffalo_Bill wrote:Some basic effects are important, but if you can find them built in the amp, that's the final word in convenience.
I like reverb, overdrive and tremolo, they all came built into my Vox Pathfinder 15R. That little amp is ear blistering loud as is, but i also have a nice, simple 40 watt bass practice amp I can feed into if I needed to get really loud.
Bill


Not to hijack a thread but i think that the Vox 15R pathfinder is one of the most overlooked amps on the market..The amp cost right at $100 and is a excellent tone machine...For a low cost studio or practice amp the Vox 15R needs to be checked out..

Re: Pedal or no pedal?

PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:25 pm
by hollywoodmark
Thanks for the tip. Sounds like that amp is worth investigating.

I found a Vox valvertronix at a pawn shop yesterday. The price was right, but God is that a complicated little thing. Life's too short for that, no matter how good it sounds.

Re: Pedal or no pedal?

PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:50 pm
by maxx england
I had an hour alone in the rehearsal room today with the Hacker and a Behringer OD100 pedal. The mode knob was all the way left, to OD instead of DS, and level and tone were both full up. The drive is about 1/8 of a turn off the stop. The net result is that the 7w Hacker seems to think it's 27w instead and the slide is so rich it stunned me.

The only downside now is that the clarity of sound shows up errors in playing which normally seem to be hidden a bit by transistor amps. Something to think about there, if you're having a bad day, dirty the sound and hide the evidence 8)