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Old 02-04-2013, 05:25 AM   #1
losing battle
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The distortion pedal thread.

That's right UG's most hated pedal is getting its own thread. Problem? I do believe an excellent tone can be achieved with dirt pedals. Although in today's world of cheap affordible amp modelling and readily availible high gain amps its not always the best solution, but with an amp that takes pedals decently they are extremely effective. So let us discuss the bastard son of the pedal world.

Edit
So because I realised this might be a long running thread the need for a better op is essential. While a dirt pedal may not be the perfect solution it is still a solution for people who are unhappy with their current set up especially if budget, living situation and/or the fact that they just play for fun in their living room. Maybe they jam at a buddies house and lugging a half stack because they hate their friends amp.What ever the reason for posting here their questions will be answered to the best of our abilities. Please note if your looking to get a better sound out of a moddeler you might just be better off with a new amp all together. I haven't tried this but it is commonly believed that modeling + distortion = bad. Please when posting a request for recommendations remember to LIST THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION! AMP, WHAT GENRE YOU PLAY, BUDGET, LOCATION AND ARE YOU WILLING TO GO USED
Good pedals on a budget. $0-100 USD
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Good mid tier pedals $100-200 USD
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High end goodness.
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Feel free to PM me about pedal recommendations to add to the list as well as other things I may have missed. I will write a basic pedal setting tutorial in the future as well thank you.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:47 AM   #2
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Wat.

First off, most modern metal musicians use dirt pedals. As a boost in front of their amp. In fact, plenty of classic metal musicians did the same.

If you're talking about using Distortion Pedals for Metal tones through non-metal amps, it pretty much always sounds inferior to an amp that is built to do the same thing.

Personally, I use a Hardwire TL-2 through a PA head into headphones for my practice rig, and it works great for a practice rig.

I've also used it through a Fender Blues Junior live as a backup rig. Again, it sounds great, compared to my Vengeance, which sounds outstanding.

Really, though I don't get the point of this thread.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:49 AM   #3
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I suspect this is a troll thread, either way, it's stupid. Use whatever you want to use, if you like the sound so be it. There are no rules in art.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:02 AM   #4
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We like distortion pedals, nub.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:01 AM   #5
losing battle
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Rarely you see a recomendation for a distortion pedal that doesn't lead to a buy a 6505 band waggon arround here. If you have a modeling amp your better off buying a new amp, but if your unhappy with your sound and have a semi decent amp its an ok option. The way I look at distortion pedals is that its like adding an extra channel to your amp that at a some what sane price. The question is with the distortion do you want a realistic amp like distortion like a Dr. Boogie, something that doesn't exist in amp form or something gritty and lo-fi. I used to run a Jekyll and Hyde into a Randall 3 channel amp. Tl;dr if a pedal is the means to a desired result try it with your gear and buy it.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:27 AM   #6
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Wait. If you mean metal distortion, then yes. They suck. And the better recommendation is to upgrade your amp.

We never said anything about regular distortion pedals.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:07 AM   #7
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It's pretty much like I said:

Metal Distortion pedals are good for certain things, but when it comes to gigging or recording, an actual amp is always going to be better. They certainly have their purposes, but if it comes down to buying a distortion pedal or an amp, I'm going amp all day long.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:13 AM   #8
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ts, i get the feeling that you're fighting a



losing battle.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:29 AM   #9
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To be honest, I really cannot see the point in a single distortion pedal. If you are using a top end multi-effects unit plugging directly into a PA then I understand, but unless you are going for a nasty death/black tone then I really wouldn't use one with an amp live.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
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To be honest, I really cannot see the point in a single distortion pedal. If you are using a top end multi-effects unit plugging directly into a PA then I understand, but unless you are going for a nasty death/black tone then I really wouldn't use one with an amp live.


Ever heard of Boss HM-2? A fine example for that nasty death metal stuff. Even alone with a single amp. There I can agree with TS.
But in my opinion a good amp with a nice OD pedal in front is a much better way to get death metal distortion, provided that your amp doesn't pack "enough" distortion for it. I don't use much myself, so I wouldn't really know.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:43 AM   #11
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I've been looking at Distortion pedals recently. My amp is satisfactory, I just want something a bit different for when I feel like I need it.

The problem is that the usual options tend to be a teeny bit pants. Boss and Digitech make decent enough pedals elsewhere but I'm yet to hear a full on distortion pedal in their current range that I like. The metal muff is 'meh' and other than that, the common names that are thrown about are going for more than 100.

I've found a few pedals that I actually like. The Mesa pedal (can't remember which one is the gainiest atm), Wampler Triple Wreck, Suhr Riot and Okko Dominator are all pedals that I like, but there's a common issue. They're all closer to 200 than 100. During my searches I came across some schematics for the Wampler, okko and suhr and while they're beyond my skill atm, they're not ridiculously complex.

So I've bought a simple fizz kit so I can get a bit of practice and then I'll be attempting one of the above if I feel up to it.

Has anyone else got recommendations for high gain distortion pedals for me to check out?
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemoninfluence
Has anyone else got recommendations for high gain distortion pedals for me to check out?


Well, the new Bogner line sounds good too, but they're expensive as well.
Of course you can argue, but at least when I compared the sounds and features, the Bogner seems to be more valuable. The Uberschall has a built-in boost on top and more potentiometers to tweak, but sometimes that's just worse than normal 3-4 pots. The Bogner Red Ecstasy pedal has a lot more options, but hits a higher price than Uberschall.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:25 AM   #13
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How many professional guitarists really use distortion pedal through clean channel to get their tone? I mean, don't they usually use the drive channel of their amp and boost it with an OD/boost?

I mean, does it make sense to buy an amp that has a good distortion channel and then use distortion pedal for your main distortion sound? And does it make sense to buy an amp with bad distortion channel and use distortion pedals through clean channel either (if you play a lot of distorted stuff)? And I think TS is talking about distortion pedals through clean channel, not OD used as a gain boost through drive channel because that's what everybody does.

OK, I understand using distortion pedals through clean channel if you have an amp that has a really good clean channel and no distortion channels like Fender Deluxe Reverb or Roland JC120 (that has a distortion channel but people don't like its sound).
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:39 AM   #14
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Bogner's Uberschall/ Mesa's Throttle Box are pretty awesome
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:40 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemoninfluence
I've been looking at Distortion pedals recently. My amp is satisfactory, I just want something a bit different for when I feel like I need it.

The problem is that the usual options tend to be a teeny bit pants. Boss and Digitech make decent enough pedals elsewhere but I'm yet to hear a full on distortion pedal in their current range that I like. The metal muff is 'meh' and other than that, the common names that are thrown about are going for more than 100.

I've found a few pedals that I actually like. The Mesa pedal (can't remember which one is the gainiest atm), Wampler Triple Wreck, Suhr Riot and Okko Dominator are all pedals that I like, but there's a common issue. They're all closer to 200 than 100. During my searches I came across some schematics for the Wampler, okko and suhr and while they're beyond my skill atm, they're not ridiculously complex.

So I've bought a simple fizz kit so I can get a bit of practice and then I'll be attempting one of the above if I feel up to it.

Has anyone else got recommendations for high gain distortion pedals for me to check out?


Personally, I think the best High Gain pedal in the $100-ish budget range is hands-down the Hardwire TL-2 Metal Distortion. Honestly, if I could only keep one of my pedals, it would be that one above my EQ, Decimator, and Wah. I don't use it live unless my amp is in the shop, but I use it for practicing, and, like mentioned, my backup rig. It's the best budget-minded Distortion that I've tried, and I went through TONS of pedals when I bought it. Metal Muff, the Boss crap, Barber Dirty Bomb, and a few others who's names escape me. It's like an instant High Gain American tone in a box. The mid frequency is nice so that you can kinda tune it to what you like, but I wish it swept a little further into lower-mids for that nice growl. The Tight/Loose switch is limited in usefulness, though. The loose can give a kinda fuzz-ish high gain sound, but I find it fairly useless. It's got PLENTY of gain on tap. I rarely use it past about 1:00, but I prefer mids over gain.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:46 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
How many professional guitarists really use distortion pedal through clean channel to get their tone?

But realistically, how many of us are professional guitarists? A lot of users on this site may gig often enough, but how many of them are making their living from it?

And sometimes you might want a different distortion sound. And rather than buying another amp, you can get a pedal.

It's not going to make an MG sound like a dual rec, but say if you have a decent, british sounding amp but want a more american sound, you can get a decent approximation rather than having to go out and buy a used mesa.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:37 AM   #17
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I feel like a lot of people get the wrong idea for using distortion in general. Yes, it's true you cannot use a distortion pedal and expect it to sound like a high gain amp, period. If you want to use a distortion pedal to have a gain sound then that's different. You need to be realistic about what you want to accomplish with your sound. If you wanted high gain tones you probably shouldn't have bought that Hot Rod. Clean amps are great, they are very useable for a lot of situations, plenty of people use them to get gain sounds through use of pedals, but it's not the same. So what gain sound do you want? I think what ends up happening here when people ask for distortion pedal suggestions they are looking to turn their mid range sorta clean/sorta gain amp into a jcm800 through use of a pedal, that's where the new amp suggestions come in, trying to turn what you have into something it can't realistically be. I don't know, just my thoughts on it.

For pedals though I like my trusty Rat pedal
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:01 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
How many professional guitarists really use distortion pedal through clean channel to get their tone? I mean, don't they usually use the drive channel of their amp and boost it with an OD/boost?


Loads of them.

Single channel amps exist.

Personally, I think there's some distortion pedals out there that sound fantastic. But as always YMMV.

But at the end of the day, isn't this thread covered by the PBT Q&A thread?
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemoninfluence
But realistically, how many of us are professional guitarists? A lot of users on this site may gig often enough, but how many of them are making their living from it?

And sometimes you might want a different distortion sound. And rather than buying another amp, you can get a pedal.

It's not going to make an MG sound like a dual rec, but say if you have a decent, british sounding amp but want a more american sound, you can get a decent approximation rather than having to go out and buy a used mesa.

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Loads of them.

Single channel amps exist.

Personally, I think there's some distortion pedals out there that sound fantastic. But as always YMMV.

But at the end of the day, isn't this thread covered by the PBT Q&A thread?

You are both right.

Yeah, now that I think, I remember some guitarists that use distortion pedal for their main sound. Randy Rhoads for example used MXR Distortion + (not sure if his amp is a bit dirty though) and doesn't Joe Satriani use distortion pedal through clean channel? He has a 4 channel Marshall JVM amp but only uses the clean channel if I remember right.

Yeah, and I could see myself using a distortion pedal if I had a Deluxe Reverb or something similar.

But many times if you are after good drive sounds, you can get an amp with good distortion channel for the same price or less than a good distortion pedal + clean amp (and the clean channel must also be good enough). Of course depends on the sound you are after.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:31 PM   #20
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I have a Digitech Grunge distortion pedal. It's awful. Much prefer the build in overdrive in my BOSS PW-10 wah.
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