#1
I use a Marshall DSL401 as an amp and generally I'm very happy with it. It doesn't do everything I would like but it's the best I could get in my price range. I like the overdrive channels largely because it gives me the sound of my youth (80s Metal) but it's rather less effective at reaching the distortion levels I like that can be found in more modern Metal like A7X, Disturbed and BFMV. As a result I started wondering if there was a pedal that could help me along with this but I really know nothing about pedals so I really need some help.

I'm guessing that the two basic approaches would be to either use a distortion pedal through the amp's clean channel or use a pedal to boost the amp's own overdrive channels. Because of the way the DSL is set up I suspect it might make more sense to boost the existing overdrive as the clean channel doesn't have its own volume control but I accept I may be wrong in this. So, firstly, should use a pedal on the clean channel or the overdrive channels? Secondly, what pedal would be best to give me that kind of high gain sound?

Another more minor point; when I play my amp in the home at low volume, would a pedal help to maintain a good distortion despite the fact that the volume is low?

I know it's all kind of open but I really am operating in the dark here so by all means educate me as well as giving me suggestions. The only two pedals I know are the Tube Screamer and the Seymour Duncan Metal Mayhem but I've no idea if even they would do what I want. Any and all advice gratefully accepted.
Gibson Les Paul Studio with Catswhiskers pickups
PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 with Creamery pickups
Fender Standard Stratocaster with DiMarzio pickups
Takamine GN30
BluGuitar AMP1
#2
I had assumed that this was a problem that was simply grounded in my own lack of experience and people with more knowledge than me would have plenty of ideas. As plenty people have now looked at this thread but nobody has been able to make a response, I assume it's rather more problematic than I thought! Is nobody able to offer anything?
Gibson Les Paul Studio with Catswhiskers pickups
PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 with Creamery pickups
Fender Standard Stratocaster with DiMarzio pickups
Takamine GN30
BluGuitar AMP1
#3
Well your two options are correct.
The pedal to boost the gain of your overdrive channel is an overdrive pedal. Popular options include the Bad Monkey, Tubescreamer, Fulltone OCD or Fulldrive, etc. You would put the pedal volume all the way up, and only add a small amount of drive.

That's probably the option that is more often recommended, but it depends on your particular amp.
Hopefully some more folks will see this, as I'm not much help!
#4
Well, you've been more help than anyone else so far and given me an insight into how they work so thank you. I guess it suits me that it's best to boost the amps existing drive channels so now it's a case of which one would work best for what I want.
Gibson Les Paul Studio with Catswhiskers pickups
PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 with Creamery pickups
Fender Standard Stratocaster with DiMarzio pickups
Takamine GN30
BluGuitar AMP1
#5
i would say get a distorion pedal dont go for the mayhem go for a radial tonebone classic it gives you every single thing you could imagine in a distortion pedal u would be happy with it
#6
another idea is alot of bands like a7x scoop there mids try that before you buy anything
#7
Please don't listen to him ^.


I'd recommend trying out a Fulltone OCD. They're great pedals and decently priced. You'll want to try it out with your set up, so if you know anyone who has one, or if you use a store's amp and bring your guitar, that'd be good.

Ibanez Tubescreamers are popular as well. I don't like them a whole lot, but it's a pretty subjective type of stompbox. It'd be worth your while to try out a couple.

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#8
Thanks, I have a couple of ideas now. The Bad Monkey is incredibly cheap compared to the others as it's only £45 whereas the Fulltone OCD is £129. I thought that was expensive but as the TS 9DX is £134 I guess it's the going rate. I assume all of these will allow me to reach the modern high gain levels I'm after.
Gibson Les Paul Studio with Catswhiskers pickups
PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 with Creamery pickups
Fender Standard Stratocaster with DiMarzio pickups
Takamine GN30
BluGuitar AMP1
#9
I bought the Bad Monkey a while ago to boost my Laney GH50L, which is already a very high-gain amp.
I tried out a few different pedals in my search, and the Bad Monkey is, for the price, as good as they get.
The Fulltone OCD and the Maxon pedals are better, but I don't think they're worth the extra money, personally.
A boost pedal IS what you'd want though, so look into the Bad Monkey and the Boss SD-1, because they're cheap and seem to do the job fairly well.
Member of the Laney Cult
#10
I contacted a reasonably local store that does a wide range of top quality pedals (though not the Bad Monkey) and they surprisingly suggested the Metal Muff. I was under the impression that this was a full distortion pedal and what I was after was merely an overdrive. Perhaps I don't fully understand the difference and this is indeed what is needed to push my Marshall as far as I want.
Gibson Les Paul Studio with Catswhiskers pickups
PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 with Creamery pickups
Fender Standard Stratocaster with DiMarzio pickups
Takamine GN30
BluGuitar AMP1
#11
Quote by Doadman
I contacted a reasonably local store that does a wide range of top quality pedals (though not the Bad Monkey) and they surprisingly suggested the Metal Muff. I was under the impression that this was a full distortion pedal and what I was after was merely an overdrive. Perhaps I don't fully understand the difference and this is indeed what is needed to push my Marshall as far as I want.

The Metal Muff IS a distortion pedal, like you thought.
The distortion on it is really good though it won't sound like your amp anymore.
You really want a pedal like a Fulltone OCD, Bad Monkey, Boss SD-1, Ibanez Tube Screamer, MXR Microamp etc.
Those things boost and tighten up the sound quite a bit.
I guess the Metal Muff could be used as a boost, but it'd be a bit of a waste of money.
Just my thoughts.
Member of the Laney Cult
#12
i'm not trying to be a dick or anything, but to say that it was the "best i could get in my price range" is very wrong. Even if you got it used, you can pick up something with more gain and just plain better, and will do what you want for around the same price

with that said...

do not get a distortion pedal for the clean channel, unless you want it to sound sub par, and really thats the easy way out, and is not recommended

getting a overdrive might work, but theirs a couple things:
-i wouldn't get something like a tubescreamer, it didn't really produce enough gain, so overall get a good one (fulltone ocd for a more transparent one)
-You'll probably have to get a noise gate (isp decimator) to really use this option at any kind of non bedroom playing volume

personally i would sell the amp and get something that will do all of what you want and be better quality for around the same price.

for the record how did you get the dsl, and how much was it?
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right Metallica is a given. Personally I like to pretend the bus exploded and killed them all in '86.

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#13
I bought the amp on Ebay. It was a year old (I saw all the receipts) and is in absolutely mint condition. It had already had the valves changed to a full set of JJ Tesla valves and the speaker had been upgraded to a Celestion G12T-75. It cost me £280 and given what the amp costs new I thought that was a very good price. I did look around for amps from manufacturers like Engl and Mesa but they seemed to be few and far between and what was available was quite a bit more expensive unless the condition was relatively poor.
Gibson Les Paul Studio with Catswhiskers pickups
PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 with Creamery pickups
Fender Standard Stratocaster with DiMarzio pickups
Takamine GN30
BluGuitar AMP1