#1
So I recently snagged a blackheart BH5H all tube head and BH110 1x10 cab.

It's awesome. It was super cheap (about USD$500 for the pair) and it's incredibly clean. It's also loud as hell; the neighbours would likely be at my door with pitchforks if I dimed it.... even on the 3W setting.

It can get a very very nice thick sound (unlike my little 30W spider III which sounds very thin, at best).

So now all I need is the nice heavy and chunky metal tones. I can get nice* heavy distortion from the spider III, but there's no way that I can get that from the blackheart unless I absolutely crank it (no gain dial on this amp ).

So, in the opinions of the various gurus around here, what are my best options for making this thing sound metal, without losing that nice thick tube driven sound? I've hunted through a bunch of the threads in the GG&A section, and have seen a number of suggestions for pedals that might do this, but I'm still a bit unclear on how well some of them mesh with an all tube amp (or if there's even a difference between how different pedals interact with different amps and amp types).

Would an overdrive pedal be best? or a distortion pedal? Is there even a real difference? >.<

Halp


* - okay... so it's not really all that nice
#3
I was recommended a Metal muff. I was also recommended a Blackstar HT-5. But since you've already got the Blackheart, I say go with a Metal Muff. You could always try out some pedals at a guitar center too.
#4
^Do it.

If you want an OD as well, Fulltone is the way to go.
FIGHT MY BRUTE!
Quote by Tackleberry
Only time Ive seen a true single coil in a chrome humbucker housing was chinese knock off where they claimed it was a humbucker but half the housing was empty.
#5
get a good pedal that wont suck your amp tone .

For marshall jcm 800 hi gain ( rock , hard rock and possible some 80 metals )

MI audio Crunch BOX ( 129 $ new )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTdoq7FmLhQ

----------------------------------------------------------------------------


for a Mesa boogie dual rectifier type tone

Dual Resistafier (the 2 channels one , around 175 $ )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXTC1onzLmY


these are the best pedal i heard so far and they are true bypass . a step above most of Boss pedal .


but the metal muff is still a decent pedal and they go cheap on the classified .
Bedroom rock star :

- Gibson Les paul Standard 2001 Honeyburst .
- Agile 3200 Slim
#6
I've seen the dist-x suggested as well. How do the suggestions here compare with that one?
#8
I'm still a bit confused on this. What I mean is, I'm not sure what the difference (in terms of what kinds of tone I can hit) is between an OD pedal and, say, a metal muff.

I'm assuming that:

- an OD pedal amplifies the signal going into the amp, so that it overdrives the pre-amp tubes, before going through the power amp tubes... so the power tubes won't be overdriven, but they'll be faithfully sending the (beautifully) mangled signal to the speaker, at a volume that won't kill small animals.

- a distortion pedal simulates the overdriving of the tubes, and sends the mangled signal to the amp, where it goes through the pre-amp and power amp stages before coming out the speaker.

Is that right?
#9
Quote by havokca
I'm still a bit confused on this. What I mean is, I'm not sure what the difference (in terms of what kinds of tone I can hit) is between an OD pedal and, say, a metal muff.

I'm assuming that:

- an OD pedal amplifies the signal going into the amp, so that it overdrives the pre-amp tubes, before going through the power amp tubes... so the power tubes won't be overdriven, but they'll be faithfully sending the (beautifully) mangled signal to the speaker, at a volume that won't kill small animals.

- a distortion pedal simulates the overdriving of the tubes, and sends the mangled signal to the amp, where it goes through the pre-amp and power amp stages before coming out the speaker.

Is that right?
That's bang on, mate. To my knowledge anyway.

Distortion drives both the preamp and the power valves (found best when cranking a valve amp) while overdrive simply helps clip the preamp section of the amplifier, and a little of the power-amp, depending on what pedal you are using, how hard you are attacking the strings, the output of the pickups, and how high your master volume is on your amp and your pedal.

Another way of saying is this: An Overdrive pedal (OD) uses what you can call "soft clipping", where the gain is inversely proportional to the input signal level. This is typically produced either with back to back silicon signal diodes in the negative feedback path of an op-amp, or with germanium diodes or LEDs back to back in a shunt to ground.

While a distortion pedal will use "hard clipping", where the signal level is restricted within a certain range. It thus compresses the tone and limits it's reaction to notes, which is why shredders use lots of distortion, so when they fluff up, it won't be as recognizable.

I know the first bit makes no sense to normal people like you and me, but the lines following it help explain what it's talking about.

I personally find Overdrive to be the less compressed and more natural of the tones. That is if we are saying that distortion and overdrive is different, which when you are referring to a valve amp pushed beyond it's vaccuums capabilities is not the case. You can refer to them the same way if that is the case.
A simple tubescreamer OD pedal (there are many types and kinds) will help to "unaturally" drive the circuitry and the valves, particularly when played through a maximized amplifier, such as the Blackheart.

But that said, using fuzz or distortion has it's key use, also, and it's really just a matter of experimenting at the shops.
It's a small amp, bring it to a local Guitar Centre and play it through both distortion pedals (hi and low grade) overdrive pedals ("") and tube-driven pedals, such as the Blackstar.

Examples of both:

Cheap OD pedals
Digitech Bad Monkey
Ibanez TS9
Artec Due Blend Driver
Boss SD-1
Rocktron Sonic Glory
AMT Analog simulation series.
MXR GT
Vox Satchurator
Maxon OD
ProCo Turbo Rat

Expensive OD pedals
Fulltone OCD
Mad Profressor Little Green Wonder
Z-Vex Box of Metal
Tech 21 GT
T-Rex Gristle King
Xotic Ac Plus
TC Electronic Nova Drive
Carl Martin Hot Drive
etc etc

Cheap Distortion Pedals
Boss DS-1
Electro Harmonix Metal Muff
MXR Distortion
Digitech Distortion Factory
Danelectro Cool Cat
Marshall Jackhammer
Boss ML-2
AMT Du Hast

Expensive Distortion Pedals
Krank Distortus Maximus
Vox Bulldog
Mad Profressor Might Red Distortion
Keeler Distortion
Xotic BB Preamp
etc etc

Tube ones are like the Blackstar and the Vox. But to be honest, I wouldn't recommend them. The problem really is that they still only run at voltages that are too low for the valve, resulting in a "starved plate" configuration that generates harsh and buzzy distortion.
Now that is, ironically, one of the key elements of distortion, as in some modern valve effects, the "dirty" or "gritty" tone is actually achieved not by high voltage, but by running the circuit at voltages that are too low for the circuit components, resulting in greater non-linearity and distortion. These designs are referred to as "starved plate" configurations, and result in an "amp death" sound. (I got help with that one)
It's not to everyones taste, you see.
Last edited by AngryGoldfish at Jul 2, 2009,
#10
No, you guys are wrong.

Overdrive and distortion are the same thing.



You say: "What?"

An overdrive pedal clips the signal, which is fancyspeak for it distorts it. It's trying to sound like an 'overdriven' tube amp, it's where it gets its name.

A distortion pedal just distorts the signal to a greater extent.

Quote by AngryGoldfish
That's bang on, mate. To my knowledge anyway.

Distortion drives both the preamp and the power valves (found best when cranking a valve amp) while overdrive simply helps clip the preamp section of the amplifier, and a little of the power-amp, depending on what pedal you are using, how hard you are attacking the strings, the output of the pickups, and how high your master volume is on your amp and your pedal.


Wrong. Distortion simulates tube clipping. Overdrive simulates tube clipping.

Quote by AngryGoldfish
Another way of saying is this: An Overdrive pedal (OD) uses what you can call "soft clipping", where the gain is inversely proportional to the input signal level. This is typically produced either with back to back silicon signal diodes in the negative feedback path of an op-amp, or with germanium diodes or LEDs back to back in a shunt to ground.


Both overdrive pedals and distortion pedals use soft clipping (usually diodes, LED's, or opamps) to simulate a tube's soft clipping.

Quote by AngryGoldfish
While a distortion pedal will use "hard clipping", where the signal level is restricted within a certain range. It thus compresses the tone and limits it's reaction to notes, which is why shredders use lots of distortion, so when they fluff up, it won't be as recognizable.


Wrong. A fuzz pedal uses hard clipping, by clipping transistors. This creates a square wave.

Also, the compression used by shredders happens in soft-clipping, because the tubes can't exceed their operating capacities, they provide compression.

Quote by AngryGoldfish
I know the first bit makes no sense to normal people like you and me, but the lines following it help explain what it's talking about.

I personally find Overdrive to be the less compressed and more natural of the tones.


This is because their is less clipping.

Quote by AngryGoldfish
That is if we are saying that distortion and overdrive is different, which when you are referring to a valve amp pushed beyond it's vaccuums capabilities is not the case. You can refer to them the same way if that is the case.
A simple tubescreamer OD pedal (there are many types and kinds) will help to "unaturally" drive the circuitry and the valves, particularly when played through a maximized amplifier, such as the Blackheart.


Actually, the purpose of an OD is to provide clipping. In this scenario you're using it as a tone control and a boost.

Quote by AngryGoldfish
But that said, using fuzz or distortion has it's key use, also, and it's really just a matter of experimenting at the shops.


Yeah.


tl;dr: Overdrive and distortion are the same thing, (distortion), just at different amounts.
Last edited by Mitchell? at Jul 2, 2009,
#11
Quote by Mitchell?
No, you guys are wrong.

Overdrive and distortion are the same thing.



You say: "What?"

An overdrive pedal clips the signal, which is fancyspeak for it distorts it. It's trying to sound like an 'overdriven' tube amp, it's where it gets its name.

A distortion pedal just distorts the signal to a greater extent.
I don't fully agree with that. I have always been told when watching experts build amps that distortion and overdrive should not be mistaken as being the same thing.

Quote by Mitchell?
Wrong. Distortion simulates tube clipping. Overdrive simulates tube clipping.
Yes, it does simulate it. I should of mentioned that. Apologies.

Both overdrive pedals and distortion pedals use soft clipping (usually diodes, LED's, or opamps) to simulate a tube's soft clipping.
I think you keep talking about pedals, I might of been really referring to a valve amp.


Wrong. A fuzz pedal uses hard clipping, by clipping transistors. This creates a square wave. Didn't know about that. I don't remember mentioning anything particularly important about fuzz pedals, but don't take my word for it.

Also, the compression used by shredders happens in soft-clipping, because the tubes can't exceed their operating capacities, they provide compression.
I don't understand that.

This is because their is less clipping.
Yes, I know.


Actually, the purpose of an OD is to provide clipping. In this scenario you're using it as a tone control and a boost.
Once again, yes I know.


tl;dr: Overdrive and distortion are the same thing, (distortion), just at different amounts.
I still don't agree with that. I'll have to find out and get back to you.
#12
Quote by AngryGoldfish
I don't fully agree with that. I have always been told when watching experts build amps that distortion and overdrive should not be mistaken as being the same thing.

At the most basic level, overdrive and distortion are the same thing. You really can't argue that. It's signal clipping.

I think you're getting at the difference in tone in levels/type of distortion. I'm not really talking about that.
Quote by AngryGoldfish

Yes, it does simulate it. I should of mentioned that. Apologies.



Quote by AngryGoldfish

I think you keep talking about pedals, I might of been really referring to a valve amp.


Okay. But where you mentioned overdrive as being the preamp, and distortion being the preamp & poweramp, that's not accurate. Overdrive is when you've turned up an amp loud enough to the point where it exceeds it's clean headroom, creating distortion.

Quote by AngryGoldfish
Didn't know about that. I don't remember mentioning anything particularly important about fuzz pedals, but don't take my word for it.


When you said distortion is hard clipping, that's false. That's why I mentioned fuzz. Fuzz is hard clipping.

See, in reality hard rock 'distortion' is lots of overdrive, but people call it distortion. Overdrive and fuzz both fall under the category 'distortion', but people like to use the word distortion to differentiate between lots of clipping (metal 'distortion') and a little (overdrive).
Quote by AngryGoldfish

I don't understand that.

When a tube clips, it doesn't just cut off the top of the signal wave (hard-clipping), it gently slopes off. This acts like a compressor.
Quote by AngryGoldfish

Yes, I know.

Okay....

Quote by AngryGoldfish
Once again, yes I know.

Okay....

Quote by AngryGoldfish
I still don't agree with that. I'll have to find out and get back to you.


Distortion - alteration of the original sound waveform.

This is what overdrive and fuzz are. They're distortion.

The thing is, people like to refer to lots of overdrive as 'distortion', which is kind of misleading.
#13
Quote by Mitchell?
At the most basic level, overdrive and distortion are the same thing. You really can't argue that. It's signal clipping.
Aye.

I think you're getting at the difference in tone in levels/type of distortion. I'm not really talking about that.
Cool.

Okay. But where you mentioned overdrive as being the preamp, and distortion being the preamp & poweramp, that's not accurate. Overdrive is when you've turned up an amp loud enough to the point where it exceeds it's clean headroom, creating distortion.
Doesn't that then clip the respective amps valves? Aren't you basically just reiterating what I've said? I think I'm out of my league in explaining myself properly. I've only learned a few things from watching and reading, not doing. So forgive me if I seem a little ignorant.

When you said distortion is hard clipping, that's false. That's why I mentioned fuzz. Fuzz is hard clipping.
But you said fuzz and distortion are the same thing. I'm still pretty sure that distortion is known as hard clipping. But once again, I'm going to try and do some more research and ask a few peeps.

See, in reality hard rock 'distortion' is lots of overdrive, but people call it distortion. Overdrive and fuzz both fall under the category 'distortion', but people like to use the word distortion to differentiate between lots of clipping (metal 'distortion') and a little (overdrive).
I see.

When a tube clips, it doesn't just cut off the top of the signal wave (hard-clipping), it gently slopes off. This acts like a compressor.
Are you sure? The diagrams I saw always show that the distorted tone sternly clips off the top and the bottom of the wave form. But on the other hand, overdrive gently slopes it, as you say.

Distortion - alteration of the original sound waveform.

This is what overdrive and fuzz are. They're distortion.
Yes.

The thing is, people like to refer to lots of overdrive as 'distortion', which is kind of misleading.
Very misleading.

I think I'll stop right now because, although I understand our disagrement, I can't be sure of what I'm saying just as much as I can't be sure of what you are saying.
I'm just going to be realistic and say... meh.