#1
A question just popped in my mind. Are there any pedals that "add headroom" to your amp? In other words, making the amp louder without driving the tubes?

I figured volume pedals can't do it, considering they just lower the volume, right?
#2
An eq pedal with a Gain slider or a footswitchable volume drop could both add a headroom band-aid solution, since they decrease the strength of the signal hitting the amp.

However, if you're playing loud enough you'll still get power tube distortion so it's not a complete fix.
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#3
changing the tubes is the only sure fire way to do it.

or speakers
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#4
Quote by bubb_tubbs
An eq pedal with a Gain slider or a footswitchable volume drop could both add a headroom band-aid solution, since they decrease the strength of the signal hitting the amp.

However, if you're playing loud enough you'll still get power tube distortion so it's not a complete fix.


But if I'm just playing loud enough that its still clean, then using an eq pedal would make it louder but keep it clean?
#5
Quote by TechnoLp
changing the tubes is the only sure fire way to do it.

or speakers


I'm not really worried about actually figuring out how to do it. I only play clean maybe 2% of the time, and that's when I play covers. I always go for a overdriven sound
#6
Is this for the Blackheart Little Giant you are getting? EQ pedal might work. Dano Fish n Chips 7 band will do you right for $40. I'd have to research what tubes and speakers those use but those are two areas you could work on as mentioned.

Otherwise, there are no pedals that 'add' headroom. Evertime you add something to the signal chain you subtract headroom. Basically.


Edit: I see you only need cleans 2% of the time. What kind of covers or what kind of clean tones? Sometimes people use a chorus pedal to help.
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Aug 24, 2009,
#7
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Is this for the Blackheart Little Giant you are getting? EQ pedal might work. Dano Fish n Chips 7 band will do you right for $40. I'd have to research what tubes and speakers those use but those are two areas you could work on as mentioned.

Otherwise, there are no pedals that 'add' headroom. Evertime you add something to the signal chain you subtract headroom. Basically.


Edit: I see you only need cleans 2% of the time. What kind of covers or what kind of clean tones? Sometimes people use a chorus pedal to help.


Well the only times I would be using cleans would be for an RHCP song or any GNR song that has cleans in it... I have a question though... What would an EQ pedal do to make the cleans louder? Do they have a volume control on it or something?

EDIT: The tubes in the Little Giant is a EL84 and a 12AX7 and the speaker is a custom Eminence speaker.
Last edited by ItsOnlyGNR at Aug 25, 2009,
#8
uh a clean boost?
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#9
The only effective way have more headroom is to use a higher efficiency speaker.
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#10
you can't just make more headroom on an amp. head room it the amp's clean limit. you can have it as loud an clean as it goes, and the second you put any more signal on there it will start to break up.

the only think i can think if is giving your sound the illusion of being louder, with an EQ or something to make your sound stand out.
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#11
Right.
More efficiant speaker would help. No clue what the custom Eminence is based off of but that would be one place to look. Again, not sure if that helps if you only play cleans 2% of the time and if you like the overdriven tone as is.

EQ's often have a volume slider like the Dano 7 band and the MXR 10 band. If you set all the sliders at '0' then technically, the tone should be pretty much the same. If you bump a frequency up, like a higher end frequency, then you will have a more treble. If you lower the lower frequencies by -5 for example, then you will lower that bass frequency - which may help with playing cleanly.

I didn't think clean boosts would be used to add headroom. Wouldn't that technically lower headroom?

What kind of 12AX7 tubes are they? There are tube brands (Tung Sol) that can be used to provide a slightly cleaner tone. Or - a 12AT7 in V2 for example could help as well.

Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Aug 25, 2009,
#12
Other tubes, other speakers. No pedals
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#13
You could butcher your sound with an EQ pedal to gain a very small amount of extra headroom. A better option (than a $100+ EQ pedal) would be some new preamp tubes.
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#14
Yeah, a 12AT7 might help, but it could just as easily lower the over gain of the amp and you'd not gain anything. What I mean is distortion will come later on the volume knob, but the distortion (or end of headroom if you like) will be at the same or close to the same volume.

Since it only has one preamp stage (I think?) you're basically turning the preamp down by 30 % (12AT7 is consider 70% gain while a 12AX7 is considered 100%) which means you'll need to turn the amp up 30% farther to reach the same volume (IE gain). But now I'm just theorizing since I don't know exactly how an amp works and how much the preamp really affect the headroom.

I don't think an EQ in front of the amp would help much. You could raise the mids to make it cut through, but then the middle freqs will probably just overdrive quicker. If you raised the mids after the power stage (Not really sure you can) or after the speaker (IE a PA) you could make it cut through.

But like 311 said, if you don't need a clean tone I wouldn't worry about it. Just roll your volume down a bit and fake it. No one's gonna notice if you have a dirty clean for a couple of covers. Honestly, if you really need clean cleans you shouldn't get the BH, otherwise, you use the amp the way it's intended, no sense making it something it's not.
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#15
Quote by Kevin Saale

But like 311 said, if you don't need a clean tone I wouldn't worry about it. Just roll your volume down a bit and fake it. No one's gonna notice if you have a dirty clean for a couple of covers. Honestly, if you really need clean cleans you shouldn't get the BH, otherwise, you use the amp the way it's intended, no sense making it something it's not.


That's what I've always done in the past with my first amp, which was a cheap little 15 watt tube amp... Then a year or so after that, without knowing too much about amps at all, I went out and got a Spider III and an FBV Express because I thought that it would help with getting some crispy clear cleans.
#16
I'm sure it did about as much good as a tanning bed does for a burn victim.
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#17
I used to get better headroom by running my RC-20 in the effects loop, running the volume high, and then turning up the amp's volume
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