I'm not really a pedal guy, but figure I'd pick up a couple to play around with and hopefully achieve some better tones. I use a Crate Blue Voodoo 50w through a Marshall 1960 with G1275s, and primarily use my stock Ibanez Iceman IC200, because my Jackson RR3 never seems to be set up properly and performing as I want it to (damn floyd). I play mostly 80s stuff, Metallica, Iron Maiden and Megadeth, to some Kiss, Aerosmith, and GNR, to newer metalcore stuff like Killswitch Engage, Machine Head and Lamb of God. So high-gain is a must and I like neck pickup bright cleans as well and feel my amp achieves this for me well.

Anyways, the pedals I bought are...

Electro-Harmonix Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai. Although I'd prefer to have something more simple, this pedal wins me over because it does basically everything imaginable with a delay, so where you go wrong? I have hardly even played around with it yet, but I'm sure it will keep me busy and achieve any delay madness I want. The looping and preset functions are handy as well, so an all-in-one pedal is probably what I want.

Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive. This is where I need help. I've read for metal the best settings are gain-0, tone-3-4, clean-3-4, level-10, so that's where it will stay for now. If anyone can suggest any better settings it would be appreciated. I will also be using it to boost cleans, so possible settings for that would be awesome too.

A family shot of my guitar gear to date minus the Jackson because despite its looks I am not entirely happy with it right now. Right now my neck pickup sounds really weak on the dirty channel, does anyone have an explanation for this? It is poorly tuned to D standard right now and I can't change anything because I don't have an allen key that fits anymore, and the nut may be stripped. I have little knowledge of floyds, and it has caused enough problems for me already with the top 2 strings breaking several times near the bridge with little use. Again, can anyone tell me why this happens so often? It is set up with Ernie Ball Light Top Heavy Bottoms and everything is level, holds tunings okay and the action is fine. The guitar is a '97 so pretty old and not very well maintained. I've had it for a year now bought second hand and it is pretty banged up. I have the option of just selling it but I'd hate to see it go because it is such a nice looking, playing guitar. Some advice on what to do with the guitar would be appreciated. Should I try and take it to a professional to set it up well or just ditch it and buy a new guitar, which I plan on doing later in the summer anyways. This brings up another floyd - no floyd debate, which I'm leaning towards either a better quality floyd, or just a hardtail because I feel it is so much easier to palm mute and tuning takes a second rather than an afternoon. Jumbo to regular frets is a big deal for me too. I suppose I can get used to either one, but for chordsy stuff with regular frets I often mute strings accidentally because I gots me some big hands. And I haven't even gotten started on pickups. I'm not a tone freak, and I wouldn't be surprised if pickups make such a small difference that I probably wouldn't even notice it.

I'm leaning towards a Gibson Les Paul, the new Mockingbird Pro X with the Original floyd and EMGs, or Jackson Dinky DKDM-Q with DiMarzios and either a licensed or original floyd, on Musicians Friend is says both, could someone clarify which one it is.


Aside from all that, I've had the Crybaby for a while but haven't gotten the hang of it yet, and it really doesn't sound great and I hear its an easy mod so I wouldn't hesitate to get that done/do it myself.

As for my actual amp, I love my cab, its got lots of low end and looks awesome after the work I put into restoring it, and for the price I paid, the head is pretty awesome as well, and with a couple pedals in front I think I'll be just fine with it. Can anyone tell me if a tube change is necessary? I have no idea how long ago it was done. Will it make a big difference? I have no complaints about the sound right now.

I thought of a couple more questions. I need a footswitch. I could probably get my hands on a Marshall MG 2 button channel/fx loop one. Will any footswitch work? And as for the gear I have now, what is the the signal chain I should have? Anything in the effects loop?

Sooooo, if anyone could help me out with any of my questions or give me any advice as to where to go next, I'd appreciate it. Until then, that's my gear for now, and I'll just keep playing and deal hunting. BTW those pedals costed me $260 CDN for both, and my whole halfstack was $700.

PRS SE Custom 24
Ibanez Iceman IC-200
Jackson RR3
Epiphone FT-120
BC Rich Mockingbird Bass
Crate Blue Voodoo 60
Marshall 1960B
Markbass CMD 102P
Dunlop Original Crybaby
EHX Stereo Memory Man
Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive
Ibanez AF2
Last edited by IcemanSOAD at May 17, 2010,
Check the bridge. You probably have a sharp saddle or something which is cutting the strings, if they keep breaking at the exact same point. Lubricate every point the string contacts the guitar with graphite. If the nut is stripped you should probably replace it. If it's an LFR, the upgrade to an OFR will definitely be worth it.

Changing tubes makes a big difference. Do some reading on recommended tubes for the Blue Voodoo. JJs are generally darker tubes, Tung-Sols are brighter, EHX tubes are brighter and I find them harsh.

Run the Memory Man in the FX loop. Keep the Sparkle Drive between the guitar and amp.
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