#1
What is the best way of tightening up the gain on an amp? I'm currently running an Engl Screamer combo, Sovtek 5881s and JJ 12ax7's in the tube sockets. However, the gain can get a little loose when it is up high (above 2pm on .

Would I get tighter gain if I ran an OD/Tubescreamer in front of the amp and rolled back the gain on the lead channel, or am I going mad? It isn't a huge problem at all, and a noise gate (it only really feels loose on the guitar with EMGs, which is odd, although that is also the only one with ambient noise from the amp) might help things.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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#3
Yepp
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#5
Quote by DespisedIcon
An OD would do some good.


Yeah a popular choice is the Tubescreamer, but if you on a tight budget, you've always got the Bad Monkey.
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#6
I'll have a look at one then. I assume I'd run it with the gain high and level where needed for the volume. I've heard people running with low gain and the level up high, but is that just for a solo volume boost?

Thanks for the advice, I'll have a look and see if I can find a Tubescreamer. Which one should I go for though - the TS808 or the TS9 (or the Maxon version of the above)?
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#7
Quote by Hidden Hippo
I'll have a look at one then. I assume I'd run it with the gain high and level where needed for the volume. I've heard people running with low gain and the level up high, but is that just for a solo volume boost?

Thanks for the advice, I'll have a look and see if I can find a Tubescreamer. Which one should I go for though - the TS808 or the TS9 (or the Maxon version of the above)?


You will have to experiment with one to find out what works for you.

Maxon OD808 is supposedly great, haven't tried one out though.
The Bad Monkey doesn't work very well as an OD but rather works well as a transparent boost & you can find one real cheap too.
#8
maybe, but bear in mind engls don't always like boosts all that much. i'd want to try it first before forking out (or buy from a shop with a good return policy).
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#9
Aah, interesting Dave. Would it be worth getting a Bad Monkey to experiment with (it's quite awkward to get to a shop with my amp as I don't have a car) and if that sounds ok, go for something nicer like a Keeley modded TS9/808, or just leave it if it sounds good?
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#10
i haven't tried a bad monkey.

I'm not saying a boost won't work, just you'd want to try it first to make sure it will.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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#11
Thanks for the heads up. What would be a good alternative if the boost sounded terrible?
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#12
it's hard to say, you need to find if the amp hates all boosts or just some boosts. some pedals work better with some amps than others, etc.

what's your budget?
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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#13
Ideally I want to keep it as low as possible, say Tubescreamer levels, around £100. I'm also getting hold of a delay and some new pups, so this GAS is getting quite pricey.
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#14
the tonerider american overdrive is allegedly (I haven't tried it but I have their chorus and distortion pedals, nice pedals) a true bypass TS9 (or very, very close), for £50. Might be worth considering.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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#15
Ooh, sounds interesting. I assume that's the same Tonerider as make the pups (might be getting some for my SZR since BKPs are rather pricey)? Given that the BM is £45 I might give it a go.
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#16
yeah, same company. there are clips on its website.

i haven't tried the toneriders, but they're meant to be very nice for the price. I was thinking about getting one for my edwards LP but haven't got round to it, as usual, lol.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?
#17
Quote by Hidden Hippo
I'll have a look at one then. I assume I'd run it with the gain high and level where needed for the volume. I've heard people running with low gain and the level up high, but is that just for a solo volume boost?

Thanks for the advice, I'll have a look and see if I can find a Tubescreamer. Which one should I go for though - the TS808 or the TS9 (or the Maxon version of the above)?


imo, that works best (gain way down, level way up) for tightening the amp because it adds that push to the amp without adding much gain. as far as which overdrive to get, any tubescreamer tubescreamer-based pedal like the bad monkey should do the job well, but if you really want the real deal, most metal bands who use overdrives like this use the maxon OD808
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#18
Cheers. I'm wondering whether it is because the EMGs output slightly lower than my other pups (the volume needs to be changed so I don't blow my ears on another guitar) hence why it can get a little loose. I can't really compare though as the stock pups on my 2 Ibbys are mediocre to say the least and get a bit muddy at high gain.

Edit: Hmm, is £60 for a modded TS7 a reasonable deal? Basically they've modded it to add an IC holder to hot swap between op amps and include the JRC4558D and the RC4558P as well as adding carbon resistors. It's a brand new TS7 (£45 I've found, stupid economy) with the mods added.
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Last edited by Hidden Hippo at Jun 27, 2010,
#19
depends on how well modded it is, i guess.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?
#20
Quote by Dave_Mc
depends on how well modded it is, i guess.


Fair enough - hadn't really thought about it. Will sleep on it overnight, but the guys (eBay) sells a lot of modded pedals it seems.
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#22
That's an easy enough thing to do - I'll just wire in a second battery harness. I assume that just increases headroom?
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#24
Just get a stock TS7. Carbon Comp resistors just add noise and the stock 4558 is just fine. And pretty much any difference between the stock Tubescreamers is negated when used as a boost. You want the bass cut to tighten things up so don't go for any of the modded ones that say they get rid of the mid hump. And run it with the gain all the way down, volume all the way up.
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#25
Thanks for the advice. I assume they're not that hard to mod anyway if I chose to? I did electronics GCSE (although that was 5 years ago) so could locate and solder a component if needs be.
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#26
Depends on your technique. The traces aren't exactly heavy duty so if you're not careful you could lift them and have to make repairs. But TBH I've never had that problem modding anything and I'm not the greatest solderer. The only mod I'd do would be to swap the chip for something a little more hi-fi like an OPA2134 for lower noise. A capacitor swap would be slightly beneficial but probably not worth the effort or cost. Messing with the clipping section could be cool but since you'll be using it as a boost it shouldn't make a huge difference. But you could remove the diodes and replace them with jumpers for a ton of clean output to really slam the input of your amp.
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#27
Quote by Dave_Mc
maybe, but bear in mind engls don't always like boosts all that much. i'd want to try it first before forking out (or buy from a shop with a good return policy).


i dont think it is that engls dont 'like' boosts. i think it is that many common amps (eg marshalls) really want/need a boost to get tight and saturated. on the other hand, engls sound tight and saturated in the first place. adding on the boost serves no real purpose. the sound becomes slightly fuzzier and thats about it.

i have not played a screamer before. so, if you are finding the screamer is not tight chances are that it WILL benifit from a boost, unlike the other engls. like the others have said however, the only way you will know is trying.
#28
Most people say the Screamer is a pretty versatile amp - it's nice and tight when playing something like Metallica, but going for heavier gain like BFMV or similar it can get a little loose. I doubt the savage/Invader would need something like a boost though.

I think I'll try and grab a TS7/TS9 when I'm next shopping - seems like a good deal for the money, and if it sounds rubbish it's not exactly a giant problem.
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Last edited by Hidden Hippo at Jun 28, 2010,
#29
Quote by Way Cool JR.
Buffered can and usually is just as good on good name brands I prefer it over true bypass especially on long chains. All it does is boost your signal when the effect is off for you don't get your tone sucked like a true bypass can do.
LINK


I should address this statement before it gets taken out of hand. Buffered pedals (as opposed to true bypass) really only have a subtle effect on your tone and for many guitarists, will work just fine.

If you plan on adding many pedals onto your board, running a cable over longer distances, or plan on interfacing with Rack gear........then you're going to run into problems. Over the years, (yeah, I'm on older rocker) I've had quite a few friends make it in this business and EVERY single one of them struggles getting their gear to work at larger venues or with higher quality interfaces.

You may think that if you "made it big" that it would be no big deal and you'd just buy new gear. However, once you define your tone its extremely difficult to alter the gear without altering your tone (you know, the tone that got you "big" in the first place?).

Also, you're going to have problems with true-bypass pedals as well. But those issues are usually resolved easier then buffered pedals.
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#30
I don't run many effects at all to be honest. At the moment just a fuzz and an EQ. Eventually I'll add a delay and chorus to the loop and probably a whammy and wah in front of the amp, but I suppose I could always attempt a true bypass mod to the TS7. I also only play in my room, not for an audience, although tone is important to me. I think I'll give the TS7 a go, if it sounds rubbish then I'm sure I can shift it on for not too much cash.
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#31
Quote by TheFunkyAvocado
i dont think it is that engls dont 'like' boosts. i think it is that many common amps (eg marshalls) really want/need a boost to get tight and saturated. on the other hand, engls sound tight and saturated in the first place. adding on the boost serves no real purpose. the sound becomes slightly fuzzier and thats about it.

i have not played a screamer before. so, if you are finding the screamer is not tight chances are that it WILL benifit from a boost, unlike the other engls. like the others have said however, the only way you will know is trying.


yeah, sure.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?