#1
If I use solid-state stomp boxes with my tube amp, will it suck the tone? Are effects just things that alter the incoming signal, and therefore shouldn't suck tone at all, or is it more complicated than that?

Basically I want to get a distortion pedal to boost the gain on my Marshall dsl401. What should I do?
#3
They don't make tube stomp boxes, well Maxon makes one, but its just one pedal. What you should get is an overdrive pedal, like the Maxon OD-9, and turn the volume up but leave the gain off, so you get a clean volume boost. This extra volume will push your tubes harder giving you more distortion. (This an accepted method, not some crazy thing that will break your amp.) Effect pedals can definitely suck tone, but good ones won't. Also, make sure the pedal your getting is true bypass, so it won't suck tone when you turn it off. (The OD-9 is true bypass, while the Ibanez tube-screamer is not.)
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3 ram, nice

#4
i just use my eq and use that to boost the signal into my amp to get a more distorted sound and it sounds really great for leads
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#5
What zgbgydug said. Tube pedals are more for extravagant tone and effect. The SS pedals' signal will be processed by the amp anyway.
#6
Right. Okay. So I leave the gain off the pedal, and just use the volume on the pedal. So basically I'm just adding a boost in the clean signal, and I then put gain on my amp, which distorts more because a higher clean signal is coming in, right?
#7
Quote by Danjo's Guitar
They don't make tube stomp boxes, well Maxon makes one, but its just one pedal. What you should get is an overdrive pedal, like the Maxon OD-9, and turn the volume up but leave the gain off, so you get a clean volume boost. This extra volume will push your tubes harder giving you more distortion. (This an accepted method, not some crazy thing that will break your amp.) Effect pedals can definitely suck tone, but good ones won't. Also, make sure the pedal your getting is true bypass, so it won't suck tone when you turn it off. (The OD-9 is true bypass, while the Ibanez tube-screamer is not.)


they do make tube stomp boxes, EHX has a lot of them, Blackstar has a few...

also, the true bypass is bullcrap, your signal will degrade if all you have is true bypass pedals, you need a few buffers in there. Pedals with bad buffers (BOSS amongst others) will crap out your tone, but pedals with good buffers won't, they'll strengthen your tone and prevent you from losing some frequencies. A long chain of true bypass pedals is like making your cable longer, and the longer your guitar cable is, the more electric current you lose
#8
solid state pedals are fine. and sometimes, so are *gasp* digital pedals! throw what you know about amps out the window, it doesnt really apply to pedals. or at least not in the same way.

tube pedals can sound great. but a lot of the time they can be a gimick. you have to hit the tube with enough voltage for it to work, otherwise it is a waste. so SS pedals are typically just as good, for most things. and once we are talking things like reverb, digital can be quite nice too. there are pedals that suck tone, so you do have to watch out for them. mostly they are the cheaper things, so they are easy-ish to spot at times.

for a distortion/overdrive box, you do want analog. tube is up to you, and there are some nice tube dirt pedals out there. for boosting your amp, a nice tubescreamer or clone is a popular choice.

as for true bypass, well its nice at times, and not at others. every kind of bypass has its benefits and drawbacks, so its not something you need to be horribly concerned with. a couple true bypass pedals are fine, but you shouldnt have all tb pedals. you probably dont want all buffered bypass either, you want a nice mix that is dependent on your setup.
#9
How do overdrive pedals make tubes work harder? I thought the only way to make power tubes work harder are to (basically) turn up the amp's volume/power amp section?
#10
you can do the same thing by turning up the volume on an overdrive or boost pedal. you are increasing the signal level, except you are doing it before the amp.
#11
your sound is an electrical current until it's transformed to sound, so when you use a boost, you actually use an active box to make your current flow stronger. An amp's overdrive is when the electrical current is flowing too hard in the tubes, making them clip because they can't take the huge current passing by. That's the basic of overdriven tubes.
If you increase the current, it overdrives the tubes ;-)
#12
Quote by Darkflame

If you increase the current, it overdrives the tubes ;-)


actually, it's voltage, not current. u n00b!
#13
Quote by adstr123
If I use solid-state stomp boxes with my tube amp, will it suck the tone? Are effects just things that alter the incoming signal, and therefore shouldn't suck tone at all, or is it more complicated than that?

Basically I want to get a distortion pedal to boost the gain on my Marshall dsl401. What should I do?


Basically if you use even a single transistor in your signal path the fragile harmonics will get destroyed by the crystal lattice in the transistor and suck all your tone, resulting in a digital mess.

Basically, the only real solution is to use only all tube pedals. Get yourself a tube delay and a tube screamer, just nothing solid state or digital (they mean the same thing).
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#14
Quote by STABxYOU
Basically if you use even a single transistor in your signal path the fragile harmonics will get destroyed by the crystal lattice in the transistor and suck all your tone, resulting in a digital mess.

Basically, the only real solution is to use only all tube pedals. Get yourself a tube delay and a tube screamer, just nothing solid state or digital (they mean the same thing).


This. Toanz 4 dayz
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#15
Quote by STABxYOU
Basically if you use even a single transistor in your signal path the fragile harmonics will get destroyed by the crystal lattice in the transistor and suck all your tone, resulting in a digital mess.

Basically, the only real solution is to use only all tube pedals. Get yourself a tube delay and a tube screamer, just nothing solid state or digital (they mean the same thing).

yeah, cuz that toob in the tubescreamer is so cool, it turns on everytime you stomp on the pedal dudz

and it's red, that's so br00t4lz
a bit small though
#16
Quote by Darkflame
yeah, cuz that toob in the tubescreamer is so cool, it turns on everytime you stomp on the pedal dudz

and it's red, that's so br00t4lz
a bit small though


If it was any smaller it'd be full of crystal lettuce and would steal yer t0nez.
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#18
Quote by Darkflame
wtf is crystal lettuce btw, never understood the concept lol


It's what Mr. Dumble should eat more of before his heart explodes.

Also, electronz can survive longer in a vacuum cleaner than they would in a solid-steak crystal lettuce.
Last edited by Seref at Aug 31, 2010,
#19
My overdrive pedal is tube, so it's crystal lettuce remains intact, and my toanz will never be the same. Cuz you done goofed.
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#21
Okay, fine... Party pooper.

Here's the real explanation of where the crystal lettuce (lattice) joke is from. It's a video of Alexander Dumble explaining why and how a tube amp is tonally superior to a solid state amp.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVTj08qTwGw

A lot of jokes get made about it. Don't know how it started as it's actually a pretty good explanation for what's going on in amp tubes and transistors.
#22
This has got weird.

Back on topic.... right so I understand. SS can be just as good, apart from that weird purist earlier who claimed that even a single transistor in your line up will completely destroy your tone... ? I'm pretty sure that's not true. Jimi Hendrix used a fuzz face. That has a transistor in it. He sounds awesome. And I daresay with all the effects he used he had more transistors too. But I get what you're saying about too many true bypass etc. will ruin tone.

So if I use an od pedal to boost my electrical clean signal coming out of my guitar to work the tubes harder, will I also get a volume increase because I've boosted the signal? Or just more break-up?
#23
If your running on the dirt channel of your amp you will probably be close to the limit of your amps headroom. What will happen is that the pedal will add more *distortion* rather than volume, but if youve got the pedal set to - level max drive 0 - then it will give a slight dirt boost and still sound quite natural.

About True bypass, the reason why you do not want all true bypass pedals is because it essentially makes your cable 30+ feet, and if you run lots of pedals, and/or long cable runs you could end up having 60+ foot of cable. What this tends to do is increase the capacitance in the cable which in turn rolls off the high end of your signal( treble) making the sound duller.

Hope this helps!
#24
Quote by adstr123
This has got weird.

Back on topic.... right so I understand. SS can be just as good, apart from that weird purist earlier who claimed that even a single transistor in your line up will completely destroy your tone... ? I'm pretty sure that's not true. Jimi Hendrix used a fuzz face. That has a transistor in it. He sounds awesome. And I daresay with all the effects he used he had more transistors too. But I get what you're saying about too many true bypass etc. will ruin tone.

So if I use an od pedal to boost my electrical clean signal coming out of my guitar to work the tubes harder, will I also get a volume increase because I've boosted the signal? Or just more break-up?


1. That guy was just joking. He's using a solid state amp.

2. Yes, you will experience a slight level increase.

And no, electrons do NOT 'survive' better in a 'vacuum' than they do in a 'solid state crystal lattice'. Some basic atomic theory would tell you that, and that is certainly not the reason why SS amps sound different when compared to a tube amp. Dumble's explanation has gotten so many jokes because he was trying to wax poetic on something that requires technical explanation.

What's also amazing is that he equates harmonics with electrons when they are very, very different things.
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Last edited by Raijouta at Sep 1, 2010,
#25
Quote by Raijouta
1. That guy was just joking. He's using a solid state amp.

2. Yes, you will experience a slight level increase.

And no, electrons do NOT 'survive' better in a 'vacuum' than they do in a 'solid state crystal lattice'. Some basic atomic theory would tell you that, and that is certainly not the reason why SS amps sound different when compared to a tube amp. Dumble's explanation has gotten so many jokes because he was trying to wax poetic on something that requires technical explanation.

What's also amazing is that he equates harmonics with electrons when they are very, very different things.

Watch the rest of the kaiser dumble thing, its horrendous xD It's like a parody, later on the kaiser guy gets a band to play some of his spastic guitar music.
#26
Right. So I'll experience a slight signal boost but not loads because I'm already running close to the max headroom of the amp.

Thanks everyone! I've learnt tons in like, 20 posts overall. UG is amazing.