#1
This question is probably best responded to by people with amp or pedal building knowledge.

Recently I discovered that the difference between distortion and overdrive is the clipping type. Soft clipping is overdrive and hard clipping is distortion. Also I found that both types of gain/clipping can be created by both tube and solid-state amplification.

What I want to know is how do you create hard clipping with tubes because I prefer tube amps over solid-state ones but prefer the sound of hard-clipped distortion over soft-clipped overdrive.

My first thought was that a hybrid amp would be the answer with silicone transistors creating the clipping and then that is fed into the power amp for amplification but then I thought it could be done using a solid-state distortion pedal being fed directly to the power amp, bypassing the preamp tubes completely.

Or is there a way to create hard-clipping only using tubes because I'd rather it be done that way.

Thanks,
Miles.
#2
just get a high gain tube amp, that'll work.

what's your budget?

the hard clipping/soft clipping thing is probably a false dichotomy, it's more of a continuum. and with pedals (massive generalisation alert) hard clipping tends to be done with diodes or leds shunted to ground (most distortion pedals, but not all) whereas in overdrive pedals, the soft clipping tends to be done with the diodes in a feedback loop (most ods, but not all).
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
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#3
I think the key is not to think so much about the type of clipping. Just think of the sound you want. If you want high gain distortion, there are plenty of tune amps out there that do what you want. That's why a majority of metal/rock/hardcore bands use tube amps.
Originally posted by primusfan
When you crank up the gain to 10 and switch to the lead channel, it actually sounds like you are unjustifiably bombing an innocent foreign land.


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#4
Hard clipping is created in the same way as soft clipping. There's just more of it. Functionally you could just say 'more' or 'less' distortion when you're talking about tube amps.

So you get hard clipping from a tube amp by turning it up more, or adding more input signal with a pedal or preamp or pickups etc. Tubes go into squarewave just fine, it's just that they soft clip first, unlike transistors that just go from no clipping to lots. So your confusion may just be from articles or people who say 'transistors hard clip, and tubes soft clip.' While that's true, it's misleading. What the statement really should be is "Tubes soft clip more readily than transistors, but both hard clip when overloaded sufficiently."

Anyway, like was said above, this isn't really the way to go about finding your sound. Nobody finds their tone by specifying hard clipping. That just means you like more distortion. That's an easy enough bar to clear.
#6
If you want hard clipping make a clone of a Univox Superfuzz, it's the nastiest sound in the world. It's extreme hard clipping.

or read this if you really want to understand clipping, you might also figure out why high gain makes harmonics scream.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clipping_(audio)
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Last edited by KerNeL_KLuTcH at Jun 18, 2013,
#7
Quote by Roc8995
Hard clipping is created in the same way as soft clipping. There's just more of it. Functionally you could just say 'more' or 'less' distortion when you're talking about tube amps.

So you get hard clipping from a tube amp by turning it up more, or adding more input signal with a pedal or preamp or pickups etc. Tubes go into squarewave just fine, it's just that they soft clip first, unlike transistors that just go from no clipping to lots. So your confusion may just be from articles or people who say 'transistors hard clip, and tubes soft clip.' While that's true, it's misleading. What the statement really should be is "Tubes soft clip more readily than transistors, but both hard clip when overloaded sufficiently."

Anyway, like was said above, this isn't really the way to go about finding your sound. Nobody finds their tone by specifying hard clipping. That just means you like more distortion. That's an easy enough bar to clear.


+1
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?
#8
Quote by Roc8995
Hard clipping is created in the same way as soft clipping. There's just more of it. Functionally you could just say 'more' or 'less' distortion when you're talking about tube amps.

So you get hard clipping from a tube amp by turning it up more, or adding more input signal with a pedal or preamp or pickups etc. Tubes go into squarewave just fine, it's just that they soft clip first, unlike transistors that just go from no clipping to lots. So your confusion may just be from articles or people who say 'transistors hard clip, and tubes soft clip.' While that's true, it's misleading. What the statement really should be is "Tubes soft clip more readily than transistors, but both hard clip when overloaded sufficiently."

Anyway, like was said above, this isn't really the way to go about finding your sound. Nobody finds their tone by specifying hard clipping. That just means you like more distortion. That's an easy enough bar to clear.

That's probably the smartest thing I've read in the last 4 or 5 days.
#9
A Big Muff has a capacitor to soften the knee of the clipping. It doesn't sound like a tube amp does it? There's more to it than simply soft knee clipping.
What Colin said.
I'm a tube freak and run a dimed Marshall to get the base sound I need - I also have two SS overdrive pedals. Find an amp that you like the sound of and then find some pedals to compliment it. Forget all this nonsense about hard and soft clipping; use your ears.
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