#1
I have a peavey delta blues 115 and i want to hear it at its best, but I practice primarily in my family home and can't put the volume past 3 when people are home. Is there a way that I can experience my amp's full potential, that sweet tube "break up" that everyone talks about so much? Would getting an overdrive pedal mimic this with the amp at lower volumes? What volume would my amp need to be around to get this sweet natural overdrive/breakup I hear so much about? I have a Suhr riot distortion, which i heard great things about, but so far I really don't like very much. Perhaps I just need to meddle with it more but it just sounds too "creamy" and "middy" for my tastes. I want to sound like SRV.
#2
Boost the front with a tubescreamer type pedal.
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#3
Quote by Robbgnarly
Boost the front with a tubescreamer type pedal.


what do you mean by boost the front? Just put the pedal in the front of my chain? Will this work if I'm only using a tubescreamer?
#4
Quote by RyanMW2010
what do you mean by boost the front? Just put the pedal in the front of my chain? Will this work if I'm only using a tubescreamer?

Use the tube screamer as a boost. Level max, gain 0, tone to taste. This only boosts the input signal it does not introduce gain from the pedal. Your tone will be fatter and you will get break up at lower volumes much easier.

I use a Digitech Bad Monkey and a GFS Greenie for boosting my amps.
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#5
i will warn there are many devices sold for this purpose, but imo many of them have drawbacks that don't provide the whole experience of a fully driven tube amp.

driving a preamp with a boost or OD pedal does nothing to drive the power amp or speakers

driving the power amp with an attenuator does little to drive the speakers

working the speakers harder with various technology (like variable efficiency speakers) does little to drive the power amp.

playing at any kinda low volume does not change your perception of hearing via the Fletcher Munson / equal-loudness contours.

they are all tradeoffs that attempt a more driven tube amp experience but will fail on some level. don't believe all the snake-oil solutions people are selling.

Quote by RyanMW2010
what do you mean by boost the front? Just put the pedal in the front of my chain? Will this work if I'm only using a tubescreamer?


yes, boosting the 'front of the amp' means you are driving the input gain stages by running the pedal into the input of the amp. the pedal doesn't necessarily need to be in front of you effects chain, it only needs to be in front of the input of the amp.

a tubescreamer is not the only solution, but about any type of boost pedal or OD pedal can perform the task of driving the input stage of a tube amp.
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Last edited by gumbilicious at Oct 26, 2013,
#6
that will only give you preamp tube distortion, though. if you're willing to rely on your amp's preamp distortion already it's not going to make much difference. To clarify- you may well prefer the tone with a boost. but it's not any more "natural" than just using the amps overdrive channel. you're still not getting power tube distortion at low volume levels.

how loud for power tube distortion? LOUD. Depends on the amp, your pickups, etc., but normally you're talking 3-4 on the master volume at least, maybe more.
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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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#7
Shit. So basically the consensus is that the amp needs to be driven and very loud for that true breakup. Damn. Guess I need a practice space. I haven't heard what my amp can do yet and I'm kind of bummed on that. For now, would my suhr riot distortion work as a boost if i put gain on 0 and use the volume knob etc as suggested? If not, I'm just going to sell it. I'm coming to loathe that pedal.
#9
really, you need to play fairly loud if your amp is of decent wattage. best way is to get a low wattage amp, like a ac4 or something.

however, thats not the SRV tone. he has a dumble, which is magic in of itself dont even try to mimic, but it was 100 watts. chances are, the power section wasnt breaking up. chances are he was boosting the preamp ....the preamp wired by jesus, shiva, allah etc himself/herself.

but yes, you get different harmonics, different response, generally brighter tone, and a crunch that almost cannot be replicated with a pedal when you boost tubes naturally.

in terms of preamp breakup, generally a good way is to turn the gain to the point where its clean but if you hit the string hard it starts to "crunch" and then boost it the full way there with a good creamy OD, transparent, and natural sounding.

i really like my tweaker because its VERY easy to get a good breakup out of the preamp. very good for pulling this off, part of the reason i bought it.

_________

i just switched my rig up. i was running 100% clean, CMAT mods OD for crunch, and then channel 2 for higher gain, channel 2 + OD for the most gain.

however, you get a response from a tube amp that you just cant get out of a pedal. just not possible. the CMAT MODS is one of the best pedals ive heard/played, and its just not the same as letting your amp do the work.

after all, if pedals could give every one what they wanted, nobody would be selling amps today as thy are. it would just be rack mounted power amps (just the clean power sections). obviously thats not the case.

or, you buy a axeFX or a kemper....but those are about 2,000.....so yeah.
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#10
I was not thinking you wanted power tube breakup, that is gonna be really hard, but look at the Eminence Maverick or Reignmaker they are speakers that can attenuate themselves.
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#11
I find that the dr z brake lite works wonders in my deluxe reverb. screw it on inside the back (helps if it's an open back cab) set it on quiet (has increments 0 (loud) to 4 (quiet...er) and drive the power-amp without going deaf. obviously you won't get the speaker breakup, and the general hair-standing-up-on-neck vibe you can only get by playing blooming loud, but it's better than just driving your front end with a pedal. that way all that happens is you end up just hearing that one pedal ALL the time, and no matter how transparent that pedal is - it's not quite the same...

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Last edited by DeviousByNature at Oct 26, 2013,
#12
Personally, and this may just be me, but I found that the sweet spot on my DSL 100 is Noon on the volume, and a remarkably low 9 o'clock on the gain, lead 1. When it is that loud, and that is REALLY loud, lately I've been getting a saturated sound that has a really nice edge and thickness, with as much gain as the amp on about 1 olock gain. I consider this to start hitting the "driving the power tubes" point on my amp. The tone is just ridiculously delicious, carries well, and sounds clear yet ballsy. I'm so incredibly surprised it can be that thick at that low levels of "gain". It is thick and dirty, yet not at all mushy and sloppy. If I need to, I do hit the front with a pedal for that little extra bite. Haven't done that in weeks though, and I'm super satisfied.
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#13
do things kinda backwards. turn the volume to 8-10 and use the preamp volume control for your volume control. this will work the poweramp section. then as mentioned use a tubescreamer in front. this will give you something kinda close to what you want at volumes you can live with.
#14
^ I'm not sure that'll work at really low volumes. if you have the master at 10 and the preamp volume/gain at 1, you're still not getting powertube breakup. when the master is at 10, normally it's effectively out of the circuit, so now you (more or less) have a non-master volume amp with the gain control acting like the volume control would on a non-master amp (except with far more preamp gain/distortion available). On a non-master volume amp you'd have to turn that volume knob up to 3-4 to get power tube distortion (as i said earlier in the thread) and the same thing applies here. at lower volumes you're still going to be getting preamp distortion, especially if you boost the thing with an OD pedal.

Quote by RyanMW2010
Shit. So basically the consensus is that the amp needs to be driven and very loud for that true breakup. Damn. Guess I need a practice space. I haven't heard what my amp can do yet and I'm kind of bummed on that. For now, would my suhr riot distortion work as a boost if i put gain on 0 and use the volume knob etc as suggested? If not, I'm just going to sell it. I'm coming to loathe that pedal.


it's worth a shot. it'll probably have more distortion with the gain on 0 than an OD pedal (and probably isn't voiced as well as an OD tends to be to work as well), but lots of players use a distortion like that as a boost, too, so it's worth a try. if it doesn't work as well as you like, no harm done and at least you know.

Quote by RyanMW2010
btw, dave, i love your sig. what's your beef w/ chappers?


no real beef, I just don't like the way that at the start he was sort of masquerading as a "regular forum dude" when he's just a glorified salesman. also the quote was just funny, which is the main reason why it's there- it's there because it's funny rather than because it's at chappers' expense.
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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?
#15
I have beef. Salesman is an understatement, dude is an outright liar, either that or he's just an idiot with no business having as much clout and following as he has.


On topic, there's really no way to get poweramp breakup at low volumes. See if you can find some ~1W amps to try (not Blackstar). Listen to Youtube vids if you have to. Poweramp breakup is NOT for everyone. Just because it has the "legendary" status that it has, doesn't mean that you'll even like it.

I can't stress enough that poweramp breakup doesn't equate to good tone. Amps these days are designed for preamp breakup - they're designed to sound good at low volumes, in your room, using the preamp for distortion. It's mostly just a matter of finding the amp that has the right preamp distortion tone for you.

You don't need to "find out what your amp really sounds like" - what you hear is the way it was designed to sound.
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