#1
hi all,

if i have an amp with just a volume knob, no gain, e.g. ibanez TSA15 or vox AC4
obviously i cannot adjust gain and volume separately

so if i want to have a clean tone with
1. higher gain at a lower volume; OR
2. lower gain at a higher volume

is it possible to use a pedal (in the front or in the loop) to get those kind of tones?
what kind of pedals and settings will i need?

thanks in advance
#2
Set the amp to clean tone and use a distortion pedal in front of the amp.
#3
What you're referring to with "gain" is preamp distortion, so if you want distortion at low volumes you generally use a pedal, and if you want a clean sound at higher volumes you turn up the volume.
If turning up the volume you get distortion you don't want, you need a new (bigger) amp.
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#4
1. Overdrive pedal
2. No.
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#5
Put in a 12at7 for the clean headroom then you can mix in pedals.
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#6
Ibanez TSA15 has an OD channel in it so you don't need pedals to achieve distortion sounds. It does have a gain knob but it's just called "overdrive" instead of "gain". But it does the same thing.
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#7
^ +1, the tsa already has a tubescreamer in it.

Quote by Reinima
Set the amp to clean tone and use a distortion pedal in front of the amp.


yeah. or an overdrive (as cath said) or a fuzz. depending on the type of tone you're after.

and yeah you can't really get cleaner tones at higher volumes. You can't really do that with a master volume amp either (once you run out of headroom you run out of headroom), but you do have slightly more control over it where you can minimise the amount of preamp distortion by keeping the gain knob low (which I suppose might give you a little bit more headroom, in effect).
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#8
A 12at7 is gonna give more clean headroom...
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Last edited by mmjohn at Feb 16, 2014,
#9
^ not really.
A 12at7 would give you less gain, that you could get from anywhere else (bost of any sort), but the headroom depends on the power amp, of which you can't really change the headroom.
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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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#10
Yeah it will... Just like an au7 will do the same but with less volume. Take a valve jr and check the difference between an at vs ax....
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#11
Quote by mmjohn
A 12at7 is gonna give more clean headroom...



wow really?
you mean.... replacing a 12ax7 by 12at7??

so at higher volumes the sound will still be clean? (at least cleaner than the 12ax7?)


And also, everyone, I was talk about clean gain, not overdrive...
the tubescreamer of course gives overdrive.
Don't really know how to put it, but, there should be a clean tone with higher gain...


oh well, after all that discussion, i think getting another amp is the way to go, haha
what's an inexpensive clean amp with enough headroom? say about 30W, 50W
#12
Quote by jszy
wow really?
you mean.... replacing a 12ax7 by 12at7??

so at higher volumes the sound will still be clean? (at least cleaner than the 12ax7?)


And also, everyone, I was talk about clean gain, not overdrive...
the tubescreamer of course gives overdrive.
Don't really know how to put it, but, there should be a clean tone with higher gain...


oh well, after all that discussion, i think getting another amp is the way to go, haha
what's an inexpensive clean amp with enough headroom? say about 30W, 50W

Yep an at7 will give you more and better clean tone .
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#13
Using a lower gain tube is functionally the same as not turning up the volume as far.
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Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
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#14
It will still keep you signal cleaner longer than a 12ax7.... It was a very common thing to do with the VJ's when using pedals....
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#15
Yeah, by making it quieter. The volume control traditionally sits between V1a and V1b. Now go away and think upon that far a minute or three.
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Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
Last edited by Cathbard at Feb 17, 2014,
#17
Quote by jszy
And also, everyone, I was talk about clean gain, not overdrive...
If you're talking about clean gain, the whole answer becomes a bit weird, because clean gain results in a volume raise, so what you asked would look like this:
Quote by jszy
if i have an amp with just a volume knob, no gain, e.g. ibanez TSA15 or vox AC4
obviously i cannot adjust gain and volume separately

so if i want to have a clean tone with
1. higher volume at a lower volume; OR
2. lower volume at a higher volume

is it possible to use a pedal (in the front or in the loop) to get those kind of tones?
what kind of pedals and settings will i need?
Plus, a tube screamer with the gain on 0 is a boost, it doesn't add any distortion.
Well it shouldn't at least.

Just try and give us an example of "there should be a clean tone with higher gain..." so we can help you achieve what you actually want.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#18
it should be very easy to manipulate the ac4. with that little wattage, you should be able to find a sweet spot where even the guitar pickups (do you have humbuckers?) can go from clean to a mild crunch. an overdrive should be able to go a pretty good crunch tone, and with a onverdrive set right or a BOOST you should be able to saturate the heck out of that thing.

and doesnt the ac4 have a 1/4 watt power switch?
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#19
Quote by Cathbard
Using a lower gain tube is functionally the same as not turning up the volume as far.


I haven't found that to be the case, at least on my Palomino. I note that on that amp, the gain is between v1a and v1b and the volume is immediately prior to the PI.

Putting a 12au7 in v1 gave me vastly more control over the gain, making the gain pot useful across a much broader range, which was exactly what I thought it would do.
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#20
He's talking about amps without a gain control.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#21
Lower gain at a higher volume requires more wattage. More power = more clean headroom, allowing you to crank the amp up more before you get the power valves breaking up and saturated. Remember too that speakers matter. Some speakers are simply louder than others and having more speakers is also going to give you more volume at any given setting. If you want a really clean tone at a loud volume then you're going to want to have at least two speakers if not four and you'll want an amp with power over 25w. 20w or lower, don't expect to be able to crank it to band volume without the 'clean' getting really saturated and breaking up. Even 25w may not be enough. This is why amps with power over 50w exist. Most of those single volume control amps do not come with enough power to be cranked up that loud without breaking up. They're kidn of supposed to give you that classic rock breakup by the time they're loud enough to gig with.

For more gain at a lower volume basically you need to run the amp clean and stick a distortion pedal in front of it. If you stick an overdrive in front of a totally clean amp you'll be bumping the volume up and adding only a tiny bit of clipping. A distortion or fuzz pedal is what you want to give you considerable gain without the volume jumping up.
#22
Quote by Cathbard
He's talking about amps without a gain control.


Ah hell,very well, ignore me...

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#23
Quote by Cathbard
Using a lower gain tube is functionally the same as not turning up the volume as far.


that's what i thought
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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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#24
and i didnt know what i meant when i was talking about clean gain lol, but I DO understand what you guys said

thanks everyone, i guess buying another amp with higher wattage and bigger speakers is the way to go