I don't have much right now and I'm just learning (coming back to it after years). I have a Peavey Bandit 112 and a Boss Metal Zone. The Metal Zone is great for some specific things but has and awful tone. I was looking for something that can do mild distortion all the way to a death/black metal type distortion but still keeping a good tone. I've been tempted by the Tube Screamer but I don't think will be enough. Also, my amp has a lot of feedback when the gain is past 6 or 7 so if I could lessen that it would be great. I'm not against multi-effects pedals but my budget is around $150. Thanks.
Try to find a used Line 6 Pod pedal. One of the big ones with an expression pedal. You won't need the expression pedal necessarily for what you're going for, but those models have way better tones. Should be able to get something good for that price, used. Long term though, save some money and get a good high-gain amp. Pedals can only sound as good as your amp lets them, and really shouldn't be used for the entirety of your OD/distortion tone. Get an amp with a good distortion tone, and enhance it with pedals, if you want.
What you really need is a new amp.

You'll not be able to get a really good and convincing tone out of that amp even with a very good pedal.
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A new amp is what you need.

But...that's not always an option, I realize. Sell your Metalzone or throw it in a lake, whichever is easier. Get on ebay and find a Boss HM-2 pedal (they're not made anymore, sadly). Don't worry about getting a Japanese model -- the Korean made ones are just as good/capable. This will cover your death metal tone requirement, and then some. I believe Entombed actually used a Bandit w/ an HM-2 for Left Hand Path. It was either them or one of the other Swedish DM bands. I plugged my HM-2 into a very crappy 15watt Fender Squire amp the other day and it sounded just like Left Hand Path -- so the Bandit should sound as good or better. Anyway, it's not really a black metal sound, but you could tweak it to do that sound. Last time I checked, HM-2s are around $80 on ebay.

With your leftover money, you could get a Digitech BadMonkey overdrive for around $45 and that should cover your lower gain sounds. Plus, it will be a nice pedal to have if you ever upgrade to a tube amp. They are commonly used as a boost to push your tubes harder.
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Thanks. There's no way I'm getting a new amp anytime soon because I just got this one. The amp by itself can get a pretty nice tone but it's much better on the clean channel.
Wander over to Wamplerpedals.com and listen to some of the vids.
You may not be able or willing to spend the money on them just now, but at least you'll have an idea what can be done with a pedal and any reasonably good clean channel.
Pro-Co Rat could be good option, very versatile
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I would say with your budget, you can probably squeeze in two pedals. One for high gain, and one for lower gain. I think you would be happier this way, plus you'd have to play with the knobs to change back and forth. I'm going to be an AMT shill again and suggest an AMT drive pedal for the high gain stuff. There's the E(ngl) drive, P(eavey 6505) drive, R(ecto) drive, and B(ogner) drive. These would be the best choices for the ultra high gain stuff in my opinion. They're 130 new, but they come up used a bit cheaper. Here's one on ebay right now.


I have the AMT E1, which is very similar and it absolutely slays. Tight, articulate, crushing, thick distortion.

Then go with something like a Bad Monkey or one of the low-gain Joyos for under $50. A sleeper could be a BBE AM-64. It does the low-mid Marshall kind of sound pretty well and they're very cheap. I had one and it was pretty nice, I just don't have much use for it anymore.
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I can't really recommend a pedal, but I can tell you that the Metalzone has the potential to sound AWFUL, but it can also sound pretty decent if you tweak it a lot. Dial those buzzy highs way back and turn the gain down. It may surprise you.
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Pro-Co Rat could be good option, very versatile

I have a RAT, and it can go from chingy/mild to fuzzy to straight nasty. Might be what you're looking for OP, although the heavier it gets the more of a kick it will need. Has Distortion, Tone, and Volume adjusters.
Last edited by Will Lane at Sep 20, 2014,
I'm quite confused, especially that you said it's better on the clean channel... I've had the exact opposite experience, the clean channel is ok but unimpressive (a bit too bassy), while the distortion is massive while still being fairly clear. Have you simply tried various EQ, presence (especially the latter changes a lot) etc. settings? You can dial in a LOT of different distortion sounds on the Bandit.
MXR M75 is really nice. Everything from a Clean boost to almost fuzz, Really nice eq and responds well to Picking dynamics and volume.
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I haven't tried the M75, but I'm sure it's great, I was thinking about recommending the M77. I have one and while it is basically a tweaked and improved Boss SD-1, the range of gain on it is very large, and while I bought it for boosting my 6505, now that I only have a tiny VHT Special 6 Ultra, I am discovering what it can do as a standalone, and it's really, surprisingly nice.

If you want actual balls out distortion, the M75 is probably great.
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Pro-Co Rat could be good option, very versatile

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I say get a pro-co turbo rat or a mooer black secret (rat/turbo rat clone)

You could also buy a used line 6 flextone instead. They run really cheap and are imo oppinion better then the vypers.
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Last edited by losing battle at Sep 20, 2014,