#1
Hi guys

What would be your preferred weapon of choice for boosting the signal on a DSL40c?

I play all types of music from pop, hard rock and blues and am looking for something to make solo's stand out. I use a Fender American Deluxe Strat and an Ibanez RG1570z if that helps.

I'm guessing that there's probably enough gain under the hood on this amp so maybe just a pure signal boost rather than boost/overdrive pedal? I'm open to all suggestions though as I'm not really sure where to start as there's too much choice!

Thank in advance for any advice.
#2
Your everyday tubescreamer is probably a safe bet.

What's your budget? You could check out the Earthquaker Devices "Arrows". It's not your traditional boost, I recommend watching their demo video of it. EQD has a couple of other, simple boost pedals that you might like.

You might also like a treble boost pedal, like the Arc Effects Gamut. It could give your guitar some presence if you need to cut through.
Last edited by guitar/bass95 at Oct 22, 2014,
#3
Hi TK and thanks for your response.

I had thought about a tubescreamer but wasn't sure as I'm assuming there should already be enough gain on the DSL? Or is that the type of pedal most would go for rather than a straight signal booster just to knock it up a few decibels?

I'm just after something that will cover all styles of music but would also add a bit more juice to the bridge single coil on my strat and a killer tone for the bridge humbucker on my Ibanez RG when soloing.

Please excuse my naivety. I'm just moving across from a modelling amp and want to get a pedal rig slowly built mainly buying second hand from Gumtree and Ebay where possible.
#4
A tubescreamer seems like a good option. Just turn the drive all the way down and adjust the volume to get the wanted clean boost. add some drive if you want to add or change character of the tone.
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#5
I don't think that you're naive at all The tubescreamer can be run with practically no distortion, that way it acts as a clean/tone boost. I think that a lot of people like it better than a straight signal booster because of it's versatility when compared to them.
Last edited by guitar/bass95 at Oct 22, 2014,
#6
Sparkle drive is a safe bet, transparent, has a clean boost as well as grit/eq section.
Budda zen drive also great option, has tubescreamer and clean boost plus switch to disengage the famous low end cut of the tubescreamer clones.
I like these two the most as they can act as both boost and drive if needed.


Mxr micro amp is probably the closest to just clean boost but might as well get an eq so you can tailor frequencies if needed, Mxr is good eq, either the 6 or 10 band.
#7
boss sd1

Quote by Goochster

I'm guessing that there's probably enough gain under the hood on this amp so maybe just a pure signal boost rather than boost/overdrive pedal? I'm open to all suggestions though as I'm not really sure where to start as there's too much choice!


That normally doesn't work so well (at least in my opinion/experience) because genuine clean boosts normally are full-range, and to boost a high gain tone you generally want some bass cut to keep things tight.
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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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#8
Dave I never considered the SD-1 but will definitely check it out as they're quite easy to acquire at reasonable second hand prices. Thanks, great advice from you as always!

Also thanks everyone else for your sound advice I'm going to check out reviews of all pedals mentioned.
#9
what speaker are you using? an sd1 can be a bit fizzy with g12t75s, but with less fizzy speakers an sd1 normally sounds downright badass with a marshall (or marshall-style amp). Arguably better than a tubescreamer, which can be a wee bit polite/smooth/middy with a marshall (don't get me wrong, a TS still sounds good with one, just IMO an SD1 maybe sounds slightly better).

only thing is, they have bypass bleed if you crank the drive up on them. you probably wouldn't be doing that if using it as a boost, but worth pointing out (it can be cured with another buffer in front, but that's a faff, not to mention additional expense, if you weren't planning to put another buffer or buffered pedal there ). Ironically enough, the cheaper daphon SD1 clone actually doesn't have the bypass bleed (though, if mine are anything to go by, the boss sounds marginally nicer, or at least it has a little more level boost on tap).
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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
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#10
Check out the ehx Soul Food too. It's probably my favorite boost, very transparent but it has the tone tightening characteristic of a tubescreamer type pedal.
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#11
DSL40C's are a bit on the tinny side of things. A normal tubescreamer wouldn't be my choice for such a shrill amp. The answer is:



Either that or swap it for a JCM2000 DSL401.
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#12
Thanks all I think's deffo between the SD-1 and the TS. Gonna start stalking Ebay!
#13
my experience is the opposite of both cath and lucky there- i'd have said a TS was a lot smoother than a timmy, and also I found my soul food didn't have enough control over the low end for what I wanted.

Not sure what's going on there, they know what they're talking about.

Maybe I don't.
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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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Et tu, br00tz?
#14
That's not the problem anyway. The tubescreamer cuts a shitload of bass out. That's not what you want on a DSL40C. If you insist on a tubescreamer, get a Green Rhino or even a Bad Monkey. You need the extra tone controls with that amp.
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Last edited by Cathbard at Oct 23, 2014,
#15
Thanks Cathbard

I'm definitely going to look at a Bad Monkey as well. I think it will probably be that or the SD-1 for now as my budget is fairly limited. Second hand TS's seem to be like rocking horse s**t and they're not cheap!

I've also heard other people saying that putting an EQ pedal in the effects loop is another good idea? What do you all think?

It's a bit daunting for me building up a pedal collection after relying on my Spider Valve MKII 112 for so long. For now I'm just after a boost,wah, delay and chorus. I know Boss seem to get a bad wrap but they seem reliably built and fairly good value so I'll probably take a look at them for the other pedals.

My other alternative was to get a second hand Boss GT multi effects but I thought I may as well stick with the SV if I was going to do that. I know as an amp the DSL40c is superior to the SV but wouldn't putting a Boss GT in front of it be similar, as the Boss GT in itself is a modelling device whereas the modelling is already built into the SV?

Anyway I'm trying to keep it fairly cheap at the moment but will upgrade as I can afford it.

Thanks all for your help. It's very much appreciated.
Last edited by Goochster at Oct 24, 2014,
#16
Tubescreamers and SD-1s are basic as ****. They've been done way better a million times over.

Check out the Way Huge Green Rhino and MXR M77, respectively.

If you have money to piss away, check out the Earthquaker Palisades. You'll never need another drive again.

If you want something capable of being transparent, but also flexible, then the Paul Cochrane Timmy is your guy.

The EHX Soul Food is cheap and it's a pretty big deal (Klon). I think it's kind of wasted as a boost though, and overrated as a standalone. YMMV.


^ EDIT ^ The answers to your questions depend entirely on how exactly you plan to use the GT. It is a very flexible unit. You don't have to use any amp sims on it at all if you don't want to (you can use it solely for FX if you want to).

Don't get caught up in Analog/Digital hype. It's a long road of bullshit. Just listen to your ears. The Boss GT FX (modulation in particular) are pretty great. I wouldn't use any digital unit for drive though. It's just not there yet on budget (read: non Fractal/Kemper) units. Will be soon.
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Last edited by Offworld92 at Oct 24, 2014,
#17
Thanks for your help Offworld92

Interesting comments about the GT. I'll take that on board.
#18
Quote by Cathbard
That's not the problem anyway. The tubescreamer cuts a shitload of bass out. That's not what you want on a DSL40C. If you insist on a tubescreamer, get a Green Rhino or even a Bad Monkey. You need the extra tone controls with that amp.


yeah if the bass cut is a problem then you want one with a bass control
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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?
#19
Bad Monkey is always a safe choice on budget. Basically a tubescreamer clone with expanded EQ. Too much low end cut? Add some. Not enough low end cut to keep your 8 string guitar chugs tight? Cut away some more.

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#20
Yeah considering you can pick one up for ~£20 at the moment, it's hard to go wrong. It has a little bit of "blanket over the speaker" syndrome, even compared to my cheapo joyo, but unless you had a better ts-type next to it to compare it to, I doubt you'd notice it. Plus unlike most of the cheapo ones, it's actually built pretty well and is fairly reliable (I think, hopefully cath or someone more mechanically/technically-minded than I am can confirm). I'd sort of trust the BM not to crap out on me, and the same can't be said for a lot of the other cheapos.
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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?
#21
I've also heard other people saying that putting an EQ pedal in the effects loop is another good idea?

I was gonna suggest an EQ but probably not necessarily in the FX loop for what you want. I say 'not necessarily' cos now you're talking about running extra cables which is a royal pain, plus it may have too deep an effect on your tone in the loop for what you're after.

Something like the Boss GE7 has a global gain slider for a flat signal boost (or cut) and otherwise lets you manipulate certain frequency levels to get a subtle (or dramatic) tone shift - perfect for getting clear of the mix without completely morphing your sound. Running it in front of the amp should work a treat but by all means experiment.
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#23
Quote by diabolical
Sparkle drive is a safe bet, transparent, has a clean boost as well as grit/eq section.
Budda zen drive also great option, has tubescreamer and clean boost plus switch to disengage the famous low end cut of the tubescreamer clones.
I like these two the most as they can act as both boost and drive if needed.


Mxr micro amp is probably the closest to just clean boost but might as well get an eq so you can tailor frequencies if needed, Mxr is good eq, either the 6 or 10 band.


godddamn i love my zendrive.

ironically enough my next OD is going to be a sparkle drive.

i am not a fan of OCD's ((although i have one) never found a good use for it.

tubescreamers are the classic boost though.
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#25
All good suggestions so far. Tubescreamer or SD1 is a good choice and gives you two options of symmetrical and asymmetrical clipping depending on which flavor you prefer. The Timmy was actually designed to do exactly what you are wanting... push a Marshall amp. If you are looking for more of a volume boost with little alteration to your tone you might want to check out the MXR Microamp and the BBE Boosta Grande. They fill a similar void, the MXR is a little more transparent (as in the higher the gain going into the front of the amp the more treble you receive along with the volume), whereas the BBE will roll off more and more treble the higher you push the boost, making it appear to sound exactly the same on louder. Tons of options at various price points but these are the most frequently used boxes in my experience.
#26
Maybe a seperate EQ altogether? Fish and Chips works fine on a tight budget, or the MXR for a better build quality.

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#27
Have you upgraded the tubes and speaker? You're chasing rocking horse shit trying to get a better tone out of those things until you do.
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#28
Quote by Cathbard
DSL40C's are a bit on the tinny side of things. A normal tubescreamer wouldn't be my choice for such a shrill amp. The answer is:



Either that or swap it for a JCM2000 DSL401.


go to #2 for me
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#29
Thanks all for your suggestions. The amp is completely standard at the moment. After forking out for a new amp I'm not ready to start upgrading it just yet.

I've gone for a used SD-1 for now. I'll trial that for a while and then perhaps try a bad monkey, tube screamer or timmy if it doesn't suit.
#30
Rocking horse shit it is then.
Good luck.
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#31
^ I agree that upgrading the speaker normally helps a lot (unless there's already a good speaker in there), and even tubes if the stock ones are poor will help a lot, but for the price of a used SD1 I'm not sure he's going to go too far wrong either. Plus a boost will do things neither the new speaker nor tubes will do (admittedly, the same could be said for any of those three things).
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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?
#32
Hi again

I got my SD-1 yesterday and did some messing around to see how it could be usable as a boost. I thought the best way for me to set it up would be to put the level up to 100% and put the gain down fairly low as I don't really need any extra distortion. I then put the tone in various positions until it suited.

Maybe I'm not using it correctly but it doesn't really seem to boost the volume. Or if it does its only very slight. It definitely colours and thickens the tone a bit though. Admittedly I've not cranked my amp up yet so maybe that's what I need to do to get the best out of it.

Any extra pointers from anyone on getting it to boost my volume a bit so I can stand out when soloing would be a great help. Or do you think that just the fact that it thickens the tone would be enough to stand out when soloing?
#33
If its in front of the amp, it will not boost the volume at all. When you are in distortion channel the preamp is already maxed out, which is why its distorting, and boosting even hotter signal into it makes it distort even more. Usually the amp sounds better with the gain turned down and then pushed hard with overdrive. Plus the overdrive pedal colors and tightens the sound.

If you want volume boost experiment with putting it into the FX Loop if your amp has one and boost the power amp.
Last edited by MaaZeus at Oct 30, 2014,
#35
yeah what MZ said

either try in the loop, or you can try turning the amp gain down a little and it should boost the volume a bit (as well as the distortion).