#1
Hello again lot,

I am looking into buying a gigging amp (just wrote a post on that too). I play clean most of the time but there's a section I need some heavy distortion, but the change needs to be real quick.

I was wondering, what is the poing of having effects on your amp and spending that extra money, if at the end of the day you need a really quick switch so you have to buy a pedal?

Maybe I'm not approaching muy purchases the right way!

Thanks for your help.
Andy
#2
Unless you don't have a footswitch for your amp, changing channels takes no more time than turning a pedal on. Most people use amp distortion as their main distorted sound versus a pedal because if you have a decent amp, it sounds better. I haven't used a pedal for my main source of distortion ever since I got my first tube amp(my second amp). I only use pedals for a boost to drive the tubes a little harder.
#3
Quote by Dysprosium
Unless you don't have a footswitch for your amp, changing channels takes no more time than turning a pedal on. Most people use amp distortion as their main distorted sound versus a pedal because if you have a decent amp, it sounds better. I haven't used a pedal for my main source of distortion ever since I got my first tube amp(my second amp). I only use pedals for a boost to drive the tubes a little harder.
Couldn't have said it better. Most multi channel amps come with a footswitch nowadays, and relying on a pedal for your distortion sound is like trying to mask BO with deodorant (great analogy I know).

But seriously, for me, the best distorted sound comes from an overdriven tube amp. All in my opinion of course, but an amp really is the way to go. There are so many more options with a multi channel amp anyway, that's what I'd do.
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#4
Quote by moskeedog
relying on a pedal for your distortion sound is like trying to mask BO with deodorant (great analogy I know)


Crystal clear sir!

Thank you all for your answers, very helpful!
#5
pedal distortion generally sounds different from amp distortion. there's a time and a place for both.
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#6
It all comes down to your personal preference of sound. I can never get a good tone that I'm 100% happy with out of an amp's built in features. But you can always shop around for a decently priced pedal that suits your needs.
#7
It's all a personal preference thing, depends on weather or not you like the amplifier's distortion channel or not.

My rule of thumb is this when it comes to tonality pick whichever is closest to the sound in your head, or the sound you desire to hit. Go check out your favorite artists and find out what they use, or what element of their sound you want, and then merge that into your own style.

I generally go with the distortion on my amplifier, and if I don't like my amplifier's distortion, I sell/trade over to something I actually like.
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#8
Yeah, don't let me prevent you from buying anything. I personally prefer amp distortion (from a good amp of course), but I know many people who use both, sometimes separate and sometimes at the same time.

Convenience is not an issue, it would be very difficult to find an amp with clean and distortion settings that doesn't have a footswitch, so go with what you prefer.

Don't think though that just because you only need distortion for one song that buying a versatile amp wouldn't be worth it. Like I said, it offers so many more options, even a light distortion is useful for the stuff you play.
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#9
Depending on the context, I usually like to have both sources of clipping. For metal more so from the amp, for alternative/super post-rock more from the pedal. But there is a healthy blend of the two.

Most of the time, I like to have my amp on a slight crunch, but only naturally breaking up with hard hits while being dynamically different when playing soft. Using a distortion pedal helps exaggerate those hard hits with the natural clipping timbre of the pedal and the amp pushed to overdrive. Together it sounds natural, responsive, and expressive.

Are you looking for wall-of-sound distortion? If so, using a Big Muff/RAT in front of an amp like above would get you that. Or a really tight metal crunch? You'll need both a boost (Tubescreamer, clean boost) and a heavily-crunched amp for that.
#10
Several people touched on this but let me repeat. There is really only one way to get that "metal" sound. You have to run a overdrive in front of a high gain tube amp. Pedals can't recreate that tone, at least I don't know of any that can.

Now, since you play mostly clean, it probably doesn't matter that much since you are likely picking an amp based on the clean tone.
#11
Amps do exist that have both good cleans and good distortion. What is this bs?
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#12
Thanks for your answers one more time, I'll try a few combinations of what's available in the shops!
#13
Quote by Cathbard
Amps do exist that have both good cleans and good distortion. What is this bs?


My Mesa Dual Rec Roadster 2X12, has two great clean channels that will get great overdrive as well as getting crystal cean and two great versatile gain channels that do anything from classic rock to modern high gain. I get good metal tones with just the amp's gain and use an old 80s Maxon built TS-9 for lead boost.
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Last edited by Evilnine at Jan 16, 2015,