#1
Serious Question:
Why do guitarists care about spending thousands on that perfect amp and perfect tone, and then use fx processors and pedals to 'enhance' their tone?

I ask because I think if you're going to use a processor or pedals, you might as well just get any amp with a transparent clean.

Sorry if it's been asked before, happy to be linked to the appropriate thread.

Cheers
#2
Because you have to spend as much or even substantially more to get a processor that can compete with a good amp. Even then, it's debatable. I'm yet to hear a processor live that can truly compete.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
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Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#3
Quote by Cathbard
Because you have to spend as much or even substantially more to get a processor that can compete with a good amp. Even then, it's debatable. I'm yet to hear a processor live that can truly compete.


Do you think you can tell the difference between the 5150 simulator on the Axe-FX and the real thing? Really the Axe-FX is a great tool for any guitarist who needs multiple tones. The only simulator I hate on it is the Dual Rectifier amp sim. Glenn Fricker did a great video on this:

Th shootout starts at around 1:40

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EtxHlJ2FPo
Fender MIM Strat HSS (DiMarzio Crunch Lab)
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If you want, I can mix/master your tracks for free just so I can practice and who knows, maybe you'll love what you hear! Hit me up.
#4
I've only heard one AxeFX gigging and it sounded shit. Could have been operator error I guess.
I blow Pods off the stage regularly.

Maybe they're all cases of operator error but as I said, "I'm yet to hear a processor live that can truly compete."
And in your example, the amp is heaps cheaper so what's the friggin point? A $2k processor to replace a $1k amp? Loony tunes.
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
#5
Not so much my question, for example cathbard, you have a heap of marshalls and the Randalls - so why bother colouring over the natural sound with your GT100?
Gear:
Fender American Standard Strat
Zoom G5
Blackstar HT1 mini stack

Epiphone G400 SG Goth / with Emg 81 +85
LP kit
Jackson RR24m
Jackson Dk2M
Maton EM225c
Bugera 333XL
Randall RA412XL
ISP Decimator G String
Boss Tu-2
Boss RC-2
#6
Quote by Cathbard
I've only heard one AxeFX gigging and it sounded shit. Could have been operator error I guess.
I blow Pods off the stage regularly.

Maybe they're all cases of operator error but as I said, "I'm yet to hear a processor live that can truly compete."
And in your example, the amp is heaps cheaper so what's the friggin point? A $2k processor to replace a $1k amp? Loony tunes.


If you only want a 5150 sound, then yes, a 5150 is better.

But what if you want a 5150, AND a Framus, and a Rectifier, and a Plexi, and a JCM800, and this and that...

For someone who only wants 1 tone, yes, the Axe-FX is a waste of money, but if you want the tone of several classic tube amps, I see the appeal of an Axe-FX.
Fender MIM Strat HSS (DiMarzio Crunch Lab)
Peavey 6505+ 112

If you want, I can mix/master your tracks for free just so I can practice and who knows, maybe you'll love what you hear! Hit me up.
#7
Quote by henza_x
Not so much my question, for example cathbard, you have a heap of marshalls and the Randalls - so why bother colouring over the natural sound with your GT100?

Because sometimes you need more than just the amp's sound. All I use it for these days is boost/OD and wah but I did need more and may again one day. I never use the amp modeling on the GT-100 and I can't imagine that I ever will except in emergencies. I just use the "normal" effects and the MIDI.


BV, I have an RM100. I have Bassman, many Marshalls, Mark 2C and SLO in one amp and can buy modules for other amps any time I need 'em - and it's all done with tubes. Me no need no filthy modeler.
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
Last edited by Cathbard at Mar 20, 2015,
#8
Pedals give more variety. They can also produce tones that an amp alone can't. Try making a wah wah sound without using a pedal. Pedals don't "enhance" your tone - they give you more possibilities and variety. Also, the same distortion pedal doesn't sound the same through different amps. There are also different ways of using the same pedal. Using an od through an already dirty amp gives different results than playing it through a clean amp.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

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Yamaha P115
#9
Other than my overdrive, I see effects pedals as more of a seasoning to the main dish that is my amp tone. Used sparingly, it's awesome and can enhance the performance/song. But anything overdone sounds awful.

As for the Axe vs a real amp thing I can see the point of it for a gigging/touring musician. An Axe and a power amp in a small 4u rack is significantly lighter than a 5150 or 800 head (or if you just do Axe to FOH, that's even lighter still), and more reliable. Even if you have a great tech work on your amp before a tour, you always run the risk of blowing a tube or something on tour. It's just a security thing. Like mentioned before if you are replacing one $500-600 head with a $2000 AxeFx, there's little to no point. But when you use 3-4 different amp tones during the show and a boatload of FX and you want to be able to switch any of them around on the fly the Axe is a godsend.
Gibson RD Silverburst w/ Lace Dissonant Aggressors (SOLD)
Electra Omega Prime Ceruse
Fender Franken-Jag Bass

Amps and the like:
Laney VH100R
Seismic Luke 2x12
Dunlop 105Q Wah
Gojira FX 808
Line 6 M9
#10
To put it as simply as possible: You are not canceling out the tone and response of a good amp by using FX pedals with it, you're just adding something extra to it.

This even applies to clean amps - transparency isn't necessarily a good thing because too much of it can end up sounding cold and sterile to some people.
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#11
Silly thread is silly. This is like asking someone why they would buy a Corvette and then put better tires on it, better exhaust, engine mods, etc. Shouldn't they be perfectly happy with the stock car?


No. You can ALWAYS make something better. I don't view my amp as my whole rig. My whole rig consists of my amp, cab, speakers, pedalboard/pedals, pickups, and my guitars. Hell, even the tubes I selected were selected for a reason. They are all one instrument, when you really think about it. Pedals and processors can help you get more out of the gear you already have, and add variety to the sounds you can make.
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Last edited by KailM at Mar 20, 2015,
#12
That's a good analogy, although mine is more like

Why would you buy a ferrari and take out the stereo and put in a bose system and then take out the seats and put in your own ones and then paint it bright green since you don't like red?

Why didnt you get a green car with a bose system in the first place
Gear:
Fender American Standard Strat
Zoom G5
Blackstar HT1 mini stack

Epiphone G400 SG Goth / with Emg 81 +85
LP kit
Jackson RR24m
Jackson Dk2M
Maton EM225c
Bugera 333XL
Randall RA412XL
ISP Decimator G String
Boss Tu-2
Boss RC-2
#13
When it comes to distorted amps, the amp is a necessity.
Even if you get a bunch of great overdrives & distortion pedals, nothing is going to give you the same fix as a big tube powered circuit board designed to make a specific sound, instead of coupling other aftermarket parts together and hoping they comply with each other to make a good sound. Not that it isn't doable..it just ain't the same thing.

Also if you try and push a "all in one amp" idea, nobody wants to buy an amp that has Reverb, delay, modulation effects & whatever else in it..because likely many people will not need the FX, plus the amp circuit itself will take precedence, so the FX could be not that well designed in comparison.

TL;DR: Why the **** not? Innovation/experimentation/improvement is good.
#14
Quote by henza_x
That's a good analogy, although mine is more like

Why would you buy a ferrari and take out the stereo and put in a bose system and then take out the seats and put in your own ones and then paint it bright green since you don't like red?

Why didnt you get a green car with a bose system in the first place

Because they didn't come in green with a bose system?
You're looking at it wrong anyway. My GT-100 is't there to replace sounds in my amp, it's there to add effects that the amp doesn't have - and no good tube amps do. I don't remove shit, I'm adding to it. No replacement is being done.
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
#16
Thanks Cathbard and Blompcube for the explanations

I am probably thinking about it incorrectly.

My new understanding: You start with a good base and build on top of that as opposed to an empty slate and building your tone exclusively from pedalboards on top of that.
Gear:
Fender American Standard Strat
Zoom G5
Blackstar HT1 mini stack

Epiphone G400 SG Goth / with Emg 81 +85
LP kit
Jackson RR24m
Jackson Dk2M
Maton EM225c
Bugera 333XL
Randall RA412XL
ISP Decimator G String
Boss Tu-2
Boss RC-2
#18
Quote by henza_x
Thanks Cathbard and Blompcube for the explanations

I am probably thinking about it incorrectly.

My new understanding: You start with a good base and build on top of that as opposed to an empty slate and building your tone exclusively from pedalboards on top of that.


Yeah pretty much.

There are definitely bands that do what you were saying. The one that comes to mind for me is Opeth. They used Laney GH100Ls with a Boss GT10, and the Laney basically only served as a power amp for the GT10, their tones were pretty good with that setup. I think they are using the Axe FX now.
Gibson RD Silverburst w/ Lace Dissonant Aggressors (SOLD)
Electra Omega Prime Ceruse
Fender Franken-Jag Bass

Amps and the like:
Laney VH100R
Seismic Luke 2x12
Dunlop 105Q Wah
Gojira FX 808
Line 6 M9
#19
^^^And coincidentally, I now hate everything they do on their new albums...
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#20
Quote by henza_x

Why do guitarists care about spending thousands on that perfect amp and perfect tone, and then use fx processors and pedals to 'enhance' their tone?

Sorry if it's been asked before, happy to be linked to the appropriate thread.


Asked before? Ya think?

Like fifty years ago in 1965 when the Rolling Stones dropped Satisfaction and guitarists perked up and said, "What IS that sound and how do I get it?" Or when Jimi Hendrix showed up with an Octavio and Fuzz and wah? Or when the Beatles got all creative in the studio?
#22
It all depends on your needs and your price range. If you are a hobbyist then think small. Buy a good, quality practice amp, maybe a 1 x 12" max and mic it if you need to. If you have extra dough, spend it on your guitar. Say you have a $2000 budget. Spend $1200 on the guitar, minimum. Good guitar, okay amp >> Eh guitar, cherry amp, right?

If you are a teacher, well then you might want a variety of amps, say one student wants to learn some classical and the next is into Dave Matthews, followed by Dream Theater and whatever... Perfection nor live performance are really factors here. Get a close approximation of whatever sound and go.

No if you are a pro musician then your instruments are an investment in your career. It's like owning an arc welder, might as well have a good one if you're gonna weld for a living, right?

Buy the best damned arc welder money can buy.

For less money, the amp matters more. Effects units generally suck at the lower end price range. Invest in effects WHEN you already have a decent amp and extra cash to spend.

As others have said, it's the cherry on top, not the cake.
#23
As was said, I don't think anyone here is using pedals AS their tone. I use a Maxon od for a boost on the Marshall, I could achieve a similar tone without using it but I think it sounds better with. That was the same deal to me with my 6505+ and probably a lot of amps.
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#24
My amp doesn't do "brootz", nothing near it. But sometimes I like to chug and shred. My amp also doesn't have built-in delay or looper, and I use those pretty heavily. Does it mean I'm not satisfied with my amp? **** no! The built-in fx on cheap modeling amps are horrible sounding and a pita to use regardless. Maybe I rarely use most of my pedals but I'm glad to have them for when I do.

Though, it really is a silly question, you should already know the answer.
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#25
an interesting ? that ultimately fails due to misunderstanding. think of the amp like a cake. cake in itself is good. now think of fx as the icing which makes the cake taste even better. some guys might want chocolate some vanilla a few might want sprinkles on it to.

i wouldn't use the amp sims on a multi-fx with a real amp myself. the fx like delay and chorus yes. overdrives and distortion again most likely no. that of course is just me. i use a POD for recording but honestly when used through either of my amps it sounds like ass except for the fx i mentioned.

pedals are a whole different ball game and myself i use them to enhance my amp and my overall tone. as mentioned an amp (without onboard fx) usually won't have much more than reverb built in and so you use out board fx. an overdrive can certainly enhance the sound and fx like delay and chorus can add to your sound. it's an individual thing. honestly amps are individual as well. you can get amps that are basic and others that have a ton of bells and whistles.
#26
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Pedals give more variety. They can also produce tones that an amp alone can't. Try making a wah wah sound without using a pedal. Pedals don't "enhance" your tone - they give you more possibilities and variety. Also, the same distortion pedal doesn't sound the same through different amps. There are also different ways of using the same pedal. Using an od through an already dirty amp gives different results than playing it through a clean amp.


+1
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#27
BTW, who cares how you get your tone? Both guitarists in the military band I played in were using clean amps and pedals. Well, the amps weren't that expensive - one was using a Blackstar HT60 and the other was using a home-made tube amp. Both used a clean tone most of the time and got most of their tone from the pedals. But it sounded great. They knew what they were doing. The Blackstar guy said he didn't even like the distortion sound of the amp. He used stacked OD pedals to get his tone (and not some Boss crap).

As I said, pedals give you more variety. An amp can't do a lot of different kind of tones, unless you are using a modeling amp. But one could argue that a good tube amp + different distortion/OD/fuzz pedals sounds better. It's all about preferences and different things work for different people.

And as I said, an amp can't do wah wah. An amp can't do modulation. An amp may not have a good reverb. An amp can't do delay. You need pedals for that.


Yes, I wouldn't buy a 5150 and just use the clean channel and play Metal Zone through it. But that's not what people are (usually) doing. People buy pedals for different kind of sounds that a regular amp can't do (for example modulation, delay, wah wah). They also buy pedals to get more variety - the same amp can't usually do fuzz, heavy distortion and light overdrive. And if you need all of them, you need to buy pedals (or a modeling amp).
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115