I've learnt some basic tapping
It sounds better with my big muff pedal and 75% sustain
Wonder if this is just a given or 'cheating'
Ideally you should be able to tap on a completely clean guitar sound with no effects. Hell, you should be able to tap on an acoustic if you're good at it.

That said... there's no harm in using gear and trickery to make yourself sound and feel good until you've been able to do the kind of practice that will get you to being good at it. Just be aware of your limitations and the work you still need to get really good and you'll be fine.
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not cheating. it's about what you want. my only concern is that with all the drive/sustain, etc... can a listener make out the notes?
You should be able to get a fairly even sound without distortion. Once you've achieved that, you can add as much gain as you like and play it on the neck pickup and it'll sound just like angel farts.

There's nothing wrong with using gain to make tapping sound better - even masters like Tosin Abasi use compression which isn't the same but has a similar effect - but if you can learn to do it properly clean then it'll sound that much better distorted.
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I think the same thing, you should be able to get good results tapping clean or with an acoustic, I do it all the time. It just takes practice. I don't do a whole lot, mostly one note at a time but I practice with no effects usually and quite often on acoustic, and it makes no difference to me. Clean, distorted, acoustic, I hear no appreciable difference in volume level if I hit the right note and get a clean tap.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...