#1
How come some people are so committed to a certain amp head but they don't use it for their gain? If you're going to use pedals to get that sound then why does it matter which head you have, not thinking about clean tones?
#2
If you have a good head you can get extra gain just by boosting the input signal. Boost a shit amp and it's still shit.
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
#3
Because every head still has different qualities in how the clean channel takes pedal distortion and reacts to different input signals, plus some amps are naturally darker/brighter/have more presence/have more resonance/whatever. Also amps have different features. FX loops, output tubes, bias controls, power switching, ect.

Also, for the most part I think people concerned about a certain head's tone and people using pedals for distortion tones are almost mutually exclusive groups.

I think though the basis of your question can be answered with this Rig Rundown of Mike Sullivan from Russian Circles. He talks about how he uses a Verellen Loucks (which costs $2000) for a clean tone and then uses two stacked Mesa dirtboxes for his distortion tone. He used to use 2 Sunn Model T Reissues.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfTkHgfS-NU
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
#4
And anyway, how could the part doing the heavy lifting not matter?
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
I'm actually a bit confused now about the premise of the question. Are we talking about boosting/overdriving a relatively clean amp for get a dirty tone or using something like a distortion pedal as a second channel?
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
#6
I think we're talking about a situation that exists only in the imagination of someone who hasn't experienced it firsthand. I don't mean that condescendingly, but it's pretty obvious to anyone who has played more than a couple of amps with pedals in front. The platform matters. Sometimes less, sometimes more, depends on the pedals and the goals involved, but an amp doesn't just magically stop being part of the sound because you're using a distortion pedal.

Using a PA or FRFR system is definitely a thing, but that's almost always the result of letting an amp modeler do the tone shaping. Distortion pedals all on their own are actually heavily reliant on the amp to make them sound good. A distortion pedal straight into a PA almost always sounds like garbage. There's a grain of truth inherent in the question, but it makes more incorrect assumptions than correct ones.
#7
Sorry I guess I didn't really word my question properly. How come you see so many rigs not relying on the heads natural gain alone?
#8
Quote by benjaminhulton
Sorry I guess I didn't really word my question properly. How come you see so many rigs not relying on the heads natural gain alone?


Cause there is other cool tone in there when you add a little pedal boost or color out front.

Ex. My Mesa has 3 gain stages that pretty much nail "Princeton clean" "Singing Mesa OD ala Santana" And "scooped high gain for more saturated solos and power chords".

But what about that cool "blues on the edge of breakup"? AC/DC "stadium Rock tone"? "sophisticated Robben Ford OD" ? All of those are a pedal click away into the right gain channel. Pedals simply add more options and choices.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Jun 9, 2016,
#9
^ And that. Depends on the player too, some players don't use pedals much, some players only use pedals, and some players use both amp distortion and pedal distortion.

Quote by TheStig1214
Because every head still has different qualities in how the clean channel takes pedal distortion and reacts to different input signals, plus some amps are naturally darker/brighter/have more presence/have more resonance/whatever.


Yeah. And the speakers/cabinet too.
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#10
Quote by benjaminhulton
How come some people are so committed to a certain amp head but they don't use it for their gain? If you're going to use pedals to get that sound then why does it matter which head you have, not thinking about clean tones?


The amp determines the tone and how an overdrive pedal will actually sound coming out of a speaker. That's why everyone has been buying DS1's for years and wondering why they sound terrible and shrill compared to Satriani or Nirvana, who also used them for some time. The reason is that they were running them in front of huge expensive Marshall heads and the pedal was providing like 5 % of the actual tone.

This video addresses the issue very well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdKjhXWpjq8