#1
My current gear is a Schecter solo 6 damien solo elite and a marshal G15CDR. I'm more into metal (I'm actually really off on what metal vs rock is) then anything. I tend to keep both gain knobs maxed out or 1 full and the other 1/2-3/4. I seem to have a problem with sounds or maybe its the amp. I swear one day it will sound awesome, then the next day it will sound like mud or I'll be like is this really what I was playing with?

I'm really still horrible at guitar, so I don't want to get a new amp yet. Besides if I got a new amp I would want a head and speaker, so if I want to upgrade or switch around I don't have to replace both. I've even thought maybe I could just get a head amp and rewire the speaker in my marshal to act as a speaker cab till I could afford or would let myself buy a cab.

I'm into those deep chords that make the song and the hollow djent sound. (I call it hollow anyways) Here is my music playlist to give anyone a idea.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAAJvtFjRG3-peYYieFoT8AaOCdx00xPJ

I don't really want to spend any money on something like a pedal board of a multi effects. Just wondering if I should buy a cheap pedal or not. (Boss ds-1 or others) Knowing how I am with actually playing my guitar...

Thanks,
Higgins909
#2
Won't make that amp sound any better.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
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#3
Life's too short to buy cheap pedals. They generally don't sound all that good, and tend to be "issue prone". If it helps, think of the money spent on cheap pedals as being money you CAN'T spend on better stuff. Inexpensive pedals- good pedals that have been discounted for some reason- may be worth it, though, depending on the deal.

But here's the thing...it sounds to me like you're a bit new to the guitar hobby, have a low-level amp, and are dissatisfied with your tone for a variety of reasons. I can't say why your tone varies like that, though..

My advice to you is that you grin and bear it until you can save up for a better amp. The amp is the foundation of your sound. If you think of a guitarist's tone as an icecream sundae, the amp is the ice cream. A new, genre-appropriate amp will bliss you out.

If you are REALLY dissatisfied- I mean, to the point that it is eroding your will to practice- spend a little of your money and get a decent pair of headphones and a portable digital modeler- a Korg Pandora/Px4/Px5; a Line 6 POD; a Boss Micro-BR; Tascam GT-R series. Lots of companies make them. Typically, besides modeling a variety of amps and effects, they have features like tuners, metronomes, drum models, recording capability, PC interfaces and so forth.

I used one exclusively for 3 years before buying an amp.
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#4
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Life's too short to buy cheap pedals. They generally don't sound all that good, and tend to be "issue prone". If it helps, think of the money spent on cheap pedals as being money you CAN'T spend on better stuff. Inexpensive pedals- good pedals that have been discounted for some reason- may be worth it, though, depending on the deal.


This. So much this. I learned this the hard way . But anyway, you might want to turn down your gain knobs. Im not sure how much gain the mg has, but its a pretty safe bet that maxing out gain on any amp is simply to much. It muddies the sound, and covers up your mistakes. So turn down the gain, turn up the mids, and it should already sound way better. Not great by any means, because you have a crappy amp, but still better. Just dont buy pedals for this thing. Even expensive pedals trough a cheap amp will sound bad, and cheap pedals trough a cheap amp will sound horrible.
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#5
Cheap distortion pedals are a false economy to the people who tend to buy them. They're often crap sounding and the ones that are worth having come with a hefty price tag. And said good distortion pedals into an amp like a Marshall MG is a huge bottleneck. You'll get much better results by just having a better amp to begin with.

The vast majority of newcomers in your position quit at this point because they realize that they never wanted to play guitar badly enough to fight through the initial frustration that being a new to guitar inevitably brings. I can promise you that things do become a lot more encouraging once you become able to play some of the fundamentals. So hang in there for now. Use the prospect of a new amp as an incentive to keep practicing.
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#6
Hang around this community, start threads if you have questions and read other threads.
That's what I did to start making the infinite guitar puzzle come together somewhat. Before I bought my first tube amp (JCM 800) I was on this forum acting like the newbie I was, and I got lots of help and now, 4 years later, I feel much more confident and knowledgable.

With that being said, if you do consider purchasing a new amp (doesn't have to be expensive at all, just something better than your little combo), consult this forum and people will surely help you out, just like they did with me!
Keep rocking and don't give up because everything seems confusing right now, the more you learn the more fun you'll have!
#7
Quote by dannyalcatraz
spend a little of your money and get a decent pair of headphones and a portable digital modeler- a Korg Pandora/Px4/Px5; a Line 6 POD; a Boss Micro-BR; Tascam GT-R series. Lots of companies make them. Typically, besides modeling a variety of amps and effects, they have features like tuners, metronomes, drum models, recording capability, PC interfaces and so forth.

I used one exclusively for 3 years before buying an amp.

This is the best advice - my personal recommendation though would be a Zoom G3, or the Line 6 POD from Danny's post.

Any of the kit mentioned will not only allow you to practice through headphones etc to avoid annoying the neighbours, but for someone in your position it can be a great way of experimenting with different amps & effects to influence the decision you make when you do finally upgrade your amp.

Also, with the equipment I've mentioned, it will not only serve you as a practice tool for now, but also they are very usable as effects units to compliment your amp's tone (again, once you've upgraded) so they can be seen as a good long term investment.
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Last edited by GaryBillington at Aug 11, 2016,
#8
A quick way to be able to improve your sound with that amp is to turn the gain down a bit. Diming out the gain is a common mistake, so turning down the gain will give you additional clarity, which will help you build your technique. A lot of beginning guitarists will try to hide behind oversaturated gain. If you have a little bit of cash laying around, see if you can find a Digitech Bad Monkey pedal. You can use that to give you a small amount of additional gain, which will help. The good thing about the Bad Monkey is that when you do decide to upgrade your amp, you can still use it, as it is a decent pedal that is commonly used with tube amps.
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#9
Yep. The Marshall MG series is not a good platform to start with, but for beginners it is okay. But investing any bit of money into anything BUT a new and better amp is not a good idea. Methinks that you're at the point where you're noticing the amp is not cutting it. The MG series all have plenty of gain on tap, but the sounds are not usable for anything other than amateur beginner practice.

Some options for you when you look into that field are (all used): Peavey Vypyr Tube 60, Peavey Valveking 112 (older model), and the modelers listed above.
#10
yeah the amp's not helping

fwiw though cheap pedals often sound just fine. IMO.
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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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#11
I will support turning the gain down; a lot of good guitar tones are achieved with less gain, and a bit more volume. Unfortunately, it's usually less gain and more volume through a tube amp, so I think it's best to save for one.
#12
What you're dealing with is a bad amp and a shitty speaker. If you do somehow find a good distortion pedal, it'll still be coming out of a nasty sounding speakers and won't give you full sounding metal tone. But there are ways to work with it.

I'd suggest what a few others have, a cheap multifx unit, preferably a pedal style, but like a Line 6 POD bean might work too.

You can run it into the clean channel and try out some of the units distortion pedals, or possibly an amp model without cab simulation and see if that works at all.

I think it could work out decently. The thing with multifx units is they often have EQ options too, and that can help shape your sound out better.
#13
So a DS-1 is a cheap pedal? Does that mean a cheap sound too or what? I'm not a sound tech or anything, so that quality doesn't matter that much to me... But it would be nice if it was on par with "future amp". Boss DS-1, Ibanez TS9, TC Dark Matter. These are pedals I had in mind. The TS9 is more then I would want to spend, but I've seen it in some videos. The other 2, ones one I've known of for a while, then Dark Matter is a newer good pedal?

Anyways. They do have tone knobs, so wouldn't I get a slightly different sound then using the amps gain? I know it may not be as well for my current amp, but what about my "future amp"?

I'm not sure getting a digital modeler is the way for me to go. I'm not sure how they work, but I could see me not liking scrolling though the menus setting one pedal at a time to find out I made it sound terrible. Maybe its got this computer user interface thing like a vst or rocksmith. Haven't really had a good time with either of those having to try and drag the knobs and it goes too high or too low, or I have to readjust over and over, cramps my hand... I like to think I would learn better with a physical pedal.
#14
Quote by higgins909
So a DS-1 is a cheap pedal? Does that mean a cheap sound too or what? I'm not a sound tech or anything, so that quality doesn't matter that much to me... But it would be nice if it was on par with "future amp". Boss DS-1, Ibanez TS9, TC Dark Matter. These are pedals I had in mind. The TS9 is more then I would want to spend, but I've seen it in some videos. The other 2, ones one I've known of for a while, then Dark Matter is a newer good pedal?

Anyways. They do have tone knobs, so wouldn't I get a slightly different sound then using the amps gain? I know it may not be as well for my current amp, but what about my "future amp"?

I'm not sure getting a digital modeler is the way for me to go. I'm not sure how they work, but I could see me not liking scrolling though the menus setting one pedal at a time to find out I made it sound terrible. Maybe its got this computer user interface thing like a vst or rocksmith. Haven't really had a good time with either of those having to try and drag the knobs and it goes too high or too low, or I have to readjust over and over, cramps my hand... I like to think I would learn better with a physical pedal.


Here's the problem. You would be buying these pedals without a concept of how to get the kinds of sounds you want or anything like that. You seem like a beginner so I will say your tastes will change a lot and buying a lot of pedals now will probably lead you to more hassles in the future when your tastes change and you realized none of the pedals you have cut the mustard and now you have to buy more of them.

The 3 pedals you listed are pretty different and not similar at all. I wouldn't even compare them, nor have I tried the Dark Matter. Would you get slightly different sounds fiddling with the knobs on your pedal and will it change the sound of your amp? Sure, but I am more than willing to bet the crappy sound is moreso from the quality and size of the speaker and the actual amp itself. If you're expecting to spend 100 bucks on a pedal to magically make your MG not crap, it wont work that way.

You just won't be getting a super "djenty" sound with your gear right now. Your best bet would be to just deal with what you have now and save up for a better amp or use a modeller as mentioned. Most of them aren't really as complicated as you think they are and even something like a POD can prove to be useful for recording etc... even after you've been playing for years.


That being said, there are companies out there that have nice pedals that are 'cheap'. Mooer does them, Biyang has a tone, Electro-Harmonix has a few drive pedals that I like quite a bit, Joyo has them as well if you need them even cheaper but I really don't think they're gonna solve your issue. Cheaper does come with its cons though. Joyo and Biyang both have had issues with enclosures and switches IIRC, EHX has some issues with some of the cheaper parts being broken with heavy use (like pots getting caved in) etc... so you kind of get what you pay for.
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Last edited by H4T3BR33D3R at Aug 12, 2016,
#15
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Here's the problem. You would be buying these pedals without a concept of how to get the kinds of sounds you want or anything like that. You seem like a beginner so I will say your tastes will change a lot and buying a lot of pedals now will probably lead you to more hassles in the future when your tastes change and you realized none of the pedals you have cut the mustard and now you have to buy more of them.

The 3 pedals you listed are pretty different and not similar at all. I wouldn't even compare them, nor have I tried the Dark Matter. Would you get slightly different sounds fiddling with the knobs on your pedal and will it change the sound of your amp? Sure, but I am more than willing to bet the crappy sound is moreso from the quality and size of the speaker and the actual amp itself. If you're expecting to spend 100 bucks on a pedal to magically make your MG not crap, it wont work that way.

You just won't be getting a super "djenty" sound with your gear right now. Your best bet would be to just deal with what you have now and save up for a better amp or use a modeller as mentioned. Most of them aren't really as complicated as you think they are and even something like a POD can prove to be useful for recording etc... even after you've been playing for years.


That being said, there are companies out there that have nice pedals that are 'cheap'. Mooer does them, Biyang has a tone, Electro-Harmonix has a few drive pedals that I like quite a bit, Joyo has them as well if you need them even cheaper but I really don't think they're gonna solve your issue. Cheaper does come with its cons though. Joyo and Biyang both have had issues with enclosures and switches IIRC, EHX has some issues with some of the cheaper parts being broken with heavy use (like pots getting caved in) etc... so you kind of get what you pay for.


I guess I will have to reconsider the multifx portable/board.
#16
Quote by higgins909
I'm not sure getting a digital modeler is the way for me to go. I'm not sure how they work, but I could see me not liking scrolling though the menus setting one pedal at a time to find out I made it sound terrible... I like to think I would learn better with a physical pedal.
Quote by higgins909
I guess I will have to reconsider the multifx portable/board.

For what its worth, the Zoom G3 I recommended works EXACTLY like having 3 individual pedals in front of you. You simply (and I do mean simply) set each one to an effect, then modify those effects to your hearts content with that pedal's knobs, exactly like with a real pedal.

The difference is, if you do find you've changed a sound you liked & then changed something to make it terrible....you just go back to the saved version! You don't get that with real pedals....
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Last edited by GaryBillington at Aug 12, 2016,
#17
Quote by higgins909
So a DS-1 is a cheap pedal? Does that mean a cheap sound too or what? I'm not a sound tech or anything, so that quality doesn't matter that much to me... But it would be nice if it was on par with "future amp". Boss DS-1, Ibanez TS9, TC Dark Matter.

I'm not sure getting a digital modeler is the way for me to go. I'm not sure how they work, but I could see me not liking scrolling though the menus setting one pedal at a time to find out I made it sound terrible. Maybe its got this computer user interface thing like a vst or rocksmith. Haven't really had a good time with either of those having to try and drag the knobs and it goes too high or too low, or I have to readjust over and over, cramps my hand... I like to think I would learn better with a physical pedal.


I'm not sure a DS-1 or a Tubescreamer can ever really be a bad choice. I think there's a very good chance that you would use them in any future rig.
I've not listened to a Dark Matter in the flesh, but at the current price I was very tempted, and I absolutely don't need one.

It sounds like you would have loved the old Digitech Genesis 1, as that had amp models, cab models, and effects, but not presets or menus- you just turned the knobs to get your sound.

What is your current budget?
#18
Quote by luke.g.henderso
I will support turning the gain down; a lot of good guitar tones are achieved with less gain, and a bit more volume. Unfortunately, it's usually less gain and more volume through a tube amp, so I think it's best to save for one.


yeah that's the big problem- (a) it's normally achieved with a tube amp and (b) normally with volume. It's all well and good saying, "turn your gain down", but if you can't compensate with volume you may well end up even further away from where you want to be.

Quote by higgins909
(a) So a DS-1 is a cheap pedal? Does that mean a cheap sound too or what? I'm not a sound tech or anything, so that quality doesn't matter that much to me... But it would be nice if it was on par with "future amp". (b) Boss DS-1, Ibanez TS9, TC Dark Matter. These are pedals I had in mind. The TS9 is more then I would want to spend, but I've seen it in some videos. The other 2, ones one I've known of for a while, then Dark Matter is a newer good pedal?

(c) Anyways. They do have tone knobs, so wouldn't I get a slightly different sound then using the amps gain? I know it may not be as well for my current amp, but what about my "future amp"?


(a) I wouldn't worry about that. I disagree with the logic of "cheap pedals sounds cheap". That doesn't make any sense, really- it's still a circuit, and an awful lot (not all) of dearer distortion pedals are clones, or tweaked clones, of cheaper pedals. I just disagree with that logic entirely, and if I were you I'd pay it little heed. Good pedals are good pedals, and bad pedals are bad pedals. There probably is some correlation with price, but there are plenty of good-sounding cheaper pedals if you know what you're doing (both in terms of knowing which are the good ones to buy, and also in terms of knowing how to dial them in to get the most out of them), plus a lot of the time the price thing also affects build quality and reliability (but again not always, boss pedals are generally considered to be very reliable for example, and 3pdt switches which are often used in more expensive "boutique" pedals are almost inherently unreliable).

(b) regarding those specific pedals:

A DS1 is alright. A lot of people hate it, some people like it. It's a bit scooped, and it only really sounds good with the tone knob at a very specific place (between 10-11 o'clock). I don't think it's awful, but at the same time there are pedals I prefer.

A dark matter is pretty nice. it does a vintage marshall plexi type of tone.

a tubescreamer is nice, but there are tons of cheaper clones available if you don't want to spend that much. joyo vintage overdrive, mooer green mile, and a bunch of other cheap clones exist. or there's the boss sd1 (super overdrive) which isn't identical, but has a fairly similar circuit and which does a similar job. or the cheaper daphon clone of it (often rebranded under other brand names).

the big problem, though, is that all these pedals can sound good if you already have a good amp. that's not to say they might not sound better than your current amp (and to be honest you're not going to get much of an improvement on your current amp for the £40 they go for), but you're still limited by your amp.

(c) yep as i said above you may well get some improvements- it just depends on whether you think they're big enough to justify the cost, and the bottleneck is still your amp. however if it'll take ages to save up for a better amp a stopgap solution now (i.e. a cheapish pedal) may tide you over until you can get a better amp, while not eating too much into your future amp budget.

and yeah they should work with a new amp you get but the problem is that the amp affects the tone as well- so a pedal may sound great with one amp and so-so with another. you really need to look at the big picture and try to get everything to work well together. For example, i find the dark matter sounds really good when combined with a sparkly Fendery clean type of amp- but sounds a bit dark if you're not using it with that style of amp. Or a tubescreamer is very middy, which is good if your amp isn't too middy, but which can sound nasal if the amp already has a fair amount of mids.

I've pretty much just said what H4T3BR33D3R said above, lol.
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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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Et tu, br00tz?
#19
Depending on how much you can spend, there are some distortion pedals that also have cabinet/ mic simulation included. In order of cost, lowest to highest:

Palmer MI Pocket Amp mk2
Tech 21 Sansamp range (especially US Metal model)
Two Notes Le Lead.

These are all distortion pedals that should give you a decent sound through headphones without using an amp, but should also work in front of an amp. As always, try before you buy, or at least check out some good-quality video demos.
#20
I think I will try and get a good amount better at guitar, then see about getting a zoom g3 or something similar. It looks like its got a output to a amp, so I could use it with my current amp if I wanted to? I've got the money to buy this right now, but I don't want to till I get better at guitar and the same goes for the new amp. Depending how much I actually want to spend on the amp.