#1
Hey, everyone. Thanks for checking in. If you have been following my posts, you will already know that I am tweaking all of my gear. I am now re-organizing my pedalboard. Before I continue, the head is an Orange CR120 and the cab is a Mesa 4x12. My current board looks like this (The order is directly to the amp first, and then to the guitar last): Orange "channel" pedal (I use this for distortion), Boss CE-3 Chorus, MXR six-band EQ, and my tuner pedal. My Orange pedal goes to the "channel" input on the back of the Orange head, so would that make it the first in my chain followed by the chorus and so on? The chorus goes directly into the front of the amp at this point. I'm pretty lost with how to set it up correctly, and how I can chain everything to either the front or the back of the amp. Thanks!

Cliffs:
Orange CR120 Head/Mesa 4x12 cab.
Current Chain: Orange pedal (at the back of the head), Chorus directly to the front of the head with an EQ and a tuner following. Guitar into the tuner.
Would this make the Orange the first pedal or the chorus the first pedal?
How should my chain be?
Can I rig my Orange pedal into the front of the head? Can I rig my entire chain to the back?

Sub question:
How can I level my distortion channel and clean channel equally? The clean always seems to be louder than the distortion is on the same volume setting.
Should my distortion be a bit louder to create some kind of tonal difference within the songs?
#2
i'd go:
Guitar > tuner > distortion pedal > front of amp.

Fx loop out > EQ pedal > chorus > fx loop in

Depending on if you're using the amps built in distortion, pedals will sound much different before and after the preamp. If you're only using a distortion pedal, you have to think of that as your preamp and reroute accordingly. If you're coupling the amps distortion with the dist. pedal, I'd route it how I said.

As far as volume between channels, I'm not really understanding. Do the different channels not have separate volume controls?
Last edited by Ignite at Nov 22, 2016,
#3
Ignite Thanks for your reply. You may have to help me a bit me with your explanation. The Orange head came with the pedal and it says to use it by plugging it into the "channel" input in back of the head. Also, how would I set up the FX loop properly? This is really my first time taking all of this seriously. I've played guitar for a long time, but now I am learning set-ups, etc...So, please be patient with me, haha. For the volume controls, yes, they both have individual controls, and then there is one master. For example: a 6 on the dirty channel sounds very different from a 6 on the clean channel with the master at a 5.
#4
#5
dustin.schumach ohhh okay i get it.
That's not actually a distortion pedal, but a channel switcher. All it does is send information to the amp to let it know which channel to choose. You have 2 channels, and this pedal switches between you clean (channel 1) and overdrive/distortion channel (channel 2). You may have already known that but I was confused by the way you worded it. The "channel input" is just a jack specifically for that pedal.

I stand by what I said regarding the chain, with the exception of me thinking you had a distortion pedal.

So I would go:
Guitar>tuner>front of amp.

You should have an FX loop on the back, something like "FX send/FX receive". If you do, then you should the the EQ first, and the chorus last.

The way that works is your Head has a preamp and a power amp inside of it. FX loops exist in-between those because certain effects like delay, reverb, chorus, etc, sound better after the preamp has distorted your tone. (An old saying: you don't want to distort your reverb, you want to reverb your distortion!)

Alternatively, you can use the EQ in front of the amp, and it will work different. Cutting the bass a little (100-200hz) will tighten up the tone. You should experiment with the EQ pedal. In the loop it will boost and cut frequencies after distortion, simple tone shaping. But in front, it will take your original signal from your guitar and will mostly change the "feel" of the tone.

If you're only running a clean sound, your chain doesn't matter as much. All this specific stuff mostly pertains to a distorted guitar sound because of how effects react before and after distortion.

Edit:
Forgot to explain the fx loop a bit more. The signal goes preamp>fx send>fx return>power amp. So a cable from the Send jack would go into the EQ, then into the chorus, then into the Return jack. That completes the loop, goes into the power section, and out of your cab.
Last edited by Ignite at Nov 22, 2016,
#6
Ignite Wow, thank you so much for all of that information. I didn't know how much could be done with just plugging things in different areas. So, I will have a cable going from the "Channel" in back of the amp to the channel switch, one into the chorus that is chained to the EQ from the FX Send, one out of the EQ into the FX Recieve, one from the front of the amp to the tuner pedal, and one from the tuner pedal into the guitar...Correct me if I am wrong. I am an official newbie with proper set-ups. I do have a few more questions, if you don't mind. Some of which really have nothing to do with the OP topic. Should I EQ with a full band? Or EQ myself alone? There is a certain sound that I am going for, but I can not for the life of me figure out the EQ that will make it happen.
#7
I think you have that right.
[Guitar---tuner---front Input]
Then, [FX Send---EQ---Chorus---FX return]

Channel pedal just stays in the channel input jack by itself.

The reason I feel you should have the EQ before the Chorus, is you can use the EQ to shape your tone first, and use the chorus as an effect afterwards, when you decide to use it. If you have the EQ pedal AFTER the chorus, you'll be EQing the chorus too, which you might find you like. It's all up to you.

Regarding using the EQ to get the sounds you want, it just depends. I don't want to sound discouraging, but EQ pedals are more for getting the best of an already good sound. If you're not getting the tone you want at all, you might just not have the right amp.

But definitely experiment with the EQ before the front Input. Use the distortion channel, and if your EQ has a "level" on it, you can even use it as a boost pedal for more gain. Like I said, you can also cut a bit off the low frequencies and tighten the tone up, or rather boost some mids/high mids for a brighter attack. EQ pedals are very versatile.
#8
Ignite Great, thank you. I ended up taking my wah pedal off of the board because I just don't really use it a lot, plus, while hauling gear to and from shows, sometimes it would be in the "on position" and I wouldn't notice until half-way through a set...It's hard to tell onstage...So, I'm sure that the tone wasn't too pleasant in the crowd. The tone that I try to go for is a thick, dirty, Alice In Chains type sound...Many have told me to back off of the gain a bit to make the tone fuller, but then the guitar tone sounds "too clean" for me...Any advice?
#9
Ignite Also, I am getting a fuzz in soon, so I would guess that it would be: EQ and Chorus in the FX, and then: Front of head to Fuzz to tuner to guitar? I would most likely want to EQ out some of the fuzz sounds that I dislike. A fuzz is insanely hard for me to make sound decent just by the controls on the fuzz pedal itself, haha.
Last edited by dustin.schumach at Nov 22, 2016,
#10
Quote by dustin.schumach
Ignite Also, I am getting a fuzz in soon, so I would guess that it would be: EQ and Chorus in the FX, and then: Front of head to Fuzz to tuner to guitar? I would most likely want to EQ out some of the fuzz sounds that I dislike. A fuzz is insanely hard for me to make sound decent just by the controls on the fuzz pedal itself, haha.
Then you probably just don't like fuzz (or certain fuzzes). You keep mentioning using the EQ a lot, which is okay, but you have to have a good foundation first. Drastically changing the character of your signal with huge EQ adjustments just tells me you do not have a good foundation.
#11
Will Lane I can't get a decent sound. I am not experienced with an EQ either, so the more information that I can gather, the better. I enjoy certain fuzz pedals, but where I have the EQ currently, it sounds horrible. That's why I keep changing the EQ. I have no clue where to start. I have no idea where to start other than being told to listen to my ears and setting everything to zero and going up from there. Which is great, but I'm honestly better at people telling me good settings, and then going from those settings. I've tried setting everything to zero and going from there, but nothing seems to put me in a good position. If I set the gain low, it's too little. If I set it too high, it's robotic sounding. I'm literally lost. As stated, I am in no way near even mediocre with settings, pedals, etc...That's why I am looking for information.
Last edited by dustin.schumach at Nov 22, 2016,
#12
You probably just don't like your amp. Solid state heads usually don't have the greatest tone. And I've personally never needed an EQ pedal with any amp, but I'm not saying you can't benefit from one.

I don't know much about the CR120H, but Orange is known for their high gain tube amps like the Rockerverb. You have the head version of their popular Orange Crush practice combo amp.

The equivalent to that is like a Marshall MG head compared to a JCM800. But I'm betting the Crush is better than the MG.

I'm not saying you have a bad amp, but if you don't like the sound it makes, the only thing you can do is get a new one really.
#13
Ignite From what I have read, the CR120 is a solid state copy of the Rockerverb. During a few demos, the CR120 sounded better than the Rockerverb (tube). It's funny because I didn't have a problem playing through shitty cabs, but now that I have a Mesa loaded with Vintage 30's, I'm having a problem every few minutes. I don't have the cash at all to get a new head or cab, and I refuse to believe that it's the head or the cab, as the head was great until I got a "real" cab, and Mesa is a fantastic cab....Sigh.
#14
Quote by dustin.schumach
Ignite From what I have read, the CR120 is a solid state copy of the Rockerverb. During a few demos, the CR120 sounded better than the Rockerverb (tube). It's funny because I didn't have a problem playing through shitty cabs, but now that I have a Mesa loaded with Vintage 30's, I'm having a problem every few minutes. I don't have the cash at all to get a new head or cab, and I refuse to believe that it's the head or the cab, as the head was great until I got a "real" cab, and Mesa is a fantastic cab....Sigh.
The Crush series is maybe one of the better entry-level SS amps but maybe you are growing out of it as Ignite said. Did you do like we suggested in one of your other threads? EQ's ALL flat (knobs pointing to 12 o'clock, faders all at unity), then adjust gain and volume to where you want it. Doing any drastic EQ cuts or boosts is generally not a good idea, keep that in mind. For us to recommend you settings for certain songs or what we think sounds good is entirely subjective- and I doubt any one of us has your exact same setup to be able to accurately give you settings.

Set your amp like I said above and just sit with the tone. Don't adjust anything, just get used to it, and you'll probably end up liking it.
Last edited by Will Lane at Nov 22, 2016,
#15
Will Lane I may be growing out of it since my taste has gotten a little more experienced. Yes, everything is at 12 o'clock on the amp, and the EQ is flat on the EQ pedal now. I have learned that the more gain there is, the harsher and thinner the tone, so I have tried to keep my gain a tad lower as of late. If I could find a tube amp that gives off a fat tone that's under $600-$700, I'd gladly take up some suggestions. A favorite player of mine uses a Peavey VTM.
#16
A Peavey XXX seems up your alley, but you have to get one used. Maybe even a Peavey Classic 30 with a tubescreamer. Also the Windsor can be had for super cheap and has a JCM vibe to. It can get pretty gainy but a boost would greatly help it out as well.


I just realized all I recommended was Peavey, but you're not going to find much better for the price.

If you want a nice warm distortion, try turning the mids and bass up, and turn the treble way down. If it's still fizzy, use the highest two sliders on your EQ pedal and bring those down too.
Last edited by Ignite at Nov 22, 2016,