#1
Hello all.

I am really hoping someone can give me some advice, as I seem to be in a bit over my head.

I recently purchased my first tube amp (Marshall DSL100H) and Pedalboard (Boss ME-80 Multi-Effects Pedal). After several hours of experimentation, I can't seem to find a good tone. All I manage to get is a lot of noise.

I have tried both direct inputting the pedalboard into the amp and also hooking up through the amp's effect loop.

I think my main problem is that there are too many buttons and knobs all at once. I don't know how to start with a baseline tone to start tweaking.

How should the amp be set up to use the pedalboard? which channel, what settings?

If anyone has a similar setup and could point me in the right direction, I would be forever in your debt.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and have a great day!
#2
Not familiar with your gear, but good rule of thumb when I'm trying a new amp is set everything at 12 o'clock and go from there. Adjust the gain first then eq. 1 channel at a time. Never messed with the ME. Maybe someone else can help with that. For now I'd disconnect iit and just mess with the amp. Don't forget your guitar controls roll off the volume every once in awhile to see how it effects your tone. Sorry I couldn't be more help.
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#3
If you never used gear like this, its very very easy to get lost. First set the amp up so it sounds good on its own. Make each channel sound as good as it can. Then start with the effects on the Boss, but slowly. See what each of them do, how the amp responds to overdrive, how the delays work, stuff like that. Try to figure out what you actually want to achive with the effects, and apply them correctly. Dont just turn everything on and hope for the best, you will just create a wall of noise. Also remember, overdrive, distortion, compressor and wah usually go in front of the amp, while the time based effects like delay and reverb, as well as modulation (phaser and flanger), go into the fx loop. Putting a delay in front of an already distorted amp will sound bad.
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#4
I would run the ME-80 in the effects loop. I'd suggest to use no amp or speaker simulation, or distortion on the ME-80. Use it only for the delays, reverb, compression, etc. There is no magic setting that will get you somewhere. Read the manual on the ME-80 and learn it, and experiment with the amp as well.
#5
Gorkyporky is correct, Start off by setting your ME aside for now and concentrate on just getting the amp to your liking, Once achieved then go to the ME and try the different effects one at a time and get to know them, and feel free to twist those knobs, The ME 80 has a lot going on and it can get way too busy way too fast, just because it has the setting and effect doesn't mean you have to use it. About the only thing I use on mine is the modulation and delay and maybe a touch of compression. the preamp side is basically just taking up space, My amp doesn't need any help in that department, and personally I wouldn't think yours does either but there is some speculation concerning the DSL100h on that matter, But that's for you to decide,
#6
Thank you all for your help. Will Lane had the right of it. I knew that I wasn't supposed to use the amp sims because those are for output to headphones or computer, but I wasn't aware you shouldn't use the overdrive/distortion. My stuff was noisy due to gain on the amp being further pushed by gain on the overdrive. I am starting to dial in the sound. Still haven't found a good metal distortion sound, but I found a really good lead sound.

@nastytroll, where are you seeing a discussion about the DSL100H? Before I bought it I did a lot of research and the reviews were overwhelmingly positive. The only complaints I saw were that the reverb isn't as good as on some of the other Marshalls, and that there is no built in noise gate. But I would assume that is to be expected as it is a $900.00 amp versus some of the higher end $2000.00 plus versions.
#7
Actually, you can use distortion, or better said, overdrive, in front of an already distorted amp. Its common practice to "push" tube amps with an overdrive pedal. It makes for a tighter sound. So if you are trying to get a metal rhythm sound, you can try by getting a nice crunch sound, and then driving that with some sort of overdrive from the pedal.
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#8
Also regarding overdrive pushing crunchy amp into metal territory, turn the volume of the overdrive pedal way, way up so it boosts the signal and pushes the preamp tubes harder. Also the overdrive distortion has to be turned down and even off. You want a boost the amp cleanly, maybe with little grit to enhance the distortion but the overdrives distortion itself is usually not the point, its the signal boosting part that does the magic.

Thats said, while using overdrive to push a crunchy amp into metal territory usuallly sounds better than using amps own distortion alone the DSL should be capable of making quite awesome metal tone on its own through the red channel. Are you familiar with the amplifier and its tone already? Found out what its capable of without FX tricks? How much gain do you use and how is your EQ set at?

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#9
Quote by gorkyporky
Actually, you can use distortion, or better said, overdrive, in front of an already distorted amp. Its common practice to "push" tube amps with an overdrive pedal. It makes for a tighter sound. So if you are trying to get a metal rhythm sound, you can try by getting a nice crunch sound, and then driving that with some sort of overdrive from the pedal.
The two problems here are that the ME-80 is digital which at its price point it will not be the most desirable drive sound. For a light TS-style push it would be fine. But really the main issue is if hugedata31 wants to use delay/verb along with the drive, he would have to run the unit in front of the amp, as the ME-80 does not have preamp and effects loop sends, and therefore the delays/verbs would mud up the front input of the amp very quickly.

If he only wants a typical metal sound, I'd just find a cheap TS clone, throw the ME-80 in the loop, and be done with it. Or if he doesn't want to bother with delay/verb (I do not know why you would buy a MFX to not use those effects) he can just run the ME-80 in the front input.
Last edited by Will Lane at Feb 22, 2017,
#10
Quote by Will Lane
The two problems here are that the ME-80 is digital which at its price point it will not be the most desirable drive sound. For a light TS-style push it would be fine. But really the main issue is if hugedata31 wants to use delay/verb along with the drive, he would have to run the unit in front of the amp, as the ME-80 does not have preamp and effects loop sends, and therefore the delays/verbs would mud up the front input of the amp very quickly.

If he only wants a typical metal sound, I'd just find a cheap TS clone, throw the ME-80 in the loop, and be done with it. Or if he doesn't want to bother with delay/verb (I do not know why you would buy a MFX to not use those effects) he can just run the ME-80 in the front input.


It cannot do 4 cable method? Then scratch the overdrive idea. Just use the effects if needed and buy a cheap overdrive pedal like Boss SD-1 or Digitech Bad Monkey.

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Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
#11
Good info.

So if I am following this correctly, my choices are (using only the gear I have):
1. Run the pedalboard direct to the input jack and only use the overdrive
2. Run the pedalboard through the effects loop and only use the modulation/delay/EQ

Am I onboard with this train of thought?
#12
Quote by hugedata31
Good info.

So if I am following this correctly, my choices are (using only the gear I have):
1. Run the pedalboard direct to the input jack and only use the overdrive
2. Run the pedalboard through the effects loop and only use the modulation/delay/EQ

Am I onboard with this train of thought?
Pretty much. To be clear, there are no hard and fast rules, just general suggestions. You could try using both drive and delay through the front input jack but generally with an amp set relatively high-gain, your sound is going to turn to mush.

Chorus, Flanger, Tremolo, etc. like effects can go into the front input of an amp when the amp is set pretty driven/with an overdrive pedal. They may react a bit differently compared to being in the loop though. The main concern are the trailing time-based effects like delay and reverb. You typically do not want those kind of effects going into a heavily driven amp.
#13
Will Lane, right on. That's why someone will dial up the 'perfect tone' at home, then get to rehearsal or a gig, and it sounds like dog poop! They forget, especially with tube amps, that the amp reacts very differently when turned down than when turned up. When dialing in tone, it's important to practice like you play.

Will also makes a very good point regarding where to put your pedal. It's up to you and where you like your tone, not us. We aren't sitting there. Your amp will sound different in a clapboard garage with a cement floor and steel doors than it will in a carpeted room with pine walls and a drop ceiling. You have to dial in the sound that you like for what you're playing.

I also may have missed it, but did you mention the guitar you're using?
#15
Quote by GoldJim
I also may have missed it, but did you mention the guitar you're using?


I have a variety of guitars. The main one I use to practice is an Ibanez RG with a Dimebucker in the bridge. I also use a Gibson SG, a BC RICH Warlock, and a 7-string Dean Razorback. I would mainly use the razorback, but the stock pickups sound horrible . I need to upgrade at least the bridge.
#16
Sounds like you have some aggressive tones right out the gate. I notice you have the head. What cabinet are you using and what speakers are loaded? That amp has the Ultra Gain channel, and you should be able to get some really crunchy tones out of there. Are you cranking that amp? You might put in some ear plugs and take it to the stratosphere. As I said earlier, the amp will be very different if you're not pushing the amp. A 100 watt tube amp like the Marshall DSL series is definitely not for bedroom play. It's not even really for suburban garage play, but it gets used that way.

Maybe it's not distortion you're looking for, what you might be looking for is fuzz. I know it's kind of a fine line for some folks, but it matters in your overall tone. Hope you get sound you're looking for. If there's anything we all share, we are all on a journey in chasing that elusive tone that's in our heads.
#17
Quote by GoldJim
Sounds like you have some aggressive tones right out the gate. I notice you have the head. What cabinet are you using and what speakers are loaded? That amp has the Ultra Gain channel, and you should be able to get some really crunchy tones out of there. Are you cranking that amp? You might put in some ear plugs and take it to the stratosphere. As I said earlier, the amp will be very different if you're not pushing the amp. A 100 watt tube amp like the Marshall DSL series is definitely not for bedroom play. It's not even really for suburban garage play, but it gets used that way.

Maybe it's not distortion you're looking for, what you might be looking for is fuzz. I know it's kind of a fine line for some folks, but it matters in your overall tone. Hope you get sound you're looking for. If there's anything we all share, we are all on a journey in chasing that elusive tone that's in our heads.


I am using for speakers: Marshall MG412ACF MG Series 120-Watt 4x12-Inch Angled Guitar Extension Cabinet with Celestion Speakers

I am very wary of the word 'Fuzz'. All I can think of when I hear that word is that God-awful 'walking on the sun' song by Smashmouth lol

With just the amp, the best I can currently pull off is a Motley Crue distortion sound. At best, maybe a 'Kill 'Em All' era Metallica. I am looking for at least a 'South Of Heaven' Slayer sound, but I would really like to push for Lamb Of God or Fear Factory.
#18
Quote by hugedata31
I am using for speakers: Marshall MG412ACF MG Series 120-Watt 4x12-Inch Angled Guitar Extension Cabinet with Celestion Speakers

I am very wary of the word 'Fuzz'. All I can think of when I hear that word is that God-awful 'walking on the sun' song by Smashmouth lol

With just the amp, the best I can currently pull off is a Motley Crue distortion sound. At best, maybe a 'Kill 'Em All' era Metallica. I am looking for at least a 'South Of Heaven' Slayer sound, but I would really like to push for Lamb Of God or Fear Factory.


Bahahahahaha... Smashmouth. They should have been called Mushmouth.
#19
Well I'd buy a better cabinet than an MG series one.

In the meantime from what i've experienced with this amp series, just run the gain and treble on the low side.
#20
Thank you all for the help. I picked up a Boss SD-1 as recommended by MaaZeus and that did the trick.