#1
So I'm currently running a peavey vypyr vip 1, no problems but I'd like to venture into the world of tube amps. I must stress this is strictly for home use the vip1 rarely gets above 1/13 on the master volume.

My main concern is talk of tube amps being no good at low volume levels and is it even worth it over the vypyr so any input on that would be great. Main music style I play is metal so a good high gain sound is a must but I'd like nice cleans too if possible.

Guitar: ibanez rg655 tone zone/air Norton pups
Location: northwest England
Used: possibly if available
Budget:£300-500

I'm open to the idea of pedals if they really make the amp shine I only own a wah at the moment. Cheers.
#2
IMO the best solution for low level playing is modeling software, many options. Which the Vyper does really well according to the overwhelming amount of support from this forum.  

Any popular 1x12" combo would work. But all my tube amps are in storage or at our rehearsal space.  I use modeling gear 100% of the time at home due to how low I have to play.
'16 Gibson LP Standard T, '95 Fender MIM Strat
Helix Rack, Jetcity JCA50H w/ JCA24s+
#3
tube amps needing to be super loud to sound good is a hold over from the old days when they didn't have master volumes. to be fair a tube amp (or most amps for that matter) will sound better louder but that isn't to say they sound like crap at low volumes. of course it kinda depends on what you are playing as well. if your sound relies on bone crunching bass then yeah a tube amp will come up short at low volumes (but a modeller likely won't fair much better). i use a 50 watt tube amp for practice at home so i understand the ned mot to piss off the neighbors (or wife) but manage to get a decent sound none the less. much of it has to do with EQ and understanding that as the volume changes the eq needs to change as well. often guys use settings that they use for band practice and then bitch it doesn't sound right at home volume. same goes in the other direction, that sound that you spennt hours tinkering with a low volume sound like shit turned up. 
#4
I'm strictly a home player. My 40w Fender combo never goes above 4, and sounds nice, and I just bought an Orange TH30 head.


So...find an amp you like the sound of, priced within your budget. If it has a master volume, that's a bonus.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#5
Okay cheers, any suggestions for low watt high gain tube amps then? It seems to be a bit of a minefield on what's true tube and what's hybrid. I know going the shop and trying stuff out is the best way to do it but some pointers in the right direction would be helpful
#6
Done the Shred dark terror comes to mind.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

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youre just being a jerk man.



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#7
The notion of tube amps needing to sound good at low volumes became a myth as soon as amps started coming out with master volumes. Especially when it comes to high gain metal tones that get almost all their distortion through the preamp. Which can deliver huge levels of gain at any volume.

I think at your price point you can get a 6505+ 112 used and it'll have plenty of room to grow with an upgraded speaker, new tubes and additional mods down the line.

In fact, seeing that you're from the northwest of the UK, as I am, and I have a modded 6505 112 that I converted into a head that I'm not using anymore, if only I was in a position to actually sell it to you, I would.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
#8
All tube amps are different and some sound great at lower volumes and others don't. Wattage doesn't tell the whole story either.
Simply having a Master volume doesn't mean an amp will actually sound good at low volume levels.  Many cheap tube amps sound terrible at lower levels. The better tube amps, like Mesa and up, will sound great at lower volumes because they are well designed and use great parts. But those are way over your budget.

If you can buy an amp from a local store that allows for returns, that would be your best bet - buy it and try it. You need to be able to test it your environment to see if it will work.  Every room is different. 
#9
A tube amp really doesn't do much for you in home use. The tubes don't color the sound at low volumes (and that's really the only reason to *have* a tube amp). And since most don't have a good way to use headphones, you really can't use them silently, either. I just use a modeler and a pair of studio monitors. 
#10
I've owned 100 watt tube amps that were crazy loud, but could still sound deadly at low volumes. Yes they probably sounded better at high volumes, but they could still put out a great tone at home practice volumes. Just go out and try a few at the nearest music store. Try running them at low volumes as well.
Guitars:
PRS Custom 24
Gibson Les Paul 60's Tribute
85' MIJ Strat
97' Snakepit Les Paul
LP Traditional 1960 Zebra
MIJ Tele
MIA Strat

Amps:
Silver Jubilee 2525
Peavey Ultra 112
Jet City JCA50H
66' Bassman
Pink Paisley Princeton RV
74' Vibro Champ
#11
Okay thanks for the input everyone, what's the general consensus on these lunchbox 1-5 watt heads that seem to be mostly hybrids? I.e 6505 piranha, orange micro dark. I trust the community here enough to let me know if theyre even worth going to try out.

Will definitely look at the dark terror though and I've seen used 6505+ 112s go for as low as £250 so it can't hurt to try one out at low volume see how it fairs compared to the vypyr and if it's worth the investment.
#12
You can always pickup an attenuator like the thd hot plate if you find the amperfect if too loud. It let's you crank the amount up at low volumes.
Guitars:
PRS Custom 24
Gibson Les Paul 60's Tribute
85' MIJ Strat
97' Snakepit Les Paul
LP Traditional 1960 Zebra
MIJ Tele
MIA Strat

Amps:
Silver Jubilee 2525
Peavey Ultra 112
Jet City JCA50H
66' Bassman
Pink Paisley Princeton RV
74' Vibro Champ
#13
Amplifiers amplify, so if you can ONLY use it at low volumes you will be much happier (and more financially endowed) by choosing a good DMFX or amp sims.  A tube amp can sound good at low volumes, it's just a waste of resources if you can't crank it up.  Lots of folks do own a pro touring rig like a Mesa Roadster or 5150 just for low volume BR use but they would probably get more satisfaction with a Pod or other DMFX with a lot less cash outlay.  When you plan to gig, get an amp.
"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
#14
Quote by Cajundaddy
Amplifiers amplify, so if you can ONLY use it at low volumes you will be much happier (and more financially endowed) by choosing a good DMFX or amp sims.  A tube amp can sound good at low volumes, it's just a waste of resources if you can't crank it up.  Lots of folks do own a pro touring rig like a Mesa Roadster or 5150 just for low volume BR use but they would probably get more satisfaction with a Pod or other DMFX with a lot less cash outlay.  When you plan to gig, get an amp.


I agree...and disagree.

I started off on digital modelers & headphones. Played that way for three years before I bought a Fender HRD combo. My digital modelers still get the simple majority of my guitar playing time (I don't gig)...and I just bought an Orange TH30 for Christmas.

Why?

One reason is that when you want to play an amp, there's more satisfaction in playing an actual amp.

Headphones muss your hair.

Some pedals don't work with modelers, and I love pedals

Most importantly, almost every modeler I've tried has had some models that just don't cut it.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#15
Quote by Cajundaddy
Amplifiers amplify, so if you can ONLY use it at low volumes you will be much happier (and more financially endowed) by choosing a good DMFX or amp sims.  A tube amp can sound good at low volumes, it's just a waste of resources if you can't crank it up.  Lots of folks do own a pro touring rig like a Mesa Roadster or 5150 just for low volume BR use but they would probably get more satisfaction with a Pod or other DMFX with a lot less cash outlay.  When you plan to gig, get an amp.

Really depends on the amp, how loud you can play at home and how much you're willing/able to spend. I went from a 6505 & rectifier 4x12 to a Kemper for that reason. Then ended up buying a 5150 III just because I missed the in room feel of a real amp and needed something for jamming. Funny thing, the 6505 rig sounded better at TV volumes than the 5153 with a single 2x12 o.O

@ Done the Shred

What do you want to change from your current setup? Which model(s) do you find yourself using withe VIP1? You might be better off just upgrading to the 12" VIP2, 8" combos don't do metal very well :P
Fleet of MiJ Ibanez
Couple of Balls
Peavey & EVH Wolfgangs
Eclipse
Fender HM Strat
Kemper KPA
5150 III 50w & cabs
#16
Quote by Done the Shred
My main concern is talk of tube amps being no good at low volume levels


Most modern high gain amps will sound good at low volume I have a Mesa Roadster 2X12 combo that is switchable from 100w to 50w qnd it sounds great in my smallish jam room at home I get great tone and plenty of low end.
"A well-wound coil is a well-wound coil regardless if it's wound with professional equipment, or if somebody's great-grandmother winds it to an old French recipe with Napoleon's modified coffee grinder and chops off the wire after a mile with an antique guillotine!"
- Bill Lawrence

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Time for primal concrete sledge

#17
it depends on how quietly you have to play, but i'm like danny- i only play at home and i really like having tube amps. i don't share any walls with neighbours, but i do live in a built-up area (plus my ears are pretty sensitive), so I'm nowhere near cranked up levels.

it's not just about the power tubes colouring the sound.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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.

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Et tu, br00tz?
#18
Quote by Done the Shred
Okay thanks for the input everyone, what's the general consensus on these lunchbox 1-5 watt heads that seem to be mostly hybrids? I.e 6505 piranha, orange micro dark. I trust the community here enough to let me know if theyre even worth going to try out.

Will definitely look at the dark terror though and I've seen used 6505+ 112s go for as low as £250 so it can't hurt to try one out at low volume see how it fairs compared to the vypyr and if it's worth the investment.

First off; read this and fully take all of its content onboard:

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/the_guide_to/killing_the_myths_of_low_volume_amp_performance.html

I personally think the 6505 Piranha is a toy. Very boxy and fizzy high gain tone that cannot be dialed out of the amp no matter how hard you try.

Going used with something like a 6505+112 really is your best option. Especially if you've seen one as cheap as £250 used. That's an absolute steal.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
#19
Yeah that's what I gathered about the lunchboxes from reviews, I'm by no means dissatisfied with the vypyr and an 12 inch over an 8 inch I don't think will make me that much more satisfied.

I do tend towards the 6505, budda and twin models on the vypyr so no reason not to get a 6505 112 combo in that case then.

Last question, do attenuators destroy the tone in any noticeable way or are they generally considered a good thing, obviously in the case of getting a good quality attenuator.

Thanks for all the replys again.
#20
my Mesa Dual Recto solo is my favorite in home amp , plays great at quiet volume levels , modeling would be a good option too
#21
If space is a concern, I'd recommend a Peavey 6505 MH. It's fairly small and has variable wattage. Place it on the 7 watt setting and it sounds pretty good at low volumes. Pair it with a decent 1X12 and you can get some pretty gnarly metal tones, even at low volumes. 
My crap:

Guitars
Jackson RR3T Limited Edition with Seymour Duncan Blackouts (MIJ)
Jackson JS1-X Rhoads
Jackson PDXT with Seymour Duncan Black Winters
Dean Vendetta XM

Amps
Peavey 6505 MH
Carvin 1X12 Cab

Pedals
Boss TU-3 Tuner
Boss NS-2 Noise Gate
Boss DD-7 Delay
Last edited by BlackDeath92 at Mar 15, 2017,
#22
Quote by dannyalcatraz
I agree...and disagree.

I started off on digital modelers & headphones.  Played that way for three years before I bought a Fender HRD combo.  My digital modelers still get the simple majority of my guitar playing time (I don't gig)...and I just bought an Orange TH30 for Christmas.

Why?

One reason is that when you want to play an amp, there's more satisfaction in playing an actual amp.

Headphones muss your hair.

Some pedals don't work with modelers, and I love pedals

Most importantly, almost every modeler I've tried has had some models that just don't cut it.

Hey I love tube amps (I own 4) and all of them are useable at residential volumes.  I also gig 2x/mo and that is where they really get a good workout.  I rehearse at home with an amp because I am preparing myself for the next gig but I also get pretty glorious tone with a few modelers whether on headphones, studio monitors, or loud and proud with a powered wedge.  I have gigged with just DMFX and in some settings it is exactly the right tool.  For a 60s-70s rock band that is long on improvisation when playing live, an amp and pedals work best for me.  Choose the tool that meets your needs the best.
"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
#23
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#24
Most of my tube amps are usable at low volumes. Some of my big heads aren't, but that's a given. My all time faves are the Laney LG15 (great reverb!) and Orange Tiny Terror. Both of these are fantastic value small amps that sound amazing at any volume.
The H&K small heads also come to mind for OP to try out - they have speaker defeat and all kinds of wattage options, plus direct out with speaker emulation. I think some of the small Laney IRT series does that as well.
#25
Quote by Done the Shred
Yeah that's what I gathered about the lunchboxes from reviews, I'm by no means dissatisfied with the vypyr and an 12 inch over an 8 inch I don't think will make me that much more satisfied.

I do tend towards the 6505, budda and twin models on the vypyr so no reason not to get a 6505 112 combo in that case then.

The 6505 112 does the 6505 sound substantially better than just a Peavey Vypyr trying to cop it. Trust me. Try one and you'll see.

Also, the 12" speaker over the 8" makes an enormous difference to tone. A 12" speaker (the standard size for guitar cabinets) is going to give you significantly more low end than an 8" speaker, generally. Simply because a larger speaker can push more air than a smaller one per the laws of physics. Upgrading to a standard sized speaker for guitar and a better amp will make a difference.

The only downside with going for an actual 6505 is that such amps lack clean headroom, so you're going to have trouble getting a super clean tone from one. But it'll do high gain tones a ton better than the Vypyr ever will.
Last question, do attenuators destroy the tone in any noticeable way or are they generally considered a good thing, obviously in the case of getting a good quality attenuator. .

Power attenuators sound like they're the'll magically solve the problem of getting great tone at low volumes, but in reality they're a bit of a marketing scam. Not because they don't lower the power of the amp, because they do. But they won't necessarily make your amp sound any better. They oversimplify the nature of the problem. And again, it ties back to that article I sent to you before.

Speakers sound different when they're driven hard vs. being driven quietly. Especially when it comes to guitar speakers that by design do not have a flat EQ curve. There is simply no way to get around the fact to get speakers to sound like they're being driven hard (when they sound good) is by driving them harder.

If you actually listen to what power attenuators actually do to the sound, they cut out a load of bass from the guitar tone, which for metal playing is the exact opposite of what you want. This is because bass requires an exponentially greater amount of power the lower the frequencies you're trying to reproduce. By using a power attenuator to cut the amp's power, you're cutting out the amp's ability to reproduce bass frequencies. Which is why amps that are very low power or amps that have their power handling heavily attenuated tend to sound very thin, especially when you try to boost them with tons of gain.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
#26
In this instance, I would get an Orange Micro Dark. It is hybrid, so the power amp is solid state, meaning good sound at low volumes. It is a high gain version of the Micro Terror, which is what I use, but with a TS9. The Micro Dark is the same price as the Micro Terror so if you mostly play metal, get that. The only real doenside is that it doesn't have an EQ, and instead a tone knob, which is like the one on a guitar, but more responsive.

Edit: Oops, the Micro Dark has a shape knob which is mid controll. I Thought that that was only the Dark Terror.
Just a teenage girl who loves playing guitar way too much, if that's even possible.

I live for my girlfriend. <3
Last edited by gogiregion at Mar 15, 2017,
#27
Quote by gogiregion
In this instance, I would get an Orange Micro Dark. It is hybrid, so the power amp is solid state, meaning good sound at low volumes.

*sigh*

The fact that an amp has a solid state power section doesn't mean it'll sound great at low volumes. Low volume performance has nothing to do with it being tube or solid state. It's all about what is listed in this article:

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/the_guide_to/killing_the_myths_of_low_volume_amp_performance.html
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
#28
T00DEEPBLUE

If you post that link 3 times on the same page, The Candyman will appear.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#29
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
*sigh*

The fact that an amp has a solid state power section doesn't mean it'll sound great at low volumes. Low volume performance has nothing to do with it being tube or solid state. It's all about what is listed in this article:

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/the_guide_to/killing_the_myths_of_low_volume_amp_performance.html


i just need to make sure somebody who comes into this thread reads your post. +1TDB!
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#30
T00DEEPBLUE on notice of your profile you are a fellow wirral squirrel and I respect your cynical but well informed output on the topic.

Have always wanted a 6505 and after this thread it seems like the next step after your standard modelers. I don't think buying more expensive modelling gear ala line 6 pod or the same amp with a bigger speaker will satiate the appetite for tubes (till I've got the £££ for a kemper)

Thanks for the input everybody much appreciated.
#32
Quote by Done the Shred
T00DEEPBLUE on notice of your profile you are a fellow wirral squirrel and I respect your cynical but well informed output on the topic.

Wirral Squirrel? That's a new one on me.

Send me a PM of where in Wirral you're located if you want and see if I bump into you in my travels.

My view isn't necessarily cynical though. Power attenuators do indeed work the way they're advertised to, but it is wrong to believe that the issue with low volume amp performance is rooted solely in the power of the amp. It isn't really anybody's fault that they think a lower power amp will automatically sound better at lower volumes. That information was simply passed down 50th hand from the first guy who started making such claims because they were deceived by misleading marketing. It just is what it is.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
#33
I've been using a 5 watt Valve Jr for 10 years. Also have a few of the Nano Legacy heads, but the SS stuff is a different story. A good clean low watt head can do a lot things, but it will be dependent on a pedal board. The amps just won't do it alone. Not to say that's a bad thing. I took a $250 amp and turned it into a $750 amp. To me it was money well spent because it does exactly what I want it to do, but 750 is 750. You get a lot of amp for that. Just say'in. Think about your actual needs before you get your wallet out.    
  
Dean Icon PZ
Line 6 Variax 700
Dean V-Wing
Dean ML 79 SilverBurst
MXR M 108
H2O Chorus/Echo
Valve Junior (V3 Head/Cab and Combo)
VHT Special 6
Phonic 620 Power Pod PA
Wampler Super Plextortion
Line 6 Pod HD
Last edited by scott58 at Mar 15, 2017,
#34
VHT special 6 ultra
its got an adjustable wattage control and a high or low power mode.
so you can do like .5-3 watts on low and 3-6 watts on high(i might be slightly off on the numbers)
basically, it maintains its tone at low volumes.
it has a really nice high gain input too, but no channel switching so you'll need a pedal for distortion if you switch from clean to high gain.

can get one used for about $250
VHT Special 6 ultra
TC HOF Reverb
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Taylor GA 214E
Last edited by the_white_bunny at Mar 15, 2017,
#35
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
*sigh*

The fact that an amp has a solid state power section doesn't mean it'll sound great at low volumes. Low volume performance has nothing to do with it being tube or solid state. It's all about what is listed in this article:

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/the_guide_to/killing_the_myths_of_low_volume_amp_performance.html


Oh. It does sound good at low volumes, though. Maybe it's not because it's hybrid. I mean, I knew everything in that article except for the speaker could be the culprit thing, but until recently I played with a 5" speaker with a lower resistance and 1/4 of the correct resistance, and that sounded good only at really low levels. Below bedroom use. Since I upgraded to an 8" speaker (with the correct resistance this time!), it has to be at least bedroom levels to sound good, so not a problem. That explains why it does that. The Orange Micro Terror and Micro Dark just sound good in general. I was just saying that because rhe guy at my local music store says tubes sound best with volume (power amp tubes) at 12:00. You get a very consistent sound with the hybrid amps.
Just a teenage girl who loves playing guitar way too much, if that's even possible.

I live for my girlfriend. <3
Last edited by gogiregion at Mar 15, 2017,
#37
Done the Shred if you wanna start buying real tube amp.. You should have budget also to buy full-soak loadbox or isolated cabinet if you want crank it up in your home...or you'll get shot by your neighbour before get the sound what you hear in a youtube guitar amp review channel...
#38
Quote by datresults
Done the Shred if you wanna start buying real tube amp.. You should have budget also to buy full-soak loadbox or isolated cabinet if you want crank it up in your home...or you'll get shot by your neighbour before get the sound what you hear in a youtube guitar amp review channel...


+1 A loadbox thing lets you get all the cranked sounds that you would want out of a good tube amp, while not annoying your neibors. I've seen people use then to allow themselves to crank up a 100 watt, with power amp distortion and everything, and still not need ear protection. Now, you have to consider that speakers sound bad at too low of volumes, but that still won't mean too much since it's usually below 1/2 (below 1) volume that speakers sound bad.
Just a teenage girl who loves playing guitar way too much, if that's even possible.

I live for my girlfriend. <3
#39
Checkout the Laney IRT-Studio. Sounds great for the house. The built in speaker emulation is a little weak but it's great otherwise.
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .