#1
Hi, I have an ESP H351 that goes into my only amp which is a Roland Cube. I was thinking about getting a distortion pedal, but would it be worth it because of the amp? Should I look towards getting a better amp first?
#2
Get a good amp first. A bad amp with good pedals is still going to sound like a bad amp.
#3
If you look for a better amp it will probably have various channels and possibly come with a footswitch which would mean you wouldn't need a distortion pedal as long as you like the sound of the distortion on the amp itself.

Buying a pedal separate can't hurt tho it's always good to have variety.
#4
Distortion pedals generally do not fare well with solid state modelers like the Cube

You need a new amp.
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#5
Nothing wrong with it. The problem arises when it comes to gain pedals, as they might become pointless when you upgrade to a different amp depending on how you use them. Also, the way they interact with solid state amps isn't particularly great. This doesn't mean they won't sound ok or aren't useful, particularly if your amp doesn't have a foot switch to change channels. A cheap distortion can go a long way in that scenario, especially if you can't upgrade your amp. I must warn you though, no matter what gain pedal you throw in there, it won't sound amazing but can get you by.

Modulation, delays, etc... any other kind of pedals will be ok. They're not as dependant on the amp.
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#6
youbetailsxd What kind of music are going to playing? Because you might be able to fulfill all your needs by buying a nice 2 or 2 & 1/2 channel amp. If you're playing all types of music, I can personally recommend (from playing in a cover band for all types of music for 5 years) to get a tube amp with a nice clean channel and get the required sounds using pedals. 
Hooper drives the boat chief...
#7
You can use a distortion pedal through the clean channel of your amp whether that would be much of an improvement is pretty debatable.
#8
Find a low cost tube amp that's known to be a good pedal platform. If your not going to gig there are several 5 watters that should fit the bill for under $200 used.
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VHT Special 6
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Wampler Super Plextortion
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#10
If you're just after a quick solution to click distortion in and out while playing, then go ahead, but it probably won't sound any better than the distortion you have in the cube.
#11
Quote by GuitarHawk99
If you're just after a quick solution to click distortion in and out while playing, then go ahead, but it probably won't sound any better than the distortion you have in the cube.

This is exactly what I was going to post - with digital amps, your best tone will be setting the right amp model/EQ/gain etc.  Pedals won't likely improve on that.  However, if you just need to be able to switch from clean to dirty with a foot click, then it's not a terrible idea. If you don't have enough money to buy a great amp, buying a pedal is not terrible as long as you pick something you know you can use with the eventual amp you will buy, otherwise you're wasting money. 
#12
There's also a way to bypass the preamp section thru the CD/Aux in jack if not mistaken, so you can bypass the modeling.
It's ok to experiment but not sure how far a distortion pedal will take you as usually the front end of these is designed in such a way that it won't have much wiggle room in terms of sound.
#13
I would say yes because I still use some of those basic pedals today on my upgraded amps.  Tuner. Overdrive. Wah. Those sort of things go on long after as you upgrade. EQ lasts too. Yeah core pedals are fine. They throw you a nice surprise one day when you upgrade to a better quality amp. I would stay away from distortion type pedals if you are looking for good distortion from an ultra gain type amp as when you get the amp you'll use its distortion instead of these pedals. With that said, there are some distortions I love on my clean channel, but I have sold on a fair amount of distortion pedals from my early collection. A good solid basic delay also goes along way for solos.  
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#14
Quote by Deermonic
I would say yes because I still use some of those basic pedals today on my upgraded amps.  Tuner. Overdrive. Wah. Those sort of things go on long after as you upgrade. EQ lasts too. Yeah core pedals are fine. They throw you a nice surprise one day when you upgrade to a better quality amp. I would stay away from distortion type pedals if you are looking for good distortion from an ultra gain type amp as when you get the amp you'll use its distortion instead of these pedals. With that said, there are some distortions I love on my clean channel, but I have sold on a fair amount of distortion pedals from my early collection. A good solid basic delay also goes along way for solos.  

The problem with distortion pedals is that amps react different to different pedals. The gain pedal that works with your amp now may not be ideal with a tube amp. Tuner and EQ, yes, these should work wuthout any problems. I also find no problem with Digital delays and reverbs. But analog modulation that is placed before dirt would likely work different with different amps/pedals.
#15
^ Yeah. Not even just tube amps, but different amps full stop. Pedal A might work brilliantly with Tube Amp A but sound awful with Tube Amp B.

And yeah I agree regarding types of pedal too- dirt is really critical, delay and reverb don't much matter, and modulation is kind of in the middle.
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#16
Roland Cube is actually a pretty decent practice amp but it may not be the amp best suited for your playing.  Find the right amp for your style first and then add pedals if needed to expand your options.

Who are your favorite guitarists?  What amp do they use?  How much cash do you want to spend chasing your tone?  Where do you live?  It matters. 
"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
#17
Save that money up to buy a decent tube amp or tube hybrid amp. There's lots of good deals for used gear on Craigslist or Guitar Center