#1
I enjoy playing death metal, and was wondering if just having a good active pickup (the new AHB-1 Blackout for example) and a good amp (some Marshall or Peavey) would suit me fine. Is it always necessary to get a distortion pedal? What about pre-amp/power-amp? What exactly does that stuff do for you?
#2
no, it's not necessary.

It depends on your guitar, your amp & your picking style.
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#4
So, when metal guitarists record in studios with really good amps, do they not use any pedals due to their amp being so good?
#5
it not necessary if u just play with distortion all the time but if u wanna go from a clean or overdriven sound to a distortion then it helps
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#6
it's more common to use an overdrive pedal on top of a gain channel to add just a bit more bite. a distortion pedal tends to change the character of the signal and wouldn't serve as a 'boost' as much as some may want.
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#7
Quote by fixationdarknes
So, when metal guitarists record in studios with really good amps, do they not use any pedals due to their amp being so good?

Most likely, yes. Most people tend to prefer an amp's natural distortion to that of a pedal. However, if you're limited to a low-gain amp by your budget, a decent distortion pedal may benefit you if you want death metal gain. My Peavey Classic 30, for example, probably couldn't give me a death metal tone, even with an overdrive pedal in front to add gain, so I'd need a sufficient distortion pedal in my effects line.
Last edited by Quintessence153 at Nov 7, 2007,
#9
no. i've got an epi with emgs in it back home and it sounds fine, amp distortion or pedal distortion. a good guitar and good amp will do you very well. half of the guys on these boards talk about plugging straight in. i prefer amp distortion, but if your amp just can't do it, or if you want a variety of different tones, pedals can be quite fun.
#11
^Some, like Randy Rhoads used both at the same time.

Whatever sound you like, go for it.
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#12
IMO, the best-sounding distortion comes without using any pedals, using the overdrive that comes from a good, high-gain tube amp. Most will agree, that the least-expensive (new) head that can do metal right out-of-the-box, without using any pedals, is the Peavey 6505. Plenty enough gain to do metal all by itself.

The next best thing, IMO, is to run either a high-gain preamp, or a high-gain, tube-based pedal (e.g., Damage Control Solid Metal) through the clean channel of whatever amp you already have.

Quote by fixationdarknes
What about pre-amp/power-amp? What exactly does that stuff do for you?
Oh, I didn't see this part of your post. Yes, that's exactly what I have done. I've got a tube-based preamp (Engl E530 $510 USD) going into a solid-state power amp (Crown D45 $400 USD), and it sounds great. Any inexpensive solid-state power amp should sound perfectly fine as long as the sound coming from your preamp is already what you want.

Basically, your whole sound comes from the preamp (if you go this route). The power amp merely amplifies that pre-shaped sound to drive your speaker cabinet. It allows you to get your "sound" at any volume level, especially, very low volume levels, for recording or late-night practicing. You don't have to "crank" anything past '1' to get that "saturated tube" sound. Although, the Peavey 6505 head does this quite well at low volumes as well.
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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Nov 8, 2007,
#13
I would say a distortion pedal is only necessary if your amp is not up to the job.
Ideally, I'd have a decent valve amp, like 6505 or and ENGL which would not require any distortion pedal.
After all, why pay thousands for that valve sound, then bury it under SS pedal distortion?

However, if you have a valve amp that doesn't have enough gain you could stick an OD on the front end.

Or if you have a SS amp, stick a decent distortion pedal on the clean channel.

I use guitar -> Peavey Valveking and get enough natural distortion for death metal - just.
In fact I'm thinking of ODing it to get a little more
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#14
The way I see it, you don't want to have a pedal turned on every time you play. So I view having a pedal to boost your sounds, i.e. solos etc.

If you have the pedal on constantly you might aswell just get a new amp.

Although they're probably useful if you play a lot of styles of music, and not just permanently high gain music.
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#15
Quote by Chex
The way I see it, you don't want to have a pedal turned on every time you play. So I view having a pedal to boost your sounds, i.e. solos etc.

If you have the pedal on constantly you might aswell just get a new amp.

Although they're probably useful if you play a lot of styles of music, and not just permanently high gain music.

Some amps sound really good by themselves, but become absolutely remarkable w/ a slight boost (kind of makes me wonder why they don't just put that extra $100 boost circuit in the amp to begin with as an option).
As examples, I'd point to Mojave's 50W Scorpion & 100W Peacemaker, any of the smaller Orange amps, or any Marshall plexi-type amps.
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