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#1
I'm not sure about anybody else...but I like my distortion a lot like I like my beer. I like it with substance, I like it to be thick and full of body, and I like it to be smooth; at the same time, though, I want to knock me out.

Classy and crushing. Defined yet destructive. You get the idea.

I hear it on so many metal records. I hear it on a lot of good rock records. It's a rich a thick sounding distortion that I would just love to have. I've tried quite a few pedals that are supposed to help lay down some thick distortion. Boss Metal Zone. EH Metal Muff. MXR Distortion III (briefly). But they all sounded a bit off. Something that I can only find myself discribing as "hollow" or "thin" sounding.

To get to the point: Is this thick and heavy sound I'm after the product of higher priced amps? Is it a tube amp characteristic and thusly outside my price range? And most importantly: Are there any distortion/overdrive pedals you can recommend that can perhaps give me a bit of full bodied distortion?

Any suggestions or help would be *greatly* appreciated!
#2
either play around with the line 6 uber metal pedal, or start saving for a tube stack amp
#3
Price range?
Current equipment?

We're most likely looking at a new amp here
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#4
ya man tubes make a huge difference its like warms the sound to fill it out and sort of filter it. tube stack like a ENGL powerball. really pricey though:P
#5
I know what you mean. Before I got my amp, I used my Zoom processor for my distortions. They sound pretty good if you find the right one and play around with eq a bit, but they all sounded thin. My Randall has much more of that "body" that pedal distortions lack. You don't necessarily have to buy an expensive all tube amp (mine's a hybrid, solid state plus one tube in the preamp), but IMO there's no pedal that can do for you what an amp cant. The trick is just finding the right amp.
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#6
I was very very afraid of that

Current equipment is a Line 6 Spider II 30-watt practice amp. I've been living in dorms and haven't really been allowed anything elaborate.

Price range is probably something under $600. Not much.
#7
its usually alot thicker and heavier when you add bass to your recording. normally you would think that a metal song you hear is like just the guitar but if you solo out the guitar track its probably not as heavy as you think. bass (the instrument) makes a big difference
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#8
Quote by slayer_zero
its usually alot thicker and heavier when you add bass to your recording. normally you would think that a metal song you hear is like just the guitar but if you solo out the guitar track its probably not as heavy as you think. bass (the instrument) makes a big difference


yeah as well as that the drums make a huge difference in making the track sound heavier.
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#9
For $600 you could probably get a used Ashdown Fallen Angel combo, that would really suit you. To be honest you won't get the sound your looking for with a pedal especially as digital amps like the spider don't take weel to pedals at all
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#10
Quote by absolutezero410
I was very very afraid of that

Current equipment is a Line 6 Spider II 30-watt practice amp. I've been living in dorms and haven't really been allowed anything elaborate.

Price range is probably something under $600. Not much.



In the short term, use your spiders clean chanel only and use your pedals for all of your distortion/overdrive. A good EQ pedal will work wonders for you and can really help tighten up your tone. If you spend a $100 or so on a good 7 or 10 band eq then that should be able to hold you over untill you can get a better amp. You won't have the tone you are looking for, but you will be a lot closer.

A good compression pedal will also work wonders for getting a heavy tone. I suggest looking at www.cmatmods.com
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#11
You could buy a tube preamp, and re-amp its output to your current solid-state amp, which sounds great, because with a high-gain, tube preamp, it basically doesn't matter how crappy your POS solid-state practice amp is—it'll still sound good because the preamp is making the primary sound, NOT the amp.

But tube preamps can be expensive ($500 USD and up). Or check out the Damage Control Solid Metal tube pedal. That's probably the closest thing you're going to get to a tube-preamp sound, all for "only" $200 USD. The DC Solid Metal and Demonizer, are both basically tube preamps, in a pedal form factor. I bet that's the "cheapest" but "best" way solve your problem.
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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Dec 8, 2007,
#12
Quote by LEVEL4
You could buy a tube preamp, and re-amp its output to your current solid-state amp, which sounds great, because with a high-gain, tube preamp, it basically doesn't matter how crappy your POS solid-state practice amp is—it'll still sound good because the preamp is making the primary sound, NOT the amp.

But tube preamps can be expensive ($500 USD and up). Or check out the Damage Control Solid Metal tube pedal. That's probably the closest thing you're going to get to a tube-preamp sound, all for "only" $200 USD. The DC Solid Metal and Demonizer, are both basically tube preamps, in a pedal form factor. I bet that's the "cheapest" but "best" way solve your problem.


if your trying to say that the power section doesnt affect the sound of your amp, you are a 1000% in correct. a good tube preamp is still gonna sound like a solid state through a solid state power section. Look at the Vox AD30vt or whatever it is its got 1 tube in the preamp its a hybrid. You want thick distortion buy a Rectifier. Another good one i found yesterday, the Randall modular series the XTC module sounds thick and heavy as **** im thinking about buying one
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#13
Quote by Syn Harvest
if your trying to say that the power section doesnt affect the sound of your amp, you are a 1000% in correct.
A good power amp does affect your sound, but not by 1000%.

Quote by Syn Harvest
. . . a good tube preamp is still gonna sound like a solid state through a solid state power section.
Wrong.
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#14
i second the Randall MTS series, i just got mine yesterday. though i use the "Modern" module for my distortion channel, it is still very thick sounding. after cranking a tube amp some you notice the change in sound that you would never get from a SS amp. i also have the Vox ADVT30 and it held me off for two years and got really good reproduction of tube sounds. but of course the power section will make a difference not just ur preamp tubes. for $600 though, i see no reason why you couldn't find a used tube combo or even a head that would suit your tastes. or maybe get a tube combo/head that gets almost as hi gain as you can afford, and buy a OD pedal or EQ pedal.
thats my two cents
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#15
^ it'll sound good, but not as fat or as warm as it possibly could be. Valve preamps without a valve poweramp will sound fine, although perhaps lacking a little body, detail, compression and dynamics. A Good valve poweramp will pwn a ****ty Solid State one, but yeah a ****ty Solid State one doesn't equal bad tone.
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#16
Quote by LEVEL4
Just to be clear, I'm not talking about a Vox AD30VT, or any other hybrid amp. I'm talking about Engl, Mesa, or Marshall-type, stand-alone, tube preamps. Put the output of any one of those preamps into the crappiest solid-state amp you can find, and I guarantee you, it will still have that "tube" quality, and still sound pretty f*cking good.

it wont exactly mate, but it ill be close.

personally, the only amp that i find to get me that ball shaking, feel it in your chest low end, and fluid, smooth tones at the same time is a mesa boogie.
sure, im a huge fanboy...but fanboys ARE fanboys for a reason
#17
Quote by Syn Harvest
Look at the Vox AD30vt or whatever it is its got 1 tube in the preamp its a hybrid.
Just to be clear, I'm not talking about a Vox AD30VT, or any other hybrid amp. I'm talking about Engl, Mesa, or Marshall-type, stand-alone, tube preamps. Put the output of any one of those preamps into the crappiest solid-state amp you can find, and I guarantee you, it will still have that "tube" tonal character, and still sound pretty f*cking goddamned good.
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#19
Quote by MrCarrot
^ it'll sound good, but not as fat or as warm as it possibly could be. Valve preamps without a valve poweramp will sound fine, although perhaps lacking a little body, detail, compression and dynamics. A Good valve poweramp will pwn a ****ty Solid State one, but yeah a ****ty Solid State one doesn't equal bad tone.
Granted. But I was surprised myself how good my Engl sounded through my POS Crate. Will be able to do an A/B test as soon as I get my Mesa 20/20 power amp.
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#20
Quote by LEVEL4
Granted. But I was surprised myself how good my Engl sounded through my POS Crate. Will be able to do an A/B test as soon as I get my Mesa 20/20 power amp.



compare that to how it'd sound though a mesa 100 stereo poweramp
#21
Quote by godofshred
^now that is odd.
Yeah!

Anyway, I was just trying to clear up something up that confused me at first as well. There seems to be a huge amount of myth, mixed with fact, half-truths, and erroneous assumptions, when it comes to everything regarding tone and amplification. I'm no sound engineer, so I don't understand it all myself, but until you try it for yourself, and hear these things with your own ears, you don't really know what the differences are (or how large they are), and what the actual results of certain combinations of gear sound like.
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#22
are you talking about the sound where your basically cranking the gain as far as possible and its starts to sound almost more smooth and glassy than your cleans?

because i can get that with my big muff and neck pickup... surprisingly
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#23
Quote by latinosuperstud
are you talking about the sound where your basically cranking the gain as far as possible and its starts to sound almost more smooth and glassy than your cleans?

because i can get that with my big muff and neck pickup... surprisingly
Not sure who you're asking, or exactly what you're asking, but I have my gains pretty much cranked on everything. I get everything from bass-filled, "chunky" palm-mutes to super-high gain, "compressed" leads.
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#24
well i was refferring to the first post, and inquiring whether he was looking for that compressed lead sound you mentioned i guess...
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#25
I'll say this one more time: used Ashdown Fallen Angel combo, you won't get better on your budget. Here's one now http://cgi.ebay.com/New-Ashdown-Fallen-Angel-40-Watt-Tube-Guitar-Combo-Amp_W0QQitemZ370002142168QQihZ024QQcategoryZ10171QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
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#26
A nice high-gain tube amp with an overdrive pedal would get that nice thick sound.
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#28
Quote by LEVEL4
Just to be clear, I'm not talking about a Vox AD30VT, or any other hybrid amp. I'm talking about Engl, Mesa, or Marshall-type, stand-alone, tube preamps. Put the output of any one of those preamps into the crappiest solid-state amp you can find, and I guarantee you, it will still have that "tube" tonal character, and still sound pretty f*cking goddamned good.

Well... your engl isn't entirely tube though.... That kind of gain requires around 5 gain stages, or even 6, like the 5150/6505's have. one preamp tube can handle two gain stages, not to mention needing the driver tube and such. The Engl has 2, and there's a wicked amount of gain. I'd guess that 2 or 3 gain stages are transistor basied, like the crate palomino though.

Still a good sounding pre.

The Vox AD series uses the 12 ax7 in a powertube setting, not a preamp setting.

A good tube power amp sounds louder and sweeter than most SS poweramps, but that' s because there aren't many SS poweramps made for guitar. You'd be losing the proper frequency roll off after the 5khz range with a PA system poweramp, not to mention usually sloppy slur rates contributing to lame low end chug. I'm sure a good, guitar based SS poweramp could do great things, albeit probably expensive.
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#29
Quote by Reincaster
A good tube power amp sounds louder and sweeter than most SS poweramps, but that' s because there aren't many SS poweramps made for guitar. You'd be losing the proper frequency roll off after the 5khz range with a PA system poweramp, not to mention usually sloppy slur rates contributing to lame low end chug. I'm sure a good, guitar based SS poweramp could do great things, albeit probably expensive.
Yeah, a wicked amount of gain out of those two little 12AX7s in that Engl—far more gain than I get from my 6505 head. I mentioned this in another thread, but I''ll mention it again . . . I see what you mean about the PA amp designs because I tried a $1,000 solid-state power amp (typically used for studio monitoring applications) with my Engl, and it sounded really odd. No highs and no lows.

The solid-state Rocktron Velocity 100, on the other hand, is under $200, and Rocktron claims it was designed specifically for guitar. Curious to hear how that sounds. The Mesa 20/20 I was hoping to get tonight, just got bid up past $550, so I passed.
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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Dec 9, 2007,
#30
Quote by LEVEL4
Yeah, a wicked amount of gain out of those two little 12AX7s in that Engl—far more gain than I get from my 6505 head. I mentioned this in another thread, but I''ll mention it again . . . I see what you mean about the PA amp designs because I tried a $1,000 solid-state power amp (typically used for studio monitoring applications) with my Engl, and it sounded really odd. No highs and no lows.

The solid-state Rocktron Velocity 100, on the other hand, is under $200, and Rocktron claims it was designed specifically for guitar. Curious to hear how that sounds. The Mesa 20/20 I was hoping to get tonight, just got bid up past $550, so I passed.



I think only 30% of the gain in the engl comes from the tubes, the rest from transistor.

Yeah, PA designed amps usually emphasize the greater range over the mid range, which is important to guitar. PA amps have an emphasis on the 10khz to 20khz, since that's when drum cymbals, slap bass and the like come in, as well as vocals, which have a larger footprint than guitar.
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#31
Quote by Bossman123
I'll say this one more time: used Ashdown Fallen Angel combo, you won't get better on your budget. Here's one now http://cgi.ebay.com/New-Ashdown-Fallen-Angel-40-Watt-Tube-Guitar-Combo-Amp_W0QQitemZ370002142168QQihZ024QQcategoryZ10171QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Wrong. He can get them new for 380 from musician's friend. He can also get a used 6505/5150, used carvin v3212, new b-52, new randall rg50tc, ect.
#32
Quote by Reincaster
I think only 30% of the gain in the engl comes from the tubes, the rest from transistor.
What is your source on that information? Doesn't appear that way on the schematics. The solid-state part appears to be only used in the power amp stage, which almost no one uses.
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#33
Quote by LEVEL4
What is your source on that information? Doesn't appear that way on the schematics. The solid-state part appears to be only used in the power amp stage, which almost no one uses.


It's electronic theory. The first amp with 5 gain stages was the Marshall Mode Four. The first amp with 6 gain stages, specifically for metal, was the 5150. Half of a triode can power a single gain stage. There must be one more tube to act as a driver for the power amp. The 5150 had 5 preamp tubes, with 5 gain stages, and the others either used to power things like EQ and one to feed the appropriate signal into the poweramp, or not in use at all.

Many high gain amps have more than 4 preamp tubes, and all fenders that excel in cleans, but not high gain have 2-3 preamp tubes, maybe 1-2 more to power effects loops and reverb, like in the DRRI. Name most any of the popular high gain amps and count the preamp tubes.

It's not coincidence, otherwise, with the current trend with more and more people wanting high gain chugga chugga br00talz, all high gain amps would be using 3 preamp tubes, which would be vastly cheaper than to design a pcb and chassis to accomodate more tubes.
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#34
Quote by natel0083
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Very nice pedals. I've got the classic but I don't use it any more now that I have a nice tube amp, however, it can make a good SS amp sound like a reasonable tube amp.
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#35
Thick good distortion is a little hard to get from a ss amp. But i'd try putting an od before a distortion, cause the od gives the cream and the dist will get you the power. I dunno, works for me and makes the metal muff a little better/thicker sounding.
#36
you may have overlooked a Peavey Valve King, which is overlooked and many people claim it can't do metal, but thats them, if you play with the settings you can make just about any amp sound okay, now most people hate SS amps, which they are not the best I'll give you that, but they are okay at low volumes, and many amps require different settings,

I mean watch this video it is just a Peavey Valve King 212, with EMG pickups, but also sounds good on his other vids with fake seymour Duncans

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aTO0Z-B274

and thats the amp without PEADALS,


TO often palyers focus more on the sound than their playing, even if you have a good amp and you don't have the propper techniques you won't sound any better lol,
I mean, if you have an okay guitar with a bridge humbucker, even it ifs stock pick up, it can still output pretty good for metal, the Peavey Valve King 212 should be suffiecent enough for you, I mean it gest loud enough, but for the money
get the Peavey Valve King 212, change the speakers change the tubes and you can make it sound very close to a 5150 or 6505 honest, but if you watch that video its all stock parts

Quote by yoyodunno
Thick good distortion is a little hard to get from a ss amp. But i'd try putting an od before a distortion, cause the od gives the cream and the dist will get you the power. I dunno, works for me and makes the metal muff a little better/thicker sounding.


yeah and when one can do that =P then you know they are good at settings, buh when one can do that and play well then they deserve to get a good amp lol way to many players overlook that
#37
Quote by Reincaster
It's electronic theory. The first amp with 5 gain stages was the Marshall Mode Four. The first amp with 6 gain stages, specifically for metal, was the 5150. Half of a triode can power a single gain stage. There must be one more tube to act as a driver for the power amp. The 5150 had 5 preamp tubes, with 5 gain stages, and the others either used to power things like EQ and one to feed the appropriate signal into the poweramp, or not in use at all.

Many high gain amps have more than 4 preamp tubes, and all fenders that excel in cleans, but not high gain have 2-3 preamp tubes, maybe 1-2 more to power effects loops and reverb, like in the DRRI. Name most any of the popular high gain amps and count the preamp tubes.

It's not coincidence, otherwise, with the current trend with more and more people wanting high gain chugga chugga br00talz, all high gain amps would be using 3 preamp tubes, which would be vastly cheaper than to design a pcb and chassis to accomodate more tubes.
The Deluxe Reverb only uses 1 12AX7, IE 2 halves of a Preamp Triode. The old Marshall Plexi Preamps (The 18w through to 100w, all were the same) have 1 and a half preamp triodes. The Vox AC30 Normal Channel has 1 half... It's gonna be hard to squeeze much more gain from a couple triodes, is the point here.
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#38
I don't know if anyone has suggested the Tiny Terror but if you're looking for thick crunchy sound it's for you. With an OD pedal it'll reach decent gain levels and if you want loud cleans add a clean boost pedal. You won't get shimering cleans though, it's not fender voiced that's for sure. Click sig for sample..

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#39
Get yoself a compressor..... then we'll talk
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#40
Quote by MrCarrot
The Deluxe Reverb only uses 1 12AX7, IE 2 halves of a Preamp Triode. The old Marshall Plexi Preamps (The 18w through to 100w, all were the same) have 1 and a half preamp triodes. The Vox AC30 Normal Channel has 1 half... It's gonna be hard to squeeze much more gain from a couple triodes, is the point here.


Doesn'y the DRRI have a whole lot more preamp tubes, but just not used as gainstages?
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