I have a Carvin V3 that I use for basically all types of music. I use the third channel obviously for total cleans, the second channel for Tubescreamer Overdrive (from my Keeley-modded TS9) and Al Di Meola-type distortion (from my Keeley-modded DS-1). The type of distortion I mean is heavy, with sustain, but tasteful at the same time, not a Slayer distortion (think "Surrounded" or "Lines In The Sand" by Dream Theater). The first channel is pure high-gain. The problem I have though is, when using the TS9 and DS-1, the individual notes sound great, but chords are pretty unbearable. Sometimes the listener might not even be able to tell what chord it is. For example, if I were to play an Am (barre chord form) you wouldn't be able to tell until the volume automatically lowers from time. Is there any way I can get a good Overdrive/Distortion but still be able to clearly hear chords? I've been fiddling with the countless knobs forever but can't seem to find something that works.

I realize my wording may not be 100% clear, but if you can understand what I'm getting at, any and all help will be very much appreciated.

Last edited by JeffWiredBeck24 at Jun 1, 2008,
Probably a better pedal tbh. Or better pickups. Better pickups should help on clarity.
maybe it's just bad pickups or too much gain.
I think of too much gain first cuz I use Invader pickup that really isn't known for it's clarity but I can still hear each chord...with gain on about half...maybe little more...on my BBE crusher dist pedal...hmmm...
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Hmm, I have DiMarzio Breed and Air Norton, and they sound great on all other occasions. Any way the EQ'ing of my gain channels might be fixed for more clarity?
Quote by JeffWiredBeck24
Hmm, I have DiMarzio Breed and Air Norton, and they sound great on all other occasions. Any way the EQ'ing of my gain channels might be fixed for more clarity?

You could try bumping up your mids and backing off the gain and bass a little bit.
Presence you'll have to fool with a bit on your own. What it does is add "sparkle" (for lack of a better word) to your signal before it hits the speakers. Our ears pick this up as an increase in highs and high mids. Which will in turn make the tone seem a little more "lively" and "bright". If your not careful though, it'll turn your sound into a chainsaw. So, set the channel EQ to where it seems "just about there" and add a little presence to taste.
another vote for turn down the gain....
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Your crappy amp achieved a purposely crappy tone? I'll alert the presses.
Well, my second channel is where my main problem is. The Gain on that is at about 2, and the rest of the crunch and gain come from the pedals. Should I up the gain on the amp and roll it back on the pedals?
Turn the gain down on the ts9 and up the level and just use it as a boost, it works best in this manner.
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^All right, thanks to everyone for all the help. Just one more question, does the Master Volume have anything to do with clarity? Right now I just have it set at 12 o'clock and set the other volume to that.
No, gain and bass are probably your biggest culprits are far as muddiness are concerned. Also, you aren't using the ds-1 and the ts9 together are you? That will definitely cause some mud running a distortion and an OD together.
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
If you're using the TS-9 and DS-1 at the same time, does using either of them alone meet the gain/sustain requirements and give you clear chording? The muddy chords could be a product of both the overdrive and distortion being used together.
Im not sure onwhat your amp can do as far as this goes, but try having another channel (seperate EQ/gain settings needed) thats cleaner and footswitch to it when you are playing chords in songs... its what i do.. i like tons of distortion to the point it dosnt work with chords well(like you) so i think we are in the same boat

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I don't use the TS9 and the DS-1 at the same time. The TS9 is for the bluesy-type crunch and the DS-1 is for the tasteful-type distortion.

So far I got:
-Roll back the bass
-Up the mids
-Roll back the gain on the pedals and up it on the amp (use the pedals to color the sound I suppose)

I'll just fiddle around with Presence and whatnot to find my ideal tone.

Thanks everyone.