Pedals and Amps

nussbajh

So this is how I change away from “New Member”
Joined
Sep 9, 2016
Messages
169
Location
Charlotte, NC
Growing up, I had a Fender solid state amp for playing with a Line 6 POD. It was good for the time, but I never found the tone I was really looking for. Then, about 5 or 6 years ago I finally went with a tube amp and it changed everything for me. Still with tubes, I started accumulating pedals, and have a decent collection. Then I got into PRS amps and GAS took hold of me until now, with a stable consisting of an Archon 50/25, HXDA 50 and DG 30.

I have gotten rid of all of my other amps as I feel these give me all the tones I want/need. I still have my pedal board in the middle of the room and more pedals in a closet, and other than compression and some OD, rarely touch any of it. Is it common to get to a point where you just want your guitar and a cranked up amp? I’m debating selling most of the pedals. Anyone else done this and regretted it?

Also, appreciate all of you on this forum. I’ve gained a tone of wisdom, and entertainment, during my time here.
 
Growing up, I had a Fender solid state amp for playing with a Line 6 POD. It was good for the time, but I never found the tone I was really looking for. Then, about 5 or 6 years ago I finally went with a tube amp and it changed everything for me. Still with tubes, I started accumulating pedals, and have a decent collection. Then I got into PRS amps and GAS took hold of me until now, with a stable consisting of an Archon 50/25, HXDA 50 and DG 30.

I have gotten rid of all of my other amps as I feel these give me all the tones I want/need. I still have my pedal board in the middle of the room and more pedals in a closet, and other than compression and some OD, rarely touch any of it. Is it common to get to a point where you just want your guitar and a cranked up amp? I’m debating selling most of the pedals. Anyone else done this and regretted it?

Also, appreciate all of you on this forum. I’ve gained a tone of wisdom, and entertainment, during my time here.
I played my HDRX 20 tonight. I get by with playing fairly loud at home, if I play before the wife goes to bed. I find that even with that, I can’t push the HDRX PI stage into overdrive. It’s just too loud. So pedals are the only way that amp will work for me. But boy, it sure sounds great with pedals. I played at least 3-4 completely different varieties of tone tonight without ever touching one knob on the amp. Just like Lew said it would, this amp needs pedals to get tones that I want. Not that it’s bad without them, it is NOT. Just doesn’t have enough gain IF you can’t turn the master up at least half.
,
Side note, for those keeping score at home, since I promised to use the Power Station so that I could push it way up and use mostly amp gain: There is a weird thing that can happen with any amp once you open it up, that if you sit to close to it, it will squeal. Well, with the HDRX up past half way, even when not playing, and even if I’m 8 feet or so from the amp, it squeals. I looked up a solution for this and basically there is none, because it’s not a “problem,” with amp/PS etc., it’s just what happens when you’re too close to the amp.

Side note #2: For those keeping score at home, remember I was planning well ahead to build a ”Hendrix rig.” A Silver Sky into an HDRX amp opened up, and of course a fuzz, wah, vibe, etc. But the Power Station I got from 11top was MAINLY in planning for that rig. TBH, it’s no benefit at all with the Bogner or the Archon as they sound just as good with the masters turned down, as they do with it up and using the Power Station to tame volume. So, the PS was MAINLY to us with the HDRX, and in my room, it doesn’t work.

All that to say, if you have amps that get THE tones you want, then pedals can still be used to push it to other places, for solos or whatever. If your amp doesn’t have the gain levels you need, you need pedals to push it to there. They can also shape it with or without much push, and of course, add solo boost/volume from there. So in short (HA!) YES, you need pedals. Don’t throw them in the closet unless they DON’T give you something you want, and if that’s the case flip them and get something else that does!
 
Last edited:
I have quite a few OD pedals. If I found tones in them that I really liked into one of my amps, I keep them. There will be a day when I am looking for that particular tone with that amp or another one it pairs well with. I have amps that I use the gain in and some amps that I run clean and get all of my tones from my pedal board. I like to change it up sometimes. My main gigging amp is run clean. Pedals are much easier to store than amps. :) I do however feel that I have enough OD pedals at this point that I am not going to find anything ground breaking or better than what I already have. I can always find what I am wanting to hear with the pedals I have now.

I have been finding that the older I get and for some reason my hearing is going through some sort of growing right now, I am hearing things I didn't used to hear. I would say I am hearing more details these days. I tend to set my pedals for my lead tone and volume then roll my guitar volume back for other tones and volumes. I use them more like a cranked amp. I don't use OD pedals with my Twin Sister. It has all of the gain tones I need right in the amp. I have also noticed that I am hearing the top end roll off when rolling my guitar volume back, even with a treble bleed in the guitar. There is this little roll off on the very top end right as the treble bleed is starting to affect the tone. I have 5 different guitars out in my room right now and they are not all PRS and I can hear it on every one of them. I just noticed this a couple of weeks ago and now I can't unhear it. These are the types of things that my ears have been picking up on these days.
 
I still have my pedal board in the middle of the room and more pedals in a closet, and other than compression and some OD, rarely touch any of it. Is it common to get to a point where you just want your guitar and a cranked up amp? I’m debating selling most of the pedals. Anyone else done this and regretted it?
Yup, I've done it and regretted it more than once! I also regret selling some of the great rack gear I had back in the late '80s/early '90s, since that was able to do double duty in my recording rig. I don't know what I was thinking.

The nice thing about pedals is that you can bypass them and go into the amp without signal loss if you have a transparent buffer, or just plug into the amp, but when you want to use them to add a little spice and color, you have those options.

If you're not into all of the pedals, I get it, and I'd move the ones you rarely use.

One thing I'll mention in passing is that there are players who rely on the pedals for tone through clean amps, instead of using the pedal more as a source of extra push and coloration, but still relying on the amp for its tone.

The DG in particular is great with pedals. So I'd hang onto a few.
 
Last edited:
For the last I don't know, 25 years, I've run a pretty substantial pedal board, all for one reason: To replicate parts in songs that the bands I've been in play. 95% of the time, the only pedals that are on are an MXR 10-band eq, and a RYRA Klone. If I'm doing "Born On The Bayou," I hit my tremelo pedal. If I'm playing "Too Rolling Stoned," I hit my vibe pedal, and so on.

I think back to my totally "classic rock" band, where I was running a beautiful sounding JCM800 50-watter with 1960A cab. All I ran through was an MXR 6-band eq, and I had a Cry Baby. Someone should KICK MY A$$ for ever selling that rig!
 
Someone should KICK MY A$$ for ever selling that rig!
I feel that way about selling my Two Rock Onyx Signature v.2. It was an incredibly good amp. I was going to replace it later, but they stopped making them, and I wasn't as crazy about the Classic Reverb Sig I bought later, that apparently they're still making.

The Onyx Sig was a great amp.
 
Good question. WRT gear, selling and pain are inextricably linked. Then again, someone is always coming out with the next best thing, and you'll be interested. I've been exploring tone primarily from an amp circuit perspective over the last few years. What seems to be true is that channel switching amps tend to do one good thing and not the other, and on single channel amps, you can either breathe fire and roll back in the cockpit for cleans, or set up the amp for headroom and then slam the input with stompboxes for dirt. Just thinking through it, I would keep your pedals, and plan on buying more later. :cool:
 
Side note, for those keeping score at home, since I promised to use the Power Station so that I could push it way up and use mostly amp gain: There is a weird thing that can happen with any amp once you open it up, that if you sit to close to it, it will squeal. Well, with the HDRX up past half way, even when not playing, and even if I’m 8 feet or so from the amp, it squeals. I looked up a solution for this and basically there is none, because it’s not a “problem,” with amp/PS etc., it’s just what happens when you’re too close to the amp.

Side note #2: For those keeping score at home, remember I was planning well ahead to build a ”Hendrix rig.” A Silver Sky into an HDRX amp opened up, and of course a fuzz, wah, vibe, etc. But the Power Station I got from 11top was MAINLY in planning for that rig. TBH, it’s no benefit at all with the Bogner or the Archon as they sound just as good with the masters turned down, as they do with it up and using the Power Station to tame volume. So, the PS was MAINLY to us with the HDRX, and in my room, it doesn’t work.
Just to contrast - at the roughly 70 db +/- 5 db that I usually play, I am literally 2 to 3 ft. from my mkv25 plugged into the PS2. I can make is squeal by getting very close to the amp, but just sitting the 2 to 3 ft away, it does not squeal. That is even with decent gain dialed in (usually no more than 11 AM on the knob) and the master at 3 PM on the knob. This with the Santana for sure, and the S2 Studio, even in the neck position. From what I understand, it is transformer squeal from the PS2? Anyway, gear, configuration and proximity probably all affect this.
 
I have a remarkably similar gear progression. I started with a line 6 spider 3, bought a vox, bought a fender, and then a bunch of pedals.

Played on the road for a few years which led to more pedals and more amps. I went down the dumble rabbit hole with a 20w clone and later a 100w which replaced ALL of the ODs on my board (most of my board was OD) so all that's left is reverb, delay, and sometimes modulation.

Although I'm not out every weekend like I was, I still have everything. Like you, I sometimes toy with the idea of selling or trading a bunch of it but haven't from a combination of nostalgia and my mother-in-law wanting to record a few times a year.
 
As I'm in an Electric hiatus for a while ( to hone my acoustic chops) and after running sound for 500+ artists in the last year , I've become disenchanted with the all in one pedalboards in a box that have run across the stage .. the artists seem to enjoy them , but I can tell you ALL of them sound WAY to processed and thin. The old school cats that have minimum setups typically have maximum tone .

The boss agrees .. She's very Brit and " Why do they have all that kit and still can't get a proper sound " I brought my pedal board in and showed her the how and why , but all my settings are very subtle, She's heard me play through all of my collection through lots of setups .. and still prefers the purity of Guitar+ Cord .. a bit of reverb and a good sound man ...

It reminds me of Pauls TED talk on guitars .. and the subtractive nature of components ..which also touches on that wood debate ..

 
The more years I play , the less boxes I use. I have a DG 30 and Blue Sierra 50 Paisley and yep they cover all the bases .. These days after 48 years of playing .. a bit of gain and reverb and I'm happy

I know. I have a rubbermaid storage bin FULL of pedals that I hardly use. Go figure! :)
 
Back
Top