What could I do to make my rig better?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by PRSfanboy46, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. PRSfanboy46

    PRSfanboy46 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2020
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    91
    Hey y'all, I am in the process of choosing my first tube amp (Im doing the orange micro terror dark so its a hybrid tube/ss head) with a matching 16 ohm 60 watt cabinet.

    My current rig (from amp to guitar):

    Orange crush 20 ------ boss rc1 looper ------- donner tremolo -------- donner tutti chorus -------- MXR phase 90 ------ donner yellow fall delay ------- boss MD2 distortion ------- cry baby wah ------- TC electronic dark matter distortion ----------------- PRS SE Custom 24 (vintage sunburst with a spalted maple veneer)

    It's okay, but I've heard the micro dark terror and through a 1x12, it sounds beautiful to my ears. I know I will technically get less volume, because its an 8 ohm head and its going into a 16 ohm cab, but the matching 8 ohm cab for it sounds like a marshall clip on battery amp. Would, for my first tube amp be a good idea to get? I want something quite simple but versatile.

    Thanks!
     
  2. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Too Funky

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    22,499
    Likes Received:
    38,520
    An Archon or a Mesa Recto would carry you through college. Buy once, cry once.
     
    vchizzle, HANGAR18, RickP and 11 others like this.
  3. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    22,667
    Likes Received:
    34,919
    I’ve heard this, as well.
     
    RickP, ScottR, alantig and 4 others like this.
  4. garrett

    garrett knows just enough to be dangerous

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Messages:
    5,670
    Likes Received:
    6,579
    Did you arrive at that effects order by experimentation? If you haven't tried placing things in different order, that'll be a revelation. You could change up your tone a lot just by switching things around. There are no "wrong" choices, but conventionally, it would go wah > modulation > Overdrive/Distorion > Delay. Some people like to put modulation after the drive.

    Adding a buffer at the beginning of the signal chain will be a big help, too. I don't see a tuner, so a TC Polytune 3 will kill two birds with one stone there.

    Amps are so personal depending on playing and musical style. I personally haven't met a hybrid that impresses me, but I'm a luddite when it comes to amps. I like simple all-tube amps. If I were in the market right now, I'd be looking hard at the Sonzera or Tremonti or Archon, depending on the all-important playing/musical style.
     
    ScottR and bodia like this.
  5. Eddie kim

    Eddie kim New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2018
    Messages:
    877
    Likes Received:
    1,312
    Define the term better? Sound and tone are so subjective to each person. This is something your going have to find out by trial and error.
     
    ScottR and dogrocketp like this.
  6. Straight_six

    Straight_six Always originate, never duplicate

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2020
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    141
    Since you asked, I'm going to let you in on the number 1 thing that will make your or any other rig not only better but the best possible is...


    Now I want you to be prepared to have your mind blown with this information...


    It's practice, practice, and even more practice. It works 100% of the time every single time, guaranteed. Please realize I'm not trying to be a jerk by laying this out for you and only trying to help. As a young player I spent so much time and energy searching out different equipment thinking that was the key to being a better player when in actuality that couldn't have been further from reality. I mean yeah you need a decent guitar with a good setup but outside of that what you are seeking tone/rig-wise can only truly be found via trial and error. And as corny as it may sound when the time was right the tone that I had been searching for found me, it wasn't the other way around. No matter how many questions you ask and have answered there is no substitute for life experience. Your young, have fun, stay out of trouble, and again practice, practice, and keep practicing. I wish you nothing but the best and hope that this was at least somewhat helpful.
     
    jak3af3r, RickP, ScottR and 10 others like this.
  7. 11top

    11top Cousin Eddie's cousin

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    8,330
    Likes Received:
    22,840
    My Headrush (or Kemper) modeler can be simple, and it’s versatile as hell.
     
    RickP, ScottR, bodia and 1 other person like this.
  8. Muybien04

    Muybien04 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2020
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    129
    To echo was straight six said, one of my favorite bands in high school was rage. Loved everything about Tom morello. I read an article, i think in guitar world or something where he said he wrote a lot of his riffs on a nylon string student guitar. Blew my mind but point being, it had to sound good on that before he could fx the crap out of it later.
     
  9. Stephen J.

    Stephen J. New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2020
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    313
    Hope you enjoy it.
     
  10. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    6,594
    Likes Received:
    10,838
    Don’t worry about that impedance mismatch...I run that scenario with multiple amps routinely and I’m PLENTY loud. Research based on your preferred genre and select based on the naked amp, no FX. If it sounds great without help, it will last you a long, long time.
     
    ScottR likes this.
  11. GADonis

    GADonis New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2015
    Messages:
    305
    Likes Received:
    498
    I have what may be some slightly disconcerting news. You are entering into a world of tone chasing. Most guitar players do this, myself included. This means that it is likely that no matter what your current rig is, there is a little part of you that thinks "it could be even better." This will lead you to buying guitars, amps, and various pedals. It's a never ending quest for "the best tone" that will probably be with you for the rest of your life. It's not that bad if you are willing to part with stuff as you chase "your tone" but can lead to clutter and expense if you aren't. I'm in the latter category. I've been playing guitar for over 40 years and I have never sold a guitar. I have sold a couple of amps. This is how one ends up with 17 guitars laying around the house.

    That maybe sounds dreary but it's not all bad. It can be a lot of fun although quite expensive. Being a "youngling" your finances are likely quite limited but as you get older this should improve. This is of course assuming that you are willing to put in the effort needed for a successful career path. Patience will also be very important.

    As others have pointed out do not underestimate the impact that your skill level will play in how happy you are with "your tone." I don't tend to practice much and as such I should have better skills for the years I've been playing. If your playing is not able to make you happy then no combination of killer gear will. The good news is that practice is pretty cheap. And actually can probably save you some money since you'll be sitting at home practicing instead of out spending money.
     
    RickP, Outlier22, ScottR and 3 others like this.
  12. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy/posts

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2018
    Messages:
    1,916
    Likes Received:
    3,301
    First thing I would suggest is to explore EVERYTHING you have first and foremost. Maybe start by just plugging the guitar directly into the Amp and really get to know what your guitar sounds like straight in. Use the tone and Volume on you guitar to explore what these offer, use the EQ to tweak the tone to your preference - not try and get it to sound like someone elses tone.

    At most, use the looper too to get play a loop so you can hear what changes whilst you tweak the settings on you amp as you dial in the sound you prefer. None of the other pedals matter until you understand what they do, how they change the sound - and again use them after the looper to see how they change as you tweak the settings.

    Only when you have fully explored EVERYTHING can you truly understand what (if anything) you want to add or change to 'improve' your Rig. And once you understand the gear you have, you can actually make an informed decision on where you may want to 'improve' things. Once you understand what your current rig can do, you can also understand what it doesn't do, what areas it may be missing, where improvements or replacements may be needed. There are people that can happily use a Helix or a GT1000 for all their pedals/amps/cabs etc and get everything they want from that.

    You shouldn't buy because 'X' has it or 'Y' says you should buy it, you should buy because you either want to 'explore' what it will offer you or because you understand what it offers and can use it. Once you understand the gear you have, you also can determine what other gear will do and what you want to look for. Understanding your guitar and its pick-ups will help you if you want to buy another guitar or replace the Pups. What too look for rather than just rely on someone telling you to buy brand X or just buying Brand Y because its a name you recognise.

    The ONLY way to improve your rig is to understand your current rig and what it already offers. Its not us that will be playing it, us that will be hearing it. Its you and your preference. Like I said, you should start by just playing your guitar into your amp, dialling in a tone you really like and understanding the effect of the tone/volume control. On an amp like that, you can literally ho from clean, to crunch to lead on just the volume control, even have a treble boost with the tone control without using any pedals at all. Once you have explored that set-up for a week or two, move on to exploring what a single pedal does and once you have explored every pedal individually try a combination of two, swapping the order to see what that does. Only when you have experimented and understand each, you can then decide where improvements can be made...
     
    RickP and Straight_six like this.
  13. PRSfanboy46

    PRSfanboy46 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2020
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    91
    Well thats why Im looking into a orange micro dark terror 20. I want to work my way into the world of tubes. But I have my preconcieved notions of the helix, but I will give it a try when i get a chance
     
  14. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy/posts

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2018
    Messages:
    1,916
    Likes Received:
    3,301
    The point was to get to know what everything you have does and understand what can be achieved with what you already have. By understanding everything you have, knowing what it can do, you also will understand what it can't do and what, if anything you may want or need to improve your set-up. If you don't know what your current rig can do, how can you decide what you want/need to improve it. You also need to know what to look for, what it is you want, otherwise you will just be wasting time and money on buying things and not even understanding whether or not they are the right option for you.

    A Helix is just one tool available to a guitarist and can be an entire rig for someone. It maybe the 'perfect' tool for a fly-gig for example but for another musician, its not what they want at all. The reason I mentioned Helix is because it can be a much cheaper and more versatile option than the rig you mentioned but whilst it maybe better for one, it may net be better for another.

    Understanding what you already have will tell you where its strengths are, help you understand what it is you like and what you perhaps don't, what is missing or what elements are barely adequate and can be improved. If something is 'adequate', you need to know where its lacking to try and find something that is better.

    For example, you have a Boss RC1 in that rig which is 'great' but if you want more than 1 channel - like having the bass line on one and rhythm on another, want to be able to store multiple loops you create, maybe even have a 'drum' pattern etc - its not going to give you that but until you understand what you actually need for your rig, its a very good looper and good be more than adequate for you. It may not need to be 'improved' because it does exactly what you want and need or maybe it does need to be replaced because you need more. That only comes from understanding what that pedal offers, using it enough to know whether its doing what you want and if not, what its missing so you can then go out and look for a looper that does offer what you want. The Headrush Looperboard could be 'superior' but a complete waste of money if its offering things you don't need or won't use.

    The point I was making is that you really need to get to understand what your rig does for you. It could be the 'best' rig for you and do everything you want and/or need. Understand everything you can do with what you already have and only then can you understand what areas could be improved (if any) and what you may need your current rig can't offer. You may want Reverb but understanding what the different types of Reverb offer can help you decide which Reverb pedal to go for but without understanding, you don't know what reverb will give you the sound you want - which is the right one for you.

    There is countless alternatives in every area in that signal path - as well as numerous different orders that will change the outcome of the sound. What maybe an 'improvement' from my perspective, what sound I want to achieve, could be very different from yours so any 'improvements' I would make, could be worse for you. This is why you really need to do the work yourself to learn and understand what each 'tool' in the chain offers. That's why you need to start by keeping it as simple as possible, get to learn all you can about your guitar and amp first then you will understand the interaction between these and their strengths/weaknesses. By knowing that, you can then make better choices as to what gear will build on the strengths and reduce or eliminate the weaknesses for you...
     
  15. PRSfanboy46

    PRSfanboy46 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2020
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    91
    Well when it comes to sound, I love really scooped high gain tones like meshuggah and pantera but I also love slash's tone and the whole classic rock and heavy metal sound. When it comes to individual's tone that I love, it would be steve vai, joe satriani and guthrie govan and john petrucci. They have so much articulation and clarity with their notes and tone that I can actually hear what they are playing. For cleans personally I'm a hendrix and John mayer type clean person. Either just straight clean with reverb or a little bit of crunch, it's all very good sounding. There are certain reasons to why I got certain pedals. I got a chorus because I love clean metallica riffs such as one or welcome home. An artist I listen to that uses a lot of chorus is Mac Demarco, his tone is just warm and worbly because of the chorus. I got my phase 90 because EVH. I got a tremolo because I wanted to play the know your enemy intro by RATM but I dont have a kill switch, and a tremolo is essentially a kill switch cause its a fluctuation of volume and put it fast enough and it will basically cut the signal out. I got my wah because of Hendrix. I got my looper because of Rob Scallon. I always loved what he did with loopers and I adore his style of playing with the tapping, I am actually working on my own riff where he basically utilized a tapping part where you're tapping downwards from 12 on the d and b strings and essentially, you're in the key of G because you're tapping of a G chord progression. And it's just fun to write stuff. That's personally one of my essential pedals, next to a distortion and a reverb. I started using my delay more recently (summer time ish) because of Rob scallon (I was learning "rain") and Buckethead's big sur moon. BSM was a tough one but it's such a cool song with the delay.
     
    LSchefman likes this.
  16. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    25,188
    Likes Received:
    23,522
    Here's the good news: You're gonna need lots of amps.

    "Sounds like bad news to me."

    "There is no bad news in amp buying. The more, the merrier!"

    "What about the money?"

    "Two words: Ramen noodles."
     
  17. PRSfanboy46

    PRSfanboy46 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2020
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    91
    Sorry but could you explain?
     
  18. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    25,188
    Likes Received:
    23,522
    Which part? The "you're gonna need lots of amps" part, or the ramen noodles part?
     
  19. PRSfanboy46

    PRSfanboy46 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2020
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    91
    I didn't realize the big funny you just made my good sir. Amps are generally expensive. Im just wanting to find something I want a good sound and a lot of versatility with it.
     
  20. Outlier22

    Outlier22 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2018
    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    320
    I don't think you said the kind of music you played and that should definitely be a consideration on your selection of your first tube amp. But since you have been playing Orange I will assume you overall like the Orange tone so perhaps get an Orange Rocker 15 or 30? I don't know much about Orange amps but looking on sweet water for Orange amps and filtering by tube only I found the Orange Rockers and the 15w is the least expensive.

    I was going to suggest a Blues Jr. as it's what I bought for my first tube amp and it served me well for a while. Actually I still use it on occasion as its very portable, relatively light and loud enough for a band. But it's a small open back cab so it doesn't have that tight bass response you might want for hard rock. But overall a capable and popular tube amp. You could look at Marshall DSL's if you want a more "rockin" 2 channel tube amp. My bandmate plays a Bugera and loves it. He's got it sounding really nice and it has switchable ohms to match your speaker cabs and doesn't need to have tubes biased which is nice.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice