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Discussion Starter #1
I use a Lightning 15 as a clean platform,and have yet to find a pedal to give me a saturated solo tone that retains enough mids to sound tight.There are pedals that promise this,but I am curious what this group might say.
The 3 pedals I use are a Klon KTR,a BYOC OD2,and a fuzz variant....
 

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Open loop guitar amps (deluxes, ac30s..etc) or no negative feedback amps tend to have a floppier bottom end and in my experience , do not play well with dirt. Try dirty mid and treble boosters.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Open loop guitar amps (deluxes, ac30s..etc) or no negative feedback amps tend to have a floppier bottom end and in my experience , do not play well with dirt. Try dirty mid and treble boosters.
Thank you...I have to play quiet a lot...the new stage volume in 2016 is a fussy mistress.Getting a decent solo sound is very challenging at lower volumes.
I did see Audley Freed getting gret toones with a Beano Boost,but maybe Im after a cranked Marshall tone...or a cranked amp with searing sustain,etc....Santana,lolz...
 

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I've used this '96 Lightning for years as a clean platform as well, and although not on my board in this pic, the best clean boost I've found so far is the Xotic effects RC Booster. Something about it seems to boost my clean sound in a manner that doesn't end up being "hard" or brittle. Very natural sounding and quite tweakable.
 

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As far as an OD's with the Lightning, it needs to be turned up for its mid range voice to speak and at that point I find it prefers more open sounding OD's as opposed to TS type pedals, which cause it to become a parody of mids. Because of that, I'm using the MHP 72 degree, as its quite transparent. For higher gain, singing solo sounds, I kick on the Quattro but kick it in the butt with the Empress, depending on what guitar is being used. That Empress EQ is a must lol
 

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I like what a Kingsley Jester has to offer. Lots of versatility in increments that make sense. Pricey, but could replace many pedals on a board.

I have four el84 amps and a fair collection of pedals that I used for boost and drive. I have narrowed down to the Kingsley board, and the insane board with too many drive pedals set up at what I think is giving boost sweet spots. That board was setup with a vintage row that I won't part with for stupid sentimental reasons, and the modern boutique row that I believe can be whittled down to just one versatile stand out. But then I would be constantly bending down to tweak to what the other boutique pedals do best in my opinion.

The Kingsley is very easy to tweak, like the tone stack of a very good tube amp with multiple stages by simple switches and large simple tone stack knobs.
 

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Several years back, forum member Bagpipe borrowed a box full of boosters and overdrives from me to try out with an EL84-based Ampeg amp he had bought. Probably a dozen or so pedals. Most just left him dissatisfied, and he eventually ended up selling the amp. I'm pleased to say that one of the pedals, a CMOS invertor-based one of my own design, came close for him. But the amp still got dumped.

Not being all that familiar with them, is this a problem/challenge that is generic to EL84-based amps?
 

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It's not so much the el84 it's the negative feedback in the loop. Because open loop amps tend to be a little floppy in the bottom. Negative feedback sacrifices gain but it tightens the response .
 

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I've had great results with a Andy Timmons BB Preamp, Blackstone Appliances MOSFET Overdrive, Free the Tone SOV-2 and quite recently, the Thorpy FX Gunshot.

I'm not sure how different the AT BB preamp is to the regular BB Preamp. I set the AT BB drive at a low setting (7 or 8 o'clock) as it is an aggressive sounding OD and get a great singing lead tone and probably my favorite pairing. The Thorpy also works really well but needs a bit more volume.

I agree that a Matchless or similar amp gets flabby when turned up but love that "crushed glass" tone.
 

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I have a C30 reverb that is my main amp and its a monster, but it is a bit fussy about what OD you use. I also have a Dr Z Maz 38, which for whatever reason loves every OD/fuzz/booster you throw at it.

Hot Cake is kind of the classic for this kind of amp. I have used it in the past and it sounds good. Right now I love the klon stacked with a low gain OD, right now I'm using a BJFE honeybee into the klon. The Bee is set volume noon, nature noon, gain full. The Klon is gain low (8 o'clock) tone noon, volume 11 o'clock. I usually turn of the Klon buffer.
 

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My main amp is an AC30 and I've been rotating between a few OD's. Right now I'm using the J. Rockett Audio Archer (Klon Klone) and I love EQ on it. I feel like it meshes really well with the AC30. My other go-to is the Barber Gain Changer (IMO the best OD and most underrated), again there's just something about the EQ on it that makes all of the notes in a chord ring. Finally, as zdogma mentioned, the Crowther Audio Hot Cake is a no-brainer on an AC30. You can get pretty clean with it, and with the drive knob cranked, you can get into super saturated fuzz territory. Out of all three, I'd say it's the tightest and most defined, as long as you keep the gain at about 50%.

I'm not a fan of the TS circuit, because of the mid-hump in the EQ - I generally prefer flatter EQ responses. However, I have an Earthquaker Devices Palisades coming in that I'm really curious about. It's a TS circuit with adjustable clipping and voicing. I'll report back, after I have had some time with it.
 
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