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Discussion Starter #1
I used to play with a guy who would constantly go on and on about how great tube amps were and that he would never use anything else. I had switched from a tube to transistor amp, and even though my rig sounded good he would always tell me that I should get another tube amp.

He had the standard 50 watt marshall head, a 4x12 cabinet and a pedal board with 4 or 5 Boss pedals. His rig sounded good and he never had a problem with it.

Then one day he showed up for band practice and he forgot his pedal board. He plugged straight into his Marshall and spent the next fifteen min trying to get a sound that he liked. He eventually settled on something, but continued to tweek it continuously during practice- never finding what he was after.

We took a 'smoke break' and I told him that I had my Ibanez Sonic Distortion pedal in my guitar case - I used to use it with my Fender Bandmaster(s), but the transistor amp I was using at the time didn't need it.

He went back inside and started messing with his sound again.
We get back to practicing, his sound is better - we all sound better as a result and the last half of the practice goes much smoother.

When we are packing up, he gives me back my pedal and starts going on about how he couldn't find his sound without a distortion pedal. I tell him that he can use the pedal whenever he wants as I don't need it with my transistor amp. Right on queue, he starts on how I need to get another tube amp...

I hold up the little green sonic distortion pedal and remind him that he couldn't find his sound without my little 'transistor preamp'. He didn't like that argument too much.

Now I'd just like to add that I have nothing against tube amps, transistor amps or the use of stomp boxes. I just like to stir the pot every now and then.
 

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I used to play with a guy who would constantly go on and on about how great tube amps were and that he would never use anything else. I had switched from a tube to transistor amp, and even though my rig sounded good he would always tell me that I should get another tube amp.

I hold up the little green sonic distortion pedal and remind him that he couldn't find his sound without my little 'transistor preamp'. He didn't like that argument too much.

Now I'd just like to add that I have nothing against tube amps, transistor amps or the use of stomp boxes. I just like to stir the pot every now and then.
Hey Andy, most tube amps have always loved some form of boost pedal!

That being said, you didn't say just what sort of tone he was playing. Classic tube amps pretty well all need a pedal for modern crunchy gain tones.

SRV used Tube Screamers with all his amps.

I know some guys who can make you swear they're using a pedal but they're not. They just know how to play their guitar! If you use the bridge pickup and dig in with your pick right over it, while almost pulling at the strings as you release your finger pressure it will snarl just like a tube screamer.

I guess the difference is that a lot of pedals will enhance the tone of a tube amp, but they can't make a silk purse out of a solid state sow's ear!:smile:

:food-smiley-004:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
...and the brand and model of said transistor amp is......what?

-dh
That would have been my Fender Stage 185 (red knob). A recent post on red knobs brought back this little memoir.

I don't have the red knob anymore, I've been running a tube pre amp and a transistor power amp for years now. I also have a Valve Jr which I am going to mod to use as a power amp/optional preamp as it is loud enough for everything I do now-a-days and I love that gritty tone.
 

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Blah, go with what you prefer or what works.

Personally for a modern-style high gain tone I can go either way. I'd take a solid state Randall and a 10 band EQ over a Dual Rectifier anyday of the week.

But rock and blues? I go tube amps and some pedals all the way.

That's why I've got the precious Marshall JCM 800 and a Randall RG75G2... plus it's nice to have a decent high gain tone in a combo for practicing, and it stays that way even at lower volumes.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm with ya Bill - this little story came about after a thread reminded me of the story.

I've got nothing against pedals or any other method of getting the sound one is after.

The other guitar player was just so militantly anti-transistor that I couldn't resist pointing this out to him. I've sent him an e-mail so I'm waiting for him to sign up and see if he responds to the thread.


Andy


Hey Andy, most tube amps have always loved some form of boost pedal!

That being said, you didn't say just what sort of tone he was playing. Classic tube amps pretty well all need a pedal for modern crunchy gain tones.

SRV used Tube Screamers with all his amps.

I know some guys who can make you swear they're using a pedal but they're not. They just know how to play their guitar! If you use the bridge pickup and dig in with your pick right over it, while almost pulling at the strings as you release your finger pressure it will snarl just like a tube screamer.

I guess the difference is that a lot of pedals will enhance the tone of a tube amp, but they can't make a silk purse out of a solid state sow's ear!:smile:

:food-smiley-004:
 

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It's true that so many people campaign on the idea that only a tube amp can sound good, and then throw a pedal of some sort (od, boost, distortion) to get 'their sound'. Mind you, I love tube amps, and I can honestly say the only time I didn't do this was with my Marshall JCM-900 SL-X head. No clipping diodes in the signal path, and 2 footswitchable Master Volumes I set for Rhythm and Lead. In fact, with that amp, I don't think I had any pedals other than my TU-2. What was I thinking getting rid of that? :eek:
 

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It's true that so many people campaign on the idea that only a tube amp can sound good, and then throw a pedal of some sort (od, boost, distortion) to get 'their sound'. Mind you, I love tube amps, and I can honestly say the only time I didn't do this was with my Marshall JCM-900 SL-X head. No clipping diodes in the signal path, and 2 footswitchable Master Volumes I set for Rhythm and Lead. In fact, with that amp, I don't think I had any pedals other than my TU-2. What was I thinking getting rid of that? :eek:
Same head my step dad has! Thing is a beast... wicked high gain tones out of it (though he uses it for lower gain rock stuff... KISS and Led Zep mainly).

He doesn't use any overdrive pedals either (he has one but doesn't use it... Boss OD-2 or something?)... just modulation effects.
 

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Same head my step dad has! Thing is a beast... wicked high gain tones out of it (though he uses it for lower gain rock stuff... KISS and Led Zep mainly).

He doesn't use any overdrive pedals either (he has one but doesn't use it... Boss OD-2 or something?)... just modulation effects.
That's what I loved about the SL-X. I would run it in 25 watt mode, crank up the Master's and then add the perfect amount of Preamp with the 2 preamp controls for a very nice 70's Marshall tone. It was always advertised as a gain monster, but covered a wide range of sounds if you spent the time with it, and didn't mind only having 1 awesome sound. Anyone want to buy a JTM-45 Reissue?... :D
 

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the only time I didn't do this was with my Marshall JCM-900 SL-X head. No clipping diodes in the signal path
I think those 900s actually have clipping diodes in the preamp circuit. Kind of like having a pedal built into your amp so you 'were' using a pedal in front of a tube amp!

TG
 

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I think those 900s actually have clipping diodes in the preamp circuit. Kind of like having a pedal built into your amp so you 'were' using a pedal in front of a tube amp!

TG
The MK III Master Volume (Pre-SL-X) and Dual Reverb did, but the SL-X had an additional preamp tube and no clipping diodes in the path.
 

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I don't get it. Whether you're using pedals or not, you're still using tube-based gain stages to amplify the signal. If those gain stages are adding something to the signal that you like, why would it matter that the sound is coming out of a pedal or straight out of the pickups? I don't think using a pedal somehow negates what the amp is adding.

On the other hand, if you prefer the sound your getting from a solid state amp, that's cool. I mostly use tube amps, which gets me accused of being a "tube amp snob".

Can't we all just get along? :wave:
LOL. The age old question...
 

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the great part about a boost pedal - its to smooth out your highs a bit and make the bass tighter - its not some INCREDIBLE GIANT TONAL CHANGE as some people think it is.

getting a tube amp biased helps as well, unless its an autobiasing amp (traynor YCV series etc).

I dont need any pedals to get my tone. guitar w/ buckers - JSX - 412. done. I'm getting a boost pedal and a different tube type so i can experiment and see if i come across any other sounds to fall in love with. the JSX doesnt Need boosting by any means, I want to experiment. and a TS into the clean channel wont sound like either of the distortion channels with the gain down.

violation, i'd take a dual rec over an SS randall any day of the week. learn how to dial it in and yeehaw!
 

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The MK III Master Volume (Pre-SL-X) and Dual Reverb did, but the SL-X had an additional preamp tube and no clipping diodes in the path.
True story.

Budda said:
violation, i'd take a dual rec over an SS randall any day of the week. learn how to dial it in and yeehaw!
Different strokes for different folks... I was dead set on a Mesa then I spent atleast 3 hours messing with one and decided it wasn't for me. High gain tube amps, I'm all about the Laney VH100R (or GH50L).
 

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uh you know mesa's arent really plug and play, and you have to spend some quality time with the manual, right? it took me abouth a month and a bit to dial in a tone i stuck with on the JSX.

if yer a plug and play guy, there's definitely lots of other high gain heads to chooes from :)
 

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uh you know mesa's arent really plug and play, and you have to spend some quality time with the manual, right? it took me abouth a month and a bit to dial in a tone i stuck with on the JSX.

if yer a plug and play guy, there's definitely lots of other high gain heads to chooes from :)
Who in their right mind wants to spend months turning knobs on the amp head alone, not even including pedals at that point? You're insane! :tongue:

As far as I'm concerned every amp is plug and play. Personally I go real simple; need more gain then what the amp offers? Add an overdrive pedal. Need more EQ options? Add an EQ pedal. Need more depth or a thicker tone? Throw in that chorus baby! :rockon2:
 

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usually what happens with those tweaker types is, they dial in a good tone.. then spend the rest of the time making minor adjustments until its jaw-droppingly kick ass.

y'dig? lol

every amp is plug and play, to an extent.. some just require a pause between the plug and the play part :p
 

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Hah I dunno I remember when I played the Dual Rectifier all I wanted was a nice smooth mid-filled high gain tone and it didn't sound very good... so I finally quit and threw the mids all the way up and just started playin' lol.

I'll give the dude a call and see if he wants to jam and I'll try it out again... as long as he still has it. :eek:
 

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i saw a band last week, and the one guitarist had a dual rec into a randall cab, one of the DBD sig washburn's, the wammy out front, and everything (he was obviously a big dime/pantera fan!) for a ska band.

man, that guy needed to learn how to EQ his amp.. way too bassy and muddy, no definition for when he was playing with distortion; it made me sad.

and thats my story! lol
 
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