Distortion/Tone Question

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Thread: Distortion/Tone Question

  1. #1

    Join Date: Jul 2015
    Location: Baltimore

    iTrader: 0

    Distortion/Tone Question

    Hey all,

    I've recently been playing simultaneously (with an ab-y switch) through an Egnater tweaker 40 with 2 1x12 cabinets, and an old Roland Blues Cube 40 combo. I love the clean tones on both of those amps, but they leave quite a bit to be desired when distorted. I know those aren't typical "metal" amps, but I dig em too much to get rid of them. Right now I use a boss md2 mega distortion (I don't use the "dirty" channels on those amps), and when combined with the dark murkiness of those amps, the distorted sound is not defined at all. I'm not looking for Meshuggah level "djent" tightness or anything, but more just a quality metal tone along the lines of Mastodon. I've never been a huge gearhead, so I have to ask...is there some (preferably inexpensive) way I can tighten up the sound a bit? Maybe an EQ and a different distortion pedal. Any advice is welcome.


    PS I play through a Gibson SG (stock pickups), a Dean GS (stock pickups), and a Dean Evo (w/ EMG passive humbuckers installed)

  2. #2

    Join Date: Jun 2009
    Location: Toledo,OH
    ME: Schecter Avenger 7
    Rig: HD500/KRKs

    iTrader: 0

    Try using the drive channels on the amps along with an overdrive pedal (Digitech Bad Monkies are cheap and work well, though there are literally tons more cheap OD options) using low gain on the pedal as a booster for your distortion tone. The compression from the pedal helps tighten things up and keeping the drive low and level up keeps from muddying things up too much. If this doesn't work for you and you're still finding you don't get the sound you want a more boutique distortion pedal may be up your alley though you might just wanna save up and get a more metal suited amp down the road.

    Welcome to the forum by the way!

  3. #3

    Join Date: Jul 2015
    Location: Baltimore

    iTrader: 0

    Thanks for the welcome and reply.

    So, if I go the direction your are suggesting, I'd need a foot switch to switch between the clean and drive channels of the amp, right? And then to use the OD when I have the drive channel selected? Is that still doable while playing through two amps at the same time via the aby switch?

  4. #4

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Black Swamp, OH
    ME: Rich Mahogany
    MA: Godin A6 Ultra
    MB: SR500
    Rig: Massive/Boobies

    iTrader: 16 (100%)

    If your ABY is passive, you're robbing signal to both amps, and both amps aren't seeing the load they'd prefer. Just a FYI

  5. #5

    Join Date: Jun 2009
    Location: Toledo,OH
    ME: Schecter Avenger 7
    Rig: HD500/KRKs

    iTrader: 0

    Depending what OD you get there are more transparent and less-so transparent sounding ODs when you have the drive channel off, so that's going to affect whether or not you even want to shut the overdrive off between channel switching. I usually keep it on when running with live setups as I don't mind a little extra dirt in my clean tone. In order to avoid the pedal-dancing though if you don't happen to like the OD when your amps are clean I'd use the ABY to switch the amps for your clean/dirty sounds between the two amps unless volume's an issue.

  6. #6

    Join Date: Jul 2015
    Location: Baltimore

    iTrader: 0

    Yea, I've thought about going that direction as well, using one amp for cleans one for distorted. I'm not playing live at this very moment, but should be within the next 6 months...anyway, volume shouldn't be an issue at the venues around Baltimore.

    I def don't need any pristine crystal clear clean tones...a little grit is OK with me. Any suggestions for an OD pedal that is on the more transparent end of the spectrum?


  7. #7

    Join Date: Jul 2011
    Location: St.L
    MA: Alvarez FDT243C
    MB: Spector Euro4LXStarr
    Rig: 6505+ / SVT-II Pro

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    I LOVE Maxon OD-9 overdrive and Ibanez TS-9 Tubescreamer pedals in front of tube amps. You're taste and mileage may very, but you can pick up late model ones new for around $100

    One just may give you that boost you're looking for.

  8. #8

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: London ONT
    ME: PRS Custom 22
    Rig: JCM800

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    Scrap your md2 and get a good high end dirt pedal if you want to run the amps clean. Wampler, AMT, bogner, mesa boogie, fulltone to name a few.
    Sparrows (Space Punk, LOUD): www.sparrows613.com

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