Boosting amps, but...
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Thread: Boosting amps, but...

  1. #1


    Join Date: Oct 2008
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    Boosting amps, but...

    Trying to get away from that ubiquitous OD808/TS808 sound.

    I mean I'm trying to get away from the whole "TS-boosted SLO circuit valve amp" thing anyway (5150, Rectos etc), since it's a hangover from my "metuhl!" days, born of sheer lack of experimentation since that time, and I feel like the boost is a big part of that.

    I'm going to be joining Mr S fairly soon on a "let's go crank some amps and try shit out" day up at his rehearsal space, and I want to get some suggestions.

    I still want tight, focused, high gain hard rock, but I'm just trying to get something a little more... "even", shall we say. Full spectrum. Especially since I'm using L500XL's these days, which are very even EQ-wise, but with an extended and open high end. Tubescreamer type circuits in conjunction with that can result in an overly-metallic attack. I like that sound and response, but I don't want it to dominate the tone. Sure I can adjust the pedal/amp, but still, I'm just not interested in that surgically tight metal tone where the OD/TS takes out a lot of the body and bottom end, so am looking to explore something a little more full bodied and natural sounding.

    I'm going to experiment with using an EQ as a boost a la Dimebag. Frowny face slammed straight into the front end (I'm also borrowing a solid state Randall to try out, so I should be right in that territory, even though I'll be attempting to use it in a not-quite-as-heavy context)

    I'll also have a Marshall JVM410H, Sunn model T, Triple Rec, maybe some other stuff... I'll try boosted, unboosted, distortion pedals into clean channels, all that shit, just to see if I can get away from that comfort zone and hit on something equally as good, but acheived in a different way.

    I just wanted to see what other people have used in this context, to get a tight high gain tone that isn't overly metallic, smooth distortion, even EQ, doesn't colour the amp a whole deal, just slams the front end and makes it more saturated.

    EDIT: Am I just describing a clean boost? Isn't that literally what I need?
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  3. #2


    Join Date: Feb 2015
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    I’ve actually never used a boost...moved overseas and switched to modelers before I ever learned about doing it. But...in the axefx there are some BBElectronics modes of various boosts. Some are super clean and some have a bit of grit.

    Here’s an example...the little write up sounds about like what you’re talking about.
    http://www.bbesound.com/products/sto...nde_BG-20.aspx

    Also....diezel amps might be a good thing to check out.

  4. #3


    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattayus View Post
    EDIT: Am I just describing a clean boost? Isn't that literally what I need?
    That's not the way you are using your TS boost already? I know most people don't use any drive at all on their boost. I know I don't. Have you tried the MXR badass OD? Many configuration / sonic options.
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  6. #4


    Join Date: Oct 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by playstopause View Post
    That's not the way you are using your TS boost already?
    Yes, but even when you're not using any drive from an OD, it's still adding that EQ curve to the front end of your tone. That upper mid hump, while useful in certain applications, is there by default, no matter how you use the pedal.

    I may still end up using a standard OD when all's said and done and I have my experimentation day. It's only slamming the front end of the amp after all, and isn't a massive part of the tone. I just wanted to experiment and get there via another route. Perhaps it will turn out to be the amp type that makes a bigger difference and get me closer to what I'm looking for, but I have a feeling it's a bit of everything so thought I'd start with the pedal.

  7. #5


    Join Date: Oct 2008
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    sounds to me like you actually just want a small amount of transparent compression and not a boost at all. i'd test a compressor in front of the amp and in the effects loop.

    you could try both a compressor and a boost but from what i'm reading it sounds like you just want a (VERY SMALL) amount of compression.

  8. #6


    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    To follow what others have said, I actually use my OD as a compressor. The level/volume is set near unity, and the drive is up a bit. Truthfully I get plenty of gain from my amps, and I just use the OD as a compressor if the song I'm playing has some nice palm mutes, and I want them to CHUNK instead of chonk

  9. #7


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    Not smooth as such, but I've enjoyed playing around with a rat type pedal with the gain really low into a moderately dirty amp. Definitely makes a change from the standard TS.

  10. #8


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    Quote Originally Posted by playstopause View Post
    That's not the way you are using your TS boost already? I know most people don't use any drive at all on their boost. I know I don't. Have you tried the MXR badass OD? Many configuration / sonic options.
    A TS has a bass cut, which is why they make your sound so tight. It's emphasizing the attack. A clean boost is simply going to add volume without altering the tone.
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