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Distortion/Tone Question

1861 Views 18 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Leon
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 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)
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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! :cheers:
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?
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 :)
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.
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?

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.
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.
Dude, you are about 2 G.A.S. episodes from getting rid of all that shit and buying a 5150/6505. It would just be cheaper to do it now :)

Or, you could buy a $300 Wampler distortion pedal, and then wonder "wouldn't a 5150 STILL sound better?"

Yes, I am an advocate of the dark lord....
Any thoughts on a Randall RH100?? I have a chance to buy one for under $300. Solid state, I know...but still, may be a good deal
Another $200-$300 and you have a 5150.
So true... I should just accept my fate
Yes, yes you should. Rather than trying to hack together something using what you've already got that isn't giving you the desired result, go for something that will. The 5150 series is a great amp, that's cheap and reliable and has a nice palette of tones on tap. Once you have a 5150, you'll see why everyone keeps recommending them and you'll do the same thing too. Hell, I've got one in my collection because it's just a great amp, the other guitarist in my band uses one and it blends in great with my Bogner Ecstasy and they just work.
Anybody have any thoughts on an Orange Dark terror or the Egnator Vengeance??
Yeah - not a 5150.
Haha. Understood :)

I guess my main concern is the cleans on the 5150. I've heard they're, well...not great at all. But I guess I can keep the Roland around for cleans if need be.
The cleans are "dry." Not necessarily "bad." I use an old script dunlop compressor to sweeten any true cleans. It works wonderfully. It does not sound like an old fender champ, it sounds more modern but still great.
I got my 6505+112 for $400 like new, and swapped in Eminence Lynch Super v12 for $75. Now it's a proper combo.

I see 5150 212 combos go for 500-600 on craigslist fairly often. Dont' know what your wattage needs are.
Haha. Understood :)

I guess my main concern is the cleans on the 5150. I've heard they're, well...not great at all. But I guess I can keep the Roland around for cleans if need be.
The cleans on a 5150 are just how you like them... slightly gritty.

The cleans on a 6505+ are not as gritty, but still have lots of life in them. Definitely not clinically clean. I'm a gritty-clean kind of guy, and even I was impressed.

And, for serious, the 6505+ definitely won't be your last amp, but goddamn does it make for a GREAT deal as a first, low-ish cost "higher end" amp.
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