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Should I get effects or just a new amp?

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(@shadychar)
Trusted Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 41
Topic starter  

I need some input on this. I have a Marshall MG30DFX, which, while not terrible, is difficult to get a good tone (i.e. not metal) out of it. I've been looking for a new amp, specifically tube amps and more specifically the Fender Pro Junior and Blues Junior (which is just outside my price range, so I could probably afford it eventually). I was wondering if I could just spend a little less and get some effects for my current amp. The sound I'm looking for is close to the tone Jimmy Page uses on How The West Was Won, if you've heard that.


   
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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

shadychar

You have asked a tough question. First of all, you are not going to get Metal with a Pro Junior or Blues Junior by themselves alone. However, they are both great amps known for great tube tone. You could probably get Jimmy Page with either. And with a good effects pedal you could get awesome Metal out of either of these amps. They are awesome amps, but not the kind of high gain you are interested in.

We talk a lot about tube amps on here and how almost all the Pros who get those great tones you hear on recordings use. And that is true. But that fantastic tone is usually a combination of a great tube amp with great effects.

Most tube amps do not get you high gain Metal distortion by themselves. There are exceptions. I own a Marshall DSL401 and it has a great Overdrive channel. The Peavey 505 has 5 gain stages. That amp is absolutely insane. But most tube amps do not have this much high gain. But guitarists still love them for their full, round, rich tone. And when you run a good distortion pedal into these amps, now you are getting the tones you hear on the radio. They use lots of other tricks as well like multiple EQs and attenuators. An attenuator allows you to run a tube amp full out. The amp gets into saturation. This is when a tube amp really takes off and cranks.

Your problem is you don't have much funds. So in your case I think you should either buy a nice multi-effects processor, or one of the new modeling amps. There are many great solid-state amps that simulate the famous amps and effects.

A lot of people have spoken highly of the Vox 30 watt amp. That amp gets incredible tones. And it gets a wide variety of tones. You would not only be able to play Metal, but you could play Punk, or Country, or Jazz. These amps give you lots of great tones for a very reasonable price. And some sound so close to the real tube amps that most listeners cannot tell the difference. So an amp like this might be the best choice for you now.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@shadychar)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 41
Topic starter  

:? Wow! Thanks a lot Wes, for spending your time typing that up, but...

You seem to have misunderstood me. I meant that I DON'T want a metal tone. Sorry about the confusion, and the advice was helpful anyway. :lol:


   
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(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

shadychar

Hey buddy, we're all here to help if we can.

Well, if you are not that interested in Metal, but would like great Blues type tone (which is what Jimmy Page used), then yeah, the Pro Junior or Blues Junior would be a great amp for you. They are both famous for having fantastic tone. There are a few regulars on here that own the Blues Junior, maybe they will come on and tell you about it. I have heard them (never owned either though) and they are impressive. Simply beautiful tone.

So exactly what kinds of sounds are you after?

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@primeta)
Prominent Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 836
 

Well I love my Blues Jr, but I've never had a chance to A/B is with the Vox. I would definately suggest doing that.

The Blues Jr is a very simple amp one channel no effects loop. It does what I think is quite a beautiful sweet sound with both single coils and humbuckers. IMO a much better sound than the Pro Junior or Roland Cube I tried it against.

"Things may get a whole lot worse/ Before suddenly falling apart"
Steely Dan
"Look at me coyote, don't let a little road dust put you off" Knopfler


   
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(@shadychar)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 41
Topic starter  

Well I think I sort of found what I was looking for. I got a Boss SD-1 super overdrive pedal and it does a pretty good job of replicating the tone I was looking for. It's not perfect, and I imagine it would sound better through a real tube amp, but for the time being it will do the job well.


   
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 Mike
(@mike)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 2892
 

If your SD-1 helps you, try getting an EQ pedal to better control your sound. Where you put it in your chain is important as well.

Just ask Joe, he'll tell you all about them. The only problem is, I can't afford all the ones he has! He puts them EVERYWHERE!!!!! :shock:


   
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(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

Tracker

You don't have to spend a bundle for a good EQ pedal. Try Danelectro.

Danelectro Fish & Chips 7 Band EQ

I own one of these and it is excellent. It is super quiet, works perfectly, and can even be used as a great boost for solos. You can buy 3 of these for the cost of one of the other brands. And it is just as good as ANY of them.

I think a lot of people think Danelectro pedals cannot be good because they cost so much less than other pedals. Nothing could be further from the truth. They make excellent pedals that get great reviews. And they are FAR more durable than many other makes. I have about 8 different Dano pedals and everyone of them works perfectly. I have had some for many years and thrown them around a bit. They keep on tickin'!

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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 Mike
(@mike)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 2892
 

Wow! I can buy three of them for the price of one Boss.

Just so you know Wes, I'm still saving up for that HRD Extension Cab you bought your self.

If time was money, I'd be rich but, it isn't so, I'm not. :cry:

Decisions, decisions, decisions ………


   
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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

Tracker

Oh yeah. You will like that Avatar cabinet. Looks great and sounds awesome too. The color is a perfect match for the HRD ( I have the black tolex with silver grille).

I will try to remember to take a pic next practice so you can see what the stack looks like.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@shibby)
Estimable Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 145
 

Would one put an EQ in front of an amp or in the effects loop?


   
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(@forrok_star)
Noble Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 2337
 

To control every aspect of your signal chain a guitarist would want to bracket everything with an equalizer. Add an equalizer pedal before the amp, add an equalizer between other pedals, add an equalizer into effects loop, and if your using an attenuator run the line outs to another equalizer then into the power amps. This may seem extreme but the benefits in the way you sound and the tone make it all worth it. Doing this will allow you to adjust your signal chain between the different stages.

Guitarist should be as familiar with EQ pedals and power attenuators as they are with other pedals and different types of amps. You'll find more discussion's here on this forum on all tube amps, EQ's/EQ pedal usage, and power attenuators than you will anywhere. Why? Because guitarist like myself that use to keep these things to ourselves. Times change and now enjoy reflecting on this knowledge for others to learn whats needed to achieve great tone. Which is the intelligent use of alternating EQ's, Equalizer curves, attenuators, and shaping the distortion voicing to enhance how it affects the power-tube saturation.

Once you understand this concept of analyzing combinations of different stages in the signal chain and the importance of various degrees of power-tube saturation the closer you will be to achieving that authentic cranked amp sound at any volume level.

guitar->Eq pedal->Comp/OD/Dist pedals->Eq-> amps preamp-> amps tone stack->Eq in effects loop-> amps power amp->(*optional*)-> speakers. (*optional*)- Dummy-load / Attenuator->eq->power amp->speakers.

Joe


   
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