how do you get your gain? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-22-2008, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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how do you get your gain?

one thing i've always wondered was the purpose of distortion/overdrive pedals for high gain tube amps. back in the day, these pedals were a necessity because amps did not have as much preamp gain. but nowadays, most high gain amps have ample gain.

take for example the jsx. this amp's crunch has a lot of gain in itself, and the ultra channel is insane. yet satch himself still uses overdrive and distortion. of course, the most obvious answer is that the tone and quality of distortion is different between the amp's preamp gain and the od/distortion pedals. but i would figure that satch would've tried to incorporate these different types of gain within the structure of the jsx's distortion so he could eliminate the pedals.

anyway, i myself just recently moved away from using pedals through a lightly distorted dirty channel of my vintage modern and am now running them through the clean channel (low dynamic range). that to me is like the holy grail of tone, where it was previously just a bit too hairy.

so let me know what you guys are doing. preamp gain, od/distortion pedals (on the clean or dirty channel) or a combination of the two.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-22-2008, 05:37 PM
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Re: how do you get your gain?

I just use my amp's gain. I have a JSX, plenty of gain there and a XXX, arguably too much gain! Although I have used a DS1 in front of the XXX just to chance the tone a little.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-22-2008, 06:04 PM
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Re: how do you get your gain?

I use the gain on my amp. I'll also use a DS-1 depends on what sort of sound I want. Over the years I've found that less is more when it comes to gain.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-22-2008, 06:12 PM
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Re: how do you get your gain?

I think a lot of people use it more as a "boost," so you can add that extra kick during a solo.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-22-2008, 06:43 PM
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Re: how do you get your gain?

I don't like messing with pedals so I get all my gain by choosing the pickups that work for me and plugging the guitar into a modified ADA MP-1 (3 tube mod). I figure if I need to use a pedal with the amp to get the gain I want, I'm either using the wrong pickups of the wrong amp. I like to keep things simple.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-22-2008, 11:07 PM
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Re: how do you get your gain?

It depends on the style, but for my most common thing, bluesy fusion prog acid jazz (think John Scofield, Charlie Hunter, Jeff Beck, Matt Schofield, SRV, John Mayer, Yes, and Return to Forever in a blender) I've found that a cranked TS808 through a class A 6L6 amp that's clean but breaking up is just heaven. The sustain is infinite, but the gain is so clear and thick and amazing. It just seems so natural, as opposed to the same gain level on my Carvin V3. This sort of tone also accepts effects very well, and it showcases each pickup's individual character; like it really uses the bridge for that Sco tone, while the neck pickup is smooth like De Miola. High gain can sort of mud up those characteristics...and though they're still there, this sort of tone is just high def or something. I love it.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 12:15 AM
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Re: how do you get your gain?

Pedals, I like single channel, basic amps.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 01:35 AM
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Re: how do you get your gain?

Depends on the rig - TriAxis has ridiculous, over the top amounts of gain on hand, along with 100 presets to store it in, smaller rigs - Vox AC30 now with Fulltone OCD and Fulldrive 2 (waiting on an ordered Lovepedal Eternity just for the perversity of seeing if it is really as good as it reviews), and JCM 800; plug in PRS Custom 22 and just keep turning the amp up until the windows shatter.....
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 06:15 AM
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Re: how do you get your gain?

Sometimes pedals, sometimes the amp, and sometimes none at all.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 07:11 AM
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Re: how do you get your gain?

I had lots of pedals for quite some time.

Nowadays I have gone back to a more simpler sound and I think I might even lose my modded DS-1, which is my last Dist Pedal.
I use a Carvin V-3 atm, which has enough gain and huge versatility in its own (with a boost).
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 11:25 AM
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Re: how do you get your gain?

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: how do you get your gain?

i definitely would like to only have to use the gain from the amp, but like elcid, i like one channel amps. with these, even if they have a boost/gain/lead stage, your clean channel is going to be way quieter than the boosted stage, so pedals (depending on your style) become a necessity.

i have a modded ts9 and a xotic bb preamp which gives me the bare essentials: crunch and lead. the vm's midboost (which i've modded so that it is footswitchable) works really well in this context by adding more volume and thickening up the tone.

but that's for a single channel amp. i still don't see the need for distortion/od pedals with a multi-channel amp like a jsx or triple rectifier or jvm. just seems redundant.

Last edited by rastachild; 04-23-2008 at 03:05 PM. Reason: mistyping as usual
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 01:43 PM
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Re: how do you get your gain?

I use a pedal, as I generally have my amp set to loud and clean. My amp is two channel, but I only use the one.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 08:02 PM
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Re: how do you get your gain?

I play through a Soldano SLO100, and use both channels extensively. Even with all the gain on tap while on the overdrive channel, I still prefer to keep the gain knob at around 6 for a great hard rock rhythm sound, and kick on a Boss SD-1 over top for a bit more hair for solos. I prefer this even to maxing the gain on the SLO and playing leads that way. It just sings more to my liking. I turn up the level on the SD-1, but use little to no drive . Many pro guitarists have always done this, and I can't seem to get away from it myself. For leads, I just love what the pedal adds over top of the phenomenal tube gain of the SLO. Together, they really sing! I'm not really adding gain ,,,,I don't know what you'd call it....boosting my signal a tad? A dash of salt on a fine cuisine? So perfect for a guitar solo sound. People say "how could you stick a $60 box in front of such an expensive amp?", but hey, even the most expensive guitars have "$60 pickups"!
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 08:42 PM
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Re: how do you get your gain?

Most of my gain is straight from my Laney AOR. I only use my Digitech Bad Monkey for a bit of boost, during solos.
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charlie hunter , distortion pedal , gain knob , high gain amp , jeff beck , john mayer , john scofield , neck pickup , overdrive pedal , preamp gain , soldano slo , triple rectifier , tube amp , tube amps

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