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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking of getting a Mesa Lonstar Special. It's the perfect size and wattage (30W) for my home playing. I don't want anything louder. The only problem is, I sometimes like to play high-gain stuff, so I'll probably being running a Boss DS-1 through it occasionally. Does this take away from the rich sound of a good tube amp and make it sound more like a solid state amp?
 

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Not necessarily. Steve Vai uses his DS-1 as a boost for his Carvin's real tube saturation and it sounds great. Think of these pedals (ie DS-1, TS-9, etc) as more of boost pedals and not as complete sound alteration pedals.
 

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Basically, I think that pedals should be used like condiments...a little here and there makes things taste just a bit better, but too much ruins everything.

As far as messing up a good sounding amp, I'd stick to high quality stuff to minimize tone loss in the signal chain. Try to find true bypass pedals, and even if you've got that favorite old AD-9 analog delay that isn't true bypass, people like Robert Keeley can mod it into being a true bypass effect...cool stuff.
 

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I agree totally with Gresh.

It's a good tube amp, don't mess things up by sticking something low end in front. IMHO the DS1 really sucks as a boost pedal. Vai's DS1 on the other hand is modded by Keeley, I'm sure there's some form of distinct difference. I've tried a stock DS1 as a boost and it sounds horrible.

A better choice would be a dedicated boost pedal in contrast of a distortion pedal per se.

Do check out the gear by Xotic Effects. RC and AC booster is the way to go.

Here's a video of Scott Henderson demo'ing the pedal, on clean and the dist channel of his Custom Electronics Amp.
http://www.prosoundcommunications.com/english/video/scott_henderson/index.html

The RC/AC is the next on my quest to become a full fledged pedal slut.

Chris.
 

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Chris From Singapore. said:
I agree totally with Gresh.

It's a good tube amp, don't mess things up by sticking something low end in front. IMHO the DS1 really sucks as a boost pedal. Vai's DS1 on the other hand is modded by Keeley, I'm sure there's some form of distinct difference. I've tried a stock DS1 as a boost and it sounds horrible.

A better choice would be a dedicated boost pedal in contrast of a distortion pedal per se.

Do check out the gear by Xotic Effects. RC and AC booster is the way to go.

Here's a video of Scott Henderson demo'ing the pedal, on clean and the dist channel of his Custom Electronics Amp.
http://www.prosoundcommunications.com/english/video/scott_henderson/index.html

The RC/AC is the next on my quest to become a full fledged pedal slut.

Chris.
As far as I'm aware vai uses a normal DS-1 and only used the keeley for alive in an ultra world!
 

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ric232 said:
I'm thinking of getting a Mesa Lonstar Special. It's the perfect size and wattage (30W) for my home playing. I don't want anything louder. The only problem is, I sometimes like to play high-gain stuff, so I'll probably being running a Boss DS-1 through it occasionally. Does this take away from the rich sound of a good tube amp and make it sound more like a solid state amp?
Trust me - if you need more gain than a Lone Star has on tap, you have issues. :lol: A different type of gain, maybe - i passed simply because the Nomad I was also demoing could do more of a contemporary "chunk" rhythm - but that thing is plenty saturated, and has an ungodly clean channel, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Drew said:
Trust me - if you need more gain than a Lone Star has on tap, you have issues. :lol:
You're the first person who has said that. Others who have the amp have said it is not a metal amp at all. I'm not looking for a purely metal amp, I just like to play the heavy stuff once in a while for fun. I currently have a Vox AD50VT Valvetronix that has a NUMETAL setting which I have a lot of fun with on occasion.
 

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by high gain you mean like metal style playing? i know the LSS is capable of great rock distortion. and i'm pretty sure the LSS has almost the same amount of gain as the DS-1, just better. if you need a real high gain i'd sugest somthing like the soldano supercharger or a mesa v-twin.
 

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trust me, Vai uses a stock DS-1

i did however mod mine to keeley ultra specs and it sounds great although i think i perfer it more of a stand alone pedal than to use it as a booster, but it works either way

if i crank my marshalls (DSL401) clean channel and turn the pedal on it actually sounds quite a bit like the OD channel on the amp onlythe bass is tighter and the sound is more compressed

but i don't use any compression so the added compression from the pedal adds quite a bit to my sound

the stock DS-1 isnt bad, but there are like 1-2 spots on that pedal where you can get a good tone you have to mess with it a bit. Modded the usable tonal range is much improved, you don't need very exact settings to get it to sound great
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Dylan7620 said:
by high gain you mean like metal style playing? i know the LSS is capable of great rock distortion. and i'm pretty sure the LSS has almost the same amount of gain as the DS-1, just better. if you need a real high gain i'd sugest somthing like the soldano supercharger or a mesa v-twin.
I don't know really what qualifies as "metal". I'd like to be able to get as much gain as, say, Satriani. I'm not trying to nail his tone, but I want to make sure I have an amp that can get me in that league of gain/distortion. Can the Lonestar Special do that or would I need a pedal?
 

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ric232 said:
You're the first person who has said that. Others who have the amp have said it is not a metal amp at all. I'm not looking for a purely metal amp, I just like to play the heavy stuff once in a while for fun. I currently have a Vox AD50VT Valvetronix that has a NUMETAL setting which I have a lot of fun with on occasion.
Yeah he said a different type of gain.

I have an AC30 which gets a fair amount of gain actually but it's all British fuzz and not a heavy sounding distortion, ie it's not going to do metal. Convert that to Marshall style gain and you have a gainier JCM 800.
 

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When using good amps, I like to appreciate the sound of the amps own overdrive, especially when all valve rather than use a distortion or overdrive pedal. I sometimes add a reverb or delay in the effects loop and a wah up front.
 
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