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Tube amps with distortion pedals

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  • Tube amps with distortion pedals

    I'm looking at a blues jr.  I want to switch from clean to dirty really fast so I asked how to do this.  Some say to turn the volume on my guitar down for clean so I will try that.  Others say to put a pedal in front of it.  Isn't this defeating the purpose of tubes?  Don't you want them to break up for distortion?  Why get a tube amp if you don't do this?

  • #2
    These are actual questions.
    Certainly the Bjr can do the "clean-to-lead" with the vol. on the guitar.
    But someone might still find it too loud, and you will be asked to turn down.
    At that point you will want a pedal.
    Some guitars don't sound that great with their volume controls down. Again, pedal.
    People have been running tube amps clean with a pedal for about 50 years now . Because they like it that way.
    The tube amp will sound and act differently from the solid state amp, without making any part of it distort.
    Many people prefer that sound and response to most solid state offerings.
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    • thom
      thom commented
      Editing a comment

      I've talked to purists who swear by an "all tube signal path" and think putting solid state dirt pedals in front of their beloved amp is a mortal sin. 

      There's some logic to that, and I agree that depending on your musical style, it'd make sense to go with an amp with on-board tube distortion, wether it's switchable, pre-amp, mv or whatever....

      But imo a tube amp pretty mch ALWAYS sounds better, even if you mess up your tone *a little* with a distortion pedal. The whole point of distortions IS to mess up your clean tone, so I don't get why some people talk about their tone like it's a hi-fi system or whatever. Well actually, I kinda do, but it's still overrated impo, you should just play with whatever gear that sounds best to your ears, bleep everything else.

      I had a Pro Jr for a short while, and judging by your taste in amps, I'm assuming you don't plan on getting death metal sounds out of it...So if it's any type of somewhat mellow'ish rock/blues you're into, maybe you should just score a cheap dirt pedal somewhere and see how you like it. It's what a zillion of succesful artists have been doing the last 60yrs or so, so I'd think there's a dirt pedal out there for you that you'll like