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Choosing a Distortion Stompbox.


Zealot's Fire

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Hi,

 

So I've been playing guitar for almost a year now, and I'm very happy with the one I've bought. It's an Ibanez SZ520FM. I really love the way it looks, the way it feels and the way it makes me wanna play it. But now I think I need some good distrotion. My amp is a VOX AD15VT. The distortion isn't bad, but it doesn't satisfy me completely.

 

I usually play Lamb Of God, Megadeht, Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, Symphony X and Tool. What would you advise me?

 

I've been searching a bit, and I've seen pedals that do seem good: Boss MT-2, Rocktron Metal Planet and Line Six's Uber Metal. Still, I'm very young in this business, and I'm afraid of taking a wrong decision.

 

suggestions, ideas and approvals are welcome : D

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I'm going to put you out of your misery, mate, and tell you by posting this here, you're only going to be told to buy an ENGL....an MT-2 isn't going to cut it....

 

 

It's not what you want to hear, I know, but it's the sad tuth when it comes to all this metal malarky...

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I'm going to put you out of your misery, mate, and tell you by posting this here, you're only going to be told to buy an ENGL....an MT-2 isn't going to cut it....



It's not what you want to hear, I know, but it's the sad tuth when it comes to all this metal malarky...

 

 

QFT

 

All the bands you namechecked play through big expensive valve amps like Peavey 5150s, Engl Fireballs, Framus Dragons, Diezels, Mesa Rectifiers etc etc for their tones. The heavy tones you hear on record were not created by a distortion pedal, and this is true of 99% of modern metal.

 

True, some of them will occasionally use an overdrive to boost them further, but a much more common setup for modern metal bands is a high gain amp (like previously mentioned) with nothing more than a tuner pedal and a noise gate, and that's the truth.

 

Pedals like the MT2, etc may well sound fine at home, but if you use them with a band, prepare to be massively disappointed. That kickass scooped thrash tone in your bedroom becomes farts and sizzle, and all your frequencies get eaten up by bass and cymbals.

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It's definitely a challenge to get a thick metal sound on a 15-watt amp. I presume it has an 8" speaker, which typically aren't conducive to heavy palm muting and the like. I've found some pretty good dirt tones on the AD50VT, but perhaps it was either the 12" speaker or possibly different presets that aren't found on the AD15VT.

 

My advice given the amp you have--and your amp is way more important than any pedal, like the others have been saying--is to either get a overdrive pedal to boost your amp's distortion or get an EQ pedal. The Fish and Chips pedal by Danelectro is an excellent EQ pedal. I've got one and it really shapes your tone (adds low-end, treble, mids) any way you can think to do so. It's also only about 30 bucks brand new. Plus, if you want, you can boost your amp's distortion with this as well. If you want to directly boost your palm muting sound, this is a simple and straightforward way to do it.

 

As far as an overdrive pedal goes, there are tons of options out there. But really, you don't need to buy a $100+ pedal. I recommend you get either a Digitech Bad Monkey ($40) or a Boss SD-1 ($50). For bedroom playing, either pedal will be more than adequate tone-wise. They will boost your low-end and add a ton of dirt to your signal. It will make your solos sound more fluid and your rhythm playing much heavier than your amp's distortion can provide alone.

 

To get a good metal sound from a pedal is an expensive venture. The two aforementioned avenues will probably get you there a lot cheaper and perhaps, more effectively.

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Unfortunately if your amp distortion sounds bad, a pedal is very unlikely to fix it, at least not to a very large degree. I can think of a few routes you could consider that might get you a better sound, that won't cost too much:

 

1: Try a Line 6 or similar. Some of those sound quite good for metal tone, considering that they're modellers without a tube in sight (apart from the new spider valve, of course :p). There's also the XL Valvetronix, which are supposedly more geared towards higher gain sounds.

2. A cheap tube amp and a distortion pedal. Really cheap tube amps include the Epi Valve Junior (which you can mod), and the Peavey Royal 8. One of these with a Zakk Wylde OD, or Boss DS-1 or MT-2 in front would sound good in my opinion. (Keeley mod is best, if possible; the DS-1 Ultra is definitely on my 'effects shopping list' :p). For added gain, you might try a further OD pedal and/or an EQ to boost things a little, and to boost the bottom end a bit. You might try a Boss SD-1 or Tubescreamer-type pedal, and a Dano Fish n' Chips or MXR EQ.

3. I'm not entirely sure how good this would sound, but you could try a Zoom/Line 6/Vox floor unit (like the Zoom G7, G9, PODXT Live, etc), and buy a solid-state fender combo or a keyboard amp (to begin with, as they don't cost much) or something, and plug the floorboard straight into the poweramp/into the effects return, whichever is possible.

 

:thu:

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It's definitely a challenge to get a thick metal sound on a 15-watt amp. I presume it has an 8" speaker, which typically aren't conducive to heavy palm muting and the like. I've found some pretty good dirt tones on the AD50VT, but perhaps it was either the 12" speaker or possibly different presets that aren't found on the AD15VT.


My advice given the amp you have--and your amp is way more important than any pedal, like the others have been saying--is to either get a overdrive pedal to boost your amp's distortion or get an EQ pedal. The Fish and Chips pedal by Danelectro is an excellent EQ pedal. I've got one and it really shapes your tone (adds low-end, treble, mids) any way you can think to do so. It's also only about 30 bucks brand new. Plus, if you want, you can boost your amp's distortion with this as well. If you want to directly boost your palm muting sound, this is a simple and straightforward way to do it.


As far as an overdrive pedal goes, there are tons of options out there. But really, you don't need to buy a $100+ pedal. I recommend you get either a Digitech Bad Monkey ($40) or a Boss SD-1 ($50). For bedroom playing, either pedal will be more than adequate tone-wise. They will boost your low-end and add a ton of dirt to your signal. It will make your solos sound more fluid and your rhythm playing much heavier than your amp's distortion can provide alone.


To get a good metal sound from a pedal is an expensive venture. The two aforementioned avenues will probably get you there a lot cheaper and perhaps, more effectively.

 

 

Agreed - Good advice. My only concern however, based on my own experiences, is that lower wattage SS amps tend to have little headroom, particularly at lower volume. I can dime the level on my SD-1 (+1 on the recommendation; It's a great pedal - Keeley just makes it amazing. An impending purchase on my part, I hope.), and it will have little to no effect on my 10-watt Marshall practice amp, short of adding some extra treble. This also inhibits the range of my wah, which opens out a lot with the volume up a bit. The EQ is a good call.

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Hi,


So I've been playing guitar for almost a year now, and I'm very happy with the one I've bought. It's an Ibanez SZ520FM. I really love the way it looks, the way it feels and the way it makes me wanna play it. But now I think I need some good distrotion. My amp is a VOX AD15VT. The distortion isn't bad, but it doesn't satisfy me completely.


I usually play Lamb Of God, Megadeht, Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, Symphony X and Tool. What would you advise me?


I've been searching a bit, and I've seen pedals that do seem good: Boss MT-2, Rocktron Metal Planet and Line Six's Uber Metal. Still, I'm very young in this business, and I'm afraid of taking a wrong decision.


suggestions, ideas and approvals are welcome : D

 

 

There are many great distortion pedals that will fit your sound. My advice would be that which ever one you choose, place an eq pedal right after it. MXR Six band Eq is highly recommended. This will help you control your sound.

 

Anyways these are the pedals that i would recommend:

 

MXR DoubleShot

Line 6 Uber Metal

Landmine Distortion

 

Any of these three pedals will get you massive gain, running them through a hight gain valve almp produces a sound that is probably better than valve amps distortion in it self.

 

Pedals are a matter of taste and preference, don't let anyone tell you that only high priced high gain heads are the only way to go, that is just not true. You can get a great tone from a Mesa Rectifier or a Peavey XXL Solid State Head.

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Once again, thanks for all the response.

 

I've been searching and hearing samples a lot, and I've found some that have really made me happy

 

The Maxon SD-9 seemed huge, but what a I liked most was the Rocktron Silver Dragon. It seemed very immersive and punchy. Some people have complained about the noise it makes.

 

I have some things to do now, but I will try and hear to the Landmine Distortion and the MXR DoubleShot.

 

I'm aware that from a 15W amp the sound can't be huge, I just want to get a good pedal that gives a good distortion and that if eventually I decide to change my amp to a better one, it will still fit.

 

Btw, if it helps, I'm thinking about spending 150

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The Vox has a Nu-Metal channel on it, right? You could use this, with the gain maxed, and maybe slam the front end of it with a pedal like the Bad Monkey, Boss SD-1 or a Marshall Bluesbreaker II in boost mode. Like these guys say, you aren't going to get a huge tone though.

 

The Line6 Uber Metal pedal has loads of gain on tap. You could try one of those through the Black 2x12 setting on the Vox.

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The Vox has a Nu-Metal channel on it, right? You could use this, with the gain maxed, and maybe slam the front end of it with a pedal like the Bad Monkey, Boss SD-1 or a Marshall Bluesbreaker II in boost mode. Like these guys say, you aren't going to get a huge tone though.


The Line6 Uber Metal pedal has loads of gain on tap. You could try one of those through the Black 2x12 setting on the Vox.

Good suggestions here. I have an AD15 which I use for practice and incidentally, I have a BBII that I use in clean boost mode to slam a few of the the OD models and it works really well. And I also agree w/ using the Blackface model set to clean for dirt pedals, just crank the master and volume and use the gain knob as your volume. You won't get a huge sound (although the amp does sound pretty big considering the speaker size), but you definitely can get some really nice tones :thu:

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Hi,


So I've been playing guitar for almost a year now, and I'm very happy with the one I've bought. It's an Ibanez SZ520FM. I really love the way it looks, the way it feels and the way it makes me wanna play it. But now I think I need some good distrotion. My amp is a VOX AD15VT. The distortion isn't bad, but it doesn't satisfy me completely.


I usually play Lamb Of God, Megadeht, Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, Symphony X and Tool. What would you advise me?


I've been searching a bit, and I've seen pedals that do seem good: Boss MT-2, Rocktron Metal Planet and Line Six's Uber Metal. Still, I'm very young in this business, and I'm afraid of taking a wrong decision.


suggestions, ideas and approvals are welcome : D

 

 

 

start playing bands song's that don't suck, then install EHX big muff

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start playing bands song's that don't suck, then install EHX big muff

 

 

I won't discuss tastes, especially with someone who is disrespectful.

 

 

 

My only problem with doing that is that if I decide to change my amp, the pedal gets useless... Or not as efective, at least... Am I right?

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My only problem with doing that is that if I decide to change my amp, the pedal gets useless... Or not as efective, at least... Am I right?

 

 

It wouldn't have to be. If you get a new amp and like the dirt sound you get out of it, you still have the option of switching to the clean channel and using the distortion pedal, where you can dial in a different sound with the pedal than the amp's distortion. :poke:

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What I was trying to say is that if I get one of those boost pedals instead of a distortion one, if I change to an amp with a differente distortion, the sound won't be the same, and there is the possibility that I don't like the new sound. And the pedal get's useless because boost through a clean channel isn't distortion, right?

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I have the same amp. I would recomend a Marshall Jackhammer. I have one and love it. The distortion mode is a muddy mess, but the OD mode is great! I tend to crank the gain all the way and clean it up as needed with my volume control. I use the Twin 2 x 12 setting on the Vox with the pedal. The pedal has freq and contour controls to dial in jus the tone you want. Plus they are like $70 new, even less used. I'd check it out.

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I have the same amp but the 100watt version, and there is plenty of gain built in on the amp models, especially the nu-metal, play with that before you go and spend money on a pedal.

 

 

Also, if you buy any kind of pedal you will have different results on any amp, even if you buy a Metal Zone or something and you buy a new amp in a year or so it will sound very different to the amp you are currently using, This is to do with many different things. Just play with amp distortion for now, then if you are sure you want a pedal for distortion buy one then, but from experience for high gain metal sounds, amp distortion always sounds alot more natural, metal distortions usually tend to be extremely hissy.

 

 

Also, dont be fooled by getting the pedals that have Metal in the name, many metal guitarist use amp distortions and just use a low gain overdrive to boost for solo's. you can get metal sounds with any distortion, and probabaly even better ones without the "metal" in the name

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