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True overdrive in a single channel tube?


TruSlice

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Hey guys, I have been looking everywhere online for the answer to this question and can't seem to find a valid response, or ask anyone who has a valid answer, simply because I don't think many people have it or have tried it.

 

I am about to purchase a low-wattage tube amp; it's a 65' Gibson Skylark GA-T5, which when I played with produced some retro, absolutely lovely true tube tone which would be great for blues, country, jazz, ect.

 

However, I don't play any of those genres, (although I do like vintage sound) I play mostly rock, punk, grunge, classic rock, y'know, whatever has been popular in the past 30 years.

 

(If you know anything about oldschool gibson amps, skip this)

 

The thing (and my particular gripe) about this amp is that it only has one channel on it, a rather unique clean channel that produces a steadier gain the louder you turn it up (7o'clock starts to get nice minor crunch sound), but not enough to ever be considered a true rock-like distortion.

 

This thing does get rather loud, about as loud as a 60w solid state when turned up,and it won't lose its' tone, which is exactly what I like about it.

 

(Continue reading)

 

Anyways, I think you might know what I'm getting at...Is there a pedal that exists that will give me a decent modern overdrive/distortion, without sacrificing much of this amp's tube tone (minding the unique characteristics)?

 

Or would this not work, and/or be to complicated, involve more pedals?

 

:confused:

 

 

 

BTW, the amp is at a local store, in great condition, everything original, but I've got a replacement eminence speaker that I could put in to almost eliminate all of the hum produced when turned up loud.

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A cheap but very good pedal to make it into a three channel amp is a Visual Sound Jeckyle and Hyde pedal.

Tube screamer on one side for crunch and heavier classic rock and one side for more boost and more gain if needed.

Cool Beans:idea:
Gene

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My Jekyll & Hyde seems to get pretty transparent sounds out of it and plays nice with tube amps. Check user reviews and look for the word "transparent" in them and try those pedals out. They typically do a pretty good job of keeping your guitar/amp tone. Some pedals will completely ruin your tone, which is fine if you have crappy equipment, but if you've got decent stuff, look for those transparent pedals.

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Anyways, I think you might know what I'm getting at...Is there a pedal that exists that will give me a decent modern overdrive/distortion, without sacrificing much of this amp's tube tone (minding the unique characteristics)?

 

 

This statement to me says you need a clean boost pedal like a Keeley Katana or Time Machine Boost...something to drive the front end of your amp creating natural overdrive using the amp's existing tone structure.

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There are endless options for OD/Dist in the effects world, it just depends on what you want to sound like and how much you want to spend.

 

 

Good point. I forgot that part.

 

Since this is probably gonna be used as a bedroom amp (unless I can successfully mic it in a gig without too much feedback from the other guys), I'm not gonna need to get that loud, so yeah, I'm just looking for something to drive the tone, as much distortion as I can get out of it before it sounds crappy.

 

And I don't wanna spend $200 for one either.

 

If it's decent enough, I'd be willing to part with $150 or so, but no higher, not really worth it for the bedroom.

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Good point. I forgot that part.


Since this is probably gonna be used as a bedroom amp (unless I can successfully mic it in a gig without too much feedback from the other guys), I'm not gonna need to get that loud, so yeah, I'm just looking for something to drive the tone, as much distortion as I can get out of it before it sounds crappy.


And I don't wanna spend $200 for one either.


If it's decent enough, I'd be willing to part with $150 or so, but no higher, not really worth it for the bedroom.



I would check out the Mule and Timmy then. It would take a while to get the Timmy at its actual retail price (long waiting list, last time I checked) but the Mule is readily available (tonefactor.com). I am sure others can weigh in with some better options... I mostly use amp OD :thu:

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Thanks for your responses, but I've been reading a bit as well, and it sounds like all I'm gonna get out of this thing is a blues or classic rock overdrive, truth is, I was hoping for a little bit more.

I have a solid state fender amp right now with overdrive; its no tube and the sound is decent, but it has gain nonetheless, and to be honest, I use that overdrive channel 90% of the time.

I'm looking at a vintage tube amp, single channel, one volume knob with a progressive overdrive kinda thing that works with old styles, but I don't play old-school. I wanna get a straight up rock sound out of it with a pedal.

The idea is to keep the tube sound, volume is not important.

Is this just a wild idea or can it really work?

Seriously, has anyone ever tried it before?:confused:

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Thanks for your responses, but I've been reading a bit as well, and it sounds like all I'm gonna get out of this thing is a blues or classic rock overdrive, truth is, I was hoping for a little bit more.


I have a solid state fender amp right now with overdrive; its no tube and the sound is decent, but it has gain nonetheless, and to be honest, I use that overdrive channel 90% of the time.


I'm looking at a vintage tube amp, single channel, one volume knob with a progressive overdrive kinda thing that works with old styles, but I don't play old-school. I wanna get a straight up rock sound out of it with a pedal.


The idea is to keep the tube sound, volume is not important.


Is this just a wild idea or can it really work?


Seriously, has anyone ever tried it before?
:confused:




a straight up rock sound should be very possible, maybe not full on death metal or anything like that though. Just to throw another option into the mix.... it might be worth looking into changing the pre-amp tube for one that distorts easier. (don't ask me, as a valve specialist) then hit it with high output pickups and /or a clean boost pedal.

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Very nice amps, Robo.


I looked up that pedal, seems like a good bang-for-buck kinda thing, guess you must have it or something.


But after seeing your amps...are you saying that you can use that pedal with your tubes? Won't that kill the tone?

 

 

Personally I hate that Gibson amp, and doubt that you'll be happy and find a new high gain tone out of it.

 

My mantra is: Use the right tool for the job. If the amp isn't doing what you want, before deciding to scrap it, try several OD, Distortion, Fuzz pedals with it 1st... I could end up being a platform that is acceptable to you, so with that being said, take it w/ you to a guitar store and try a bunch of pedals with it.

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Done.

 

Went to the shop and put a Morley Distortion in front of it and the result was surprising!

 

The guy frowned at me for doing it, but I didn't care, I got what I was looking for, and the pedal was even decent enough, although I'm sure there are better out there for better results.

 

I'd compare the tone to...closest to about a GNR tone for sure, but with not as quite much distortion, it did get a bit noisy after 12o'clock (the pedal).

 

And most surprising of all, it sounded best with the volume on the amp cranked up full, allowing the natural overdrive to push the pedal's distortion.

 

Definitely recommend! The mystery is solved at last!

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