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Overdrive vs Distortion vs Boost....


ShizzelDizzel

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Help me out fella's. I've played guitar for 18 years and always relied on my amp for it's distortion and rack effects. This time around, I've purchased a Crate V30 head and I love it for it's great crunch sound.

 

But I'm a little confused on what to use to...

 

1) push the amp into 80's-90's hard rock/metal territory

 

2) boost for a solo.

 

I definitely don't want any type of fuzz pedal. With all the choices, and terminology, I don't know where to start.

 

Thanks!

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if you already love it's distortion(crunch sound) then just use an overdrive to take it a step further. A decent OD paired with a distortion you already enjoy can take it to new heights. I'd try the bad monkey, or boss sd-1. If you want all out marshall in a box try the MI audio crunchbox, or even just a Rat.

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A booster, as the name suggests, boosts your signal. You can dial in a clean sound on your amp and use a booster to send it to crunch territory. Exactly how much crunch, if any, you get depends on how much gain the pedal can put out, as well as your amp's headroom. Also, boosters can of course be used for adding gain to an already distorted sound (like for a solo).
The term "clean boost" refers to the booster not colouring your signal, ie. not introducing any distortion, nor applying any equalisation.

Pretty much any overdrive or distortion pedal can be used as a booster when you turn the drive/gain control to minimum and use the output volume control to give you a boost. Most of the time they're not clean boosts, though.
What distinguishes overdrive and distortion (and fuzz, for that matter) pedals from boosters is that they're capable of distortion on their own as well. So you can dial in a combination of pedal and amp distortion with the drive/gain and volume controls. It's possible to get some interesting sounds that way. For instance, one of my favourite drive sounds is a (modded) Turbo Rat through an AC30 that's been pushed ever-so-slightly into overdrive.

I'd suggest trying out different boosters and overdrive pedals with your amp and seeing which you like best. As for boosting for a solo, remember that that can also be achieved with the guitar's volume control and/or switching between pickups.

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