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mbengs1

overdrives and distortions through a solid state amp

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I found that the output of my overdrive and distortion pedals are twice as loud with my solid state amp. I checked the unity gain with my boss super overdrive, blues driver, and adaptive distortion and they're all very low around 9-10 o lock. They're much louder with tube amps. Is this a normal thing?  

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Posted (edited)

Tube amps have extra tone that the pedals sense and compensate for seems like the most likely answer. 🤡

Edited by Grant Harding

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1 hour ago, Grant Harding said:

Tube amps have extra tone that the pedals sense and compensate for seems like the most likely answer. 🤡

No, it's an output difference, not necessarily a diff in tone quality.

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Maybe it is a headroom difference? You might be closer to clipping with the way you have the tube amp set up, in which case the overdrive might not make things "louder" as much as making it more distorted. 

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It might have to do with the input impedance of the amp, or the source level from the guitar.  Are you using the same guitar, no other pedals, and the same exact volume setting?

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On 3/21/2020 at 10:27 PM, mbengs1 said:

I found that the output of my overdrive and distortion pedals are twice as loud with my solid state amp. I checked the unity gain with my boss super overdrive, blues driver, and adaptive distortion and they're all very low around 9-10 o lock. They're much louder with tube amps. Is this a normal thing?  

Okay, can we please clarify your original statement?

What exactly do you mean by 'twice as loud' going through the Laney?

Do you mean you have to set the pedal at double the level to get the same volume? If that is your situation, it is what it is...so in a word: yes...

Okay, a very basic explanation [that will not satisfy the engineers here]: with a tube amp, the pedal is hitting the pre-amp tubes with a hotter and somewhat distorted signal; the tubes amplify [add gain] to the signal and there is some added 'harmonic distortion' and 'overtones' which the human ear may perceive as volume...then the power tubes take that hotter/distorted signal and amplifies it, and at higher levels can add additional harmonic distortion to the signal as well.

With a SS amp the preamp section transistors typically add nothing but clean 'gain' to the signal, and the power section of the amp adds nothing but clean gain again...so whatever distortion the pedal generated, that is the distortion you will get, with no [or let's say minimal] enhancements from the amp. And that is likely why you have to push the pedal twice as 'hard' to get close to the level of 'perceived volume'.

A few things we would like to be clear on: How did you determine what the equal volume levels of the two amps were, where in the signal chain was the pedal, were there other pedals in the signal chain or in the FX loop, battery power or ac/dc converter powered...?

Did you ever get that dB meter app for your phone like I suggested? :wave:That would be the accurate way to measure the volume/SPL from the amp.

Of course, your history here with flaky gear and odd questions makes me curious, kaibigan, as to how you set up this comparison [and I saw that the ever astute 'Mr. Hack' was curious as well], because in order to get any kind of valid data, one needs to have set baselines and accurate measuring tools, neither of which you have reported.

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On 3/22/2020 at 12:27 AM, mbengs1 said:

I found that the output of my overdrive and distortion pedals are twice as loud with my solid state amp.

"Twice as loud" normally translates to 10dB. That's a lot of difference even if the gain of the two amps is substantially different.

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8 hours ago, daddymack said:

Okay, can we please clarify your original statement?

What exactly do you mean by 'twice as loud' going through the Laney?

 

I dunno, I seem to get more output from the pedal with the laney. I guess it has to do that it is a solid state amp.  

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On 3/25/2020 at 9:20 AM, daddymack said:

And just how are you measuring this 'output'?

By ear, I just can tell if it's like normal or something more than it. 

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Yeah but for purposes of discussion you need to use mutual language. SAE is the most common I think.

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16 minutes ago, mbengs1 said:

By ear, I just can tell if it's like normal or something more than it. 

Nonsense. Even side by side doing an A/B test you would not be able to really tell, especially within a few feet, pare...for a number of reasons.

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On 3/26/2020 at 8:28 PM, daddymack said:

Nonsense. Even side by side doing an A/B test you would not be able to really tell, especially within a few feet, pare...for a number of reasons.

Then it's normal. There's nothing wrong with my amp. 

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Just now, mbengs1 said:

Then it's normal. There's nothing wrong with my amp. 

 

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