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Thread: Looking for a "Deeper" Distortion sound? Is it the Amp?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Todd_FindingMyWay's Avatar
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    Looking for a "Deeper" Distortion sound? Is it the Amp?

    Hey guys help this rookie out here..

    So I play most of my stuff distorted. I have a Boss distortion pedal (DS-1) and play my PRS SE Torero through a crappy Fender Frontman 25 watt Amp.

    So when I play, to my ears, it sounds really 'tinny'. I am looking for a much 'boomier' or 'bassier' sound. I hope I describe this correctly because it might be a little confusing to explain.
    Is the reason why its tinny because of the cheap Amp I use? It does have bass/middle/treble settings but even using those doesnt get me there.

    I am boiling it down to the Amp in my mind just looking for other's opinions.
    Whats the difference between the DS1 distortion pedal vs a 'metal distortion' pedal?

    Thanks everyone.
    Begin the day with a friendly voice, a companion unobstrusive..

  2. #2
    408 Sig Club President Twinfan's Avatar
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    I would say it's the amp - get some valves and 12" speakers

  3. #3
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    Get you self a decent all valve Marshall. That'll rock ya socks off.
    I am not a luthier but i am in my own workshop.
    https://www.facebook.com/driffguitar

  4. #4
    There's a reason players get all-tube, 50-100 watt, amplifiers with 4 x 12 cabs.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    There's a reason players get all-tube, 50-100 watt, amplifiers with 4 x 12 cabs.
    What, it's not just that they LOOK macho?!?

    Seriously, though, even something like a Fender Blues Junior (tube amp, fairly inexpensive, well-thought-of in most circles) would be a good start. That and a decent OD pedal -- and the DS-1 isn't bad -- should get you closer to where you wanna be.

    BTW, OP, you're smart to be considering the AMP side of it early in the game. It took me a long time, and a lot of guitars, to learn that my tone problems, the blame for which I laid on the guitars, was really an AMP problem.

    If I had to choose, if I were mainly using rock/distorted sounds, I'd rather have a mediocre guitar through a great amp than a great guitar through a mediocre amp.
    Last edited by kingsleyd; 11-11-2013 at 11:14 AM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by kingsleyd View Post
    What, it's not just that they LOOK macho?!?
    Ha!
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  7. #7
    Senior Member Todd_FindingMyWay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingsleyd View Post
    What, it's not just that they LOOK macho?!?

    Seriously, though, even something like a Fender Blues Junior (tube amp, fairly inexpensive, well-thought-of in most circles) would be a good start. That and a decent OD pedal -- and the DS-1 isn't bad -- should get you closer to where you wanna be.

    BTW, OP, you're smart to be considering the AMP side of it early in the game. It took me a long time, and a lot of guitars, to learn that my tone problems, the blame for which I laid on the guitars, was really an AMP problem.

    If I had to choose, if I were mainly using rock/distorted sounds, I'd rather have a mediocre guitar through a great amp than a great guitar through a mediocre amp.
    Awesome thank you!

    So an OD pedal..Is that used IN PLACE of the distortion pedal?
    BTW, I didnt mention this but, I dont need a big wattage amp as I am still playing in the corner of my bedroom. (that sounded funny ;-)
    Begin the day with a friendly voice, a companion unobstrusive..

  8. #8
    get a new amp, dude.
    (DC 245 Ted / DGT / 513 / Santana / McShootout / Cu22 Rosewood / SAS / Cu22 Semi hollow / Sig LTD / Mira korina / HBII / SE Angelus Custom) >> {C, H, Dallas, Original Sewell}

  9. #9
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    I used to have the FM25 as well. Decent clean amp, but just didn't have the depth of tone with distortion for me either. A good tube amp should cure your ills, if you find one that will fit your needs. I would really recommend getting something that has a nice dirt tone as part of its repertoire. My philosophy has always been that the best distortion/overdrive sounds are going to come from your amp (assuming it's a decent amp, designed for the kind of tones you're after). Reason being, if it's a well designed amp, that drive sound has already been tweaked and tailored to fit that amp specifically. When you start using pedals, you don't always get a good match between the pedal and amp, which you're experiencing right now. Another example, I tried out an OD pedal at a shop through a Fender Blues Deluxe, nice bright amp, and it sounded awesome. Got it home, plugged into my not so bright amp, and it was the dullest sounding thing you ever heard.

    I'm not trying to knock the guys that prefer a nice clean amp with pedals out front, it just hasn't been as reliable in my experience as getting my drive tones from the amp. Surely there are good pedal-amp matches that can be made, but for me, it's just been a lot more predictable (and cheaper in the long run) to start with something that already has it "going on." I have a slew of pedals, but with almost all of my amps, the built in tones beat out pedals every time I A/B them.

    Anyways, to the OP, this is IMO a "golden age" for the hobby guitarist - there is a bigger variety of affordable, nice sounding tube amps (and other gear for that matter) than there has ever been. Egnater, Jet City, Blackstar are a few I can think of off the top of my head that are super affordable, and have been getting great reviews for their tone.

    If you really want something with a deep, full sound, get yourself something with a big cabinet, whether it's a combo or a head/cab. And, of course, this being the PRS forum, I will add that if you have a few extra bucks rolling around and want to step it up a notch, the PRS SE amps with the 2x12 deep cabs will blow you away when it comes to full, deep tones!
    -I'm no expert, but it seems to work and I haven't electrocuted myself yet. Which is pretty much the standard I live by.

    SE Custom 24 25th Anniversary - SE Akesson+57/08's - SE 30 Head/Cab

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by FindingMyWay View Post
    Awesome thank you!

    So an OD pedal..Is that used IN PLACE of the distortion pedal?
    Sorry, OD is short for OverDrive.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Todd_FindingMyWay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingsleyd View Post
    Sorry, OD is short for OverDrive.
    Yeah kingsley..understood, but again..just a newby 3 year guitar student 'finding my way' ;-)
    Begin the day with a friendly voice, a companion unobstrusive..

  12. #12
    Senior Member Todd_FindingMyWay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy474x View Post
    I used to have the FM25 as well. Decent clean amp, but just didn't have the depth of tone with distortion for me either. A good tube amp should cure your ills, if you find one that will fit your needs. I would really recommend getting something that has a nice dirt tone as part of its repertoire. My philosophy has always been that the best distortion/overdrive sounds are going to come from your amp (assuming it's a decent amp, designed for the kind of tones you're after). Reason being, if it's a well designed amp, that drive sound has already been tweaked and tailored to fit that amp specifically. When you start using pedals, you don't always get a good match between the pedal and amp, which you're experiencing right now. Another example, I tried out an OD pedal at a shop through a Fender Blues Deluxe, nice bright amp, and it sounded awesome. Got it home, plugged into my not so bright amp, and it was the dullest sounding thing you ever heard.

    I'm not trying to knock the guys that prefer a nice clean amp with pedals out front, it just hasn't been as reliable in my experience as getting my drive tones from the amp. Surely there are good pedal-amp matches that can be made, but for me, it's just been a lot more predictable (and cheaper in the long run) to start with something that already has it "going on." I have a slew of pedals, but with almost all of my amps, the built in tones beat out pedals every time I A/B them.

    Anyways, to the OP, this is IMO a "golden age" for the hobby guitarist - there is a bigger variety of affordable, nice sounding tube amps (and other gear for that matter) than there has ever been. Egnater, Jet City, Blackstar are a few I can think of off the top of my head that are super affordable, and have been getting great reviews for their tone.

    If you really want something with a deep, full sound, get yourself something with a big cabinet, whether it's a combo or a head/cab. And, of course, this being the PRS forum, I will add that if you have a few extra bucks rolling around and want to step it up a notch, the PRS SE amps with the 2x12 deep cabs will blow you away when it comes to full, deep tones!
    Thanks Andy...If we ever get to meet (and we are close enough) , first beer is on me. (I owe Wedge a beer already LOL)
    Begin the day with a friendly voice, a companion unobstrusive..

  13. #13
    Happy Egads's Avatar
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    Like everyone else is saying, and you already alluded to, it's all about the amp. I'm a fan of a 1x12 cabinet for practical purposes, 2x12 will provide more girth (that's what it's all about, right?). Since you are currently a home player, you don't really need a ton of power (though it is fun when you can crank it up). There are a lot of relatively low wattage tube amps on the market that sound great. Getting good low end is something you'll have to listen for.

    BTW, that DS-1 isn't a bad pedal, but for less than the cost of a new pedal, you can ship that out to Robert Keeley, at Keeley Effects, and have him turn it into an mazing pedal. The pedal will come back with a ton less noise and much richer and fuller. Best $60 I ever spent on a pedal.

  14. #14
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FindingMyWay View Post
    Thanks Andy...If we ever get to meet (and we are close enough) , first beer is on me. (I owe Wedge a beer already LOL)
    Sounds like a deal!
    -I'm no expert, but it seems to work and I haven't electrocuted myself yet. Which is pretty much the standard I live by.

    SE Custom 24 25th Anniversary - SE Akesson+57/08's - SE 30 Head/Cab

  15. #15
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by watelessness View Post
    get a new amp, dude.
    This.

  16. #16
    Feast like a sultan, I do QueenCityGuitars's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    There's a reason players get all-tube, 50-100 watt, amplifiers with 4 x 12 cabs.
    This!

    If you want bottom end, a 4x12 is your friend.

  17. #17
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenCityGuitars View Post
    This!

    If you want bottom end, a 4x12 is your friend.
    412 might be my favorite number.
    Plank Owner

  18. #18
    Angry Southern Gentleman Hopeful Sinner's Avatar
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    If a new amp is outta you range at this point, maybe try a TC Electronic Dark Matter pedal and a decent EQ stomp box. I used to run a Boss Turbo Distortion into a DOD EQ into a Holmes Mississippi Blueamaster and loved the results...

    Of course the new amp deal will cure what ails you for good but on a budget, you'd be surprised what a better selection of stomp boxes will do for you...

    Keep us posted...

  19. #19
    PRS Addiction CoreyT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FindingMyWay View Post
    BTW, I didnt mention this but, I dont need a big wattage amp as I am still playing in the corner of my bedroom. (that sounded funny ;-)
    If you are playing in the bedroom or living room, check out one of these.
    I have one of these, and it can get quite loud.

    Yamaha THR10X Andertons Exclusive!! "Extreme Gain" Electric Guitar Amp



    I also picked up one of these recently, but I like the Yamaha better, it just sounds better, but the Roland is louder.

    Roland MicroCube GX



    I have a 50 watt Carvin V3M into a 4x12 and a 2x12, and no way can I even open them wide open in my home, it would melt the paint off the walls where I live.
    The small amps I posted above will give you both overdrive and hard metal sound.

  20. #20
    Sparty On hoofarted's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoreyT View Post
    If you are playing in the bedroom or living room, check out one of these.
    I have one of these, and it can get quite loud.

    Yamaha THR10X Andertons Exclusive!! "Extreme Gain" Electric Guitar Amp
    I have one as well, fantastic practice amp! I recommend it highly for jamming on the "small stage"

    And my recommendation for when you can afford it, my all time favorite:

    Last edited by hoofarted; 11-11-2013 at 03:27 PM.

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