Simple preamp/pedal question (for dummies)

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by arablue, Mar 20, 2015.

  1. arablue

    arablue SS.org Regular

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    This is my first post and Im excited to join the board. Im kind of a luddite when it comes to gear, but Ive been trying to expand my horizons and maybe try some of the new technology thats become available so please bear with me.

    Im looking at a pre/power amp setup that can cover a gamut of sounds while still being easy to transport and push some air. Im a big fan of classic solid state sounds, and ideally I'd like something that can go from stoner tones like a Sunn Beta to thrash/death metal sounds like a Marshall 8100.

    I like that the ISP Theta and the AMS SS-20 have knobs and switches that can be controlled directly. Again, Im kind of a meat-and-potatoes player who prefers direct and reliable set-up to a complicated, intricate one. I dont really need MIDI compatibility or effects, just some good preamp tones. Am I barking up the right tree? Is there a relatively straight-forward preamp or preamp pedal that can go from Melvins to Death without a bunch of additional options and signal processing?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. desmondtencents

    desmondtencents Plays With Wood!

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    I'd love to try the ISP Theta pedal. Looks nice, I just can't justify spending the money because I don't need it. All of the demos I've seen are pretty convincing. I think it would be an awesome piece of gear to own. Pretty simple setup and capable of quite a bit tonally.
    I do own the ISP Stealth power amp. I can say for sure that it's a great piece of gear. I'm using it with an Eleven Rack and a 2x12 V30 loaded cab. Sounds great.
    You could get both (ISP) units and mount them to a reasonably small board. Maybe throw on a couple other effects (delay,reverb etc.) and bam. Instant rig on a board.
    Every once in a while I'll look on ebay for a used Theta but they never (rarely) seem to turn up. I guess people are keeping them for a reason.
    Might also want to look at the Randall RG13 for a nice preamp pedal. It actually has a 1W power amp built in. Connect that to a 1x12 or 1x10 cab for bedroom use. Or run it to a larger power amp for rehearsal/live applications.
     
  3. desmondtencents

    desmondtencents Plays With Wood!

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    And by the way,
    :wavey: WELCOME :wavey:
     
  4. desmondtencents

    desmondtencents Plays With Wood!

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    Just checked ebay and what do you know, there are a few on there for pretty good deals......
    Hmmmm (goes back to ebay)
     
  5. UV7BK4LIFE

    UV7BK4LIFE Schecter A7 addict

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    An amt d2 or p2 with some tubescreamer derivate in front of it will do. The amptweaker fat metal also covers a lot of ground and has an fx loop that turns on when the pedal switches off

    I have a similar setup with a 1000 watts power amp , amptweaker fatmetal and zoom ms50g
     
  6. arablue

    arablue SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the replies. The Stealth poweramp looks cool, though Ive been eyeing something more sturdy like a Carver or Crown. I havent seen the AmpTweaker before, thats definitely in the right area.

    Like I said before, Im fine with solidstate sounds. I dont need anything claiming to mimic or recreate classic tube amps, just a decent clean and a versatile distortion channel (or two).
     
  7. Spinedriver

    Spinedriver SS.org Regular

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    I have a Digitech GSP1101 and it's not as complicated to use as you would think. The advantage to a digital modeler than a regular pre amp like a Peavey Rockmaster is that the modeler has access to a much wider range of tones.

    With a single pedal like the AMT or Randall, you'd be hard pressed to go from "stoner" to "thrash" but with something like a Pod or GSP, the chances are a lot better.
     
  8. arablue

    arablue SS.org Regular

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    My main hesitation with a rack set-up has been the overabundance of choices for each module and the need for some pricey components. Ive never had the time or inclination to test out different preamps, different power amps, and different midi switchers to find something reliable and straightforward.

    That said, I'm sure if I had a good teacher I could put together an inexpensive, versatile rig without spending too much.
     
  9. Abaddon9112

    Abaddon9112 SS.org Regular

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    Solid state preamp pedals for the most part are meant to do one particular type of tone, or have just a clean channel and a dirt channel. It might be hard finding one that can do a loose, sludgey stoner tone and a tight death metal tone.

    You could perhaps get a couple of the fairly inexpensive ones like the AMT or Tech 21 stuff and switch them out for whatever you need. Look for deals on used ones.

    Or a real budget option...I like to use regular distortion pedals, boosted with some sort of clean line driver after them, and run into my power amp. Right now I've got and Ibanez FZ-7 fuzz for stonerish stuff and a Boss MD-2 distortion for metal and rock stuff. I run them into an ART Tube MP mic preamp (which is like $40), into a Crown power amp. But you could use a powered DI Box, a line booster like an MXR Micro Amp, etc. just to get the signal to where the power amp is driven properly.

    The tones are probably not quite as good as an actual preamp, but if you want a variety of sound options it works good. With some harsh sounding pedals like the Metal Zone I think it actually improves the tone, because you lose a little treble vs. in front of a guitar amp.

    EDIT: If you need a clean sound, there are some pedals that are meant to emulate old Fender amps like the Boss FBM-1 pedal.
     
  10. Zeno

    Zeno SZ Hunter

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    Honestly, I'd just do something like a GSP1101, a Rocktron Velocity 300, and a Tech 21 Midi Mouse controller - the nice part about that controller is that, while it has your typical up and down buttons of something small, it has a search button, so you can stay on your preset while getting another one ready - when time comes to switch sounds, just hit the search button to activate the new patch.

    As for the GSP1101, it's pretty straightforward, sounds good, and if you wanna get into it a little more when it comes to tonal options, you can - and you can even load 3rd part impulses, which is nice.
     
  11. Spinedriver

    Spinedriver SS.org Regular

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    As long as you have access to the internet, between this site and Youtube, you can do a ton of research before you even set foot into a store.

    Here's a few suggestions: There are probably dozens of threads here asking the same questions you are (ie: what's the best/ cheapest pre-amp for doom/thrash/death/etc...). So just do a search and read up on some of them to see what was recommended. After that, make a list of some of the ones people suggested the most and then look up some demos on youtube to see if they come close to what they're looking for.

    After that, if you still feel unsure, just start a thread here and ask whatever it is you need help with and I'm sure by the end of it, you'll feel pretty safe about picking something up.

    The thing is, there's a lot of unknown factors like, how much do you want to spend, do you want to buy new or used, would you rather buy at the local store or get it online & have it shipped, etc.. So yeah, just take it slow, do a bit of reading & listening & see if you can narrow the search just a little bit because it's hard to specifically recommend something when we're not entirely sure what it is you're looking for (especially budget wise).
     
  12. monkeysuncle

    monkeysuncle SS.org Regular

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    By the tones you listed, I'd suggest the Amptweaker Tight Metal. I've been considering one for awhile, the sounds I've heard from them either in demos or on actual releases sound really good!
    On the flipside, if you're after the "Beta" sound I'd mostly recommend trying to hunt one down for cheap. I've owned a few myself and for what sounds like a pretty straight up distorted solid state amp (which it is doiii) I've found it hard to cop those tones elsewhere.
     

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