Carvin Legacy II Does Steve even still use them?

The name says it all! Discuss Steve's studios, your studios and gear set-ups, amps and effects here. This is not for discussing guitars (Steve's or otherwise).
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boswell
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Jeries wrote: i do think the quality is like none other- (although Carvin is all 100% made in the US too)

I dont know if you know about the production of a mesa- but the testing in the factory and quality control is insane...
Made in USA is not a guarantee of quality.
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boswell
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Putting a distortion pedal in front of any quality amp is just plain wrong.
DomitianX
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boswell wrote:Putting a distortion pedal in front of any quality amp is just plain wrong.


Really? So having a OD or Tube Screamer in front of a Fender Twin (EJ and a million other players) to give it some grit is wrong? Or a fuzz face in front of a Marshall (Hendrix, EJ, etc). Or a MXR D+ in front of a Marshall (Rhoads)?

I use my OD on my legacy's clean channel all the time for grit on songs that dont need full blown distortion or a lot of gain. I also kick it in on the lead channel to give me a bit of a boost for leads. I also use it when I play stuff like Van Halen because it gets me very close to the brown sound.

Adding an OD in front of an amp isnt really any different than playing with gain stages in the preamp section to create multiple channels. You are manipulating the signal before it gets to the power stage.
Jeries
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boswell wrote:
Jeries wrote: i do think the quality is like none other- (although Carvin is all 100% made in the US too)

I dont know if you know about the production of a mesa- but the testing in the factory and quality control is insane...
Made in USA is not a guarantee of quality.

I know- trust me i know- I've worked for Toyota 5yrs

But the protect of Mesa amps are unlike any other amp company- the cabs/the amps - they don't half-ass anything they use good parts, expensive things- they're not afraid to

they test the hell out of them- make sure they're perfect and shit wont go wrong.

I bought a Marshall amp 2 weeks ago- and found (i could hear it) a capacitor floating around in the circuit board-

did some research online- and realized 1000 others had problems with parts flying off the circuit board
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Big Bad Bill
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DomitianX wrote:Really? So having a OD or Tube Screamer in front of a Fender Twin (EJ and a million other players) to give it some grit is wrong? Or a fuzz face in front of a Marshall (Hendrix, EJ, etc). Or a MXR D+ in front of a Marshall (Rhoads)?
Perhaps what boswell is trying to say in his usual less than articulate way (!) is that when selecting an amp in the name of lovely tone, most of us go for a valve (tube) amp, perhaps in a certain configuration, triodes, pentodes etc, we may even be decided on a hand-wired product with waxed paper and cotton insulating braid and a boutique transformer. To then stick a solid state device with more than likely, at best, average components within it in the signal path seems to negate all the effort one has made in the original selection! The 'marketing machine' recognised this fact a few years ago and addressed it by suggesting they were using NOS components which had 'that special vintage tone' because the components were doped in some special way (snake oil) or putting a valve in the pedals! Its just a point of view and one that I have some sympathy with.
DomitianX wrote:Adding an OD in front of an amp isnt really any different than playing with gain stages in the preamp section to create multiple channels. You are manipulating the signal before it gets to the power stage.
If you are using a valve amp with solid state pedals, your tone is actually from a hybrid set up and altering what the amp designer had in mind perhaps, and that's fine if you get the sound you desire. Just buy a POD instead or one of those 80s 'fridges' with tons of digital processors! Much cheaper than a boutique amp! Its probably 'amp snobbery' though!
paulh123
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although there have been some great tones/guitar recordings etc using pedals up front of an amp i have to agree that nothing sounds as good as a guitar plugged straight into a decent amp and every pedal i have ever tried just takes away something from the amps natural tone.
DomitianX
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Having an OD in front of the amp isnt much different that what an amp designer does in the amp itself. Its still caps, resistors, etc. They are just in front of the amp in a separate little box.

If you compare the difference between a JCM 800 and a Legacy, its all in the "solid state" parts as you put it. Both have 5 preamp tubes, both have 4 power tubes. Its the "solid state" parts that determine the tone and character of the amp.

I never understood the mentality that a pedal in front of an amp is bad. I think of it like redesigning the circuit a bit to get a different tone for a particular need.

I will give you that the "digital clipping" in some pedals is pretty weak sounding, but for me an OD in front is to drive the tubes harder and add a bit of grit to the tone, add some more harmonic overtones, etc. When I see someone with an amp like a JCM 800 or an old Carvin X100B and they put a Boss Metal Zone in front of it I facepalm though.
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boswell
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DomitianX wrote:When I see someone with an amp like a JCM 800 or an old Carvin X100B and they put a Boss Metal Zone in front of it I facepalm though.
That's what I was digging at an OD or clean boost I can understand but distortion pedals???
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Big Bad Bill
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DomitianX wrote:Having an OD in front of the amp isnt much different that what an amp designer does in the amp itself. Its still caps, resistors, etc. They are just in front of the amp in a separate little box.
Yes I suppose you're right....
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Big Bad Bill
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boswell wrote: That's what I was digging at an OD or clean boost I can understand but distortion pedals???
In future just tell us what you mean, bozzo!
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boswell
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Big Bad Bill wrote:
boswell wrote: That's what I was digging at an OD or clean boost I can understand but distortion pedals???
In future just tell us what you mean, bozzo!
I did!
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lydian7
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Big Bad Bill wrote:To suggest that one might require an overdrive pedal in the front of what's supposed to be a high gain rock guitar player's custom amp to get the oomph you require seems ludicrous to me.
I can understand why you would say that, but in practice there are a lot of benefits. Apparently.

Both Satriani and Vai use OD/Distortion pedals in front of their amps. Satriani used the clean channel on his anniversary Marshall with a DS-1 up front for distortion right up until 2002. In my opinion his tone with the DS1 in to the marshall clean channel is infinitely superior to his tone with the JSX using the gain stage from the amp (glad he's back with Marshall now!)

I also think i read somewhere that Steve likes to hit the front of the preamp gain stage with a booster or gain pedal because he likes the way it compresses the tone and works the amp. If you check out the Jemini promo (http://youtu.be/WrBLnB3ze5Y" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) he uses the clean channel on his legacy with hardly any distortion from the amp in the second guitar demo, then adds the pedal distortion to colour the tone and add distortion.

I think the bottom line is there is a very good reason people like Steve use a distortion pedal in front of the amp. I myself like to use the natural gain on my Boogie Mark IV with minimal colouration of the tone, but that's just me. I trust Vai's ear enough to know that he has most definitely toyed around with both the on-board distortion and adding a pedal to the mix, and he has determined that an OD (e.g Jemini, Tonescreamer ect), or a Distortion pedal (e.g DS-1 Keeley) works best for him, and to my ears it sounds great too. I'm not nearly so arrogant as to ridicule a practice that has proved to work time and time again for countless musically superior practicioners.

On a side note, does anyone know if Steve is using the Axe-FXs amp modeller at all? I read the statement where he said that he has tested the device rigorously and has come to the conclusion that the amp simulation is perfect. Just wondered why he wasn't taking advantage of the flexibility of that perfection.
Jeries
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lydian7 wrote: Both Satriani and Vai use OD/Distortion pedals in front of their amps. Satriani used the clean channel on his anniversary Marshall with a DS-1 up front for distortion right up until 2002. In my opinion his tone with the DS1 in to the marshall clean channel is infinitely superior to his tone with the JSX using the gain stage from the amp (glad he's back with Marshall now!)
have you played the JVM models Satriani is currently using? it's the most god awful sounding amp on earth... it sounds worse than a kids toy amp.

I think an overdrive is fine- to push things a little further but a good sounds comes from the preamp/distortion of a GREAT amp...
I'm right because pros don't use Boss Metal Zones and 10w Crate amps in the studio...

Although i had a Maxon Super Metal Pro Plus pedal that had the best distortion imaginable...

I still don't know for sure if he's using the Axe as an effects unit or preamp- I'm guessing he's slaving the carvins as power amps in stereo
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lydian7
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Haven't played the JVM, then again I'm not much of a Marshall fan personally. I did like Satriani's tone when he was using the 6100 heads though.

I'm not disputing that you need a quality amp to produce a quality tone. I was merely trying to explain why pros use distortion pedals in conjunction with great amps. Vai (ts9dx, ds1), Satch (ds1, Saturator), Santana (ts9, ts808), Greg Howe (bb xotic), Michiya Haruhata (sd1), Devin Townsend (maxon)...the list of professionals who use this setup is pretty much inexhaustive.
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