Boosting with OD pedal: dumb question


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When you boost an already-overdriven amp with an OD pedal, do you tend to have the level all the way up or nearly all the way up?

Im almost always using lower gain amps (old Marshalls, Vox, etc.), and have the OD pedal level maxed. When I played high gain amps, I'd also max OD pedal's level but just lower the amp's gain.

Lately I've been tinkering with a 5150's lead channel, but with the amp's gain up fairly high but the OD pedal's level fairly low (so it's not boosting much but I guess imparting its EQ and feel).

For high-gain amps, which way do you guys do this?


Everyone has there way to run a boost on an amp, I’ve done all that’s already mentioned and depending on the amp role in some extra gain as well. It’s all in what you want to hear in your tone tho.


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Level is almost always over 3:00 to max. Over the past 6 months or so I started just barely cracking the gain open on the pedal on occasion. Most of the time it is off but depending on the combination, adding just a tiny bit of gain from the pedal imparts a nice flavor.


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It sort of depends on the amp and the pedal, but for a typical high gain amp and a TS I usually find myself with gain 9:00, level 12:00-1:00, & tone 10:00-11:00. The gain off, level dimed, & tone to taste approach works great too.


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Depends on the pedal and amp. Sometimes a touch of OD into a gainy amp sounds best to my ears... other times back off on the amp's gain so that it's crunchy, then add the extra hair with the OD pedal (level varies). Two different results. One of my favorite OD pedals, which is considered a 'boost' is the VALVE by Hagerman, but I only put it about 9-o'clock or slightly higher, which is not very much, but what it does to an amp (where you like the tone/dirt) is excellent!


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One thing I absolutely don’t do is set the amp to sound bad by itself so that the pedal can make it sound good again. I set the amp to sound as good as it can on it’s own and then set the pedal to make it sound better. That way I have two great tones. And If the pedal can’t do that, then it’s the wrong pedal for me, my amp and what I want.


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Like above I try and set the amp to ideal tone by itself. Then I try and get a pretty transparent bump from the pedal. The hardest part for me is trying to keep the amps feel intact so I usually run the level wherever it just starts to impact the amp. So that usually means the drive is very low or zero.

I have a hard time finding that sweet spot between getting something worthwhile out of the pedal and overdoing it and taking away the best parts of the true amp tone. I like a decent amount of gain from the amp so I can’t push them too much or it’s overkill.


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Alright well after futzing with it for a while, I'm still doing it weird but oh well.

For my 2204, I do the SD-1 with level maxed, gain just barely up.

But the 5150, I still like the 808 with the level around 4 of 10 and gain off. Sounds more like the natural amp, just a bit juicer and tighter. Any more level, and it gets that unnatural tight thing that I don't dig.
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This is how most do it...I tend to back the amps gain down, but I bring the level/gain up equally on the pedal till I hit it right. Most of my pedals end up with the level/gain between 10am and noon
I agree that it depends on the amp, however, what I have started doing is getting amp's gain as low as i can that it still sounds good, then putting the level at about 11 oclock (ts808) and drive would be negative if I could set it that way. Essentially, I am trying to fight fizz. It may change with the next amp i get. I love gain; but clarity and gain can sometimes fight.


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I use plexi and jcm800 style amps. Gain and level on 10, tone usually about 1/4 up

Posts like this make me scratch my head. No units and mix and match.

Gain and level on 10. Do you mean 10 o’clock or full on 1-10?