Very Late to the Party

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GrumpyrockerGrumpyrocker Frets: 2014
in FX
So I've been playing guitar off and on for just over 30 years. I've got around seven electric guitars, three amps, a box pedals and various other bits and bobs. And guitars and amps I've owned and sold. 

But it has taken the last month for me to buy two of the staples of many a player. 

I finally bought my first Tube Screamer (well a Mooer copy) and an EQ pedal. 

Rather bonkers I've gone so long without either. But I finally saw the need (unlike the many frivolous purchases of years past) and they've helped me find THE sound. The EQ pedal arrived today and bunging that in the loop of my Blackstar HT5 has been a revelation. 

So was wondering. Anyone else spent their playing life never using something others would see as essential? What gear have you never even tried? What gear did you come very late to as I did? What do you never feel the need to try?

In my case I realise there is a couple of amps in my past I'd wish I had never sold; especially now knowing what a TS and EQ pedal can do for them. 

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  • ChuffolaChuffola Frets: 1496
    I could do with a lesson on the value of an EQ pedal. I’ve no idea what frequencies to boost or cut to achieve a particular sound.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 53931
    Compressor
    Clean boost
    EQ pedal
    ‘Transparent’ overdrive
    Overdrive used to ‘push’ an amp

    Tried all of these and found them uninspiring at best, or actively interfere with how I want to sound at worst.

    I wouldn’t say I’ll never find one that works for me, but up to now I really don’t understand what so many people see in them.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • DLMDLM Frets: 2221
    That's funny. You sound like me. I've owned pedals for many a year, but essentially never found a use for them, save my channel switcher and a Polytune for gigs. Before I bought my Herbert I auditioned and rehearsed using a Tech 21 Trademark 10 as a preamp into a Peavey Bandit rather than a pedal (it kinda is one, I suppose: a SansAmp).

    I guess my eureka moment was with the yellow Behringer EQ, which the missus literally found thrown out on the street (presumably by a neighbour) around the corner from our house. :lol: I used it to good effect when I took my old green/blue-stripe Peavey Bandit to an audition just after the first lockdown here, making it sound even better by boosting it slightly with a DOD Grunge pedal I once bought for about €5. Cheap, shitty gear with terrible rep = great sound.

    So this little lot turned up today, as I try make sense of "pedals", largely starting with being able to use some of the stuff I already have together:


    I've never owned patch cables before...

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  • AntonHunterAntonHunter Frets: 262
    I went for about 15 years before owning a reverb pedal, and didn't really use amp verb either.

    I also never really got on with chorus or compression, but have forced myself to try them recently and have managed to enjoy them (although the Rothwell Love Squeeze was sold to me as a compressor for people who don't like compressors, so...).
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 5129
    Chuffola said:
    I could do with a lesson on the value of an EQ pedal. I’ve no idea what frequencies to boost or cut to achieve a particular sound.
    In a band mix cut below 125Hz and above 6.5kHz. After that it’s going to depend on what guitar you’re using and what sound you’re after. For a Telecaster I boost 3dB at 650Hz for a warm solo boost, or somewhere between 1 and 2KHz if I want the rhythm to stand out. The key thing is to use your ears, and stay out of the singer’s way.
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  • slackerslacker Frets: 1414
    I had been playing acoustic 20 years before I got into electric guitars. So very late to the party on all of it.

    I bought a TS10 in 97 and got a Fulldrive 2 in 01. Currently have the mosfet version.

    I've had or at least tried most of the 'must have' stuff. Two ommisions, I've never tried a Tonebender in any form or a Rat.
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  • SassafrasSassafras Frets: 22780
    I went into a shop in Brighton to buy a Tubescreamer. 
    Came out with a Rat.
    I've never got on with TS style ODs.
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  • SassafrasSassafras Frets: 22780
    Treble Boosters have been a revelation to me.
    They've become my 2nd favourite type of overdrive.
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  • GrumpyrockerGrumpyrocker Frets: 2014
    edited April 7
    Chuffola said:
    I could do with a lesson on the value of an EQ pedal. I’ve no idea what frequencies to boost or cut to achieve a particular sound.
    I got one because the EQ on my amp wasn't powerful enough. The HT5 doesn't have a resonance or presence control - and I felt the high gain tone I was after needed a bit of top end sparkle and more percussion in palm muting. With lots of drive in the OD channel the HT5's bass, middle, treble controls don't really do much.

    I've never used an EQ pedal before but found it easy to dial in what I wanted. I just moved each control up and down to discover what flavour it was, it was then easy to decide how much of that flavour I wanted. Kinda like adding spice to a meal.

    I got the TS pedal - actually a Mooer Green Mile - because my HT5 doesn't quite do modern metal. I had been looking around at maybe buying a different amp, something like a 6505 MH. But I like the HT5 and it's rock and clean sounds, so changing amps did seem extreme. 

    I'd tried the various pedals I owned and none boosted the OD channel in a way I liked. Nor did my high gain pedals like the OD200 float my boat into the clean channel. What I wanted was the HT5's OD channel, but more, like it naturally went into full metal territory.

    So given how cheap a Green Mile is I thought I'd give it a go - have seen plenty of people use TS style pedals to achieve this. And yes, it did exactly what I wanted. I get a really good chunky metal rhythm tone using it into the HT5's OD channel. It sounds like the HT5 naturally does metal - rather than a complete sound coming from a pedal. The only thing missing was some top end in the tone, which is why I got an EQ pedal. The pedal I bought also has a volume control so it's really useful for taming amps with tricky volume tapers. 

    And as an added bonus the Green Mile sounds lovely as a low gain tone into the clean channel with no change of setting.

    Still might buy a high gain amp though, because you know, GAS. 

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  • monquixotemonquixote Frets: 12416
    Does the OD200 TS sound not work?
    Handsome_Chris said: Like white Nile Rodgers. 
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  • ColsCols Frets: 2743
    Compressor.  Never found a use for one in any setting.
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  • tone1tone1 Frets: 3479
    My take is this...if I prefer the sound with the pedal switched off it’s going in Classifieds.

    Compressors mainly (strangle the crap out of everything) 

    TS style (Thin and weak) 

    Delay... God I’ve tried but it’s probably me cos everyone else like them.
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  • GrumpyrockerGrumpyrocker Frets: 2014
    Does the OD200 TS sound not work?
    It did. But it felt like overkill using that compared to a £40 TS clone. I'm selling the OD200 so I wanted to replace the one bit I did find useful. The Green Mile does sound better than the OD200 TS. 

    The OD200 is also a big pedal, and the TS I bought is a mini pedal. So better fit on my board. 

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  • BintyTwanger77BintyTwanger77 Frets: 1737
    I thought I needed a compressor, used to use one, so I tried the ones I’d had before again (Fairfield Accountant and Cali76CD), but discovered I really didn’t: as long as my tuner has a decent buffer, I’m happy now.
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  • slackerslacker Frets: 1414
    I've had a Keeley compressor at least 10 years. Not my most used pedal.
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  • GrumpyrockerGrumpyrocker Frets: 2014
    I've got a Marshall Ed the Compressor. Fab name. Never actually use it. 

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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 11334

    I think it's on House is Rockin' ( long time since I thought about this ) by SRV where you can hear the TS go on and off and you get it's a relatively small change in sound but just enough to lift it in the mix ( although as he was in a recording studio there may have been other ways to achieve this!) and I've seen people use them live to similar effect. I remember doing a gig where the guitarist in the other band had a Boss Blues Driver for gain and it was horrible. I then played a couple of gigs with a chap who had one and I thought oh this is going to sound terrible but it was just doing that add some edge to cut through the mix thing and was great.

      I suppose the moral of that is it helps if you know what you are doing. As I never know what I'm doing I've favoured pedals that are there to mask my inability as a player instead. 

    Inhale away Jackson Jeffrey Jackson. 
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  • RaymondLinRaymondLin Frets: 7334
    edited April 7
    I have both the Cali 76 and a Xotic comp, I can tell it's doing something but I still don't know if I actually like it or not.  I think I have fallen into the trap of "other people say it sounds nice, so it must be true".  I mean it doesn't sound bad, but not sure if what it does is worth it.

    Ah well, i see it as something ticked and move on.
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  • SassafrasSassafras Frets: 22780
    Compression's a difficult one to get right. Too much and it can sound shit.
    Just enough and it can make you shine.
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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 6258
    I've never tried this with a real amp as I've not really had one for a while, but I've found in modelling software that using a Boss style compressor as a boost is much better than using a boost, for my playing. Apparently this is old news (and some boosts like the MXR micro amp apparently add some compression as well?) but it's certainly something I'd like to try in the real world if I ever get a proper amp again
    It doesn't matter if you're brilliant at tennis, you'll always lose against a wall
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 11334
    I've never tried this with a real amp as I've not really had one for a while, but I've found in modelling software that using a Boss style compressor as a boost is much better than using a boost, for my playing. Apparently this is old news (and some boosts like the MXR micro amp apparently add some compression as well?) but it's certainly something I'd like to try in the real world if I ever get a proper amp again

    I tried a compressor within a band context for a bit and just didn't like it. Never found that happy place where it didn't mess with my playing and you could tell it was still on. Somewhat randomly I heard a recording of one of those gigs which was our usual anarchic self but my clean tone absolutely popped out the mix.

    Like my other examples I think sometimes the more you hear things as a producer might and the less you think about them as a guitarist the more they work in context.  

     

    Inhale away Jackson Jeffrey Jackson. 
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 7284
    I've found a compressor with a blend makes a huge difference.  I use one for clean, especially twangy countryish type sounds and to add sustain if needed.

    I have recently discovered fuzz/muff medals - I always thought they were basically distortion but they sounds nothing like it - I use a klon after the muff sound to make it less wooly but I like the sound.
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  • ennspekennspek Frets: 1481
    I've never had a Rat style pedal. Keep meaning to.
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  • I bought an Epiphone Dot as an acoustic guitar. 

    It was a few years before my guitar teacher encouraged me to plug it in, it was many more years before I learnt to actually enjoy playing it plugged in. This was in the 90s.

    So in answer to the question: yes, I had an electric guitar, but didn’t see the point of an amp for several years. I can’t remember what changed my mind, in the end I got the Yamaha DG 100-212, which I still have to this day.
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  • portobear_65portobear_65 Frets: 58
    Been playing for forty years and only got round to buying a fuzz pedal a couple of years ago and bought my first tube screamer this year.

    Bought a Rat2 in the Eighties and never bothered much with any other overdrives or distortions until fairly recently.
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  • CookiemonsterCookiemonster Frets: 370
    I think for me this would be reverb, even when I was gigging 2/3 times a week I never used reverb on the amp.

    Now I find I am always playing around with different Reverbs, magical sound, I just think I found it sounded mushy live back then

    Instagram is Rocknrollismyescape -

    FOR SALE - Catalinbread Echorec, Sonic Blue classic player strat and a Digitech bad monkey

     

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  • HAL9000HAL9000 Frets: 6749
    edited April 7
    Compressors. A lot of players see them as essential. I’ve owned a few but simply can’t get them to work for me.
    I play guitar because I enjoy it rather than because I’m any good at it
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  • TeetonetalTeetonetal Frets: 6764
    All compressors are not equal. By far and away the hardest effect to dial in
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  • richman6100richman6100 Frets: 78
    Had a BOSS CS-3 for a while. Very easy to overdo it and suck the tone out of what I was playing, although, when dialled in correctly, it did do the quacky sound fairly well. Then I got a ThorpyFX Fat General. It's a more subtle compressor and, in my experience, makes most things sound fatter and better. It's very close to being an always on pedal for me. It works wonders with many modulation effects and I have it on most of the time. The exception being with fuzz, which is inherently very compressed anyway.
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