How To Set Your Amp For Pedals [Gain, EQ, Volume & FX Loops]

Published 10 Dec 2021

Clean pedal platform, slightly crunchy or super gainy: where do you start?

Life too short for long YouTube videos? Please see the ‘Interesting bits and go-to sections’ information below.

Welcome to the show! Yes yes yes, this is a loooong video. Old-school TPS, you might say, where Dan and I go on a voyage of discovery, rather than offering quick-fire prescriptive advice on What You Should Do.
Well, what you probably //should// do is worry less about where the knobs are set, and focus more on the core principles of gain staging and EQ so you can set that amp with your eyes closed, regardless of what the dials say.
We also hope to address some of the really basic issues that you’ll come across when setting up your amp: volume, gain, effects loops and all that…
Thusly, we take a clean pedal platform (Fender Hot Rod Deluxe), a crunchy mid-power amp (Vox AC15) and a higher gain amp (Victory VC35) and listen to what happens when you hit them with a basic selection of pedals. As you’ll hear, the results are markedly different. But why?

Enjoy the video!

• Pedals & stuff in this episode…
TheGigRig Three2One

• SonicResearch ST-200 Turbo Tuner

• Keeley Filaments
UK & Europe:

• Nobels ODR-1
UK & Europe:

• Benson Preamp
UK & Europe:

• Universal Audio Astra Modulation Machine
UK & Europe:

• Strymon Volante
UK & Europe:

• GFI System Skylar Reverb
UK & Europe:

• TheGigRig G3

Amps in this episode:
• Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III 1x12 combo (links for version IV)
UK & Europe:

• Vox AC15 C1 with Greenback Speaker
UK & Europe:
USA Sweetwater:

• Victory VC35 The Copper
UK & Europe:
USA Sweetwater:

* Why do we have preferred retailer links? Find out here:

Interesting bits and go-to sections…
0:00 Intro & playing
4:00 What are we do today and why?
5:42 Clean Hot Rod Deluxe setup
7:20 Hot Rod Deluxe EQ
13:40 Final settings Hot Rod Deluxe
14:55 What about the 335?
20:37 Clean amp too clean?
24:40 High gain pedal, clean amp?
25:51 Keeley Filaments & HRD
28:28 Nobels ODR-1 & HRD
31:56 Underdrive with the clean amp?
34:44 Crunchy amp, Vox AC15
35:26 AC15 gain and master settings
37:50 Finding the spot for playing dynamics
40:24 AC15 treble and master tone cut
42:40 AC15 final settings
43:00 AC15 with humbuckers?
46:05 AC15 & Epiphone Casino
47:38 Crunchy amp & high gain OD pedal?
51:25 Crunchy amp & Benson as boost
52:43 Clean or crunchy amp for delay & reverb?
55:10 No effects loop? Just do this…
56:45 Flanger into a crunchy and clean amp
58:10 Do you need an effects loop?
59:40 Gainy amp, Victory VC35
1:01:00 More bass?
1:02:49 Let’s make it gainy
1:07:15 VC35 & Benson
1:09:10 VC35 & ODR-1 & Filaments
1:11:25 Delay & reverbs and gainy amps
1:15:00 Closing thoughts

Guitars in this episode:
• Fender Custom Shop ’52 Telecaster – Dan’s video here:

• Gibson Memphis 1958 ES-335 – Mick’s video here:

• Gretsch G6228 Player’s Edition Jet BT w/V Stoptail - no video yet

• Epiphone Casino - Mick’s video here:

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