Thoughts On Using Pedals With Gainy Amps… And FX Loops!

Published on 4 Jan 2019

In this episode we meander through what seems to be a huge point of discussion with a lot of people: using pedals with overdriven amps. As regular viewers will know, Dan and I tend to use cleaner / higher headroom amps for the basis on which to stack different gain sounds from pedals. However, lots of people really like the sound of an overdriven amp… which is where the ‘problems’ really start when adding pedals.
We run through comparisons of using common gain pedal types into contrasting amps: one clean/high headroom and one heavily overdriven to try to shed some light on the issues you may be having. And of course the discussion would not be complete without discussing delay and reverb into either the front of the amp, or the loop.
As always, there really are no answers, just better questions, and what we hope to arm you with here is simply a better understanding of the various gain stacking relationships you will encounter when using pedals with amps.

If you’re at any point confused which amp you’re hearing: Amp 1 lit on G2 means it’s the Hiwatt. Amp 2 lit means it’s the Victory. Enjoy!

Pedals in this episode…

• TheGigRig Three2One

• Sonic Research ST-300 Turbo Tuner Mini

• Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer
UK & Europe:

• Xotic Effects RC Booster SH
UK & Europe:

• Analog Man Sun Face NKT Red Dot

• Keeley Filaments
UK & Europe:

• Dunlop EP-103 Echoplex
UK & Europe:

• Lovepedal Hall Mod Reverb
UK & Europe:

• Empress Echo System
UK & Europe:

• Empress Reverb
UK & Europe:

• TheGigRig G2

Interesting bits and go-to sections…
- Intro playing: 0:00
- What are we doing today: 1:39
- Today’s amps: 2:10
- Today’s questions: 2:50
- Today’s board & pedals: 3:06
- FX loops & gain? 4:00
- The PRS S2 Singlecut Standard: 4:35
- The Hiwatt: 5:45
- The new dB meter, and new pedalcam: 6:17
- Victory VX 100 The Super Kraken: 7:08
- JEM!: 8:45
- Tube Screamer into Hiwatt: 10:45
- …and Victory: 12:05
- RC Booster into Hiwatt: 14:30
- …and Victory: 15:45
- The Victory’s preamp focus function: 21:00
- Keeley Filaments into the Hiwatt: 24:02
- …and Victory: 26:00
- Fuzz?: 29: 17
- Fuzz into Hiwatt: 31:10
- …and Victory: 32:48
- Can Mick even get one good sound out of the JEM Jr? 35:50
- Delay and reverb - front end or FX loop? 38:30
- …and more discussion on FX loops in general: 42:45
- Delay level issues: 47:35
- Like dirty amps but have no loop? 49:20
- What about mid-gained sounds? 50:15
- Delay and reverb into the Victory with less gain: 52:50
- Keeley Filaments, Hiwatt, delay and reverb in the front: 55:55
- What have we learned? 57:20

Guitars in this episode:
• PRS S2 Singlecut Standard:
• Fender American Vintage ’62 Stratocaster – Mick’s video at
• Fender Custom Shop ’63 Telecaster – Dan’s video at
• Ibanez JEM Jr:
• PRS DGT - watch Mick’s video at

Amps in this episode
• 1973 Hiwatt DR-103 and Two-Rock 212 with Two-Rock TR 1265B speakers
• Victory VX The Super Kraken and Victory V212VG cabinet and Celestion Vintage 30 speakers

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