Acoustic guitar player beginning with electric - effects question

Discussion in 'Guitar Gear Talk Forum' started by hs07, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. hs07

    hs07 New Member

    I have been playing mostly an acoustic, but got an electric and a basic 15W Amp (it has Gain 1, Gain 2, Treble, Contour, Bass and Reverb knobs - no distortion or chorus or wah) to start with electric. Now, I am looking to add some effects (NEVER used any effects, so please excuse my utter ignorance).

    Guitar - used Fender Squier (yeah yeah, I know I should get an original US Fender Strat or Tele, but I just got this pretty cheap and I figured I'd start with this for now), Amp - Marshall (Valvestate VS15R).

    Don't want to jump into multi effects or more funky stuff (at least not yet). And in any case, I've read that its better to have individual pedals instead of a single multi effects like Korg AX 1500 G etc. if I can afford it.

    Or is it better off to go with a multi effects and take care of this effects thingy once and for all (especially if I am not going to be doing anything serious like recording or playing on stage or something - at least not yet, probably never !)?

    I don't play (or intend to play) heavier than GNR/Metallica/Nirvana but would also play easier rock (or call it pop/rock) like Eagles/Beatles as well as blues from Clapton as well as Hindi. With that in mind, I guess the the questions I have are:

    1. I understand the Treble and Bass knobs, can I get a quick explanation of the difference between Gain 1 and Gain 2 knobs on my amp? Are they 2 stages of pre-amp? What is the Contour?
    Also, any suggestions on how to use these knobs effectively i.e. how do you mix 'n match these levers (like turning down the Gain 1 and turning up the Reverb or some such combination?) on my amp and how does it change depending on type of song/artist - I know some of this is experimental, but am wondering if I could get a head start.

    Assuming I am going with individual pedals, next 2 questions:

    2. What pedals do I start off with? I guess a Distortion is probably a good starting point - Boss DS-1 or Boss DS-2? Or Boss Blues Drive pedal? I read that a good distortion pedal in low setting can serve as an overdrive (DS-2 in the low setting), do I need an overdrive and a distortion if this is true?

    3. As I start playing more, what's next to add and in what order? Something like this or a different order?
    a. Wah pedal
    b. Chorus
    c. Flanger
    d. <whatever else>

    Basically, any good advice for an electric novice (for a halfway decent acoustic player and hopefully continuing to enhance my playing)????

    Some real professionals on this forum, and am sure at least some would have probably started with acoustic and graduated to electric - can they help?

    Thanks in advance, people.
  2. shak

    shak Harrr!

    well havent used the fancy amp of yours (Valvestate VS15R sounds nice) i cant really give you very specific details about every knob...but assuming that it just another marshall :)

    gain1, gain2: these are the two gain controls (duh) but i checked the price of this amp and now its very obvious that it doesn't have the standard channel 1/channel 2 system...the two controls are just for changing tonal characteristics...i assume one of the knob will control the crunchiness of the tone and the other will control the and fiddle with it and you'll know.

    contour control: well i have a marshall as-150r ..and its manual describes the contour control as
    "the contour control affects the negative feedback around the transistor in the boost circuit. It allows you to control the gain and linearity / distortion characteristics of the effect"
    i have no idea what the above statement means...but i use contour to control the amunt of signal that comes out of my guitar...maybe other pro IGTians will help you on this.

    setups: low gain mid reverb high treble = blues
    mid gain low reverb mid treble = rock
    high gain low reverb high treble low bass = metal

    distortion: i am pretty sure that the gain that you get form your amp will give you ample distortion...but if you still want to go for the skull crunching...get a marshall jachammer ... and if you wanna go for searing solos nothing beats an ibanez tubescreamer TS-8 (ideally) or TS-9

    other effects: get DELAY!!! and chorus.... most important effects in my opinion...and of course a decent wah pedal if you can afford one.
    digital effect pro. are good and cheap..a nice alternative but if you get a chioice between digital and analogue..then forget the digitals.

    hope this helps
    fictional_real and rabi_sultan like this.
  3. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

    imho you only need three pedals:

    Distortion pedal for the GnR/Metallica/Nirvana stuff
    Overdrive pedal for the GnR/Clapton/Hendrix stuff
    and a Chorus/Wah-Wah pedal for the Hendrix stuff.

    The Beatles etc have used all three in various different songs and you will find that most artists will revolve around those three pedals.

    delay is nice as well but learn to control the other effects individually and really well before using delay. I find that the delay pedal is there to help enhance what your already doing, well when you get your distortion pedal you must first learn that before applying the delay so hold that purchase until another date. The same could be argued for the chorus/wah-wah pedals.

    As for the guitar that is a decent starter so dont worry, as for the amp never get rid of that.

    as for the setups pick what you like but use shahrukh's three setups as a reference point since the Clapton overdrive rock sound is different to Hendrix overdrive rock sound, you'll find your own pretty soon but while your learning DO NOT CHANGE THE SOUND SETTINGS. not until you've learnt to control and use the overdrive and distortion pedals both as seperate and together.
  4. ananth222

    ananth222 Beginner

    This is my personal opinion, which many of you may disagree.
    I think a multi effect pedal is better than buying individual effects. It is easier to carry, easier to set up and easier to use. It also gives you many more choices for much less price.
    I would also recommend this for beginners since you don't know the sounds of different effects its better to get a multi effect and experiment a lot with it to see what you can achieve.
    Also, connecting your effects individual effect pedals in different orders gives different sounds, and some higher end multi effect pedals can emulate this too.
    So you can get a multi effect pedal and avoid the hassles involved with lots of individual pedals.
    Again, this is my personal opinion.
    fictional_real likes this.
  5. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

    i agree with you to a point and disagree.

    yes it is cheaper and easier to carry around and costs less in battery usage etc.

    however some effects processors are really poor in the range of effects that they provide.

    For that reason i would go for single effect pedals first. And in particular second hand Boss pedals that you can grab off ebay for around £20-30. They are totally worth it.
  6. shak

    shak Harrr!

    yeah but for a beginner ... maybe digital effect proc. is a better choice.
  7. fictional_real

    fictional_real Pyaasi Jawani

    This is a very informative thread....thanx every1.
  8. hs07

    hs07 New Member

    Shahrukh - thanks for the reply. Shall experiment with Gain 1 and Gain 2. Contour - was looking for something simple as u've put it in simpler words - I can't deduce that technical mumbo jumbo either (even though I studied the madatory physics etc. :p: ). BTW, the Valvestar isin't anything fancy (at least not the way u think it might be !). Hopefully I'll get more clarification on Contour and other stuff is simple lingo.

    Good setups recommendations - shall start with those as reference points.

    Re: Gain as distortion - interesting, didn't think of that, shall experiment with this over the w/e as well.

    rabi sultan - thanks for the pedal answers - very useful. Clarification - I've read that distortion at low setting can be used as an overdrive (I have no idea if this is true), does it make sense to get a distortion and overdrive? Also, u say Chorus/Wah-Wah - is this a combo pedal or 2 separate pedals joined? Or I guess u meant either Chorus or Wah-Wah?
    Also great tip on holding off and getting all pedals and confusing myself - shall stick with a distortion and perhaps overdrive for now, get to delay, chorus and wah-wah later as I get used to the initial effects.

    I saw a ton of different recommendations from jayanth and other pros on actual effects - Boss/Korg etc. Any particular recommendations for distortion, overdrive for now. Like shahrukh's Ibanez Tubescreamer? Or I've read a lot about Boss BD-2 (overdrive) and also Boss DS-1 (distortion).

    I would like to spend once and hopefully use it for years, so me thinks I will go for analog pedals vs. multi effects digital and get to learn to use these properly. I don't think I will ever use 64 different settings that a fancy digital will offer (and if I get to that stage, I'll plunk down $$ and get that at that time !!).
  9. ninad77

    ninad77 New Member

    :rockon: Hey Since u have Squire Stratocaster I will Suggest not to buy BD 2 Boss Blues Driver reason because the pedal is design to sound good with Les Pauls or Guitars with Humbuckers .. My Suggestion for a good

    Over Drive or Distrotions try the Sanamp models . Or Ibanez Tube Screamers

    Wah Wah - Incase u wnat a vintage sound buy the Jim Dunlop or Vox or mordern Wah Wah sound like Steve Vai try the Morely. Other Jim Dunlop Pedals are not too bad

    Delay - Hmmm . Boss DD- 2 or DD -3

    Chorus - Ibanez or there lot of pedals which u have chose from otherwise available option Boss SC-3

    Phaser - MXR EVH Phase 90.

    Digital Multi effects now here depends on ur Budget There are laods of proceesors at various price ranges .

  10. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

    yup Chorus and Wah-Wah are two different pedals i meant to get either or both. As for which brand suits which guitar i can't tell you that, all i can say is that a Boss if for life regardless of the abuse handed down to it. Also when your buying the Ibanez make sure its the right one as they do both budget versions and good versions. As for processors I will still say that there is no point in getting them unless it is a really good one and they are really expensive and not worth it unless you really get into the effects land, by that time you should have mucked around with enough pedals to warrant that purchase decision. Basically a excellent processor price is the same as a good decent branded amp price.
  11. shak

    shak Harrr!

    i'll agree with rabi.. first get the basic effects in analogues..after you get comfortable with them then go for a "good" digital effect proc. .. and the good digital effect proc. do cost a fortune so be wise!!
  12. ninad77

    ninad77 New Member

    Ok One more thing is that since u really dont know much about effects u can buy low end processor like the RP 80 now form here u will get to know what each pedal will sound like .. Then u can upgrade to a high end effect proc . or buy the best pedals the choice is all urs ... My suggestion buy a RP 80. it will get u decent resale value in the market also..

  13. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

    i still wouldn't advise that since those RP 80 models probably aren't very good in their sound reproduction. You have to remember that effect processors do not contain dedicated electronic circuits that distort the analogue signal entering the box.
  14. h4f0n

    h4f0n New Member

    1. The only advice i can give you is start at the middle position (i.e. 5) and work your way from there.

    2. Get a DS-1 as a starter, is sounds pretty good with my tele and my cousin's strat. I wouldn't recommend a proccesor as you will probably dump it in like half a year, so it will be a waste of money.
    I would get some kind of modulation to start, chorus or phase. Flanger can get nasty sounding sometimes.
    Get a delay definately after the modulation, it will open new doors to your music.
    Those are the basics, then just try out other pedals you find interesting. But before you start your pedal buying spree, get a good guitar!


    Chorus : E~H Small Clone, E~H Polychorus (expensive)
    Phase : MRX Phase 90/100, E~H Small Stone
    Delay : Ibanez DE7 or Digitech Digidelay
    Wah : Any vox definately or Dunlop 535Q

    If you buy pedals, then dont buy cheap ones as you'll probably replace them soon. Just take your time and get the pedals that really appeal to you.
  15. hs07

    hs07 New Member

    Experimented with my amp and find that Gain 1 and 2 in combination give me decent enuff distrotion - as shahrukh suggested. Now I am debating whether I need a distortion pedal at all (at least now) - shahrukh - u were bang on !

    Shall go to Sam Ash or GC and spend some time figuring out how a distortion pedal sounds vs. my amp. Maybe I will now look to get an overdrive.

    Anyway, the replies to this thread was useful. Now I can create hell for all my neighbors ;)
  16. shak

    shak Harrr!

    Glad you found what you were looking for!!.. happy effect hunting!
  17. deathdr_87

    deathdr_87 Awesome Guitarist

    when ur getting a wah - get a crying baby and not a demon wail wah - crying baby is so much better!!!!
  18. prit_undead

    prit_undead New Member

    awesome thread
    learn a lot thnx
  19. prit_undead

    prit_undead New Member

    awesome thread
    learnt a lot thnx
  20. ThePacifist

    ThePacifist New Member

    First of all, I'd KILL for a valvestate!! and you are playing a squier through it....

    1) The "contour" knob basically controls the amount of clipping that takes place for the distortion effect. Turn it max and you'll have the new-age kind of distortion, whereas in minimum settings, its more of the classic Marshall "growl", if you know what I mean.....

    2) I'd say get a decent multi-effects pedal. If an expert asked me, I'd simply say no to them, but you can easily spend 2-3 years with them bfore you graduate to dedicated effects...remember, as slash said once

    $50,000 of f***ing equipment is sh** if you cant play an F

    Infact, I gigged quite a lot with my Digitech RP50, my friend even plugged his PRS through it...I wont say I rolled headover with the sound, but it was quite good.

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