Help me buy a good Processor.

Discussion in 'Guitar Gear Talk Forum' started by mymusicmyguitar, May 2, 2011.

  1. mymusicmyguitar

    mymusicmyguitar New Member

    Can a processor be used along with Pedals

    I am new to the world of guitar processors. I have been using pedals for quiet some time now.
    These are the pedals that i own:-
    Boss CS3
    Boss Metal Zone MT2
    Sansamp Tri AC
    Boss Chorus Ensemble CE5
    Rocktron Short Timer Delay

    Some how i am not able to get the right tone out of my pedals. I need a bit variations in my tone. Is there a way by which i can add a processor which has some inbuilt Amp Modelling. A cheaper one upto 15k. Is it a good idea to do that?

    I am not sure how a Digital processor would sound when i connect it with the Analog pedals in chain.

    Following are my requirements :-
    1) Good Dense Distortion (More variations)
    2) A good tone for leads (good Harmonics, Solid dense tone)
    3) Nice clean crunchy tone. Tube Amps kinda tone
    4) Delay/ Compressors and other useful effects
    5) Exp. Volume/Wah Pedals

    Any suggestions?
  2. talonflame

    talonflame New Member

    At around 15k, I believe the Vox Tonelab ST, or a Boss ME-25 will do you good.
    I've personally played through the Vox, so can vouch for it. It feels less digital than other processors, you actually feel the 'tube' sound.
    But, I've heard good stuff about the Boss, so can't say.
  3. mymusicmyguitar

    mymusicmyguitar New Member

    Checked Vox ToneLab ST, it doesn't allow storing of tones in 1 or more channel and reproduce it. Correct me if i am wrong. But that Processor sounds simply awesome. Well but the question is how well it would fit among the chain of Analog pedals. Any sound, noise issues? Will i be able to connect my pedals along with it?
  4. rickkkyrich

    rickkkyrich Guest

  5. bcrich

    bcrich New Member

    Obviously you wouldn't get variations in tone as you have less pedals, but I think the Tri-AC must have worked out for you. You have quite decent pedals but I wonder why you aren't happy. Anyway!

    Look out for the Korg AX3000G. Available on Bajaao for 15k. Decent. Or, the Tonelab mentioned above by talonflame.

    But I'd still suggest, spend some more time working with those bunch of pedals you own, you might get something out of it. Plus, add some more single fx pedals to your chain instead of adding a processor. Cheers!
  6. wylder

    wylder New Member

    I am surprised that you don't find the Metal Zone dense enough. I never find it falling short on gain.
    Try adding an overdrive pedal as boost before it if you want more compression in the signal. An overdrive pedal will improve harmonics too. Or try out a DS-1 for crunchy sounds. You could use it as a boost too.
    Btw, what amp are you plugging into?
  7. bcrich

    bcrich New Member

    Exactly same HERE! ;)
  8. mymusicmyguitar

    mymusicmyguitar New Member

    Well the way i hav been using my pedals is the following
    Guitar --> Boss CS3 > Sansamp Tri AC --> Metal Zone MT2 --> Boss Chorus CE5 --> Delay --> Amplifier
    I have used this kinda setup on a Marshall 50+Watts for few times. But the whole setup is pretty NOISY. So i kind of end up removing the CS3 from the chain to reduce the noise and hardly use that when distortion is ON.
    I kind of get the variations in the tone but not as much as wat Processors provide.

    My questions :-
    1) Can a VOX ToneLab ST be used with my setup?
    2) Does VOX Tonelab ST give an option to switch in between Clean and Distortion in between the song with 2 stomp buttons provided on it.
    3) If yes then how should my setup look like after adding a processor.

    Yes i had thought of adding Overdrive to the pedals but then there is not enough variation in the tone i will get except getting Harmonics(which i dont get as of now)
  9. rickkkyrich

    rickkkyrich Guest

    Try removing either of Sansamp Tri AC or Metal Zone MT2 and check once.
  10. wylder

    wylder New Member

    Sorry that I do not have much of an idea about the Vox.

    Btw, could the lack of harmonics in your setup be due to your pickups? I can get pinch harmonics at will with my Metal Zone. What pickups do u have on your guitar?
  11. mymusicmyguitar

    mymusicmyguitar New Member

    @rickkkyrich - The MT2 is a bit noisy. Sometimes it isnt. I feel that the patch cables that i am using is causing that noise. I am not sure wats causin the noise when CS3 is kept on during Distortion.
    @Wylder - I am using a Fender American Standard Stratocaster. I havent changed the stock P'ups. They are all Single Coils..
  12. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    What tone are you looking at?
    (Please give some song as an example)
  13. mymusicmyguitar

    mymusicmyguitar New Member

    Here is the songs list the kind of tones that i am looking for. There are many others as well.
    Most of the Pink Floyd songs
    Van Halen - Aint talking bout love.
    Andy Timmons - Electric Gypsy (Mix of Clean and distorted overdriven sound)
    3 Doors Down - Kryptonite
    Dream Theater - Spirit carries On(Solo tone)
    John Petrucci - Glassgow kiss

    @Wylder - I do get harmonics with my P'ups on the Roland Microcube 2w Amp. I do have a Marshall 10W which i use only for pedals. Don't get harmonics when i use pedals though with that Amp.
  14. flood

    flood New Member

    there's aton of gain on tap there between the sansamp and the MT-2. the MT-2 has shitloads of gain, i'm surprised you're falling short.

    patch cables may well be responsible for noise - i've had issues in the past with cheapo patch cables. also, with so much gain going on, ground loops in power supplies are also an issue.

    for the songs you've listed, i'd probably not use the MT-2 at all and just stick with the sansamp, perhaps with a boost pedal in front.

    to be very honest, you have a pretty good setup that covers most bases and i don't think you will see any improvement with a processor. in fact, the only thing i'd recommend would be the humble Rs. 2400 (new!) digitech bad monkey.

    your pedal order is a bit weird too. i would put the sansamp closer towards the end of the chain instead of using it as a booster. depending on how much gain you're using on the sansamp, you will place the chorus before or after it. keeping the delay last before the amp is good practice though.

    so your chain would ideally be:

    Guitar --> Boss CS3 --> (bad monkey overdrive -->) Metal Zone MT2 --> Boss Chorus CE5 --> Sansamp Tri AC --> Delay --> Amplifier

    finally, there's a lot to be said about the amplifier as well - you have a very good signal chain so far and a good guitar, but if you're going to go into a marshall 10W, it's going to end up sounding like compressed tinny shit.

    i would recommend reexamining your equipment and the possibilities that you have than spending gobs of money only to be disappointed again because you thought more gear = less problems. for what it's worth, i've played open stage nights with a crappy squier strat and this chain: small stone phaser - EQ (set to boost the midrange by 6dB) - DIY sansamp GT2 - zoom 508 multidelay processor and i got booed off stage - because of my playing. the other guitarists that evening asked me if they could use my rig and got sounds ranging from shimmering cleans to gary moore's "still got the blues" section.

    re: pinch harmonics - do it right and you can get them on a non-amplified acoustic :)
  15. mymusicmyguitar

    mymusicmyguitar New Member

    Hey @flood - you are absolutely right man. I need to re examine my pedals on a better Amp and spend some time on it.

    Well i have heard that Boss Overdrives are good.
    But do u really think that Overdrive pedal would add something to the tone? If yes then its a better deal than spending 15k on a processor. I think i can take that risk of buying another Overdrive Pedal. Any other recommendations for the same apart from Bad Monkey Overdrive?
  16. flood

    flood New Member

    it depends on which overdrive specifically and what your budget is like...

    let's examine some facts:

    1. pretty much every overdrive circuit in existence today - except for a few notable anomalies - is based on the ibanez tube screamer circuit. "boutique" overdrives, again with a few notable exceptions, are also mostly based around this circuit, if not blatant ripoffs thereof. so ignore all the marketing blurbwords like "ultra-dynamic" "touch-sensitive" "transparency like never before" etc. and do a blind test instead.

    2. this is NOT to say that all boutique overdrives categorically suck. there are indeed some good ones out there - and what do you know, also some that have a relatively tolerable VFM ratio (the xotic boosters). what i mean is - you might just be surprised with how much mileage you get from a $40 boss or ibanez pedal.

    3. this is important - the tube screamer was not named so because it sounded like a tube amp, but due to how it worked in conjunction with a tube amp, slamming the input of the first stage. essentially, what i'm saying is, using a tube screamer with a run-of-the-mill solid state amp will NOT make you sound like zakk wylde. i've played my TS10 with a few different amps, and the worst results were with a fender solid state frontman - scratchy, fuzzy overdrive. nothing liquid about it. another interesting overdrive is the red llama, based on craig anderton's tube sound fuzz circuit. i built one of them and LOVED it with one of my amps, and hated it with the other. it sounded great on one solid state amp too. that isn't a proper overdrive per se, but somewhere between overdrive, sustainer and fuzz.

    anyway, before i digress too much, i think it would not be prudent for you to spend too much money on what is essentially a line booster circuit with a bit of gain thrown in. i give you the following potential low-mid budget candidates, all of which are tried and tested and have a pretty big customer base, before you throw $400 on a pedal made by some clever marketer which contains pretty much exactly the same circuit:

    1. ibanez TS9 or TS9DX (EDIT: oops, expensive. 8 and 9.5k)
    2. boss SD-1 (NOT the DS-1) - i don't see it on bajaao, but sells it for $39 new. so if you know someone coming down...
    3. digitech bad monkey (cheep! cheerful! good reviews!)
    4. mxr microamp
    5. electro harmonix LPB-1 (not sure where you get it, i believe bhargava's is the EHX importer though. check with bhargavas bandra. also $39 on the fiend.)

    i also hand-build pedals in my free time, but i'm really super-swamped with work right now and am not taking any orders, at least not at this moment. here's my work, if you want to take a gander: DIY/ and you can PM me so i can earmark you for future projects, although i can't promise anything at the moment.

    anyway, i think that any of those pedals should serve your needs well. do some research on their reviews, prices, availability etc. the microamp and LPB-1 circuits are more boost-like, the others have some soft distortion on tap too.

    last word: gain is a tricky thing, and needs to be experimented with to understand properly. the rewards are immense though, be it for you as a player who uses different pedals to nail his signature tone or for me as an amp builder who "finds" that perfect drive by cascading differently voiced gain stages. good luck!
  17. mymusicmyguitar

    mymusicmyguitar New Member

    @Flood . Thanks man. It was really a very good Info.

    Yeah i didnt see SD1 on bajaao. My friends are visitin US pretty soon. So i will order it from there.

    Well do u think i need to change my practice amp as well? I have a Marshall MG10CD(for use with pedals) and a Roland Microcube(which i use as standalone). My budget is not much for an Amp upto 7 - 8K. Any good Amp in that?
  18. flood

    flood New Member

    nope. i can recommend nothing within that budget. i've said it a million times before - spend more on your amp than on your guitar - your entire signal chain comes out of that amp and no matter how good everything else is up to that point, if you have a shitty amp, there's no point to the rest. i'm surprised the rest of your rig is so good but your main amp so crap.
  19. mymusicmyguitar

    mymusicmyguitar New Member

    Well i can sell my Roland Microcube and Marshall 10CD and get a better Amp. If i do that i can increase my budget to 12 - 15k. But seriously huge AMPs at home in a small room??? i cant play that loud at my home :( Is such a huge Amp still required?
  20. bcrich

    bcrich New Member

    You can try the Be3 Brat+
    G10 Vintage Version- 13k
    Vintage 30 Version- 15k

    For more information-

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