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Pedals for a newbie

Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:50 am
by Big Willie Style
Hey guys,

Finally getting away from multi-effects and going to get a few pedals to go along with my Laney VC-15 tube amp. I don't know much about pedals, so can anyone give me an idea what I should get?

A guy at my local shop told me to get an overdrive, a wah, a chorus, and a delay and I should be good to go. Does that sound about right?

If that's the case, any recommendations on what brand I should get? I know it's really up to personal taste but I'm just hoping for some input from those of you that are more experienced. Thanks all


Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:14 am
by JohnA
Your local shop has made a reasonable suggestion, based on a pretty usual combination of pedals, but some people hate chorus pedals, it really depends on what sort of sounds you are trying to make, personally if I had to strip my pedalboard down to four pedals they would be.

1 Fuzz
2 Compressor
3 Delay
4 Overdrive

But everyone's different :wink: If you give me an idea of which guitarists/sounds you like I would be able to help a bit better.

One bit of advice is buy with your ears! I tried all sorts of 'boutique' fuzz pedals before settling on a Seymour Duncan Tweak Fuzz which to me sounded much better than pedals twice the price, also rather than paying through the nose for tubescreamer, I would recommend the Daphon Overdrive, $30 and I would bet you couldn't tell the difference.

Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:53 am
by stratman323
My pedal board for gigs consisted of (in this order, recommended by Ozeshin)

Another overdrive
Clean Volume Boost (Seymour Duncan pickup booster)

This enabled me to get 2 different levels of overdrive, plus a slight volume boost for solos when needed. If overdrive is not your thing but chorus is (personally I hate chorus), replace one overdrive with a chorus.

But as John said, it's a very personal choice, like pickups. There's no right or wrong.


Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:26 am
by Loudmouse
I would try a wah straight into the Laney and then add the rest of your chosen effects through the effects loop.

Did you try the multi-effects with the loop?

Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:57 pm
by Dave_Mc
i agree with john and mike, it's very much personal preference. It also depends very much on the tones you want- if you use a lot of fuzz tones you're going to have to get that from a pedal, etc. etc. Also depends on your amp, if you like the laney's overdrive channel and it has enough gain, you might not need an overdrive (though it wouldn't hurt for a solo boost, but a clean boost might be better for that if you want the boost to be as transparent as possible).

I don't gig, so my pedalboard more or less has every pedal i own on it :lol: but if i had to narrow it down to a couple, I'd have a noise suppressor (isp decimator- only really needed if you need high gain tones), good wah (i hate my crybaby), delay (only really for solos) and either an overdrive or a chorus (depending on the amp- if i'm allowed to use my engl i don't need an OD). Oh and a tuner, of course.

Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:21 pm
by Big Willie Style
Hi guys, and thanks for the replies.

Most of the stuff I like to play is classic rock, blues, and a little bit of everything in between, except country :roll: .

The Laney does have a nice overdrive channel but I was thinking about trying an overdrive as well, just for kicks. I was thinking of the Boss BD-2 or Digitech Bad Monkey, basically because they're not too pricey (I just play for fun, not a job) and they seem to have a lot of great reviews.

As far as a wah, the jury seems to be WAY out on these. Some swear by Vox, some Dunlop. Some say modded is the only way to go. I'm just looking for something decent since really, I likely won't notice the difference.

As far as the chorus and delay, I hadn't even thought of these until the guy at my shop mentioned them. What I planned on getting was:
- wah
- overdrive
- distortion
- EQ or sonic stomp
- tuner (probably)
- compressor (maybe)

What do you guys think of these as a basic classic rock/blues setup?

Thanks again.


P.S. JohnA, I had checked out the Daphon before. They are priced well, but with the shipping added in (quite high to Korea where I live) I could get the Bad Monkey for about the same. What would you prefer?

Posted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 3:16 am
by stratman323
Big Willie Style wrote:As far as a wah, the jury seems to be WAY out on these. Some swear by Vox, some Dunlop. Some say modded is the only way to go. I'm just looking for something decent since really, I likely won't notice the difference.
I'm a new boy to wahs, I only got my Cry Baby a couple of years ago. My mate (who's a more experienced gigger than I am) came to our last gig, & he said he was impressed by the sound of the wah - better than Cry Baby's usually sound, so he said. So maybe it just works well with my amp?

Or maybe I just blew him away with my playing?


Posted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:03 am
by JohnA
Ny opinion, and it's only an opinion :wink: would be to go for quality rather than quantity, if you are just playing at home then you don't need the flexibility of being able to switch between a million sounds very quickly, and some great basic tones would be more rewarding.

Buy one pedal at a time and see if you think you need more, start with a decent overdrive / distortion / fuzz, and try and get something that does well what your amp doesn't. My guess, as I haven't played one, is that the vox does pretty good overdrive but not great distortion, so I would go for a distortion pedal rather than an overdrive.

- wah great fun to play with :)
- overdrive
- distortion get one or the other for the time being.
- EQ or sonic stomp wouldn't bother, you won't see the benefit.
- tuner (probably) if you are only playing at home you don't need a tuner pedal if you already have a regular tuner.
- compressor (maybe) If you use clean sounds or want to sound like Dave Gilmour - Definetely try to find a Boss CS-2 on ebay or a MXR Dyna Comp

Never tried a Bad Monkey, but if the shipping makes the Daphon too expensive, then it's probably not worth it.

Posted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 3:51 pm
by Dave_Mc
JohnA wrote:Ny opinion, and it's only an opinion :wink: would be to go for quality rather than quantity, if you are just playing at home then you don't need the flexibility of being able to switch between a million sounds very quickly, and some great basic tones would be more rewarding.

an other option would be to get a really cheap multi-fx, probably second-hand, I'm guessing you could pick one up for about ?30 (considering the cheapest ones start around ?60 new). That'd let you get to try a lot of different fx to see which ones you use most. Though that can be a double-edged sword, as the fx quality in the multi-fx unit isn't going to be amazing, and could end up needlessly putting you off fx which you might actually like if you got to try a decent standalone analogue pedal version.

Up to you, really- if you can find a nice shop which has a good stock and which will let you try a bunch of stuff for as long as you want, that's best.

Can you get biyang stuff where you are? The build quality/QC/reliability isn't amazing (I've got 3, one died and had to be sent back, and another is slightly iffy though not bad enough to send back), but the sound quality is really good indeed, and considering you're playing at home (like me), bomb-proof reliability isn't really a major issue- especially if you can find them in a local shop so you could take it back if it went faulty.

Posted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:25 pm
by Griff
On the Biyang front, I've got a Chorus of theirs, which I think is great, though I only like the mildest of settings. I think mild Chorus on slow blues sounds great. It especially suits the clean sound of a Love Rock neck pickup with the tone rolled back a bit.

The Rev. Billy G had a bit of chorus going on on Deguello, my favourite ZZ album.

I didn't get on with the Biyang delay though.

Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:16 pm
by Dave_Mc
I haven't tried either of those- I should probably point out that i have the fz7 fuzz (seems to be pretty similar to a big muff except with more options), od8 overdrive (similar to a tubescreamer, but again with more options and with the ability to swap chips for a subtly different tone) and the phaser (i'm not really well enough up on phasers to know what it's a copy of, but I'm guessing it's a copy of either one of the MXR ones or the EHX small stone- could be wrong, of course).

I've got the tonerider analogue chorus, it's very nice, though a bit more expensive than the biyangs, here anyway. But it's still decently-priced considering how nice it is, and tonerider has several other pedals available too which i hear are very nice, too.

Posted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:17 am
by Paladin2019
I'll chime in with a slightly different opinion here. I've always believed that the point of starting out on a multi-fx is that you learn what fx you like and what, realistically, you will use in your music - once you've done that you can work on buying those fx as seperate pedals.

From what you've said it seems like you haven't answered either of those questions, so are you really sure that you're ready to move away from multi-fx? Do you think maybe you've be better off with a better quality multi-fx? What are you using at the moment?

Which patches do you use most often on your current multi-fx?

Posted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:36 am
by Big Willie Style
Thanks again for the replies guys. To answer a few questions, I usually play classic rock with some modern stuff thrown in, but not too too heavy. I also enjoy blues. I currently don't have a multi effects unit, except for my Korg Pandora but that's a small unit with no pedals or anything of course. I always seem to find myself dialing in very similar sounds - a 70's UK amp/cab, OD or distortion, a little reverb, a small bit of delay, and that's about it. If I had a pedal, I'd probably play with a wah as well. So with those setting in mind, I just picked up a Boss Blues Driver and a modded Crybaby on the 'Bay cheap! I figure those will complement my amp quite nicely, which has a reverb tank in it.

The one problem I am having, since I brought my amp back to Korea, is getting breakup at lower volumes. I live in an apartment, like almost everyone in this part of the world, and this amp is freakin' LOUD! I was toying around with picking up a Weber attenuator on eBay but my local shop in Canada said they're really hard on amps. Does that make any sense to you guys? My other alternative is to take this amp to my business and rock out there on the weekend when no one is there and to buy a smaller amp for home like the VOX AC4TV or the Blackstar HT-5. I can always find an excuse to buy more gear I don't need. :lol:


Posted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:36 am
by Big Willie Style
Whoops, double post. :oops:

Posted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:44 pm
by Dave_Mc
are they really hard on amps or hard on the valves? i think i read somewhere that the impedance on attenuators can change depending on the setting (i think that's the case with the dr z one), but the weber has selectable impedance, so presumably it's ok. only other thing i can think of is that running the amp at full blast will be harder on it than running it at bedroom levels, but that's going to be the case (apart from wear and tear on the speakers) whether you use an attenuator or not.

i could be wrong (and hopefully someone else will chime in to either agree with me or point out where i'm wrong), but i'd put it down to usual guitar shop stories. I've heard a lot of guff in guitar shops (which was demnonstrably wrong, not just a matter of opinion), and this might just be one of those times.