Pedal Set up

Discussion - HT-5 amplifiers.
wayne o
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:00 am
Location: denver

Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:51 am

Playing with pedals, looking for ideas on how to set up/sequence etc. I have:

Tone Bug Reverb

" " Boost

Behringer CS 400 Compressor

" EM 600 Echo Machine

Also what about using INPUT versus EFFECTS LOOP or some in INPUT and some in EFFECTS LOOP?

Thanks, WCO

Posts: 7
Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 4:30 pm

Thu May 30, 2013 4:42 pm

As a new HT5 owner I've had some real frustrations with pedal order and effect. Reading around these forums and elsewhere it seems folks are noticing that boost pedals don't do much in front of this amp. I have an OCD and an EP Booster, and recently bought an SP Compressor which is a variation on the idea - but none of them boost volume when used in front of the amp when on the dirt channel. I kinda get the physics involved and would guess the problem is an easily saturated 12AX7 tube (I did replace the stock tube with a TungSol).

Is that other people's experience as well? If so how the heck do you create a volume boost for leads? It seems to work alright to put the EP Booster in the first position of the effects loop, but oddly enough when placed there, it sucks distortion out, and who wants that when soloing? I just tried putting the SP Compressor there last nite, and it actually does a nice job boosting volume and tone/sustain, but folks seem to think Compressors in the effects loop is whacky (there is some noise but it doesn't seem any worse than when in front of chain/amp).

Other idea I had was to put the OCD in the first leg of the loop, but gain pedals in the loop also seem taboo. Haven't tried it yet.

Also haven't tried an EQ yet and figure that is what people are gonna tell me (to use in loop). MXR 6 is about all I have room for on the board, guess I could try it. Wont it create more noise though? Also seems like I am working hard to deal with a shortcoming of the amp - boost pedals in front of the amp should boost volume, eh?

Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:26 am

Thu May 30, 2013 4:59 pm

I'm going to have to say my experience and yours do not match... I use a boost pedal in front of mine (LPB-1) and it will push the clean channel into breakup and add saturation to the OD channel... it will not add MUCH volume to the OD channel...

the amp is built with internal diode clipping for the OD channel, so it's more like boosting an OD pedal than boosting a normal amp on the OD channel...

I also use a tung-sol in the preamp...

regarding the OCD... I use an ultimate drive (OCD clone, by joyo)... I use it with low gain(9:00-10:00) in low gain mode... this also doesn't add much volume, but it makes the gain structure thicker... (think Corrosion of conformity... kinda sludge-y) yes, I do this on purpose. ;)

I also replaced my power tube, so idk if that could be affecting my experience vs yours.

as for compressors? I believe they belong very early in the chain... and I'd use my compressor as a compressor, not a boost...

idk how many pedals you are running, but maybe your signal is getting weakened by all of them?

Posts: 7
Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 4:30 pm

Thu May 30, 2013 6:50 pm

Thanks for the thoughts. I get a hair of a volume boost with either the OCD or the EP in front of the amp when on gain channel, but not enough to call it a lead boost. Board isn't all that busy - before I bought the two Xotic effects to try to solve this problem, I just had the following:

Guitar>Boss tuner>OCD>amp>loop>chorus>delay>amp

With that setup, if I was in crunch channel, with gain no higher than maybe 10:00, hitting the OCD with volume and drive both at about 10:00 didn't add a stitch of volume. But if I keep the OCD on and drop into clean channel, yikes, the volume jump on the clean side is big.
And if I just sit there and dial the volume up and down on the OCD while in clean, the response is linear. If I pop back into gain, nuthin' but tone/gain/crunch change.

Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:26 am

Thu May 30, 2013 7:52 pm

the blackstar guys may not like this... but anything on the gain channel is running into another pedal... the diode circuit is basically a pedal....

this isn't a bad thing... remember the silver jubilee that everyone loves has diode clipping too... but I think that's the issue you are facing... maybe what you really need is a volume pedal if you just want to make it louder... or work your volume knob on the guitar... basically turn up the amp's gain/volume in OD mode with the volume down on your guitar, then bring the volume up for a solo...

really, the HT5 is a bedroom amp, though, so I never mind that the boost or OCD doesn't add a ton of volume on the OD channel... the other thing is 10:00 is low for the level on your OCD... that's basically "unity" so I wouldn't expect any volume boost there...

on the clean channel the differences are bigger because there's no diode clipping to get in the way... the clean channel is kinda like a silverface champ... just 5 watts and simple.

on the clean channel, I use the clean boost to add crunch, but don't care that it adds volume, too... on the OD channel, it adds saturation, just like running a boost into a pedal...

maybe what you need to do, really, is add your boost to the loop... I know it sounds taboo, but that would put the boost POST gain stage if you mainly want volume..

Posts: 7
Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 4:30 pm

Thu May 30, 2013 8:26 pm

@ Rhust: Yeah, that. You understand my problem and yep I think that clipping is what I am running into. Thank you for chiming in. And yeah I don't think the Blackstar guys are going to like this either. These amps get a lot of praise and are mentioned in the same breath as other low-watt amps which have more headroom in the pre-amp. I am trying to push an already maxed system.

With that in mind I suspect I am going to create real problems if I try the SP>EP>OCD combo in front of the amp. Poor thing won't know what to do.

Yeah, So I'll probably need to add a vol pedal or an EQ to the end of the loop for a true volume boost. I read discouraging things about noise from the usual EQ pedals though.

Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:26 am

Thu May 30, 2013 9:00 pm

well, imo, if you are maxing out the ht5, you need a bigger amp... maybe the ht20 or ht40... I wouldn't try to gig with an HT5... it might keep up with a cajon, but not a real drum kit... it's a bedroom amp... and I think it's GREAT in that respect.

I'm "retired" :) no more gigs, so it's perfect for the house, and still gets loud enough to annoy the wife and dog.

Posts: 7
Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 4:30 pm

Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:50 am

Well, I found an interesting workaround, and I use that word in the sense of probably-ain't-gonna-keep-this-amp-much-longer.

The pedals play more friendly with the clean side of the amp. Not surprising given what is mentioned about about the nature of the pre-amp in this thing. I have my guitar going to the tuner>OCD>SPCompressor then to amp, then to EPBooster>Chorus>Delay in loop. The switch back with the SP and EP worked well, the SP is more full in front of the amp and overall the chain has less noise, in fact basically no noise. Then for leads, heck, I just hit the gain channel on the amp's footswitch. With the volumes balanced right, I get the volume boost I was after and some extra squeal for leads (I have the gain on the amp at only about 8:00, its enough, since I have the OCD already at about 12:00. For rhythm playing, shorter riffs, etc it sounds better to have just the overdrive created by the OCD and the SP Compressor (which I just have on lo compression).

Posting this here in hopes it might lend a hand to others frustrated by the play between pedals and the gain part of this amp. Maybe I just have the wrong pedals, of course - perhaps the Boss BD or OD work better in front?

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Posts: 612
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:00 am

Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:58 pm

Not sure why you're revelation is surprising. If you were to choose an amp expressly as a pedal platform, a clean amp usually works best. Additionally, stacking ODs can be tricky/trial and error...same holds true foe hi-gain amp channels and ODs. I use my HT20 gain channel dry as a 3rd/higher OD stage, with a Timmy (low gain/OD) and Green Rhino (med gain/OD) on the clean channel. As you've found, it works best this way. I have dialed in my OD pedals so that they also work with the gain channel...maybe not as well as with the clean channel, but different.

FWIW...I think you will find similar results with most hi-gain amps that use diode clipping. For the money though, the BS line is hard to beat. Also...try the compressor before the ODs, usually better first in chain.

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