1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Distortion pedal gain staging?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by mstone564, Oct 21, 2013.


  1. mstone564

    mstone564

    Dec 14, 2009
    Hey guys! I've been wondering something about my setup for quite awhile and always wondered what would be better for "proper" gain structure.

    Basically, what I have going on now is a Spector Legend into a bass overdrive (DOD FX91) with a mild drive, fairly treble-y into a Fuzzrocious Rat King adding the majority of the distortion/grit, into the front of my SVT-4 Pro.

    Now, when I first set the gain I connect everything and bypass all my pedals so my bass is going directly to the head and set the gain the way the manual says to, with the peak light going off on hard notes. Then I add my overdrive to how I like and match levels just fine.

    The weird part is adding in the distortion... To my EARS, the levels are the same, but the compression that the Rat King adds makes it so the peaks are just barely there and the red clip light isn't on like it was before. Should I just crank up the distortion volume so the clip light is on like before or leave it at ear level?
    Also, I'd like to level match so I can switch off the distortion and still have relatively the same volume as the 'cleaner' tone.
     
  2. rratajski

    rratajski Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    Builder for FUZZROCIOUS PEDALS
    This is a big reason why I ditched my SVT-4pro...the gain and limit LEDs scare me.
    Level match by ear or pull the gain down and volume up on the head.
     
  3. mstone564

    mstone564

    Dec 14, 2009
    Haha these lights freak me out too!

    I've gotten to a point where I try not to worry about the limiter and just go by what my ears hear. I'm in a loud metal band with a HUGE wall of guitar distortion, both boost their mid ALMOST all the way, so it needs to cut haha.

    So you're saying doing the master volume all the way up and control volume with the gain ala SVT-VR? I have a feeling doing it this way 'underpowers' the amp.
     
  4. rratajski

    rratajski Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    Builder for FUZZROCIOUS PEDALS
    Only if you want to blow your speakers...
     
  5. cnltb

    cnltb

    May 28, 2005
    Isn't the 'volume' button doing no more than limiting what the gain would sent through otherwise?
    So on a 'clean amp where gain distortion is not the idea, upping the 'volume' fully would be quite an ok thing to do, no?
    Different if one wants the gain to overdrive the amp...no?
     
  6. rratajski

    rratajski Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    Builder for FUZZROCIOUS PEDALS
    Volume limits the volume of sound coming out of the amp into the speakers.
    Gain limits the amount of signal being pushed through the amp from everything before the amp.
    Too much gain overloads the preamp and then the rest of the amp causing possible damage. Too much volume damages speakers.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.