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scared to use overdrive

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by EnviroMetal, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. EnviroMetal


    Feb 16, 2013
    but i really wanna use it

    last time I used a distortion pedal on a combo it blew the speaker,
    so i stopped using it.
    Then I got the Boss ODB-3 bass overdrive and hooked it into my Hartke LH500 amp head into my Peavey 410 speakers and I didnt have the volume all too loud or the gain too high on the pedal and it still blew out one of my speakers. I had the distortion volume at the same level of my clean volume.

    I just got new Fender speakers (4ohm) and would really like to use my distortion pedal but I am afraid I will blow out a speaker again and dont feel like dropping money to fix a problem I didnt need to have. So how do I use this pedal?
    Do I hook it into the effects send and return on the back of the head or can i just keep it bass>pedal>amp?

    This may seem like a silly or stupid question but I am really confused
  2. StrangerDanger

    StrangerDanger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    FX loops are not for pedals. They are for rackmount studio quality stuff.

    Now as to why youre blowing out speakers . . . I have no idea, its never happened to me, sorry.
  3. EnviroMetal


    Feb 16, 2013
    I'm wondering if the speakers just weren't able to handle it. I mean I only add a little bit of distortion though because both guitars use heavy distortion and I dont want to get too lost in the mix. not to mention I prefer clean tones but for some of our songs a lil overdrive sounds amazing
  4. Yeah I've never heard of someone blowing speakers with that frequency
  5. wobble man

    wobble man

    Feb 15, 2013
    an overdrive/distortion pedal is not going to blow your speaker unless you are already pushing the speaker too hard or there is something wrong with your rig.

    distortion type pedals are usually used up front, bass>pedal>amp
  6. MSUsousaphone


    Dec 4, 2009
    Lake Charles, La
    Endorsed Artist: Myco Pedals

    Let's look at this like a phobia. We can flood the phobia. Which would involve you buying the Mountainking Megalith fuzz pedal, crank it on full gain, and ease your fear of this as this should NOT be happening. But then what if, worlds collide, stars align, and the speaker blows, again? We would be setting the baseline for the phobia at an all time high. No. Too dangerous. Systematic Desensitization is needed here.

    I would say start with just visualizing the dirt pedal....then we could move to looking at pictures of them. But you're already posting on an effects forum so I think we're past those steps.

    Let's start with going to a local shop.....touching the pedals. It's not pedalphilia if the pedal wants to be touched. Ask it permission first. Don't do anything else that day. Let's not rush things. On your second visit, get a cable and practice plugging the pedal in...and out....in....and out. On your third visit I want you to set the pedal just like you said, bass>pedal>amp. And just look at it for awhile. On your fourth day, turn the amp on. Keep the dirt pedal disengaged. We don't want to rush into things.

    On the fifth day turn it on and crank it out. You're in a local shop. If something blows from normal use, it was a freak accident. You won't have to pay for that. But do this at a local shop. Then we can figure out if it was just coincidence that your other speaker blew or if you have some weird freakish super human ability to blow speakers. If the first is true, you'll feel safe buying OD pedals, again. If the second one holds true, I would like to buy you backstage passes to a Nickelback/U2 concert and your mission will be to play on their gear.
  7. EnviroMetal


    Feb 16, 2013

    I would like to say I am new to 12 Step Programs but.....

    I'm gonna try again with my rig just to test it out since these new speakers seem to hang a bit better than my old ones
  8. MSUsousaphone


    Dec 4, 2009
    Lake Charles, La
    Endorsed Artist: Myco Pedals
    All joking aside. Really. If this is bothering you, go try it out at a store. It's really easy to do and then there's no risk to your gear.
  9. EnviroMetal


    Feb 16, 2013
    how would i keep the distortion from tearing a speaker or messing up the coil?
  10. OtterOnBass


    Oct 5, 2007
    Distortions move your frequencies up, and while they have killed many tweeters, guitar and bass amp speakers just 'ignore' those higher frequencies (that they can't replicate). If you have a bullet tweeter on your amp (doesn't look like you do) you would want to turn it off.

    Lower frequencies are the ones that use up speaker cones, and either through overextension (too much low end) or through overheating, the drivers tear.

    There's tons of great speaker articles here, including one on how speakers get damaged: http://billfitzmaurice.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1886
  11. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    As previously stated, overdrives (or distortions or fuzzes) don't pose any inherent danger to speaker cabinets.

    Speakers get blown by driving them past their recommended power handling, not by clipping of the signal.

    The only way I can think of for an overdrive pedal to blow a speaker is if you've got the pedal's volume/gain cranked and it has a ton of it on tap like the Tech 21 VT Bass does.

    I've used dirt pedals almost as long as I've played bass and for countless live gigs and I've never damaged my amp or cabs, a backline or a FOH speaker.
  12. father of fires

    father of fires Commercial User

    Nov 29, 2006
    Chief of Medicine at Damnation Audio
    Overdrives will compress the signal and can put a stronger signal at the same volume into your amp. It's not a reason to blow speakers but it's my only theory.
  13. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    My guess is the pedal had nothing to do with blowing a speaker. Look elsewhere.
  14. 45acp


    Feb 5, 2013
    Texarkana TX
    Your EQ is way too scooped in an effort to get that scooped tone. It sounds great alone, but once with the band (at band volume) you need to un-scoop it quite a bit. The cranked up bass knob along with a 5 string or drop tuning is what is killing your speakers. They were barely hanging on for dear life, and then you stepped on the overdrive box and- because it excited you with it's glorious wall of growl- you played even harder than before. This was the straw that broke the camel's back.

    In short- check your EQ at band volume... it needs to be leveled out some.

    This is just a hunch.
  15. meatwad

    meatwad Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Smallville, USA
    +1 IMO
  16. EnviroMetal


    Feb 16, 2013

    after reading this i have to agree. this sounds a lot like what is going on.

    thank you guys for all of your input it has really helped me out.
    I am gonna keep my EQ level with bass down a bit and i do think the speakers were going past their limits.
  17. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
  18. 45acp


    Feb 5, 2013
    Texarkana TX
    Here's the deal with hifi or scooped bass tone (or whatever you wanna call it)

    The louder you play, the less the eq needs to be molested. Generally in a metal band, you're going to play at 3 different volume levels- at home(quiet), band practice(loud) at a gig(effing loud). Lets say your amp has a 5 band eq on it, and alone at home a perfect smiley face is what sounds best to you. For band practice(loud), to get the exact same tone, you need to bring the bass and treble down some. At a gig(effing loud), you should be close to flat... with the mids cut maybe a notch or two. These are wild guesses of course. With the band, the scooped tone comes more from playing style than eq settings.

    A good rule of thumb for metal bass- If your amp and cabinet is closely matched in both power and power handling capacity... and you're tuned down to dropped Q or whatever... and your band is loud... and your amp is cranked... and you've got the bass knob turned up and no high pass filter of some kind- you're going to kill a driver.

    Un-scooped still sounds "scooped" at high volume levels when you play hard. Make sense?
  19. EnviroMetal


    Feb 16, 2013
    holy crap that makes a lot of sense.
    With the new speakers 500w handling and my amp 500w at 4 ohm i rarely have to turn past 4 on the volume knob at band practice.
    at shows we usually do direct out or mic it up so we dont have to play as loud.
    but as a precautionary measure I will def just keep the EQ at 12 o'clock or less so the tone will be coming from my bass.
  20. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Used heavy overdrive for more then 30 yrs constantly and never ever had any problem with bass speakers and overdrive. Irregaerdless if useing small 10" combo amps or 15" to 4x10 cabs.

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