Rather than do a ‘best of’ style post, every year I’m going to do a rundown of what amps I’m using for pedal platforms, and why.Continue reading “2019 Review: Pedal Platform Amps”
August was another really slow month on the second hand market, and things didn’t pick up for September. Instead, I’ve ended up concentrating on the first guitar of my #PlayAlternative series.Continue reading “New Arrivals For September 2019”
This conversation was originally posted to my Twitter feed.
Good morning! I hope you’re having a great weekend. Got another #CoffeeAndKlon for you this week. I hope you enjoy it.Continue reading “#CoffeeAndKlon 16: Boosting With A Graphic Equaliser Pedal”
I’ve spent nearly all of June away in Scotland, enjoying a much-needed break from work out on Orkney. Just before I left, I picked up a few items to enjoy when I got back.
These are my initial impressions of the gear I’ve bought this month. I’ll delve into them in a lot more detail when I’ve had more time with them.Continue reading “New Arrivals For June 2019”
Marshall’s new Origin amp is an affordable, vintage-voiced valve amp. Boss have been making a range of affordable drive pedals since the 70s.
And together, they sound pretty damn fine.
Reference: The Marshall Origin With No Pedals
As a reference point, here’s what the Origin can do without any pedals.
Thing is, if you’re playing at home, you’ll probably never hear your Origin sound like that. This amp needs to be cranked to deliver the dirt. That clip was recorded with both Master and Gain on 8. My 20W Origin head is just too loud to do that at home.
So, if you like what you’ve just heard, and you want that for yourself at home, you’re going to have to budget for some pedals to go along with your nice new Origin amp.
And that’s where Boss comes in. Their pedals are cheap (the most expensive one in this demo is the BD-2 at £85) and widely available (support your local guitar shop!). And they work really well through the Origin.
Overdrives: BD-2 Blues Driver and the SD-1 Super Overdrive
First up is the venerable Boss BD-2 Blues Driver.
It has the lowest gain out of all three pedals in this roundup, but don’t let that put you off. As you can hear in the demo below, if you’re playing the kind of rock that sounds best through this amp, you don’t need all the filth for rhythm work.
Next up, another classic Boss pedal: the SD-1 Super Overdrive.
This pedal will get you right up there, delivering the same amount of filth that the Origin can do on its own – only without having to crank the amp to do so. To my ears, the SD-1 sounds a little thicker than the Origin does, and maybe slightly softer clipping too.
Have a listen:
Distortion: Boss DS-1
The DS-1 is a legendary pedal.
Compared to the SD-1, it offers harder clipping and reduced mids for a more aggressive tone. As a result, the guitar will sound quieter compared to the other two pedals. Thankfully, the Origin has an immense amount of input headroom, so just turn up the pedal and rock out!
Setting Up Your Boss Pedal For The Marshall Origin
The common advice with these Boss pedals is to turn down the gain, and use them as a boost into the amp’s input to get the amp to naturally overdrive.
That doesn’t work with the Marshall Origin.
The Marshall Origin has a huge amount of input headroom. You have to crank a pedal well past its sweet spot to have any chance of getting the Origin to naturally overdrive at home volumes.
The good news is that you don’t need to. Turn up the gain on your pedal to taste, and then adjust the pedal’s volume until you’ve got the same volume when you turn the pedal on and off again.
As the Origin is a bright amp, you’ll probably want to start with the pedal’s tone control at around 10 o’clock. From there, adjust the tone control with your ears.
The Origin is one of those amps that has a big say in what a pedal sounds like. It’s very suited to pedals – like these three from Boss – that are designed to work with an amp’s existing colour.
I’d happily record with the Origin and these pedals. I think the results are very usable – especially for the money! And they felt nice to play through too, which is also important.
What do you think? Comments below!
Adam and Tom for AStrings have responded to a YouTube comment: does the Boss Katana take drive pedals well?
The Boss Katana is an amp that’ll be on the list of possible amps for home tone fans. It’s very affordable, sounds very good, and is full of digital effects to give you lots of options.
And, when you’re ready to explore different tones, using drive pedals is one way to do so.
So how does the Boss Katana do? Watch the video to find out, and then please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment.
Chappers and the Captain have posted the 2nd part of their high-gain amp blindfold challenge. This time, they’re looking at 7 amps at £1,000 or below.
These kind of videos are a great opportunity to hear a bunch of amps side by side. Exact same guitar, exact same guitarist, and it looks like they’re running each amp into the exact same cab (so they’re all mic’d up the same). The only difference is the amp itself.
And these aren’t aspirational boutique sell-a-kidney amps. These are the kind of amps that you’d be looking at if you want a real valve amp for home and gigging.
Please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment if you enjoyed this video.q
Yes, you read that right. JHS has taken the ubiquitous Boss DS-1 and made some crazy mods to it. And then they asked Mike Hermans – one of the top demo guys – to show what this thing can do.
It starts out with an upgraded drive circuit, complete with a three-way toggle switch for different clipping types. That alone would be a great mod in its own right.
Then, they added 3 different synth circuits that you can switch in and out independently … just in case you’re bored with overdrive sounds. Or you just want something that’s batshit 🙂
Please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment if you enjoyed Mike’s video.
Over on In The Blues, Shane has posted his demo and review of the new Boss Katana Artist amp.
The Katana Artist is the new top-of-the-line amp in the Katana series from Boss. If I’ve got this right, it’s the same models as the original Katana amps, in a 100W combo platform with a reworked power section – including attenuation – and a better speaker.
I’ve heard the original Katana 50 at gig volumes, and thought it sounded great in person. Katana isn’t trying to be a digital model of other amps. It’s basically it’s own thing, backed with models from Boss’s 40+ years of pedal heritage.
There is a trick to getting the most out of the Katana. Boss modelled the power section to work the same as a tube amp. Run it with the master volume up full, and adjust the channel volume to suit. The Artist’s reworked power section, with the built-in attenuator, should make it even easier to setup even at home tone levels.
Please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a comment if you enjoyed Shane’s video.
Over on the In The Blues YouTube Channel, Shane has posted his latest podcast episode in its new format. This one is all about amps that Shane has recently played.
I thought that my own views on the Kemper echo Shane’s: a great studio tool that doesn’t take pedals at all well. I’ll be writing a lot more about the Kemper soon!
He also covers the PRS J-MOD 100, BOSS Katana Artist, and the Line 6 Helix. I’m always interested in what he has to say about amps. He’s played a lot of gear over the years, and he’s a gigging musician to boot.
Please head over to YouTube to leave a like and a supportive comment if you enjoyed Shane’s podcast video.