The Hughes & Kettner User Forum

The Unofficial guitar amp and cabinets forum for users of Hughes and Kettner products. We are not affiliated with Hughes and Kettner!!


    Fuzz pedal sounds awful

    Share

    Bluenoser

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2018-01-01

    Fuzz pedal sounds awful

    Post by Bluenoser on Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:05 pm

    Any tips on how to get a fuzz pedal to work well with this amp? I’ve tried a fuzz face and a big muff and they sound awful (very thin and noisy) on the clean channel. The closest I can get it to sounding decent like it does on my DSL40C is on the clean channel with boost but it’s still pretty weak sounding. I’ve tried various gain levels but I’m not getting anywhere. This isn’t related to buffered pedals in the chain. I’m thinking about trying some different fuzz options but want to know it’s possible to get decent sounds before I spend any more $

    Thx
    avatar
    j200george

    Posts : 91
    Join date : 2016-09-27

    Re: Fuzz pedal sounds awful

    Post by j200george on Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:54 pm

    I use a wampler velvet fuzz direct in. Ok albeit I use a boss es8 as a midi switcher and mainly have an eventide h9 in the effects loop for all sorts of time based effects.

    I’m not sure if I have a buffer on or off in the es8, but generally speaking into the front of the amp I will have some sort of compressor, xotic bb, sp.

    I’m kind of in a transition phase between my old Mesa Lss and using the gm40for gigging. Reckon I can sell most of my pedals really.
    avatar
    bordonbert

    Posts : 1075
    Join date : 2015-01-28
    Age : 98
    Location : Southern England

    Re: Fuzz pedal sounds awful

    Post by bordonbert on Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:23 pm

    You only mention the Clean channel as though you are trying to create all of your distortion via the pedals and then just amplify that sound as it is. And you have mentioned that the Boost seems to help. The Boost on the GM36 (GM40 presumably) is in itself a built in Tubescreamer type overdrive pedal at high input levels. At normal levels when off it acts as a perfectly neutral buffer stage to the valve stages but for higher levels it firstly clips one side then at higher levels still it clips on both. This also prevents the opamp in the stage from clipping internally which is the source of the myths that opamp stages are bad for guitar work and that opamps each have their own "sonic character", (both pieces of imaginative hype).

    Have you tried using the other channels with their gain kept fairly low to limit their distortion contribution and dialling down the amount of distortion from the pedals themselves a little? That way you can create a blend of the two which may be closer to what you are looking for.

    Bluenoser

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2018-01-01

    Re: Fuzz pedal sounds awful

    Post by Bluenoser on Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:01 pm

    I wouldn’t say I’m trying to get all of the fuzz sound from the pedal exactly, that’s just how I had it set up with my last amp (DSL40C). It’s strange, I have a Soul Food overdrive that pushes the amp as expected. It’s just the fuzz that doesn’t seem to behave quite right.

    I tried the crunch and lead channels as well with low gain but the fuzz either loses a lot of oomph or gets way too fizzy and noisy. The clean with boost at low gain is the closest but it’s still nowhere close to the Marshall with the Fuzz Face or Big Muff. I’m not really using any other dirt pedals (except the Soul Food) as the amp does just about everything on its own. It’s just the fuzz sound that’s missing. Any other ideas? The Fuzz Face is a silicon version. I’m thinking about trying a germanium fuzz to see if that helps
    avatar
    bordonbert

    Posts : 1075
    Join date : 2015-01-28
    Age : 98
    Location : Southern England

    Re: Fuzz pedal sounds awful

    Post by bordonbert on Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:19 pm

    Diode clipping is diode clipping is diode clipping is.....

    The idea of changing diode types doesn't have anywhere near as much effects as the "pedal aficionados" maintain it does. Just as magic opamp and transistor types don't exist for well designed circuits, changing the diode type just makes it clip at a different level and over a very slightly broader range and that won't change the fundamental nature of the sound, only apply the distortion characteristic to a different maximum degree. Listen to two YT reviews of the same pedal side by side and you will see that there is a common general character to the distortion and the major differences are really made by the change in guitar and amp. Then when you look wider at other pedals using the same technique you realise that the character is the same for all of them, it's just the degree from settings and tonal balance from support gear that changes.

    You only have to look on a scope to see what it does and it is the same basic blunt instrument chop for any diode other than a LED. The real difference in pedals comes in when you start using tone shaping circuitry and it is time spent working out that which really makes a difference and deserves higher prices. If only the people making a fortune out of the same old TS circuitry would look to understand multiple diode shaping circuits they would get a lot more of a unique and tailored sound and earn their keep honestly. For my money you would do better to look into alternative circuit configurations like muamp JFET types to see if that gives you your wanted sound. But whatever you decide on nowadays, thanks to the kids buying into the myth of the "complex design parameters and long development time" of 2 back to back diodes and forking out their cash without questioning things, the lunatics are running the asylum and can charge what they like for a couple of pounds worth of components and someone else's circuitry!

    Bluenoser

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2018-01-01

    Re: Fuzz pedal sounds awful

    Post by Bluenoser on Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:39 am

    I didn’t mean to turn this into a pedal debate, but to my ears there’s a definite difference in how germanium/silicon transistors in a Fuzz Face sound and react to different conditions (volume knob, etc). I’ve had both in the past and they’re definitely different. With the Marshall, the germanium pedal was far too bassy for me so I got rid of it but now that seems to be part of what I’m missing. I’m not buying crazy boutique stuff so it might be worth a try. I dug out the Marshall and A/B’d things again tonight and got pretty close with the GM40D on high gain clean or low gain clean+boost but the window where things sound decent is pretty small. I might play around with an EQ pedal a bit to see if I can find what’s missing.

    I was mostly just curious if there’s something fundamentally different about how these amps are designed that make them behave different with fuzz than a more traditional Fender/Marshall/Vox/etc type design. And if so, how people are setting them up to use with fuzz. I don’t really want to buy different pedals but I’m kind of bummed I can’t get a comparable fuzz sound I was easily able to get out of the Marshall. It’s the only thing this amp is missing so far for me
    avatar
    bordonbert

    Posts : 1075
    Join date : 2015-01-28
    Age : 98
    Location : Southern England

    Re: Fuzz pedal sounds awful

    Post by bordonbert on Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:13 am

    Yes, they are different but my point is that they are mainly not different because of the germanium diodes. The rest of the tuning makes the major difference. Anyway, you are right, that is a different issue. To the amps themselves....

    The Marshalls are plain and simple amplifiers which just do what it says on the tin, take in a signal direct to their fairly standard input circuitry and just amplify it from that first stage onwards. The pedals act as they are intended and the amp just amplifies what they offer it with the addition of their own drive characteristics. But the GM36 and presumably the GM40 has an extremely well designed solid state input buffer stage which acts in a totally clean way with a gain of about 4x if I remember correctly to drive the limited number of preamp valve stages. This SS stage also acts as a distortion generating unit if the input signal is large enough with a non-symmetrical group of zener diodes around the feedback loop which clip just before the supply voltages are reached preventing internal clipping of the opamp which is always a bad thing. Firstly it clips on a single side of the signal for softer asymmetric even order distortion, then it clips on both sides to introduce odd order too.

    Turning on the Boost alters the gain structure in the Gain and valve stages but also increases the gain of this input stage to drive it harder into clipping as if you had included a pedal. The clean level is sufficiently high that you will be able to dial it out by ear just by being a little careful with your guitar volume control. It often irritates people to hear that they need to experiment with lower signal levels out of their guitar or pedals to prevent some types of roughness. I've never understood why this is a problem, that's what the guitar volume control is for surely? That may be what you are experiencing. The input buffer stage, gain stage, valve preamp stages give you a lot of control over where your distortion is generated, much more than a standard amp. You can play off the amp's input signal level, Boost on/off, Gain level, Volume level and of course Channel selection to give very different types of overdrive/distortion sound.

    Your pedals are driving that buffer so if they are giving out a hefty signal level as they drive then it will also be pushed into adding its own on top. You will probably need to experiment with the signal levels from the rest of your gear to find the sound you want. There is plenty of gain on tap in the following stages, so much that many of us complain it is over the top, and this does not compromise the ability of the amp to give high gain sounds even with a relatively reserved input signal. The H&K amps are designed to be very flexible in their options, it's a pretty unique setup, and that leads to a steep learning curve and often a counter intuitive approach to settings.
    avatar
    j200george

    Posts : 91
    Join date : 2016-09-27

    Re: Fuzz pedal sounds awful

    Post by j200george on Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:36 am

    There is no denying pedals sound vastly different at house volumes as opposed to playing at a venue or in rehearsal room.

    So many factors affect how we hear things and much of the pedal debate is just hot air. I could rarely get my mesa LSS, even on its 1w setting to sound as good at home without say the velvet fuzz kicking in, but then again I didn't spend a lot of time studying gain stages and tweaking individual tone/ volume settings on my guitar and amp to properly find out.

    There's probably not a lot of solid logic involved in many pedal purchases, many people buy as a direct result of hearing something on line via a youtube demo and become disillusioned when they try and replicate the sound at home.

    For me personally speaking however the pedal journey was a voyage of discovery, much in the way my foray into buying guitars.

    I think i am seeing things a bit clearer these days in respect of what "my sound" is and what it is not, also I am a lot clearer about what I want from my guitars, amplifiers and effects now that i have been playing in a band after many years of familial enforced bedroom playing.

    The way I think i have ended up (famous last words) is:

    Guitar of choice [Gibson Lucille/ Loic Le Pape LP juinor DC/ Fender jaguar] -> Xotic SP -> two different flavoured drive pedals direct in via my Boss ES-8 and in the effects loop my Eventide H9.

    I use a number of patches to accommodate a fairly wide ranging cover set, plus a whole shed load of tones/ verbs/ delays for my own original material.

    These patches either bring up a GM40D preset that hits the mark (to my ears) supplemented by the pedals OR just say preset 55 (clean) and let the pedals do the talking.

    I think i need a day in the rehearsal studio with a lot of coffee and without my band members around to get into the nitty gritty of each setting etc and also to perhaps see how best I utilise the RedBox via the PA. I normally have the GM40D into the studio provided 4x12 cab) and a stereo pair with my Fender Princeton 68 RI.

    I think once i have done that i can with confidence sell about £800 worth of pedals..... eek.




    Bluenoser

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2018-01-01

    Re: Fuzz pedal sounds awful

    Post by Bluenoser on Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:01 pm

    Interesting info bordonbert, thanks. I suspect I’m pushing something in the amp more than I think I am with the pedal. I’ll keep playing around. The volume knob on the guitar is where I notice things the most with the fuzz actually. It used to clean up nice with the Marshall but it just gets thin and harsh with the GM40

    Sponsored content

    Re: Fuzz pedal sounds awful

    Post by Sponsored content


      Current date/time is Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:29 am