So the gig me and my band are about to play is getting closer and closer. 10 more days and I'll be on a stage again after 7 years. Seven years of playing by myself in my bedroom.
I got to the point where my approach would be to set my amp to a crunchy sound ala AC/DC, then kick on my SD-1 with the volume pushed and the gain turned up just a wee bit to tighten the low end and saturate a bit more. Use an EQ pedal in the loop to boost the volume for solos.
Now last rehearsal I turned up with only my guitar and my EQ pedal for the volume bump for solos. I couldn't be bothered to carry my heavy ass all analogue pedalboard with me and wanted to see how things would go. My JCM 2K DSL 100 was at the rehearsal space waiting.
Without my SD-1 I had to turn up the gain on the amp quite a bit more and change the EQ as well, cut more bass, kick in more mids and I was obviously missing some saturation.
So whilst it was harder to play and I lacked the distortion I also noticed that the guitar sounded way better and I cut through the mix easily. My other guitar player uses an ENGL Powerball MK2 through an oversized ENGL cab with V30s without any pedals, I have my DSL through a Marshall cab with G12-75s (cab belongs to another guitar player sharing the rehearsal room with us)
Now the obvious problem here is that I am competing with a V30 loaded cab whilst using the mid scooped G12T-75 Celestions, but if you ignore that for a minute my observation is the following:
Without a boost pedal my guitar sounds bigger and fits into the mix better. I have to be more accurate with my technique and my playing has to be tighter. More volume means less need for saturation and compression that a boost pedal usually provides yet it asks for a tighter picking hand.
I guess what I am trying to say or rather ask: Have you had the same experience? A boost pedal is brilliant when playing by yourself to get an amazing guitar sound, once the whole band is involved the pedal only buries you in the mix?
I think I finally understand how desirable it is to have an amp that does not need any additional help from an OD pedal. My DSL can sound as heavy as a Mesa Rectumfrier, but only when pushed by a TS-9 or SD-1. With the band it sounds better when no pedals are involved.
I came to the conclusion that I need to toss the gadgets and work on my technique more. Only use the boost pedal for solos and get to the point where my right hand will sqeeze a tight low end even out of a JTM 45.
Or I'll just bring my V30 loaded cab to the gig, kick on my SD-1 for my rhythms too and see how that goes
What are your observations folks? Do tell, cheers!