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When effect pedals are needed in a musical arsenal, there are important things to be considered. A distortion pedal gives a bit of dirt to a guitar, creating a higher dimension. It also brings that little crunch to the sound. Trying out different guitar tones is an exciting activity. But with the numerous amplifiers entering the market, it is not easy to choose a guitar amp that works well with distortion pedals.
It is important to get the right pair in order to dial as desired. There are no binding rules when it comes to this and sometimes all that’s needed is to allow the ears to do the selection. However, there are the best general principles that govern the relationship between guitar amps and distortion pedals.
Here are our recommendations of guitar amps that work best with distortion pedals, like the Ibanez Tube Screamer or the Boss DS 1:
- 1 Our Amps For Distortion Pedal Recommendations
- 2 Understanding the Various Types of Distortion
- 3 Gain-Boosting Amps
- 4 Size of the Venue
- 5 Modelling Amps
- 6 Speakers Size
- 7 The Takeaway
Need a distortion pedal? Look at our recommendations for best distortion pedal.
Our Amps For Distortion Pedal Recommendations
Fender Blues Junior IV
The Fender Blues Junior IV is your answer. This amplifier has everything you need to play in front of an audience or just jam with friends. It comes with a 15 watt low watt tube amp that can be cranked up loud enough to rock any venue, but it also has a 1-button footswitch so you can turn down the volume when needed.
With this amp, there is no reason not to start playing out more often because it will sound great at any venue and won’t blow away the neighbors if they live close by. It even includes reverb so your tone will have depth and dimension when played through this little powerhouse of an amp!
The new single-channel AC30S1 is inspired by the Top Boost channel on the classic AC30TB combo amp, with its unique mid-range tone that can only be found on an all-tube amp like this one.
This is a great sounding amplifier for any style of music and it comes loaded with everything you need to get started right out of the box—a Celestion 12″ speaker, two 12AX7 preamp tubes and four EL84 power amp tubes. You also have a guitar effects loop so you can use your favorite pedals or rack units without having to buy another pedal board or case full of gear! And if that wasn’t enough, we’ve included a footswitch so you can turn your reverb on/off while performing live!
Fender ’65 Super Reverb
The Fender ‘65 Super Reverb is a 45 watt tube amplifier that delivers the best of both worlds. It’s got classic Fender clean tones, but it also has overdrive and distortion for those who want to rock out!
This amp was designed with two channels in mind—a normal channel and an enhanced vibrato channel. The normal channel offers crisp highs and warm lows that are perfect for jazz or blues music. But when you switch to the vibrato channel, you get sweet overdriven sounds that make this amp great for hard rock or metal music as well!
You can even use these channels together if you want to create your own unique sound by blending them together on stage! And because this is a tube amp, there’s no need to worry about digital clipping or harsh frequencies ruining your tone. Instead, you get rich harmonics that will enhance any song!
Peavey Classic 30 112 Guitar Combo Amp
The Peavey Classic 30 112 Guitar Combo Amp is an affordable way to get that classic tube amp tone in your home studio or on stage. It has two channels, one with pre-gain and post-gain controls so you can dial in just the right amount of overdrive.
A spring reverb lets you add depth and dimension to your sound, giving it more character than other amps at this price point. Plus, there are separate volume controls for each channel so you can really fine tune how much gain comes through when using both channels together. This amp also features external speaker capability so if you want even bigger sound, all you have to do is plug into another speaker cabinet!
Blackstar HT Series HT-1R
Would you like a little more power? More tone shaping options? A headphone jack for late-night jamming? How about all of the above, plus an infinite number of other tones and features that will make your playing better than ever before.
The Blackstar HT Series is here to help. It’s got everything you need to take your playing from good to great – including a USB output so you can record directly into any computer DAW or recording software. And it’s perfect for home use as well as live performance thanks to its compact size and light weight. Plus, with 100 watts through two 8″ speakers, it sounds absolutely huge! You won’t believe how much sound comes out of this thing until you plug in and crank up the volume yourself…and then crank some more! This is a great metal amplifier too.
Understanding the Various Types of Distortion
Before buying a guitar amp, it is good to have an idea of the type of distortion that is needed. There are different kinds of distortions for different music genres and styles. Some pedal models that were designed in the 60s and 70s can drive big tube stacks into distortion. They produce horrible sounds on mids scooped amps or bedroom amps. But they are very smooth on mids boosted Marshall and compressed amps. Understanding how distortion is necessary and work ultimately helps in choosing a guitar amp that works well with distortion pedals.
Compressors, preamps, wah-wah, and distortion pedals increase the gain but do not change the sound. Since distortion units create harmony to the signal, any extra effect tends to increase the intensity pf the sound. The wah-wah pedal is an active EQ circuit featuring a variable range that can produce a lot of effects. So, it works well if placed before or after gain-boosting amps like distortion units and preamplifiers.
Size of the Venue
Depending on the venue, a head and cabinet or a combo amp may be used. A head and cabinet are separate and heavier units but a combo is set of all-in-one. Combos are well suited for small halls and club dates since they are designed to give the power that is just needed to be heard even at the back. For an open area or a huge auditorium that requires sufficient sonic firepower, a high-powered stack of about 100W head and 4 x 12-inch cabinet is ideal. A small amp can still work to add a specific tone but should be connected to the PA system via a mic amplifier circuit. Of course, the PA should handle it.
They offer the most desirable attributes regardless of the requirements. From a high-end amp, tube-powered combo, to a basic unit, they deliver just any tone when combined with a distortion pedals. They also double as great studio amps. The stronghold for modelling amps and even a multi effects processor settings lies in the ability to produce everything from full overdrive to clean rhythms along with other fundamental effects like flange, chorus, delay, reverb, and phase. Moreover, they eliminate the constraints of adding a makeshift for a certain tone range.
The size of the speakers determines the type of sound that is produced. The frequencies of small speakers are higher than those of large speakers. For instance, a 10-inch speaker generates a better top end compared to a 15-inch counterpart. In fact, a 4 x 10″ open-backed cabinet sounds different than a 2 x 12″ closed Marshall amplifier cabinet because of the discrepancies in sizes. Yet, these two can have different sound characteristics for blues players such as smooth and searing tones. For a big rock sound, a 100-W head with two 4 x 12″ cabinets would be great.
The different types of guitar distortion from overdrive pedals in the sense that they are more aggressive. An overdrive solely drives the amp or imitates the cranked sound but a distortion brings a totally different effect to transform the sound system. It doesn’t matter how soft or hard the guitar plays- most distortion pedals give the same sound effect. Simply put, they do their job really well, that is, distorting the sound. Because they are common with heavy rock, they darken the output and boost signals with regards to the sound set up. By compressing the signal, distortion pedals allow people to enjoy more the sustain sound that eventually breaks into feedback. Throwing a solid state amp or tube amp with high-gain metal sound is a great idea for heavy metal music.