I've been playing guitar for the past 2-3 years mostly in my bedroom and jamming along to songs using rocksmith. I have a Zoom G1XN and a 10 watt combo amp, i don't use the combo amp much because i tend to get an awesome sound by directly connecting my headphones to the pedal's output, but once i connect my pedal to the combo amp it's very loud, loses the oomph factor and i lose interest. I read articles about why this happens, i know it's being pre-amped twice etc. Now what i want to know is what do i do exactly to not get the sound getting too loud, i.e i want to get the output of my signal to go to the cab/speaker without much colour. BTW i want to use the amp sims available on my pedal as the real ones are too costly.

I also want to know is how bands use their MultiFX/Amp/Cab Sims like AXE-Fx etc, do they send their outputs to a amp/cab and mic them up or only to a cab or to the PA or both or all.

P.S. I don't mind if anybody can answer in technical terms too.

1 Answer 1


Your cabinet is designed to accept the very quiet signal from a guitar pickup. Instead you are sending it the line-level signal from your pedal.

Your cabinet is designed to add colour to a clean signal. Instead you are sending it a signal that already has all the colour and tone you want.

Assuming you definitely want to use your pedal, the ideal would be to use an amp which doesn't add colour, and accurately reproduces the signal it is given. The best thing for that is to use a PA amp, a keyboard amp, or just a hi-fi.

To make the best of the guitar amp you already own, you need to make it distort as little as possible, and you need to prevent the pedal from overdriving it:

  • if there is a choice of "active" or "passive" channel, use "active". This is designed for active pickups, which output a louder signal.
  • turn the gain know low, and adjust volume with the other knob.
  • turn the output volume of your pedal down low

Those professionals who use amp simulators generally connect them direct to a mixer, which will route the signal to monitors, PA, recording input etc.

"PA amp", "keyboard amp", and "hi-fi" are all words used to describe an amplifier and speakers which aims to have a full frequency range, and aims to accurately amplify the input signal without distortion. Anything marketed using these terms is likely to do the job well -- your main choice is size and power. Purely for home use, a small, low power system will do the job well. If you want to compete with someone else's guitar amp you'll need something bigger and louder. If you want to gig, you'll need something bigger again (or jack into the venue's PA).

You might imagine that plugging your multi-FX pedal into a hi-fi would be a second-class option. However this isn't the case. A hi-fi (by which I mean the kind of amplifier you'd plug a CD player into) is designed for exactly this kind of signal. Many multi-FX pedals have a stereo output. Using a keyboard amp or a single-cabinet PA combo, you don't get the advantage of the stereo output. Plugging into a stereo PA, or a hi-fi, gives you stereo sound, making the best of effects like room modelling reverb, stereo ping-pong delay, stereo chorus, and so on.

  • The combo amp which i have right now doesn't have a gain and volume knob separately. I know this is not the place to ask, but can you suggest me a some PA amp's if possible.Also any idea about how artist's set up stuff like axefx and do they use the amp/cab sims in them ?
    – CVA
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 9:05
  • What knobs does your combo have?
    – slim
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 10:51
  • Volume, Eq Low & High, Distortion Button. I know one cannot create magic with only these controls but i'm ready to invest in something better that goes along well with my Zoom G1XN pedal. I'm getting frustrated to find the right way to get and use an equipment with the pedal.
    – CVA
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 13:02
  • Obviously turn "distortion" off; that's really all you have.
    – slim
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 13:06
  • If this is all i can do, i might go buy a PA amp... ?
    – CVA
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 7:04

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