My amp has quite good sounding overdrive channel but I cannot use it because of other effects(especially ditto looper). It does not have effects loop.

I've tried two things so far: digital amp simulation of Rectifier and OS-2. Simulation was good and OS-2 was not the sound even usable. On distortion mode there was a lot of high frequencies that shouldn't be in guitar sound but people tend to use it with tube amps that color sound even on clean channel. Roland very clean simulation + OS-2 was also quite good.

Are there more relevant pedals or the amp simulations is the only way to go?

If they are how to find them?

  • What types of effects do you put in front? Jun 8, 2016 at 8:56
  • looper, reverb, delay and chorus all recommended to put post dirt
    – teodozjan
    Jun 8, 2016 at 9:01
  • I'm not sure I understand your question. Did you try one distortion pedal in your rig, not like the sound, and now are wondering whether the rest of your rig is the problem or if you just tried a pedal you don't like? If that's your question, the answer is almost certainly that you should try other pedals. There's huge variance in the sounds of different distortion, drive, and fuzz pedals. And if "OS-2" is a Boss pedal then IMHO you didn't even try s very good one. Jun 8, 2016 at 9:54
  • Can you put your pedal route on the question please? And what your guitar is (Jaguar, Stratocaster, anything? That'll help us.
    – seseorang
    Jun 8, 2016 at 10:15
  • @ToddWilcox Todd Wilcox. I tried the pedal and it seems terrible to work with my amp. A lot of high freqs that would dissapear on tube amp. Before I waste more money I would like to know what pedals look for if any exists.
    – teodozjan
    Jun 8, 2016 at 10:24

2 Answers 2


Yes, it's a common problem - you want to get your distortion from your amp, but you want to apply delay and reverb (or looping) to that distorted sound, rather than having reverb and delay that is itself distorted. One solution is to get an amp with an effects loop of course, but even then people often find that some pedals don't work well in loops that can be quite 'hot'.

If you don't have an effects loop in your amp, your options are limited.

  • One option is to keep it simple, put your pedals in front of the amp, and accept that you'll get some distortion on your ambience! Some reverb and delay pedals are designed to (or considered to) work well in front of an amp - sites such as The Gear Page would be a good place for advice on which specific pedals to look at. If you don't use too much distortion, you can get ambience trails that, being quieter, don't distort as much as the played notes. You won't get nice clean 'epic ambience' going this way, but you can get an interesting trashy / surfy ambience. Of course this may not help you with your looper.

  • Another option is to use an amp simulator, such as one of the Tech21 SansAmps (or a cheap copy from a company like Behringer or Joyo), going into your reverb and delay, and then into your amp set clean. If you use something with a built in speaker sim, you don't necessarily even need an amp at all. You could also put other distortion pedals (such as the OS-2) before the SansAmp. Of course this approach can also be taken with a multi-effects unit anyway.


Turn the amp really loud.

Even though solid state amps should not be aware of loudness this one required running at least 75% of power to play. Some people call it breathing level of an amp. Even though I did not get best distortion in the world it was distortion not terrible buzz.

It is extremely hard to guess how pedal will work with certain amp. There are multiple different factors. There are multiple setups (low/high gain and low/high output on pedal). Everything changes with amp volume settings even on clean channel. There are some clues when reviewers say how it colors tone (or doesn't). Anyway bad sound is not amps fault or it's technology. It's just compression that emphasize some sounds or not.

Finally is set dirty channel to clean on single coils and little breakup on humbuckers. Pedal is set to low output due to I don't want to drive the amp/ It was good for this certain pedal but may be not for others.

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