I was searching about pedals and heads and how they interact and I found some discussions about what is better: using the distortion from the pedal, or using the distortion from the tube head.

My question is can I use both? Can I select clean or dirty channel from my amp, or select the distortion pedal through the clean channel? Or even use both (basically using the amp and the pedalboard), using a loop switcher, maybe?

2 Answers 2


Going guitar>distortion pedal>amp input will give you several options. Clean, clean with whatever distortion the pedal is set at, dirty (amp), really dirty with amp and pedal. All controllable by a switch or two.

Also be aware that once overdrive is activated, the volume pot on the guitar becomes a distortion level control to a greater degree. So, you can have an overdriven set up on the amp or pedal, and control the amount of distortion with the guitar.

You can also play about with where in the chain the distortion pedal comes, and try out send/return options too. Overdriven tubes certainly give a lovely distorted sound, but that may well not be the kind of sound you're after.Keep experimenting - making notes of what you do, but also consider whatever sound is brilliant in your front room won't sound the same on stage, or in the auditorium, for that matter. Sadly!


i was searching about pedals and heads and how they interact and i found some discussions about what is better using the distortion from the pedal? or using the distortion from the tube head,my question is can i use it both? Can i control both clean and dirty channel from the head and when i want to add the distrortion to not use distortion from the head?

You can use any combination you like. Players typically spend many happy hours experimenting with what sounds best to them!

If you have a tube amp that you like the sound of, the most common tactic is to sometimes use just the distortion from the amp, and sometimes to use pedals to boost the amp or get different sounds.

Or even use both(basically using the amp and the pedalboard), is it achieved using a loop swithcher? With...lets say... two channels (i want to have my other pedals separately under control)

Loop switchers are typically used when you want to quickly activate a group of pedals, or you want to move from one signal processing chain to another. If you are still trying to work out how to control your core sounds, it might be better to keep it simple at first and work out a way to manage your amp and just one pedal to get a range of sounds, and then take it from there.

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