Pedal doesnt sound good / Am I doing smth wrong?

Discussion in 'Effects' started by Rathon, Mar 6, 2019.

  1. Rathon

    Rathon New Member

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    Hey Folks,
    I will try keep it short and simple.
    I own a fuzz/distortion "Dead Stag" pedal by KMA Audio Machines. I bought it, because I wanted that heavy stoner/doom sound . But I just can't get it to sound the way I want, not even the way it sounds in the numerous demos on youtube.
    Maybe I, as a beginner in playing around with effects, just f**ed up the signal chain, maybe I just play rubbish. Please help

    This is my usual Signal flow:
    2018 SG Standard (61 R/T Humbuckers), switched to neck-pickup, Vol set to 9,5/10, Tone to about 5/10. --> Dead Stag Fuzz/Distortion --> Orange Crush 20RT switched to the Clean channel.

    I feel like I tried everything: I tried all the (2) pickups with different Vol/Tone settings, many of the different knobs on the pedal were turned in many different directions (i actually know what they each do ;) ), and did often try to use the dirty channel on low to medium gain, but the thing is everything I try still sounds worse than only the dirty channel of the orange with medium-high gain without the pedal. Sadly I lack the vocabulary to describe the "weirdness" of the sound, it just doesnt sound right.

    I am so distressed that I even bought a soldering station yesterday, so I can build a few pedal kits I will order, so I can get something to compare - I think about building a fuzz face and big muff first-. Maybe there is something wrong with my gear I really dont know. Maybe I need a compressor or something in there as well.
    *Anything* in any Demo for that pedal sounds much better. Is it possible that my amp is just not up for the task? I dont think that the pedal is broken, just something doesnt fit in. I can try to record a few riffs if you want to hear what it actually sounds like, but I think that I am just doing something fundamental wrong :(
     
  2. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't sound like you're doing anything wrong. It's hard to mess up a signal chain when there's only one thing between the guitar and amp.

    If you're sure it's not broken then it just may be a mismatch with your amp. Some pedals, fuzz especially, just don't work well with some amps. If possible try it with some other amps and see if it works better.
     
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  3. Chubbles

    Chubbles Well-Known Member

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    Try an overdrive pedal before and after the fuzz. Sometimes that helps get that intensity going. It wouldn't be unusual.
     
  4. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Buy a new one :rofl:

    I can't help you on this yet, I'm getting my first fuzz this afternoon. To be followed ...
     
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  5. DaveInSoCal

    DaveInSoCal Active Member

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    I bought the green Big Muff Pi, and I had the same experience. I did find that I got better performance using lower output pickups or even single coils.
     
  6. Bad Penguin

    Bad Penguin Active Member

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    Let's face it, not all pedals sound as advertised. Each ear hears things differently, so don't be surprised when that pedal, that sounded so damn good on that youtube vid, or the manufactures website, doesn't sound the same on your amp. Sell it, and keep shopping. It's not the end of the road, just the beginning of the journey.
     
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  7. Semla

    Semla Member

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    Fuzzes are among the hardest pedals to work with. It is very easy to end up with a sound that you don’t like. First of all, they are sensitive to which amp you use. They work better with some. I don’t have good experience with Oranges, my tiny terror does not really sound good with a fuzz. It is also sensitive to your amp settings. Try setting your amp from clean to crunch and see if you find a sweet spot, the same for the amp eq. Fuzzes also likes low output pickups better, preferably single coils and bright pickups. Also, they can interact with other pedals, especially buffers which should be after the fuzz, not in front. Altos, you will have to adapt your playing style. Most fuzzes work bear when they are maxed out, and you adjust the input instead, using the guitars volume and tone. Hope this helps.
     
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  8. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    All great suggestions so far, but you might also want to look at the way you are playing. For a fuzz to sound good it has to be fed really clean notes. That means palm muting the strings you aren't playing. Also avoid third intervals like the plague when you play multiple strings. Stick with octaves and fifths. And when you are done with a note, don't let it fade - palm mute it to silence before you play the next note. Try this and if it still sounds bad, come back for more thoughts.
     
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  9. Joncaster

    Joncaster Member

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    Regarding starting to build pedals:
    Don't start on a Big Muff, its a medium level build, and can get pretty intense if you haven't built anything before.
    I'de start with a fuzz (silicon first, cause germanium is a pain to get right, unless you want to jump right in), or a rangemaster.
    http://www.geofex.com/article_folders/fuzzface/fffram.htm

    Regarding Orange amps:
    Not sure about your Crush, but all the Orange amps i've played and used for testing Fuzz pedals aren't the friendliest for that effect.
    Their tube amps don't have much negative feedback if any, and they tend to run away in the high frequencies easily if you don't watch out.
    But a solid state amp on clean channel should be fine, I use my Roland Cube for all my testing of fuzz/muff builds (has a handy headphone out too).

    Regarding Fuzzes, they can sound vastly different to each other, and into different rigs, and some of them really don't behave well with humbuckers.
    Some of them really like going into breaking up amps to sound their best.
    Some of them have an extreme bias that either makes them sound spitty, or like ripping velcro, or just very 'transistor-ish'.
    Those ones need a cooking amp to slam into, then you get a great chainsawing shredding solo sound.

    But I looked at that Dead Stag, and it seems to be more a muff derivative, and more on the distortion side than fuzz.
    That's a pretty complicated fuzz pedal, so you might just have to spend a while dialing it in to your rig.

    And also, what sounds bad at home might be killer in a band/live situation.
     
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  10. iblive

    iblive Well-Known Member

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    In my case it’s me. I have a Bad Monkey and a Keeley Fuzz Head on my board. Some days I sound awesome. Some days not so much. Nothing changed on my amp. The pedals. Same guitar. My kid picks up my guitar..... everything being the same. Fiddles with a few knobs. I sit there and go, “so that’s what it’s supposed to sound like.” I pick it up (after he leaves) everything set the way he played it and sound like crap.

    My point, if I truly have one, is.... you’re not doing anything wrong. There’s a sweet spot there. Keep at it. You’ll find it.
     
  11. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    I've just started building some pedals myself. Have done a rangemaster and a germanium Hendrix fuzz face so far, and I've got an EP boost and fuzz factory ready to go. The rangemaster and FF are quite easy, if you've got some soldering skills. I got my kits from Fuzz Dog in the UK, great service and good instructions, plus he's got heaps of pedals to choose from. The only thing you'll probably need to get elsewhere are knobs and enclosures, I use Tayda. You'll also need a sturdy vice and good drill/bits for drilling the enclosures, or ideally a good drill press.

    It's good fun though and allows you to build, try and even tweak lots of different pedals for less than it would cost to buy them all. My rangemaster had too much treble at first for my tastes and setup, so I played around with the value of one component and it's killer now.
     
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  12. Beery Swine

    Beery Swine Active Member

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    Fuzz is a fad meme.
    This is probably the first and only second to last time you'll see me make an opinionated statement on gear. Usually, I'm of the "to each his own" mindset, but there are two things I think are garbage, and this is one of them.
     
  13. HackeIommi

    HackeIommi Active Member

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    OMG, a fuzz problem again? Well, don't worry, very normal. Fuzz pedals require a deep study first. Not easy to get along with. I tried some fuzz pedals and hated them. I turned to a fuzz enemy. The only fuzz I liked was a simple, primitive Chinese DIY kit. I reached a Hendrix type sound with a Tony Iommi SG and a Jet City amp. Even I surprised things I've done. Later sold it to a friend needs more than from me.

    Your amp is solid state and has 8" speaker. Not easy to use with a fuzz. The fuzz I sold also never liked solid state amps too. Probably you need a RAT type pedal to reach the sound you are lookin' for. Years ago, I played a RAT SOLO with a solid state amp. Sounded good. RATs can get along with good solid state amps.
     
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  14. shreddy bender

    shreddy bender Well-Known Member

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    Just saw this thread and have a dumb question for the OP. You are playing stoner/doom sort of stuff. Are you tuning your guitar down to a lower register? I watched a few minutes of one video and he gets a nice downtuned fuzz tone out of that box! Good luck in your quest!
     
  15. jtees4

    jtees4 Well-Known Member

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    I LOVED my red fuzzy fuzz back in the 70's....I can't remember the name, I'm sure some of you know exactly which one I had. It literally was covered in red fuzz and had an out of phase switch or some such thing....anyway I played it so much I got the nickname Uncle Fuzz! Now I HATE fuzz boxes, they just suck IMHO. I guess fuzz does not compute as I get older. I also used to play P90's, now it has to be humbuckers. Noise bothers my old ears.
     

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