TC50 with distortion/OD pedals

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Bottle Rocket
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Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:46 am

TC50 with distortion/OD pedals

Post by JimmyO » Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:44 am

I've had a TC50 for about half a year and usually use the Ch2 and Ch3 for overdriven tones. With most of my louder tube amps in situations where you can't crank up the amp, rather than use an attenuator I'll use a gain pedal on the clean channel e.g at home or practice. I do this with my Lonestar and JTM45, the Lonestar takes pedals really well and is my main amp to use with my pedalboard.

I've noticed the TC50 is pretty sensitive to some of the gain pedals I've used. It's a bright amp so some of the pedals sound harsh or fuzzy, while others are completely fine.

Into the clean channel I've found a Timmy pedal and Seymour Duncan 805 sound great for overdrive and adding some hair to the clean tone, and my Seymour Duncan Dirty Deeds gets a nice heavy 80s rock tone.

Wampler Pinnacle sounded OK at lower gain and treble settings but got farty and fizzy with higher gain settings.

However the amp completely rejects my Boss gain pedals! I have a Waza Blues Driver, Waza Metal Zone and Analogman DS1. These work great with my Lonestar but on the TC50 sound really harsh, fizzy and square wave, as if it's a really cheap solid state practice amp. Then when I kick in the drive setting on the clean channel they sounds much better, with less fizz. I think the clean channel drive setting reduces the highs and adds some mids. Also the amp reverb seems to add highs so turning this off helps too.

I called Mesa and they explained that some pedals work better than others with the TC50. Have you guys had any similar experiences using distortion or overdrive into the clean channel? Any hints on getting things dialed in or any pedals that work great or some that should be avoided? Is it anything to do with the buffers in the Boss Pedals?

The boss pedals sound so good through the Lonestar and my Fenders, I was really surprised how bad they sounded through the TC50.

Mark III
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Re: TC50 with distortion/OD pedals

Post by Daxman73 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:27 am

You bring up some good points and I've actually been working on this very subject for the past several weeks with my three main amps. I'm experimenting with OD pedals to pair them with each amp. And you are very correct, different pedals react differently to different amps. Some of this is pretty straight forward (like bright, dark amps etc...), while sometimes it's not so simple. I should give some informational baseline for what I'm going for. I tend to like/use 4 different types of sound: 1-clean, 2-slight/bluesy break-up, 3-medium gain (think AC/DC), 4-Lead gain. My three main amps are all 3 channel: TC50 Head w/OSRC 4x12, Electradyne Head w/OSRC 4x12 and a Mark IV WB 1x12. To get the pseudo 4th channel I use a OD pedal which ties into this thread. I should also note that with the way I have channel 3 dialed in on the TC50, I don't need/use anything with it. There is are days where I feel I make headway on this and other days where I want to scream lol.

Now, I don't own every OD pedal out there, but I have enough to cover the different types of OD for the most part (symmetrical, asymmetrical, etc...). The ones that I tend to keep coming back to or have been the most consistent and pleasing are: early model Keeley modded TS9 Tubescreamer, Electro Harmonix Soul Food and a Fulltone FD-1. I have some other great OD pedals like a Keeley Red Dirt, Keeley modded Blues Driver, BOSS SD-1, ETC...(yeah, I like Keeley stuff lol). And a lot of them tend to be "tubescreamer" style.

The Fulltone is a bit on the dark side and works pretty well with the TC50 and okay with the Mark IV, but not so well with the Dyne. It also happens to work really well with my older Fender Hot Rod Deluxe (V1). The TS9 works really well on all three of the amps. With the Keeley mod, it has more eq range, so I can brighten/darken it a bit more that a standard TS9. This helps when I use it with the Dyne. The EH Soul Food is a true gem. It works okay with the TC50 and the Mark IV, but it's fabulous with the Dyne. One of the things with this pedal is it just seems to be "cleaner" while still providing the compression and dirt I'm looking for. It is a bright pedal to my ears and can be harsh, but this works well for the Dyne. So, as you could figure, this pedal can sound a little harsh with the TC50 since it's a brighter voiced amp.

Hope this gave you a little bit of insight from an outside perspective.
...Bleed Boogie forever...

Mesa Electradyne Lg Head
Mesa Single Recto S2 Head
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