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  1. #1

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    I’m currently building up my jazz sound, Iv purchased a Washburn archtop and an all valve fender blues junior, next to add to the list is pedals. Iv got a ditto looper for home practice, and a cheap octave pedal just to add some low end for jazz soloing.

    Iv never been a big fan of distortion, what do you think would be the next type of pedal I invest in to get a silky jazz tone?

    any recommendations based on experience? Or something you’ve always wanted to try?

    thanks

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Hi Joezei, you don't really need pedals to get a jazz guitar sound, your guitar, amp, and fingers are what matters.

    There was a rather long thread about pedals here: Pedals for the Jazz Guitarist?

  4. #3

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    An option would be an "always on" pedal that buffers the signal and offers some tone shaping before hitting the amp.
    For example Xotic RC Booster or the new Pedal from Strymon "Compadre".

    I personally have the RC Booster always on since many years, I find it very helpful even when using nothing more than guitar->cable->amp.

  5. #4

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    I've occasionally been using an eq pedal, although I'm really not much of a jazz player yet and it might be an indulgence at this point. Also, one of my amps has no reverb and so I've some kind of Boss pedal for that.

  6. #5

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    Asking about the "best pedal" will get you at least as many opinions as asking about the "best guitar." ;-)

    FWIW, I've found the Boss GT-1 is a gem, as I can dial in whatever (usually clean) tone I desire, shape it gently, add a pinch of compression, EQ, a little tube emulation if running it through a speaker cab, give it a clearly identifiable name, save it, and back it up to find it again later. Initially spent lots of time dialing in the preferred sounds for various guitars, and then "set it and forget it" to get back to actually playing music.

    GT-1 runs about $200 in the US these days. Lots of reviews/applause from various sources. I'm hereby adding my own two thumbs up. Happy hunting.

  7. #6

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    You asked for recommendations; mine is to not waste your time, effort or money on pedals that change the sound of your guitar coming out of your amp, at least not at this point in your development. Beyond a small amount of reverb in a small, nonreflective room, I've never heard a single "effect" that sounds better than to me than simply a guitar into an amp. In most cases it sounds unnecessary and distracting, even when it's Jim Hall, Mike Stern, Bill Frisell, Gilad Hekselman. Chorus, flanger, tremolo, wah and on and on, the less it sounds like "a guitar" the more quickly I lose interest. Play your guitar and make it sound like a guitar. You can't buy anything that sounds "better".
    Last edited by whiskey02; 06-27-2020 at 04:52 PM.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by whiskey02
    You asked for recommendations; mine is to not waste your time, effort or money on pedals that change the sound of your guitar coming out of your amp...
    Given that he's got such a lovely little tube amp on hand, yours is excellent counsel.

    Not all of us have access to sweet tubes all the time, and as such are stuck trying to find a "passable simulation" ;-)

  9. #8

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    A compressor could help with the "silky".

    Compressor – Empress Effects Inc.


  10. #9

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    Like Whiskey02, I love the clean sound out of my amp but I do like a hint of reverb and delay to add some depth. My recommendation is the Keeley Caverns V2. Link below is to Sweetwater website

    Access to this page has been denied.
    Last edited by rob taft; 06-27-2020 at 09:07 PM.

  11. #10

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    BBE Sonic Stomp is worth a look.

    Helps some rigs, meaningless for others, about $100.

    Sort of clears the sinuses of your sound.

    Best of luck with your adventure.

  12. #11

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    I use a Boss ME80 when I play. It's an all-in-one pedalboard with the usual effects. There are no menus and no scrolling. Everything is controlled with knobs (except noise gate, I think).

    I've carefully compared it to the signal straight into the amp. It isn't exactly the same, but it's so close I don't worry about it.

    I always add some reverb.

    There are four presets per bank, but I only need one bank.

    1. Clean -- just with reverb.

    2. I developed my own patch for a solo tone, mostly based on an octaver.

    3. Distortion. I play in an octet where some of the charts require it.

    4. Chorus-y sound. It's there. I almost never use it.

    It has 4 band EQ, but I don't find myself using it very often. Now and then if I'm on a gig in a new room and everything sounds wrong.
    I use the volume pedal constantly.

    I think it sounds great. But, it won't make a Tele sound like an L5.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I use a Boss ME80 when I play. It's an all-in-one pedalboard with the usual effects. There are no menus and no scrolling. Everything is controlled with knobs (except noise gate, I think).
    I love those Boss multfx units. I've wanted an ME80 for evah. But not for jazz.

    For jazz, I use a guitar cord straight into a tube amp. Maybe I'll put a vol pedal in the fx loop.

    OP, all-tube amps have natural compression. Before you start getting pedals for jazz, you might want to investigate technique, picks, strings, tone control settings, different tubes, and rebiasing. There are lengthy threads on this forum on pretty much all of those topics.

    my $0.02,

    SJ

  14. #13

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    For playing out in venues with different acoustics and sizes I’ve found a good eq pedal to be very handy to adjust my sound. My amp settings remain pretty constant and the eq fine tunes - I use the MXR 6-band model and play with a wireless set-up so I can hear what I sound like in different parts of the room.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by starjasmine
    I love those Boss multfx units. I've wanted an ME80 for evah. But not for jazz.

    For jazz, I use a guitar cord straight into a tube amp. Maybe I'll put a vol pedal in the fx loop.

    OP, all-tube amps have natural compression. Before you start getting pedals for jazz, you might want to investigate technique, picks, strings, tone control settings, different tubes, and rebiasing. There are lengthy threads on this forum on pretty much all of those topics.

    my $0.02,

    SJ
    All good points.

    I'll take a moment to explain my choice of the ME80.

    One of the advantages of a full-service pedalboard is that you can set the amp at the beginning of the gig, put it whereever you want it and then control everything from the pedalboard. I don't like being close to my amp. Frankly, I'm surprised that other people do -- and are successful with that approach. Not a criticism -- players I love do that -- but I prefer it the other way.

    Most players don't ride the volume pedal all night, but I do. I think it decouples volume from how hard I need to pick, without taking my right hand away from the strings (to move the volume knob on the guitar). So, if I want the sound of light picking at the same volume, I can get it. Or, if I want the sound of strained picking at a low volume, I can get that too. I've done it for so long that I modulate my volume as the band's dynamics progress, without thinking about it. Volume swells too.

    I play in two bands where I'm playing arrangements, some of which specifically call for different sounds. So, in a night, I can be playing FG style comping, classic 50s jazz tones for comping and solos, distortion and my home brew solo tone. There are a few tunes which sound good with the chorus effect, although I tend to avoid that.

    The pedalboard saves patches, of course. That's an added level of complexity with individual pedals, or so I think, but dead easy with the ME80.

    It has a looper. Want to hear exactly what you sound like in the audience? Loop something, put the guitar on the stand and walk out into FOH. It is also useful for practicing.

    I usually don't touch the EQ on the ME80, but it's comforting to know it's available. I use the tone control on the guitar, my hands and note choices. For example, if I'm hearing a dull low roar, I may switch my sparse comping from D & G to G & B strings.

    And, I have one simple thing to carry. Fits in an old laptop bag with all the cables and whatnot.

    I tried the GT-1. It has even more capability but I found it much harder to use. If you can get what you want out of it, it's so small and light, it's great. I couldn't.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joezei
    Iv never been a big fan of distortion, what do you think would be the next type of pedal I invest in to get a silky jazz tone?
    A guitar and an amp that is able to deliver this kind of tone. I don't believe pedals are involved that often.

    This is an interesting video.



    And here Lars Jensen dails in a jazzy tone on literally any amp.


  17. #16

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    A Fender amp does not need pedals. Turn the treble and bass down, and the middle up. Adjust to taste.
    Last edited by Litterick; 06-29-2020 at 08:20 PM.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    All good points.

    I'll take a moment to explain my choice of the ME80.

    One of the advantages of a full-service pedalboard is that you can set the amp at the beginning of the gig, put it whereever you want it and then control everything from the pedalboard. I don't like being close to my amp. Frankly, I'm surprised that other people do -- and are successful with that approach. Not a criticism -- players I love do that -- but I prefer it the other way.

    Most players don't ride the volume pedal all night, but I do. I think it decouples volume from how hard I need to pick, without taking my right hand away from the strings (to move the volume knob on the guitar). So, if I want the sound of light picking at the same volume, I can get it. Or, if I want the sound of strained picking at a low volume, I can get that too. I've done it for so long that I modulate my volume as the band's dynamics progress, without thinking about it. Volume swells too.

    I play in two bands where I'm playing arrangements, some of which specifically call for different sounds. So, in a night, I can be playing FG style comping, classic 50s jazz tones for comping and solos, distortion and my home brew solo tone. There are a few tunes which sound good with the chorus effect, although I tend to avoid that.

    The pedalboard saves patches, of course. That's an added level of complexity with individual pedals, or so I think, but dead easy with the ME80.

    It has a looper. Want to hear exactly what you sound like in the audience? Loop something, put the guitar on the stand and walk out into FOH. It is also useful for practicing.

    I usually don't touch the EQ on the ME80, but it's comforting to know it's available. I use the tone control on the guitar, my hands and note choices. For example, if I'm hearing a dull low roar, I may switch my sparse comping from D & G to G & B strings.

    And, I have one simple thing to carry. Fits in an old laptop bag with all the cables and whatnot.

    I tried the GT-1. It has even more capability but I found it much harder to use. If you can get what you want out of it, it's so small and light, it's great. I couldn't.
    i like to use a volume pedal in the same way, especially for gigs where I play rhythm guitar.

    only problem with volume pedal is I can only really use it seated in this way.

    For electric guitar type gigs I often use a boost, or even a couple of boost settings.

  19. #18

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    Here's my pedal board that I bring sometimes (depending on the gig -- other times it's guitar, cable, amp!):

    Best Jazz Pedals?-board-jpg

    Volume pedal, tuner out; clean boost if I want to push it a bit; delay (for fun); reverb (one of my amps does not have reverb); power source underneath. I don't know what a "silky jazz sound" is, but this is all (or more) than I need.

  20. #19

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    Okay, I'll admit it, I like chorus. Just a little bit, like you only notice when you turn it off. I use a TC Corona and I can roll the treble down on the effect, so it's not shimmery. It's not the '80s, after all.

    For years I plugged straight into the amp, but now I'm enjoying different tones.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles
    Okay, I'll admit it, I like chorus. Just a little bit, like you only notice when you turn it off. I use a TC Corona and I can roll the treble down on the effect, so it's not shimmery. It's not the '80s, after all.
    Here is another person who likes chorus, when applied thoughtfully. Sounds especially good with quartal harmony and open voicings, IMO. I want to buy a Boss CE-2W since I like those Eighties sounds in other guitar styles as well.

    Actually I am becoming much more tired of the modern standard wet guitar tone achieved with delay/reverb etc. I understand why people use it and it sounds good too. But sometimes I wish to hear more direct sounds.

    Anyway, I like Steve Khan´s chorused tone a lot.


  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squeezebox
    Here is another person who likes chorus, when applied thoughtfully. Sounds especially good with quartal harmony and open voicing, IMO. I want to buy a Boss CE-2W since I like those Eighties sounds in other guitar styles as well.

    Actually I am becoming much more tired of the modern standard wet guitar tone achieved with delay/reverb etc. I understand why people use it and it sounds good too. But sometimes I wish to hear more direct sounds.

    Anyway, I like Steve Khan´s chorused tone a lot.

    Works for him. I only use a pinch.

  23. #22

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    anyone here familiar with the Kingsley Jester Overdrive/Boost pedal? I have one I bought in 2011 I think, that I never use.

    Best Jazz Pedals?-kingsleyjester-jpg

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by BFrench
    anyone here familiar with the Kingsley Jester Overdrive/Boost pedal? I have one I bought in 2011 I think, that I never use.
    Hey, those are hard to come by, and could fetch decent money on the used market! Often raved about in the "gear" community!

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcwhy
    Hey, those are hard to come by, and could fetch decent money on the used market! Often raved about in the "gear" community!
    I'd gladly sell it if I knew where the gear community was ha...saw 3 listed on reverb and prices were stupidly high!

  26. #25

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    Yeah. And you have 'the one that started it all', it appears to be in great shape, and there's a stupidly long wait to get anything new from Kingsley. Good Luck With the Sale as we say.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by BFrench
    I'd gladly sell it if I knew where the gear community was ha...saw 3 listed on reverb and prices were stupidly high!


    Well, you can list it here, of course!

    Also, I'd check The Gear Page.

    And yes, they are high-priced, but seem to be well-liked!

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcwhy


    Well, you can list it here, of course!

    Also, I'd check The Gear Page.

    And yes, they are high-priced, but seem to be well-liked!
    Tks, I have no idea what a fair price would be, it certainly wouldn’t be what they’re asking on reverb but I doubt anyone here would have much or any interest

  29. #28

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    List it. There's lots of folks here who use tube based or tube emulating pedals like this to add a bit of warmth or grit in front of a solid state amp. I can think of one J Zucker who was using some sort of Kingsley. They make several. Just ask to get what you paid for it, or maybe slightly more. Get your money back and make a fellow forumite happy!

    I'd be interested if I wasn't already satisfied with something similar. Fact is I built a nice little board and had things set so 'you hardly know it's on'. Kept turning them down and eventually ended up with them off and out of the signal chain altogether for the time being.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    A Fender amp does need pedals.
    Tone is a very subjective thing, and to each his own, but this seems like a rather sweeping stateemnt. An early '50s Pro, a 60s blackface Deluxe, a 70s silverface twin and a newer Hot Rod Deluxe are pretty different beasts.
    Last edited by starjasmine; 06-29-2020 at 12:03 AM.

  31. #30

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    Even playing rock, as most of my playing is, I generally stay away from effects unless I'm covering a particular sound that needs to be right.

    Other than that, the only effects I use for rock are a dirtbox for boosting a solo, and little touches of reverb, delay, and/or chorus. Like any seasoning, a little goes a long ways.

    When I play blues or jazz, the only effect I use is a bit of reverb if the song can use or need it. Otherwise, I'd rather dial in my amp and ride volume and tone from my guitar.

    I do agree with a volume pedal in the chain, but I don't really think of that as an effect.

  32. #31

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    Although the Blues Jr is a very popular amp, it can sound a bit boxy without some of the more popular mods that are out there, especially with an hollowbody. Therefore, for the jazz tone I think you are looking for, a graphic EQ pedal (like the Boss or MXR) will give you a lot of tone shaping possibilities. If I'm doing a straight up jazz gig with my ES-175, either with a combo or in an orchestra, I'll always take a Boss GE-7 EQ, an Xotic SP Compressor, and an Xotic EP Boost. These get plugged into a Fender Princeton (12"), Fender Deluxe, or Quilter 101/Raezer's Edge amp. By the end of the first tune, I've engaged and tweeked 0 to all three depending on the room, and then I just leave them along.

    Good luck!

  33. #32

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    It sounds like you've already got the makings of a good jazz sound. It's mostly in your hands anyway.

    But if you're interested in exploring effects and you don't know where to start, you might try a multi-effects board. It will give you a taste of a lot of different sounds and you can see what you like. Even if they're not the very best high-end effects, you can always upgrade down the road when you know what you want. Boss makes some good ones that aren't too pricey. You can usually them used on Craigslist if you don't want to spend a lot of money.

  34. #33

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    Since I play through a Bose Compact to fill a space without being too loud for those close to the stage, I utilize multiprocessors. The Bose is very hi-fi sterile-sounding with no effects built in. A multi-processor can be very helpful for any kind of gig, from jazz to pit band backing a singer. The Bose really throws the sound a long way, sometimes the room will have enough of its own reverb, but tone-shaping needs outside help. Digitech RP-55 or Zoom A3 are very small and light, and very versatile. I abandoned guitar amps when the Bose L1 series arrived, amps are too directional; those in front find them too loud, those off to the side can barely hear them. The Bose throws the sound equally 180 degrees, working as its own monitor. As a result, I always have my sound, and I always can hear it.

  35. #34

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    OP:

    Pedals have a habit of breeding like rabbits, especially the ones with fancy graphics. They can be a distraction from making music.

    A high price tag does not always mean high quality; there are some good pedals at bargin prices.

    Pedlboards are a matter of playing style and application. I play nylon strings only, and want a small (portable; many mini pedals) simple (non-multi) pedalboard for tone-shaping, practice and ambient playing. I have built the following pedalboard to suit my playstyle:

    Pre-amp (inc boost)
    Tuner

    Compressor (usually on, but with very mild settings)
    Graphic eq (to adjust for room / feedback; usually off)

    Delay (for ambient improvisations)
    Reverb (for depth when needed for a room and for ambient improvisations)

    Freeze (for practice and ambient playing)
    Looper (for practice, improv, and composition)


    Think long and hard about what you are trying to achieve with pedals. What problem are you trying to solve?

  36. #35

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    If the Blues Junior already has reverb, you might add a delay pedel, but ever so slightly. And I too am still a fan of chorus, but not necessarily in straight jazz settings. I use it a lot for pit work and "electric-acousticy" things.

  37. #36

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    While I use only a few smatterings of pedal interaction, I like them for coloring, or more specifically, to carry "the music" more forward, before reverting back to a basic guitar/amp treatment. (Soloing)

    Things to be critical of: over indulging, washing out the sound of the guitar, and over use / killing the dynamics.

    But have fun with the toys. Lots of good advice in this thread, I have learned something. As you can see, I have a thread asking about "smooth jazz" amps, because I am curious always.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz
    Digitech RP-55 or Zoom A3 are very small and light, and very versatile.
    I used to own an RP-300A. Lightweight, small footprint, and an expression pedal to boot. And I really liked the blackface DRRI amp sim it had onboard. It was a reallygood one to my ears, especially for the price.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by starjasmine
    Tone is a very subjective thing, and to each his own, but this seems like a rather sweeping stateemnt. An early '50s Pro, a 60s blackface Deluxe, a 70s silverface twin and a newer Hot Rod Deluxe are pretty different beasts.
    It is a sweeping statement, and I agree that tone is subjective. But I do find the pedal craze of the last decade rather bewildering. Those classic amps were never meant to be played with pedals – there were scarcely any pedals to be had. The great guitarists of the past added nothing to the sound that came from their amps. I wonder whether this new enthusiasm for added tone is getting in the way of playing.

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    II do find the pedal craze of the last decade rather bewildering. Those classic amps were never meant to be played with pedals
    Are the pedal crazers actually playing classic amps? Or are they looking for a pedal that will give them the vibe for less $?

    I have to add that I totally understand the lust for cool signal processing in a rock/funk/pop or other less-jazzy setting. I love cool fx as much as the next guy for non-jazz stuff. I just happen to like a pretty straight-ahead sound for the pretty straight-ahead jazz I like to play.

    Maybe I'm out of it. Kreisberg and Rosenwinkle use pedals :-)

  41. #40

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    It all depends on how you like your jazz!

    Were electric guitars well received by everyone - back in the 30's ??? Probably not everyone.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick View Post
    It is a sweeping statement, and I agree that tone is subjective. But I do find the pedal craze of the last decade rather bewildering. Those classic amps were never meant to be played with pedals – there were scarcely any pedals to be had. The great guitarists of the past added nothing to the sound that came from their amps. I wonder whether this new enthusiasm for added tone is getting in the way of playing.
    A few of the best players around use different ways including pedals to 'mold' their tone. A recent pedal craze? I got the feeling you should go out more often . . . .

  43. #42

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    Looks more-or-less like two camps: "traditionalists", who are happy with the 1940s-50s technology, and "modernists" , many of whom will be of a young generation that daily heard heavily processed guitars, from early Duane Eddy to Hendrix's overdriven Marshalls, and later the "Boston" school of Goodrick, Abercrombie and Metheny, using two amps and digital delays, along with tone-shaping pedals for light crunch and overdrive, etc. Having been a pro player for over 50 years, I found myself experimenting with processing as a way to modernize my sound and as a creative set of "colors" to apply to the demands of various gigs. Bop-style situations generally called for my 175 through a Polytone, but my studies with Goodrick opened me up to different sonic approaches, and my first experiences hearing Metheny live showed the future quite convincingly. Since I play nylon strings almost exclusively, my Godin Multiac Nylon 7-string benefits from multi-processors that allow me to use it in almost any setting, including Broadway-style rock musicals, or behind vocalists who may be quite versatile and will need at various times classical guitar, typical older-school jazz guitar sounds, or rocking out blues and distorted tones. It is much easier to carry a pedal or two than extra guitars or even a banjo ( the Godin has synth access), and once you've spent some time tweaking and saving your palette, you have access to what the gig may call for. Of course, none of it replaces having your chops and reading skills up!

  44. #43

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    Just go clean! Nice guitar, nice amp, good fingers, good ears. Thats all you need in my opinion!

  45. #44

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    One of the tough things is that pedals can end up being a bit overused. It’s hard to wean yourself off them once you start.

    Personally I’d rather use them as a colour to make the sound more interesting over an album or a gig than a default part of my sound. So .... yes to both?

    I grew up in the era of great pedal players; particularly Radiohead who use effects brilliantly. So I find it odd to deny myself those resources. There’s few things lovelier than a good delay sound.

    OTOH I find the stock humbuckers through a clean fender amp type jazz sound actually quite a difficult and unforgiving sound at gig volume. I like a more acoustic tone for straightahead, if I can get it.

  46. #45

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    ^
    so true. The disease of guitarplayers: overdoing it on gear.

  47. #46

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    I would recommend a nice EQ plus Boost. The Empress ParaEQ or the Tech 21 NYC Q/Strip is very nice.

    A nice compressor. A nice reverb. A nice valve/tube buffer. And a nice looper.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
    I would recommend a nice EQ plus Boost. The Empress ParaEQ or the Tech 21 NYC Q/Strip is very nice.

    A nice compressor. A nice reverb. A nice valve/tube buffer. And a nice looper.
    Best Jazz Pedals?-image-jpeg

  49. #48

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    I use a Hilton volume pedal and a small pedalboard with an Empress Para EQ and a Strymon Flint. (Reverb/Tremolo)
    Thats pretty much it.

    The Flint gives me reverb in several flavors and though I don't use the tremolo a lot its a very good one.

    I rarely need the EQ with my '69 Princetons.
    Frequently I'll use it to shape the tone on some of my post-war and 50's Gibson amps and a couple oddball earlier Guild amps.
    The tone controls on those older amps are pretty limited and its amazing what you can get out of some of those with that EQ.

  50. #49

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    Bill Frisell is the jazz guy who really sold me on tasteful use of pedals to create voices that really serve the music.

  51. #50

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    Boss TU-3