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What Is A Pedal Platform Amp?

For a long time, guitarists have been playing metaphorical volleyball with the term "pedal platform amp." More guitarists are turning to pedals to create their basic guitar tones, rather than relying on the natural sounds of their amplifiers.

But, exactly, what is a pedal platform amp? In this comprehensive blog post, we've addressed all of the major concerns of pedal platform amps. By the conclusion of this post, you might be thinking about getting one for yourself!

What Is Pedal Platform Amps?

A pedal platform amp is a type of guitar amp that sounds fantastic when many foot pedals are connected to it.

There are a variety of reasons why guitar aficionados like to set up their rigs in this manner. The most common argument is because you can generate tones that you would not be able to produce otherwise. Using pedals, you may alter the guitar tones much more accurately than depending too much on the natural sound of your selected amp.

A pedal platform amp is similar to a PA system in that it projects the sound of your pedalboard. To create your own sound, rely less on the amp's inherent tone and distortion and more on your pedals.

This ability to control the sonic properties of a guitar helps players to generate a larger spectrum of sounds, leading to increased creativity by having your perfect rig at your feet rather than depending on the natural distortion and effects of your amp.

 

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Characteristics Of Pedal Platform Amps

The ideal pedal platform amp is usually valve-powered and has an almost colourless tone. These two distinct characteristics serve as a blank canvas to which you may add your chosen colour and flavour utilising pedals.

Because tube/valve amps respond so effectively to pedals, it accentuates their dynamics and tonal attributes. Second, their minimally coloured tone provides a clear voicing for pedals to shine in, whereas some amps "heavily colour" the tone with their distinct sonic character.


Elements of a Fantastic 'Pedal Platform'

A few design features in a guitar amp may make or break its suitability for usage with guitar pedals. It's possible that your existing guitar amplifier checks all of the criteria. If not, the factors below should assist you select a suitable pedal platform amp if you're looking to buy one.

High Wattage = Tons of “Headroom”

Guitar amplifiers have enormous power and clean headroom, which allows pedals routed through them to breathe a little more freely. A high wattage (60w or more) is often the clearest indication of a "excellent" pedal platform amp, and it is this sort of amp that provides more headroom for your pedals.

Overdrive and distortion pedals generally sound better when used with high-headroom amplifiers because they may produce more open and dynamic tones. When used with smaller low-wattage amps, these pedals might sound squashed and overly-compressed, limiting their sonic range. When connected to a loud, high-wattage guitar amplifier, almost any stompbox will generate a louder, richer sound.

Overdrive and boost pedals may be used to drive the front end of a low-wattage amp into textured, harmonically rich distortion. Some players prefer how gain pedals interact with touch-sensitive medium or high-power amps. Dirt pedals are used by players that use this technique to get the best out of their amp.

Balanced Clean, Clear & Colorless Sound

A pedal platform amp essentially serves as a blank canvas for your stompboxes. This means that you'd almost always want your core amp tone to be as pure, balanced and clean as possible. It's also likely that you will need to use an unaffected clean sound at some point too!

But, do guitar pedals sound best when plugged into a clean amp? In general, the answer to this question is "yes." This is due to the fact that a high-wattage clean amp will not break up significantly at high levels, allowing pedals to keep much of their character without being coloured or hampered by clipping.

This isn't always the case, as you'll discover. Certain pedals are actually preferred by certain guitarists when used in conjunction with an amp that is already distorting. Using boost and overdrive pedals into a distorted amp, for example, may result in a tighter and more detailed high-gain sound, which is desired by current metal guitarists. Some fuzz pedals also work better with overdriven amps, resulting in greater harmonic complexity.

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Effects Loop / (FX Loop)

Not all guitar pedals must be connected to the front end of an amplifier. Because stompboxes may be plugged into an amp's effects loop. This is a critical function that practically any serious pedal user would expect from an amplifier, as well as another attribute that distinguishes a great pedal platform amp.

If you're not familiar with an effects loop, it's essentially an input and output section (usually located at the back of an amp's chassis) that allows you to route pedals between an amplifier's preamp and power amp sections. A preamp is responsible for giving a guitar amp its voice, whereas a power amp is in charge of amplifying sound and delivering it through a speaker.

But which pedals are employed in the effects loop of an amplifier? Most guitarists will choose to route their modulation and ambient pedals through an effects loop. Chorus, flanger, phaser, reverb, and delay pedals, in other words. Because these stompboxes are positioned after the amp's preamp stage, routing them through an effects loop produces a more realistic sound. Using effects after the preamp will not significantly alter the structure of your basic tone because the preamp will still be one of the initial parts in your signal chain.


What Are The Best Amps For Pedals?

Valve Amps

Most stompbox enthusiasts would agree that valve amplifiers are the best choice for pedal use. The warm analogue sound of a valve amplifier is made for pedals that can change its tonal response and so invigorate its overall character. Pedals, especially overdrive and boost pedals that may push tubes harder and into saturation, interact very well with valve amplifiers.

Solid-State Amps ❌

Do solid-state amplifiers work well with pedals? No, digital solid-state amplifiers aren't designed to be used with pedals. Solid-state guitar amplifiers, while more dependable than valve-powered competitors, might sound flat and lack the unique feel and responsiveness that a tube amp provides.

Solid-state guitar amplifiers tend to sound lackluster and flat with pedals, despite the fact that they have substantially improved over time. It's also worth noting that many new digital amps come with built-in effects, so pedals aren't always required. You'll also have a hard time finding a solid-state amp with an effects loop!

Modelling Amps 🙂

Because they use digital circuitry instead of valves, modelling amplifiers are comparable to solid-state amplifiers. Modeling amplifiers, on the other hand, are created to replicate the characteristics of well-known tube amplifiers. This usually results in them sounding more genuine. Fractal Audio, Line 6, Roland and BOSS are the industry leaders in modelling amp technology, and while many of their all-in-one processors include built-in effects, they also function well with standalone pedals as well.


Best Pedal Platform Amps!

Orange Rocker 32

The Orange Rocker 32 stereo all-tube electric guitar combo amplifier offers classic Orange rock tones in a package that is much more than meets the eye. The amp's clean channel is a single-knob affair that is voiced to take your pedals perfectly. Channel 2 brings the gain in a familiar British way.

With the Orange Rocker 32 you can bring a single amp and get spacious stereo performance for your tone. You can send the output from your stereo effects to each speaker individually by utilizing the amp's stereo effects loop. This delivers precise clarity, while still using your effects to their fullest potential.

The Orange Rocker 32 2 x 10 stereo combo is a well-made, all-tube electric guitar combo. There's no digital to be found on this amp — only high-quality analog components.

Roland JC 40

The Roland JC-40 Jazz Chorus combo guitar amplifier is a must-have for anybody looking for beautiful and detailed clean tones. This small 2 x 10" 40-watt combination delivers the classic clean tones of its larger brother, the JC-120. Chorus, vibrato, reverb, and distortion are among the classic effects that have been improved. The JC-40 also has stereo inputs, outputs, and an effects loop if you have a stereo processor or keyboard. The Roland JC-40 Jazz Chorus combo provides the utmost in clear tones.

Keyboardists and guitarists who want a clean base to run their effects and amp processors through have long favoured Jazz Chorus. The Roland JC-40 Jazz Chorus offers a front-panel stereo input to cater to these musicians. A stereo line out and a stereo effects loop are also included. No more lugging two amplifiers or taking your favorite stereo sounds/patches into mono, the Roland JC-40 Jazz Chorus amp lets your sound live in its glorious and full-sounding stereo image.

Friedman Runt 20

The Friedman Runt-20 is a 20-watt head featuring three 12AX7 preamp tubes and a pair of EL-84s in the output section if you're seeking for no-compromise guitar tone in a lower-wattage amp. The two channels of this amp will take you from chimey cleans to scorching high gain while remaining remarkably touch sensitive. The Runt-20 is equipped with a speaker-load and cab-emulated XLR out that has been precisely developed to provide you with quiet performance that rivals the greatest digital cab emulations. With the addition of a buffered series effects loop, you've got yourself a really flexible guitar amp.

The Runt-20 all-tube electric guitar amplifier head has every feature that makes it a strong tool for session and live guitarists. It can produce a wide range of tones, and its 20-watt rating makes it ideal for live performance. The Baltic birch cabinetry of the amp is extremely sturdy, effortlessly withstanding the rigours of the road. Both channels have been voiced to operate seamlessly with all of your favourite pedals.

Fender 65 Deluxe Reverb

When it comes to pedal platform amps, Fender has always been the forefront as the blank canvas-type amp for pedal users. The four 12AX7s, two 12AT7s, two 6V6s, and a 5AR4 rectifier tubes in the 22-watt Deluxe Reverb simply bleed tube tone, and the reverb and vibrato are both tube powered. The meaty tones conjured up by this revived classic are finished off with a single 12" speaker. The '65 Deluxe Reverb is ideal for those who want true Fender tone but don't require a lot of power. The gorgeous '65 Deluxe Reverb's antique aesthetic is completed with black vinyl and silver grille cloth.

The 22-watt '65 Deluxe Reverb amp is designed for rock, country, and blues musicians looking for a modestly powered amp they can use on stage or in the studio. The Deluxe amp was used to create the thick, snappy guitar tones heard on many of our greatest recordings, from Memphis to Abbey Road.

Hugh & Kettner Tubemeister Deluxe 20

The Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister Deluxe 20 guitar amplifier takes amp control to a whole new level. This two-channel tone machine has an integrated power soak with adjustable 20W, 5W, and 1W operation, allowing you to tune in the perfect tone for any size gig. You can even pick speaker-off mode for genuine quiet recording that won't damage your amp. For a cleaner stage setup and complete control of your live sound, an inbuilt H&K Red Box DI lets you transmit a speaker-simulated signal straight to a board without a mic.

Finally, where TubeMeister is gorgeous, TubeMeister Deluxe is magnificent. The most popular channels of the flagship TriAmp Mark 3 influence the Deluxe tones, which range from pure, spotless cleans to an original brown sound and devastatingly powerful modern-day high gain. To save your guitar signal on the way in, use a serial effects loop to send your delays and reverbs after the preamp stage. Try out the all-tube Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister Deluxe 20 now for versatile stage and studio possibilities.

VOX AC30C2

The AC30C2 is the most versatile AC30 ever made by Vox! When you plug into this Custom Series guitar amp, you'll understand what we're talking about. The fascinating new AC30C2 features two channels - regular and top boost - and is based on the old AC30 design. Make your own classic sound with the treble and bass settings on the top boost channel, as well as the tone cut and volume controls in the master section. You can get everything from a classic, chimey Vox sound to an edgy, overdriven tone by balancing the individual and master levels. There's also built-in reverb and tremolo.

While the Vox AC30C2 can surely provide British Invasion tones, this 30-watt, 2 x 12" combination also gives you access to a variety of new sounds. If you're a pedalboard junkie, the true bypass effects loop will come in handy for bringing your favourite stompboxes in and out of your tonal path.

Check out other great pedal platform amps in our store!

Orange Rocker 15 Terror

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Hughes & Kettner Grandmeister Deluxe 40

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Orange AD30H

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Ceriatone Muschle$$ DZ 30

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Orange Rockerverb 100 MKiii

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Blackstar HT Club 40 MKii

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Orange Crush 35RT

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Bugera 333XL Infinium

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Orange Supercrush 100

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Roland JC-120

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