Guitar Effects or pedals


I’m a fairly inexperienced electric guitar player (played acoustics for years) and I’ve currenly got an Ibanez Artcore for noodly jazzy stuff. However, I’ve joined a band recently (normal rock - Stones, Floyd, U2; predictable, eh?) and I obviously need to boost my jazzy sound to something more RAWK.

First step (please correct me if I’m wrong) - new guitar. I’m thinking of a Strat (Fender or clone - does it REALLY matter?). I’ve heard they’re versatile and reliable.

Second - I need new sounds. Do I want loads of pedals or an ‘effects board’ type thing (I don’t even know if they’re called that - a Guitar Pod sort of thing?) Anyone know the differences?

Third - what else do I need?? (I’m fine for Amps).

Thanks for any suggestions,


If you’re on a tight budget, a nice distortion pedal, and a cheap chorus pedal will do fine to start.

Add an echo pedal later to help with the U2 songs.

A wah is always fun, but wait until the crybabys are on sale for $59.

If you want to get fancy, a pedal board with power usually goes for about $120, makes it tons faster to setup and breakdown.

I play similar stuff once a week with some old friends (it’s our ‘poker’ night) and my set up is like this:

an SKB PS15 case with power supply

a crybaby wah
a tube distortion pedal
a tuner pedal from fender
a boss auto-wah (kinda useless)
a boss chorus
an ibanez delay (also can be set to flange or chorus)

Thanks, da pope. I’ve now realised that ‘Guitar Pods’ are those studio-use things, so your advice on the pedals sounds right.

Anyone got any word on the guitar? Any advance on a Strat (hopefully not TOO pricey)?

If you were fine for amps you wouldn’t need anything else to ‘ROCK.’ Most professionals use their tube amp’s distortion channel. Bigger isn’t necessarily better and ‘low’ wattage isn’t really an issue when it comes to tube amps. Don’t buy anything based on the brand name.

A multi-effects pedal (like a pod) would probably do you fine, and your guitar is probably fine too. I’ve heard the Boss GT-6 multi effects pedal is actually fairly good. Yes, pods are used for studio recordings, but they are used just as often for live playing. If you really don’t want to upgrade the amp, just go get a multi-effects pedal.
What’s your budget?

Go play a strat, a tele and a gibson style. How the neck feels is what you’re looking for. I prefer Gibson style guitars, others prefer strat style.

My vote for pedals is cost based, (as in cheap to start and add on) and your amp probably has a distortion mode. If it doesn’t have it’s own switch pedal, you’ll need to adjust the amp manually when you want to switch between clean and dirty. Sometimes hard to do at 120BPM.

I use a small fender deluxe (22 watts, tube) and keep the level a hair below breaking up. If i torque hard on the strings, it gets a bit dirty, and when I hit my tube-distortion pedal, I’m ready for the lead breaks. Works for me, you’ll figure it out as you go along.

That’s it, pope, it’s too much hassle to adjust the sound on the amp, often several times in a song. Also, I need more sounds than distortion.

There isn’t really a budget as such, within reason - I really should just stick to a few pedals at first, but I really like the look of these things and I’m sure I could persuade myself it’d be ‘an investment’.

Cheers also, Gentle Robot; my Ibanez seems a strange choice for the job, being a hollowbody, but I’m sure if I feed it through enough gadgets, it’ll do!

yes, those all-in-one pedal boards have everything on them, I almost grabbed one myself.

If you have an ibenez electric hollowbody already, you should give it a go before you spend money on another electric guitar. spend the extra on getting a real nice all-in-one board, instead of the cheap ones.

I don’t like the way the simulators sound. I really recommend the Ibanez Tube Screamer or one a Tube Works Tube Driver if you can find it. They have tubes built in and really sound better than the digital effects. Some of the Fender amps have really good built in distortion as well. I like Gibson for rock, but Fender strats and teles sound really good to. Just go play a bunch of stuff before you buy.

Just to offer an alternative I really like the Boss Tuners , just my opinion. It can be used as the power source as well if you get on of these .


There are a few experienced players on the SDMB; I am one, but there are plenty of others.

You really need to take these things in steps. Bottom line is that the stuff you are describing - basically a Strat and 1-2 effects or a multi-effects pedal - will do you fine for starting out. Make sure the guitar is properly set up - no neck warp, action set to the right height for you and properly intonated - and you will be fine.

If you want to get more specific, and/or geek out, there are a number of places you can go. All-tube amps, better effects, better guitars - but the price starts to rise quickly.

If you want to play Stones and Zep, you are better off with either a Gibson Les Paul or a Telecaster - neither Keith Richards nor Jimmy Page play a Strat.

If at all possible, keep things simple. Get maybe a fuzz box and nothing more. The cardinal rule is: simpler is better. Multi-effects pedals are like a Swiss Army knife: jack of all trades, master of none.

Strat knock offs are a dime a dozen in Pawn Shops. If they will plug it into an amp and play ok on all 3 pickups (move the switch in all 5 positions) and it will tune up well and stay in tune up the neck using barr chords, the intonation should be OK. You may want to find one that has a stop tailpiece (no whammy) 'cause they might stay in tune better.

Strats (and knock offs) are more than a one trick pony. Neck pickup can almost give a hollowbody tone, the bridge is more twang and or rock depending on style and the middle pickups is pure fender. with a 5 way switch it gives you 2 pickups but out of phase (quacks like a duck) Hendrix had a 3 way switch but jammed it in the middle to get that sound. If you see one that you like you may want to run home and check out the reviews here before throwing down your cash.

Is a good place to look for guitar reviews.
I have a Pod and it is great for recording but not that great for live music.
for a multi-effects pedal one of the most most interesting that I have found in the midprice range is the Boss ME-50

it has a built in tuner and all of the effect that you would need. On down the line, when you find what pedals that you use, you may want to try out different kinds of that pedal, If you like delay, you might want to try a memory man delay or another model.

You may just like the ME-50 as many people do. I have tons of vintage pedals but sometimes it is easy to grab the ME-50 (I call it the me so cause that is what it looks lke ME-50 from the movie the Deer Hunter, I think that’s what it was from “Me so horny”)

The ME-50 is great for clubs and there ane not so many wires. Sometimes when I am playing a big gig I will break out the vintage stuff but not often.

have fun.

I don’t either, but they are good for beginners. Their ears aren’t really attuned enough to know a good tone from bad, it gets you acquainted with effects, and the ability to use headphones is a big plus.

I agree with everyone who set to get a multi-pedal setup. However, if you’re strapped for cash, and a wah-pedal isn’t what you’re looking for, I suggest a flange (sp?) It gives a distorted, “spacy” sound, and run pretty cheap. Good luck!! Just experiment, and you’ll be making great music before you know it.

If you are just starting out, a wah pedal is probably not a good thing to get, because the temptation to use it on everything is way too great. If, however, you reeeeeeelllly musy have one, a George Dennis is a fantastic pedal if you can find it.

Otherwise, a Boss DS-1 and a cheap chrous pedal will keep you rockin’ for a god long time.