Video: What Are the Best Pedals for Clean Tones?

You're probably looking at the title of this video and thinking, "Wait, what? Isn't the whole point of an effect pedal to, you know, effect the sound of your already clean guitar tone?" Well, sure. And the pedals we're checking out in the video above definitely do effect your rig's natural tone—it's just that the desired result here is to make your clean tone even cleaner.

Above, Andy Martin is laying down a few tips and tricks for improving the characteristics of your clean tone—whether, as he says, you're going for "Le Freak" or "Little Wing." His first tip, however, has nothing to do with pedals at all but rather your standard tube amp inputs.

If you're looking to clean up your signal without a pedal, try swapping into your tube amp's second input. As Andy explains, this input is often over-looked by players because it provides less output than input one. But this trade is for the benefit of a less overdriven signal, as the input hitting the preamp tubes is attenuated.

Next, Andy moves into pedals, showing off how you can polish your tone with a cleverly dialed clean boost like the Sex Drive from Durham Electronics or a compressor like The Fat General. Andy also shows how consummate tone-tinkerers can experiment with EQ pedal parameters to cut and boost certain frequencies for the perfect crisp clean tone.

Perhaps most cleverly, Andy digs into some modulation pedals, explaining how these circuits can be ideal for shaping a clean tone because they don't generate their own distortion. Check out the full video above for all of these tips and more, in detail, straight from Andy Martin.

Gear Used in this Video
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