>>I used to drive a solid state amp with a Boss Metal Zone pedal. While the sound was not as warm as the Crate tube, it did give a *really* good pick crunch. With the Crate amp distortion alone I find this particular aspect to be a little lacking now (thin), but maybe that's just the because I'm driving it fairly low in its power band (around 2?). For some reason, this pedal which really rocked before, now sounds bad going into the tube amp. I've got it going through the effects loop into the *clean* channel. It just sounds over-driven and bizarre no matter what adjustments I make. I have other effects in the same loop (overdrive, chorus, delay) which sound fine.
>Take those distortion pedals out of the effects loop, and run them right into the preamp. Run your guitar into the Metal Zone or Tube Screamer, then have the signal go to the front input on the amp. This will add a higher line level going to the preamp so it will distort more and offer more gain to the power amp. Then run just the chorus and delays through the amp's effects loop, which should make those sound very nice as the sound will already have a good solid preamp distortion tone before it gets chorused or delayed.
The Crate distortion is voiced with a lot of treble jangle, a liquidy sound rather than crusty or humped-mids.
Use the chain:
Clean channel (not fx loop) -- no preamp tube distortion
Amp tone knobs
Avoid engaging the amp's preamp distortion -- it's voiced wrong for Metal-type distortion.
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