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Cascading FET Boosts into a tube amp


Just discovered something last night. The Carr Mercury V is such a great amp (used to be a Boogie guy but no more) there's really no need for OD or distortion pedals in a recording situation - one dials in what ever amount of gain needed for the job. But since its a single channel amp playing live is a different matter. I'd been using a number of different overdrive blocks starting with the FET Boost for crunch, then the Full OD block, with a Tube Drive 4 knob block in the Y position. The blocks sound great but the amp's distortion is superior. Ultimately somewhat of compromise.

Then it hit me... why not just use a couple of FET Boosts in series to add successively more gain going into the amp, thereby increasing the natural amp distortion? So I tried it and it works perfectly. The chain is a clean channel (FETs off) to a nice crunch (one FET on) and a serious high gain distortion (two FETs on) giving me pure amp distortion without a need for the OD blocks and effectively turning the Carr into a three channel amp, which is about the only thing I miss about my Boogie... ha!

So far so good. We'll see how it plays out in the log run.

Tim P

New Member
I just tried similar using the FX8 with a Rivera R55.

For the Clean Channel, i have the gain set 3-4. Then added ESB Esoteric block with Full OD block. Surprisingly great overdrive tone, in my opinion it actually rivals the amps overdrive tones
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