Complete amp newbie

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by Gregor, Dec 21, 2018.

  1. Gregor

    Gregor Electromatic

    Oct 17, 2018
    Here's the deal. Coming from an acoustic background, I know very little about amps other than what I've been able to glean from You Tube. I have a G5220 and a Roland Cube 30 amp I was able to pick up as a practice amp. I play for my personal and family enjoyment only(mainly personal). The amp works well for what I require volume wise. I've been keeping all guitar knobs fully open and only using the amp for adjustments so far.
    My question(s) is, I would like some guidance as to basic settings for different genres of music..... specifically Blues, Country and old school Rock and Roll (think Buddy Holly, The Ventures era). When am I likely to use the clean/lead channels, gain, reverb, delay etc.? I'm definitely not a rocker(although may be"off my rocker"for appearing so dumb here).
    I know some of you are going to suggest I use my ears which obviously will be my final step but just would like to get some ideas what the kind members of this forum are using in these situations.
    Many thanks for any suggestions.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
  2. Tinman46

    Tinman46 Country Gent

    Dec 19, 2011
    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
    The thing about tonal questions is there are as many answers as people on the forum. And the tonal possibilities are exponential. Thus the "use your ears" answer.
    There are so many variables I wouldn't know where to begin and every bodies opinion and results will vary. Most people "evolve" and change their sound over time. It's a very deep rabbit hole.
    So I'm going to have to say play around with it, make some adjustments and turn some knobs, see where your ears lead you. I remember getting the same answer when I asked and wishing for a "set you're treble at 3/4, bass at 1/2" type of answer but ultimately that is a rut. I encourage you to find your settings and tone.
  3. dak55

    dak55 Synchromatic

    May 31, 2018
    Mills River NC
    What Tinman said. For Buddy Holly/Ventures stuff you sure will want to use a combination of Reverb and Delay. That amp alone might not deliver the sound you want for that style and then you'll be looking for pedals.:) With the exception of effects I'd start off with the amp clean and then dial in whatever tone pleases you on the guitar itself first and let the amp make up for what you can't get from the guitar. Looks like that amp has a pre-amp section which emulates the big boys, Fender Tweeds, Marshall stacks etc. Metal will really overdrive the sound. Just play with it and your guitar (don't forget the pickup selector switch cuz they are different) Just have fun and enjoy the ride. There is no right or wrong.
  4. Winterwind

    Winterwind Gretschie

    Dec 17, 2018
    London, Ontario
    Remember too that Buddy was a Stratocaster man through and through. And I'm pretty sure he only played downstrokes when strumming.
  5. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    You don't appear dumb. If you don't ask questions, you'll never learn. At least you're in the right spot.

    To be honest, it IS all in your ears. Experiment incrementally, adjust the knobs a little bit at a time. You might find it handy to start of with the tone controls in the middle, and FX at a minimum.

    We've ALL had to figure out just what works for us, and many of us are still learning. Get what you can out of your amp before you start going for a stack of pedals. What sounds good at low level in your practice area, might sound like mush in a larger room at a higher volume. As an acoustic player, you know how different your picking positions matter. It affects electrics as well. I leave my guitar's controls up full myself. Some find that rolling the master volume back a tad mellows the sound out, and then they can crank it for soloing.

    Above all, have fun with it.
    Jelly Roll Horton and hcsterg like this.
  6. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Sorry Vista
    Admin Post
    Here my two cents.

    I set my volume at about 75% of the way up, so I can make fine changes on the fly. I tend to set my amp’s tone controls to 4 bass, 5 mid and 6 treble. I feel that it gives me more strength and definition in the bass. While this setting works for my Fender amps and similar designs, two of my favorite amps have a single tone knob, which I adjust to taste.

    But amps differ. Last week, I played through a Line 6 combo amp which had very little in the way of low end response, so I set it at 10 bass, 5 mid and 3 treble. Some amps have very sensitive controls, other don’t seem to be so finicky. My advice would be to use a note pad and try different settings, taking notes as you go, then nail down the sound that is you.
  7. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Just twiddle with the knobs. Asking is smart, doing develops wisdom. If your ears bleed, you've gone too far. Have fun and experiment. There are many styles of play. Some people constantly ride their knobs (watch Derek Trucks, he's constantly "adjusting himself"); others like me mostly just use the pickup switch.
  8. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Sorry Vista
    Admin Post
    I agree. I tend to setup a baseline sound and then just switch pickups.
  9. MrClint

    MrClint Electromatic

    Nov 27, 2017
    Lake Balboa, CA
    Good answers so far! It really is a process that takes some trial and error. Your amp looks like it has a fair amount of flexibility.

    I would recommend getting a looper pedal and then play your guitar into it -- play the loop(s) back while you dial in the tone you like on your amp. It's hard to twiddle knobs, play, twiddle. play and get a true sense of what the amp can do.

    For the styles you mention you want to get a good feel for your gain controls, reverb, tremolo, and delay settings.
    section2 and Henry like this.
  10. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Sorry Vista
    Admin Post
    Great idea.
    MrClint likes this.
  11. Gregor

    Gregor Electromatic

    Oct 17, 2018
    Rather than me giving "likes" to all of you individually let me just give one big LIKE to all posters because this is exactly information and response I was looking for. The idea of a looper pedal is particularly intriguing. I'll certainly investigate that and use all the input given me so far.
    Bertotti and section2 like this.
  12. swivel

    swivel Gretschie

    May 13, 2018
    I'd start with the Treble, Bass on halfway. (so if the knobs go to 10, start on 5) Middle too if it has that. Then adjust from there to your liking.
    Also, with the gain up and master volume low you get more grit in the sound. With the Master volume up and the gain down you get clean.
    Also, guitar tone changes at about 9-10 on the guitar volume knob. There's a jump in volume and a bit more bite or treble there. many use that to effect. So maybe try playing with your guitar on 8 or so, then listen to the difference on 10.
    Gregor likes this.
  13. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    Yes. Good guitar and good amplifier too. I have a G5220 too and a Roland MicroCube (among others, you guess it :rolleyes:)

    That's fine too. It's what I do most of the time while playing at home or working titles for band reharsal.

    You will learn all that even more quickly than you think... And moreover by yourself ! I'll quote wabash slim :

    You will become one soon ! ;)
    Otherwise, you should have not subscribed to Gretsch-Talk... :eek:

    But it's me, OK ? :D

    Gregor likes this.
  14. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Oct 18, 2015
    Hildesheim, Germany
    Here`s a little routine that may help you a bit:
    Dial the volume control to the loudness that you desire.
    Strum the guitar constantly while turning the tone knops (one after the other)with your left hand to the point where a clear change in tone appears and keep it in that position.
    Do that with all the tonecontrols. Always keep on strumming while doing it.
    Then move the controls a little around their sweet-spot until you are fine with the sound.
    Gregor likes this.
  15. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Hey Gregor.
    My advice to you is play as many different solid state and tube amps as you can. Learn about them all, how they work, different features they have etc. And discover which one's sound best to you
    Gregor likes this.