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Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by The Box, Sep 13, 2020.
Unfortunately 99% of the gigs I do are solo guitar. Fortunately I do not play funk
Kanter's Law: Any mistake that is repeated enough becomes acceptable technique.
Thought I made a mistake once but I was wrong.
Shredders usually have the worst guitar tone.
With very few exceptions you are totally right.
I had to record and do live sound for dozens of them.
The problem was many of them use super hot wound pickups that sound really dark, driven into a two or three stage amp and some of them ever put a distortion box in front of that...yuk!
All the dynamics are lost.
It's just an over compressed mess.
Add a flanger and echo to that and it covers up tons of bad notes.
I do like some heavy metal music but I'm glad it's not main stream any more.
I didn't think tones could get any worse and then along comes grunge....
Me too, manunk! I've made a mistake many more times than once.
Haha. Yep. Dimarzio Super Distortions or EMG whatevers.
Tastes change and mature. As you get older you go on a tone quest. I've found I like the less is more approach with amp gain & number of pedals between my guitar and amp. My favorite amp I own is my Peavey Delta Blues 115. Spring reverb, onboard Tremolo, and Boost. OMG the Boost. It sounds so good. It pretty much has me covered for what I want to do. Add a tuner pedal and I'm set.
The best guitar tone I've ever heard was Robben Ford at Rockpalast 2007. His 335 & his Dumble. It was so perfect. Not much gain at all. Just amazing. Of course a big ingredient is Robben himself. Check it out on youtube. I listened to Bryan Setzer play in Japan 2016. Not much gain on his amps and he sounded so good.
Those shredders. Ugh. It's like they need to be drowning in reverb and whatever else to cover up any mistakes. For shizz & giggles I recently watched a Paul Gilbert interview. The minute he turned his guitar volume up it sounded terrible.
So glad I outgrew that phase.
The Delta Blues is a good amp. For 80% that's all you really need. I like pedals for recording. When I'm not using them they are out of the loop. Overall my favorite sounds are had with the guitar going straight into the amp or maybe just a boost pedal like the Sweet Honey just kicking the amp a little bit. I like distortion but that over the top stuff has always gotten on my nerves - even when I was younger. I've been tone searching for 40 years and as it turns out I like the sound of lower watt amps being pushed better than the over processed stuff that happened in the 80s and 90s. Most of my favorite recordings of guitar sounds were done using a lower watt amp (10-20 watts). I just didn't know it when I was younger. I'd see photos of my favorite artists standing in front of Marshall stacks and guys like Ted Nugent with 50 Fender Twins all lined up on stage and thought that was the ticket. Turns out Ted, Jimi, Keith, Clapton, Harrison used a bunch of low watt Fender and Vox amps in the studio....
+1 for the low powered tube amps in the studio. I have yet to try the new Fender Pro Junior IV, but I've heard it is a monster cranked up. Two controls. Simple. I've read that about those guys using lower watt tube amp in the studio. Makes sense. I do love a Fender Tweed cranked up. It is a great sound.
I spent more on mods for my Bugera V5 non-Infinium tube amp than the amp is worth but it is a sleeper beast. I put an Mercury Magnetics OT, a choke, and a 10" Ragin' Cajun speaker inside. It does fit...barely. Tone all the way up because it is a dark amp. I know there's a mod for that but I haven't done that yet. Crank that amp up and holy smokes is it loud. Great for putting a mic in front and capturing some good tones. Not as good as a cranked low wattage Fender tube amp but still fun.
I bought a Bugera Power Soak with an emulated 4x12 XLR out. Great for cranking up a tube amp and getting usable tones out of my tube amps. I had it in the loop of my cranked Peavey Classic 50 2x12. That sounded great. I took it out of the loop and hooked the speaker back up. A couple days later I turned on the amp, plugged in, and hit that chord. I was a couple inches from the amp and realized I forgot to turn the master volume down. I almost had a Fred Sanford moment.
I got into pedal building there for a while. Built myself a nice Alembic Stratoblaster boost pedal. It really does the trick. A good boost pedal is often all you need for some dirt. I found myself using my OD pedals set on low gain to act as a boost. Seems to sound best to my ears.