Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

What's the Best Setup for Clean Twangy Sound

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Michael Ingram, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. Michael Ingram

    Michael Ingram NEW MEMBER!

    Dec 24, 2009
    West Hartford, CT
    I'm a thumbpicker who's used to playing as a single act with a set of 12's, using both pickups and a lot of bass. The guitar is a standard Tele from the early 90's. The amp is a MusicMan 112. I've recently joined a band playing traditional country (1950's and 1960's) and I'd like a clean twangy sound that's a lot brighter than I'm used to. I've tried just rolling on more treble but that just seems to get harsh and brittle. Any recommendations of strings, pickups, amp setting, or pedals I should use?

  2. strat-o-teleman

    strat-o-teleman Tele-Meister

    Jan 26, 2004
    Spring Hill, TN
    I'm using a Tele with a '63 RI Vibroverb. I turn the amp vol.@6, treble@8, Bass@4, reverb@2. I control the volume at the guitar, run my tube screamer like a Clean boost: Drive@1o'clock, tone straight up, and volume@3(volume is just a bit louder than the dry signal). I also run my delay with a touch of slapback echo(jsut for some stuff...Cash, Haggard, etc...) it really adds "pop".

    I just happened onto this setup after reading a post here a while back(sorry, can't remember which one). It's working like a charm. I can roll the tone knob back is it gets too "harsh and brittle). Playing in the house, the volume @ the guitar is just barely on(the wife likes a "low" volume), but I get nice twang and pop from this set up.

    I am running a set of Don Mare Pickups(I'm sure these help my tone GREATLY), and am using a 1meg vol. pot with treble bleed. And I use D'addario Half-round 10's & 11's. I'm sure you can get a nice Clean Twang from the gear you have. The older I get, the more I realize that it's mostly in playing around with all those amp knobs and in the fingers...Practice, Practice, Practice...

    Good Luck

  3. mellecaster

    mellecaster Former Member

    Are you Miking your Amp thru the PA...or just playing it straight ?

  4. ter93

    ter93 Tele-Meister

    Sep 27, 2008
    You have a solid state amp, pedals aren't going to do much. You need a Twin, sorry to say. Red knob twins are still good for what you want, and can be found cheaply.

  5. B Valley

    B Valley Tele-Afflicted

    May 19, 2008
    Glendale, Az
    It's just that simple.

  6. jhundt

    jhundt Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 23, 2003
    what's a good twangy setup for a Telecaster?

    Don't tell Redd Volkaert this, you might hurt his feelings... he thinks he sounds pretty good thru his SS Peavey amp. And so does almost everyone else who ever heard him play.

  7. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Portland, OR
    For Pete's Sake, all due respect.

    "I've tried just rolling on more treble but that just seems to get harsh and brittle. Any recommendations of strings, pickups, amp setting, or pedals I should use?"

    What speaker is in your amp? Does it have an aluminum dust cap?
    Changing the dust cap is not rocket science. ;)

    Did you try facing the amp backwards ??

    A Weber beam blocker perhaps might do the trick also.

    If your Tele has no base plate on the bridge pickup [as I suspect] get a
    bridge pickup with a baseplate, or get a baseplate put on the pickup.

    You could try some DR Black Beatuy, or Elixer coated strings, might just get the treble tamed enough, easy to try and un-try if the results are undesirable.

    Also, drop you pickups way down...

    You will get there.

    Pedal?, I bet a Mesa Boogie V-Twin Pedal will get you there, but I sure have trouble suggesting a pedal that cost as much as a few amps that would get you there as well. :D
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2009

  8. Steve G

    Steve G Friend of Leo's

    Nov 3, 2005
    LeeK (England)
    My thoughts exactly!

  9. scoots

    scoots Tele-Holic

    Jun 26, 2007
    if you haven't tried this, try backing the vol knob off some and do your amp settings from there. in my experience some bridge pups wide open can come across harsh. i think you have everything you need for the twang thang, main ingrediant being the tele and there's nothing wrong with that tasty ol' music man either. also welcome to the tdpri and Merry Christmas

  10. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    Bakersfield Ca.
    A twin with JBL's and 52-10 strings light top heavy bottom is a goos start.

    Thats what the Bakersfield guys do.

  11. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

    Which Musicman amp do you have? The best ones are the hybrid ones with the single 12ax7 in 'em. FWIW, I think they're great amps for country. The rest is just trial and error until you get the sound you're looking for. What you've got will do twang nicely!

  12. Dave_Strat

    Dave_Strat TDPRI Member

    Sep 30, 2008
    Georgia, USA
    The one thing that made me buy a Tele was an instance where our Praise Band at church wasn't supposed to play one morning. I walked in a somebody said, "We are playing this morning!" To which I replied, "I left my Les Paul at home, but my amp is here." Next thing I know, someone stuck the singer's Red USA Tele in my hands and I plugged up to my Roland Cube 60 and tuned up. That Tele sounded like a million dollars! The bridge pickup just sparkled and was full of raunchy bite! I made a decision then and there that I needed a Tele!

    This one was stock and was one of the $1000 range Teles. What kind of pickups come on the USA model? I bought a Butterscotch Blonde Squire Affinity MIC Tele and bought a set of Fender Custom Shop Texas Specials at the same time and installed them.

    The Texas Specials sound good but don't give me the sound that I remember from the USA Tele. Someone tell me the difference in the two types of pickups, please.

  13. rokdog49

    rokdog49 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 22, 2010
    Clean and Twangy

    Oh boy here we go! Depends on your definition of clean and twangy. First off I lowered the bridge pup. That helped. Secondly, I was under the impression that for "twang', mid settings above 3 or 4 on an amp with mid settings are no good.
    Wrong! I go with treble at 8 mids anywhere from 4-8 and bass at 5 and just a touch of 'verb. I have a Blues Junior modded with a presence control for more treble and openness. It has a Celestion Greenback in it which is definitely not a "country" sounding speaker, yet my twang is a warm and woody sound which I happen to like.
    Lastly, a lot of your tone and twang is in you. You just have to keep looking for it. I've seen a lot of guys with way more twang than me playing with humbuckers in there Teles and twangin' away.

  14. middy

    middy Friend of Leo's

    Apr 28, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Don't forget the compressor. It can be hard to get that chicken pickin' sound without one.

  15. Breen

    Breen Friend of Leo's

    Mar 4, 2009
    I don't agree fully with that. Plenty of guys go without one, or went without one, although of course it is useful. I don't think if my comp is on when I chicky pick. I think a comp helps you get to the ballpark, but you got to get the tickets first.


  16. middy

    middy Friend of Leo's

    Apr 28, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    True, but my point really should have been that a compressor can help take the annoying shrillness out of a twangy sound without removing the twang.

  17. Breen

    Breen Friend of Leo's

    Mar 4, 2009
    I see your point~ Thanks I'm looking at my comp slightly differently now.


    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Holic

    Feb 13, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    1) dump the pedals
    2) get a Twin or a Super (JBL's won't hurt at all)
    3) add a Tele with maple neck and D'Addario EXL110 (10-46)
    4) Plug it all together and enjoy

  19. musicmatty

    musicmatty Former Member

    Aug 18, 2008
    This thread has too many Chefs. :lol:

  20. blue metalflake

    blue metalflake Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 29, 2005
    Just another opinion.

    Forget about the pedals. The sound you're looking for was created by guys who plugged straight in.

    You write of using both pick ups - play with the bridge only.

    For the fullest sound, keep the guitar volume full up. Mostly the sound will get thin and brittle if you roll the volume off. Set the amp around mid settings - the magic "6s" used to be standard. Dial in a little reverb - it helps.

    Fender Twin would be great, but I guess theres not much wrong with your amp. I've heard guys doing the Bakerfield sound on non Fender amps & non valve too.

    The final bit is in yours fingers, picking style etc.

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