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Does a cranked amp...

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Jakedog, Dec 11, 2017.

  1. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    This is interesting and I had believed this bit of info for years.
    But in recent years I've read accounts of the recording sessions and it seems that fact cannot be confirmed.
    I read that two new SF Fender amps were purchased for the session, a Champ and a Princeton IIRC. Further, there was not a clear answer as to what amp was used by whom for which tracks.
    A Tweed Champ does seem plausible, but doesn't seem to be part of the history according to those who were there.

    Still remains as a credible mythology!
     
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  2. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    I realized, reading this, that some people hear "cranked combo" and think of distorted rock sounds. Some amps now seem to distort as much on 3 as mine does at 10. Not my thing. I like the sound of cranked amps that weren't meant to distort.
     
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  3. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    The sound of rock and roll was originally the sound of jazz. Jazz guitar turned down the treble and got mellower, rock and roll guitar went the other way. But they started at the same place.
    Jazz guitar did develop some solid state sounds. I don't consider ss off limits, but I don't mess with ss "rock amps".

    Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one, but for me, a rock and roll guitar sound still starts with a jazz sound. I wish I could find drummers who felt this way about their drum sounds.
     
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  4. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    It really depends on the amplifier - some like the AC10C1 have terrific-sounding preamps and sound good at any volume level. Others, like the older Marshalls, are a little weak in the preamp bur overdrive beautifully at loud volumes. I heard a Plexi reissue at ProSound in Colorado Springs cranked to 10 and almost had an accident in my pants. I played that same amp with a Power Brake set at bedroom levels and it sounded like a cheap distortion pedal. I'm not sure what's going on there.
     
  5. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

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    But didn't he also wheel in two Full Marshall Stacks in to an Atlantic recording studio for a Cream recording session? Thought I remember that from the Tom Dowd biopic.
     
  6. Jack S

    Jack S Friend of Leo's

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    I think it really depends on the amp, personally. I know my Blues Deluxe amp playing full blown at an outdoor rockabilly festival sounded terrible to my ears. It definitely sounded better turned down. On the other hand other amps I've used have gotten into that touch sensitive zone where I think they sound glorious.
     
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  7. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    Most of the pedals we commonly use didn't exist in the late 60's/early 70's when a lot of the iconic rock sounds originated. I still enjoy going old school with my tweed clone and a fuzz now and then but for general utility my pedalboard> Quilter mini rig is hard to beat. For me, the advancements in pedal design and variety of different sounds available make this approach viable. IME, a lot of the vintage pedals sounded better when used with a pushed amp to take some of the edge off. These days, I want to hear the details which requires a clean amp. It's not perfect but I enjoy no longer having to sweat the sweet spot or being locked into one amp's signature tone.
     
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  8. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    +1 I totally agree. What are we, a bunch of old guys?! Friggin' cranked amps is for the rebellion and angst of rock. Are we just going to lay down and go away quietly as we get older? Or are we going to hold the rebellion line? Are we going to scream to leave our kids alone or are we having fruity umbrella drinks with the parrotheads? You want soft, quiet amps, go play some jazz chords.

    I guess I've had enough coffee this morning.:mad:

    Edit: I thought when we are searching for our sound that it wasn't sweet tube flavor but a** friggin' anger.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
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  9. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    One thing readily apparent- we're all looking for different things.

    For me, I don't like the sound of an amp coming apart. I don't think it sounds "glorious", and I don't like how it feels under the strings most of the time.

    I like overdrive. A lot. But I like the sound with it to be as crisp and focused, ESPECIALLY in the bottom end, as it is with a clean amp.

    I don't want to ride volume and tone knobs. Out of hundreds of amps, I've never once found one that actually works correctly. I either have a compromised clean sound, or a compromised dirt sound. Or both. It just doesn't work nearly as well as its proponents think it does. Or maybe, we just don't have the same idea of what a good sound is.

    It's funny to me that in this thread many people are proclaiming that what sounds good, are exactly the things the original post asks if we're conditioned to believe.

    Does it sound good? Really? Or is it just what we've always been taught is the reference tone for sounding good?

    Think of it this way- say you grew up in an isolated environment, where you were taught that the color blue, is called green. Your whole life that color is green. Everybody you've ever known agrees it's green. Nobody would dream of calling it anything else. Then one day a stranger arrives, and says no, that color is actually blue. Would you believe him? Would you even entertain the idea?

    It's interesting how much of the response here is emotional.
     
  10. thegeezer

    thegeezer Tele-Afflicted

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    Ok...I don't think I said quite what I meant in my first post. I've heard sounds on recordings I liked that seem to be cranked amps. Live, not so much. Although, my old Supro can come close.

    My favorite guitar tone is probably my favorite because that's the tone I heard so much as a kid on recordings and it was so much of the live tone I heard at the time. It's that hard to define Fender tone that seems clean but just isn't really. The sweet spot. It's on so many of those records from the 50s through the mid 60s and when I started playing that's the tone you got. That's the tone every garage band got. I still like it and want it.
     
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  11. Martin R

    Martin R Friend of Leo's

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    That may be, just wanted to point out that you don't need a lot of volume to get a cranked tone.
     
  12. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    The pick that you can burn the fastest with might not have the fattest attack. The archtop with the loudest chord projection might not have the loudest single note projection. The smooth delay pedal isn't good at being lo-fi, the warm overdrive isn't a good fuzz pedal.



    The more one chases and chases then "get's there" the better the chance someone else might think they sound generic.



    There's always compromise.
     
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  13. t guitar floyd

    t guitar floyd Tele-Holic

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    Still love that tone Charlie Christian got on the Goodman Sextet recordings. That was some overdrive . . . . and what they called Jazz back then.
     
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  14. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Music is cultural. I don't think there is an answer to your question, nor do I think there is a distinction between "sounds good" and "we've been socialized to accept that this sounds good"

    Anyways, cranked amps sound good. :p:D
     
  15. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    The other question that the OP didn't think of, or simply did not include, was " does the cranked amp sound really shine for particular things and maybe not others. Once again, overly simplistic questions like "what is best" or "what is worst", and the likes of the question asked in this thread, are just that. They're overly simplistic.

    I remember reading an article in Guitar Player magazine way back when people actually read paper magazines. The article was about whether you should use stomp boxes for Overdrive or Distortion especially when recording. The author laid out a lengthy and technical dissertation about why amp overdrive is clearly sonically superior to stomp boxes for Rhythm especially when playing triads or when arpeggiating or playing any chord that has more than three notes. It seems that OD boxes and distortion boxes create odd order overtones and harmonics that are dissonant and simply are not musical.

    I thought, no way, I've got to try that. As it turns out, every dirt box I had at the time created some dissonance on chords, and as the author of that article predicted, it was not pleasant. On the other hand, the same chords played through the same amp overdriven, sounded just fine. The bottom line, for that article was that fuzz, Distortion and OD are very useful for lead work especially single note stuff, but not optimal at all for rhythm. Since that time, I've run every dirt box I've bought through this experiment. As it turns out, not all boxes can be painted with the same brush either. Some are better than others, but none of the boxes I've owned have been able to handle chords as well as the amp. That is what my ears tell me, and there really is no emotion in it. Of course I haven't played all possible boxes or all possible amps, and your mileage may vary, and we all are entitled to our own opinion, yada yada yada. That said, as much as I would like to be able to play my amps cranked, I can't do it in any venue in which I play, and that includes at home.
     
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  16. Bob M

    Bob M Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I've got a couple of old Ampegs that at 12 o'clock on the volume you get a slightly overdriven sound-Not dirty, kind of clean that really sound good. At least for country music. I use a 12 watt Jet and an 18 watt Reverberocket depending on the venue.
     
  17. Crazy neddie

    Crazy neddie Tele-Meister

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    In addition, the obvious problem is the volume. I play a Princeton Reverb on 80% of my gigs and only on 50% of those do I get it above 4. My old Super really didn't sound perfect imo till it was up around 6. My Vibrolux is more forgiving when it comes to playing it quietly, but they all sound better opened up a bit.
    I try to bring the right amp for the gig but sometimes I guess wrong. Played a gig last Thursday in a very small room but it got so jammed I had my PR up to over 7 with my strat. Man that sounds absolutely killer but its just about the zenith before it gets too dirty. With an LP anything above 5 is a little too dirty for me too and there is no more headroom there.
    Man I love BF Fender tone.
     
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  18. Crazy neddie

    Crazy neddie Tele-Meister

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  19. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I'll take a chance and throw out an example that most will know:

    Neil Young when he is playing electric with Crazy Horse. I'm a big fan of his and it is my emotional response to their songs, but if you listen, his personal tone is horrible. He fights the crappy feedback constantly (and this is far different than using feedback like Jimi IMO) and there is little consistency to his output. Yet, it is the "emotion" that is a part of that crappy tone, that makes his stuff a huge success, that reflects the angst of the song's. Dang, I wish I could articulate that better, but that's all I got.

    I think of Jack White in White Stripes in a similar fashion. His tone IS anger.
     
  20. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    And I may not have been completely clear. I love those sounds. For when those guys play. It makes me happy to hear them. When I play? If I sounded like that I'd quit. While it works for them, and their music, I don't find it anything to aspire to.

    I can't imagine trying to get an amp to sound that way on purpose. Even though I enjoy that music. Does that make any sense?
     
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