Looking for Metallica-type sound

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Justinvs, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    What would be a good pedal to get a good solid metal crunch, something to similar to what Metallica has on Whiskey In The Jar? I have a TS9 and a cheap Dano CoolCat which actually gets me close if I'm using my Marshall, but not quite there with my BFSR.

    Justin
     
  2. jmontgomery

    jmontgomery Tele-Meister

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    Wampler Pinacle pedal
     
  3. octatonic

    octatonic Poster Extraordinaire

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    Suhr Riot, Wampler Triplewreck, MI Audio Crunchbox are probably the best places to start.
     
  4. Impulse

    Impulse Tele-Meister

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    MHP modded Boss DS-1
     
  5. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks for the suggestions!

    What's the MHP mod? I've got an ancient DS-1, but it's stock, so I'm gauissign the modification makes a big difference.

    Justin.
     
  6. bigben55

    bigben55 Friend of Leo's

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    If you play a humbucker equipped guitar, the Marshall Guv'Nor+ is great for that. WAY too noisy with single coils.
     
  7. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    Glad you mentioned that. I was looking at that pedal, but I play either a Strat or a Tele.

    Justin
     
  8. Impulse

    Impulse Tele-Meister

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    It's Machine Head Pedals. The mods do make a big difference, Keith offers two of them for the DS-1. Check out "pedal mods" on that site.
     
  9. bigben55

    bigben55 Friend of Leo's

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    Metallica crunch is going to be real hard to get without a humbucker in the bridge of one of your guitars. Id do that first.
     
  10. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    No doubt. I don't think I'd ever put a 'bucker in my Strat because I love the Strat tones, but I could probably pull it off easier with my Epi SG. Then again, the lead player in the band is thinking about selling his ESP Explorer...

    Wonder if my wife will notice another guitar sitting by the couch?

    Justin
     
  11. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    There's a decent way to work around that for playing something that doesn't get much heavier than Metallica, and still has midrange like Metallica.

    What you want to do is use a tone cap of value .01uF with your guitar. If you use the stock .022uF/.047uF/etc. value for faux wah, jazz, etc., then get a pot with a switch, or add a switch to the control plate so that you can toggle between the stock cap and your "metal cap."

    With the .01uF, you can get a notched wah sound with it rolled all the way back, but at a point prior to complete counter clockwise you can find a decent balance of treble detail with "fundamental emphasis," which is what a humbucker for metal does, anyway.

    The other cool thing about the tone cap swap is that you aren't at the mercy of the midrange peak of whatever pedal you are using. Some are voiced spot on, while others might be a tad too low or high.

    Unless you want to cop the tones off of Kill Em All, I wouldn't bother with a plexi in a box pedal. James' modded Marshall was stolen before they went on the Ride the Lightning tour, and he could never find another Marshall that he really liked. He switched to Mesa Boogies for the most part, but IIRC has mainly stuck with either a Mark II.C (for the studio) or the Triaxis into tube monobloc power amps for stage.

    ...At some point, he started adding more modern stuff like a Diezel, but IDK if it's on the song you mention.

    Kirk's tone is thin in comparison IMO, and easier to get. I think he went with Randall amps for the last album, and it sounds wanky and thin IMO. His tone was much better back in the old days when it was something like a Marshall 2203 with a slant cab (studio).

    For Metallica, I personally wouldn't default to pedals that are aimed at the plexi or recto sort of thing - just not the right application, IMO.
     
  12. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I assumed you were using a Tele with my tone cap suggestion, so it will require a little bit of a different approach with a Strat (which has no tone control for the bridge pickup).

    ...If you don't use the middle or neck tone controls on your Strat, just convert one of those into functioning for your bridge pickup (you move one wire on the pickup selector). Another idea would be to just convert to a master tone control and pull one pot out to put a switch in its place to swap between the stock tone cap and the .01uF cap that I mentioned.

    I actually had a Hot Rails in a Strat years ago that I added the .01uF cap to, and ended up using the HR split with that cap more than using the standard humbucking mode. For any single coil guitar that I have that will be used for harder rock stuff, I still default to that magic cap choice.

    ...Dan Armstrong (effect builder) came up with the .01uF cap suggestion many years ago for his rewiring of Strats and Teles to have other pickup combinations.
     
  13. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    A modded DS-1 for Metallica is fine IMO, since their tone isn't really what I would classify as the uber metal kinda tone. It has the right amount of distortion and just needs a good dose of mids and the harmonics accentuated a bit.
     
  14. Bluej58

    Bluej58 Tele-Holic

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    I think you need a good humbucker too.

    This is my son's guit that I built for him a while back, it's got a DiMarzio Mega drive in it.
    He runs it through a DS-2 and a Blues De Ville , tons of crunch

    I don't know much about Metallica but the engineer that was recording their band was really impressed by his sound.

    They did their own songs but folks in the know say they sounded a lot like Metallica

    JD
     

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  15. Biz Prof

    Biz Prof Tele-Meister

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    I have a Mesa V-Twin and in front of a strong non-master volume tube amp, the "Lead" channel with the gain at 1 o'clock effectively captures what I'd call a transition Metallica tone. Not so compressed a la Master of Puppets and beyond, but not as raw and open as on Kill 'Em All. The EQ on a V-Twin provides a lot of tone shaping in small increments of each knob, therefore it takes a bit of tweaking to set the unit for a specific sound.

    I do think you will find that the MI Audio Crunch Box will get you close...if you use an overwound humbucker.
     
  16. TMoxness

    TMoxness Tele-Meister

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    The Barber Dirty Bomb is an excellent medium and high gain pedal.
     
  17. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    If you haven't heard the new(est) Death Magnetic, I highly recommend it. They've primarily gone back to the older sound with standard tuning. There's still a bit of that "EMG squeak" that a passive pickup can't really do, but some of the harmonic content that typically gets dialed out with them has "returned."

    There's an instrumental on it that reminds me of the stuff from yesteryear. I particularly like that the bass is audible on it, like in the old Cliff album days. My biggest problem with And Justice... was that you just could not hear Jason at all.
     
  18. cntry666

    cntry666 Friend of Leo's

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    My friend had a Boss Metal Zone that was very Master of Puppets sounding. It depends which era of the band you are trying to sound like. Their new stuff is terrible IMO compared to Kill em All plus that movie was embarrassing. Babies. Anyways, I had a Marshall Shredmaster that was pretty cool for that as well.
    BTW, 11 Gauge the reason you don't hear bass on And Justice is because there is not any. I know some guys that mixedit and they said they barely had the bass up. I loved Jason's playing so I was bummed about that as well.
     
  19. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    There are different eras of Metallica, though, and different types of humbuckers were/are used.

    They went to almost exclusively EMG's in '87 or '88. Kirk had a few Fernandes Strats with EMG single coils in them. IDK if they were SA's or what, however. Kirk didn't really switch completely until he went with ESP for his Strat-type model, and I believe that had 81's in BOTH positions (lots of guys will run an 85 at the neck, but not KH). His Rhoads Jackson probably had one, but I just don't remember. The EMG thing was just starting to take off back in the early 80's with metal bands.

    ...I first recall seeing EMG's in a white Explorer that James had, also around '88 IIRC. He uses the much brighter 60 in the neck position.

    I think that both guys requested nothing but EMG's for all of their ESP guitars. But once you get to the Load/Reload/etc. albums, they started messing with LP's and other stuff again, and I recall that at least some of those guitars had passive type humbuckers in them. IDK the particulars with Whiskey... however. Death Magnetic certainly sounds like nothing but EMG's to my ears, but they might be layering stuff with passive humbuckers into the rhythm tracks. I know that James has a "non-Gibson/bolt-on neck" replica of his first white flying V which ESP is building for him. Since it's a counterfeit V, IDK if they went to the trouble to try and replicate the pickups, or what James specifically wanted 1:1.

    IMO, you can't just arbitrarily say, "humbucker and plexi in a box" to get anything other than a ballpark Metallica sound. The gear itself is an important consideration, because James (in particular) is really anal about his picking precision, and is equally nutty about certain lower midrange frequencies.
     
  20. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    Jump in the Fire will probably remain one of my all time favorites. I don't need all of the jackhammer parts that many of the songs had, but like some of the more rock-ish sensibilities that James would use on songs like that.

    The album with the video done at the prison (I can't even recall the name) was horrible. Bad mix, all sorts of "un-old school metal" dropped tunings, telling Kirk not to play leads because it wasn't kewl - terrible. Bob Rock sucks, IMO. IDC how big of a deal the black album was for them. Some Kind of Monster was a sad tale, too. Witnessing them putting a zillion tracks into a computer and then mixing it like some kind of composite cheese whiz was a horrible thing to witness. And all of that stuff with the therapist doesn't belong on camera, IMO. JMO.

    ...But Death Magnetic is overall pleasing, IMO. You've got a return to standard tuning, Rick Rubin produced it, and the Cliff-like bass is just great IMO. Is it the same? No. Would anyone want to listen to Kill Em All Part Two? Probably, but I don't particularly see the need for it. Then again, I always liked stuff like Orion, and was probably in the minority. It P.O.'ed me that back then everyone had a tape with it cut off! I like the stuff where James plays a lead, even if it's more of a stiff melody. I like intros with a bass line.

    Kirk needs to get his act together with his "contemporary" tone IMO, though. Wanky and thin. He needs to pull those old 2203's out of storage, or have Randall build him something that sounds like them. That shouldn't be difficult in the 21st century.
     
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