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Questions about tone,etc.

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by teleblender61, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. garytelecastor

    garytelecastor Poster Extraordinaire

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    Since most of the years I have played I have found that tone is in the fingers and the ear of the player. Most of the time, regardless of the amp or it's volume concerns, every one I have ever played through sound like me. I don't think tone is involved in anything that can be defined as simply as an amp, guitar, and pedal.
    For example, listen to Robert Johnson. Played some of the cheapest guitars, and recorded over really elemental gear and every time I hear him I am just knocked out at his tone and articulation.
    Clapton sounds like Clapton regardless of the amp he plays through. He still has the tone of Clapton.
     
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  2. garytelecastor

    garytelecastor Poster Extraordinaire

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    Welcome to the forum teleblender61. Really glad you are here.
     
  3. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I have to push back a little on this. I wouldn't do this if not for my ongoing respect for garytelecaster. I think defining tone as a quality possessed by a given player is insufficient. One can alter the sound of a Clapton recording a lot, and still he would be recognizable. But how much of that sounds bassier, muddier, brighter, reverberant, dry, acoustic steel string, nylon, wah-wah, blah-blah-blah. Since Clapton still sounds like Clapton under many such alterations and variations, do this mean these all have the same tone?

    Submitted with respect.
     
  4. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think the OP overstated his case.
    Anyhow, I like to spend my money chasing tone.
    It beats spending money not chasing tone.
    Maybe I'll chase a point to point Musicman amp, that'll keep me busy awhile.....
     
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  5. Rialto1564

    Rialto1564 Tele-Meister

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    One of the great things about this forum is how people can offer different views without everything deteriorating.

    With respect to my elders, I just want to make the following observations:

    1. Among musicians, the pursuit of tone seems most prevalent with electric guitarists. I don't think most players of acoustic instruments have existential angst about it every day.

    2. Pursuing tone can be a hobby unto itself.

    3. Generally speaking, more time should be spent practicing/composing than thinking about tone, unless you follow item 2.

    4. As others have said, lots of great tone achieved with SS amps, like country music Peavey players, or BB King's Lab Series. John Hooker played an Epi., etc.

    5. Tone might even find you. A fan mailed Jerry Garcia his custom guitar, Hendrix was given a Strat by Clapton, and the best classical musicians are often loaned the best instruments, as the cost of a vintage Strad makes a vintage Strat seem like a bargain.

    Ok, now I'm going to practice...and try to dial in some tone. See where we're at with that today...
     
  6. Tele-beeb

    Tele-beeb Friend of Leo's

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    Tone... like many things, is at best, subjective.
    I grew up on Peavey, Lab Series, Fender and Marshall amps.
    I seem to like a fusion of those four tones.
    You simply can't get that sound from any of those four, oh how I have tried.
    So, I chase a tone that is:
    deep and rich (my 60's 2-12 bassman head and cab, Deluxe, etc...)
    Clear and defined (pick any 70's Peavey)
    Smooth like black coffee & silk (my Lab Series L7 & L9)
    Punch you in the f'in face (plexi 50 watt, down the Marshall pike from there)

    That crossroads of tone is a tough mix. My current project is a Jet City HV20... it's fun for now.
     
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  7. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    Did people like Page, Clapton, Beck, etc. obsess over tone like we do, or did they just plug into an amp and play? Corroborating sources indicate that Eddie Van Halen played the guitar solo to "Beat It" (the most famous guitar solo, ever) on a borrowed solid state amplifier.
     
  8. Anode100

    Anode100 Friend of Leo's

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    It's a highly subjective subject.

    If the sound you get, coming from your amp, pleases you - and inspires you to play more frequently - you have great tone.

    I gig with a fairly high gain, 100w half-stack setup - because our drummer is enthusiastic.
    With reference to the 'great tone' definition above, I feel I have great tone - and that tone also sits well with another guitarist, bass player, and lead singer.

    I'm equally happy with another 'great tone' sat at home playing through a Boss SD-1 into a Pignose 7-100.

    Here's the kicker - if Solid State is so bad for tone, why do people go hunting for vintage SS pedals? Have you seen the prices of vintage Fuzz Faces?

    I daresay Stevie Ray Vaughan wouldn't have as good a tone if he'd shunned SS op-amps - and (shock! horror!) diode clipping.

    I'm not peering down this rabbit hole any more - I'd simply like to wish each and every person on this forum great tone.
     
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  9. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    There are some great players, in many genres, that use modeling both in the studio and live. NOT in the numbers of tube amp players, but more than you think. Just because you cannot get good tone out of one doesn't mean others can't ;).

    Give me a decent guitar and a decent amp with some headroom. That amp can be a modelling amp, SS amp, tube amp - I don't care. I'll get a good enough tone to keep my happy. As for the tone I'm after... that changes with the bands I play with. Lately I play an AC30 or a Deluxe Reverb. With fill in gigs I carry one of my amps, with my primary group I use modeled versions of those amps. I am equally comfortable either way.

    Do what ever keeps you inspired... just don't expect everybody to be inspired by the same thing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
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  10. Drubbing

    Drubbing Friend of Leo's

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    Yes they are. You based your opinion off one of the worst modelling amps on the market. It ain't representative.
     
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  11. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

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    It may, to a very small extent. The internals of a live amp are a rat's nest of radiated noise, stray signals, and criss-crossed wires, and the physical location of leads and components can influence what happens to the guitar sound on the way through. Look at the Trainwreck Express, for example. That circuit is notoriously finicky about its physical layout, and hovers at the edge of instability.

    I'm with Keith Richards on tone. It starts with the right guitar and the right amp, and if you don't have those all the pedals in the world won't fix it.
     
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  12. Papa Joe

    Papa Joe Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Well the op certainly has a very strong opinion, as the rest of us do likewise..But in my case, the only opinion that matters is mine..
    Some old dude once said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder..
    This from a die hard tube geek..
     
  13. grolan1

    grolan1 Friend of Leo's

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    I respect the OP's comments and opinion, we all have to have one, some just voice theirs louder than others.... this is the place to lay it all out there and never will everyone agree. NEVER!

    I'm a tube guy all the way, does that make me right and others wrong. Nope, just my choice and one I enjoy each and every day. I won't even get into the tone conversion, just saying it's what I like, enjoy and prosue in my world of music. It's my life and my choice, right or wrong.
     
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  14. GK34

    GK34 Tele-Meister

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    The key is to figure out what works for you of course. After going through several tube amps, I have finally figured out how to get the best tones for me through the clean channel of a Roland Blues Cube Artist and my pedals. Much easier overall to dial in for me too.
     
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  15. Artunes

    Artunes Tele-Meister

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    I played through tube amps exclusively for 41 years. I've had Fenders, Ampegs, Peaveys and Marshalls. I still own a Peavey Encore 65 from the '80s, a Mesa Boogie DC2 from the '90s, and a Rivera R series Suprema 55. I could get good tone out of all of them. For the last year I've played through a analog solid state Tech 21 Trademark 60, and guess what? I can get good tone out of that, too. As long as the tone you get makes you play with a smile in your soul, it's all good.
     
  16. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

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    All I know is that every single rule for good tone that I've read has been broken to good effect by somebody.
     
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  17. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Usually when a thread starts out asking ' questions about tone' it does not proceed to answer itself in the first post and make blanket statements about everything guitar related as foregone conclusions.
    It would be asking, questions about tone.
     
  18. t guitar floyd

    t guitar floyd Tele-Holic

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    I read the OP's post yesterday, before anyone had commented on it and . . .
    1. I agreed with much of what he said about tube amps with the exception of the expensive part.
    2. I agreed with his opinions of Mesa (bought one once and couldn't dial out a real hard ugly
    midrange that knocked against the back of my head and took amp back the same day).
    3. I agreed with his opinion of Line 6 (I still have one and let my students use it-they're
    high schoolers and they love it, especially the "insane" setting).
    4. I thought this I likely the beginning of a very humorous "troll thread". :)

    OP, welcome to the forum!
     
  19. 8barlouie

    8barlouie Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I caught a short recent documentary with Clapton collaborating with JJ Cale where EC was playing a Tele. Had a big cheshire cat grin going on. Wife comes downstairs and says,"what are you grinnin at?" I didn't even bother explaining.
     
  20. RubyRae

    RubyRae Friend of Leo's

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    I know for me my tone has gotten better over the years. The majority of that "better tone" is because I practice religiously, and my playing has gotten better.
    I'm talking 25 years of playing, and even in the past 10 years it has gotten much better than when I was playing 200 gigs a year. Now I have one great tube amp, and 2 great guitars. Sure, I want more guitars and more amps, but my tone improves the most when I improve my chops. The only thing I really need to achieve my tonal perfection is a true hollow body w/ P90's, and a tweed amp. Once I get those I will feel pretty damn good. At least I can say I earned it, and I appreciate it more when it finally happens. Solid state is just not for me. It's like motorcycles and mopeds, I prefer motorcycles.
     
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