Secret Sauce

Ash Telecaster

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What are your ingredients for your personal secret sauce for killer guitar tones?

I am a restless soul when it comes to music gear and am constantly swapping gear and trying different combinations of guitars and pedals and amps seeking that killer tone.

I am curious what others have tried that worked for them.

Thanks!
 

johnny k

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Ash Telecaster

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secret sauce...turn it up to 11

Hey, that's how I set my clock radio!

Right now the ingredients in my secret sauce are....

'61 Gibson SG - new addition, getting all the attention right now

Walrus Ages overdrive - new acquisition, I am blown away by this pedal
Wampler Catapulp distortion

Brunetti Singleman 50

Edit:

The Singleman is Fender based but is very configurable. Historically it has always seemed like a compromise between clean and dirty but with this amp and the right pedals, its great across the board. Plus you can set the output to 2, 15, or 50 watts.

I bought the SG on a whim. I've always wanted one and just decided to buy it. It sounds and plays incredible. The honeymoon isn't over so its hard to say if it will shift into #1 position but it's a contender.

I was amp demoing at SA and they just happened to have the Ages on the pedal board. Loved it from the first note and luckily it is perfectly at home with other gear.

I was on a distortion search for the longest time. I had to be able to get into fairly heavy distortion territory but didn't want my notes to be washed out in noise. This one really hits the spot with my gear and it is very configurable for a distortion pedal. I've become somewhat of a Wampler fan boy. I was lucky enough to meet Brian a couple times at Gearfest and he was a super nice guy and totally invested in showing me his pedals. I've probably owned half his inventory at one time or another. I keep trying new distortions but the Catapulp has so far held off the competition.
 
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'64 Tele

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Fender scooped amps...Deluxe and Princeton Reverb, with Boss 59 Bassman pedal (always on) EP Booster and Timmy.
EP and Timmy give me 3 levels of boost/gain by themself or combined. Bassman pedal has mid and presence control.
Just the ticket for Strats, PRS and SG.
 

Jakedog

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For clean tones?

It’s a high powered amp with lots of headroom. Easily could be SS if it’s a good one. Single coils. Little boost to fatten it up. Maybe some light compression. If I’m feeling my inner child of the 80’s, a little chorus or flange.


For edge of breakup to slight breakup, to bluesy overdrive, to early hard rock tones?

Lower powered amps with less headroom. Have to be Mid-forward voiced. Gimme a Marshall, Orange, Boogies work. Small enough (or with a good master volume) so that just getting to gig volume causes that slight hair, edge of breakup “clean” tone. Then go from there with boost and overdrive. For long, fat, clear solo tones, some light compression again, if needed.

Single coils or low powered humbuckers for this. My 20 watt Marshall and Les Paul excel at this. “This” is 98% of my playing these days. That said, I have recently rediscovered the wonders of a great Strat. So I’ve been doing that a lot, too.

It took me 36 years of playing guitar, 34 of it in front of people, to come to the conclusion once and for all that although I dig ALL kinds of guitars, the noises I love the most are made by Les Pauls and Stratocasters.

I’ve also discovered I don’t need much in the way of pedals. I need a TS or an SD1, depending on the gig. I need a decent compressor. I need a decent clean boost. I need a Phaser if it’s a country gig with Waylon on the set list. Because that’s you do that. I need a chorus just because I grew up in the 80’s and I like them. If there’s no reverb in the amp, I’ll put my HOF mini in the loop.

And no pedal needs to be expensive or boutique. When I say a TS or an SD1, I mean the off the shelf variety. If I have the stuff I listed here, no matter what I wish I could sound like, I’m gonna sound like me. I’ve gotten to the point that I’m totally ok with that.
 

Gardo

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Minimalism, is my secret ingredient.
I plug straight into a Princeton Chorus solid state amp. I use the clean channel and EQ at 10 straight across. The reverb is about 1 1/2 and the volume only needs to be on 1 to fill the room . Add the Telecaster of your choice and serve cool
 

bgmacaw

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Near Athens GA USA
For clean-ish slide and fingerstyle, an optical compressor with a good boost (currently an Orange Kongpressor) going into a Fender-ish or Vox-ish amp or model going into a 4x12 EVM 12L IR if I'm recording.

I'm still exploring harder classic rock tones.
 

JL_LI

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There’s no secret sauce. I use my Express 5:25 at 5 watts with a BOSS EQ-200 for tone shaping and sometimes a little boost for single coils. From there into a Fender Mirror Image Delay. I don’t set it for slap back. I select dotted eighth and keep everything else low. Here’s the secret. Interference. The repeat is always frequency shifted a tiny bit from the dry giving the note a little warble. It makes notes come alive. Reverb doesn’t do that. I don’t want splash. I want movement. Let repeats pile up but decay and there’s that’s where the secret lies.
 

ndcaster

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Indiana
good strings
perfect intonation
tube amp
guitar vol 0
amp tone controls all 0
bring amp volume to 9
bring guitar volume up slowly
then bring amp Treble and Mid up just until it sounds nice
add bass to taste
ride the guitar volume carefully

"110, 220, whatever works"

I also like the Origin Effects Cali76

no rules, have fun
 




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