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Your Tone

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by GreatDaneRock, Jan 15, 2021.

  1. GreatDaneRock

    GreatDaneRock Tele-Holic

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    I hear you, I think for many this is the reality. It may also have to do with a certain personality type, not being able to settle for something so important as "my holy grail sound", never compromise if you will.

    This constant need to improve "our sound" has really fueled and created a massive industry around music gear. Since the very first electric and amp was ever created, tone chasing was created too (no need to get into acoustics, yes, they are the "original" tone machines).
     
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  2. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I found mine a couple years ago. It took more years than I care to admit or count to get there, but I knew it the moment I hit a note with the final piece of the puzzle. All of my efforts from 50s wiring to speaker selection came together to complete satisfaction. It has been fun and very satisfying ever since. I'm a blues/blues rock player, but I wanted something unique, but in the Larry Carlton arena of tone. I used an Epi Sheraton II as my foundation of various mods and always futzing with a lineage of EQ pedals.

    Probably the most important aspect of my search was writing my own songs and deciding that I wanted my own sound.

    Walking away from traditional OD/dirt pedals and going to amp emulation pedals was the major strategy change. Also, learning the differences in the three Fender tremolos helped me find the one stuck in my head. The cream was gambling on the VFE tilt EQ. A powerful, yet not easily understood style of EQing.

    Lastly, I could not have arrived at my musical adventure destination without a lot of help and guidance from my fellow TDPRIers.
     
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  3. srblue5

    srblue5 Tele-Holic

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    All very true. I would definitely agree that tone/gear/music knowledge has helped in terms of getting closer to "my" tone.

    I would also add that emotional mindset, headspace, and/or spirituality (whatever you want to call it) plays into getting me closer to "my" tone. I can think of a few gigs I played using the exact same guitar, amp, and pedalboard (down to the order and settings of the pedals) -- some sounded absolutely amazing while the others were simply awful. The one common factor I can find between those is my headspace during the gigs, although it's not always that predictable. One of the best gigs I ever played was preceded by a horrible fight with a (now ex)-partner, to the point where I almost didn't bother to show up for the gig -- I was rewarded for making it there by getting some of the best sounds I've ever had (I have a recording of that gig and I'm still chasing that high to some extent). Maybe there's some X factor in there that I still don't really know.

    I've definitely had some bad gear over the years that got me further from "my" sound. A few times, I kept that gear out of peer pressure, but it was always rewarding to move that stuff along and focus on what I wanted to hear.
     
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  4. GreatDaneRock

    GreatDaneRock Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for sharing, writing my own music was THE catalyst for arriving at my own thing, the best tone for me.
     
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  5. GreatDaneRock

    GreatDaneRock Tele-Holic

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    Very true! How we "hear things" is heavily influenced by our state of mind, mood, headspace, and emotions. Thanks for adding that to the convo.
     
  6. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    It goes in cycles, but I kinda keep coming back to some sort of medium-high output humbucker into a Marshall.

    That seems to be the sound my ears want to hear more often than not.
     
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  7. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Writing YOUR stuff seems like a great way to find YOUR tone. It's also liberating. You don't need to try to be anyone else - lyrically, melodically, tonally, etc. The problem I encounter with emulating others, is that who those others are tends to change. If you're just trying to be you, then that never changes, unless YOU want it to!
     
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  8. srblue5

    srblue5 Tele-Holic

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    Not to go too far off-topic but I totally agree with this. When I got back into songwriting last year, I realized that I'm really just taking all the bits I like from different music that I like and putting it together into a combination that I also like (as does hopefully anyone else who hears it). How can you not end up sounding like yourself then?
     
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  9. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Maybe the answer to that is that you will always end up sounding like yourself, but you might also sound more geniune if you embrace being you rather than running from it. IDK, lol, this is getting deep.
     
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  10. GreatDaneRock

    GreatDaneRock Tele-Holic

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    This is exactly, I mean exactly what happened to me when I decide to write original music and form a band to play it. I had a path and goal to arrive at, I heard it in my head and took a bit to get there but when I did, BOOM! I mean the ear knows when it finds the right stuff.
     
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  11. srblue5

    srblue5 Tele-Holic

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    It’s Friday night after all, right? Lol
     
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  12. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I really like this thought. As I dive into the history of blues including learning some "field hollers" without instrument accompaniment, I find that I have to dig deeper into my soul to be more authentic as a player. My hope is that my originals project me and my sound. Now that I am satisfied with my gear, I can focus on this much more challenging goal.
     
  13. gobi_grey

    gobi_grey Tele-Afflicted

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    I enjoy several amps but my go to favorite "me" tone is unique, it reminds me of tones I've chased and satisfies those cravings but also has it's own character and personality. I no longer chase tones. I just enjoy the ones I can create.
     
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  14. GreatDaneRock

    GreatDaneRock Tele-Holic

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    LOL yes, it's Friday night but this discussion really interests me because of how much revolves around gear and how much we can obsess for tone (That Pedal Show anyone?). But also from a human behavior point of view, and a relatable behavior at that as we all suffer from the same illness, GAS!

    I have swapped more pedals I care to count, not that many amps and now having a fairly big collection of a type of amp that's polarizing, but I love it and make a tone with it that speaks to my heart. In the end, out the 8 amps, I mainly play 2, mostly 1.
     
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  15. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    That's called successful gas imo. I've gone through about 25 dirt pedals since lock down. I've got 3 on the board and 2 in the drawer. The ones I discovered through taking a risk.

    Amps are the same I would imagine. I never would have guessed that a fender would satisfy my Marshall influenced ear more than Marshalls I've tried. Things are strange, you just gotta experience.
     
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  16. DeepDangler

    DeepDangler Tele-Meister

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    I've figured out my tone but am not in a position to have a perfect setup. My distorted tone is a Peavy 5150 or as close to it as I can get. I used to have one but it was a monster that was too loud and too heavy for my living situation. I can get a similar powerful and tight high gain sound with my current amp. For clean, the Vox AC15 has been a mainstay of my sound that hasn't changed for years. I tinker with pedals for fun and discovered how overdrives can change the character of an amp (after playing for 16 years).

    The greatest discovery on my tonal quest has been the Telecaster and the modification of. If there is one thing about my sound that is a constant, it's my T-type with Quarter Pounders.
     
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  17. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, been chasing the sound for years. At times I aspire to emulate Buddy Guy and Eric Clapton. Other times, Vince Gill, or Junior Brown. It all changes from time to time. But, certain rigs get different sounds for me. Most versatile amp I have is the THD Bivalve.
     
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  18. GreatDaneRock

    GreatDaneRock Tele-Holic

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    What about the 5150 III mini head?

    I discovered with my Teles and Strat (and early on with my other 24.75 scale mahogany guitars, which I don't play as much now, really like the 25.5 scale) my tone is heavily based on having a humbucker in the bridge position, as my music is pop-rock with some high gain tunes mixed in as well. But I am constantly using the Teles middle position (almost never neck by itself) and on the strat the middle pickup as well, for the lighter, cleaner stuff. My humbuckers don't need to be high output though.

    Just like you, although I grew up listening to music that probably revolves heavily around cranked British stack tones, I have gravitated to Fendery clean platforms (pedalboard is how I get my dirt) and it seems to have scratched the itch for now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
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  19. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Quick, free mod...try swapping places with your middle and neck pickups, then position 2 gets you bridge/neck.
     
  20. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    My search is 95% ended, but I'm always looking.
     
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