Amp/guitar tone porn

Always looking for MOAR TONE!!! Post 'em if ya got 'em.

Not really my thing, more of a low/meduim gain (by modern standards) guy, but OMG :exploding_head: :smiley: the guitar equivalent of MechaGodzilla.

More my thing. Sooo smooth, even on those big 9th chords, but still with elements of ballsy-ness and bite. A little more processing than I like, but of course run through the major release production mill.

https://youtu.be/83tK7d7VZaM Sorry don’t know how to edit here yet.

Wow, that lil 12 is a bad boy. Nice one. Wonder what it would sound like through a bigger cab. That would be funny, bring in a big ol’ 4x12 and put the little guy on top.

Ive done it. Believe it or not those amps get pretty loud. Not Superlead loud, but what does? A Hiwatt DR103/4 is about it. But the Lead 12 was able to hang at band rehearsal with myself the drummer who beats his drums like they are a bad wife, and the bassist who uses an Ampeg IV head with a 4x10 and a 2x12 for rehearsal.
Billy Gibbons apparently tracked some stuff with either a 4x12 or a 2x12 on Eliminator

I’m still watching this, but it’s so obviously amazing… noted YT guitar guy Pete Thorn and hot amp guru Dave Friedman recreate the classic EVH VH1 tone. Wisdom abounds. And no, you don’t have to want to be Eddy. They’re just spewing general purpose useful guitar tone knowledge, they can’t help it.

Lead 12’s are impressive amps for what they are. I never understood why Marshall didn’t reissue them. They really do smoke all the other solid states and modelers for that type of Marshall sound (JCM 800), and probably alot of tube amps too.

I first played through one in a big double garage at a students house. It sounded so good when I played the intro to the Hendrix version of Johnny B Goode that the Dad came running in wanting to know how to get that sound. It was his son’s amp and my LP Custom.

I bought one soon after, made an even trade of a malfunctioning Fender Champ at the guitar shop, but I’ve never bettered the sound of that day. Garage had loads of stuff in it from moving house, random great acoustics for some reason.

Anybody do much with combining Humbuckers and single coil pickups?

I’ve been tone chasing with my PRS and a strat, trying to come up with interesting tones between the two. Here’s a quick sample.

Everything is done with pickup, pedals, and amp settings. I put a little EQ on the guitar tracks and then some reverb on the master, but that’s about it.

In the lead parts, the PRS is on the bridge pickup and the strat is on the bridge and middle pickups.

Are there some go to type of things you do when trying to combine single coil and humbucker pickups?

Not me. :smiley: I like single coils, when I use a hb for whatever reason I find myself re-eqing to try to make it sound like a single. Did wanna say I like the new tone though.

Sounds really good. Beyond a certain point I’ve always tended not to tweak much, the sound you’ve got there I’d have decided “Right, fine sound quality achieved”

Though I still tend to spend a lot of time trying for a certain snare sound.

Thanks Fred and Morgon.

The next step is to come up with harmonies between the two guitars, but that’s where my music theory starts to break down.

As I understand it, your basic harmonies are the 3rd and the 5th of the root. So if I’m playing some licks based on say the A minor pentatonic scale rooted in the fifth fret A on the E string, is the third just moving that shape up two frets to the B root for the third, and then two more steps to the C# root for the fifth?

I’ve tried that a couple of times, sounds OK, but I’m not sure if I’m interpreting things correctly.

If the A minor pentatonic is harmonised in [pentatonic] 3rds there’s this -

A minor Pentatonic -
A.C.D.E.G
Harmonised in 3rds [notes shift along three places]-
D.E.G.A.C

Which means the C and E will be a [Maj] 3rd but the rest will be 4ths. And D.E.G.A.C is a different interval shape on the fretboard.

An A minor pentatonic line harmonised with an A minor scale will sound more melodic.

A minor pentatonic -
A.C.D.E.G
Hamonised in 3rds with A [natural] minor -
C.E.F.G.B

So by locating the extra two notes B, F in the shape that converts a pentatonic to a natural minor [Aeolian] scale, you can easily harmonise an A minor pentatonic line by skipping whatever is the following note in the minor scale and playing the one after that [for 3rds harmony]

A handy thing to note about the minor pentatonic scale is that the same shape can be played over each of the 3 minor chords of the same shape within a key and remain in key. [The two notes left out of the 7 note diatonic scale to form the pentatonic are the variables that decide whether the scale shape is a Dorian minor, a Phrygian minor, or an Aeolian [natural] minor]

E.g in the key of G, the A minor barre chord on the 5th fret, the B minor barre chord on the 7th fret, and the Em minor barre chord on the 12th fret [the three minor modes of G Major] can all have the same pentatonic shape played over them and remain in key.

So it’s the B and F notes that convert A minor pentatonic to A Aeolian, but in the example above, in the key of G, Am is not Aeolian [natural] minor, it’s Dorian, so you add a different two notes to convert the same pentatonic shape on the 5th fret to Dorian, A Dorian A.B.C.D.E.F#.G

One thing that has occurred to me about music theory is that it seems to me that if you go down the rabbit hole far enough, there’s a formal justification for pretty much anything one is likely to do. So really you can just do whatever you want and like the sound of. This kinda pissed me off at first, I thought theory was going to be a yellow brick road that led to “good music” but now I see it as that you are free to make your own road, and if you get hopelessly lost or stuck, theory can help you find your way out.

This applies especially and practically to rock guitar “harmony”, which is often based on parallel 5ths i.e. “power chords”, which IIRC in traditional classical harmony and voice leading isn’t properly even called a chord and is generally frowned on. :laughing: Morgon has made some astute observations about diatonic and modal approaches, but what’s happening often is they’re just playing the same licks together, with the harmony part a 5th or 4th or 8ve up or down. Which again I don’t think is properly called harmony but hey that’s rock 'n roll. :laughing: :metal: Another approach is counterpoint, where basically an additional instrument doesn’t harmonize the line note by note but plays something complimentary to it. I think we discussed this happening in the outro of “Sighs”.

Have fun, go nutz with it! :smiley:

I watched that video of Pete Thorn and Dave Friedman recently. The guitar sound in that video sounds too loose to me. Especially for EVH’s brighter stuff.

Well, they did the best they could. :smiley: I dunno, I haven’t heard better. If you have I’d be happy to hear it. I mean, I listen to the first 30 seconds and I instantly recognize that tone, as opposed to someone just playing that on a random amp, which wouldn’t sound anywhere near as close to it.

As mentioned, I thought there was a lot of generally useful info in there, like ceramic magnets giving a more full range tone, etc etc. But as always, YMMV.

fred, I take back what I said before. The general sound is there, and with some heavy eq to bring down low mids and push up the highs, it gets much closer. Those old Celestions make a massive difference. They provide alot across the frequency spectrum to work with.

Oh, I dunno, I should’ve been more clear, I do agree with you, I just think as far as the goal of putting together a setup that has that sound they’re maybe as close as anyone’s going to get. And sure, there’s EQ differences, very possibly intentional, the sound that cuts through a mix can be a bit unpleasant out of context. And there’s the whole issue of fingers, that clip you posted is interesting for various reasons including that I hear insight into the precision and aggression verging on brutality of his picking attack, which I’m not sure Pete is matching, and of course with tube amp compression is expressed mostly as tonal variation.

I think you might have super hearing, we’ve had similar discussions before, and I have pretty “good ears”, I can find problems and pick mixes apart although I usually don’t how to fix them lol, but you always seem to hear a bit more than me. It’s a blessing… and a curse. :stuck_out_tongue:

fred, I remember as a kid getting a similar aggressive rich sound using a couple of solid state practice amps. One was an amp that only got mildly distorted and had a light weight 8" speaker. So while it didn’t have alot of gain, it did have a rich top and lack in lower mids. The other was a little battery amp that got more gain. Any way, kids do what they do, and I decided to wire up the output of the battery amp to a cable and connect that to the input of the other amp, essentially using the battery amp as a preamp, and the combined distortions of the two made for a very rich and aggressive sound in the vein of that EVH clip. I remember the richness, tightness, and percussiveness of the sound being very satisfying, although hissy. It was much more satisfying than any other amp I had played at that point, and I still haven’t to date played an amp that does anything similar for that sort of thing.

Interestingly, I learned recently that EVH actually used his old plexi as a preamp for a solid state amp by running the plexi through a dummy load then outputting a smaller signal to the input of the solid state amp. Apparently he did this so that he could place time-based effects into the signal chain (old Marshalls don’t have effects loops), but I wonder if he wasn’t also pushing that solid state amp or the input of some processing box in the chain. https://legendarytones.com/edward-van-halen-brown-sound/ I’ll need to try this some time with my plexi clone.