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Discussion in 'The Buzz Box' started by chimneysweep, Dec 6, 2017.
Obscure or unexpected but works
A concoction I stumbled upon is running my Strat or Les Paul thru (in order) my Hardwire TR 7 Tremolo pedal (UniVibe setting), my Arion Stereo Chorus, my Keeley Dark Side (flange setting & scooped mild fuzz setting), and then my Dyna Comp compressor, then into my Bugera V5 on it's cleanest setting.
What I get is a tone that sounds like i'm inside a huge, rusty oil can. That's the best way I can describe it. I will need to record some samples soon and share. It's a nice change-up tone to sprinkle in if I ever start recording my own songs.
Imagine when Johnny Marr came up with the “How soon is now” rhythm @ElRey67
Perhaps you’re on to something
Absolutely this! -Something I found in an obscure NY music shop many, many years ago.
Even after getting it it took me some time to learn to really use it. But wow! The tonal possibilities it allows! Put it here on the string, or there. Give it a little more edge, or a little less. Oh, what it does to the tone! Amazing!
I keep waiting for the battery to fail, or something. But no. It still does just what it did all those years ago.
Oh, and it was cheap!
I find the best way to get good tone out of my guitars is have an actual guitarist come by the shop and play them. Amazing what 20 or 30 years of practice and dedication sprinkled with a little skill will coax out of an instrument that sounds like a strangling cat when I play it
I think a sleeper pick is a simple EQ pedal, helps shape things to your ear
Though certainly not cut and dry nor can be recreated live. That's really a great jam though.
Obscure or unexpected but works:
Not using a guitar amp, and running through garage sale stereo equipment for big sound, for an inexpensive solution. I have an old Digitech RP100 to shape the sound, connected to a small mixer, then outputs into a vintage Carver stereo amplifier, then to an old set of Radio Shack Mach II speakers. The Machs have 15's in them.
Although this sounds unconventional for a home setup, it essentially imitates going direct into a mixer and PA system, which is the way a lot of concerts are doing it today. It really livens up a basement.
So when looking around at thrift stores and garage sales, don't dismiss those old silver face receivers and big speakers from the 70's/80's. They can be gold.
In a real sense you have discovered what a good modeling amp is all about (and likely found a way to get a really good one on the cheap!).
Traditional amps create the distortions that make up even a "clean" electric guitar sound via tube overloading, circuits that shape tone and the further distortion of a specific for the purpose, non "hi-fi,"speaker. Modeling amps synthesize those distortions and then use high fidelity amps and speakers to put that sound out into the room.
When we put a guitar sound shaper in front of a hi-fi system we are doing the same thing. And yes, that is exactly what many bands today are doing so as to fill large venues with the sound normally created in club-sized venues with a traditional guitar amp.
Along with great sound there is another possible benefit of doing what you are doing: It allows for having a huge guitar amp in the living room without upsetting either the decor or the wife!
Years ago I found that a Boss DS-1 coupled with an AC-2 or 3 gives a very creamy fuzz type distortion.
So 1 –Practice.
And then.. I gave this some thought and I fenced it in to just guitar and bass. I play a lot of both around the house. Guitar, accompanying my daughter or writing things, more into the advant-garde (so.. not even getting into those experimental seasonings).
Most guitars have 2 pickups, I like tone and volume controls. Controls on the amp can adjust the parts of the amp, the feed to the circuits, but not the same way they interact at the guitar. I tend to favor classic Fender tone and reverb and tremolo are a must, not an effect.
Bass: In the band, I use a Mooer sweeper and octave, but not completely necessary as they are switched on here and there. If I don’t use them, ok. Most bass amps are pretty forgiving as the frequencies just require power/volume. I tend to favor 2 pickups and blending (Jazz bass, VM Jaguar Special, etc.) The single pickup Dimension is really good, I’m still getting used to its single pickup and active tone.
But secret sauce or something unique, Guitar into digital delay into tremolo, into reverb, into looper into vibro champ.. and yes. 2 vibratos (trem) at the same time, different rates. This made a similar sound to The Cure’s Fascination Street.
I don't know if a modeling amp could do that. Maybe the sound itself, delay, reverb and tones, sure. I could be wrong, but it won't be as large, spacious unless that amp has 2 speakers separated out as a PA system would. There's no replacement for displacement.
Oh.. Let me add that mu first amp was a Fender Musicmaster bass amp that had a 15" JBL shoehorned into it. I still have it. But that really made me accustomed to 15" speakers. I later got my Sound City 50+ amp and ran it through 2-12's. Something wasn't right until I ran it into a single 15 -ah!! There it is. Secret Sauce? Not sure. Makes my sound a little different though.
Later by chance I learned Duane Allman used 15's. So win-win!
Hahaha. My setup is strictly a mancave/basement setup as the Mach II speakers are old and ugly enough to not really fit in the living room. And what is the modern trend for speakers in the living room? Big full sound speakers are out and little tinny sounding speakers that bluetooth to your phone or whatever are in. I can't accept that loss of fidelity and still run a set of vintage Infinity RS4b wood towers in the living room, and are beautiful looking too (small speaker trends be damned). I have not tried running a guitar through these yet upstairs, but perhaps I should try it when I get another guitar.
I hear you!
Well, I would, anyway, if my 3-way, 12 inch woofered, ADS studio monitors weren't each presently absorbing peaks of up to 240 watts RMS from a separate Basic One power amp.
Yes, yes. Totally out-of-date. I know.
As, indeed, am I.
Now you've got me tempted to drag out my old PA system with the Yamaha mixer, Crown amp and 15" Peavey speakers. How much you want to bet I can get kicked out of the neighborhood?
Well.. If we get into home theater and music, the little book shelf speakers and a sub are simply amazing because there is less loss of fidelity, better sound processing and handling all on the front end (the amp) and the delivery (from your signal provider). There is very little crossover (pun! and there is some) but the dynamics, frequency response, timbre, etc. of guitar reproduction are very different. The mixing of the sound, into a Carver (essentially used purely for power) and how it all handles given frequencies -that's why one would see a PA type of reproduction, a good sound. But a guitar through a Denon home theater into bookshelf speakers wouldn't be good.
MM x 15 counts as secret
Experientially I think that most of us would agree with you. Modern small speakers of the type that many people use for home video viewing are truly amazing things -- creating a vibrancy we not that many years ago would have found impossible to believe were coming from such small drivers and cabinets.
That said it should also be noted that expectations are playing a part.
If a musician records his guitar in a studio the sound coming out of the "stereo" should be pretty close to what went into it. And if the frequency was not played with (it often is for psycho-acoustic-reasons -- and the same is true for compression) what comes out will be truly what went in.
That is what studio monitors are about. And no, I do not mean the little jobbies (as good as they are for what they are) used in the typical home studio. No, real ones. Meant to extract every nuance of the music, uncompressed, at the volume that was played in the studio.
My ADSs are an example of that. They are the same ones favored by Robert Woods when he was mastering the original Telarc recordings. Accurate and dynamic. Sounding effortless.
Such speakers have to take up a far amount of space -- that because they need to move a lot of air. And they are not efficient -- this because cone motion is controlled by air that is 'locked' into the cabinet, dampening any motion not immediately being forced onto the cones.
In the case of my own system that is yet increased by what is called a Sigma Drive circuit which in real time compares the motion of the cone (as revealed by their effect on the driver coil serving as a generator) with what is in the original amplified signal and then forces the cone into compliance..
Again this is quite different sounding than even a good small driver system. There is no faking it. No psycho-acoustic accommodation -- the very heart of MP3 and its subsequent (and today very common) compression systems. No "downward masking" and the like.
Mind you newer high-end monitors are significantly better than my late `70s models. Those in my son's theater -- by Bower & Wilkins -- along with the amps that drive them (the same as those recently installed in Abby Road Studios) absolutely take my breath away. But even older ones are a far cry from the little speakers generally favored today.
I fully suspect that if I put a fine guitar amp on his theater's sound stage and alternated it double-blind with a good recording played at the exact same level I'd have trouble saying which was which.
Now whether any one of us needs such quality is another thing. Many today seem to think that they don't. But as for me... more, more, MORE!!!