Miscellaneous Rumbles

What do you need to get “Your Sound”?

26

I generally play clean with some reverb.

27

Hipbone,That’s because you underestimate your playing. Really those are the best kind of compliments methinks.

28

This pickup with a blackface amp no louder than 40 watts.

29

If and when I ever find my sound, I will let you know.

30

For me its been a formula that's simple for about 30 years. Echoplex and a fender tube amp (preferably late 50s tweed).

the echoplex EP3 is my secret sauce. I have an EP1 tube which gets me where i need to be as well., but only in the house. doesn't travel well.

But live its the EP3 and a tweed deluxe.

31

Do I even have "a" sound? How about three, maybe 4 "sounds".

For a quarter Century, my primary "sound" was an acoustic guitar and an uptick of my natural Irish accent. But even during those years, I was also hired on to fill in for missing or ill personnel by bands playing variously country, disco, graffiti rock , and power ballads, among genres. Each pretty much required that I lower the accent a tad and use something a little different from the Tak 12s that were my No 1, 2 etc. I'm not sure that with all of that, I have just "one" sound.

I can say that no matter what, my guitar is usually clean, perhaps with a touch of chorus and always some reverb. Pedals? Volume and echo about do it. Amp? Generally just one at a time. Currently a Roland JC77

Nowadays, the rare times I still do a guitar gig, I haul out the JC and a cable bag, toss the Taylor hybrid, the Rick and my Chet into the back of the SUV and head out (On an iffy night, the Gent stays home and safe; I can make the surprisingly flexible Taylor hybrid sound reasonably close in a live setting). It's a pretty light load compared to twenty years ago, but so far, no one's complained.

So I guess I have an equipment list, but not one "sound" that I'd call "me".

BTW- has anyone but me discovered that a Fender Precision played with a large basspick through a pair of 10's (heavy on the mids) is a fair imitation of a baritone Dano? Gives you that "Euro-pop" sound we heard on Tom Jones and Engelbert records in the early 70s. Thicker strings, but if you set it up right, it does come up with a fairly decent thump. Works in a pinch (Gotta be brand new strings though).

32

A medium power Fender tweed amp - preferably my 5A3 Deluxe.

34

Depends entirely on the context. My own tunes cover such a wide range of territory that I don't really have a single sound. I recognize certain stylistic things in my playing, but some tunes call for a nylon string acoustic, some for an overdriven humbuckered solid body, some a clean single coil tone, others an acoustic or electric 12-string, and still others a hollow body archtop just beginning to break up. Or several of the above.

I tend to use effects like chorus, wah, phasing, uni-vibe or delay sparingly but some songs just gotta have 'em.

For a recording session, I like to think I could tweak any available decent quality gear to get a sound that works for the part I'm being asked to play.

35

Kinda what Parabar said:

I like to think I could tweak any available decent quality gear to get a sound that works for the part I'm being asked to play.

But of course with more words.

I'm told everything I do sounds like me, no matter what guitar I'm playing, devices I'm playing through, or amp I'm playing into. I don't know if that's confining or liberating. (And NOTE: I'm not told it sounds good.)

I don't have a "favorite" guitar sound; it's all context-sensitive. I can be happy (if not especially impressive) in so many musical contexts. There's no holy genre; left to my own meandering, I'll flit bee-like among a whole patch of them, each evoking some variation in "my sound."

Not that I always opt for the same sound in the same context - fundamentally, I'm not that discriminating. I just try to make the guitar-gear-amp of the moment sound as good as I can, at that moment, in the music at hand.

After five decades of playing, the sheer sound of an electric guitar still delights, amuses, challenges, and satisfies me. I'm always looking for new sounds - but stupidly enjoy whatever comes out. Somehow it always feels fresh.


But within that framework, of course I have instincts and habits.

Given most any electric guitar, and most any amp, I'll twist the knobs till I get some version of a core tone: clean, with what I hear as a pleasing balance of lows (probably relatively more than most fellers default to), mids, and highs. If given a choice, I gravitate toward fat single-coils or bright 'buckers through combos, black-facey or Voxy (or the kind of hybrid I hear in my Peavey Classic 30s), and 12s or 15s. (Sometimes 10s, rarely smaller.) But if a combination I'm tasked with using won't yield my wheelhouse clean tone, I try to find what I can best do with it, and stick to that rather than just lock up because I don't have "my sound."

I'm agnostic about whether I get dirt from a pedal or from the facilities of an amp - but do like to range at will through gainy gradations from drive through crunch and full-on distortion to fuzz. If they're available, I'll use them. But if I'm stuck with one gain structure, I can probably find a way to come up with parts that work with it.


I think few players on the GDP have an unhealthier, more obsessive relationship with pedals than I have. (Frank and Tavo, maybe.) Sometimes I feel like the poster child for ridiculous excess. Yep, my core pedalboard has 15-18 devices on it - because why bother with a board if it doesn't give you options beyond what you absolutely need?

So what do I need?

After the guitar and amp, reverb (which can be built into the amp) - especially If playing by myself, or with a combo in a very small room. In a big enough room/band/live setting I can do without, but I find it hard to connect comfortably to my own playing without at least an ambient touch of verb. It's hard to sound like yourself when you don't FEEL like yourself, and when I’m bone-dry, I suffer.

Almost as important is the above-mentioned range of gain options from barely-hair to screamin'.

After that (despite my love for complex and novel sounds sculpted with silly amounts of pedaling), everything else is far secondary.

Tremolo and/or vibrato are my core modulation effects, and both are on the short-list for a minimalist board. Delay is nice - slapback, ambient follows, modulated, I can use it - but in no way crucial.

That leaves a couple of curious always-ons: compression and an enhancer/emphasizer of some sort (in my case usually the Atomic Brain). What's curious is that if they're available, I'll use them 90% of the time - but if I don't have them, I'm not hobbled in the way I am without reverb and (secondarily) some provision to gain up from perfectly clean.


So. Shortlist for a minimal gig rig with which I feel most comfortable: P90s, Dynas, Filters, or mini-hums into a Fendery or Voxy clean amp; reverb, compression and a Brain and some provision for drive - plus trem/vibrato (for sometimes) and delay for spice. I think that environment is where I sound (or maybe just feel, to myself) most like myself.

But mainly, I'm not so precious that I would ever turn down an opportunity to play just because I didn't have my gear, or couldn't get "my sound." That would be silly. I might prefer a Dyna Jet, other Gretsch, or Tele through my essential pedals into a nice clean combo amp. But hand me a shredder guitar plugged into a triple-rec gain machine - or a jazz box into an old octal - and I'm still going to see what I can do.

I know I should aim for more in life, but give me an electric guitar plugged into something, and I'm happy.

36

Eloquent as ever Proteus. I couldn't agree more with the last line about the sheer almost unnatural amount of pleasure to be gleaned from playing guitar...sometimes I think I'm a bit slow or something!...maybe I just have a really high boredom threshold when it comes to 6 strings stuck to a piece of wood.

37

Kinda what Parabar said:

I like to think I could tweak any available decent quality gear to get a sound that works for the part I'm being asked to play.

But of course with more words.

I'm told everything I do sounds like me, no matter what guitar I'm playing, devices I'm playing through, or amp I'm playing into. I don't know if that's confining or liberating. (And NOTE: I'm not told it sounds good.)

I don't have a "favorite" guitar sound; it's all context-sensitive. I can be happy (if not especially impressive) in so many musical contexts. There's no holy genre; left to my own meandering, I'll flit bee-like among a whole patch of them, each evoking some variation in "my sound."

Not that I always opt for the same sound in the same context - fundamentally, I'm not that discriminating. I just try to make the guitar-gear-amp of the moment sound as good as I can, at that moment, in the music at hand.

After five decades of playing, the sheer sound of an electric guitar still delights, amuses, challenges, and satisfies me. I'm always looking for new sounds - but stupidly enjoy whatever comes out. Somehow it always feels fresh.


But within that framework, of course I have instincts and habits.

Given most any electric guitar, and most any amp, I'll twist the knobs till I get some version of a core tone: clean, with what I hear as a pleasing balance of lows (probably relatively more than most fellers default to), mids, and highs. If given a choice, I gravitate toward fat single-coils or bright 'buckers through combos, black-facey or Voxy (or the kind of hybrid I hear in my Peavey Classic 30s), and 12s or 15s. (Sometimes 10s, rarely smaller.) But if a combination I'm tasked with using won't yield my wheelhouse clean tone, I try to find what I can best do with it, and stick to that rather than just lock up because I don't have "my sound."

I'm agnostic about whether I get dirt from a pedal or from the facilities of an amp - but do like to range at will through gainy gradations from drive through crunch and full-on distortion to fuzz. If they're available, I'll use them. But if I'm stuck with one gain structure, I can probably find a way to come up with parts that work with it.


I think few players on the GDP have an unhealthier, more obsessive relationship with pedals than I have. (Frank and Tavo, maybe.) Sometimes I feel like the poster child for ridiculous excess. Yep, my core pedalboard has 15-18 devices on it - because why bother with a board if it doesn't give you options beyond what you absolutely need?

So what do I need?

After the guitar and amp, reverb (which can be built into the amp) - especially If playing by myself, or with a combo in a very small room. In a big enough room/band/live setting I can do without, but I find it hard to connect comfortably to my own playing without at least an ambient touch of verb. It's hard to sound like yourself when you don't FEEL like yourself, and when I’m bone-dry, I suffer.

Almost as important is the above-mentioned range of gain options from barely-hair to screamin'.

After that (despite my love for complex and novel sounds sculpted with silly amounts of pedaling), everything else is far secondary.

Tremolo and/or vibrato are my core modulation effects, and both are on the short-list for a minimalist board. Delay is nice - slapback, ambient follows, modulated, I can use it - but in no way crucial.

That leaves a couple of curious always-ons: compression and an enhancer/emphasizer of some sort (in my case usually the Atomic Brain). What's curious is that if they're available, I'll use them 90% of the time - but if I don't have them, I'm not hobbled in the way I am without reverb and (secondarily) some provision to gain up from perfectly clean.


So. Shortlist for a minimal gig rig with which I feel most comfortable: P90s, Dynas, Filters, or mini-hums into a Fendery or Voxy clean amp; reverb, compression and a Brain and some provision for drive - plus trem/vibrato (for sometimes) and delay for spice. I think that environment is where I sound (or maybe just feel, to myself) most like myself.

But mainly, I'm not so precious that I would ever turn down an opportunity to play just because I didn't have my gear, or couldn't get "my sound." That would be silly. I might prefer a Dyna Jet, other Gretsch, or Tele through my essential pedals into a nice clean combo amp. But hand me a shredder guitar plugged into a triple-rec gain machine - or a jazz box into an old octal - and I'm still going to see what I can do.

I know I should aim for more in life, but give me an electric guitar plugged into something, and I'm happy.

– Proteus

Well then in response to your first paragraph, allow me to be the first to to tell you that it sounds GOOD.

As long as I’ve known you, you’ve had a really intelligent, logical, and effective approach to achieving tone.

38

Clean or dirty, single-coil or humbucker, tube or solid state, live or recorded, it seems that my "sound" comes from my right hand.

39

Since I play acoustic guitar most of the time on stage, for me to get my sound, I don't need much. I bought my 6120T '55VS to be a guitar that I would bring to my acoustic solo gigs as an alternate tone. It's already setup with the same string gauge as my acoustics, so I'm used to just plugging in and playing into something clean like my acoustic amps. So all I really need is an amp loud enough to be heard above the din. It's not what I would prefer as I would like a little drive and some reverb, but it's really not necessary, as my sound is mostly about the way I play.

40
  1. a guitar
  2. an amp, preferrable with reverb
  3. me

it always ends up sounding like me.

(ps: I had a chance to meet Albert Lee when he was touring local shops pushing his signatue model. No matter which amp or guitar he palyed, he sounded like Albert Lee.)

41

I hate my clean sound and it's all my fault.

43

I hate my clean sound and it's all my fault.

– Suprdave

44

63 Bassman, small bottle 5881s, V30s, 6120 with Setzer Sigs, Mystery Brain...... That’s it...

45

I won't claim to be anything more than passable as a guitarist, and I own a good number of effects, but my sound could be boiled down to single coils through a Fender-ish amp. As soon as I alter one of those two factors I begin to sound at least a little different, but still recognizably me.

That being said, the preamp of my Mystery Brain makes me happy enough to never turn it off.

46

A guitar with a spanky bridge pickup and a fat neck pickup, a mild overdrive pedal, a delay pedal set for generic repeats and whatever amp they have available. And hopefully, a cold beer of decent caliber.

47

A Gretsch with Dynas and a black face Fender Deluxe Reverb and some delay and I'm good to go.

48

A guitar with a spanky bridge pickup and a fat neck pickup, a mild overdrive pedal, a delay pedal set for generic repeats and whatever amp they have available. And hopefully, a cold beer of decent caliber.

– Troy6120

I'm the opposite with pickups. I prefer a fat bridge pickup and a spanky neck pickup.

My DSV Duo Jet with Dynasonics is my holy grail rhythm sound. It is sparkly, crunchy, spanky and every other adjective ending in "y" that you could think of. Duo Jets are so balanced in their sound. They are basically a hybrid guitar, delivering the best traits of hollow bodies and solid bodies in one and since they have a smaller body their tone is very focused.

My Strat with a bridge Power'Tron is my lead guitar sound and the single coil neck and middle are my go-to funky bluesy sound. My Epiphone Casino with Gibson P90s is the big warm, all purpose smooth, hollow machine with the airiest midrange of all time. My Blacktop Jazzmaster with a standard humbucker and Jazzmaster neck pickup is my punk rock guitar. My original designed Freestyle with Rose Mozart pickups which are basically slug magnet P90s is my version of a Telecaster with a beefier bridge pickup and a spankier neck pickup.

I only own 1 guitar amp and 1 bass amp. The guitar amp is a Carvin Bel Air. It has a Fender-ish tone but is a bit warmer in the highs.

50

For my band I primarily play my Falcon with Trons thru my Mystery Brain in abby mode, with a short 3 echo slap, into my deluxe reverb with plenty on reverb.

Not long ago I sat in with a friend doin’ country songs and I plugged my tele straight into the deluxe reverb. Sounded perfect just like that.


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