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Rock tone out of a es 335

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Hey i am still trying to dial in my 1995 es 335. love the guitar especially when playing single notes/double stop lead stuff. My problem is dialing in a nice semi crunchy tone when strumming/playing rhythm. I have been using a tc electronic dark matter distortion or a jeckyl and hyde distortion/overdrive pedal thru a fender deluxe reverb. I cant find an exact combo/setting that doesn't sound too muddy. I am not looking for a heavy metal/chugging or serious grunge sound. more classic rock-indie alt country-ish tone. any suggestions on pedals or settings would be great.

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I've not used the pedals you mention so I can only offer my own experience with dialing in those tones - but my 355 / Fender Princeton RI combo has never let me down for indie or alt country, the two genres I've mainly played over the years. I have a 330 as well that has a beautiful clean sound but gets muddy with too much gain but I don't have an issue with the 355.

 

For indie (I'm a big Bernard Butler and Spiritualized fan but also heavier stuff such as Come and brighter, US style indie such as Belly, all of which the 355 is more than capable of handling) I use a ProCo Rat and rely on the middle tone sweep control to get rid of any mud - it adds a lot of brightness and harmonic content to the tone which counters that tubby mid range that 335 seem to have. For alt country (I love songwriters such as Neko Case and Howe Gelb who touch on that genre, and at the moment I'm playing for a fairly traditional singer songwriter who suits a fairly clean, unaffected tone, Bigsby wobbles being as effected as it gets) I just go straight into the amp, use the middle pickup position and adjust the volume and tone controls until I'm happy, occasionally a more subtle overdrive such as the MXR GT-OD if I need it.

 

What I do find comparing 335s to Les Pauls (as the benchmark for classic rock Gibson tones) is that the Les Paul seems to have a little more focus and a natually compressed tone compared to 335s that makes it easier to fit into a loud mix - the 335 sounds bigger and broader, and perhaps takes a little more work to dial in, but if you can get a handle on them I find them more versatile. At the end of the day I find it a lot easier to get a great dirty tone out of a 335 than a great clean sound out of a Les Paul.

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Good advice so far... [thumbup]

 

Personally I find so much potential to tweak amp gain/volume that pedals per se are not necessary...

 

Delay, reverb and compression will obviously enhance what is already available

 

Some players are initially disappointed in their 335's

 

But as said....a 335 can behave like a livelier LP... [thumbup]

 

V

 

:-({|=

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Thanks for the advice people. I actually lowered the neck and bridge pips and the guitar is performing much better.. Much less muddy so it seems to be taking distortion much better.. Loving the guitar!

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I think the only natural way to get the most out of any semi-hollow like the 335 is simple. Tube amp (set on the highest gain channel), good guitar cord and the 335. Done. Pedals just don't bring out the best semi-hollow tones. Take a 25 watts tube amp like Marshall, or Mesa and turn it all the way up and rock on.

 

Jazz

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Didn't Clapton play the famous 'Crossroads' solo on an ES335 through Marshalls? Yes?

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Didn't Clapton play the famous 'Crossroads' solo on an ES335 through Marshalls? Yes?

 

The "Wheels of Fire" version was done on "the Fool" SG! The concert in Albert Hall,

version, in the late '60's was done on his red 335, which is the one that Gibson recreated

in a very limited (and expensive) edition, several years ago. Marshall Plexi (100 watt)

amp stacks, were used in both situations.

 

CB

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The "Wheels of Fire" version was done on "the Fool" SG! The concert in Albert Hall,

version, in the late '60's was done on his red 335, which is the one that Gibson recreated

in a very limited (and expensive) edition, several years ago. Marshall Plexi (100 watt)

amp stacks, were used in both situations.

 

CB

 

Ah, thankyou cb. The Albert Hall movie is the reason I thought this. Still don't have an SG but like the looks of yours....

 

One very nice 335 tone (and works for any decent 2hb semi) is when you put the switch in the middle and roll the neck pup back just enough so the bridge pup is audibly 'on top'....then amp volume to taste!

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I saw a great video today of Clapton doing Yer Blues (with John Lennon and Keith Richards) and he really got a great tone out of his 335 back then.

 

A funny thing was I looked at the video of Yer Blues from the Live Peace In Toronto concert and I saw that Yoko was screeching away. On the album they cut her out of the mix! Finally, somebody with some taste...

 

 

 

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Hey i am still trying to dial in my 1995 es 335. love the guitar especially when playing single notes/double stop lead stuff. My problem is dialing in a nice semi crunchy tone when strumming/playing rhythm. I have been using a tc electronic dark matter distortion or a jeckyl and hyde distortion/overdrive pedal thru a fender deluxe reverb. I cant find an exact combo/setting that doesn't sound too muddy. I am not looking for a heavy metal/chugging or serious grunge sound. more classic rock-indie alt country-ish tone. any suggestions on pedals or settings would be great.

All you need is a good rock and roll amp.

 

You don't state if the "Deluxe Reverb" is a real one or a reissue. They are not the same. Two different amps here.

 

If it's a REAL one, and a Blackfaced one, you just simply turn the amp up to around past 7 or so. You can ditch the pedals if you want.

 

If it is a 70's silverfaced one, it will work great with a lot of pedals.

 

If it is a reissue, can't tell you. It would be easier to just get a real one. But out of the box, they just don't sound good turned up. Iv'e read on the net some get a good sound out of them, but I haven't ever heard it myself. I have heard a lot of bad sounding ones.

 

Or as another guy said, get a Marshall.

 

The moral of the story here, a good amp=good rock and roll sound. Bad amp=bad rock and roll sound.

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Thanks for the advice people. I actually lowered the neck and bridge pips and the guitar is performing much better.. Much less muddy so it seems to be taking distortion much better.. Loving the guitar!

 

That is what I would have suggested.

I see too many guitars with the pups set up way too high, especially with rock players. Many of them want more gain and think that if they crank the pup closer to the strings they'll get the tone they want.

But, as you've discovered, yes there is more gain but more often that gain comes at the cost of great tone.

The level goes up but so does the "mud" and the lose of clarity. Chords get muddy and solo's lose definition and dynamics.

 

Also, most players never adjust the "adjustable" pole pieces in the pups. For the longest time I too never touched them.

Then, a few years back I did some reading on how pups work and such and started experimenting with the pole pieces and adjusting them.

I raise and lower the poles to help level out the individual strings level respective to each other.

I've got much better tone and clarity since then.

 

Raise and/or lower the pups to get the necessary volume level for best clarity, and then use the poles to adjust for each strings volume level.

If you want or need more gain use a boost pedal. A boost pedal lets you adjust your signal level into the amp. That way you get the cleanest and best sounding tone from your guitar and pups, use the boost to adjust the input into the amp.

If you want distortion, then a pedal is the thing for that.

Great non master volume amps, like most Fenders, can give a great power tube distortion but they have to get pretty loud to do it.

To keep the volume down use a distortion pedal and the sounds and tones can be fantastic.

 

I just got a new ES335 stain cherry and I LOVE this guitar with even really high gain/distortion.

I'm running it into my Fender 68 Custom Deluxe reverb, silver face, into the Bassman circuit, and the tones are awesome.

Then I use either/or my Bogner Ecstasy Red distortion pedal for the more classic hard rock and gritty blues tones, and my Wampler Triple Wreck for the really heavy blues, hard rock, and even Metal tones.

This ES335 ROCKS with high gain! The tone is really rich and full and gets downright meaner and nastier than even a Les Paul can.

It's a more unique sound.

The band Sound Garden use ES's with really high gain and get some cool tones. Granted their sound is a bit more on the pushed and distorted mids, but for what they do the tone is fantastic.

 

I like a lot of high gain at times, not so much for "Metal" playing but for the tone and sustain it can give, more along the lines of Santana or Gary Moore, high gain but with clarity.

If I were in a hard rock or metal band I would gladly rock my ES335 in it.

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awesome stuff..thanks

That is what I would have suggested.

I see too many guitars with the pups set up way too high, especially with rock players. Many of them want more gain and think that if they crank the pup closer to the strings they'll get the tone they want.

But, as you've discovered, yes there is more gain but more often that gain comes at the cost of great tone.

The level goes up but so does the "mud" and the lose of clarity. Chords get muddy and solo's lose definition and dynamics.

 

Also, most players never adjust the "adjustable" pole pieces in the pups. For the longest time I too never touched them.

Then, a few years back I did some reading on how pups work and such and started experimenting with the pole pieces and adjusting them.

I raise and lower the poles to help level out the individual strings level respective to each other.

I've got much better tone and clarity since then.

 

Raise and/or lower the pups to get the necessary volume level for best clarity, and then use the poles to adjust for each strings volume level.

If you want or need more gain use a boost pedal. A boost pedal lets you adjust your signal level into the amp. That way you get the cleanest and best sounding tone from your guitar and pups, use the boost to adjust the input into the amp.

If you want distortion, then a pedal is the thing for that.

Great non master volume amps, like most Fenders, can give a great power tube distortion but they have to get pretty loud to do it.

To keep the volume down use a distortion pedal and the sounds and tones can be fantastic.

 

I just got a new ES335 stain cherry and I LOVE this guitar with even really high gain/distortion.

I'm running it into my Fender 68 Custom Deluxe reverb, silver face, into the Bassman circuit, and the tones are awesome.

Then I use either/or my Bogner Ecstasy Red distortion pedal for the more classic hard rock and gritty blues tones, and my Wampler Triple Wreck for the really heavy blues, hard rock, and even Metal tones.

This ES335 ROCKS with high gain! The tone is really rich and full and gets downright meaner and nastier than even a Les Paul can.

It's a more unique sound.

The band Sound Garden use ES's with really high gain and get some cool tones. Granted their sound is a bit more on the pushed and distorted mids, but for what they do the tone is fantastic.

 

I like a lot of high gain at times, not so much for "Metal" playing but for the tone and sustain it can give, more along the lines of Santana or Gary Moore, high gain but with clarity.

If I were in a hard rock or metal band I would gladly rock my ES335 in it.

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I saw a great video today of Clapton doing Yer Blues (with John Lennon and Keith Richards) and he really got a great tone out of his 335 back then.

 

A funny thing was I looked at the video of Yer Blues from the Live Peace In Toronto concert and I saw that Yoko was screeching away. On the album they cut her out of the mix! Finally, somebody with some taste...

 

Yeah, and that was through a Fender "Dual Showman," as well! [thumbup] Those are Great Amps, too...IF you can find them!

 

CB

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I have several amps, but for home dinking around I am running my ES 335 (1981 dot issue) through a Fulltone OCD, into my '58 Fender Champ. I replaced the original speaker (in great condition) with a Celestion G8L-35, which can take pedals much better. I am getting fantastic classic rock sound, think Bad Company.

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just threw some 11 gauge strings on my es 335- wow what an improvement...

 

hell yeah... 11s on a 335 give so much more.

 

I also drive a fairly distorted/fuzzed sound and always looking for ways to get better tone.

Can I ask how much lower you've set your pickups? Distance between bottom of 1st and 6th strings and top of pickup?

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To keep all Gibson humbuckers from sounding muddy, lower the midrange setting on your amps. This will free up the power and clarity of the humbucker. The pickup height is also important, but if the midrange setting change doesn't help, then try the adjustment. I have found this helps with both Gibson humbuckers and P90s, as both have a s***load of output in the midrange.

 

If you don't have a midrange setting on you amp, then lower the bass setting until it does sound right. Turn it up.

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hell yeah... 11s on a 335 give so much more.

 

I also drive a fairly distorted/fuzzed sound and always looking for ways to get better tone.

Can I ask how much lower you've set your pickups? Distance between bottom of 1st and 6th strings and top of pickup?

 

My 335 satin has very nice and bright top end, very maple like.

I am using 9's and really like the feel and tone.

 

Here's the gear.

I'm running into a Fender 68 custom dlx reverb and Fender 68 custom vibrolux reverb.

CDR is warmer than the Fender deluxe reverb reissue/DRRI because it doesn't have the bright caps on the 2 channels.

And the CDR has a "custom" bass-man circuit along with the vintage channel.

The CVR is brighter voiced and also has a bright switch on both the custom and vintage channels so it can get really bright if I want it.

I tend to run without the bright engaged and treble around 7. On the CDR treble is usually around 9.

I run that eq for my SSS Strat as well as my HB guitars; ES335, Schecter C1 Classic, but I also run the Strats treble lower to adjust brightness.

 

Distortion pedals include Bogner Ecstasy Red, Wampler Triple Wreck, Fulltone Fulldrive 2.

 

With the 335 I get a very nice clear and bright tone along with the HB's sweet mids.

With the distortion pedals it can get mean and thick.

The '57 pups are really sweet cause they can cover a wide tonal ground without getting muddy.

My ES335 satin is a fairly bright humbucker guitar not "dark" at all. Satin finish may be helping keep the maple tone brighter.

 

For the pups, measuring towards the middle of the metal cover the distance is around 1/8" with a smidge bit more distance on the neck pups low E side.

So not really low but lower than the typical 1/16" and that helps keep it brighter and clearer.

This is measured with the no strings fretted.

 

Then, I raise the pole pieces on some of the strings to balance out the string volumes to my liking.

On the neck pup the G and B poles are the highest in that order followed by the high E and D poles.

On the bridge pup it's G, B, D, high E, highest to lowest pole rise.

 

This gives me a very smooth volume output and very nice clarity.

For more classic light distortion the Fulltone FD2 is really nice or the Bogner with moderate gain settings.

 

Hope some of that helps giving you some ideas towards getting you your tone. :)

 

 

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I ran across a Barber Small Fry pedal a few years ago and it seems to work well with Fender amps. You might check it out.

I just so happened to have one , your right

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Do we mean 'independent rock,' which has a massive variety of sounds that can't be tied to any particular amp or pedal combination*, or do we mean the crap the corporate dillywangs call 'indie rock' because they wore out the 'alt rock,' 'grunge,' and 'punk rock' labels?

 

If it's the former... eh, anything goes. If it's the latter, I can't really help you. Sometimes, mud, she is good. Sometimes, mud, she is not. Embrace the mud. Use a lower gain pedal for not the mud.

 

I use either a Rat or a Chainsaw (sometimes both) into a JCM900 MKIII with the input gain set around one-and-a-half. The Rat provides the sludge. The Chainsaw is treble heavy, low gain, and works a lot like a tube screamer in this scenario. It's the only pedal I actually have the filter set anywhere but dimed on the treble side.

 

I suppose you could sell the 335, get a Travis Bean and a TS-50B and a harmonic percolator if you like.

 

*I mean, really, the amount of distortion on some of the songs on Teeth's 'The Strain' is marvellously ungodly, to name but a single example!

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I am not looking for a heavy metal/chugging or serious grunge sound. more classic rock-indie alt country-ish tone. /quote]

 

I know what you mean.

I have that problem too.

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I bought a Bugera V5 as my first tube amp a short while after getting an ES-335. I could not get the tone bright enough. Then I got a Danelectro DJ14 7 band equalizer and the results were very satisfying. My fiend's single coil Strat did not need the EQ to sound good through that little amp, but the humbuckers' sounded better with the EQ.

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