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Shnate McDuanus

Let me be perfectly honest here...

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I'm not a very big fan of the "bright, sparkly, jangly, shimmering clean" tones that people seem to be so hung up on and seem to love so very much. I do not like my cleans to be "pristine" or "sparkling." I don't like to play with tones like this. I have no interest in Vox cleans, I have no interest in Blackface or Silverface cleans. I don't happen to like playing with scooped-mid cleans--I think they sound cheesy and lame.

 

Yes, I'll admit that they have their place (I mean, I'm a pretty big Byrds fan, and that's as jangly as you can get,) but frankly, it's not my thing and I can't understand why this type of tone seems to be the ideal in contemporary music. I mean, whenever I hear someone talk about the cleans that they get from their amp, they use words like "crisp," "shimmering," "sparkly," and "pristine," and these are apparently assets. I just have to say that, for my purposes, I have no use for a tone that is any of these things, and it bothers me that most contemporary amp manufacturers seem to be interested in capturing this sound. I feel like I'd have a hard time finding an amp that does what I want.

 

For me, the best clean tone around would be something akin to a Tweed Fender clean tone. I mean a tone that is round, warm, fat, and thick--even somewhat woolly. I'm sick and tired of people raving about how "sparkly" an amp is. To me, they're raving about how thin and cheesy an amp sounds. I suppose I understand that, in an ensemble setting, a tone without many midrange frequencies is best for hanging back in the mix, and so I can understand it for jazz or country or folk-rock or something like that. I guess, though, that it's just not for me. I mean, will I have to get a genuine vintage tweed Twin just to get the tone in my head? I haven't heard every amp on the market, but it seems to me like Fender's more interested in putting out the other kind of tone. Ditto with Vox. I guess a Marshall could fit my needs, probably. I know there are boutique amps out there that can do it, but they're not cheap.

 

I guess that's what this is all about--I'm just tired of hearing all about sparkle and jangle. I've reached a point where I roll my eyes when I read or hear descriptions of these types of tones. They just don't do it for me.

 

Sorry if I offended anyone. I just wanted to get this off my chest. Also sorry that this wasn't exactly a coherent post. It's just...I mean, what do you need to do in this world to get thick, warm clean tones?

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That's what the eq is for. On my Vox I set the bass at about 3 o clock and the treble at only about 9 o clock. On my amp there is no mid control. The mids are controlled by the treble and bass so when you turn the treble and bass down, the mids are increased. I like mids..

 

It sounds thick and warm with a chimey high end. (if that makes any sense)

 

Also I'm a neck pickup guy..

 

My tone is sort of a hybrid of what you say you like and what you don't like. I think you would like it though. My sound is generally very warm and thick though. Sometimes I crank the treble if I'm in a weird mood.

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I'm not a very big fan of the "bright, sparkly, jangly, shimmering clean" tones that people seem to be so hung up on and seem to love so very much. I do not like my cleans to be "pristine" or "sparkling." I don't like to play with tones like this. I have no interest in Vox cleans, I have no interest in Blackface or Silverface cleans. I don't happen to like playing with scooped-mid cleans--I think they sound cheesy and lame.

 

[...]

 

I feel like I'd have a hard time finding an amp that does what I want.

 

For me, the best clean tone around would be something akin to a Tweed Fender clean tone. I mean a tone that is round, warm, fat, and thick--even somewhat woolly. I'm sick and tired of people raving about how "sparkly" an amp is.

 

[...]

 

Sorry if I offended anyone. I just wanted to get this off my chest. Also sorry that this wasn't exactly a coherent post. It's just...I mean, what do you need to do in this world to get thick, warm clean tones?

 

 

Am I missing something here? Haven't you already answered your own question?

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For me it depends on the day...Luther Perkins sparkling echoey cleans...to...high gain EVH 2 hand pyrotechnics. How lucky to have an instrument (the guitar) that can do all that without synthesis.

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i am in the same boat as the OP...not a huge fan of bright, clean tones.

 

 

i know a guy who plays through a Vox and he has absolutely the worst tone I have ever heard in my life. He must keep the bass at 0 and the treble at 10 because even with a LP, he has no lower end....only ear piercing highs.

 

The hilarious part is that all he does is talk about the sparking cleans and chimes; no one has the heart the tell him he sounds like complete and utter @$$.

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Hmmm...our guitarist plays a Ibanez AS73 through a Traynor 1-12 tube amp (not sure of the exact model) and a Jackson 212 external bass cab. He has the exact tone you seem to like. Round, fat, wooly. Not overly harsh, or bright or sharp. Kind of muddy at times. He really digs that sound too...and we play folky, classic-style rock.

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Try hunting up an old Mesa Boogie. What you describe is exactly why I bought my DC-5. It's the rich (I don't really want chewy, but warm) cleans that have always appealed to me. Fender Twin and Fender Tweeds are my amp models of choice if I'm using a model.

 

I once read someone describe the Vox sound as "A blizzard of nails", and it describes perfectly what I like least about the music performed by even my favorite Vox players.

 

To answer the other part of your question: When recording I've found that I can't really use the kinds of cleans I like and expect them to stand out - they get lost, kind of like an organ part does unless you're consciously trying to listen to it. The more instruments I have layered into something, the more likely I am to reach for Vox and Marshall sounds to make the guitar stand out. <_< [unsure]

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`

 

 

I'm with XDM00n .... even tho I sense that he plays

stuff I prolly never listen to. There's a lotta useless

bogus hot air about tone.

 

Clean ? No way. Stick your ear on your geetar body

and play a bit unplugged .... you wanna hear THAT

thin, tinny, tinkley, krappola ? Well, thaz what clean

really means.

 

An electric ax is a system, starting with the string

and ending with the paper cone in a box. Every inch

of that system contributes, meaning it colorizes the

sound .... which was nearly colorless, odorless, and

tasteless when you heard it unplugged [your ear on

the geetar body].

 

Clean is just "The Emperor's New Clothes". Unreal,

yet sold as an ideal. Toadal bogosity.

 

 

 

`

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A 10 band EQ works wonders on shaping the tone of an amp. Also, using alternate tubes in the various preamp stages can alter the tone.

Find an amp that has the base of what you want/need and then make it your own with EQ and/or mods.

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All of my VOXes and other amps give me sparkly tones and that's what I love from them. When I want mud I put a metal zone or metal muff up front (or whatever other pedal that sucks tone).

 

I love sparkly cleans.

 

But I can see some people not liking them, just like some people don't like cinamon or chocolate. It's a colorful world we live in.[thumbup]

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My favorite cleans come from the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, love'em cleans with a little wetness from the reverb. My Mesa 5:25 produces very contemporary cleans, simply clean, no jangle, brightness, shrillness or piercing sounds like my Peavey Classic 30 used to produce.

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Though I am happy with what Egnater does and I still think the MOD50 is the best amp I've ever played on, the ONLY thing that bothers me about the MOD50 [other than price] is all the different preamp applications are just duplicating other great amps though doing so certainly as good and in some cases a better job than the originals. The Renegade is a great amp and I am happy with the cleans I am getting out of my Rebel 30.

 

That said, as Saturn alluded to, Carvin makes wonderful clean channels. Even the old MTS-3212 [i think?] that I tried many years ago and returned because the dirty channel was muddy had the best clean channel I have ever heard and I had just come from the local guitar shop playing Fenders. They're just warmer than a Fender.

 

All I know is, if it ain't broke, don't fix it and Carvin still has "AMAZING" clean tone in their current offerings and they have come a long way on their dirty channels too. I don't think you could go wrong with the Legacy II or the X100B and if what I've said here is BS, you can send it back, no questions asked. The only reason I don't own a Legacy II yet is "need". It's just "want" at the moment.

 

If we start gigging again, I'm going to get a Legacy II and a Renegade and A-B them both. Carvin left Reverb out of the Legacy II but so many people supply their own effects that the individual has to determine if no "in amp" reverb is a problem?? I will admit, dual reverbs on my Rebel 30 [and the Renegade too] is a nice "have".

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Well...did I offend you? It's just a guess, but you're probably like me and like your tones a little more on the ragged side.

 

I was offended, but I like being offended. If I want nice I'll put on Enya.

 

And yes, I like my cleans bright, dirty, and very ragged. Sixties garage rock and psychedelic music bit me early on. My amp is old and very noisy.

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btw, nice avatar.

 

Thanks. Hard Again is a great album.

 

As to the actual brightness of the tone--I'm not saying that I don't like any treble. I mean, for melody lines and the like, I'll usually bring the treble up quite a bit. All I'm talking about (and this mostly applies to clean rhythm tones, and I'm not sure why I didn't mention this earlier on) is this whole notion that clean rhythm tones are ideally "pristine" and "chimey." I'm just not a huge fan of clean tones with scooped mids and icepick highs, in my own playing. As a listener, I like a wide variety of different tones, some of which are very much like the ones I described. But for my own purposes, I like to turn up the damn mids.

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