In search of the Soundgarden tone

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by Stefan Cristea Olaru, Oct 16, 2020.

  1. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    No one says that tone is 100% gear. I never heard that or read that in my life from anyone. I have seen the "Tone is in the hands" comment over and over again, which does suggest that tone is only about the player, not the gear. Gear is a major factor. It provides the sonic palette to be manipulated by the player, just the same as a choice in canvas and paints for a painter.

    There is also the issue of celebrity endorsements which suggests on some level that a person will sound like their guitar heroes if they have the endorsed gear. That is as full of shit as "Tone is in the hands".

    Bottom line, if you're trying to nail the sound of a particular player, you have to be able to play the thing as well with the same mannerisms AND through gear that is capable of producing the sound. If you are only trying to get in the ballpark, that is a different story.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2020
  2. giblesp

    giblesp Well-Known Member

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    I didn't say that 100% of tone is in the hands. Would I be on this forum if I believed that?

    I told him his gear is adequate, the same gear as Soundgarden and same recording setup would probably not sound like Soundgarden in his hands anyway, and he's better off investing time in technique rather than spend a ton of money on more gear.

    I fail to see how this advice is BS.
     
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  3. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    Not bad advice at all. Good advice. I think I did a driveby reading on this one.
     
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  4. giblesp

    giblesp Well-Known Member

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    No prob mate.
     
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  5. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    Here is one thing we could say. Before all those great players pushed for their unique tone, meaning both playing and use of particular gear and modified gear, their tone didn't previously exist. No one previously had the tone of Hendrix, SRV, the Young brothers, EVH, whoever. They brought those sounds forward into the world. But some of them also did it in the pursuit of chasing someone else's tone, and it's just how things turned out.
     
  6. neikeel

    neikeel Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about every one else but when I plug in and noodle with a guitar with different guitar, settings or amp it will often inspire me to play different tunes or styles. We do a lot of covers so I will often have to dial in lots of tunes with a basic set up. I like the Soundgarden stuff, shame my son plays it and sounds better than me (down tuned Les Paul into cascaded 71 Superbass and an EQ pedal)
     
  7. rick16v

    rick16v Well-Known Member

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    I'm surprised we haven't had the tone is in the hands debate on this forum before.
     
  8. ibmorjamn

    ibmorjamn Well-Known Member

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    Great band , one of my favorites of the era.
    Some good advice but the tone is in the hand thing , we all get. I just do the best I can with what I have . Pick ups and speakers also , often times bands evolve their tone in relation to their success to . The JCM 900 should work but I never tried playing their songs when I had the dual reverb.
     
  9. giblesp

    giblesp Well-Known Member

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    Vibrato. Worthy of a book in itself.
     
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  10. DC135er

    DC135er Member

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    Personally, I'd try to get my own sound together rather than that of someone else. If you insist, contact the band on their homepage and ask them what they used.
     
  11. jefleppard65

    jefleppard65 New Member

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    i had read that the boss hyper fuzz fz-2 was a key element of their sound. theyre super coveted online and go for silly money. i had one but it was too insane for my liking. behringer also makes a knock off for much less.
    upload_2020-10-20_10-9-22.jpeg
     

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  12. Mark Collier

    Mark Collier Member

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    I Have a friend who used a Fender Princeton Chorus (2x12) SS amp with an early 90's digitech rack unit for reverb and chorus. that combined with a Kirk Hammet ESP guitar and a Rat could cover convincingly almost any song, in particular grunge, PJ Soundgarden, Metallica (obviously with that gutiar:) and his absolute favourite, Van Halen.

    He sounded spectacular.

    That rig would be rubbished to pieces these days so I will confirm that I have seen in person tone is VERY MUCH in the hands. :)

    If you can't get a decent Soundgarden sound from a JCM 900 and a pedal I think a bit more practice is required. Tones are a huge part of learning guitar too.

    Oh, and another thing. I would be extremely surprised if anyone here really thinks that Kim Thayall and co could/would not sound exactly like Soundgarden with a JCM900 and a Boss pedal!

    Good luck, let us know how you go.
     
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  13. tallcoolone

    tallcoolone Well-Known Member

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    so so true. I’m an amp whore...played and posted clips of the same songs played through Marshalls, Mesas, Fenders , Line 6’s...always sounds pretty much the same. No chance anyone would be able to discern one from the other, yet we debate passionately here on the differences between this stuff.

    Technique, timing and attack is 70-80% of your tone. I’ve documented over and over that I sound just as mediocre through whatever I play through lol. Find an amp that sounds right to you, responds the way you like and has the options you utilize—the tone will follow.
     
  14. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    I hear fuzz box tones throughout the early stuff.



     
  15. SLICKFASTER

    SLICKFASTER Member

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    As I see it..
    “Tone”..... EQ / Fidelity.....Hardware.
    “Style “..... in the hands...nuance.
    Different Styles of play can manipulate tone but without the correct hardware your nuance wont nail the Tone...
    Eh? Eh? What..... No Good?
     
  16. MatFnEhUK

    MatFnEhUK Member

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  17. rick16v

    rick16v Well-Known Member

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    Soundgarden were excellent. Cornell was a brilliant vocalist too.

    For bedroom playing I'd down tune a step, crank the gain, crank the bass, stand in front of the mirror and enjoy. Growing your hair long will also help.
     
  18. tallcoolone

    tallcoolone Well-Known Member

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    A good player can sound more like (insert guitar hero here) with a L6 Spider than a beginner can with the hero’s actual rig.
     
  19. Edgar Frog

    Edgar Frog Well-Known Member

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    My old saying is "Tone is in the gear, character is in the fingers".
     
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  20. SLICKFASTER

    SLICKFASTER Member

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    I was chasing Brian Setzers Tone. In 2000 Guitar Player Mag did an interview and rig break down. I followed the recipe...
    63 Fender Bassman, small bottle 5881 power tubes to lower the wats, 12ax7h+ pre amp for earlier break up. UK Vintage 30s. Gretsch 6120 with a Bigsby, TV Jones Filtertrons, slapback delay, transparent preamp to hit the Bassman like the pre amp in the Rolland tape delay. All this got gave me the Setzer tone. Could I play like him? At the time no but if I simply hit Amin and wavered the trem it was there.. Setzers Tone.
    Since then and 4K later, I understand his style of Rockabilly, runs and cord use. I obviously can’t shred like the man but the songs I write and solos I play lean on his sound, vibe - tone.
    Did the same with ZAKK.. Jcm800 vibe amp, g75s, overdrive, chorus, EMG 81-85s. Again I obviously cant shred Ike the man but 3k later... I hear the vibe of his tone coming through the songs I write and solos I can play...
    I take pride in my gear.. I like gear.
    One modeling amp might have got ball park close to both tones but fuck that!! My gear and the artists that use it inspires me to keep hammering away...
    SQUEAL PIG...SQUEAL
     

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