Less Gain ....More Tone !

Discussion in 'The Tone Zone' started by AlvisX, Sep 27, 2020.

  1. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    We were jammin last night and the young'un asks me how i am getting my tone and then he asks if the 2203x has more gain than the 6100 and i said no it doesn't. Course he replies bullshit so i hand him the California Carved Top and said give it a rip. He starts playing and looks immensely puzzled and says there isn't much gain and says how you play so fast with so little gain?

    I said "hit every note!"
    "A 2203 will not cover your ass with gain it will show your mistakes loud and clear but if you make an effort to hit every freaking note it will sound like the Gods descending from heaven. Try it!" So he really started muscling some chuggin riffs and i could he was getting it after all. He told me later that amp forces you to play better to which i replied "now whats wrong with that?"
     
  2. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    I turned the gain down & there was no tone...

    None, whatsoever...
     
  3. FracStrat

    FracStrat Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Awesome post Pete !
     
  4. lespaul339

    lespaul339 Well-Known Member

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    Throughout my years of playing, I have gradually moved over to using less and less gain. It's about finding that perfect spot where your guitar and amp sing together and you get that perfect amount of harmonic overtones/undertones.

    For me what woke me up was my JTM45. It just has the perfect gain structure for my type of playing / sound I hear in my head. It's got that sag which I love, and when I find the sweet spot it just sings.
     
  5. AlvisX

    AlvisX Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    One of the things that inspired me to say this BS was the Richie Faulkner thread in the Marshall section ....Which to my ears ,WASN'T bad tone at all, but it was a little gained up for MY classic Priest taste

    Man ,Im pretty convinced Sad Wings was 4 hole Marshalls ,stock strats and Fuzz Faces. It would really be interesting to know what the guys were using. They were both Jimi fanatics ,so I could see that being their thing. I know I can get them tones with that gear.
    I'd rather listen to ol' Jimi Hendrix with that Fuzz Face & plexiglass , than any xtra tubed gain modded up amp of today
     
  6. BanditPanda

    BanditPanda Well-Known Member

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    :funny:
    BP
     
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  7. BanditPanda

    BanditPanda Well-Known Member

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    :funny:
    BP
     
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  8. WellBurnTheSky

    WellBurnTheSky Well-Known Member

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    Definitely on the modern side, but in fairness they've been there since the mid-80s, and even more from Painkiller and onwards.
    But yeah, I agree, not a fan of the more modern, plays-itself kind of gained-up amps (or guitars, for that matter). It takes some volume for a more vintage kind of amp to feel right though, so there is that.
     
  9. SmokeyDopey

    SmokeyDopey Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    A few years back we played at a small festival which theme was ACDC. It was either covers, or derivatives, etc. All of the bands sounded pretty good: tight and solid.
    There was just one issue that all the bands shared: too much gain on the guitars. For soloing it may have been an acceptable amount, but when the rhythm guitar has as much gain as the solo tone, it gets mushy, undefined, no kick/punch or thump.

    We were also probably using SS amps, so it was very easy to sound like a can o' bees

    Compared to the other bands we were probably a bit sloppier, but we got compliments on our sound, they said we sounded very clear.
     
  10. AlvisX

    AlvisX Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I kinda kinda tapered off after Point Of Entry .I have a cutoff point with some bands ....which I think is fine ,I feel like I got in on their best. Actually ,the 1st two albums are my faves. I bought Rocka Rolla when I was 16 ...didn't exactly like it then , but after a few years .....
     
  11. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    It could have been Strats but they used SG's live at times:

    https://www.bing.com/search?form=MOZLBR&pc=MOZI&q=judas+priest+old+grey+whistle+test
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
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  12. WellBurnTheSky

    WellBurnTheSky Well-Known Member

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    I can understand that. For me, the first JP album I got was Priest...Live, plus I was 15 when Painkiller came out, and it was one of these life-changing record to me (as was the Ozzy Tribute live album). So definitely a matter of when you were exposed to them.

    Still I agree that less gain generally sounds better, especially when recording, and that gain has to go down as volume goes up. My rule of thumb being to use as little gain/saturation/compression as I can manage for a given tone and situation.
     
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  13. Derek S

    Derek S Well-Known Member

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    I love having plenty of gain on the amp though and then rolling back the guitar volume to clean it up where needed, especially when recording rhythm guitars (multiple tracks anyway) but not all amps/pickups do this well. Too much gain in a mix does clutter things up and actually masks the lead tone - so yeah, less gain often = better clarity.
     
  14. trax1139

    trax1139 Well-Known Member

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    From a sound man’s perspective, too much gain is most often what causes a guitarist to be considered too loud. The can o bees, thin, trebly, distorted tone is offensive to the human ear. Get rid of that distortion and turn up to get tube saturation, use the guitar volume control and everyone’s happy...even at a louder SPL.
     
  15. AlvisX

    AlvisX Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    For sure , and I think GT had that SG Special for a long time, maybe before he joined Priest . I don't think the guys had too many guitars back then though. There are some whammy bar parts on Wings that give it away. And , I don't think Glenn had cut up his strat by then either. Treble boosters into Marshalls was a thing with them British guys too
     
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  16. MemphisMarshallMan

    MemphisMarshallMan Active Member

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    We hired a talented guitar player a few months ago. He can shred better than most.
    Since the virus cancelled our shows we have been working the basics.
    The revelation hit him when he was able to walk out in front of the PA speakers and hear his tone. While the sound coming out of his Marshall stacks (stereo amps) sounds great on stage, what was coming out of the FOH sounded thin and flat. I had him stay out front while I dialed back the gain and his sound got HUGE. It sounded less impressive on stage.
    After months of me telling him that he got the message. Make it sound good out front.
    Often times "less is more" when it comes to gain.
     
  17. SlyStrat

    SlyStrat Well-Known Member

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    I don't like clean tone.
     
  18. El Gringo

    El Gringo Well-Known Member

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    You mean I am doing it all wrong ?
     
  19. El Gringo

    El Gringo Well-Known Member

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    I bet you didn't know he was a draft dodger during Vietnam . True story . I loved his music when I was a kid and as you said he lost his mind .
     
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  20. El Gringo

    El Gringo Well-Known Member

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    Wow, watching this I am struck by the thought of cashing in for Nuge as his bank accounts must have needed replenishing and as I was watching at work I am embarrassed for my co workers to see and hear what I was just watching . Talk about bubblegum rock and teenie bop music . I wonder if Nuge just wanted to kick there asses from time to time ?
     

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