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FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / Have you found "the" Tone? (just for fun)

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twangdoodles

michigan usa

Jun 2nd, 2017 11:34 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

When I play electric I just plug in and play, adjusting only the volume knob as necessary. Most of the time it's fine. If it doesn't sound any good after minor tweaking then things might get ugly.

Trying to nail someone else's tone is a wild goose chase. Being relaxed and comfortable with your situation is more important than the gear really. When you feel good you'll sound good, to both you and any listeners. This is sometimes elusive...





Coral Head

Sunshine State

Groupies needed
Jun 3rd, 2017 04:51 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Remember that the sound you are trying to emulate on a record has been through a studio full of EQs, compressors, reverbs and delays, and lord knows what else.

tiller2
Contributing Member
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Washington DC

Jun 3rd, 2017 06:09 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Lots of mature, interesting responses here. Okay, except for littleuch's. (That was MY Twinkie, by the way.) My TM friend would say most of you are "self-actualized." Content with your tone-lives. I read "old and given up"--kidding! Experienced and realistic.

I am that way 75 percent of the time, but then wonder what I don't know, and the GAS, or TAS, starts to creep in. Fortunately, perhaps, I have little extra money for tone investments, so I mostly work with equipment I already own.

Thanks for playing.

Leftee
Contributing Member
*****

VA

Jun 3rd, 2017 06:46 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Great topic!

My tone "center" is a Les Paul into a cranked Marshall. I like vintage output, unbalanced coil humbuckers. I have a Les Paul and a clone (w/upgraded pickups) and both are right in that zone.

For amps I have a few. I have a Peavey Windsor head that I modded into a quasi-Marshall 2203. It's a beast.

I also have a Peavey Vypyr 75 with an upgraded speaker. Three of the four base models (OD) I use in it are British. The clean model in a TR.

I also have a Jet City Custom 5/2 that I use with a 1x12. It's a flexible little low-watt head that I enjoy a lot.

For amps I lean towards British - in general. They're all great flavors.

Having said that, I appreciate a lot of different tones. In recent years I've come to love the Tele. And that can be through numerous amps.

Strats are the guitar I don't bond well with. I have one I built (Warmoth) and it is the best I've had (for me).

I really just sound like me through anything. I do somewhat chase tones. But not any one person's tone. And I'm pretty happy where I'm at in that these days.

Leftee
Contributing Member
*****

VA

Jun 3rd, 2017 06:51 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I do chase the elusive Twinkie Wrapper tone.

ninworks
Contributing Member
****

Tennessee

Too Much GAS
Jun 3rd, 2017 07:00 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have found what I like and am very happy with it. After a certain equipment-quality-level, I have come to realize that the more I play the better my tone gets.

I am not just a proponent of "the tone comes off your fingers" I am an ambassador of it. There are variations that can be achieved by using different equipment but, in the end, it's in the player...or not. I have known great technical guitarists who can play like crazy but their tone is awful. It has nothing to do with their gear. It's how, and where, they pick the strings, how hard they do it, how they mute or don't mute the strings, how they finger the fretboard, etc. By the same token, I have heard other guitarists who are not all that technically proficient that know how to coax a great tone from just about whatever they strap around their necks and play through. Then there are those who have it all.

IMO most of the "Buy this piece of gear and you will sound like _______" BS comes from the equipment manufacturers. Artist endorsements and signature models promote this marketing strategy. More progress can be made in emulating someone else's tone by really studying their technique than by using their gear.

At this point in my guitar playing journey I have no interest in sounding LIKE someone else. I'm always going to sound like ME anyway and there's not much I can do about it. I'm very happy with that.



Leftee
Contributing Member
*****

VA

Jun 3rd, 2017 07:34 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Agreed.

My tone suffers during times I don't play often

guitargeezer
Contributing Member
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Hotlanta, Jawga

I'm not old...I'm vintage
Jun 3rd, 2017 07:44 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I guess I'm going to take, at least partially, the contrarian tone here. I don't have a problem with someone using "X" tone as a reference sound or tone. To me, it's a starting point to finding "my" tone, and I think we all had our guitar gods that influenced us somewhere along the way.

Like Leftee, my "favorite" tones are generally associated with humbucker guitars into a Marshall amp. And not heavily distorted tones...that "on the edge of breakup" sound. But interestingly enough, probably my favorite reference lead tone is Don Felder's Eagles tone on Hotel California, etc, where were basically Les Paul into...a cranked Fender Deluxe.

I totally agree with Peegoo's comment above about the dimed amp, and others', too, because so much recorded music is "tweaked" or enhanced in the studio, and it's often hard to replicate that at home...which is my usual venue. But if I could get "most of the way there", I'd be a happy camper.

Now if my playing just didn't suck so badly...




BbendFender
Contributing Member
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American Patriot

About as ordinary as you can get.
Jun 3rd, 2017 08:28 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I set my rig so it sounds good to me. My high freq hearing loss prohibits me from hearing the high end but when the guys in my band tell me that I sound good, that is ok with me.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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I've got my own

double-cross to bear
Jun 3rd, 2017 08:30 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The thing about The Ultimate Tone...ultimately comes down to the tune being played and the auditory flavor you want to present.

Pick a favorite player who has your Holy Grail tone, critically listen to their song catalog, and you'll discover they actually have quite a range of tones.

Great players sound the way they do (like ninworks says above) because they are using their own fingers for every tone they're getting. I saw Stevie Vaughan play a solo acoustic set in 1982 and his tone was *huge*.

And as Leftee mentions, a 'tone center' is what a lot of players have. They have a certain home-base tone and they diverge left and right of that, depending on what the tune calls for.

Practice practice practice.

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

Jun 3rd, 2017 08:37 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm a simple guy. I almost exclusively like pleasant sounds. It's why I love songbirds and get agitated by crows, and sometimes yell "ahhh shaddup".

My tonal preferences are driven by the music I listened to growing up. In that sense I chase tone, but not frantically. I'm not out to reinvent the sound of a guitar as a way to be unique. Because if I did, most likely it'd sound like a crow.

Modal Magic
Contributing Member
********

MBJ, Highway Hound.

You Can't Bend It Aussie!
Jun 3rd, 2017 08:52 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I sound like me because of my peculiar timing, the way I attack the strings (which is varied I always try for some sought of emotional content and context) or the modes or scales I select to achieve what I'm aiming for.

My actual tone, which varies, comes from a broad range of pedals, amps and guitars. The tone sounds completely different if I use the same attack and feel between, say, a lightly chorused clean sound with extended delay compared to a gated, spitty fuzz.

'Tone is in the fingers' is BS IMO. The fingers and how and they are applied in relation to timing, attack and consequently feel defines and individuals style, the gear with it's unique sounds and how it's adjusted defines the tone.

Way to many variables to claim that tone is only in the fingers.

ninworks
Contributing Member
****

Tennessee

Too Much GAS
Jun 3rd, 2017 12:02 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I didn't say tone was "only" in the fingers. I did say, "There are variations that can be achieved by using different equipment." Certainly, there are differences between a clean and distorted sound or chorus, Strat vs a Les Paul etc.

I do, however, know from my own experience of playing with an obsession for nearly 50 years that there is more to the tone in the fingers statement than just stylistic embellishments.

There is a certainty that if you pick closer to the bridge the tone is far different than if you pick closer to the neck or somewhere in between. How much pick bites the string also has a vast degree of tonality to it. How much the fingers that hold the pick touch or brush the string has an effect on the tone. Finger picking individual strings sounds different than using a pick or your fingernails. Up-picking or down-picking has an affect. If your fingers fret directly in between the fret or right on top of it has an affect. Even vibrato implementation will effect tone. That certainly affects sustain of the note played. If you pull up and pop the strings on the frets it sounds different than if just attacked with a pick. Knowing how and when to use open strings vs fretted ones has an affect on the tone. Those are just examples I came up with off the top of my head. There are probably more.

Some of those last examples definitely overlap into the realm of stylistic coloration but, they DO have an effect on the sound coming out of the amp.

Something I think we can all agree on is that the definition of "Tone" is a grey area and not clearly defined.

(This message was last edited by ninworks at 02:48 PM, Jun 3rd, 2017)

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
Moderator

We all want

our time in hell
Jun 3rd, 2017 01:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Oh, just because I have my baseline doesn't mean I'm not looking for variations on same!

Leftee
Contributing Member
*****

VA

Jun 3rd, 2017 01:42 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Cool tone is where you find it.

walshb
Contributing Member
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******

Manchester, TN

12,423 Mustangs passed and counting
Jun 3rd, 2017 07:08 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have definitely found "the tone" for me!

Unfortunately, it's being used by Warren Haynes, not me. He is kind of abusing it and keeping it all to himself, for some strange reason.

Guitar Fool
Contributing Member
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Sunshine State

Just a pawn in someone else's game
Jun 3rd, 2017 08:58 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

i've got several tele's with different pickups, and 4 different amps....and no matter how hard I try I always end up sounding like.......me.


I can live with that

LeftyMeister

Buckeye Country, USA

Motorcycles, Guitars, and Golf
Jun 4th, 2017 07:25 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"I have definitely found "the tone" for me!

Unfortunately, it's being used by Warren Haynes, not me. He is kind of abusing it and keeping it all to himself, for some strange reason."

His tone is constantly top tier.

Dolemite

What It Was!

Fairly Unbalanced
Jun 5th, 2017 07:39 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Tone is in the cape.

Leftee
Contributing Member
*****

VA

Jun 5th, 2017 07:44 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Here's a shopping list for Warren's tones.

You'll want some coupons.

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FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / Have you found "the" Tone? (just for fun)




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