Clean tone... it's killing me...

Guitar Tricks Forum > Tone and Effects > Clean tone... it's killing me...

6strngs_2hmbkrs

Proud Celica Enthusiast

Joined: 08/14/04

Posts: 3837

ok, whenever I set-up a clean tone it's always very bright, to the point of being shrill and making me whince in pain. it's not just for me though, I hear other people getting the same tone. I've tried numerous guitars through numerous amps.. the only way I've found to fix it is to use the bridge pickup of my gibson, which is waaayyyy too warm and fuzzy sounding normally. I'm wondering if it's doing this because of the way I have it EQ'd? can you give me some examples of how you EQ your clean channels? some way to warm it up some and add some depth.. thanks in advance
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#1

ok, whenever I set-up a clean tone it's always very bright, to the point of being shrill and making me whince in pain. it's not just for me though, I hear other people getting the same tone. I've tried numerous guitars through numerous amps.. the only way I've found to fix it is to use the bridge pickup of my gibson, which is waaayyyy too warm and fuzzy sounding normally. I'm wondering if it's doing this because of the way I have it EQ'd? can you give me some examples of how you EQ your clean channels? some way to warm it up some and add some depth.. thanks in advance
If you like cars see mine here
my spyspace

Lordathestrings

Gear Guru

Joined: 01/18/01

Posts: 6242

Welcome to Tonequest 101. Lesson 1: Dialing-in a good clean tone.

Start with the tone controls set as 'flat' or 'neutral' as you can get them. The knob settings will be different for different amps. One reason I like my old Ampegs is the tone stack is an active boost/cut design which provides a wide range of adjustment. These controls have their minimum effect (no boost or cut) when the pointers are straight up (12 o'clock). Try setting your controls that way to start.

Roll your guitar tone controls down a bit; say 7 or 8 out of 10.

Start with your neck pickup. It will usually be warmer sounding than the bridge pickup, simply because the strings are less 'twangy' there. Work with one amp tone control at a time, raising or lowering the setting just a little bit, and trying that for a while. Don't make a lot of changes at once, because your ears will try to adapt to each change, and you end up getting lost. Just change one setting, just a little bit.

Then put your guitar down, and walk away for about 10 minutes. When you come back to your guitar, pay attention to your first impression of what it sounds like. Then change just one control a bit to try to correct anything that sounded 'wrong' when you first came back. Take another break to let your ears 'freshen up' again.

Again notice your first impression when you come back, and make another adjustment. You have to keep taking a break and coming back again, because your sense of hearing will always try to shift your 'normal' reference along with whatever change you make. You have to literally walk away, get into a different room, with different background ambience, in order to restore your auditory reference. Hey, if this stuff was simple and obvious, everyone would have good tone, right?

You will not get the results you want in a few tries. Not even in the first day. The next day, you may decide that the settings that were wonderful for your last session now sound like ass. Keep at it, making small adjustments. There are reasons why you will see marks on the control panels of a lot of used amps.

Happy hunting! Cool
Lordathestrings
Guitar Tricks Moderator

www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons

#2

Welcome to Tonequest 101. Lesson 1: Dialing-in a good clean tone.

Start with the tone controls set as 'flat' or 'neutral' as you can get them. The knob settings will be different for different amps. One reason I like my old Ampegs is the tone stack is an active boost/cut design which provides a wide range of adjustment. These controls have their minimum effect (no boost or cut) when the pointers are straight up (12 o'clock). Try setting your controls that way to start.

Roll your guitar tone controls down a bit; say 7 or 8 out of 10.

Start with your neck pickup. It will usually be warmer sounding than the bridge pickup, simply because the strings are less 'twangy' there. Work with one amp tone control at a time, raising or lowering the setting just a little bit, and trying that for a while. Don't make a lot of changes at once, because your ears will try to adapt to each change, and you end up getting lost. Just change one setting, just a little bit.

Then put your guitar down, and walk away for about 10 minutes. When you come back to your guitar, pay attention to your first impression of what it sounds like. Then change just one control a bit to try to correct anything that sounded 'wrong' when you first came back. Take another break to let your ears 'freshen up' again.

Again notice your first impression when you come back, and make another adjustment. You have to keep taking a break and coming back again, because your sense of hearing will always try to shift your 'normal' reference along with whatever change you make. You have to literally walk away, get into a different room, with different background ambience, in order to restore your auditory reference. Hey, if this stuff was simple and obvious, everyone would have good tone, right?

You will not get the results you want in a few tries. Not even in the first day. The next day, you may decide that the settings that were wonderful for your last session now sound like ass. Keep at it, making small adjustments. There are reasons why you will see marks on the control panels of a lot of used amps.

Happy hunting! Cool
Lordathestrings
Guitar Tricks Moderator

www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons

Jose Daniel

Registered User

Joined: 11/13/05

Posts: 28

so it's like a trial and error thing. oh..i see. Cool
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#3

so it's like a trial and error thing. oh..i see. Cool
Many drops of water make a river, many grains of rice make a large basket, do not underestimate your own potential, and do not think of any good deed as too small to do. - Master Shih Cheng-yen

Positive and negative emotions cannot occupy the mind at the same time. One or the other must dominate. It is your responsibility to make sure that positive emotions constitute the dominating influence of your mind. - Napoleon Hill

elklandercc

Full Access

Joined: 02/19/05

Posts: 2714

Also, guitars with 5 way switches, you can set the switch to the 2nd position and it will warm up pretty nicely without too much bass.
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#4

Also, guitars with 5 way switches, you can set the switch to the 2nd position and it will warm up pretty nicely without too much bass.
"During this line, the kid acted like he was pushing buttons on a calculator in the air. The kid played ******* air-calculator!"

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rockonn91

Registered User

Joined: 01/21/05

Posts: 2475

perhaps it could help if you give us your current settings...
JK Cool

-Agile Guitars Enthusiast

#5

perhaps it could help if you give us your current settings...
JK Cool

-Agile Guitars Enthusiast

6strngs_2hmbkrs

Proud Celica Enthusiast

Joined: 08/14/04

Posts: 3837

Originally Posted by: rockonn91
perhaps it could help if you give us your current settings...

hold that thought...

ok, bass at 4, mids at 6, treble at about 7 (with 1 being at 7 o' clock; and 10 being 5 o' clock; and 5 being 12 o' clock)
If you like cars see mine here
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#6

Originally Posted by: rockonn91
perhaps it could help if you give us your current settings...

hold that thought...

ok, bass at 4, mids at 6, treble at about 7 (with 1 being at 7 o' clock; and 10 being 5 o' clock; and 5 being 12 o' clock)
If you like cars see mine here
my spyspace

pure

Registered User

Joined: 11/01/05

Posts: 1304

Originally Posted by: 6strngs_2hmbkrs
hold that thought...

ok, bass at 4, mids at 6, treble at about 7 (with 1 being at 7 o' clock; and 10 being 5 o' clock; and 5 being 12 o' clock)


well.. raise your bass and lower you trebe. thats what makes it sound warmer
mid gives it a fuller sound. like its there, right next to you, instead of miles away.

try putting the mid to 10 and keep bass at 4 and treble at 7

or mid 10 bass 7 treble 4
Originally Posted by: schmange
ugly fat chicks

#7

Originally Posted by: 6strngs_2hmbkrs
hold that thought...

ok, bass at 4, mids at 6, treble at about 7 (with 1 being at 7 o' clock; and 10 being 5 o' clock; and 5 being 12 o' clock)


well.. raise your bass and lower you trebe. thats what makes it sound warmer
mid gives it a fuller sound. like its there, right next to you, instead of miles away.

try putting the mid to 10 and keep bass at 4 and treble at 7

or mid 10 bass 7 treble 4
Originally Posted by: schmange
ugly fat chicks

6strngs_2hmbkrs

Proud Celica Enthusiast

Joined: 08/14/04

Posts: 3837

I played around with it a little today. I thought that the gain knob on my line 6 spider II didn't do anything on the clean channel, so I kept it all the way down.. turns out it acts as an extra tone knob of some sort, perhaps a presence control? I dunno, but when I turned it up it warmed my sound right up! of course, this is just for this one amp, I gotta figure how to fix the same problem with my other amp now, but that one the problem wasn't as bad.
If you like cars see mine here
my spyspace

#8

I played around with it a little today. I thought that the gain knob on my line 6 spider II didn't do anything on the clean channel, so I kept it all the way down.. turns out it acts as an extra tone knob of some sort, perhaps a presence control? I dunno, but when I turned it up it warmed my sound right up! of course, this is just for this one amp, I gotta figure how to fix the same problem with my other amp now, but that one the problem wasn't as bad.
If you like cars see mine here
my spyspace

pure

Registered User

Joined: 11/01/05

Posts: 1304

Originally Posted by: 6strngs_2hmbkrs
I played around with it a little today. I thought that the gain knob on my line 6 spider II didn't do anything on the clean channel, so I kept it all the way down.. turns out it acts as an extra tone knob of some sort, perhaps a presence control? I dunno, but when I turned it up it warmed my sound right up! of course, this is just for this one amp, I gotta figure how to fix the same problem with my other amp now, but that one the problem wasn't as bad.


that sucks cause whenever you're switching to distortion from clean you have the gain setting screwed up and you have to set it again
Originally Posted by: schmange
ugly fat chicks

#9

Originally Posted by: 6strngs_2hmbkrs
I played around with it a little today. I thought that the gain knob on my line 6 spider II didn't do anything on the clean channel, so I kept it all the way down.. turns out it acts as an extra tone knob of some sort, perhaps a presence control? I dunno, but when I turned it up it warmed my sound right up! of course, this is just for this one amp, I gotta figure how to fix the same problem with my other amp now, but that one the problem wasn't as bad.


that sucks cause whenever you're switching to distortion from clean you have the gain setting screwed up and you have to set it again
Originally Posted by: schmange
ugly fat chicks

6strngs_2hmbkrs

Proud Celica Enthusiast

Joined: 08/14/04

Posts: 3837

Originally Posted by: pure
that sucks cause whenever you're switching to distortion from clean you have the gain setting screwed up and you have to set it again

not on the line 6, you set all the knobs to where you want them, save the settings, and when you switch back to it it'll give you the same settings no matter where your knobs are.

come to think of it, my peavey XXX does that too...
If you like cars see mine here
my spyspace

#10

Originally Posted by: pure
that sucks cause whenever you're switching to distortion from clean you have the gain setting screwed up and you have to set it again

not on the line 6, you set all the knobs to where you want them, save the settings, and when you switch back to it it'll give you the same settings no matter where your knobs are.

come to think of it, my peavey XXX does that too...
If you like cars see mine here
my spyspace