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Old 05-20-2009, 10:28 AM   #1
anthsband
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Question tube screamer tone

About a year and a half ago, I decided to add the cliche tube screamer fender sound to my arsenal because I was really getting into the blues/funk/rock kind of genre. I have a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, ibanez TS9DX tube screamer, boss EQ, and a fender standard strat. I also use a little boss distortion pedal just for more drive during solos. I have been playing around with the stuff for a while now and I still can't get the tone I want. Obviously I want a kind of SRV, John Mayer, Clapton kind of tone and I just can't dial it in for some reason. I know the Fender isn't really expensive and probably is part of the problem. Is it because of the pickups too? I know SRV had the special Texas ones or whatever. And most of the reason I am posting this is because yesterday I was at Guitar Center and finally got to try the TS808 on a Hot Rod and honestly it didn't sound any different then the TS9DX. I expected this huge difference but it wasnt at all. I know everybody wants that kind of sound but come on...who wouldn't? It's so clean sounding but still punchy at the same time. Its amazing!

Here's how I have everything set up:

Hot Rod:
bass - 12
mids - 5
treble - 7
presence - 9
reverb - usually around 2 or 3

Boss EQ:
Same exact settings SRV uses

Tube Screamer:
tube setting: TS9 mode
Gain - almost full
Tone - a little less than half way


If anybody could give some advice that'd be great.
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Last edited by anthsband : 05-20-2009 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:42 AM   #2
StraightHate
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Keeley Mod is highly recommended for Tube Screamers.

For SRV specifics check this out:

http://www26.brinkster.com/jakapa/srv/faq/faq5.htm#53

Quote:
Start with the distortion pedal. Stevie used the Tube Screamer for more gain, not distortion. In other words, he used the TS as a sort of "pre"-preamp. Do the same with your pedal. We really don't have a specific setting for Stevie's rig, but it would probably be close if you set the Level to max, the distortion to maybe 2, and the tone to max. Now remember, Stevie is playing on the edge already, and using the Tube Screamer this way will simply provide a wall of volume with more power amp distortion. If you can't turn up like he did (and I don't know who can!), use the distortion control to give just a little more fuzz, and use the level to match the volume like you normally would. It won't sound the same, since you're introducing "imitation" distortion, but it will be at a more reasonable level, and it will help sustain.

Stevie did use a Fuzz Face on some songs, especially later in his career, and mostly in concert rather than on an album. Stevie used the Fuzz Face specifically for distortion, while he used the Tube Screamer mostly for added gain (make it louder). You can hear the Fuzz Face on "Leave My Girl Alone" on IN STEP. Stevie turns the Fuzz Face on as he begins his solo. You can hear how his tone becomes much more distorted at that time. You can set your distortion box to this type of fuzz, too. It may not be as "smooth" as a Fuzz Face, but it will produce the extra distortion.


Hope it helps.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anthsband
About a year and a half ago, I decided to add the cliche tube screamer fender sound to my arsenal because I was really getting into the blues/funk/rock kind of genre. I have a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, ibanez TS9DX tube screamer, boss EQ, and a fender standard strat. I also use a little boss distortion pedal just for more drive during solos. I have been playing around with the stuff for a while now and I still can't get the tone I want. Obviously I want a kind of SRV, John Mayer, Clapton kind of tone and I just can't dial it in for some reason. I know the Fender isn't really expensive and probably is part of the problem. Is it because of the pickups too? I know SRV had the special Texas ones or whatever. And most of the reason I am posting this is because yesterday I was at Guitar Center and finally got to try the TS808 on a Hot Rod and honestly it didn't sound any different then the TS9DX. I expected this huge difference but it wasnt at all. I know everybody wants that kind of sound but come on...who wouldn't? It's so clean sounding but still punchy at the same time. Its amazing!

Here's how I have everything set up:

Hot Rod:
bass - 12
mids - 5
treble - 7
presence - 9
reverb - usually around 2 or 3

Boss EQ:
Same exact settings SRV uses

Tube Screamer:
tube setting: TS9 mode
Gain - almost full
Tone - a little less than half way



If anybody could give some advice that'd be great.


This is just wrong.
Same goes for the amp.

Amp:
Less bass, a little less treble more mids. Less presence too, imho.


Tubescreamer:
Put the level around 3/4 to 4/4 full. Gain very low and tone around half way, adjust to taste.

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Old 05-20-2009, 12:02 PM   #4
anthsband
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how is the amp settings wrong? Literally everything I read about a good blues strat tone like SRV or JM says to put bass up high and scoop the mids and then put treble to whatever is preference. I'll try putting the pedal the other way though
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anthsband
how is the amp settings wrong? Literally everything I read about a good blues strat tone like SRV or JM says to put bass up high and scoop the mids and then put treble to whatever is preference. I'll try putting the pedal the other way though

There's a difference between HIGH and MAXED. Maxed is stupid, high isn't. Particularly with a strat.
Scooped mids for SRV tone, eh. Sounds like a bad idea to me. I'd keep them a little higher, if I were you. Trenble and presence can shape the tone just as much.

Also, Doesn't sound like it's been working out for you so far, so trust my advice
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:04 PM   #6
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I tried what each of you said. Amp wise I did notice that turning the bass down to about 9-10 instead of 12 made the amp clearer so yea I guess it was a bit too high. Mids and treble though I pretty much kept the same as what I had it. I didn't like it the way you said. But def keepin the bass down a tad bit more.

Pedal wise I didn't like the way it sounded either for some reason. I think its just I like distortion and witht he gain up a lil more than half way that fulfills my appetite for that haha I guess I'll just keep fiddling with it. Maybe I'll check out the Keeley mod TS too cuz I did read about that one day but I never got to try one out.

Thanks for the help. Anyone else have advice please do tell though
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Check out my rock trio band!
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Old 06-04-2009, 03:43 PM   #7
DoomsdayArsenal
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Talking

I would definitely try the following settings for the Hot Rod Deluxe ( I own one also, and seek a John Mayer/SRV tone ).


Treble: 7
Mid: 7
Bass: 5
Presence: 7
Reverb: 3


It sounds superb IMO.

My tube screamer is the Maxon OD9, so I cant help you there too much. Tone at 9:00 is a good place to be. Drive shouldn't be maxed, but you can play with it.

Neck pickup for soloing, neck+middle for rhythm is a good basic method.

Don't underestimate the gain-staging abilities of the volume knob.

The tone knobs are handy, but I leave em alone.

Ernie Ball .009's or .010's are great.

Practice your vibrato.
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Old 06-04-2009, 06:07 PM   #8
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Edit: more bass than 5 is an option depending on your own personal taste--I used to have much more bass a few months back. Treble no less than six, no more than 7 is a good solid strat range. Mids are a tricky subject--I find that it is an ugly frequency best utilized when kicking on the Overdrive (TS has inherent mid-range boost), but one that can muddy up a crisp Fender clean tone. Particularly that of the Hot Rod Dlx, which I believe to be a fantastic amp for the money.
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