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Old 10-21-2012, 09:04 PM   #1
seeeker88
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How do I develop that 80's guitar sound?

I'm an intermediate player coming from the acoustic world, and relatively new to the electric world. I'm very novice regarding amp/fx set up, all the gear and signal chain stuff. I'm interested in getting an 80's guitar sound, a sound I've heard described as "whispering yet choppy."

Here is an example of what I'm talking about:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7m18ffB1J4

Currently my gear is a Fender Stratocaster with Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue amp, and a Digitech RP500 multi-fx pedal. Honestly I got the amp and pedal before I really knew what I wanted. The pedal has so many presets, and you can tweak each one endlessly. You can save presets, but I find the usage to be very confusing. I'd be open to something a little simpler actually.

I do realize a lot of the sound is palm-muting, and to try out variations of reverb and delay. But beyond hand technique and general reverb/delay concepts, how much is the sound a result of the amplifier and/or pedal set up? Any recommendations?

Thanks a lot for any help!

Last edited by seeeker88 : 10-21-2012 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:10 PM   #2
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humbucker bridge guitar. if your strat is a SSS type it's going to struggle.

a more mid heavy amp than the blues deluxe with some dirt.

try a tubescreamer type OD in front of the blues deluxe.

reverb but not too much. i'm not an expert with the RP500 but i would think it could get a decent 80's type of tone like that. it would need a humbucker guitar though imo.

budget? type of strat? HSS or SSS? (pick up configuration)
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:46 PM   #3
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If you have SSS, go see some dimarzio pick ups
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:10 AM   #4
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I guess I have to repeat that, somewhat embarrassingly, I don't really know what all that means. Again, I have been playing acoustic for years, and I just switched to electric. I have no experience with all the lingo and gear talk.

It's a surf green Jeff Beck Strat, and at least for the white model it's SSS, although I have no idea what that means.

Quote:
a more mid heavy amp than the blues deluxe with some dirt.

Such as?

Quote:
try a tubescreamer type OD in front of the blues deluxe.

Huh?

I guess eventually when I understand more I'll get a different amp or something, though I think I'll be keeping that Strat.

I don't have a strict budget, I'm more interested in learning about the options.

Thank you.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:53 AM   #5
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Try a very subtle chorus effect, and a nice overdrive to add some grit without being too dirty. Fortunately the pickups in the Jeff Beck strat are fairly hot, so while it won't be perfect, if you roll the bridge tone control down a little, it should get you something in range.
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:01 AM   #6
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Verily, for odes from this era were dusted in costly exotic powders, exported from ye South Americas, and applied through ye proboscis!

For their powers doth enable one a stout confidence and pluck, it's gifts come at a heavy price: thine "loin-sword" shall not gain it's stiffness even in ye presence of ye most buxom, and willing maiden!

This post now concludeth!
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:43 AM   #7
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most common and generalized for 80's for a little bit of reverb/delay and chorus. bridge pickup.
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:57 AM   #8
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SSS and HSS refer to the pick up's in the guitar

SSS = Singlecoil, singlecoil, singlecoil

HSS = Humbucker, Singlecoil, Singlecoil

You can tell them apart by size, Single coils are generally quite skinny and only have one set of pole pieces. They have a thinner and most bright sound usually. Most Strats have a SSS set up.

Humbuckers are essentially two singlecoils combined, this reduces the hum when you crank up the overdrive/distortion, through use of magnets and magic. (hence Humbucker, aren't we guitarists creative?) Humbuckers also have a fatter and more rounded sound, this along with their hum reducing abilities makes them more suited to harder music with lots of distortion.

You can also have HH (Humbucker, humbucker), HSH (Humbucker, Singlecoil, Humbucker) and even just one pick up; H or S, respectively.

I'll attach two examples, one of a Strat with 3 singlecoils(SSS) and one of a Les Paul with two Humbuckers(HH) to help you understand the difference.

There are some exceptions, for example Seymour Duncan (among others) make Humbuckers that fit in single coil sized routing. Maybe look into those?

Not really answering the original question, but you gotta learn these things somehow...

Also, sorry for how poorly written this is hahaha
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Something2k12
SSS and HSS refer to the pick up's in the guitar

SSS = Singlecoil, singlecoil, singlecoil

HSS = Humbucker, Singlecoil, Singlecoil

<snip>

You can also have HH (Humbucker, humbucker), HSH (Humbucker, Singlecoil, Humbucker) and even just one pick up; H or S, respectively.


For additional clarity on this, the letters, read left to right, correspond to the positions of the pickups, which are, in order, Bridge, Middle and Neck.

So a HSS guitar has a humbucker in the bridge position, and single coil pickups in the middle and neck positions. And a HSH guitar has humbuckers in the bridge and neck positions with a single coil in-between.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyalcatraz
For additional clarity on this, the letters, read left to right, correspond to the positions of the pickups, which are, in order, Bridge, Middle and Neck.

So a HSS guitar has a humbucker in the bridge position, and single coil pickups in the middle and neck positions. And a HSH guitar has humbuckers in the bridge and neck positions with a single coil in-between.



oh yeah

forgot to mention that, cheers mate.
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:50 AM   #11
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While we're talking 80s guitar tone, what about OTHER tones so popular in that era: that "hollow", haunting echo used by Goth & new wave bands like The Cure, The Damned, and early Cult?

I'm thinking usually humbuckers or (rarely) neck-position single coils with a sliiiiight echo gets you partway there, but beyond that?
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:49 AM   #12
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Lots of mids, a good bit of reverb, the slightest hint of delay, and the bridge pickup.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:52 AM   #13
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I was just messing around a few minutes ago, and found a touch of chorus sent me in that genreral direction...probably filling a similar role as the reverb.
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:53 AM   #14
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Bit of chorus in there. Plenty of reverb. delay for the leads. A superstrat with a bridge humbucker, and typically a Floyd. EMG's would work. Sounds like them in that clip.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:47 PM   #15
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ideally you want a hotrodded marshall or soldano type of amp, along with a superstrat with a humbucker in the bridge.

for minimum outlay with your rig, get a hotrodded marshall type distortion pedal. Joyo crunch distortion would be the thing (it's a clone of a crunchbox).
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:03 PM   #16
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A SuperStrat with humbuckers, a Marshall JCM800 (preferably hot rodded for a bit more gain), chicks, weed, spandex and a whole lot of Aqua-Net.

Welcome to the Eighties!
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