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Old 12-13-2012, 05:45 PM   #1
TempleOfSyrinx1
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80s Thrash Tone - can anyone identify?

Hey guys!

I've spent ages trying to break down this tone that can be heard in many 80s Metal albums. Can anyone help me out with how this tone was achieved?

It can be heard at it's best in The Exorcist by Possessed, Terror Zone by Kreator, Watch the Children Pray by Metal Church, and Time has Come by Artillery.

I've been told things about overdrive and a JCM800 but i'm not sure, any ideas?

Thanks!
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:57 PM   #2
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In 1988 Scott Ian used an ESP Ltd with Judge Dredd decals (probably added to the tone), Marshall 100w speaker head (probably JCM 800), Marshall 4x12 cabs (x2) and the most awesome right hand in the world.
Kreator used Engl as far as I recall...
You can still get hold of the old DOD thrashmaster pedal I think..
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:10 PM   #3
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yeah it's probably a jcm800 + a boost. or maybe a soldano or something like that.

what's your budget? there are plenty of things that'll get you close for a lot less than the "real thing".

EDIT: i should probably say i've never heard any of those bands you listed. i was talking about the more mainstream thrash stuff.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:20 PM   #4
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Thanks for the infos guys! I'm not buying anything right now, but i'm researching this tone for maybe when i'm older. Another song i probably should have mentioned is Alison Hell by Annihilator, though i have been told that Waters used a Gibson Flying V with a ceramic pickup, through a JCM800 boosted with a Boss SD1. I've heard this combination, but it doesn't sound right though...
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TempleOfSyrinx1
Hey guys!

I've spent ages trying to break down this tone that can be heard in many 80s Metal albums. Can anyone help me out with how this tone was achieved?

It can be heard at it's best in The Exorcist by Possessed, Terror Zone by Kreator, Watch the Children Pray by Metal Church, and Time has Come by Artillery.

I've been told things about overdrive and a JCM800 but i'm not sure, any ideas?

Thanks!


If you want a Metal Church sound, you will need bass and some treble. Metal Church as a whole had a very big sound, lots of classic reverb. I believe most of "The Dark" is down about a half-step or maybe even a whole-step.

I believe there are pictures of them performing on their early live album, you might want to look at that and see what equipment shows up. I think the guitar parts on the song you mentioned are layered. Both guitarists were probably playing rhythm and then split for leads.

Last edited by bigblockelectra : 12-13-2012 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TempleOfSyrinx1
Thanks for the infos guys! I'm not buying anything right now, but i'm researching this tone for maybe when i'm older. Another song i probably should have mentioned is Alison Hell by Annihilator, though i have been told that Waters used a Gibson Flying V with a ceramic pickup, through a JCM800 boosted with a Boss SD1. I've heard this combination, but it doesn't sound right though...


have you heard it up loud? a jcm800 (never actually tried one... going by my laney gh50L, which as far as i'm aware is more or less an 800 when the extra gain stage is disengaged) isn't that high gain, and far as i'm aware, you really have to crank it to get *that* tone, even though it has a master volume. some more modern amps are more like hotrodded 800s and may well be more useful at getting those type of tones at all volume levels.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:22 PM   #7
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Thankyou guys!
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:28 PM   #8
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Splawn



....and Dave you've never heard of Metal Church and Kreator?
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:05 PM   #9
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Well, I'm with Dave. I've never really heard too much from any of those bands, nor researched them, but the Big Four all used the following setup

Solidbody guitar with Humbuckers
Overdrive Pedal used as a boost
Marshall JCM800
Marshall 1960 cabs loaded with Celestion G12T-75 speakers

Now, the flavor of each band is basically made by the following things (in terms of guitar tone only):
1.) The pickups they used
2.) The individual guitar
3.) The boost pedal used
4.) Their hands

If you want an amp that does Marshall sound better than Marshall does, go Splawn. If you're on a budget, go Peavey Windsor. If you have to have the real thing, buy a JCM800.

There are other options, certainly, but those 3 will give you the closest possible to their tone.

One main thing about the amps they used is that you have to be blasting gig volumes for them to sound like they do, because a lot of them didn't use Master Volume amps, meaning that they had to crank the f*** out of it to get that heavy sound. Also, they aren't using as much gain as you think. They key is to not scoop the mids out, but boost them some. Also, if you aren't using the Overdrive correctly, it won't work. Turn the Level to Max, the Gain as low as possible, and set the Tone to your liking.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blktiger0
Turn the Level to Max, the Gain as low as possible, and set the Tone to your liking.


This is really the only way I am able to get good sounds from my Boss Metal Zone, hahaha.


++++++++++++

Ok, I took a look at my Metal Church Live CD.

Craig Wells is holding a Les Paul-type guitar in both photos, Kurdt Vanderhoof is holding a HSS Stratocaster-type guitar in one photo and I think a Flying V-type guitar in the other photo. Marshall cabinets are seen in the background.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blktiger0
Well, I'm with Dave. I've never really heard too much from any of those bands, nor researched them, but the Big Four all used the following setup

Solidbody guitar with Humbuckers
Overdrive Pedal used as a boost
Marshall JCM800
Marshall 1960 cabs loaded with Celestion G12T-75 speakers

Now, the flavor of each band is basically made by the following things (in terms of guitar tone only):
1.) The pickups they used
2.) The individual guitar
3.) The boost pedal used
4.) Their hands

If you want an amp that does Marshall sound better than Marshall does, go Splawn. If you're on a budget, go Peavey Windsor. If you have to have the real thing, buy a JCM800.

There are other options, certainly, but those 3 will give you the closest possible to their tone.

One main thing about the amps they used is that you have to be blasting gig volumes for them to sound like they do, because a lot of them didn't use Master Volume amps, meaning that they had to crank the f*** out of it to get that heavy sound. Also, they aren't using as much gain as you think. They key is to not scoop the mids out, but boost them some. Also, if you aren't using the Overdrive correctly, it won't work. Turn the Level to Max, the Gain as low as possible, and set the Tone to your liking.



Unless I am mistaken wasn't it the Thrash metal that made scooped mids popular back in the '80s? Not everyone did it, but early Metallica definetly did. Kill'Em All is typical scooped mids and high treble guitar sound, no?
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 311ZOSOVHJH
Splawn



....and Dave you've never heard of Metal Church and Kreator?


i think i've heard of kreator but never really heard any of their stuff
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_Mc
i think i've heard of kreator but never really heard any of their stuff



If Thrash is to your liking, listen Coma Of Souls and Extreme Aggression, like, now.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:37 PM   #14
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ok
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I had a Blackstar. I felt like I was lied to by Chappers, that fat ****.


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Blackstar can blow me; dodgey ****ers.


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Old 12-14-2012, 12:40 PM   #15
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Another Kreator fan! Fantastic!

Not too sure on this one as others have said early thrash was a boosted JCM 800 with a tube screamer in front of it.

But there's so many amps out there that people are using. Testament's Eric Peterson (unless I'm wrong) was using the EVH 5150 iii amps, Megadeth use Marshall's (though Chris Brodrick did use Engl for a time)

But yeah, just a lot of choice for that genre!

But I'd recommend a Laney AOR/Peavey Windsor with a Tubescreamer type pedal with it, if you're on a budget.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_Mc
i should probably say i've never heard any of those bands you listed.

i was around in the 80s and i never heard of them either.

don't feel bad.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:02 PM   #17
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i mean i was around in the 80s but i wasn't listening to thrash metal, i was pretty much just watching transformers and the a-team, that's about all i can remember from the 80s

sounds a bit like testament.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:05 PM   #18
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I'm not surprised some of you haven't heard of some of those bands.

They're not exactly huge, famous bands.

anyway, TS, most 80's thrash was a boosted JCM800.
You can use your standard TS, or an SD1, or you could use a Rat.
Metallica boosted their Marshalls with Rats for Kill 'Em All and Ride the Lightning.
You also need a cab loaded with GT75s.

Also don't forget that you won''t nail the studio tone.
Multi-tracking has a way of thickening things up
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkwolf291
I'm not surprised some of you haven't heard of some of those bands.

They're not exactly huge, famous bands.

anyway, TS, most 80's thrash was a boosted JCM800.
You can use your standard TS, or an SD1, or you could use a Rat.
Metallica boosted their Marshalls with Rats for Kill 'Em All and Ride the Lightning.
You also need a cab loaded with GT75s.

Also don't forget that you won''t nail the studio tone.
Multi-tracking has a way of thickening things up



Yeah. They are big and liked amongst hardcore metalheads, but they are not really "big" and famous bands like Big 4 are. They are not mainstream bands.

Good point about multitracking. Albums sound very different from live. And also very good point about Celestion G12T75. That speaker provides pretty much instant Metallica tone.

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Old 12-14-2012, 01:25 PM   #20
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yeah the g12t75 pretty much instantly provides that 80s fizz and scoop.

a g1265 (i assume- i'm going by my wgs et65 which is their version of one) does a similar thing, but is a bit more vintage-sounding and maybe more versatile.
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I had a Blackstar. I felt like I was lied to by Chappers, that fat ****.


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Blackstar can blow me; dodgey ****ers.


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