#1
Hi guys, I have a Squier Strat ( and occasionally a Jackson Js30kv that I borrow from a friend ) and a Marshall Valvestate amp, I know it's not the most suited gear for metal and I'm planning to upgrade to something way better later, but I really like playing Death songs and I was wondering how does Chuck get that weird noisy suffocated tone ? I know that he had a BC Rich Stealth and a Mockingbird ( I also know he used a Dimarzio X2N pickup ) and a Marshall valvestate amp.

I totally adore his tone, especially in Voice Of The Soul ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qd4q0Xx-u1Y ) ( shame on those who don't know this masterpiece )

I realize that I can't perfectly get that tone but what would get me closer to it ? Notice that I can modify my guitar recordings with Audacity , fruity loops etc .. They have tons of effects ..

I also wonder why the hell there isn't hundreds of threads in this forum about Chuck's guitar tone, and yes I used the search bar, and I can't find his amp settings in those ultimate amp settings threads..

Thanks
#2
You'll definitely need a guitar with a bridge humbucker. Also, his agressive metal tone is difficult to get from an amp that isn't strictly a metal amp IMO. I'd go with a good metal distortion pedal (such as the Digitech Hardwire Metal Distortion) and set the tone with a lot of gain, a slight boost in the bass and the treble and a slight mid cut.
Gear:

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Ashton AG200,
Amps: ENGL E530, Bugera 6262-212,
FX: TC Electronics G-major 2, Behringer EQ700, Morley Volume / Wah
#3
Do you have one of the older valvestates or is it a avt? You're going to get nowhere near it if its an avt..
#5
@ The^Unforgiven : that sounds pretty reasonable thanks ! The bridge humbucker is totally necessary for Death's songs to get that rounded weird tone. And that digitech pedal sounds so great, it totally beats those Boss metal zone pedals

@ coolstoryangus : nah not the avt, the older ones

@ Chodegrinder : Typical opinion. Chuck is the most underrated guitarist ever ! He's some kind of a pathfinder in death metal music. Death was one of the 1st bands ever to play death metal only, and use many advanced techniques ( they were pretty advanced and " new " for that time, tapping, sweeping ), he had very fast alternate picking and he did some drum programming too. You know, many call him " The Father of Death Metal " ...

@ ChucklesMginty : Yeah really ! It's got this sad... dramatic and tragic effect on ears.
#6
Really he had an awful sound, but it fit so well with the music that it's awesome as hell too.

Put the DiMazrio X2N in the bridge position of any brightly toned guitar and you should have it, especially with that amp.
His guitar was unique in that it was Maple, Alder, and Ebony.. but it was a short scale (Gibson's Scale length of 24.625"). That's the only super unique thing about his setup that I would say effected the sound.

24.625" scale length BRIGHT wooded guitar
DiMarzio X2N
GOOD quality solid state amp (like the Valvestate or some Randalls)
Then there's this band called Slice The Cake...

Bunch of faggots putting random riffs together and calling it "progressive" deathcore.
Stupid name.
Probably picked "for teh lulz"

Mod in UG's Official Gain Whores
#7

@ Chodegrinder : Typical opinion. Chuck is the most underrated guitarist ever ! He's some kind of a pathfinder in death metal music. Death was one of the 1st bands ever to play death metal only, and use many advanced techniques ( they were pretty advanced and " new " for that time, tapping, sweeping ), he had very fast alternate picking and he did some drum programming too. You know, many call him " The Father of Death Metal " ...

I agree with what you say, and death are one of my favourite bands. Just not a massive fan of the tone
#8
Quote by Shinozoku
Really he had an awful sound, but it fit so well with the music that it's awesome as hell too.

Put the DiMazrio X2N in the bridge position of any brightly toned guitar and you should have it, especially with that amp.
His guitar was unique in that it was Maple, Alder, and Ebony.. but it was a short scale (Gibson's Scale length of 24.625"). That's the only super unique thing about his setup that I would say effected the sound.

24.625" scale length BRIGHT wooded guitar
DiMarzio X2N
GOOD quality solid state amp (like the Valvestate or some Randalls)

Couldn't agree more. Even for those who find the tone kinda crappy, you gotta admit that it was fitting perfectly with the music.
And the X2N is definitely going on the bridge of my next guitar.


Quote by Chodegrinder
I agree with what you say, and death are one of my favourite bands. Just not a massive fan of the tone


Fair enough. You just don't like that tone, you don't have to justify personal preference But when I say I love it, I mean I love it when I hear death and played death songs, I don't love it and use it for other songs, cause it's just Death material, he couldn't have found a better tone for his style and music
#9
Exactly. I'd definitely go for the Tribute Stealth model, as I've wanted to add that to my collection for a few years now. But you can throw an X2N into a Strat, ESP, or Jackson and get a good idealization of the sound.

I'm going to listen to Death now.. for the first time in months.


Thank you <3
Then there's this band called Slice The Cake...

Bunch of faggots putting random riffs together and calling it "progressive" deathcore.
Stupid name.
Probably picked "for teh lulz"

Mod in UG's Official Gain Whores
Last edited by Shinozoku at Aug 21, 2010,
#10
i get a pretty good death tone out of my warrior (recently put gfs crunchy rails in it ) going through the jekyl and hyde using the overdrive at about 3 o'clock and level at 1 o'clock going into the red chanel on the randall with the gain at 2 o'clock. EQ wise bass about 11 o'clock mids at 12 o'clock and treble at 4 o'clock.
#11
The humbucker's also placed really "back" (on the BC Rich Chuck guitar) so I guess the treble side is even further emphasized.

I don't recommend buying his signature guitar, the stealth model is horribly balanced (neck dives more than anything). Nice to play seated, though :P.. I happen to know because I own the(/a) green custom shop version and am trying to sell/trade it.

Oh, by the way, if you want a better balanced but kinda-um-same(ish) looking model, try one of those cheap Asian Jackson warrior models with bolt-on neck. They've got more of body material going on and the bolt-on neck improves the balance as well. I'm not saying the quality is near the sig(s) but the price is also the tenth of that.
Last edited by Rautio at Aug 21, 2010,
#12
Quote by Shinozoku
Exactly. I'd definitely go for the Tribute Stealth model, as I've wanted to add that to my collection for a few years now. But you can throw an X2N into a Strat, ESP, or Jackson and get a good idealization of the sound.

Well IMO, the Tribute Stealth isn't that great, but it would be perfect to play Death stuff, and other sharp noisy solos. I mean it's perfect for something, but it doesn't give you a lot of possibilities with other metal things. It would be great for you if you're buying it just for Death though
And I don't think that I would have the balls to get the X2N for the strat, I'll probably wait 'till I get another guitar
Quote by Shinozoku
I'm going to listen to Death now.. for the first time in months.
Thank you <3

Sure Glad to hear that man

Quote by Painkiller_73
i get a pretty good death tone out of my warrior (recently put gfs crunchy rails in it ) going through the jekyl and hyde using the overdrive at about 3 o'clock and level at 1 o'clock going into the red chanel on the randall with the gain at 2 o'clock. EQ wise bass about 11 o'clock mids at 12 o'clock and treble at 4 o'clock.

Oh great ! For a minute I was wondering how the hell does he get such a good tone with crappy stock pickups. Those are some pretty good metally humbuckers man, not great for clean sounds though ( I guess ). Thanks for the amp settings, I'll give them a try.

Quote by Rautio
The humbucker's also placed really "back" (on the BC Rich Chuck guitar) so I guess the treble side is even further emphasized.

So true ! They should've added another one on the neck.

Quote by Rautio

I don't recommend buying his signature guitar, the stealth model is horribly balanced (neck dives more than anything). Nice to play seated, though :P.. I happen to know because I own the(/a) green custom shop version and am trying to sell/trade it.

Oh, by the way, if you want a better balanced but kinda-um-same(ish) looking model, try one of those cheap Asian Jackson warrior models with bolt-on neck. They've got more of body material going on and the bolt-on neck improves the balance as well. I'm not saying the quality is near the sig(s) but the price is also the tenth of that.

The Stealth .. Yeah totally ! It's just something that I would buy if I had a lot of extra money to waste on guitars.
And thanks for the tip about the Warrior, didn't know that. I'm gonna look it up and see some prices right now. Thanks !
#13
" Chuck is mainly associated with the B.C. Rich Stealth guitar. The basis of his sound, though, was the DiMarzio X2N pickup he used, combined with a Marshall Valvestate Amplifier. He typically tuned his guitars down one whole step, and the solid-state power amp section was better at handling the frequencies. It also helped to create the harsher tone he was looking for, similar to that of Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell's tone. "

Didn't know anything about his tuning, could that be true ?
#14
Of course it's True. Death doesn't sound right in Standard tuning

I'm aware of the balance issues with the Stealth, but Chuck lived with them and he loved the shape.

I too like the shape and would mostly have it as a tribute to him Just like I have my Edwards Alexi as a tribute to another favorite guitarist (who luckily, is still alive and raising hell).

With a single pickup guitar you learn to make do with your cleans and lead tones
Then there's this band called Slice The Cake...

Bunch of faggots putting random riffs together and calling it "progressive" deathcore.
Stupid name.
Probably picked "for teh lulz"

Mod in UG's Official Gain Whores
#15
Quote by Shinozoku
Of course it's True. Death doesn't sound right in Standard tuning

I'm aware of the balance issues with the Stealth, but Chuck lived with them and he loved the shape.

I too like the shape and would mostly have it as a tribute to him Just like I have my Edwards Alexi as a tribute to another favorite guitarist (who luckily, is still alive and raising hell).

With a single pickup guitar you learn to make do with your cleans and lead tones

Frankly, I didn't know what kind of tuning he was using, I thought that it would be a drop c, a 1/4 step down or something, but 1 whole step down ? It just doesn't sound right to me

And yes I love the shape too, but from what I hear, Stealths aren't exactly the best BC Rich. Oh well, I wouldn't know that for sure until I try it. Thanks again
#16
Chuck tuned to D Standard. Drop C is D Standard, but the low D is tuned to C.

And his tone wasn't the best. But it fit well with the music, that's why it's so great. So if you really want a Death tone, get a shorter scale (24 5/8 or 24 3/4), alder-bodied, ebony fingerboard guitar, and throw an X2N in there. Along with that, get a valve-amp, such as a Valvestate or a Randall.
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#17
i have a Washburn WM24, a 15-watt POS amp and a Zoom G1X pedal and i get his tones quite well dont "scoop" out the mids too much and load on as much as gain as you possibly can and have a guitar with at least a humbucker in the bridge do all that and you should be fine getting his exact tones would cost thousands of dollars and nobody here has that much money to spend so make do the best you can
#18
You know, I really dont think he used his mockingbird on anything other than the first album...?
#19
Same.

And yeah, it was basically all gain with enough muds to punch and cut, then take the other frequencies up.
Then there's this band called Slice The Cake...

Bunch of faggots putting random riffs together and calling it "progressive" deathcore.
Stupid name.
Probably picked "for teh lulz"

Mod in UG's Official Gain Whores
#20
Quote by Ramwen
" Chuck is mainly associated with the B.C. Rich Stealth guitar. The basis of his sound, though, was the DiMarzio X2N pickup he used, combined with a Marshall Valvestate Amplifier. He typically tuned his guitars down one whole step, and the solid-state power amp section was better at handling the frequencies. It also helped to create the harsher tone he was looking for, similar to that of Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell's tone. "

Didn't know anything about his tuning, could that be true ?


What..? I seriously doubt the difference between a tube and ss power section will make that much of a difference, if at all for tuning down a step. Maybe on an 8 string. I can say as somebody who plays 7's which are tuned to A, the power amp really isn't gonna make you that saggy.

EDIT:

Quote by Ramwen
Frankly, I didn't know what kind of tuning he was using, I thought that it would be a drop c, a 1/4 step down or something, but 1 whole step down ? It just doesn't sound right to me


Who in their right mind tunes a 1/4 step down... I will say this once. A whole step down is not very low at all.
Last edited by enselmis at Aug 21, 2010,
#21
THIS is such a good article !

Quote by Snake™
Chuck tuned to D Standard. Drop C is D Standard, but the low D is tuned to C.

And his tone wasn't the best. But it fit well with the music, that's why it's so great. So if you really want a Death tone, get a shorter scale (24 5/8 or 24 3/4), alder-bodied, ebony fingerboard guitar, and throw an X2N in there. Along with that, get a valve-amp, such as a Valvestate or a Randall.

Exactly, and trust me that's what I'm gonna do when I "expand" my budget. Thanks

Quote by Destinyrider22
i have a Washburn WM24, a 15-watt POS amp and a Zoom G1X pedal and i get his tones quite well dont "scoop" out the mids too much and load on as much as gain as you possibly can and have a guitar with at least a humbucker in the bridge do all that and you should be fine getting his exact tones would cost thousands of dollars and nobody here has that much money to spend so make do the best you can

Yeah I totally understand, I'm just trying to get as close as possible to that tone with the gear I have for now. A lot of gain, some Mids, a lot of treble, and for me : Neck + middle pickups. Getting really closer to the tone. Thanks

Quote by GrStMyGn
You know, I really dont think he used his mockingbird on anything other than the first album...?

Quote by Shinozoku
Same.

And yeah, it was basically all gain with enough muds to punch and cut, then take the other frequencies up.

Well yeah, even in live videos you can always see him with his stealth. He totally adored that guitar and recorded practically everything with it. My guess is he used the mockingbird when he needed a heavier and crunchier sound beacause of its neck pickup

Quote by enselmis
What..? I seriously doubt the difference between a tube and ss power section will make that much of a difference, if at all for tuning down a step. Maybe on an 8 string. I can say as somebody who plays 7's which are tuned to A, the power amp really isn't gonna make you that saggy.

Well I didn't really put my trust in that, I found that paragraph isolated in some metal websites. But the tube amps are considered to be pretty "heavy" compared to the SS amps; a much harsher and denser sound. Plus the tubes are very fragile, therefore the sound may become worse as they get more and more used and old, and could get more crunchy and unclear.


Quote by enselmis

Who in their right mind tunes a 1/4 step down... I will say this once. A whole step down is not very low at all.

LOL you got me there, but I played some Death songs for some time in standard tuning, and it didn't sound so bad to my ears, so I figured that Chuck's tuning wouldn't be pretty low. I understand that it's not low at all compared to other tunings used.
#22
For rhythm a nice high output bridge pickup any one really. His leads however are very interesting " dash of reverb" according to chuck. I thought for sure he used a whammy pedal on solos but it's just reverb.
#23
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