#1
Hey folks, already posted a kind of similar thread a while back, but making a new one for some help.

I've been playing guitar for a long time now, but mostly playing acoustic or playing clean on electric, I haven't 'ventured' into the world of distortion.

But my previous epiphone broke recently and bought a new les paul special II for £50, veryyy cheap, and i'm trying to understand all this distortion kinda stuff, since I'm joining a new rock band in a month or so and i'm going to be their lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist.

I bought a G1 pedal and a marshall MG15CDR also extremely cheap from a friend of mine who was getting rid of all his old gear. And I know this isn't the best of gear but I'm a british student living in the economic climate, times are hard

Anyway, enough rambling.. What I'm asking is few questions: how do I get a good rock distortion sound from my gear? The sound I'm really wanting to sound like a Strokes/Arctic Monkeys debut album sound. Not too heavy, but not too weak. Also bearing in mind that I'm a rhythm guitarist, what's the best EQ sort of settings on the amp/guitar too? Low treble, high mid.. Rhythm switch on the guitar, high guitar knob tone etc. I honestly know very little about it all. Oh, and one more question, how do I play with distortion so I don't create a total 'wall of sound', is that just due to having too much gain set?

Thanks a lot for reading, hope you can help!
#2
You probably should've posted this at Guitar Gear & Accessories.

We can't really tell you the settings to use. The best way is to experiment with the settings yourself. Just play stuff and fiddle with the knobs.
E:-6
B:-0
G:-5
D:-6
A:-0
E:-3
#3
Yeah you're probly right, I should've... I have tried it myself, I just can't seem to find a good sound..
#4
Quote by Pregowski92
Yeah you're probly right, I should've... I have tried it myself, I just can't seem to find a good sound..

I REALLLLLLLY hate to sound like I'm hopping on a band wagon, but from what I've heard, Marshall MG's are just horrible amps to even get a distorted sound out of it. My best bet is like what was mentioned before, try experimenting. I generally use the bridge pickup for riffs and powerchords, I would say about 7 on bass, 5 on mid, and 6 on treble, if you have that sort of eq. Gain is dependant on how much distortion you want with your sound. I like a high gain setting, but my friend prefers a lower gain, almost like a fuzz. Its all preference, just mess around for a bit
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#5
Quote by Zinnie
I REALLLLLLLY hate to sound like I'm hopping on a band wagon, but from what I've heard, Marshall MG's are just horrible amps to even get a distorted sound out of it. My best bet is like what was mentioned before, try experimenting. I generally use the bridge pickup for riffs and powerchords, I would say about 7 on bass, 5 on mid, and 6 on treble, if you have that sort of eq. Gain is dependant on how much distortion you want with your sound. I like a high gain setting, but my friend prefers a lower gain, almost like a fuzz. Its all preference, just mess around for a bit


Thank you man, very muchly appreciated.. And yeah I know, my amp sucks majorly, I'll probly hire/buy a new amp for gigs and stuff, this is really just a practice one.
#6
One thing you hear a lot is:

- Run the guitar through the clean channel, and use the distortion pedal for, you guessed it, the distortion
- Do NOT turn the mids down on your amp (ie. treble, middle, bass)
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#7
I don't think it's just the MG which has crappy distortion, I personally hate the distortion on ALL solid state amps. For this reason I'd recommend keeping the gain as low as humanly possible, or investing in a tube distortion/overdrive pedal for your distortion needs.
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#8
Couple things...

Be wary of that Marshall MG. They have a tendency to crap out after about a year of use (my experience as well as others).

The wall of sound: That's a production technique. Not a guitar 'tone'. It's basically just layering sounds until it creates, well, a wall of it!

For your EQing, I'd probably go with what Zinnie said. But roll back the gain a bit. Arctic Monkeys and the Strokes don't sound like they use TOO much gain. No one is going to be able to tell you how to get your perfect tone; that's for you to find out. Just sit down one day and put all your EQ stuff to 0. Once there, begin playing stuff and adjusting your bass, mids, teble and gain (and whatever else you have) until you like the sound you get.

That's really the only way.
#9
Quote by DiminishedFifth
Be wary of that Marshall MG. They have a tendency to crap out after about a year of use (my experience as well as others).


I haven't personally used the Marshall MG series before, can you give a proper rounded opinion of them rather than the "MG Sux!" that we get so much on this site? I imagine it would be similar to other cheap solid state amps, with acceptable - good clean channel and a very tinny distortion. Correct?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#10
I have a little Marshall MG practice amp and my distortion isn't too terribly bad, but I do prefer a different sound since I play a heavier style of music. The distortion is actually very similar to the tone from a Boss OD 2 pedal.
#11
My old Sixth Form used to have some MG's in the music block. The best way we found to over drive them was to take the output of one and plug it into another, you got quite a nice over driven sound that way

The MG FX series are actually semi-decent, even on the Dist channel.The rest of them sound like angry bees raping your ears. Get your self a nice distortion pedal, maybe a Boss or something similar.
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#12
Quote by AlanHB
I haven't personally used the Marshall MG series before, can you give a proper rounded opinion of them rather than the "MG Sux!" that we get so much on this site? I imagine it would be similar to other cheap solid state amps, with acceptable - good clean channel and a very tinny distortion. Correct?

That's basically how it is. I can't give a very good mini-review of it because it was about two years ago it crapped out on me (maybe a little longer), but I remember being dissatisfied with the distortion. To get around it, I used a Boss ML2 Metalcore pedal, which worked perfectly with the clean channel to get the sound I wanted at the time.

The clean was pretty decent - definitely the highlight of the amp (but it's that way with my Line 6 amp that uses tubes as well, so I imagine that's how it 'typically' works with most amps not made specifically for distortion, like Orange, Peavey 5150's, and Mesa Triple Recs to name a few).

The main problem I had with it was the fact that after a year (almost exactly) it decided to stop working just... out of the blue. It would turn on, but no sound would come out. I tried 3 different guitars and a myriad of cables before turning to Google and finding out it's a common problem.

Having said all of this, my friend has a pretty decent MG. It's probably a better MG in the line of MG's (best of the worst? ) and had a nice, full-bodied distortion almost comparable to my tube amp. Almost. Not as flexible, but it was better than my shitty MG.


Quote by ChemicalFire
My old Sixth Form used to have some MG's in the music block. The best way we found to over drive them was to take the output of one and plug it into another, you got quite a nice over driven sound that way


It's funny you mention that, because the best sound I ever got out of my amp was hooking up a head to it, and then connecting my amp to a half-stack (set on opposite sides of the room for maximum badassness) and then standing in the middle of the room and jamming out with awesome surround sound going on. The rest of my band thought I was crazy for doing it (they were worried about me blowing the speakers and stuff ) but I had a blast.
Last edited by DiminishedFifth at Sep 23, 2011,
#13
I'm always playing with my EQ, but when I set my gain, I set just enough to allow my notes to connect together, no more.
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#14
Thanks for the tips guys... As for the amp, i'm really not fussed about it, I bought mine about three times cheaper than they are retail, and it's a 45w. The distortion isn't too bad, but it certainly isn't great either. I think the G1 pedal is my saviour in terms of distortion here.
#15
if you can't seem to find the right sound, try playing something over a backing track of with a band, with other instruments distortion often sounds a lot better. if you only played clean it can be worth to do some practice on muting unwanted strings to
#16
I find that (this is with a Peavy Bandit) I get a good (to my ears) distortion by using a distortion pedal with gain set to approx 25% and then I run it through the distortion channel and change the gain on the amp to between 50% and 75%. I find this gives a "fuller" distortion and is easier to control (i.e. feedback and unwanted noise). Obviously there are more variables (tone etc.) then that, but it might be worth a try.

FYI - on my amp I have Bass at 3, Mids at 9-10, Treble at 6-7.
#17
Cool, cheers.. The main problem I've got though, is when I'm playing with distortion, whenever i strike a chord, the distortion rings out far too long, so it's like, when I play the same chord again, you can barely hear it, if you know what I mean.. That's my problem with the wall of sound, eg. I'm trying to play 'last nite', by the strokes... I can't get the rhythm sounding right, it just sounds like constant distortion, it's a nightmare... I've tried lots of settings on my amp/guitar/pedal and it's like, there's either too much distortion or not enough.. maybe it's my technique aswell?
#18
Quote by Pregowski92
Cool, cheers.. The main problem I've got though, is when I'm playing with distortion, whenever i strike a chord, the distortion rings out far too long, so it's like, when I play the same chord again, you can barely hear it, if you know what I mean.. That's my problem with the wall of sound, eg. I'm trying to play 'last nite', by the strokes... I can't get the rhythm sounding right, it just sounds like constant distortion, it's a nightmare... I've tried lots of settings on my amp/guitar/pedal and it's like, there's either too much distortion or not enough.. maybe it's my technique aswell?


That's kinda weird. My first guess would be that you're using too much distortion and not keeping a tight enough rein on your chords. The more distortion you use, the more you need to control your sound with things like palm muting and noise gates. Otherwise, it'll just blend into mush.

And I like my MG.