#1
So I recently got hired into a grunge band (yes, apparently they still exist) and I think I may need to rethink some of my gear. Currently I'm using various Ibanez RG guitars with high output Dimarzio's and a Carvin X100B. That doesn't feel very grunge to me. So I'd like a little help in recommending gear to get that good ol' grunge sound specifically suggestions of amps or pedals, as I think for the guitar I'm gonna snag a Fender and slap some PAF pro's in there, that feels like the right decision, but if you have a better idea I am open to your ideas! Thanks in advance!
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#2
Dod GRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNGE!


my favorable cheap pedal.
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#3
I think your amp will do the job nicely with a few pedals. The Electro-Harmonix Stereo Polychorus is great for getting a Cobain like chorus sound. I read somewhere that he also used a Boss DS-2, which is what I think a lot of grunge bands used for distortion. That about it for pedals, except for maybe a Jerry Cantrell crybaby - keep it simple.

I'm also going to second the DOD Grunge pedal, it's really good for that type of sound.
#4
WTF is grunge sound

You wanna sound like a specific band from that period?? 'Cos a Nirvana tone sounds nothing like a Soundgarden tone and an Alice tone is really different from a Pearl Jam tone

And please, please: as a pretty big fan of that scene -> don't call yourself a grunge band. Bush, Ugly Kid Joe and catwalk shows with ladies in flannel shirts come to mind whenever I hear that word

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#5
now that you mention it, last time I was in my local Guitar Center, they had a used one of those DOD grunge pedals for dirt cheap. I'm gonna have to pop in there and see if it is still there. For chorus I was gonna use a DOD Ice Box I have laying around. I have 2 wah pedals and I'm not sure which to use. I have a 535Q and a Jimi Hendrix, any thoughts on which I should use?
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#6
Quote by shwilly
WTF is grunge sound

You wanna sound like a specific band from that period?? 'Cos a Nirvana tone sounds nothing like a Soundgarden tone and an Alice tone is really different from a Pearl Jam tone

And please, please: as a pretty big fan of that scene -> don't call yourself a grunge band. Bush, Ugly Kid Joe and catwalk shows with ladies in flannel shirts come to mind whenever I hear that word


yeah we*are not really billing it as a grunge band. I was using grunge as a directional adjective. If you want to know a specific band sound that I am personally looking for: I want a fat ass Silverchair tone.
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#8
Quote by ValoRhoads
yeah we*are not really billing it as a grunge band. I was using grunge as a directional adjective. If you want to know a specific band sound that I am personally looking for: I want a fat ass Silverchair tone.
I think they used a tremolo in a couple of songs

Anyways, you want a humbucking guitar but with pickups that aren't too hot (if the DiMarzio's are as hot as you say you might have a liiitle trouble obtaining that slightly muddy tone). The Carvin should do fine, I'd suggest starting off with all the tone knobs around 12 o' clock (make sure you don't go too low on the mids when finetuning)

Although not every band used it at the time a simple fuzz (doesn't have to be a Z.Vex or anything) would probably mix in great with that tone. Also, compression is a no-no as you don't want your tone to sound too neat or tight. Oh, and if you want a Ten-era Pearl Jam sound you'll need a fair amount of reverb, especially on rhythm guitar. They had som occasional Hendrix-ish strat stuff in there as well, as did a bunch of other Seattle bands at the time, so perhaps a fat strat would be a good idea. In your case I would probably try snatching an OLP or something from eBay and then add some nice pickups, but really: if you want you don't think a regular double humbucker guitar is versatile enough any guitar with HSH or HSS configuration will do

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Last edited by shwilly at Oct 13, 2011,
#9
Quote by shwilly
'Cos a Nirvana tone sounds nothing like a Soundgarden tone and an Alice tone is really different from a Pearl Jam tone


Those sound pretty much the same to me and I'm a fan of that genre too


TS - maybe edit your OP and do it this way. I agree the Carvin should be fine amp wise.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1387138
#10
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Those sound pretty much the same to me and I'm a fan of that genre too


TS - maybe edit your OP and do it this way. I agree the Carvin should be fine amp wise.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1387138



well this ceased to be a "what amp" thread since we all agree to stick with the X100B. Budget isn't really too big of a concern, and I stick with used over new almost always.
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#12
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Those sound pretty much the same to me and I'm a fan of that genre too
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1387138
oh sn...

Well, take Soundgarden for instance -> ANY fan will agree that their first couple of albums sound really different from Badmotorfinger. By that time they had evolved from a punky alt. rock outfit with dreamy yet stomping grooves á la Nothing To Say to a badass f*cking hard rock band. Then Superunknown came and sounded like nothing else at the time and by the time they'd released their final album it was alternate tunigs galore with banjos, acoustic riffs, ambient stuff... Now tell me, how can all that stuff sound so different, yet people insist they "sounded like grunge"

Now compare that to Nirvana, which was hugely influenced by alternative (punk) bands like Pixies and Mudhoney. Kurt Cobain's tone kinda reminds me of the Dinosaur Jr. tone -> very muddy. Mostly stuck to 2nd hand single coil guitars (the live guitars were usually Japanese lefty Fenders on which he would have tune-o-matics installed if they didn't have one already). Subtlety wasn't in his dictionary: the overdrive was all over the place and his guitars would often go out of tune and he'd just keep playing. People often forget this rawness as their main record, Nevermind, was actually quite neatly produced. Bleach and some In Utero songs like Tourette's are a bit more representative of their live sound. In fact, if Bleach had been released to day by some unknown band and some reviewer had labeled it as a punk record, nobody would've complained

If you wanna sound like Jerry Cantrell you're not just gonna need a different amp + guitar setup (hello floating bridges and high end amps) but also a TOTALLY different technique. You won't get a sound as tight as his with string buzz or crappy tuners. This guy started off writing some of the grooviest metal riffs like Put You Down and We Die Young -> they actually started off as a glam rock outfit if you didn't know. Then they showed off their versatility by experimenting more and more with those eerie yet awesome vocal harmonies and heavy + dark songs like Would? Yet they also had this beautiful and melodic side to them, like can be heard on the Jar of Flies album

...want me to go on? Most people agree that Pearl Jam has changed a lot ever since their breakthrough back in the 90's. Yet if you go to a Pearl Jam show nowadays they have so many songs which are considered classics -> you really don't go "boy, I sure hope they play some grunge tonight": those songs from their first album just seem to blend in perfectly with the other material. The reason for this is because early 90's Pearl Jam doesn't sound like grunge: it sounds like Pearl Jam. Now try replacing Alive and Evenflow with, I dunno, other "grunge classics" like Come As You Are or Them Bones. Now that would be one weird f*cking Pearl Jam show

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Last edited by shwilly at Oct 13, 2011,
#13
You need some Marshallesqueness (good word?) added to your sound. Maybe a Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret?
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#14
*srsly out of breath by now

I'm not denying there were some similar sounding bands, but it's the ones that sounded kinda interchangable that really took a beating (don't get me wrong, I loved Plush by STP but that song had PJ written all over it). These bands, however, were definetly not: take the singers alone. Not only are Cornell, Cobain, Vedder and Staley some of my favorite vocalists EVER: they also had very, VERY cool and distinct voices

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#15
Quote by shwilly
*srsly out of breath by now

I'm not denying there were some similar sounding bands, but it's the ones that sounded kinda interchangable that really took a beating (don't get me wrong, I loved Plush by STP but that song had PJ written all over it). These bands, however, were definetly not: take the singers alone. Not only are Cornell, Cobain, Vedder and Staley some of my favorite vocalists EVER: they also had very, VERY cool and distinct voices



Agreed! You would never mix any of those singers up unless you had no idea what music was in the 1990s!
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#16
Digitech makes a grunge pedal.

http://www.digitech.com/en-US/products/grunge

It has a lot of natural high end, but if you cut the treble a bit, it can be usable.
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Last edited by kutless999 at Oct 13, 2011,
#17
i don't know why but everytime i want to grunge out its my big muff that comes out. I have a ds-2 and while it does nirvana ok it can't do much else.

I think you should go out and try a USA big muff. Downside is that the scooped nature of the pedal means you may be hard pressed to sit nicely in the mix depending on your amp. I have never played your amp so i can't really comment on how i think the big muff will react to it.

also, mudhoney are awesome and and i love playing me some suck you dry with the big muff.
#18
Surprised no one's mentioned the ProCo Rat. Along with the EH Big Muff it was the heavy distortion pedal of the breakthrough underground rock movement of the late 80s/early 90s.
Gear
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#19
Keep the guitar, I'd get a plexi or a bassman or mark III if at all possible, and a ton of pedals and a cab with greenbacks.

This all based off kurt cobains sound.

He used high output dimarzios to, so I'd save your money and keep the guitar
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#20
Quote by shwilly
oh sn...

Well...

That's cool man. I kinda figured you have a nice long retort for me. All I was saying is that from a gear perspective you can nail most of that with a few different things. I can get all of those tones with my Splawn (Marshally amp), Fat Strat and my Russian Big Muff. And yes, I was trolling a bit
#21
Quote by ns9977a
Surprised no one's mentioned the ProCo Rat. Along with the EH Big Muff it was the heavy distortion pedal of the breakthrough underground rock movement of the late 80s/early 90s.

+1

I have a rat that does a great grunge kind of sound.
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#22
Quote by Jaredmkl
Keep the guitar, I'd get a plexi or a bassman or mark III if at all possible, and a ton of pedals and a cab with greenbacks.

This all based off kurt cobains sound.

He used high output dimarzios to, so I'd save your money and keep the guitar

actually he only briefly used high output dimarzios, he swapeed them out for mid output dimarzios and eventually went with the Seymour Duncan Jeff Beck pickups
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#23
i second the rat suggestion. maybe an ocd or a similar marshall-in-a-box pedal?

i used to cover some of the older silverchair songs and i used fuzz a lot. take a look at muff variants.
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#24
I've got a little time to kill today so I think I'm gonna hit up the guitar shop and look at the grunge and the muff and see what's what. Thanks for the input, I will let you know my results!
Out here you've gotta know where your towel is!
#25
I love the Carvin! Just check my sig. Most of us back then (yep, I lived through it) used the above mentioned pedals, or just a Crate 2X12 combo. They sound like shit by today's standards, but never played shows without seeing at least one in every band. Could probably be purchased for the price of a couple of new pedals...
I love all 5 (sold a couple) of my Carvin X-100b's.
#26
Didn't find a Big Muff any where. Tried out the Grunge and it was not at all what I'm looking for. I'm looking for something with a more throaty distortion. I have an old Dano Fab Tone laying around somewhere. I'm gonna see what that does after some monkeying.
Out here you've gotta know where your towel is!
#28
buy yourself a cheap thin sounding guitar, with singlecoils ... then pour on the Distortion through an amp that isn't that great ... Nirvana sound 101

all jokes a side... i think it mostly comes down to Pickup output ...
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#29
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Those sound pretty much the same to me and I'm a fan of that genre too


TS - maybe edit your OP and do it this way. I agree the Carvin should be fine amp wise.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1387138


They don't sound the same at all, Pearl Jam is more bluesy/hard rock sounding, Alice in Chains is more Hard/heavy metal, Soundgarden is more alternative kind of, Nirvana is more punk and dirty sounding .