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#1
For your consideration / amusement / comment.
The singer in my band thinks my guitar tone needs to be more "modern" sounding. He thinks I need different gear whereas I think we need to tune down further and write differently. He refuses to give me any concrete examples of the sound he wants but he's right into stuff like Periphery and Karnivool. While I'm not interested in target writing or blatant mimicry, I also don't want to be stuck sounding like a poor Godsmack ripoff.
As per my sig, I'm running neck thru EMGs and Blackouts to Valveking 100 to G12T-75s with an Ibanez Smashbox and Tubescreamer in the mix and a Digitech MFX & Fasel Crybaby on tap if needed. This rig sounds pure killer to my ears and feels just right in the guts and in the hands. The sweet spot for me drops in somewhere between Jim Root and a high gain Adam Jones. Tight and thick with the gentlest valvey growl in the middle.
A recent member change has also freed us up creatively and I expect we'll be adopting a smidge more of a proggy approach than the post-grunge alt metal sound we've had. Mr Vox believes that a shift to a Fractal-type system will magically achieve the more modern tones that the world is apparently craving. Of course, being fundamentally a simulator, I'd still have to dial in the tone of an amp - probably not disimilar to, or at least achievable with, the rig I have now. I reckon he's seeing their recent popularity and assuming that's the fast ticket to being the band of the future. We spend most of our time in Drop D for vocal compatability reasons but I've been keen to drop it a step for ages and I really think this would fix his issue.
Do you agree that a gear change is necessary to pin a modern tone (whatever that is) or can it be achieved with the rig I have, a tuning drop and some careful composition? Do I need an Axe-FX & an 8 String? Am I hopelessly stuck in the Nineties? Is that a bad thing? I don't even know what the question is any more ..
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#2
He's the singer, tell him to go **** himself.
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#3
"Drop D for vocal compatibility reasons", wtf?

Does he play guitar too? If not, I'd drop him or quit the band (unless the money was good of course, never been there though). Unless he's frickin' Iggy Pop, singers are a dime a dozen and I'd rather do it myself. Anyone can sing,
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#4
yeah new gear would be extremely unnecessary.. maybe sit down and have a long chat and see if you can sort it out rationally, even if an argument needs to take place to reach an understanding! Could just be a minor difference in eq tastes! If you're band is doing okay then its probably worth figuring out.. other wise bail!
I have been in a similar situation, now in a new band with a lot of freedom and couldn't be happier. Although singers will always whinge about your lead volume. I normally nod, smile and sneakily turn it up when asked to 'just go down a touch bro?'
#5
Quote by Cathbard
He's the singer, tell him to go **** himself.


Predictable!
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Log off and play yer guitar!

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#6
Your singer sounds like a ****ing moron. Kids these days like the Axe-Fx, ya? djntdjntdjntdjnt?

Either he goes or you build a new band. If he wants you to change your sound and how you play and write, you're not what he wants.

He sounds like the kind of twat that would inevitably **** you over in the future anyways. Once this issue has been brought up, he will bring up many more. Sounds like a liability.
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Last edited by lemurflames at Jul 5, 2014,
#7
Well, you're both right and both wrong.

You don't need to tune low for modern tone. Unless you're specifically going for djent tone, then yes you do. But that's the exception. The Dillinger Escape Plan plays in E Standard. Lamb of God plays in Drop D. Think about that for a while.

Your amp is not a modern high gain amp. Not even close. You can kick the shit out of it to get in the ballpark, but if you're going for modern metal tone, then yeah, I would definitely try a new amp out. I say this having used to own a VK btw.

Playing style is a massive part of it, you're right. Again, I come back to The Dillinger Escape Plan. They use EMGs and Triple/Dual Rectifiers. Exact same setup as a band like Three Days Grace, just off the top of my head. So why don't they sound anything remotely similar to each other? Because of the riffs they're writing/playing.

Also, look at your drummer. Your drummer is an incredibly massive force in determining how heavy your overall sound is. If you're tremolo picking 16th notes, your drummer will determine if you are going to sound like Metallica or The Black Dahlia Murder. A 4/4 kick snare kick snare isn't going to cut it for a modern sound.
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#8
Just to emphasize what Offworld92 said, you should not overlook what your drummer is playing. Drums can make a night and day difference between oldschool and modern metal sound.
#9
If you want the tone he's talking about just buy a bunch of noise gates. One for before the chain, one for after, one for a hat, and maybe one as a protective cup.
#10
I would tell the singer if he buys you an axe fx and midi controller, you will use it. If not then shut the **** up and let you use whatever you want. I think a different amp could help but no reason you can't keep YOUR sound that you like and make it work. If you do start amp shopping a XXX might be what you are looking for on the cheaper end of the scale and JSX for a bit more cash. Those aren't terribly expensive and pretty versatile.
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#11
Yeah, I don't think the "modern" sound is that much about the gear you use (though it does make a difference). It's more about how you play. Your singer is listening with his eyes.

If you like your tone, it is a good tone. If your band doesn't sound "modern enough", write differently. It's more in the songwriting than in your gear.
Quote by AlanHB
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Charvel So Cal
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Ibanez BL70
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#12
Maybe try swapping two of your G12T-75s for Vintage 30s; run them in an x-pattern. G12T-75s are known for more of an "old school" metal tone (a tone that I adore, by the way). But with a couple V30s in the mix, that could "modernize" your tone a little without spending too much.

But as others have alluded to, what you really need is a new singer.
#13
There is such thing as a "Modern Tone"? The same basic tones have been used by popular guitarists for years. Everything modern is based off something in the 80s which is based on something in the 70s which is based on something in the 50s.

For your situation I'd just tell your singer to shut the hell up. If he wants a different guitar tone then he can buy a rig and play guitar.

EDIT: Ahem....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcbWP7ByKgQ
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Last edited by TheStig1214 at Jul 5, 2014,
#14
What the **** do singers know about anything?

Tell him to prove that he can tell the difference between the Axe and an amp it is modeling, and if he can do that maybe you will respect his point.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#15
If you and the rest of the band are happy with your tone, then your good. If your happy with your tone, but tthe rest of the band is not then your in the wrong band or you have the wrong gear for the job. If the singer is the only one with an issue, then he is the issue.

Now that being said I have a DSL100 that I use live and it can deff sound more modern than my Krank 1980 Jr I use for practice. For that reason I do not use the Krank live typically.
2002 PRS CE22
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2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
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#16
Quote by KailM
Maybe try swapping two of your G12T-75s for Vintage 30s; run them in an x-pattern. G12T-75s are known for more of an "old school" metal tone (a tone that I adore, by the way). But with a couple V30s in the mix, that could "modernize" your tone a little without spending too much.

But as others have alluded to, what you really need is a new singer.



+1 Slap in a couple of V30 to get some midrange honk and there is your modern sound.

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#17
Quote by Cathbard
He's the singer, tell him to go **** himself.

/thread. My guitar sound is old as dirt so I feel your pain.
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#18
Quote by TheStig1214

I ain't gonna say the man is flat out wrong.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#19
Quote by TheStig1214
There is such thing as a "Modern Tone"? The same basic tones have been used by popular guitarists for years. Everything modern is based off something in the 80s which is based on something in the 70s which is based on something in the 50s.

Well, I would say a 5150 sounds completely different than a Bassman (that it was kind of "based on"). And yes, a modern tone is something. Just compare 2000s metal tone to 90s metal tone. And 90s metal tone to 80s metal tone. It's just different.

Everything is based on something. You can't invent anything from out of nowhere.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#20
Quote by Cathbard
He's the singer, tell him to go **** himself.


That's a terrible way to approach it. What if the guy has a point? What if the bands sound would be improved by a different guitar tone? Provided he's not being a douche about the way he's saying it I just don't see how that kind of response is constructive.

How does the rest of the band feel about your tone? Have you looked at the drummers kit and playing style? What about the Bassist? Both are incredibly important in creating a modern heavy tone.

You can of course down tune, but in reality you can get just as heavy in E standard if you write your songs well.

Neither your amp or cab come to my mind when I think of modern tones, but that doesn't mean that you can't use it to achieve more modern tones with it. Try EQing it with a more aggressive tone, or adding a 10 band EQ and adding some extra highs. Putting in V30s would also help. If all else fails a new head could do the trick, but I would exhaust all other options first.

AxeFX would be a stupid choice UNLESS you wanted multiple tones and use FX regularly. It's hugely expensive to create a gig ready rig for the AxeFX and if all you're looking for is a few really good tones it's just not practical. Better to stick with a real amp.
#21
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Well, I would say a 5150 sounds completely different than a Bassman (that it was kind of "based on"). And yes, a modern tone is something. Just compare 2000s metal tone to 90s metal tone. And 90s metal tone to 80s metal tone. It's just different.

Everything is based on something. You can't invent anything from out of nowhere.


+1

just because something is based on something doesn't mean it's exactly the same, either. or even alike.
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#22
Quote by icronic
That's a terrible way to approach it. What if the guy has a point? What if the bands sound would be improved by a different guitar tone? Provided he's not being a douche about the way he's saying it I just don't see how that kind of response is constructive.

How does the rest of the band feel about your tone? Have you looked at the drummers kit and playing style? What about the Bassist? Both are incredibly important in creating a modern heavy tone.

You can of course down tune, but in reality you can get just as heavy in E standard if you write your songs well.

Neither your amp or cab come to my mind when I think of modern tones, but that doesn't mean that you can't use it to achieve more modern tones with it. Try EQing it with a more aggressive tone, or adding a 10 band EQ and adding some extra highs. Putting in V30s would also help. If all else fails a new head could do the trick, but I would exhaust all other options first.

AxeFX would be a stupid choice UNLESS you wanted multiple tones and use FX regularly. It's hugely expensive to create a gig ready rig for the AxeFX and if all you're looking for is a few really good tones it's just not practical. Better to stick with a real amp.
You don't have a lot of experience with singers do you?
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#23
What Cath said. In my experience, all the stereotypes about singers are true. Maybe not in this case, but the fact that he thinks spending north of two grand is the best way to modernize guitar tone points to him being a ****ing dunderhead.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#24
Yeah, and what's he own? A microphone?
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#25
If he's like my singers have been, he doesn't even have that
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#26
Quote by Cathbard
Yeah, and what's he own? A microphone?

And I bet it's not an SM58
2002 PRS CE22
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2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
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#27
Thanks every one A lot of helpful comments here that pretty much marry with my own thoughts.

I 100% agree that heavy does not equal low as per LoG et al. Same sort of thing with ultra gain too tho right? Gain =/= Heavy. I know the VK isn't a Powerball or 6505+ and that's entirely intentional in this band. The SM7 is an underrated drive box and I run it with miles to spare, but if anything I suspect I'd be easing back the gain even further to get closer to that djenty chime I suspect he thinks he wants.

That said, I'm convinced it's all, or at least mostly, in the writing - as evidenced by this fun vid of an old song, written and performed with our old drummer (previous notes about drummers positively regarded) www.youtube.com/watch?v=GH7ASNs4aQg With a passing acknowledgement of the limits of the recording device and the horribly timed drop out, note the tone and note the style. Which is in the most desperate need of modernising? Any other comments welcome while you're at it

Good call on the V30s. I tossed and turned for ages between the two before deciding that the G12Ts were a better foundation for what I wanted - especially bottom end and cleans from the Peavey. I'm pretty happy with the eq'd mids I'm getting but I know that particular bark you're talking about and I think it would be acceptable step in the right direction, even for the tone I'm using now and certainly for flexibility in recording etc. Honestly tho, I don't think that would satisfy the singer - I really think he just likes the idea of an emulator as a "modern tone" machine. Which of course, still makes no sense. I honestly think if he heard my current tones coming from a Pod he'd be all over it.

I know it sounds like I'm offering my rectum to this guy but that's not the case. I'm just trying my best to be open minded about stuff I may not have considered that I may actually end up preferring. This band is now a serious endeavour so I wanted to make sure I'm not just being hard-headed about things. He's a cool bloke and we're used to having pretty brutally honest discussions about such things because we both passionate about making sure we're doing the best we can. Sometimes that means constructive advice toward another member and more often than not an ego check Thanks for all your comments Feel free to keep discussing - particularly re lower gain and modern eq trends. Peace.
Charvel / Godin / Peavey / Marshall / AMT
Last edited by Danustar at Jul 6, 2014,
#28
Well, if you're a big fan of your current sound and gear, but also want harmonious existence within the band, ask how much $$$ he's willing to pony up- tell him "invest in"- modernizing the sound of the band. If he's serious, he'll put up an appreciable amount, and perhaps the two of you can go gear shopping.

That does several things:

1) you get the moral high ground as being willing to compromise...after he shows he's serious by opening his wallet

2) you get to investigate this new sound at the cost of investing time before investing money. Which means that if you and he don't find a sound you both like, you'll know it may be time to change something else...like band affiliation.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#29
If a singer asked me to put money into gear and didn't own a PA, I'd be reluctant to bother listening to them. I know I rarely run into a singer that owns a PA, maybe he is different. But if he doesn't, maybe he should invest into HIS craft before telling someone to ditch an amp and go modelling. Just my opinion.
Ibanez SIR27
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RIP:
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Cmatmods analog chorus, phaser, tremoglo, signa drive, butah, and deeelay
walrus Audio Descent
#30
Quote by bluestratplayer
If a singer asked me to put money into gear and didn't own a PA, I'd be reluctant to bother listening to them. I know I rarely run into a singer that owns a PA, maybe he is different. But if he doesn't, maybe he should invest into HIS craft before telling someone to ditch an amp and go modelling. Just my opinion.

great point

I am not a singer, but I own my own PA (and it is better than most house systems) If he doesn't own his own gear, tell him to F off
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#31
Exactly. I own a PA and I am only a guitarist. I own it because most people playing instruments really seem to disregard it thinking someone else will supply it. Singers seem to just want to show up, at least to my 10 years gigging experience (maybe more, I don't even know when I started playing shows but think it was at 12-13 years old so maybe 12 years experience). IMO, if you aren't willing to put up and invest in your craft (which to me would be a good PA for a vocalist), then you should have no say in the other aspects when it concerns other people's gear. I've seen a vocalist criticize a good guitar player because they had a blues jr and small pedal board and the singer was using that same persons $2500 PA system because he didn't even own a microphone.
Ibanez SIR27
Pod HD500x

RIP:
Mesa Boogie Roadster 2x12 combo
Cmatmods analog chorus, phaser, tremoglo, signa drive, butah, and deeelay
walrus Audio Descent
#32
You know, sadly I wish that was an isolated incidence.
Ibanez SIR27
Pod HD500x

RIP:
Mesa Boogie Roadster 2x12 combo
Cmatmods analog chorus, phaser, tremoglo, signa drive, butah, and deeelay
walrus Audio Descent
#33
if he wasn't planning to pay for ax, tell hem you will once he gets a nice PA...

****ing singers piss me off in general more than any band member. i have $3k in gear (think for example a Gibson SG, a Trem-o-Verb, and a mesa cab) or something. bass has to front his rig. but singers contribute nothing unless they own a PA. if you are in the game get your shit or go sing for someone else.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
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Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



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#34
I don't think I've ever known a singer to own a PA unless he also played an instrument. They're usually lucky to have a microphone. Even drummers are more likely to have a PA. What is it about singers that don't play anything? A more irritating, narcissistic group of arseholes would be hard to find.
Gilchrist custom
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#35
I've met a few singers with their own PA, but it normally is good enough for band practice at most. And to get most singers to get a nice wireless microphone is like pulling teeth "those things cost $500-$600 I can't afford one". But yet I have several $1000 sitting on the stage to make some noise and they won't put up $500 to make it better.

Hell if I had to buy my PA new again, I'd have to spend almost $15,000 and I don't even sing typically
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#36
Personally, I think this falls into the same category as what happened to me in a recent band. The drummer was bitching about all the cables on stage (I was using the 4CM). I replied, "you buy me four wireless systems to replace them and I'll gladly use them."
"Fair enough," says he, "Carry on."
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#37
Well, some people bitch without realizing what it would take to solve the problem. There are others that bother me more that bitch without having money into the craft themselves that believe they know what they are talking about. I have know people at every level that are guilty of these, but it ranks guitarists and drummers are the least from my experience locally, followed by bassists, many of which own at least a practice PA, then LAST singers that, from my experience of over ten years as well as personal accounts of more than five other people and their average of over 20 years each, tend to bring the LEAST to the table. That would be ok IF they also didn't tend to have the most to say about the overall result of the sound, which as been said, they tend to usually try to run everything.

TLDR; most members of the band usually put way more than the usually vocalist AND usually bitch less.
Ibanez SIR27
Pod HD500x

RIP:
Mesa Boogie Roadster 2x12 combo
Cmatmods analog chorus, phaser, tremoglo, signa drive, butah, and deeelay
walrus Audio Descent
#38
thats is. we need stephen hawkings' prerecorded vocals.

i don't own a PA and i may buy one at some point, but for now, the singer can

i had one who didn't even have a mic cable. at least he had a mic

its all on an individual basis band for band.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



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#39
got a chuckle from this thread. some things never change. sounds like the singer won't be happy til you sound like everybody else (but of course somehow your band will be different). the other thing is if the songs you write aren't in the "style" your singer thinks they should be then perhaps that isn't the style you write. so what dare to be different. I spent years trying to write in a different style and what a waste that was. once I went with my own musical instincts then I was much happier and the material was better.
#40
Quote by trashedlostfdup
thats is. we need stephen hawkings' prerecorded vocals.
Nah, pink floyd already thought about that.
Looks like it didn't even went bad, we should have thought about it before...

As for the debate...
I've been a drummer and a singer and a bassist in different bands, and while singing I occasionally played bass or guitar.
There's not been more than one situation where I knew about gear less than every other members of the band, and the exception was a keyboard player who knew his shit about PA stuff and electronics.

In my whole life I don't think I've played with a guitarist who knew how to go from the tone his amp was giving him to the sound he wanted to achieve.
I don't think I've ever even encountered a guitarist who didn't see anything wrong in using speaker cables with jack leads.

A good part of the guitarists I've played with didn't really know a lot more than zero about guitar amps, even though they may have known brands and models and who used what.

The singers I've played with may have been inexperienced, they may have been assholes, but I've never encountered one who was particularly pretentious musically-wise.
I mean, they acknowledged they didn't know much about gear and they acted consequently.

The only really pretentious band member I've played with was a bassist, with which I played one time and never wanted to see again.
Was he a good bass player?
Yeah, definitely.
Would have I played with him for anything less than my life?
I seriously don't think so.

I think it boils down to the person more than what he/she plays ya know.

As for the gear, for the whole time I was in this band, I tried to convince the guitarist, which is an ammmaaaaaaaazing guitarist, to get a better amp.
He played ammmaaaaaaaazing stuff with a €1800 guitar into an MG30FX.
He himself said he knew the thing sucked bad the first time I tried to talk to him about it, though he wanted to buy a new guitar.
In the end he said I convinced him, but he did never buy a new amp.
Nor guitar, so he may not have had the money, but who knows.

What would you have done in that situation?
Would have you tried to convince him to buy a new amp because his current one sucked, or would have you let him go with his decision, sounding just as bad with another very good guitar?

I have mic's and cables, I have a mixer, but I don't have speakers nor a power amp.
The keyboard player of a band had no mic's, was low on cables, but had a power amp and speakers, so I guess you could say he was the right guy for me.

Thing is, I've never really needed a PA system myself 'cause all of the places we played in had one.
What I would have needed is a decent audio engineer, I found they're the ones that create the most problems and that make things sound bad, regardless of the equipment.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
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