#1
Hi Everyone,

When playing my electric guitar, in general, I sound clean at low gains. When I set my amp (Yamaha THR 10) to a higher gain I still sound clean, but, when I max out the gain, I have difficulty in sounding clean. Is there such a thing as "too" much gain in order to get a clean sound?

Also I noticed (could be my imagination) that say I strike my A and E string, sometimes it seems that the sound generated by striking the A and E string caused my lower strings to slightly ring (in high gain distortion mode).

I was wondering if there is such a thing as too much gain, or, if you have the right technique you will always sound clean.

I am really looking forward to your responses,

Thanks so much for your advice.
#2
yeah too much gain can turn to mud if you're not careful
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#3
When I'm setting my gain, I keep rolling it back until it loses some element of the tone I want, then I roll it forward a little. I think this is a good mantra for setting the gain.

Remember that gain removes the dynamics of your playing, is prone to feeding back and it can really thin out your tone. It has its uses but it also has these drawbacks.

What you're referring to is probably due to the compression caused by high gain. It can amplify unintended string noise to almost the same level as a picked note.

Note that I don't know anything about the more extreme metal tones, but I imagine the same principles still apply.
#4
Quote by LGuitarjsm
Hi Everyone,

When playing my electric guitar, in general, I sound clean at low gains. When I set my amp (Yamaha THR 10) to a higher gain I still sound clean, but, when I max out the gain, I have difficulty in sounding clean. Is there such a thing as "too" much gain in order to get a clean sound?

Also I noticed (could be my imagination) that say I strike my A and E string, sometimes it seems that the sound generated by striking the A and E string caused my lower strings to slightly ring (in high gain distortion mode).

I was wondering if there is such a thing as too much gain, or, if you have the right technique you will always sound clean.

I am really looking forward to your responses,

Thanks so much for your advice.


You can have too much gain in a lot of situations (most really heavy bands probably use less than you think) but I don't think that's your issue.

You very definitely can get other strings ringing when you hit certain strings and notes. It's called 'sympathetic vibration' and it's a pure function of the physics that goes on in guitar playing. It's especially an issue when you're playing with distortion since distortion acts as a compressor as well; limiting the highest volume sounds and bringing lower volume sounds up. Incidentally this is on of the reasons people say clean practice is so important; it ensures that you're picking evenly and that you're not losing volume on some notes.

The really important thing to know is that there is a solution and it's basically to mute any and all strings you don't want to sound. Watch this, it has all the information you need:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIEnzboW0Hc
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#5
Too much gain can be bad but use it to your advantage to build up your technique. All the unwanted string noise rings out which allows you to adjust your hands in such a way that it will mute and you will only hear pure awesome gain-ness.
#6
If you'd like to play clean, but loud, try using a compressor. There is sort of a distinctive "pop" when they clamp down on the signal, but you don't have to use anywhere near the pre-gain to achieve the same volume.

Compressors are often used in the signal path, along with distortion boosters. When set right, a compressor can sand the jaggedness off the fuzz box, and increase sustain while it's doing it.

Mark Knopfler was notorious for this technique during his Dire Straits years.

Anyway, I'm completely stumped as to why you asked this question, at least in it's present form. You turn the amp up, the power amp "clips", introducing distortion. Simply substitute the term "gain" for "clipping". Them's the plain facts. "Gain" clipping" pretty much the same thing, at least at the amp's final stage.

If you want better cleans, go with heavier strings. Once you introduce "gain" into the signal path, string gauge becomes less relevant. String gauge makes a much more dramatic effect on the acoustic, but it still factors into electric play, but for all intents and purposes, only when you want true clean, but fat sound.

If you want to fatten up your clean sound more, you could also try using a chorus.

And Fender tube amps have always had great clean, bright tone. But that's why you're more likely to find them in Nashville, than the metal circuit. I know that's likely out of the scope of this discussion, but it's something to consider
Last edited by Captaincranky at Aug 2, 2014,