#1
I've just started playing guitar with an amplifier. My guitar is a Jackson Rhoads RR3 with Seymour Duncan Pickups and my amplifier is a Fender Mustang II. I've been messing around with it and have an idea on the sound I'm trying to achieve but I don't know if it's right. I don't want to sound like an amateur (even though I am). I have no idea what presence or mids are. I usually use these settings:

Gain: 6
Volume: 5
Treble: 9
Bass: 8
Master: 6

I love Randy Rhoad's tone and want to have something similar to his. I like a lot of crunch and treble. My amp has a lot of feedback sometimes even though I play with low gain. Any suggestions? I like to play Megadeth, Ozzy (Blizzard and Diary) and Metallica.
#2
I am afraid that your question has no "right" answer. One guitarist's "good" tone sounds horrible to another guitarist. "Good Tone" is an almost entirely subjective thing, so it all comes down to one question: Do you like a particular tone?

Now; getting a specific guitarist's tone is a very different question. The best way to do that is to use the same gear that he or she used on a particular track that you like. Beyond that, you will be limited by the equipment that you have on hand. Randy Rhoads used a Marshall 100-watt master volume equipped tube amplifier of late 1970s vintage. He preferred Altec Lansing 417-8 H 80-watt speakers in his Marshall cabinets. He was not into the heavily "scooped" mids that many of the Heavy Metal players adopted in the years after his death. Since most of the bands/guitarists that you mentioned played through cranked Marshall amplifiers at some point in their careers, that is probably the best place to start. You aren't going to emulate a cranked Marshall stack with your Fender Mustang II amplifier, so you might be best served by getting yourself a good distortion pedal that is geared to the Heavy Metal set.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
Last edited by FatalGear41 at Aug 15, 2014,
#3
Me and my guitar and amp
Fender Mustang/Derfenstein DST> Boss Power Wah> Pedal Monsters Klone> Bogner Uberschall> Walrus Audio Janus> Randall RM20> Line 6 M9> Randall RM20
Last edited by lucky1978 at Aug 15, 2014,
#5
I agree with FatalGear41 in that "good tone" is an entirely subjective thing but must disagree on the point that a particular tone can be achieved by duplicating a particular guitarist's setup. Tone exists within a musician, NOT their gear.

For example:

Suppose Randy Rhoads walked into your room, picked up your guitar, and started playing through your rig. Do you think you could mistake him for anyone else? Might anyone mistake him for you? No, of course not. Therefor, we know that the tone lies in his fingers and brain (to that extension) and, regardless of gear, Randy will sound like Randy and you will sound like you. "Good tone" comes from good technique and nuance; take the time to learn from the recordings you like and, best case scenario, you will develop a unique sound that incorporates whatever you like best about the guitarists who move you mixed with your own personal touch.

That being said, good gear is the ultimate compliment to a good musician but your primary focus should certainly be on musical prowess above all else in your pursuit of particular tone and, as far as amp settings are concerned, EQ with your ears as opposed to your eyes.
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#6
Im not the best guitarist but i would say im intermediate and i am confident when i sing. A few weeks ago i went on vacation with my girlfriends family and i didnt bring a guitar. So we went to a local walmart and bought a $40 pink princess guitar meant for 5 year old girls (made entirely out of plastic). Playing it as a guitarist, the guitar was obviously a piece of crap in terms of playability, and the sound was just meh. Everybody was laughing at me when they saw it. But when i was done playing, people were "holy shit i cant believe you made that sound come from that guitar"

There is definitely a lot of truth to how people say good tone comes from the player. As the guitarist, you will feel and hear deficiencies in your instrument as your skills start to outgrow the quality of the instrument. But as you get better, you will find that you can pick up crappier quality instruments and still make them sound good in their own way.

One last thing to be wary of that i have learned in my travels: dont drive yourself crazy chasing after recorded artist's tones. Once the guitar has been dual tracked, eqd/compressed, seated in a mix with bass, drums, vox whatever.. its like hardly recognizable anymore. Just try to get an amp that is geared towards the music you wanna play, and then just let it rip.
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#7
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What makes a good tone?
Preference, possibly popularity.
Name's Luca.

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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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#8
Good tone is one that, combined with an A5 power chord, gives you a semi.
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#9
Good tone should fit the song and your mood. It should be inviting. You should be able to hear one chord and think " yeah, I'll have some more of that."
#10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZruE7E_4OU&feature=player_detailpage#t=372

EDIT: cack it's not embedding for some reason. Any ideas?
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Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 16, 2014,
#12
Yeah but I was trying to get it at the exact point in the vid where the funny bit started It normally embeds for me fine if I don't try to get it to a certain point in the vid (i.e. just at the start).
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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#15
What makes a good tone?


A good player.

He can get his tone on my gear.
Even if I can't get his tone on my gear.
Or on HIS gear.
#16
Quote by dspellman
A good player.
That makes good music, not a good sound.
While the playing style impacts on the sound, the impact isn't nearly as big as the one the gear has.
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
Quote by Cajundaddy
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.
#17
Quote by Spambot_2
That makes good music, not a good sound.
While the playing style impacts on the sound, the impact isn't nearly as big as the one the gear has.


If you say so.

In my experience, really good players somehow manage to find their tone on nearly anything. They sound like themselves on a wide variety of guitars and gear, and sometimes it's surprising what gear they actually use.

Page used those crappy Silvertone-style guitars and Supro amps and telecasters and who knows what in studio. He managed to find his tone with Rickenbaker Transonic amps and with Marshalls.

Clapton has over 250 guitars. Brings up to 50 of them with him to recording sessions. Famously played a 1960 LP that changed the world. Found woman tone on an SG, duplicates it on nearly anything including strats. Most folks think that his "sound" came from Blackie (which he liked for live performances), but he probably recorded with that red 335 more than anything. I've seen him with walls of Marshalls. I've also seen him with four or five combos (and a Leslie) under the stage, with each one miked and a sound guy picking and choosing which did what for what song. I've seen him with a single super reverb.

Eddy has used everything, including cobbled-together crap guitars and good stuff. LPs, strat bodies, the whole shot. He sounds like him no matter what.

Hendrix didn't play JUST a white-flippin-strat through Marshalls.

Only a newb thinks he has to have a specific set of pickups, pedals and a specific amp to achieve a particular "toan."

That's why there are endorsement deals -- manufacturers fleece the sheep who think the gear is going to achieve. Slash has to have separate rooms to contain the money. His biggest album didn't happen on a Gibson, but his deal with Gibson has made both Gibson and Slash rich.
#18
Playing tone=/= gear tone. If you dont agree with that then let me hear you get some authentic Swedish death metal tone without any pedals through a Fender Champ and a Squire Strat and single coils. Tone is all in your fingers, eh?
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
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#19
^+1 lol yeah gear has a major impact on tone. If it didn't
OP would be nailing the Rhodes sound he desires
with his mustang.
Mesa Boogie Single Rectoverb 50 series 2 combo
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Peavey 5150 4x12
Peavey XXX 2x12 combo
Pedals
#20
Quote by dspellman
If you say so.

In my experience, really good players somehow manage to find their tone on nearly anything. They sound like themselves on a wide variety of guitars and gear, and sometimes it's surprising what gear they actually use.

Page used those crappy Silvertone-style guitars and Supro amps and telecasters and who knows what in studio. He managed to find his tone with Rickenbaker Transonic amps and with Marshalls.

Clapton has over 250 guitars. Brings up to 50 of them with him to recording sessions. Famously played a 1960 LP that changed the world. Found woman tone on an SG, duplicates it on nearly anything including strats. Most folks think that his "sound" came from Blackie (which he liked for live performances), but he probably recorded with that red 335 more than anything. I've seen him with walls of Marshalls. I've also seen him with four or five combos (and a Leslie) under the stage, with each one miked and a sound guy picking and choosing which did what for what song. I've seen him with a single super reverb.

Eddy has used everything, including cobbled-together crap guitars and good stuff. LPs, strat bodies, the whole shot. He sounds like him no matter what.

Hendrix didn't play JUST a white-flippin-strat through Marshalls.

Only a newb thinks he has to have a specific set of pickups, pedals and a specific amp to achieve a particular "toan."

That's why there are endorsement deals -- manufacturers fleece the sheep who think the gear is going to achieve. Slash has to have separate rooms to contain the money. His biggest album didn't happen on a Gibson, but his deal with Gibson has made both Gibson and Slash rich.


Well said! Especially look at Eddie who had an amazing tone on a partocaster, one that he hasn't been able to replicate on all of his endorsement gear. Same with these early black metal acts, they got their tone through crappy gear in bad project studios and couldn't replicate it once they got the posh record deals.
#21
Quote by KailM
Playing tone=/= gear tone. If you dont agree with that then let me hear you get some authentic Swedish death metal tone without any pedals through a Fender Champ and a Squire Strat and single coils. Tone is all in your fingers, eh?


Point taken.

On the other hand, you don't have to have a Schecter and a 6505, either, just because that's the "official" way to do things on some forum. I've seen "Authentic" Swedish Death Metal Tone done on a Korg Kronos X keyboard.
#22
Quote by dspellman
Point taken.

On the other hand, you don't have to have a Schecter and a 6505, either, just because that's the "official" way to do things on some forum. I've seen "Authentic" Swedish Death Metal Tone done on a Korg Kronos X keyboard.


It's just that I've always taken issue with the phrase "tone is in the fingers." Yes, I'll agree that a good guitarist can be identified through any gear -- but it doesn't mean said gear is ideal for that player. Vibrato, muting, dynamics, phrasing, and minute timing intricacies -- those are the areas where a guitarist gets to show his or her unique "voice." I just can't quite call that "tone." Additionally, a lot of the similarities you hear from a guitarist from one rig to another is probably that he or she has a tonal preference in mind that is always dialed in via EQ.

I've been playing for a good while now; 18 years -- 25 if you count dabbling in it as a kid. I've been through some pretty crappy rigs in that time. Most of those were totally uninspiring -- and it wasn't my playing.

My current rig gives me the sound I've had in my head for some time now. While I am roughly the same player I was 8 years ago or so, my rig responds so much more musically to my input than it did with my low-end gear.

If tone is indeed "in the fingers" then why don't we all just sell our gear and buy Line 6 Spiders and MGs???

And fyi, no my Schecter and 6505 are not needed to play Swedish death metal. In fact, they are "wrong" for that genre -- yet I can dial in that sound anyway. I bought my Schecter because a) out of dozens of guitars I tried when shopping, it felt the best and b) it didn't break the bank. And as for my 6505, it fits the sound in my head better than anything else (anything else affordable, that is). They can do a whole lot more than metalcore and djent, you know.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#23
Good Tone = Ola hahahaha That dude can make ANYTHING sound awesome. He has just developed his craft well. I.E. He knows what he is doing which has taken years and years of "effing with stuff to see what it does"...
#24
Quote by dspellman
If you say so.

In my experience, really good players somehow manage to find their tone on nearly anything. They sound like themselves on a wide variety of guitars and gear, and sometimes it's surprising what gear they actually use.

Page used those crappy Silvertone-style guitars and Supro amps and telecasters and who knows what in studio. He managed to find his tone with Rickenbaker Transonic amps and with Marshalls.

Clapton has over 250 guitars. Brings up to 50 of them with him to recording sessions. Famously played a 1960 LP that changed the world. Found woman tone on an SG, duplicates it on nearly anything including strats. Most folks think that his "sound" came from Blackie (which he liked for live performances), but he probably recorded with that red 335 more than anything. I've seen him with walls of Marshalls. I've also seen him with four or five combos (and a Leslie) under the stage, with each one miked and a sound guy picking and choosing which did what for what song. I've seen him with a single super reverb.

Eddy has used everything, including cobbled-together crap guitars and good stuff. LPs, strat bodies, the whole shot. He sounds like him no matter what.

Hendrix didn't play JUST a white-flippin-strat through Marshalls.

Only a newb thinks he has to have a specific set of pickups, pedals and a specific amp to achieve a particular "toan."

That's why there are endorsement deals -- manufacturers fleece the sheep who think the gear is going to achieve. Slash has to have separate rooms to contain the money. His biggest album didn't happen on a Gibson, but his deal with Gibson has made both Gibson and Slash rich.


+1

There are some obvious practical limitations but a skilled player can get great guitar tone on pretty humble gear. I gotta agree with Satch, SRV, and G. Govan on this.
Even though Larry Carlton, SRV, and Robben Ford were known to record thru Dumble amps, they often toured with Super Reverb or Fender Hot Rod Series. Larry's most famous solos were recorded through an old beat-up Tweed Deluxe.

Great ears and fingers mostly. Gear cannot be ignored but it often plays a smaller role in great guitar tone than the player.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#25
Quote by KailM
It's just that I've always taken issue with the phrase "tone is in the fingers." Yes, I'll agree that a good guitarist can be identified through any gear -- but it doesn't mean said gear is ideal for that player. Vibrato, muting, dynamics, phrasing, and minute timing intricacies -- those are the areas where a guitarist gets to show his or her unique "voice." I just can't quite call that "tone." Additionally, a lot of the similarities you hear from a guitarist from one rig to another is probably that he or she has a tonal preference in mind that is always dialed in via EQ.


If you don't have the skills, you're not going to sound great on anything. I do agree that having a sound that you love & feels good to you for your style is a huge plus. That's what makes playing guitar so much fun, but if you turn a beginner or intermediate player loose plugged straight into an SLO 100, it will probably not sound as great as you'd think because that amp exposes sloppy technique. I see guys all the time burying sloppy technique in a pile of echo, fuzz, chorus etc.
I frequently go to open blues jams, & you never know what amp/rig you'll get to play through when you're called up. I'm a pretty decent player, but I've been humbled more than once having to use an ultra-plinky trebly tone with zero sustain or gain, which does not suit my style at all. A good guitar player should be able to adapt their style to different rigs & tones, which we all still need to work on.
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#26
Confusing tone with talent again, are we guys?

You can always pick Clapton's playing even though his tone changed dramatically over the years. If tone is in the fingers then he must have had several hand transplants.
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#27
Quote by Cathbard
Confusing tone with talent again, are we guys?

You can always pick Clapton's playing even though his tone changed dramatically over the years. If tone is in the fingers then he must have had several hand transplants.

Well put. On the other end, I like to think of myself as a competent guitarist but I know and have heard much, much better guitarists, I'm nothing special (actually I am, my mom told me so). But that doesn't stop me from having sweet tone.
Fender Mustang/Derfenstein DST> Boss Power Wah> Pedal Monsters Klone> Bogner Uberschall> Walrus Audio Janus> Randall RM20> Line 6 M9> Randall RM20
#28
When a tone has a lot of reverb and delay and compression, you can't recreate that with your fingers (Sorry guys). You also cannot add distortion with your fingers, so I don't care how good you are, there are limits to what you can sound like with a "Crappy tone". I agree that virtuoso guitarists (Which some of you probably are), can make any crappy tone sound better, but they can only do it so much, still not perfect. And most of us are not at that level, so we do need a good tone.

Clapton sold his soul at the crossroads, that's why the last thing he did that had any soul, was "the crossroads" cause after that one he had no soul, ahha (gotta love that one)... Some of Clapton's stuff is good, but sometimes he literally sounds like a ROBOT playing the BLUES, like it was synthesized with a perfect computer rhythm. Hendrix is the opposite of Clapton when it comes to the rhythm of his solo's, Hendrix is the anti-robot.

A lot of it is in the setup and how they recorded it, of course very unique sounding guitarists can still sound unique (like Vai only because he wanks his whammy way too much)...

If you have a crap tone and one that isn't very processed, then the pickups of the guitar start mattering a whole lot more. When it's heavily heavily processed (like Satriacho and Vibe), then the pickups barely make any difference.

I never liked the tone of Vibe and Satri-Pastrami in a lot of their songs, some of it is good though.
Last edited by coderguy at Aug 19, 2014,
#29
Quote by mmolteratx
TAG Knows Tone


Can't believe no one responded to this one. Funny video.
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#30
Quote by Cathbard
Confusing tone with talent again, are we guys?

You can always pick Clapton's playing even though his tone changed dramatically over the years. If tone is in the fingers then he must have had several hand transplants.


Your madd, Eric Clapton doesn't have a very unique sound unless he is playing a song that sounds like himself (well of course because it's more the progression of the notes). If he is playing something different, he is not that recognizable. Clapton has a very generic technique IMO, but sometimes when I hear "robot rhythm" - I think oh that is probably clapton.

Guthrie Govan and Vai both sound unique because they do crazy stuff to emphasize notes that most others don't do. Make someone play a Beatles song and see how much they still sound like themselves. Govan is insane enough to maybe still sound like himself even if he is playing a Beatles song, but most would not. Zak Wylde is another one that sounds kind of like himself most of the time only cause of his crazy vibrato which if you try to immitate it you'll probably get bloody fingers.

A lot of guitarists don't sound THAT unique if you change their equipment, steal their whammy bars, and have them play someone elses songs... Even some of the really good guitarists don't always sound that unique, but there are some you can almost always pick out no matter what, like Govan. But Govan has magic fingers so he doesn't count...
Last edited by coderguy at Aug 19, 2014,
#31
Quote by R45VT
Can't believe no one responded to this one. Funny video.


yeah
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#32
Quote by Cathbard
Confusing tone with talent again, are we guys?

You can always pick Clapton's playing even though his tone changed dramatically over the years. If tone is in the fingers then he must have had several hand transplants.


agree. while the nuances of erics playing have remained fairly the same his tone has changed with different gear. no one will mistake the woman tone found on cream songs like Sunshine Of Your Love with his tone on say Lay Down Sally. if you listen to him playing those old songs with his current gear they don't sound the same tone wise.

while there is some truth to tone is in the fingers it's what gear you use and how you have it set that will determine the final outcome. my SG has a darker sound to it than say my Eagle even while playing through the exact same setup. not my fingers it's the voicing of the pups.