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#1
i have a general inquiry about getting a heavier tone. my guitar has a fairly beefy bridge bucker at about 11-13ish K resistance, and the v3m is a 3 channel amp with a solid amount of gain on tap, seperate EQs and prescence for each channel. 50 watt master volume, el-84 amp. my question is about getting a more "metal" tone (suppose thats a dumb way to describe it) without sounding like a "middy rock lead tone".

its the age old battle of trying to sound like recordings without scooping the mids. i even got a fairly mid scooped tone and as we all find out, it sounds great in the bedroom but when playing in a band you totally get drowned out. when i boost the mids, it seems like all the balls drop out and i sound like i have a "rock tone". it doesnt sound heavy. my "metal" tone is more just like how i would run a "boost lead tone to play a rock solo".

does this make sense? i suppose what i am saying is, i am almost at the conclusion that to sound "heavy" you need to drop tune. if i take my settings and put it in drop D, its like "hey, my tone just got heavy.".

so suppose to sum up this rambling - what are some strategies to sound heavy with standard tuning?

my higher gain tone is set as follows. i have switches to a more boosted middly setup wit ha lot of attack which does stand out. good lead tone. but again, it sounds "rocky". it doesnt sound "heavy" in standard tuning. switch to drop D or drop C#. changes everything.

master:2-3 (up to about 5 is easily gigging volume, especially on 50 watts)
channel vol: 5-6
bass:5-6
mid:7
treble:7
prescence:8
drive:5-6 (at this point it doesnt really get any more, it just begins to oversaturate. at about 7-8+ it just starts getting muddy or fizzy)
with the EQX flipped (specific feature to the v3m)
and the "intense" switch on (most cutting and edgy, generally higher gain)

im basically running:

Carvin CT 624, humbucker guitar. bridge is about 11-13 K resistance. fairly hot. voiced as a "rock" type pickup.

Carvin V3m amp - running the higher gain channel straight up. no distortion pedals for this setting.

avatar 2x12 vertical cabinet with WGS verteran 30 (vintage 30 clone) and reaper (g12H30 clone) which is a pretty "classic" speaker combo.

disclaimer - i realize with a different setup and the right amp / pickups etc i may not have this issue. however, given my adequate setup, i should be able to pull off at least an acceptable tone for almost any genre.

Thanks.
Last edited by ikey_ at Nov 16, 2014,
#3
i used to. i had a CMAT mods signa drive as a TS clone. i just sold it to switch my tone up. i now have a xotic AC booster with is totally different. it really has treble and bass controls and no Mid control, so baiscally it cannot mid boost. however, you can "cut" some base which can stop you from being to boomy, or add trebly for some edge, but for high gain i have found that this pedal causes a danger of sounding too scooped. its not really ideal for boosting a high gain channel.

HOWEVER- i have also discovered that with this higher gain setting on, its really hard to boost my amp without getting extreme buzz. does this mean im overloading my amp or my amp is just not made for a heavy tone?

yotube v3ms. they have a lot of gain on tap. however, by design they are not the 100 watt metal monsters with 5-6 preamp tubes etc. is it possible that at 5-6 on the gain, my amp just cant really handle much more than that? it has 4x 12ax7s. figure 1 is the PI stage and 1 may be used for the loop or EQ? i figure i have a solid 2 or perhaps 2.5 for the actual gain? i suppose at minimum at least 1 whole tube is dedicated to gain, probably both halves of the tube for at least 2 gain stages. I'm hoping probably more. i dont know the schematics.

i mean, its a crap ton of gain. it seems like any more "boost " or OD on top is just too much. and thats counting the pedal with the gain low and level up. yes i tried this with the sgina drive and not the AC booster before i sold it.

perhaps i should lower the amp to about 3-4 on the gain and boost it with a pedal? when getting a high gain tone with higher gain amps, where is the gain typically set before boosting with a pedal?

2x12 avatar traditional cab standing vertical, WGS reaper on the top (g12H30 clone) and veteran 30 (v30 clone) on bottom. this is probably a more "rock" voiced pair.

im not going for death metal at all. i just want a "heavier, more bad*ss" tone and less of a classic rock tone. i have 3 channels. i should be able to have a clean, crunch, and heavy tone with pedals for variations of fuzz, boost, lead etc. thats what im going for. flexibility. i mean 3 channels and a pedla board. that should get my pretty far.
Last edited by ikey_ at Nov 16, 2014,
#4
Getting a heavy sound isn't as much the amp's settings as it is the way you play.
If you dig in harder on the palm mutes, and just in general play a bit harder, it gets a lot more balls.

That said, a bit more bass never hurts, but don't scoop the mids.
You'll never be heard in a band setting.

Heaviness isn't about gain. Some of the heaviest sounds I've ever heard weren't really that high gain. Lamb of God's newest albums are a perfect example.
It's more about how you play than the settings you use
#5
thats a good point. and really ive been in a rut lately with my playing especially from a lead standpoint. bene trying to change up my phrasing and learn some new scales. hitting a wall where i think i always sound the same. getting bored. i feel like that hits all of us every once in a while.

in terms of technique, that never really crossed my mind with the pick attack and muting. ill give it a go.
#6
Pick attack on riffs is more important than a lot of people might thing.
The heavier your hand is when hitting the strings, the stronger they vibrate, and the stronger the signal coming from the guitar is.
Don't go overboard to the point you're hitting it as hard as you can, but find a good balance between slightly picking and all out whaling.

I'm a really heavy handed picker, and as a result, I can get away with less gain on the amp, which in turn helps keep everything clear.
#7
Yeah I don't know, when you had your TS pedal did that help get you closer to the gain/tone you want?
Have you tried any different preamp tubes to see if you can tame the Buzz? 5751's would be a good thing to try out in V1 and in the PI slot. Maybe even a 12at7 in V1
I'm not a big fan of the V3 because of its buzzy gain.

Mark Morton from LOG used V30/G12h30 in his cabs for a long time, so the speakers should be fine.

You might just be finding out your not a big fan of the V3m. Just because you like the tone, doesn't mean you like the way that tone works in your application.

The Krank Rev Jr series maybe worth a look into. They run $250-$400 used and come in a 20 watt and 50 watt versions.
#8
are you still running the Factory tubes ?? these little amps really respond to different brands of tubes , I just ordered an assortment from Doug's ..... I already changed V2 witch controls channel 1 and 2 with positive results from a 12ax7 from my Peavey C30 .... another thing from the Carvin board is to run the master volume 5 or more and adjust volume with the channel volume and it seems to take the "fizz" right out of it .... they also seem to think that GT's work better than V30 in this already bright amp , I ordered my 2x12 with Carvin's GT speakers and it will walk the dog on my Peavey 6505+112 ..... this amp is so adjustable it takes a little tweaking to find what you need but it's in there
#9
Have you tried an EQ pedal in the loop? They can work miracles. If it wasn't for my MXR 10-band, I'd have probably moved on from my 6505+, as no amount of eq'ing through the amp alone could make me quite happy. Too much fizz, too little thump. When I got the Mxr, it was as if I'd gotten a new amp -- a much better one.

I don't know if this counts as "scooping", but the sweet spot on my rig involves a healthy cut to the 500 Hz range and a fair boost to the 125Hz slider on my MXR. I also boost the upper mids a little. I don't know how it would cut through in a band situation, but I doubt it would have any trouble. It just sounds awesome, even when I capo the guitar to E standard.

My point is, none of that was achievable with my amp on its own, even with tube upgrades, speakers; the works.
#10
how I have mine set on channel 1
master volume 5 or more usually 7 if I'm at band practice

... presence 6.5
... channel volume where ever it needs to be for loudness , adjust equal to band mates
.....switch on thick
.....gain at 7
....bass 8
....treble 6
....mid 6
...EQX down/off


channel 2 I have set for mid crunch where light distortion is needed
....master volume 5 or higher
.....presence 3.5
....switch is on thick
....drive 3
....bass 8
....treble 5
....mid 5
....EQX is up/on


channel 3 for clean
... mater volume 5 or more
...presence 7
.... channel volume adjusted to balance with band mates
..... switch on soak
..... drive 7
.... bass 7.5
..... mid 7
.... treble 4.5
...

reverb is set on 5 for all channels and it sounds great on or off , this is pretty much how I set it up when playing in the band but in 7 watt mode ,,,, I have had it cranked in 50 watt mode at home by myself but it way to loud for band practice

***** edit because it was so hard to read ****
Last edited by Fumble fingers at Nov 17, 2014,
#11
I don't want to rain on your parade, friend, but it really is hard to sound as "heavy" in Standard E as you would sound in a drop-tuning. I think it has to do with how the bottom 3 strings vibrate when you play an open power chord in a drop tuning vs. how they sound with the A and D strings fretted to play power chords in E.

I may be able to help you out a little with amp settings, as a fellow V3M owner. I would recommend you turn your EQX on. It gives you an obvious boost in mids, which does help in the sound being "heavier", but may add too much bass for your taste, so feel free to turn the bass way down if you need to. Also, try using the Intense mode instead of the Thick. Intense gives you a little more gain and saturation, so you can turn the actual gain knob down a bit, and it gives you a little more "chunk" when you palm mute a power chord. It may help to turn your reverb off, too. Not just roll it down, but turn it completely off; it significantly dulls your amp's sound.
#12
Quote by tdiaz8492
I don't want to rain on your parade, friend, but it really is hard to sound as "heavy" in Standard E as you would sound in a drop-tuning. I think it has to do with how the bottom 3 strings vibrate when you play an open power chord in a drop tuning vs. how they sound with the A and D strings fretted to play power chords in E.

I disagree 100%

I'd say this is heavy as ****
https://soundcloud.com/frank-birkner/same-old-song-and-dance
#15
I agree with Darkwolf. I use E standard most and my band plays with bands that are using Drop C and lower and we never have a problem being heavy. Actually we are more aggressive than they are a lot of the time.
#16
well it sounds like i have my amp set relatively similar to most others. so that tells me ive done fair amount of tweaking. it could just be my playing, pedals, pickups, and cabinet / speakers at this point.

probably like mowt thing majority in my playing.

____

trying something different. on the highest gain channel, im going to run
presence at 5
treble at 5
mids at 7
bass at 5
gain: 3.5- 4
thick switch on
EQX off

boost it with my AC booster pedal using its active EQ for bass / treble.
see what that does. generally my goal has been to NOT need any pedals for a heavy sound given that i have 3 channels. its not really needed. my previous settings were fine. but ill test is this is better.
Last edited by ikey_ at Nov 17, 2014,
#17
Quote by tdiaz8492
I don't want to rain on your parade, friend, but it really is hard to sound as "heavy" in Standard E as you would sound in a drop-tuning. I think it has to do with how the bottom 3 strings vibrate when you play an open power chord in a drop tuning vs. how they sound with the A and D strings fretted to play power chords in E.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8S-F3DKA-8
#18
trying to duplicate album tones with metal is really tough. one big lesson I learned when recording is that you use far less gain than you might think to get your recorded tone. for various reasons when recording the sound gets saturated in the process making it sound more distorted. with less distortion your bass sounds tighter and the sound is clearer and this translates over to the recording. also keep in mind that in a band setting you have other instruments taking up certain frequencies so you can get lost or over powered.

my advice is t find a tone that works within the confines of the band. you don't really have to do it all by yourself. this tone may not sound perfect by itself but that isn't the goal. on older metal the bass works with the guitar (instead of being an after thought like new metal) combined this gives a really heavy sound (check old Sabbath for perfect examples).
#20
I had a V3m for a few months, it's really not that heavy sounding without a boost. I used a TS in front and a MXR 10 band EQ in the loop and that helped a ton. There was something I just could not learn to love about the sound of that amp.
#22
Quote by monwobobbo
trying to duplicate album tones with metal is really tough. one big lesson I learned when recording is that you use far less gain than you might think to get your recorded tone. for various reasons when recording the sound gets saturated in the process making it sound more distorted. with less distortion your bass sounds tighter and the sound is clearer and this translates over to the recording

1/2 right.

The heaviness in a metal recording comes from bass and the massively produced kick drums.
Guitars usually get a low cut to make room for the bass and drums.
Usually, the kicks follow the guitars quite closely, which adds a large amount of weight to the sound.
With the bass double tracked, often one DI'd and one distorted bass, it adds the illusion of heaviness to the guitar tone, when really, it's quite thin.
#23
All in the hands mate. Angle your pick more, use more weight in your strokes when doing riffage on the lower strings and keep your mids high gain lower.

TS are a godsend too. Made my Jim Root Terror go from loose to tighter than Fat Albert fitting into a 32" pant.
#26
i think i have about the best setting for the meantime in my bedroom.

prescence: 7
treble about 7
mids about 6
bass 5
gain 4
thick switch on
EQX on

AC booster on 9 o clock gain
3 o clock level
9 o clock Bass
3 o lock treble

basically, lowering the gain and not using the "intense" switch allows me to boost the amp with a pedal without it getting all buzzy. the intense switch does add a tone of attack and some unneeded gain, but i think it makes it too gainey and buzzy and looses too much thickness, and you cant use a pedal. its like its maxing out, and any more gain just gets too buzzy and unmanageable.

messing around with that off, and gain lower, and a pedal i got a thicker, clearer tone. however, i still dont have the attack i wish for.

i was doing a test track on Avenged Sevenfold - Unholy Confessions.

one of my fav heavy metal songs. however, i am comparing attack to Synester Gates, probably one of the more rediculous tones on the scene. so, i dont think my V3m is going to get me there. ill have to settle.
#27
I wouldn't think you'd want any gain at all from the pedal fwiw.

Also - and I don't know the amp so whatever - a "thick" switch sounds like a bad idea given what you're trying to achieve.

To be clear here, are you trying to get a Syn Gates guitar tone or are you trying to get a Syn Gates record tone? Not trying to be smart here, cos if you're chasing a full A7X Unholy Confessions sound for your bedroom you can safely disregard 90% of the advice you've received here so far.
Last edited by Danustar at Nov 19, 2014,
#28
The AC Booster is a great pedal but I really don't think it was meant for metal/gain. I mean the "ac" stands for almost clean. I had one for a while and I thought it muddled up a bit with a lot of gain. It's a very bottom heavy pedal, which works well with dirty cleans, not so much for high gain. It'd probably work really well with the V3 for cleanish boost, if I were you I'd keep it and get a ts type pedal to tighten up my tone (which the AC doesn't really do) and go from there.


+2 for spiffy preamp tubes and a speaker swap too.

Edit: Btw, when I say the AC booster is bottom heavy, I don't mean it has no treble or you can't dial the bass out. The treble knob does joyous things on that pedal. Just saying the bass is very bassy, good for low gain, not so much for high gain.
Last edited by lucky1978 at Nov 19, 2014,
#29
right. i realize this. im working with what i have.

yeah the AC is radically different than a screamer. i have the gain low, probably 2-3ish on the pedal which what i generally do even with a screamer (at 0,1,2 i generally find it begins impacting volume / tone). i have the treble high (3 o clock or say like 9 out of 12) and the bass lower (likw 3 of 12, 9 o clock).

no i not really after a synester tone, i think that song is a really kick butt guitar song with some serious attack / tone on those riffs. but yeah i would love to have the ability to sound like that. really doubt it will ever happen.

i dont play a lot of metal or heavy music as a whole. but it doesnt mean i cant riff on some from time to time. i got a 3 channel amp with that ability in mind. i think my rigg could easily gig on some metal jams but it certainly isnt a high gain setup my any means.

the result is a fairly middy, borderline muddy tone in my bedroom. not bad, just not the scooped type tone i may have in a bedroom. i believe that in my bedroom on master of 2 it may sound this way, but playing live, this would be the best tone to achieve turned up loud in the mix. i think i may have a "bedroom" setting and take notes on this for a more "live band" type setting. fairly similar to the video. i would classify the "mid" tone as borderline muddy. thats the point. it sounds like that until you play with a band.
Last edited by ikey_ at Nov 19, 2014,
#30
Quote by ikey_
right. i realize this. im working with what i have.

yeah the AC is radically different than a screamer. i have the gain low, probably 2-3ish on the pedal which what i generally do even with a screamer (at 0,1,2 i generally find it begins impacting volume / tone). i have the treble high (3 o clock or say like 9 out of 12) and the bass lower (likw 3 of 12, 9 o clock).

no i not really after a synester tone, i think that song is a really kick butt guitar song with some serious attack / tone on those riffs. but yeah i would love to have the ability to sound like that. really doubt it will ever happen.

i dont play a lot of metal or heavy music as a whole. but it doesnt mean i cant riff on some from time to time. i got a 3 channel amp with that ability in mind. i think my rigg could easily gig on some metal jams but it certainly isnt a high gain setup my any means.

the result is a fairly middy, borderline muddy tone in my bedroom. not bad, just not the scooped type tone i may have in a bedroom. i believe that in my bedroom on master of 2 it may sound this way, but playing live, this would be the best tone to achieve turned up loud in the mix. i think i may have a "bedroom" setting and take notes on this for a more "live band" type setting. fairly similar to the video. i would classify the "mid" tone as borderline muddy. thats the point. it sounds like that until you play with a band.


bedroom means playing by yourself. once in a band setting I've found that often what sounded good alone doesn't work in a band setting. the whole scooped thing really doesn't. my Peavey Ultra has active tone controls on the dirt channels which does help the scooped thing work in a band setting (not my preferred tone but fun for a occasional jam).
#31
I'm thinking a different amp would make you happy. Can you afford to get another amp? It sounds like your Carvin is good for a lot of what you play -- just not the more modern sounding metal. I don't listen to AX7, but listened to that song you mentioned and found it to be a pretty typical metalcore tone. My 6505+ could do that without even trying. I wouldn't suggest a 6505+ as a pure replacement for your Carvin though, as it probably wouldn't make you happy for your other genres. But the 112 can be had all day long used for $350-400 on GC's used inventory. Cut it into a head and run it through your cab and you'd have a nice modern metal machine.
#32
my V3m BLOWS my Peavey 6505+ in the dirt .... KailM would you be interested in buying the 6505+ for a back up ??
#33
Quote by Fumble fingers
my V3m BLOWS my Peavey 6505+ in the dirt .... KailM would you be interested in buying the 6505+ for a back up ??


In the high-gain br00tz department, I highly doubt it. I've heard a lot of people say that about the V3m -- not their cup of tea for modern metal/chugfest/death metal tone.

OP mentioned that he'd like a more modern, percussive/heavy metal tone. The song he listed was what I found to be a pretty typical tone found in modern metalcore. If his amp won't do it, it just won't do it. I think he would have found that tone by now if it was possible. I merely suggested a fairly affordable amp to add to his collection that I know WOULD do that tone.

Also, I'm not interested in your 6505+. Why on earth would I need a backup?
#34
Quote by Fumble fingers
my V3m BLOWS my Peavey 6505+ in the dirt .... KailM would you be interested in buying the 6505+ for a back up ??

For what cleans and a low-mid gain sound? Because the V3 IMO sucks really bad and is buzzier/fizzier than a marshall JCM900 DR with the lead channels gain cranked. And that is really bad. The 5150/6505 has a way better high-gain tone
#35
A few simple tips for a heavier or fatter tone I'd suggest are:


-If you palm mute a lot try and strike the three top strings (Slightly different voicing but definitely a thicker a sound)IMO top three is nice and heavy but isn't always the right fit for certain songs,styles, or song parts. But hey, EXPERIMENT

-I think someone commented prior to me on this one but your pick technique as well. Try angling it differently. Can have a noticable impact on your sound!

-Use that bridge pick up for some better chunks

-Honestly Mess around with your amp settings and your guitar technique in general there's no harm at all in trying different things different things and pick what works best for you, your sound, and what you think is heavy.

-Scoop your mids slightly (or a lot). Mess Around!

-Maybe look into a eq (rack mount or pedal). Try adding some low end or some high for a little bit of bite depending on your style

-I see you stated your gear and it's capabilities so possibly look into some different pickups. They have different tones and tastes to each of them and some pick up companies are well known for their heavy tone capabilities. Not to endorse a specific brand but two companies that are quite well known for these sounds are Seymour Duncan as well as Dimazio. This post isn't a intended to be a product review but definitely check out the guitar mods and custimization thread and look what the whole guide on pickups that's stickied. Very thorough and may shed some light on what you're after.

Main thing to take away from my post... Experiment, try new things, and use your ears to pick out what sounds good. And If none of those work for you then maybe look into purchasing products (Equalizer, new pickups etc.). Hope I've helped in some way shape or form, Cheers
Last edited by Brandonminer at Nov 19, 2014,
#36
Listen to old Winds of Plague if you want to hear a V3 doing metalcore. Their tone is a perfect example of what is wrong with the V3 for "modern" metal: squishy, smooth, and a bit fizzy. FWIW, I really enjoyed my V3 (admittedly I haven't tried the V3M), but for that tight percussive tone that is hear in most "core" music, the 6505 slays it.

TS, if you have found something that works for you stick with it. I will say I generally set my V3s presence very low with a fair boost to the low end but kept the thick switch off. Whatever works for you though
#37
Quote by Robbgnarly
For what cleans and a low-mid gain sound? Because the V3 IMO sucks really bad and is buzzier/fizzier than a marshall JCM900 DR with the lead channels gain cranked. And that is really bad. The 5150/6505 has a way better high-gain tone



no offensive Rob , but if you didn't play the V3 for a month you have absolutely no clue on how it sounds .... your not going to find your sound in 5 minutes with a Carvin V series like other amps , it's way too adjustable

I play in a Heavy Metal Band , half of our stuff is drop C# ..... I missed sundays practice due to my furnace acting up , called the Boy's on Monday to see what I missed .... the Bass player told me all they did was play around with the recordings from the previous week .... here's what he told me "quote from our Bass player, that new little amp you have KICKS ASS and we could tell when your tubes got warmed up "" .... funny they are not wanting me to bring my 6505+ back .... my Carvin has been to two practices and no ones crying for me to bring back the Peavey ..... I have side by side the two and the 6505+ 112 has NOTHING for V3m .....
#38
^^Different strokes for different folks, I guess? Glad you like your V3M.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#39
Try a Fulltone OCD or Full-Drive 2? I got insane metal-esque tones pushing the clean channel on a Fender HRD with a Full-Drive 2 and a '72 Deluxe RI Tele. Now through a Peavey VK212, I can get the same metal-esque tones, but with more clarity and fullness.

I use the pedals on the clean channel. I haven't been able to push the drive channel and get a sound I like.
Fender '72 Telecaster Deluxe RI
Schecter C-1 Artist II
1978 Music Man HD130
+ a bunch of neat pedals

screamy emo band
#40
Quote by KailM
^^Different strokes for different folks, I guess? Glad you like your V3M.



Thanks , it's not that I hated the 6505+ at all , if it doesn't sell on CL it won't bother me at all , I'm just having trouble carrying combo's since I hurt my back ... the weight issue is how the V3m came about , I was worried about the "Fizz" from a previous post Robb made but pulled the trigger anyway and I'm not the least disappointed , you can dial the Fizz out of it once you learn the amp , but it's not a amp you can learn quickly , if anything it's too adjustable
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