#1
I'm into metal.

So I got an Epiphone Annihilation Flying V with Gibson custom picks up (Jeff Waters). Double humbucker, little blues sounding, for 80s type heavy metal/thrash. I picked up a Peavy 15W Vypyr combo. Basically it plays like a fair home amp/speaker combo. My distortion is from the Peavy and/or a Boss Mega Distortion MD2. I got a Dunlop Cry Baby foot peddel. No whammy bar.

I recently got an Orange 3W Micro crush amp/speaker combo to take around with me and my guitar for practice anywhere.

So I am always learning to play clean. That is to hit the right notes. I find a pick that sounds close to what I want. Try to remove bad habits.

The 3W Orange sounds pretty good IMO for what it is. It lets me tune pretty well too. Yet I know the sounds that pass through this things don't make my guitar sound 'good' in any sense of what sounds good in music. It sounds like ... someone at home learning on their eletric guitar. I am thinking of getting a BOSS peddle board, putting in the dunlop and MD2. I am also thinking of getting an Orange Micro Terror head as my first proper head.

So I still try to play clean a lot. Is clean metal? Well maybe some of it, but then there is progressive stuff like Mastadon and I am thinking, well that's a very professional board, but I need to spend on something for my tone.

So is this my direction for better tone? To play cleaner and hit the right notes at the right time and then look to a future with something like an Orange PPC412A Slope Front 4x12 240w and an Orange Orange TH100 head. That's like 2 grand on something I hope is going to take me towards 'tone' and not away from it.

Or have I got this idea about what 'tone' is all wrong. I have tried reading on what it is to a more or lesser degree and have been told its like getting your sound to sound right through good gear and good playing. Others say gear doesn't really matter, its the soul you put into the playing.

I'd like to improve my tone.

Any help is appreciated.
Dean MAB1. Epiphone Annihilation V. EVH 5150III. Orange PPC112. Earthquaker devices - The Warden, Arrows, Acapulco Gold, Levitation, Night Wire. TS9, DD3, GE7, NS2, LS2, Polytune mini, Small Stone. SM57. Focusrite. LINUX!
#2
One thing that most people neglect is that the guitar is a mid range instrument, both tonally and sonically.

Standard metal operating procedure is usually to crank the bass and treble and lower the mids, to lock in with the bass and drums.

Unfortunately, this negatively impacts the harmonic content and tone of your signal, so if you are looking for a singing screaming lead tone, experiment with boosting the mids.

Another thing worth looking into is the amp itself. In general you want alot of headroom if you are getting the distortion from pedals. You can do it with a good combo amp, no need to get a massive thing with a head + cab unless that's what your into or need.

Gonna move this to the gear forum, for obvious reasons. They are more knowledgable than I, I just run a Bass Big Muff through a Fender Combo and it's plenty loud
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#3
your tone is the sound coming from your amp. your guitar, fx and amp (plus of course your playing) all effect the final tone. what is good or bad is up to you. playing clean will help your technique however learning to play with distortion is a bit of an art in it self.
#4
Quote by Deermonic
Yet I know the sounds that pass through this things don't make my guitar sound 'good' in any sense of what sounds good in music. It sounds like ... someone at home learning on their eletric guitar. ...

...but then there is progressive stuff like Mastadon and I am thinking, well that's a very professional board, but I need to spend on something for my tone.

The important things to note are that

A)it sounds like someone at home learning on their electric guitar because it IS someone at home learning on their electric guitar and,

B) When you hear progressive stuff like Mastadon it is not just the "very professional board they have but also the professional player, the pro quality guitar, amp, cables, room, microphone, mic placement, sound board/mixing desk, compressors, eq, reverb, not to mention the professional engineer and professional producer using their professional ear and experience to tweak every little aspect to ensure that the tone you hear when you listen to them is the way it is.

So even if you get that board you will still sound like a guy sitting in his bedroom learning to play his electric guitar. And when you get out on stage for the first time you will probably sound like a guy that's getting on stage or the first time.

So yeah in some respects I think you have tone all wrong. With the chain you use each step follows the rule (Garbage In Garbage Out). A piece of gear can "mask" tonal weaknesses but it can only work with the signal it receives.
Si
#5
Thanks for the advice so far. The fact my question was moved to this thread answers a lot.

So anyone got a similar setup do anything gear-wise to improve their tone?
Dean MAB1. Epiphone Annihilation V. EVH 5150III. Orange PPC112. Earthquaker devices - The Warden, Arrows, Acapulco Gold, Levitation, Night Wire. TS9, DD3, GE7, NS2, LS2, Polytune mini, Small Stone. SM57. Focusrite. LINUX!
#6
Quote by Deermonic
Thanks for the advice so far. The fact my question was moved to this thread answers a lot.

So anyone got a similar setup do anything gear-wise to improve their tone?


a better amp will always go a long way in improving your tone. both amps you have are low end practice amps. while neither is "bad" neither will give you a great tone. start there
#7
IMO tone is a hard word to define. A lot of people think tone is how you set knobs on an amp.
I think that's part of the equation. A different matter in shaping your tone is how you pick, how you mute, how you play, how your fingers are built(You know, thin, or sausage-like, etc.)

An example can be Dimebag Darrell. He ran so much gain his tech had to adjust noise gates. But he had such a gentle touch he kept all that under control.

Your tone is subjective. For example I like mids at about 7-8, whilst others like it at 4-5. I like treble at 10, since I can hear myself better. others like it less. Set your eq with your ears, not your eyes. And remember, tone is subjective, some people might like yours, others might not.
Well, you can call me crazy
You can call me wrong, 'cause
See I was born a liar, albatross
Fly on, fly on
#8
So maybe I am thinking to practice more on my Peavy is an answer for now.

However I have a Dunlop CryBaby and a Boss Mega Distortion 2 stompbox. I am thinking of getting a Boss BCB peddle board. I want to practice on the 3W Orange micro crush. I might like another gain peddle. What do you all think?

A tube amp and higher end gear is something I want to wait a few years before investing. I'm guessing tubes help tone seeking a good deal.
Dean MAB1. Epiphone Annihilation V. EVH 5150III. Orange PPC112. Earthquaker devices - The Warden, Arrows, Acapulco Gold, Levitation, Night Wire. TS9, DD3, GE7, NS2, LS2, Polytune mini, Small Stone. SM57. Focusrite. LINUX!
#9
Quote by Deermonic
So maybe I am thinking to practice more on my Peavy is an answer for now.

However I have a Dunlop CryBaby and a Boss Mega Distortion 2 stompbox. I am thinking of getting a Boss BCB peddle board. I want to practice on the 3W Orange micro crush. I might like another gain peddle. What do you all think?

A tube amp and higher end gear is something I want to wait a few years before investing. I'm guessing tubes help tone seeking a good deal.


skip the distortion pedal as they rarely play nice with modeling amps. maybe with the orange but honestly that pedal is crap (in my opinion). 2 pedals really doesn't justify a board put the moey to better use. the orange has a very small speaker so don't expect crushing metal tones from it. it's not up to that and neither is the peavey you have. larger speakers will produce better sound plain and simple.

putting off getting better gear helps no one. i understand not needing pro level gear but i'm thinking you could get a better amp and perhaps an inexpensive tube one. just a thought.
Last edited by monwobobbo at Feb 7, 2015,
#10
What would be an inexpensive tube amp?

I was looking at an Orange Dark Terror but even that costs a lot.
Dean MAB1. Epiphone Annihilation V. EVH 5150III. Orange PPC112. Earthquaker devices - The Warden, Arrows, Acapulco Gold, Levitation, Night Wire. TS9, DD3, GE7, NS2, LS2, Polytune mini, Small Stone. SM57. Focusrite. LINUX!
#11
Quote by Deermonic
What would be an inexpensive tube amp?

I was looking at an Orange Dark Terror but even that costs a lot.

Epi Blues Junior plus a boost, like a Bad Monkey.
Well, you can call me crazy
You can call me wrong, 'cause
See I was born a liar, albatross
Fly on, fly on
#12
Quote by Deermonic
What would be an inexpensive tube amp?

I was looking at an Orange Dark Terror but even that costs a lot.


Dark Terror is great for metal if you like the sludgy stuff. It's really versatile though. That's what I use for rehearsals/home use now

As much as I like the Epi VJ, I don't agree with the suggestion above, doesn't that amp need a load of cranking to get much gain? Or am I thinking the wrong amp?
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Ashdown CTM 100
Last edited by Fisheth24 at Feb 8, 2015,
#13
Gear improves your overall tone but it doesn't improve the tone of your technique. What I mean is a good guitarist sounds good through anything. That's because they can control their instrument. They know how to play a good sounding vibrato and bend in tune. They know how to touch the strings to make it sound good. They have a good muting technique (random strings don't ring out). They can play accurately in time.

If you can't do any of this, you will sound like a beginner even through the most "professional" gear. But of course you can improve your tone, even as a beginner. You will sound better (not technique or playing wise, but just have a more pleasing sound) through better gear.

But yeah, I think your gear is just fine. Your amp can do a lot of tones and has all the effects built in. Don't spend your money on pedals yet. Do it when you know exactly what you are after. I know pedal board and a half stack is cool, but it makes no sense to buy them before you know exactly what you want.

Playing with a clean tone makes you hear your mistakes more clearly. But I wouldn't play with a clean tone all the time. That just sounds uninspiring. Metal songs sound like crap with clean tone. They pretty much need distortion. Also, certain techniques need distortion to sound right. For example (metal style) palm muting. If clean tone bores you, don't play with a clean tone.

But yeah, I would separate the tone of your gear and the tone of your technique. Both make a difference to the overall tone.
Quote by AlanHB
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Gear

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Yamaha P115
#14
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Gear improves your overall tone but it doesn't improve the tone of your technique. What I mean is a good guitarist sounds good through anything. That's because they can control their instrument. They know how to play a good sounding vibrato and bend in tune. They know how to touch the strings to make it sound good. They have a good muting technique (random strings don't ring out). They can play accurately in time.

If you can't do any of this, you will sound like a beginner even through the most "professional" gear. But of course you can improve your tone, even as a beginner. You will sound better (not technique or playing wise, but just have a more pleasing sound) through better gear.

But yeah, I think your gear is just fine. Your amp can do a lot of tones and has all the effects built in. Don't spend your money on pedals yet. Do it when you know exactly what you are after. I know pedal board and a half stack is cool, but it makes no sense to buy them before you know exactly what you want.

Playing with a clean tone makes you hear your mistakes more clearly. But I wouldn't play with a clean tone all the time. That just sounds uninspiring. Metal songs sound like crap with clean tone. They pretty much need distortion. Also, certain techniques need distortion to sound right. For example (metal style) palm muting. If clean tone bores you, don't play with a clean tone.

But yeah, I would separate the tone of your gear and the tone of your technique. Both make a difference to the overall tone.


TS. I've been in and out of bands for the past seven years and to be honest, I'd agree with this. You don't want something that you're unsure about until you get a bit more experienced. I've gone through so much stuff I thought I needed and then it ended up I didn't like it.

Don't turn into me TS.
Bass Gear:

Mensinger: Speesy
Fender Precision 1989 (CIJ Rosewood)
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Lakland J Sonic 5
Epiphone Explorer
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Ashdown CTM 100
#15
The way I see it, there's "gear tone" and "playing tone." They are two separate entities, but there is also a blending of the two that makes up your overall tone. They aren't entirely unrelated, and they are mutually beneficial.

By all means, do everything you can to improve your playing tone, because it won't matter what gear you have if you can't play decently.

But there's also a certain level where gear can hold you back if you're not getting close to the "sound in your head." I owned very crappy gear for the first 15 or so years of my playing experience, and eventually I just became unmotivated to play. Then I started trying some higher end gear and started learning about what I could do for my tone (mostly here on UG and on Youtube videos). Once I started buying gear that was tailored to my needs as a player, I became a lot more motivated to play because I really started sounding better. I loved the tone I was getting, and at times (and this is true still), I played just so I could hear my rig. And the result was, I got to be a much better player as well.
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Last edited by KailM at Feb 8, 2015,
#16
Playing is something I can work on with what I got. It's more than enough I think for keeping my chops up and learning songs. In the end, yes I am going to likely opt for a tube amp and spend on one. It is just I don't think I want to do that quite yet. I got the gear I have and I am wondering if I can do anything in terms of equipment and gear to improve my tone for the meantime. I suppose I just need to accept that I am at the modelling stage and will have to settle finding the best tone I can with modelling equipment.

If anyone can add to this, go ahead. Thanks for the feedback so far.
Dean MAB1. Epiphone Annihilation V. EVH 5150III. Orange PPC112. Earthquaker devices - The Warden, Arrows, Acapulco Gold, Levitation, Night Wire. TS9, DD3, GE7, NS2, LS2, Polytune mini, Small Stone. SM57. Focusrite. LINUX!
#17
Quote by Deermonic
Playing is something I can work on with what I got. It's more than enough I think for keeping my chops up and learning songs. In the end, yes I am going to likely opt for a tube amp and spend on one. It is just I don't think I want to do that quite yet. I got the gear I have and I am wondering if I can do anything in terms of equipment and gear to improve my tone for the meantime. I suppose I just need to accept that I am at the modelling stage and will have to settle finding the best tone I can with modelling equipment.

If anyone can add to this, go ahead. Thanks for the feedback so far.


nothing wrong with modeling but once again that comes down to quality. you have the lowest end vypyr so you can't expect much. the bigger more expensive models are better and can produce some pretty decent tones. despite having a couple of decent tube amps for recording i usually use a Line 6 POD. it produces good tones and makes teh recording process much simpler.

i'd suggest at this point that you get one of the newer VIP series from Peavey (the 30 watt model at least) and go from there. you could also look into a Peavey Valveking or a 6505+ combo (used) either of which will give you better tone.

last thing that while sounding great helps don't let lack of perfect tone be a barrier to you practicing and getting better playing wise. if you can't really play even the best gear won't make you sound better. what you have now is way better than the garbage i started on (late 70s).
#18
Quote by MaggaraMarine
But I wouldn't play with a clean tone all the time.


Agreed- while a lot of people say distortion masks mistakes etc. (and it does, at least to a certain extent), there are also aspecs of playing distorted which make it harder as well, and which you have to get used to if you're planning on playing distorted a lot.

Mainly keeping down the background noise and having good muting technique.

If you plug someone who's only ever played through a clean amp into the lead channel of a peavey 6505 cranked up is he/she going to sound amazing because he/she has religiously practised playing cleanly because "playing distorted masks your mistakes"?

No, that person is going to sound like utter crap because he/she has no experience with playing distorted. That person is going to sound as much of a noob as someone who's only ever played with the distortion cranked to 10 suddenly forced to play into a completely clean amp.

Don't get me wrong- you should play clean as well (and even unplugged) to help you notice the mistakes which distortion masks. But you should also play distorted too because distortion brings its own problems which need to be mastered.

Aside from that, I agree with separating gear and technique tone, and the point 20Tigers made about pro guitar players on recordings sounding amazing because they're pro players and have a load of other pros behind them making their recorded tone sound good.
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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
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Last edited by Dave_Mc at Feb 8, 2015,
#19
Quote by Dave_Mc
Agreed- while a lot of people say distortion masks mistakes etc. (and it does, at least to a certain extent), there are also aspecs of playing distorted which make it harder as well, and which you have to get used to if you're planning on playing distorted a lot.

Mainly keeping down the background noise and having good muting technique.

If you plug someone who's only ever played through a clean amp into the lead channel of a peavey 6505 cranked up is he/she going to sound amazing because he/she has religiously practised playing cleanly because "playing distorted masks your mistakes"?

No, that person is going to sound like utter crap because he/she has no experience with playing distorted. That person is going to sound as much of a noob as someone who's only ever played with the distortion cranked to 10 suddenly forced to play into a completely clean amp.

Don't get me wrong- you should play clean as well (and even unplugged) to help you notice the mistakes which distortion masks. But you should also play distorted too because distortion brings its own problems which need to be mastered.

Aside from that, I agree with separating gear and technique tone, and the point 20Tigers made about pro guitar players on recordings sounding amazing because they're pro players and have a load of other pros behind them making their recorded tone sound good.


absolutely. we have a world class music school here. occasionally i've run into classical guitar students that can technically play rings around me. give them an electric with distortion and usually a good laugh ensues. playing distorted is an art unto itself (think i said this before). learning how much distortion to use and still retain note clarity is a hard lesson to learn. the urge tends to be to pile on the distortion whe you are a new player. i mean how can you get the "br00talz" without dstortion. eventually you learn to dial back and use proper technique to get those sounds.
#20
Quote by Dave_Mc
Agreed- while a lot of people say distortion masks mistakes etc. (and it does, at least to a certain extent), there are also aspecs of playing distorted which make it harder as well, and which you have to get used to if you're planning on playing distorted a lot.

Mainly keeping down the background noise and having good muting technique.

If you plug someone who's only ever played through a clean amp into the lead channel of a peavey 6505 cranked up is he/she going to sound amazing because he/she has religiously practised playing cleanly because "playing distorted masks your mistakes"?

No, that person is going to sound like utter crap because he/she has no experience with playing distorted. That person is going to sound as much of a noob as someone who's only ever played with the distortion cranked to 10 suddenly forced to play into a completely clean amp.

Don't get me wrong- you should play clean as well (and even unplugged) to help you notice the mistakes which distortion masks. But you should also play distorted too because distortion brings its own problems which need to be mastered.

Aside from that, I agree with separating gear and technique tone, and the point 20Tigers made about pro guitar players on recordings sounding amazing because they're pro players and have a load of other pros behind them making their recorded tone sound good.
Yes.

Use your clean channel, and use your dirty channels. Both are good to learn with for those listed reasons.

The VYPYR is a fairly decent modelling amp, so where you are at tonally relative to your technique is fine. Use the VYPYR's modelling to dial in a nice crunch, and see if a slight boost from your BOSS pedal would help thicken your tone. Your next amp should move towards gigging/recording abilities.
#21
Yeah, thanks everyone.

Basically the answer I am learning towards is using the 15W VYPYR to the ground. I did more on it today with the 6505 settings. Actually to be honest nearly every metal song out there has VYPYR settings online somewhere or close to it with other similar modelling combos. So yeah I can improve with what I got with my current gear if I just pay more attention to these details.

I actually sold my 1st guitar (Ashton) for the Epiphone. I sold my Ashton amp and upgraded to the 15W Peavy. Maybe my next move is to sell that 15W VYPYR and upgrade to tube combo rather than heads and cabs for now.

So I should be looking this time next year for something like a:

- Orange Thunder TH30C (30W)
- Peavey Valveking (50W)
- Marshall DSL40C (40W)

Does that sound about right or nope?
Dean MAB1. Epiphone Annihilation V. EVH 5150III. Orange PPC112. Earthquaker devices - The Warden, Arrows, Acapulco Gold, Levitation, Night Wire. TS9, DD3, GE7, NS2, LS2, Polytune mini, Small Stone. SM57. Focusrite. LINUX!
#22
IMO the Orange is the best of the lot. The DSL has a shitty speaker and the Valveking has an even shittier speaker. If you like sludge/doom/stoner rock or metal then that amp is great.
Well, you can call me crazy
You can call me wrong, 'cause
See I was born a liar, albatross
Fly on, fly on
#23
Orange all the way, I'd go for a dark however if you don't need two channels. IIRC the TH30 doesn't have an FX loop. Or is that the Duel? I can't remember which.
Bass Gear:

Mensinger: Speesy
Fender Precision 1989 (CIJ Rosewood)
Fender Steve Harris (CIJ)
Lakland J Sonic 5
Epiphone Explorer
Maruszczyk (custom) Jake

Ashdown CTM 100
#24
Quote by Fisheth24
Orange all the way, I'd go for a dark however if you don't need two channels. IIRC the TH30 doesn't have an FX loop. Or is that the Duel? I can't remember which.


I thought the dark was a head and not a combo?
Dean MAB1. Epiphone Annihilation V. EVH 5150III. Orange PPC112. Earthquaker devices - The Warden, Arrows, Acapulco Gold, Levitation, Night Wire. TS9, DD3, GE7, NS2, LS2, Polytune mini, Small Stone. SM57. Focusrite. LINUX!
#25
Quote by monwobobbo
absolutely. we have a world class music school here. occasionally i've run into classical guitar students that can technically play rings around me. give them an electric with distortion and usually a good laugh ensues. playing distorted is an art unto itself (think i said this before). learning how much distortion to use and still retain note clarity is a hard lesson to learn. the urge tends to be to pile on the distortion whe you are a new player. i mean how can you get the "br00talz" without dstortion. eventually you learn to dial back and use proper technique to get those sounds.


LOL

Quote by Will Lane
Yes.

Use your clean channel, and use your dirty channels. Both are good to learn with for those listed reasons.


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?
#26
Quote by Deermonic
So I should be looking this time next year for something like a:

- Orange Thunder TH30C (30W)
- Peavey Valveking (50W)
- Marshall DSL40C (40W)

Does that sound about right or nope?

Orange out of that list. The VK's aren't very tight, the Marshall might get by but the Orange would be best. Although a Peavey 6505 combo is $600, compared to the $1.2k for the Orange. Anything against the 6505?
#27
That looks nice too.
Dean MAB1. Epiphone Annihilation V. EVH 5150III. Orange PPC112. Earthquaker devices - The Warden, Arrows, Acapulco Gold, Levitation, Night Wire. TS9, DD3, GE7, NS2, LS2, Polytune mini, Small Stone. SM57. Focusrite. LINUX!
#28
The 6505 won't do cleans that well. It's best IMO to get the Orange or the Valveking with a boost or two.
Well, you can call me crazy
You can call me wrong, 'cause
See I was born a liar, albatross
Fly on, fly on
#29
Quote by Fryderyczek
The 6505 won't do cleans that well. It's best IMO to get the Orange or the Valveking with a boost or two.

the 6505's cleans aren't fender clean but are servicable for metal. no one really buys a 6505 for cleans. since the OP is leaning more toward metal then it would be the best choice within budget. not an orange fan but they are good amps. as for the VK it will do some metal fairly well but is far from ideal for many forms of modern metal even with an overdrive.
#30
Quote by monwobobbo
the 6505's cleans aren't fender clean but are servicable for metal. no one really buys a 6505 for cleans. since the OP is leaning more toward metal then it would be the best choice within budget. not an orange fan but they are good amps. as for the VK it will do some metal fairly well but is far from ideal for many forms of modern metal even with an overdrive.

But TS said he also plays/practices as clean as he can.
Well, you can call me crazy
You can call me wrong, 'cause
See I was born a liar, albatross
Fly on, fly on