#1
Hey guys,
first of all, cool to have such a large community going on on the internet. I finally decided to register here, because I have some issues with my tone. Im not quite happy with it and would need some help.

I am currently playing through a JCM 900 SL-X, with a 2 x 12" G12-75H (or something like that..) Marshall cab. The guitar Im using is a Jackson Custom DR, mainly on the bridge PU being a SD TB-4. And the main problem is, whenever I want to play some solos, the tone is way too sharp, thin and somehow too hurtful high, holding me personally back to play and exercise. It sounds very, very dry. I played around with the knobs, bought a bunch of unuseful pedals and nothing seems to work. What Im looking for is a basic smooth lead tone, a la Randy Rhoads or Marty Friedman, etc. You name it, not much fancy stuff. Im considering to buy either a reverb or a delay pedal. If it helps, Id currently consider Megadeths old stuff as a big influence of mine. Think this is a good idea? If not, what then? How do I work on the tone(s) in my head and how do I identify what I really need?

Thanks a lot guys, appreciate it!
#2
i would go for a delay. it makes a big difference.

but more important, what tubes are in the amp? or how old are they?
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.


***9V BATTERIES ARE FROM HELL!*** (updated 2016-11-27)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#3
trashedlostfdup

That raised a question in my mind. I play clean, acoustic-like sounds and prefer reverb to delay. Would I be right in thinking that delay is better suited to those overdriven sounds?
#4
Quote by Tony Done
trashedlostfdup

That raised a question in my mind. I play clean, acoustic-like sounds and prefer reverb to delay. Would I be right in thinking that delay is better suited to those overdriven sounds?


no. not at all. to a degree both factor in and both usually coincide.

i have more delay pedals because i have reverb in some amps, and don't own a reverb pedal.

i almost always have a delay on for 'heavy' leads, especially metal, but i have it on for blues most of the time too.

the biggest thing about delay is that it kind of fills in. listen to (for example) pantera, and how long the delay Dime has on his leads, even better if you can find a video with just Dime playing. it makes more of a difference than you would think.

i love malekko ekko delays (i have four!) the 616 is really nice, i have three, and a 616 lo-fi. $100 used and it rapes the MXR carbon copy. i prefer analog delays to digital (have two digital, one being in my VS H2O and a cmatmods one), and they have their place as well IMO. just depends on what you like.
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.


***9V BATTERIES ARE FROM HELL!*** (updated 2016-11-27)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#5
What pedals do you have?
Megadeth's Chris Poland leads are pretty much the Marshall, maybe overdrive in front, but not so sure as it is pretty dry on saturation, then some chorus or flange treated with reverb.

Marty's tone is similar but more"flutey" with delay in fx loop. Try this pedal in the loop
http://www.houstonmusicreviews.com/GearReview/ModtoneMTAD/ModtoneMT-AD.html

Also don't forget to use the neck pickup and don't be afraid from the guitar tone knob.
#6
Quote by diabolical

Marty's tone is similar but more"flutey" with delay in fx loop. Try this pedal in the loop
http://www.houstonmusicreviews.com/GearReview/ModtoneMTAD/ModtoneMT-AD.html

Also don't forget to use the neck pickup and don't be afraid from the guitar tone knob.


isn't that not analog though (not that it matters)?
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.


***9V BATTERIES ARE FROM HELL!*** (updated 2016-11-27)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#8
Quote by diabolical
Its analog delay, not pure analog as it has no tape, it has the right amount of delay for lead and sits a bit more natural than digital delay.


nope. the link you posted says this:



Coupled with analog components the pedal features the PT-2399 digital delay chip
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.


***9V BATTERIES ARE FROM HELL!*** (updated 2016-11-27)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#9
A JCM900 with G12T-75 speakers (assuming that's what you meant) is pretty much guaranteed to have quite a shrill, piercing quality, Marshalls are very sharp sounding amps and T75s are very sharp sounding speakers. I don't think adding reverb or delay will do anything to tame that sharpness.

Using something like an Ibanez TS-9 or a Boss OD-3 for boosting the lead tone could help by enhancing the more 'vocal' qualities of the midrange, making it a bit more balanced against the harsh treble and making it seem less harsh by comparison, but one thing you can try which costs nothing is turning the tone control down a little bit, as this will soften the high treble harmonics which might be the exact ones causing the problem.
Happiness is a warm Vox AC30
#10
Thanks a bunch guys!

Ive been a total noob when buying those pedals, but I have a MXR dynacomp and TS mini laying around here. And yes, the G12T-75 ones are right. Theyre the ones in there. Well, as long as no one else contributes, Ill play with the tone knob and look for a delay pedal to add that 'something' to solos. Ill also try the TS again, since I didnt find it that cool back then, when I goofed around with it a bit.

@Blompcube Do you think an EQ pedal could help out? I feel like a big fail after reading this, because so many people on the net told me to go with the 75s instead of with the V30 with the JCM head.. Whats funny tho is, that I love my rhythm tone.

But again, thanks a lot, am looking forward for more contributions. :-)
#11
And trashedlostfdup, iirc EL34 powertubes and it looks like stock preamp tubes.. Any recommendations? I mean, I already was thinking about changing them, so let me hear what you would put in there. :-D
#12
Quote by ziya.y96
EL34 powertubes and it looks like stock preamp tubes.. Any recommendations? I mean, I already was thinking about changing them, so let me hear what you would put in there. :-D


My go-to for tubes for maybe the last decade has been Eurotubes (dot com), and whatever Bob suggests for my amp. They're mostly JJ's, and they've been very solid. His testing gear is really top-notch, and when I've gotten a "matched quad," it's really been just that.

I'd suggest that you get something like a good used Pod XT (maybe the "bean" version), which will run you about $85-100 (I don't know where you are, so I can't predict local prices, but that's what works here in LA). It's not the latest thing in modelers, obviously, but there are a ton of FX built in that are designed to sound like classic pedals, and it's worth it to spend some time rummaging through what's there to give yourself an idea of what will work for you. When you're done, you can either just use the XT as is, or go on a hunt for the pedal (or similar) that the XT is mimicking. If you don't need it any more, you can probably pass the XT on and recoup what you paid for it.

You might also consider trying out an EQ. I've got a 31-band (third octave, I believe) stereo thing that allows me to tweak like crazy. It's a rackmount item that came from a high-end stereo system, and it was very cheap used. There are three places that people put EQs -- immediately after the pickups to EQ the pickups (you'd be surprised how little you need to consider aftermarket pickups if you do this), immediately after whatever distortion pedal you're using (I went through at least 15 distortion pedals before I learned THAT handy trick) and in the FX Loop, just before the power amp section of your JCM. You really can't EQ the cabinet, but this comes pretty close (it's actually EQing your entire preamp). Since my EQ is stereo, it's actually got two separate bands that I can simply loop in wherever they're needed and set differently as required. The EQ pedals available at guitar stores aren't really the same. They're full-octave pedals and don't allow you to fine tune much of anything. More specifically, in the 80Hz - 5Khz band that defines what most guitar speakers can reproduce, a 31-band EQ will give you about 18 bands that are really useful, with a third-octave change, while a 10-band (such as the MXR 10) will give you perhaps six that cover those frequencies, with a full-octave change.

And finally, be careful what you ask for. I bought a Carvin Belair, which is a two-channel amp (50W EL84-based) that has a gorgeous clean channel (I like it better than most Fenders). The soak (gain) channel was designed with Allan Holdsworth, and is simply perfect for his style of legato playing. Might be perfect for you, come to think of it. But to MY ear it sounded like someone had tossed a blanket over the amp. Luckily, there's a set of mods available for the amp done by Richard L Hassebrock ("Hasserl") that are freely available on the intertoobs. In various stages, it changes the tone stack of the amp, adds a second "presence" control (this one allows you to adjust the negative feedback loop from the stock amount to zero), adds a master volume and a few other things. In the end, you have a soak channel that sounds "like a vintage Marshall, but with more gain than any vintage Marshall ever had," and it allows you to slightly "dirty up" that pretty clean channel to have a little hair when you dig in (blues, etc.). It came with a pair of well-broken-in V30's, and they're just...nice. For me, that amp is now a chunk of gold, the blanket is off the amp. The amp was always loud, but it will cut through any mix live if I want it to. The point of all of this is that a bedroom (I'm assuming, now, and I apologize for that) is four hard, close walls, and treble tends to bounce around, develop phase crankiness and sound bad. If you get all set up with a nice, smooth legato sound in your bedroom, you should expect that it will sound muffled and dull if you ever take it out of that environment.
Last edited by dspellman at Oct 22, 2016,
#13
Quote by ziya.y96
@Blompcube Do you think an EQ pedal could help out? I feel like a big fail after reading this, because so many people on the net told me to go with the 75s instead of with the V30 with the JCM head.. Whats funny tho is, that I love my rhythm tone.

a graphic EQ should definitely be able to help - if you are happy with the rhythm sound you're getting, you can basically keep that tone the same but turn the EQ pedal on for your lead sounds. If you use it to boost the mids and fine-tune the extreme highs so it's not so sharp/piercing anymore it could be exactly what you need.

potential for harshness aside, a JCM900 and T75s is actually a good combination so you shouldn't feel like you made a bad choice. If you love the rhythm tone I'd say you made a good choice, but there's always certain amount of challenge involved in getting a sharp, crunchy rhythm tone and a smooth lead tone out of a single channel amp, because what sounds nice and crunchy for playing chords often sounds thin and brittle for playing single notes, and on the flipside, what sounds smooth for playing single notes often sounds cluttered and muddy for playing chords.
Happiness is a warm Vox AC30
#14
I wanna thank you ALL very much! Youve been a great help guys. Thanks a lot, I finally have a solid idea on where to approach.