#1


at 3:05



at 9:10

I linked some specific parts, to show you what I mean, but really the tone is these videos is IMO outstanding!

This is my perfect lead tone. It's how I always imagined it in my head. It sounds as if there are multiple layers of guitars at once, but it's still super focused, clean and transparent. The gain seems to be at the perfect level too. I'm amazed :O :O

Unfortunately the amp is not visible, neither are any pedals. The only thing that is obvious is a perfectly configured delay.

I don't think there is much beyond that to be honest. Can you guys hear any other effects being used?

Do you think he uses his signature Legacy 3 amp? 

Any help would be welcome. I need this tone in my life!
Last edited by BlackRose93 at Jun 15, 2017,
#2
I can't watch the videos right now, but I would put money on him using the Legacy 3.

I will watch the video later to try and be specific because he has been known to use a LOT of effects, but what this probably comes down to is the fact that he is an absolute master at articulation.
#4
Odds are good he's using L3 amps..  I've seen concert vids of him, and he definitely uses them there & then.
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#5
He's not necessarily using the L3 for the video - it could be anything, a Kemper etc.

His lead tone is really centered on the delay.  His Legacy amps are definitely a part of it, but nearly any decent tube amp could get you there.   In his older recordings he used Marshalls and a variety of other amps, but he always ends up sounding like himself.  

If you like the tone I would suggest buying a Legacy, they are pretty cheap and it's the most likely thing he's using there. 
#6
^ yeah anything decent that's pretty high gain and tube with a boost up front to add sustain and compression should get you there if you can play like him. (delay also really helps with lead tones like that, but the TS already knows that.) similar pickups would likely help too (pretty bright, pretty scooped, evos, paf pros or something like that should work).
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#8
It must not be the Legacy pedal, since that was released this year.  The videos are from 2016.

That being said though, I know that the tone is not something special in terms of effects and timbre, but that's exactly what I like about it. It sounds simple, organic and how an electric guitar should sound. I've heard a lot of modern high gain amps and they tend to sound too sterile and compressed to my ears. Ok it helps when you have Steve Vai as a player instead of some sloppy 'shredder' though.

But it seems you can't have high gain these days without it being super compressed and with the only purpose to sound 'ballsy'. This kind of tone gets old really fast.
#10
jedigovnaUG Oh my setup is a pretty modest one. Just and Ibanez RG321 with emgs (I really don't like them) and a Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 18. It gets the job done, and on my good playing days I sound quite good through it (goes to show that tone really is in the hands), but I like drooling over expensive gear (don't we all :P )
#11
BlackRose93 Yep a lot of it is in the hands. You have nice gear. But if you don't like the EMGs you should swap them. I've tried the Dimazio Evolutions, and they are perfect for solos and shredding. They might get you closer to the tone your after.
#12
jedigovnaUG  Also I'd like to add that if I spend half my day watching gear videos, and then I fire my amp up, my mind tricks itself into thinking that the tone suddenly got a thousand times better :P :P I don't know how this works. If anything It should work in the opposite way, after having exposed myself to such delicious gear.

I think it has to do with me trying my best to get an awesome tone after I hear one, which really ups my playing.
#14
first vid uses a fairly clean (but not totally) tone with some delay which shouldn't be to hard to replicate. you'll have to take some time to figure out the delay settings. the 2nd use a fair bit of gain and again some delay. this might take some time to duplicate as you will have to figure out the distortion (most likely amp with maybe an overdrive) and to get the delay setting correct. you can probably get kinda close with what you have guitar and amp wise but of course will need delay as well. keep in mind that Steve is a monster player with really nice gear so you likely will only be able to get close but shouldn't expect to nail it. 
#15
Pretty easy to get with a SLO100 amp model and a delay. I might add a little chorus but not much. That guy has that guitar I passed up for $500. Still kicking myself for that one.
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#17
Quote by 33db
It isn't just one amp and/or one pedal, Vai has a pretty complex set up.
http://www.vai.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16153


Vai has a lot going on with his racks. But he is also a freak of nature
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#18
Quote by Evilnine
Vai has a lot going on with his racks. But he is also a freak of nature

It's true, his "tone" has a lot to do with his playing, I've seen a few videos of his set ups and they are pretty haywire, but obviously they work.
#19
Quote by 33db
It's true, his "tone" has a lot to do with his playing, I've seen a few videos of his set ups and they are pretty haywire, but obviously they work.

Yup, I've seen him live about a half dozen times and once or twice in a small venue where I was close enought to see his hands clearly, reality isthat  trying to emmulate a particlar guitar player's sound can be difficult at best, one can get close enough at times but in the end it really is best to find your own sound IMO. 
"A well-wound coil is a well-wound coil regardless if it's wound with professional equipment, or if somebody's great-grandmother winds it to an old French recipe with Napoleon's modified coffee grinder and chops off the wire after a mile with an antique guillotine!"
- Bill Lawrence

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Live my twisted dream
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#20
Just saw god i mean vai few months ago for the 4th time, luckly had 2nd row right middle so i was about 8 feet away the whole show, his sound is def the carvin heads this video shows his amp settings and gear 

I dont know if his guitar face or his guitar playing is more entertaining live lol

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#21
Quote by BlackRose93
jedigovnaUG Oh my setup is a pretty modest one. Just and Ibanez RG321 with emgs (I really don't like them) and a Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 18. It gets the job done, and on my good playing days I sound quite good through it (goes to show that tone really is in the hands), but I like drooling over expensive gear (don't we all :P )

realistically are you prepared to put a bit of money into the chase?

I'm not that familiar with your amp, but looking at clips of it on YouTube I think you could get pretty close if you just practice your vibrato and get a solid delay pedal (Flashback Mini? ~$100) - that's what gives him most of his thickness and sustain. If the flavour still isn't right after that I'd look at replacing the pickups (Dimarzio Evo Neck+Bridge hum~$160), or if you just can't get the saturation you want I'd get some sort of decent drive/boost pedal (heaps of options here ~$50-$120), doesn't have to be his filthy expensive one.

I think that'll get you about as close as you can without buying his whole rig and perfecting his technique.