#1
what is brown sound? everybody says the peavey 5150 combo has brown sound that alot of players prefer. what does that mean?
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Last edited by kazra90 at Nov 12, 2007,
#4
Quote by Guitarmiester
Eddie Van Halen


Yes.

Basically, mids cranked up, lots of distortion. And usually has some phase or flange with it.
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#6
Bround sound is that extremely rare frequency that when heard by the human ear causes people to s**t themselves.

EDIT: some asshole beat me to it
#8
Did anyone happen to catch the Mythbusters episode where they tested the 'brown note'?

Sorry to let you all down but... BUSTED!
#9
Quote by whitebluesboy
Bround sound is that extremely rare frequency that when heard by the human ear causes people to s**t themselves.

EDIT: some asshole beat me to it


Haha great/lame minds think alike

*high five*
#10
wtf
its not the sound that makes you sh*t yourself
its the tone of eddies rig
its got this "brown sound"
it wont make you sh*t
but it will make you cry
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#11
Quote by kazra90
what is brown sound? everybody says the peavey 5150 combo has brown sound that alot of players prefer. what does that mean?

Eddie Van Halen coined the brown sound phrase, describing his '68 Marshall Super Lead cranked into a load box/separate power amp/cab setup. He used a Variac autotransformer to dial the amps voltage down from 110-120V to around 88V, & this lowered voltage "browned" the sound, giving it a warm, rich tone despite being intensely overdriven.
The 5150 does NOT get "the brown sound". I've tried for years to duplicate that tone, & the only amps that come close are made by Mojave Amp Works. Listen to the clips on the Mojave web site, & see if a 5150 (or anything else besides an original spec 100W plexi) can duplicate THAT.
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#12
Quote by Sonicxlover
Yes.

Basically, mids cranked up, lots of distortion. And usually has some phase or flange with it.


Actually, no.

The Brown Sound is overdriven yes, but if you listen it's not very distorted. That's the thing with the Brown Sound, while having heavy overdrive it's still very "clean". Listen to the early Van Halen records. You can hear every little overtone, nuance, pick attack. Basically the Brown Sound lets through every sound of your fingers and guitar.

Which is why it's SO hard to get the brown sound. Because you need both a "heavy overdriven" tone, but still letting everything through.
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#13
Quote by Gabel
Actually, no.

The Brown Sound is overdriven yes, but if you listen it's not very distorted. That's the thing with the Brown Sound, while having heavy overdrive it's still very "clean". Listen to the early Van Halen records. You can hear every little overtone, nuance, pick attack. Basically the Brown Sound lets through every sound of your fingers and guitar.

Which is why it's SO hard to get the brown sound. Because you need both a "heavy overdriven" tone, but still letting everything through.


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#14
^i think "keeps definition" is another good adjective for describing the "brown sound".
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#15
The Brown sound was done with the JCM800, wasn't it?
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#16
Quote by riffhog
Listen to the clips on the Mojave web site, & see if a 5150 (or anything else besides an original spec 100W plexi) can duplicate THAT.


http://www.metroamp.com/amps_68_100_watt.php

That one

Quote by Reincaster
The Brown sound was done with the JCM800, wasn't it?


Nope, it was a Plexi. JCM800s weren't introduced until 1981 and Van Halen I was released in 1978
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#17
Quote by Reincaster
The Brown sound was done with the JCM800, wasn't it?

i heard plexi before...
Call me "Shot".

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#18
Quote by Reincaster
The Brown sound was done with the JCM800, wasn't it?

Model 1959 100W plexi. Year 1968, non-master volume. When Eddie got worried he might lose his main amp on the road, he used other Marshalls live, but recorded w/ the old plexi.
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#19
Hmm, the 800 can get damn close to the brown sound though. Maybe I'm thinking in the later years, I have some old live tapes of him, and I still remember the sound.
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#20
Yeah he did use the JCM800 in the 80's live from what I remember.

It's not weird it get's close. The JCM800 (one channel at least) is a Plexi but has an extra gain stage. The low input is actually a complete redention of a Plexi.
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#21
Quote by Reincaster
Hmm, the 800 can get damn close to the brown sound though. Maybe I'm thinking in the later years, I have some old live tapes of him, and I still remember the sound.

Yeah, I agree the 800 is as close as you're likely to get w/o spending a crapload of dough. It has virtually the same basic voicing, IMO.
I'm sure Eddie used 800s on the road quite a bit when he retired the original plexi.
I'm actually shopping for an early 80s 800, so if you guys see any deals, let me know!!
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#22
Yeah, I was about to say "Wasn't hte JCM800 based off the plexi?"
Peavey 5150
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Mesa Single Rectifier (Series 1)
Fender Custom Shop Tonemaster
Roland Microcube

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#23
^yea. how i understand, is that Van halen got the brown sound before the JCM800, so then JCM800 was voiced similar to Van Halen's 'hot rodded plexi', making JCM800 an easy way to achieve a sound similar to the brown sound.

flabby low-end, punchy mids, not so trebly. i think that describes the JCM800 too.
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#24
It's still amazing when you put on the first van halen album and hear that tone... It's just so perfect in everyway.
#25
Quote by Silky Smooth
It's still amazing when you put on the first van halen album and hear that tone... It's just so perfect in everyway.

+1
It took me years to nail that tone, but I've got it almost exact without even using a flanger or phase shifter. My old MXR flanger is a pain in the ass, & I can't find a script logo Phase 90 that's decent or reasonably priced!
It's the load box/separate power amp/cab setup (like EVH) that got the sound (his plexi didn't actually drive any speakers except on the VH2 record. The cabs were driven by big H&H power amps).
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#27
It's the brown NOTE that makes you crap your pants. And to ^ the answer is yes.
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#28
Quote by Gabel
Actually, no.

The Brown Sound is overdriven yes, but if you listen it's not very distorted. That's the thing with the Brown Sound, while having heavy overdrive it's still very "clean". Listen to the early Van Halen records. You can hear every little overtone, nuance, pick attack. Basically the Brown Sound lets through every sound of your fingers and guitar.

Which is why it's SO hard to get the brown sound. Because you need both a "heavy overdriven" tone, but still letting everything through.


After listening to their songs...that sounds right. I never thought of it that way. Nice job.
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#29
actually i thought it was like indian music. thought it would remind you of curry.
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#30
Quote by Sonicxlover
After listening to their songs...that sounds right. I never thought of it that way. Nice job.




Yeah the Brown Sound is one of the most "mythical" tones.

Another contributing factor was his pickups. They were basically stock PAF's he had modded. PAFs are very "clean" sounding pickups in the sense that the let your guitar and fingers ring through a lot.

As Riffhog said his Plexi never drove the speakers (at least not on VHI) and that is a big part. When you drive the Celestion Greenbacks of the Marshall cabs (which I believe he had in his) they distort and you get a sort of fuzz-y tone (listen to Wheels Of Fire album by Cream and you get what I mean), the thing was that his amp was running through a separete power amp. The power amp was running clean and therefore wouldn't have pushed the speakers. That's probably why the sound doesn't sound fuzz-y like many Plexis can do.
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Last edited by Gabel at Nov 13, 2007,
#31
holy moly, im bought with those mojave amps - i WILL have to get me one of those Peacemakers i think - might cost me £1600ish!!!!
#32
Quote by davedoom
holy moly, im bought with those mojave amps - i WILL have to get me one of those Peacemakers i think - might cost me £1600ish!!!!

That's a great price for a Peacemaker in the UK (ebay?). They're over $3000 US here new, not counting tax & shipping. I'm a believer in Mojave amps. I bought my Scorpion w/o ever testing it at all, & I was not disappointed. The only trouble is that the Scorpion & Peacemaker must be brutally loud to get the full brown sound. The way around that is the load box/power amp setup. Billy Gibbons uses his Scorpion like that also.
Here's the link to the Mojave clips:
http://www.mojaveampworks.com/index.php?id=5,0,0,1,0,0
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#33
^peacemaker can be switched down to as little as 6w - and its NOT an attenuator - much like the control on the Mad Prof. amp from sweden - thats over £3000
#34
Quote by davedoom
^peacemaker can be switched down to as little as 6w - and its NOT an attenuator - much like the control on the Mad Prof. amp from sweden - thats over £3000

It is much, much better than an attenuator, but to get the real brown sound, my Scorpion needs a SLIGHT OD/distortion in front of the amp if it's not really cranked. The higher the volume you let through the power damping, the sweeter it sounds (but LOUD!).
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There's no point apologising for your feet smelling when there's a 300lb gorilla in the room taking a crap on the couch.


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