#1
Hey all, I'm having a VERY hard time getting a good tone and I was hoping someone on here would take the time to give me some advice. Okay, I guess first I'll give you background information.

I listen to a lot of different genres of music, but old school death/thrash metal is my passion. My favorite band is Death (I'm a huge Chuck Schuldiner fan). Some other favorites of mine include Megadeth, Metallica, Morbid Angel, Obituary, Testament, Exodus, Opeth, Celtic Frost, Burzum, Sepultura, etc.

Here is my rig starting with my guitar: Schecter C-1 Blackjack > Morley Power Wah > Electroharmonix Metal Muff > Visual Sound H2O Chorus/Delay > ISP Decimator > Randall RX120DHS. The Randall is a solid state half stack that cost $600. The stock distortion on it sucks (to me) so I play on the clean channel and use my Metal Muff for my distortion.

I have had the amp for several months and still can't find a good tone. All the big stuff my parents bought me so I can't sell it. I know a tube combo would be better for tone but that's not an option. I have no job (and can't get one because I have no car) so there is no upgrading until my parents get me a car. So I have to find some settings I like on my current rig but everything sounds bad, it's always too much or too little of something.

Scooped mids and my tone has no balls and it sounds thin and muffled. Boosted mids and it sounds too thick and noisy and it's not chuggy enough. Too little bass and nothing hits. Too much and it's all boomy. Too much treble and it sounds thin. Too little and it sounds muffled. Too much gain and it's muddy. Too little and the palm mutes aren't chuggy, it's hard to do pinch harmonics, and it just doesn't sound metal. I know you all know this, but it just feels like I can't get anything to sound good. It's not even fun to play or have band practice when your tone sounds bad, even if you play perfect. I've been playing less and less on my amp.

My guitar teacher said I need to sell the pedal. He said distortion pedals are always a bad idea and my amp's distortion is way better but disagree. Anyone have any suggestions on how to set the EQ on both my amp and pedal for death metal (like Chuck Schuldiner's tone on his later albums)? Thanks all! Sorry for the giant post!
#2
First off, why did you get a $600 half stack if you couldn't get any good tones out of it?
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#3
Quote by stinger12345
First off, why did you get a $600 half stack if you couldn't get any good tones out of it?


that's not the first question. The first question is why did you get a solid state half stack....it's like buying a plane with no wings.
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#6
new pickups maybe or it could be you just dont like how your guitar sounds. yeah and wtf with problems with a randall? maybe you're a tube amp lover but you don't know it. personally, i hate solid states except for low volume playing. and you sound stupid. you only say too little or too much. then dont do too little or too much and put it in the middle. that sounds like common sense to me. and if you didnt like the tone why the hell did you buy an amp you dont like? who the hell does that? and it's a solid state.. thats a waste of money. AND it's a halfstack wow. the two worst things ever in an amp. sell that **** and buy a tube amp combo. theyre loud as hell cause you get tube watts and you can just hook it up to a 2x12 or 4x12 cab for extra volume. NEW ****ING AMP!!!
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#7
This thread is full of "Wtf?" moments.

Your guitar teacher said distoriton pedals are always a bad idea? Wtf?
You bought a $600 have have stack that sounds like ****? Wtf?
You bought a $600 Solid State half stack? Wtf?

Honestly it sounds like you need to mess with it more... I don't understand.
"The future's uncertain, and The End is always near."
-Jim Morrison
#8
Quote by stinger12345
First off, why did you get a $600 half stack if you couldn't get any good tones out of it?


Because it was a huge improvement over what I had at the time.
#9
Quote by Hdap101
that's not the first question. The first question is why did you get a solid state half stack....it's like buying a plane with no wings.


I didn't know at the time... I wanted a half stack and there are no tube half stacks in that price range. I know the tone sucks which is why I was asking for advice.
#10
You all have been tricked by the music industry. YOU CANT BUY TONE. Guitar is like any other instrument, good tone comes with practice. Not practice setting dials on an amp. I'm talking about picking dynamics, clarity, accuracy, and finger work. Work on that first, then use your equipment to enhance your sound. Most people are going to be in denial, but its the truth. If you want good tone, its going to come from your fingers and pick first. Until you realize this you'll just be throwing lots of money and time into trying to find a short cut that doesnt exist.
#11
Quote by t_y_l_e_r
If you cant get a decent metal sound out of a Randall solid state half stack and a decent metal muff, theres something wrong. Do you have a EQ pedal?


Nope no EQ. I can get a metal sound easy, I'm just looking for better tone.
#12
Quote by exect4500
maybe some new pickups would help


My Schecter has Seymour Duncans in it (JB and '59). There are lots of hotter pickups but the ones I have are good.
#14
Quote by kirkhammett09
Nope no EQ. I can get a metal sound easy, I'm just looking for better tone.



Ohhhhh. You're not looking for metal tone. x)

Well dude, good luck, after buying a $600 SS half stack.
"The future's uncertain, and The End is always near."
-Jim Morrison
#15
Quote by apak
new pickups maybe or it could be you just dont like how your guitar sounds. yeah and wtf with problems with a randall? maybe you're a tube amp lover but you don't know it. personally, i hate solid states except for low volume playing. and you sound stupid. you only say too little or too much. then dont do too little or too much and put it in the middle. that sounds like common sense to me. and if you didnt like the tone why the hell did you buy an amp you dont like? who the hell does that? and it's a solid state.. thats a waste of money. AND it's a halfstack wow. the two worst things ever in an amp. sell that **** and buy a tube amp combo. theyre loud as hell cause you get tube watts and you can just hook it up to a 2x12 or 4x12 cab for extra volume. NEW ****ING AMP!!!


... I like my guitar. I do like tube amps but I just wanted a half stack. I know better now. I bought it because it was a huge improvement over what I did have. And I told you I can't sell it... I have no way of getting a new amp. And there is no need to call me stupid, I made some bad choices and my rig isn't the greatest, I know, I'm just looking for help.
#16
Quote by SlinkyBlue
Ohhhhh. You're not looking for metal tone. x)

Well dude, good luck, after buying a $600 SS half stack.


No lol, I'm AM looking for a good death metal tone. What I meant was, I can get an okay tone, but just not a great one... I want a good metal tone lol.
#17
Quote by aznmetalhead93


I just want to clear something up first: Why did you want a half stack?


I didn't know near as much about amps when I bought it. I play metal and I had a little solid state combo amp so it seemed like the best choice since there are no tube half stacks in that price range. If I could go back I would get a tube combo. Too late now.
#18
Quote by kirkhammett09
No lol, I'm AM looking for a good death metal tone. What I meant was, I can get an okay tone, but just not a great one... I want a good metal tone lol.


You bought a mediocre amp, you're going to get a mediocre tone. You can't change that with pedals, learn to like it or sell it.
"The future's uncertain, and The End is always near."
-Jim Morrison
#19
Quote by metal_man12
You all have been tricked by the music industry. YOU CANT BUY TONE. Guitar is like any other instrument, good tone comes with practice. Not practice setting dials on an amp. I'm talking about picking dynamics, clarity, accuracy, and finger work. Work on that first, then use your equipment to enhance your sound. Most people are going to be in denial, but its the truth. If you want good tone, its going to come from your fingers and pick first. Until you realize this you'll just be throwing lots of money and time into trying to find a short cut that doesnt exist.


I know what your saying but I still would let to have the best tone I can with my current rig. I could use a lot of work on my picking, vibratos, etc. but even if it's all perfect it will sound like crap if the amp sounds like crap.
#20
Quote by SlinkyBlue
You bought a mediocre amp, you're going to get a mediocre tone. You can't change that with pedals, learn to like it or sell it.


I realize that, but I'm just trying to get the best tone I can out of it. It is a mediocre amp, but it if the EQ is set up wrong then it makes it sound twice as bad. I may not know much, sound stupid, and have a crappy rig, but that's why I came on here, so someone could help me. Instead, everyone's just flaming me and my rig lol.
#21
Quote by kirkhammett09
I realize that, but I'm just trying to get the best tone I can out of it. It is a mediocre amp, but it if the EQ is set up wrong then it makes it sound twice as bad. I may not know much, sound stupid, and have a crappy rig, but that's why I came on here, so someone could help me. Instead, everyone's just flaming me and my rig lol.


People are flaming you because you're coming on here saying...

"Guys, I bought a crappy amp and I'm getting crappy sound, what do I do?" We told you the answer, which is learn to like it or get a new amp. Why can't you get that?

What do you want us to do, honestly?
"The future's uncertain, and The End is always near."
-Jim Morrison
#22
Ditch the distortion pedal and use the amps distortion/overdrive.

Now I can get good tones out of my little 15W Crate, so I don't think your amp is to blame. Tone is fingers man. Your vibrato, your picking style, all that stuff. I used to hate that when people said that, but its true.
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#23
Quote by SlinkyBlue
People are flaming you because you're coming on here saying...

"Guys, I bought a crappy amp and I'm getting crappy sound, what do I do?" We told you the answer, which is learn to like it or get a new amp. Why can't you get that?

What do you want us to do, honestly?


I have a crappy and I have a super crappy sound. I just want a crappy sound. I wanted you to give me some EQ settings to try like treble - 7 mids -3 bass -7 or something like that... or say don't use so much gain... anything lol, just advice, not flaming
#24
dude your coming here for advice u already know. The only thing that will help you is to get better or buy a new amp that u like the tone of more.
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#25
Quote by gstacey1
dude your coming here for advice u already know. The only thing that will help you is to get better or buy a new amp that u like the tone of more.


well said.
#26
Quote by Hdap101
that's not the first question. The first question is why did you get a solid state half stack....it's like buying a plane with no wings.


thats so siged LOL

and by the way...you dont get good death metal tone...its noise...human ears dont like noise... but you do get playable bass fuzz XD
#27
1. balance pickups
2. Close as u can get em to the strings(bridge pickup especially) for the maximum hotness
3. ????
4. Profit!

i don't know if it'll help THAT much but it might make a bit of a difference
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#28
give it all to me, you cant sell it but GIVE it all to me. lets just say i hate my naigbors and the cozzbow faild XD
#30
I feel sorry how everyone's not giving you any EQ settings:
Here are some good metal settings:

James Hetfield sound:
Gain 9
Bass 9
Mid 4
Treble 8
Reverb like 0 or 1

Another good metal setting:
Gain 7
Bass 7
Mid 6
Treble 7
Reverb 0

Metal Setting 2
Gain 8
Bass 8
Mid 5
Treble 8
Reverb 0

Metal setting 3
Gain 10
Bass 7
Mid 5
Treble 7
Reverb 0
#31
dont scoop your mids a lot. people who are looking for a "metal" tone tend to do that a lot. i play a lot of metallica, trivium, death klok stuff of that genre and a lot of bands scoop their mids because of different reasons ie pickup choice, amp, or pedals. those could factor into a boosted area in your eq. you cant just go and ask people for good settings because those are usually their opinion on good settings. you have to go and find what YOU like. thats why people do things differently, is because it sounds good or cool to them.
#32
I swear you are just like me. You posted all of the bands I like (almost).

Anyways I don't really know what you could do. Forcing your parents to sell might work.
#33
Quote by metal_man12
You all have been tricked by the music industry. YOU CANT BUY TONE. Guitar is like any other instrument, good tone comes with practice. Not practice setting dials on an amp. I'm talking about picking dynamics, clarity, accuracy, and finger work. Work on that first, then use your equipment to enhance your sound. Most people are going to be in denial, but its the truth. If you want good tone, its going to come from your fingers and pick first. Until you realize this you'll just be throwing lots of money and time into trying to find a short cut that doesnt exist.

I see where you're coming from and I agree, to an extent.

I DO agree that gear doesn't make a player, his talent does. But at the same time, I think it's naive to say better gear won't give you a better sound. The tone of the guitar has nothing to do with what's in the players fingers. It has to do with the guitar and amp quality. How that tone is used is up to the player. A great player could make his playing sound good thru a Hamer Strat copy and a 10 watt BC Rich starter amp, but his tone isn't going to be good. A horrible noob could play atrociously thru a vintage Strat & marshall amp, but at least he will have a decent tone.
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