My Guide To The Infamous Kiss Tone

Settings and Gear used to get that all time great Kiss Tone

Ultimate Guitar
First, let me start by saying I have been playing guitar for almost 3 years now. I only started playing guitar because I wanted to be able to play songs by my favorite band Kiss. I have spent many hours listening to Kiss songs and comparing my amps tone to the recording. You may never get you tone IDENTICAL to Kiss' tone but you can come pretty close. Now on to the tone. Lets start by naming the gear that I use. Guitars: Univox LP Copy Ibanez ARC 100 BC Rich KKV Barracuda LP Copy (Bridge Pickup DiMarzio Super Distortion Humbucker) Cort Acoustic/Electric Guitar Amps: Crate GFX15 Marshall MG Series 100DFX Rec: Line 6 Guitar Port Line 6 POD XT Soft: Line 6 Gearbox POD Farm Cakewalk Audacity I mainly use my Barrcuda LP Copy because I get the closest I can to a Kiss tone using this guitar. It plays and feels great! Now I will list the settings used on both the guitar and amp. Guitar: Has 4 volume control knobs. I mute the neck pickup altogether. I put the remaining 3 knobs on about 8 or 9 out of 10. Depending on your pickups you can leave all 4 knobs on 10. I turn them down so I can get a cleaner sounding distortion. You may need to adjust these depending on if you are playing to an album recording or live recording. Amp: No matter how many knobs and buttons it has here is what I put them all on. Low: 5/10 Mid: 5/10 High: 10/10 Contour: 6/10 NOTE: My Marshall amp has 2 sets of low/mid/high. I put them on the same settings. Those setting stay pretty much the same no matter what Kiss song I play and no matter what version (studio or live) I play. On to the Gain/Distortion. If you are playing to a Studio Recording or Album Version from the 70's you want to set your Gain/Distortion 6/10 - 8/10. For Studio or Album Recordings from the 80's - Now you want it on about 8/10 - 10/10. The reason being is that the songs are played in a different style so to speak. Songs from the album Asylum or Creatures of the Night are "heavier" then songs from the first Kiss album or Rock and Roll Over. Also, the guitars and equipment they used for recording and playing may have also been different throughout the different eras of Kiss and NO 2 GUITARISTS PLAY THE SAME. If you are playing to a LIVE album recording you want your Gain/Distortion on about 9/10 or 10/10 depending on your pickups. With my DiMarzio pickup I can have my Gain/Distortion on 8/10 or 9/10 where as when I use my Ibanez ARC 100 I put it on 10/10 to get the same level of Gain/Distortion. Kiss Alive! And Kiss Alive!II have a lower amount of Gain on the guitars then Kiss Alive!III Which can be noticeable to anyone who takes time to listen to it carefully with a good set of headphones. To end this guide off I will discuss the strumming and Picking position for the best Kiss Tone. You want to strum and/or pick as close to the bottom of the Bridge Pickup as possible. Strumming and/or Picking directly over it will work as well. This is just to ensure a "Higher Pitch" tone. Ace tends to have a higher tone then Paul. In closing, please check out my bands cover recording of New York Groove by Kiss for an example of my Kiss Live Tone from the Reunion Era. I connected my Marshall Amp to my POD XT and had the POD's settings pretty neutral. I never used any effects or amp/cab models from the POD XT. I only used it as a means to connect my amp to my PC without any interference from my surroundings. I used my Barrcuda LP Copy to play this track. ENJOY \,,/ New York Groove LIVE in Stockholm COVER RECORDING

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    this is awesome man i have been looking for this forever until 2 weeks ago when i saw ace on the metal show recently and he said he puts all his settings on 5. It's crazy how he still influences people almost 40 years later.
    Hi, Could you help me??? I'v played bass for many years and now I'm playing guitar and I'd like to play Love gun solo by Bruce Kulik... I don't have any idea, I know the clasic love gun solo by Frehley, dont you have the tabs?