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Old 10-25-2016, 01:41 PM   #1
DanRode
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Default "N" Tone Experiment

Based on the information I got from Pauln in another thread, I went home and started to experiment. The mechanics are pretty simple, so I included the snippets that apply. I'd suggest reading the original post to get a better understanding of why you might want to do this. In a nutshell, this is the core, unadulterated tone of the guitar and amp.
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Originally Posted by pauln View Post
This thing is like being "in tune" except it is "in tone". The way I think of it is "N-tone" because of the N-words that describe it: natural, normal, nominal, native, neutral, etc.
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Originally Posted by pauln View Post
The first thing is to establish the N-tones of the guitar. You have controls for volume, tone, and pickup selection. The volume control stays full up under all circumstances. The tone controls stay full up under all circumstances. The pickup selector may be in any position.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pauln View Post
So, to set the amp so as to have least influence on the tone of the signal, with Fender amps that have the usual Treble, Middle, and Bass controls, set them like this:

Treble = 1 (minimum all the way down)
Middle = 10 (maximum all the way up)
Bass = 1 (minimum all the way down)

If there is a "Bright" switch, set it to OFF
I'm using a Fender Mustang modeling amp. The good thing is that it does a nice job of emulating several amps. A dedicated valve amp may sound different/better but for the purposes of this experiment, I do not think it matters. Also, I'm assuming that the controls work generally the same for most amps YMMV. I'm confident the Fender amp models do what I expect. Others, based on the models I have access to, seem to follow the same pattern.

I tried this last night with my LP clone and my Strat. I used models of a couple Marshall amps, a Vox, Orange and various Fender amps. I eventually got stuck on the Fender SuperSonic and just kept playing.

To me it sounded like I'd been playing with a blanket over everything and someone took it off. The sound was clear and articulate and very responsive. I expected something that would be perhaps be flat or hollow sounding but the opposite was true.

I don't have the audio vocabulary to better describe it but I feel like this it my starting point for everything now. I toyed with a bit of gain and also added a Tube Screamer model into the mix. A little goes a long way. Small subtle changes help me to gently mold the sound rather than try to beat it into submission.

Once I landed on the SS, A model which I previously disliked, I stopped experimenting and spent the next half hour just enjoying it. All settings as described above with +4 on the #2 gain. It's is sweetest tone that has ever come from my Strat.

It's not just finding this great tone that I feel good about. It's gaining some understanding of the amp personalities and how a specific guitar interacts with each. Some classic models I disliked (Vox, Orange, Fender SS) now -- in the right context -- begin to shine.

I don't know much, but I know more today that I did yesterday.
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Old 10-25-2016, 02:19 PM   #2
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That's awesome....glad it worked out for you. I had a similar experience and found I could FINALLY get my strat to sound like it should and get the tones I was after.

I've passed this advice off to other people and it has helped them too. Paul should write a book and this topic would be it's own chapter .
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Old 10-26-2016, 12:58 AM   #3
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This is fairly closely in-line with how I tend to approach getting a tone out of an amp. My method:
1. Start with all the eq knobs all the way down.
2. Crank her enough that the tubes get hot.
3. Turn up the mids until the tone starts to sing...there will be a sweet spot and it's usually far higher than most guitarists think it will be... guitars are all about the mids!
4. Turn up the treble just enough to open up the sound so it doesn't feel muffled.
5. Turn up the bass jus enough to add some body.
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Old 10-26-2016, 03:50 AM   #4
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My mids are usually as close to being cranked without saturating the tone as I can get it, which on both of my amps is around 8 or 9.
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Old 10-26-2016, 04:05 AM   #5
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Interesting... perhaps I should do the same for my Bandit. I have yet to explore it as I often just plug my mfx into the power amp in.
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Old 10-26-2016, 04:16 AM   #6
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Anybody that hasn't tried this should. You take all of the goodness out of the tone and work from there. This way you can REALLY hear what it is that you are adding.

Once you get a feel for what your tone is, certainly you can just go straight to it, but when you are working with an unfamiliar amp, pedal, guitar, or any combination thereof, I think this is the way to go.
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Old 10-26-2016, 01:48 PM   #7
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I've never cared for the SS amp model on my Mustang or Super Champ. I'll have to try these settings. Thanks for sharing!

Just to clarify, the tone controls being "full up" means full treble, not bass, correct?
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Old 10-26-2016, 01:59 PM   #8
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Guitar- set volume and tone all the way up to 10.

Here's where to start with the SS amp model.
Gain #1 - 0
Gain #2 - 0
Volume - 10
Treble - 0
Midrange - 10
Bass - 0

Start here are season to taste. I eventually added +4 to the #2 gain and it paired nicely with my strat.
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Old 10-26-2016, 03:27 PM   #9
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Guitar vol & amp vol both at 10 ? Ear plugs please
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Old 10-26-2016, 03:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlyKat View Post
Guitar vol & amp vol both at 10 ? Ear plugs please
If you're using a bigger amp without a master volume, you might need to roll the volume back but it's not as loud as you'd think b/c the treble, bass and gain are all at 0.

My master volume is typically around 3, I had to turn it up slightly.
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