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09/14/2008 2:44 PM
I'm tired of being alone...
Anyway, I sent messages to both Lenny Kravitz and Eric Johnson that part of the secret to getting great tone was using weaker pickups and coil cables. The coil
cables add a lot of capacitance and inductance to your signal chain, therefore, when you're playing through a Marshall, you're cutting back on the high
frequencies. When we were doing the In Step album with Stevie, I had an endorsement with Monster Cables. They would send me all of this free stuff and I
was very excited because I could manage these things for a guy like Stevie, who really didn't even know how to wash dishes. All he knew how to do was play
the guitar, but God bless him for that, because he really did something with what he knew. Anyway, I took these cables we got to Stevie and he said, "I
hate these things." I asked him, "Why, man, they're the best cables in the world?" He said, "They pass to much electricity." Those
were his exact words, and I'll never forget it as long as I live. "They pass too much
TQR: They were too
Yeah, so he sent me out to the local Radio Shack and told me to buy every gray coil cord
they had - not the black ones, only the gray ones. And I thought, "Hhmm, this freakin' hick from Dallas is telling me this?" I got them and ran
them through my capacitance meter and found out that they added like almost .05 mfd to the signal chain. That made it sound solid - it was like having a tone
control, and the brightness and harshness that the Marshalls had was eliminated. There isn't a single picture of Hendrix…back then they already had
high-end cables, but there isn't a single picture of Hendrix where you see him playing with a straight cable. Why? This is something I brought up to Eric
Johnson - whether he heard me or not I don't know, but it could be the second coming of coil cables.
09/15/2008 12:59 AM
10/23/2008 5:03 PM
10/23/2008 9:30 PM
10/24/2008 10:36 AM
10/25/2008 3:32 PM
? Works just fine for me...
11/01/2008 12:57 PM
I was reading the following in a recent ToneQuest article on Joe Bonamassa and was wondering if anyone has tried the baffle thing and how it worked for
them? He says he can use the same rig at the same volume regardless of he size of the venue. Pretty impressive.
TONEQUEST: I wonder if you realize just what you've accomplished?
The single biggest rub with guitarists
seems to remain the entire volume/power, distortion/
clean headroom thing. Their big amp is too
loud for the venue and they can't get it cooking,
their smaller amp doesn't have enough headroom,
and the only way they can get both is by using a
pedal… But you've cracked the code as far as your
shows are concerned, and we've seen you play a
corner bar and a big theater with the same rig…
JOE BONAMASSA: It's that baffle, and the baffle is the cheapest part of the whole
setup. Even the case that it sits on costs more than the baffle,
and it saves me every time. If we're playing the Majestic
Theater that holds 2,000 people, it can be even worse than a
small club, because those theaters were designed for people
to sing and play with no amplification, and the amps really
throw in them. When I do a sound check, I will play my guitar
from the first couple of rows. If I can sit there and play,
have a conversation with myself, and it still feels punchy and
warm, we're done. Once the place fills up you won't really
hear the stage volume so much. And I will say this about the
baffle… a lot of people that use them still have problems. We
toured with Indigenous and they had a straight baffle custom
built and they were still having problems. With a flat, straight
baffle there is still nothing to absorb and deflect the sound -
it just goes up and over. The baffle that I use folds up, and I
can stagger it so each panel is at right angles to the speakers
and it's truly baffling the sound. If I really wanted to get crazy
with it I'd get that eggshell foam and put that on the
inside of the panels. There are times when I can hear some of
the high end coming over the top of the baffle on stage, but
knowing how it sounds in front of the stage, I can deal with
that. That baffle has just saved me so many times…
11/01/2008 6:37 PM
11/02/2008 12:45 PM
It's true a 2,000 seat venue might seem small for Joe B but, as the part of the article included below shows, he is able to play a small club while
driving his gear all out (and he has a lot of gear) because he's using the baffles. For sure this is not an 'at home' idea but has anyone tried
this at a 100 seat venue and had it work for them? It would seem to enable killer cranked amp tone anywhere.
TONEQUEST: We first discovered Bonamassa when he opened for Peter Frampton in Atlanta last year at the Variety
Playhouse. Arriving mid-way though his opening set, Delta Moon guitarist Mark Johnson and I stood transfixed and humbled as Joe tore through a mix of
hook-laden rockers and incredibly emotional, bluesy shuffles. We heard shades of Beck at his best and Hendrix, too, while we both surveyed the stage to see
what he was using to get that unbelievably clean and saturated tone… It's hard to mistake a couple of Marshall Silver Jubilee heads, even from 50 rows
back. As we shot pictures that night for our upcoming Peter Frampton interview, we vowed to track Joe down, which happened in Nashville at Third and Lindsley -
a small 'showcase' venue that might seat 100 souls, versus the Variety, which holds 900.
When we arrived in Nashville we were shocked to see that Joe had the identical rig that he had used in Atlanta - a couple of 100W Marshall Silver Jubilees,
another 100W reissue Marshall MKII head, and a blackface Fender Showman head with two 4x12 Marshall cabs. Uh, uh… Joe's a blaster, but imagine our surprise
when we were able to order a beer without yelling at the dixie chicks slinging the suds while the band played at full tilt. And no, he did not turn down… Joe
Bonamassa has indeed invested a big chunk of his relatively short life learning to play the guitar and sing with a passion and fire rarely achieved in a
lifetime, yet he has also devoted a great deal of intelligent thought to getting his tone just the way he wants it, every night, regardless of whether he's
playing a dump in Columbus, Ohio or an outdoor shed with a capacity of 15,000. Same rig, same mind-altering clean and dirty tone, every night.
11/02/2008 1:53 PM
11/02/2008 2:58 PM
First up Bobbo it's all good and I always appreciate your input... this has nothing to do with arguing with you. I'm putting it out there to the
forum. This is a thread that is in a hunt for tone. I think you might be missing th point of the article. It IS about killer cranked amp tone anywhere from
large venues to small ones "we were able to order a beer without yelling at the dixie chicks slinging the suds while the band
played at full tilt." and this in a 100 seat club! the article isn't talking about cranked amp tone at any volume, it's talking about
playing live and live is going to be loud, but he uses the baffles to get the full cranked sound out of his amps and doesn't alter the volume and he
doesn't burn out the front rows so he's not too loudmand that's the point isn't it? That's the TONE! We are all trying to do that no? He
says he sits in the front rows and checks his sound from there but adjusts the baffles to do that. I'd post the whole article but it's 14 pages long so
not going to happen. But a good part of the article is about exactly what I have been saying. He DOESN'T turn down the volume, he adjusts the baffles. Just
wondered who else has managed to do the same that's all. No offence to you bro.
11/02/2008 4:22 PM
11/21/2008 1:21 PM
Some interesting stuff on amp tone from a guy who ought to know. Enjoy...
Amp Wizard Howard Dumble - 1985 Guitar Player Interview
by Dan Forte
Jackson Brown is wandering the back stage caverns of San Francisco's Cow Palace looking a bit worried. "Where's Lindley?" he asks his road
manager [...] "We're onstage in 15 minutes!"
A door at the end of the hallway is seeming blasted open by a torrent of beefy sustained lap steel licks. Inside, Lindley is squatting precariously, his
Hawaiian guitar balanced on his knees. Crunching chords and crystal-clear single notes are pour out of a crude-looking amplifier about a foot in front of his
"I want this one, Howard," David says to a large man who is smiling like a proud father. "Not this model, not one like this, but this one,
"It's just a prototype." Howard Dumble points out.
"Fine," nods Lindley. "I'll take it."
David Lindley, of course is notorious for using a vast array of exotic guitars from an instrument collection that number well over 100. But on the road, he
uses only one brand of amplifier, a fact that makes Howard Dumble understandably proud. As Lindley told Guitar Player in a July '77 interview,
"I've got a lot of little amps, but on the road, I always use Dumble amps because they never break down. We went about getting the sound in those amps
by taking an old Fender Deluxe to Howard Dumble and saying, 'We want this, but bigger and louder.' And Howard got the closest of anybody I've
Howard Dumble, 40 [in September of 1985], grew up in Bakersfield, California, and began building transistor radios from scratch at age 12. He took up guitar
at 16 (he later did his fair share of studio dates in Hollywood, which included working with songwriter Jim Webb), and in 1965 built a series of amplifiers for
Mosrite that were used by the Ventures. An extensive tour backing Buffy Sainte-Marie financed Dumble's first "out of the backyard and into a
building" amp shop in 1968, in Santa Cruz, California. The following year, Dumble came out with his Explosion model amplifier (his original prototype
still works), which later evolved in the Overdrive Special. His line of amplifiers currently includes seven basic models: the Overdrive, the Steel-String
Singer, the Winterland and the Dumbleland for bass and guitar, the rack-mount Phoenix, a no-frills 50-watt Dumbleman, and the Dumblelator--a tube vs.
sold-state impedance translator--as well as the Big Tex reverb unit. From the beginning, he has remained a one-man operation, personally building every one of
his amplifiers by hand.
In spite of their steep price tags--a standard 100-watt overdrive head sells for $1,925.00; the Steel-String Singer and Dumbleland each go for $5000.00
before options--Dumbles are always in demand, and Howard has his hands full keeping up with orders. Besides Lindley and Browne, the impressive roster of Dumble
users includes Larry Carlton, Bonnie Raitt, Graham Nash, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jay Graydon, Ry Cooder, Tom Verlaine, Eric Johnson, Steve Lukather, Robben Ford,
Dean parks, Carlos Rios, The Beach Boys, Christopher Cross, Tiran Porter, Jimmy Haslip, Jerry Miller, Thom Rhotella, Randy California, Terry Haggerty, Rick
Vito, Kenny Loggins, and many others.
In discussing what's so special about his amplifiers, Dumble uses aesthetic more than technical terms. "That's the bottom line," he
stresses. "It's the emotional influence that's really important; technology is secondary--it's just a vehicle. The idea is to have lots of
Improvisational specialist Henry Kaiser elaborates on what sets the Dumble apart from the rest of the amp crowd: "Number one, you could drop the thing
out of a four-story building, replace any tubes that break, and it'll work fine. It does appear to be the most durably built amp possible. Number two, it
seems to me that Howard, through a long intuitive working process, tunes the amps and designs by ear so that they're very sophisticated machines for
producing a wide variety of tones and distortion colorations. Because of my specific avant-garde bent, I'm really interested in tone and timbre, and I need
to have a really wide palette of tonal color available to me, and I've got about four times as many colors available on the Dumble. Any other amp sounds
awful to me. I feel terrible if I play anything else--except for a Fender Champ."
In an august '77 Guitar Player feature, the late Lowell George of Little Feat was more succinct. "It's like a Fender made right," he said
of his Dumble. "It's the best amp I've ever played through."
GP: Your amps have a reputation for almost never breaking down. How do you build in such durability?
Those are absolute guarded secrets. In fact, if you take the amplifier apart, you can't detect how I do it. I definitely have secrets that make the amp
perform and last the way it does. With most companies, it's just a misapplication of technology. you don't have to destroy the product--you don't
have to get a Variac and turn it up to 170 volts--to get good results. An extreme amount of attention is paid to every connection. Plus, I found which parts
last and which ones don't.
GP: What made you gravitate towards electronics in the first place?
I loved music, for one thing. Music's always been a passion. I used to listen to Les Paul and Mary Ford as a kid. Also, I come from an engineering
family; my father developed one of the first automatic transmissions. It wasn't hard to absorb the technology; it was just there to do. I also saw that I
could make some bucks at it. I started making small pocket radios from scratch for the kids in school for $5.00 a pop. I was doing real well until one day
everybody had one, and there were enough radios in the class that you could hear the local rock station at a small din through all the earpieces. So, the
teacher finally busted me.
GP: What inspired you to first build an amp?
I was a junior in high school, and this guy named Jack smith came over and wanted me to build a piece of equipment for the junior baseball association. He
said that he had access to a "mountain of parts"--I said OK! We went down to this big warehouse, and there were heaps of parts, so we gleaned as many
as we could--all free. We built this huge 200-watt power amplifier so they could announce to nine baseball diamonds. As I understand it, it still works today.
Then, Jack and I made some Dual showman-type amps, although we couldn't get Fender transformers--they were very tight about what they'd send you--so we
used David Hafler transformers, which made the amp sound quite extraordinary.
GP: Prior to building your own amps, had you taken apart others amps such as Fenders and Gibsons?
I can draw some of the those schematics from memory [laughs]. Of course, I had to absorb other approaches. In fact, my old Fender mods I did in the late
'60s were exactly the same as the schematics a lot of the later high-gain amplifiers used.
GP: How did you come to make amps for the Ventures?
I was an 18-year-old kid in school in Bakersfield, and I went to see Semie Moseley, who was the only person I had access to there. I walked in and just
bold-faced said, "I've got something that sounds like nothing else. You better hear it." And it flipped him out; he said, "This is the best
thing I've ever heard." He offered to go in with me to build 10 amplifiers. He bought the parts and paid me $90.00 a week--for about four weeks, and
then I had to work for free. But I still got to build 10 amplifiers on a production basis when I was only a kid. They were called Mosrite amps, but they were
my design. Actually, I built 11, so I still have the original one I built. The Ventures played through them and were really interested, but it was a little too
much rock for them. They wanted me to go into business with them, but I decided against it, and went back to playing in studios and in rock bands.
GP: Did your early amps have certain qualities lacking in commercially available amps of that period?
Yes, I definitely made sure they had more frequency bandwidth. One thing I noticed about the early guitar amps was that they were real limited, especially
in the lower end. But you have to be careful to make sure you still keep the proper midrange and treble response. I found that out early on. You can't
build a hi-fi circuit and expect it to be a good guitar amp--it just doesn't work out. you need a whole different response curve. But I did notice that if
I put a little more low-end into the preamp circuitry, it was much more tasteful and fun to play.
GP: Once you got started, did a Dumble philosophy evolve?
I try to be flexible. I've always been aware that whatever I make has to be crafted with the best intentions. Never have anything shoddy. Always makes
sure that it works and looks perfect. The actual techniques I use to get the sound that I go after have evolved extensively. It's a growing process.
That's the toughest thing about staying with one thing. you're always thinking of new ways to do it. Basically, I've kept the Overdrive the same
but the other models are open to flexibility.
GP: What changes did the Explosion undergo before it became the Overdrive Special?
The active circuitry changed quite a bit, and the tone circuitry did also. But the concept of processing the signal post preamp stayed the same. Most other
high-gain amplifiers use a pre-preamp gain boost, but I broke away from that quite early, in the late '60s. I found that trying to build the signal up
before the preamp had a tendency to really overload the preamp, and you got nonharmonic tones and a very unmusical end result. Plus, you ran into a lot of
vacuum-tube problems with harmonic's. So, what I wanted to do was get all that wonderful oomph and beautiful sustain and harmonic richness without the
GP: Were you making what was to become the overdrive before you made the Steel-String Singer?
The Steel-String Singer came later, but I actually started making a series of amplifiers called the Dumbleland in about '66, and I still make them. That
was the forerunner of the Steel-String Singer. I didn't change a whole lot about that; it was a design way ahead of its time. It was too much power and too
silky clean for people. It's perfect for Stevie Ray, though. He has a hard time playing an Overdrive.
GP: Why is the Overdrive so sensitive?
It's a different kind of signal handling. In the Overdrive, I approach gain levels that are extremely intense; within the linear region, I have a signal
gain capability of one million. So if you stuck 10 microvolts in, you'd get 10 volts back. And I do it with stability, and it's still very musical. The
best way to approach an Overdrive is real slow. Walk up to it, look at the knobs, have it turned down real low, and then get a feeling for it. Learn what to do
with your fingers to make it respond well. If you walk right up to it, it has a tendency to absolutely frighten some people. The secret control on the
Overdrive's panel section is the ratio control, which controls how much overdrive is fed back into the circuit. If you turn that up, it's Rock
GP: How different is the Overdrive Special you customized for David Lindley from a standard model?
I might have changed the value of a capacitor to some extent, so that it has a different treble response, but the circuitry is basically the same.
GP: Lindley says that for certain sounds he's looking for, you sometimes borrow his guitar and Dumble for the weekend to match the amp to the
That's true. The amplifier responds so differently to each guitar that to get some effects, I need to use the player's guitars, instead of my own.
That's one the great things about the amplifier; it doesn't modify any guitar into any one sound or homogenize it. It expands whatever you start with.
The amplifier is a real important part of the sound regeneration system, but it needs to be very responsive to whatever the guitar is delivering. The
philosophy I try to keep in the amplifier is that whatever you can hear in your head, this will help you get it.
GP: Stevie Ray Vaughan calls his Steel-String singer the "King Tone Consoul."
There are some different things about Stevie's. His is set up more like a bass amp, modified to accommodate the guitar range. It's not the usual
lead guitar "Singer" approach. One thing he liked was that he could turn the volume control all the way up and it didn't distort--it just got
louder. He does make it distort sometimes because he has about 50 megatons of pressure when he attacks the strings [laughs]. He gets an incredible amount of
signal out of his guitar, and most amplifiers can't take it. He did his first album with a bass amp I'd made for Jackson Browne.
GP: Some players describe Dumbles as different, more powerful, more durable more efficient versions of a Fender Deluxe
That's a good way to describe it--in a limited fashion. There are some great qualities to a small Deluxe. You get a great harmonic structure at a small
acoustic volume. It's real pleasing, especially when you're playing by yourself. But that sound is not convertible into a group ambience--it's
gone. So, in the respect that I try to get something comfortable and very musical, only in a bigger fashion, that's a good analogy. But the circuitry is
not even close. I use vacuum tubes, and transformers and knobs, but the similarity stops there. To get the result I want, I have to use unique circuitry.
It's my tone circuits and coupling circuits and the way I process phase-inversion.
GP: Can you "Dumble-ize" a Fender amp to the point that it shares the Dumble philosophy and sound, or would it be a compromise?
It's a compromise. The actual physical construction of the Fender limits what can be done. In fact, after the last Steel-String Singer mod I did to
David Lindley's amps, he no longer uses the Fender Bassman I Dumbleized for him. He wanted this luscious transparency and response--like floating in white
clouds--and I came up with special circuitry. I can use a Fender chassis, but you have to rip everything off of it, fill in all the holes, and re-drill it.
They're just a little bit too squashed. A distance of half a centimeter makes a big difference in the way something sounds. It's a science involved
with what's called circuit constants.
GP: Instead of a single bright/deep switch, most of your amps have separate bright and deep switches. Can you use both at the same time?
Oh, you bet. It gets luscious low notes that you could float on and beautiful, crystalline highs that are silky as glass.
GP: How many watts are the various models?
The overdrives are 100 watts, but they're switchable down to 50, and I do make a special 150-watt Overdrive, which is a lot of fun. The range in power
goes from a 25-watt recording amp called the Hotel Hog up to the 450-watt Winterland, named after the concert hall in San Francisco.
GP: Could there be an ultimate amp for you, or are the Overdrive and Steel-String Singer too distinctive to be combined?
Well, the Phoenix series is where I've done that--so you can combine things--because it's a rack-mounted affair. You can by all the separate
preamps, with or without overdrive, and a choice of 50-, 100-, or 150-watt power amplifiers, and hook them together. The overdrive section is expanded--instead
of two overdrive controls, you have four.
GP: After experimenting with various speakers, what do you favor?
I've gone with everything, there are a lot of things I still like. The most versatile is the EV. But all manufacturers, include Altec and JBL, make
wonderful speakers that do specific jobs other speakers can't do. I divide speakers into two classifications: the efficient and the low-efficient. Both are
very useable. Low efficiency speakers are things like Celestion and Jenson and PAS. Usually because of the physical construction, they don't get the same
acoustic level per watt as the Altecs, JBLs, and EVs do. There's an advantage to that, because you can make the amplifier work harder to get the same
acoustic level, and a whole different kind of harmonic structure results. I love the sound of JBLs, especially for chords, but I had a lot of trouble with
4" voice coil not traveling in a linear fashion. The actual coil would short out against the magnet structure. The Altecs didn't do that, so I was
using them up until '79, when EV started coming out the the EVM series.
GP: How does your philosophy on speaker enclosures contrast with other companies?
I think mine's different. I just don't believe in a baffle board with a couple of sides. Everything is designed to respond tonally. Even my
open-back enclosures use air to the optimum. It's an ongoing process; I'm still finding out things that are useful. There's a definite technique to
developing enclosures. Instead of increasing the output all from the front by feeding more watts in, I designed a special series of open-back enclosures so
that there's actually an air pole inversion process--I make the air respond in an in-phase relationship, both in front and in the rear of the enclosure.
So, from the same amount of speakers, it's almost a doubling of sound.
GP: Does that change the tonal quality?
Yes. The low end is absolutely luscious. You feel like you're floating on a football field filled with marshmallows. And it gives a singe to the
midrange that puts solos right out there. It works great for chords and solos, but especially well for slide. It's the kind of enclosure that Lindley and
Lowell George used.
GP: Is there a single emotional aim you're shooting for, or many?
It's a whole panorama. I don't believe in being confined. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands or millions, of valid guitar tones. When the air
becomes electric, that's the right sound, no matter what the one is. It's that sound exciting the senses.
Guitar Player Magazine - September 1985
01/20/2010 5:41 PM
01/20/2010 6:24 PM
I am on my best behavior...
01/20/2010 6:26 PM
01/21/2010 8:14 AM
Could I ever Breakaway?
01/21/2010 9:34 PM
05/30/2010 9:33 PM
We've got 25 great ways to help you make your gear sound great and
perform at its best, plenty of which are simple “trade secrets” of the
pros that you probably haven’t encountered before. Enjoy!
Tone Tip #1: Clean
Most traditional tube amps have two inputs, one for high gain and the
other for low gain, but very few players ever use input 2. Plenty of
tone-conscious pros know, however, that plugging into that low-gain
input can help clean up fat humbuckers, and in many cases will sweeten
Tone Tip #2: Pickup
Learn how to tweak your pickup height to optimize your guitar’s
response. This makes a lot more of a difference than you might think,
and in some unexpected ways!
Tone Tip #3: Pick
The skinny on the tone of the humble pick. There’s a surprising
amount of variation in the sounds that differently shaped and
constructed picks produce, and you can use this knowledge to shape your
Tone Tip #4: It All Starts With The Wood
However superlative your pickups, you’ll never get the tone you’re
looking for if the wood is working against you. Dive in here for a
rundown on the characteristics of different tonewoods used in electric
Tone Tip #5: Use
Your Volume Control!
Obvious? Apparently not … Plenty of guitarists never touch the volume
controls on their guitars while playing, but experienced tonehounds
know that judicious knob manipulation is one of the secrets to making
your guitar and amp work as one. Dig it.
Tone Tip #6: Match
the Amp to the Gig
Maybe the stadium rockers look pretty cool with three 100-watt full
stacks up on stage, but you’ll never achieve a satisfactory sound by
over-matching the amp for your own gig. Learn to get it right, and
discover what glorious tone is all about.
Tone Tip #7: Set
Get your guitar set up, and set up right, and you’ll not only sound
better, you’ll play better too. Things you can do yourself, and others
that it pays to turn over to a pro.
Tone Tip #8: Preamp
You can go a long way toward fine-tuning your tone just by swapping a
single preamp tube in your amplifier. Explore this tip thoroughly to
discover how much this knowledge can help shape your voice.
Tone Tip #9: Wobble 101: Get
That Bigsby Working!
The Bigsby vibrato is one of the coolest pieces of hardware on the
planet, but it definitely requires some tuning and maintenance know-how
to keep one working right. Learn the secrets, and groove that retro vibe
Tone Tip #10: Speaker
Learn about the characteristics and performance specs of different
replacement speakers, and discover one of the simplest tone tweaks
available to the mod-hungry guitarist.
Tone Tip #11: True
Bypass Pedals and the Buffer Zone
“True bypass” is the big buzz word in the effects world these days,
but it might not be the best option in every scenario. Learn where this
format can maximize your tone, and where another approach might be a
better way to go.
Tone Tip #12: Keep
Your Tubes Happy
Clued-in guitarists know that those glowing glass bottles are still
the way to go for juicy rich tone, but you need to know a trick or two
to help them perform their best, and to keep them healthy and working
Tone Tip #13: Pickup
There’s a booming market in replacement pickups these days, but you
need to know a thing or two about how different strengths of pickup
interact with your guitar and your amp if you’re ever going to find the
right model for your sound.
Tone Tip #14: Output
Those big output tubes are pretty much all the same, right? Wrong!
Each type and make of tube has its own tonal character, and
understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each can get you down the
road toward your dream tone a lot quicker.
Tone Tip #15: Frets
When was the last time you spared a thought for your humble frets? A
long time ago, if ever, I’m willing to bet. Different types of frets do
feel and even sound different, however, so a little knowledge in this
department can go a long way.
Tone Tip #16: Strings
It all starts with the strings, and strings of different designs,
compositions, and gauges can have remarkably different characteristics.
You need to know this one before you can even begin to hone your tone.
Tone Tip #17: Speaker
You thought the speaker created all the sonic splendor? Think again,
Batman — this unsung wooden box contributes a surprising amount to the
final sound of your guitar and amp, and different kinds of speaker cabs
have remarkably different tonal signatures.
Tone Tip #18: Effects
The first of a two-parter; this one helps you get your pedals in the
right order for you, and examines some of the differences a little
mixing and matching can make.
Tone Tip #19: Effects
More on maximizing your effects usage, with a look at what goes where
regarding amplifiers’ effects loops.
Tone Tip #20: Guitar
No, not Gm7—that’s chords with an “h”—but the long thin things you
use to plug your guitar into your amp. Simple, they work or they don’t
work, right? Not so fast … a quality cord (lead, cable) can greatly
improve your tone, while a poor one can make you sound dull and
lifeless. Read on …
Tone Tip #21: Tube
Don’t sell that great old tube amp when its tone starts to slip — get
it tuned up, and chances are it will sound better than ever. Check out
this Tip for some things you can do yourself, and others you
can advise a qualified professional to undertake for you.
Tone Tip #22: Wood
Resonance-The Secret to Superlative Tone
Learn to hear the sound in the wood, and you’ll fast track yourself
to landing the right electric guitar, and achieving the tone of your
Tone Tip #23: Acoustic
A guide to the sounds of the most popular tonewoods used in acoustic
guitar manufacturing, and how to choose the right wood for your music.
Tone Tip #24: Let
It Breathe-Guitar Finishes
Guitar finishes — they look pretty, and when they wear out you get
them refinished. End of story? Not so fast … the appearance of any
guitar’s finish is just the beginning, and the type and method of
application can actually affect how your guitar sounds.
Tone Tip #25: Speaker
Sometimes they might look a lot like guitar cords, but genuine
speaker cables (used to connect an amp head to a speaker cabinet) are
actually a lot different inside, and using the wrong thing can damage
your tone, and your gear. How to spot ’em, and even make your own.
02/16/2011 2:37 PM
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