Does tone really matter? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
 
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Red face Does tone really matter?

I guess a lot of guys obsess over tone, and I suppose I did for awhile when I was younger, but for the last 20 years or so getting the "right tone" has been fairly easy for me. I'm not too demanding (no one listening to me probably gives a crap anyway), I don't use pedals, except for an occasional wah, and my amp head of choice is a solid state head. I kind of figured my tone came from me mostly, plus after so many years I know just what I'm looking for. My playing is not nearly as good as most on this site, but I have my own style, and it serves me well. I obsess over getting the (cover) song right, or writing a great (original) song. As I'm a singer too, I always found audiences loved the vocal and the song much more than the tone of a guitar. There have been times in the past, I thought my tone was too tinny, or too bassy, and no one noticed that, but they did notice the song played was a favorite of theirs! Maybe I'm alone with this prevailing thought...
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 11:00 PM
 
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Re: Does tone really matter?

Lol. After having people here tear me apart for my playing and tone, and crappy playing blah blah blah, every single show I play I have YET to have a person come up and say "your tone sucks bro. you need to clean up your playing too"

Its more about the show then the tone. Having fun has always meant more to me then getting the "right tone". getting the "right tone" has always been at the back of my mind, but if you enjoy it, do it.

Have fun with it man, no one can take that away from you!
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 11:05 PM
 
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Re: Does tone really matter?

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 11:14 PM
 
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Re: Does tone really matter?

I guess in the longhaul it doesn't really matter, but nobody wants to hear presence and treble maxed and bass, mids, and resonance off no matter how well you play.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 11:49 PM
 
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Re: Does tone really matter?

it matters to people who like tone! for me, it can make or break you. If your tone sucks, you sound bad no matter how well you play, but then again tone is subjective so WTF??
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 12:05 AM
 
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Re: Does tone really matter?

We play better when we're happy with our tone. It's as simple as that.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 04:35 AM
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Re: Does tone really matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by toshiro View Post
We play better when we're happy with our tone. It's as simple as that.
The only simple thing in life is death, all other things are.................................emo
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 04:53 AM
 
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Re: Does tone really matter?

Although I mostly play for myself, tone does matter to me. I find a good sounding amp/guitar/pedal/other piece of gear really inspiring. Also, the better the product of your playing sound, the more you're motivated to continue.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 05:11 AM
 
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Re: Does tone really matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GroovyTubes View Post
I guess in the longhaul it doesn't really matter, but nobody wants to hear presence and treble maxed and bass, mids, and resonance off no matter how well you play.
tell that to yngwie!
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 11:13 AM
 
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Re: Does tone really matter?

Yngwie is too busy listening to his ego to hear how much his tone sucks.
That, or all the leather he wears makes such loud creaky noises he can't hear anything anyway.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 11:41 AM
 
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Re: Does tone really matter?

i think you can tell the difference if you plug a £50 guitar into an amp and a £500 guitar into that same amp. whether its the body wood, the neck wood, the bridge or the pickups, i dont know, but something certainally affects the sound.

but the only people who will notice are people who play. and generally your audience just wanna hear u play songs they like, and well. so by that reasoning, as long as your guitar suits you and your playing style, and you are techinically capable of playing the song (with or eithout effects), then the tone will be right for the audience!

whether you are happy with your tone or not - thats your own personal problem! :P

Rich
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 01:39 PM
 
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Re: Does tone really matter?

Have to break up into a live vs recording comparison. Live tone doesn't need to be perfect and most people in the audience will only be able to distinguish a clean tone and a distorted tone, with maybe a bluesy breakup tone in there. Other than that, the room acoustics, people cheering/clapping, and general audience noise is going to cover anything else up. You don't really need to spend too much time trying to get that perfect tone as good enough (unless you're doing a dvd or something) will be just fine. I've had people tell me my tone was pro-tone (quite flattering) but have never had someone tell me my tone, rather than my playing, needed work.
Recorded tone is different and, IMO, does require a bit more meticulousness. Something recorded is going to be listened to more than 1 time and is going to be scrutinized. You want your best sounds coming out on that. It's more than just your rig, since what you record with influences things, but, at least for me, I want it to sound how I want it to sound rather than just good enough. In that sense, I do think it pays dividends to tweak and get the best out of whatever gear you're using, while recognizing that some gear is just not designed to get a certain kind of tone. It's not worth completely obsessing over and buying tones of gear to use only when you want one particular sound, but it's recognizing that if you really want a particular sound, sometimes you have to bite the bullet and get that particular piece of gear.
Even if you don't intend to produce your music, I find that I obsess over tone when recording way more than live because I want it to sound as close to what I hear in my head as I can get. On stage, I'm just worried about not flubbing and being loud/eq'd right with the rest of the band.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 02:10 PM
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Re: Does tone really matter?

I'll admit it--I'm a tone junkie! Always searching for that Holy Grail tone...

Edit--I think Smooth55 is spot on! Recorded vs. Live makes a big difference.




Last edited by AlaskaBat; 08-08-2011 at 02:16 PM.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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Red face Re: Does tone really matter?

Obviously your tone has to be something pleasing to your own ear, and I do agree live and recorded are different animals. I wonder if, as you get older attaining that tone is easier. I know for me it has seemed so.

I know what I want and know when to dial the EQ, or gain up or down for each individual channel. I only utilize a three channel amp, with a fairly full on gain, and a kicked back bluesier gain sound, and a clean sound. Within this, I pup select and voila I'm done. Recording for me is then a how many mics do I use and their placement issue rather than a tone issue. I do kick the gain back a bit when recording, but otherwise it's on the money...

The only time this varies is if I'm working on someones project and they want the guitar sound they want!
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 04:22 PM
 
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Re: Does tone really matter?

AlaskaBat, what's your rig today???
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