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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-25-2004, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
 
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Really bummed about my tone : ( Please help me

The topic says it all... i've been really unhappy with my tone for many months now. I have a Line 6 AX212, and it's a keen little amp! Fun built-in effects, easy to use, tons of features... But it just doesn't do it for me. It also sounds really harsh cranked up when i gig with my band. Of everything i've owned, this one comes the closest to meeting my tonal needs, but just falls short. It just doesn't sing.
So then i got a Rocktron Chameleon and a Tubeworks Mosvalve 982 power amp. The Chameleon has great effects! I'll eventually buy a Rocktron Intellefx just because of how good the effects are on this unit. But after two months of tweaking my own settings and using settings reccomended by others, i don't like it a bit. The cleans are nice. But i just don't like the distortions at all. It sounds very thin and generic to me. There's legions of others that are in love with this preamp, but it doesn't do it for me. Next.
The Tubeworks Mosvalve 982 is a good power amp. It's not earth-shatteringly amazing, but it's definately solid. I also tried using the Chameleon through an all-tube Marshall 9005 power amp, and it only sounded a tiny bit nicer. By the way, i'm using a Laney 4x12 with these.
Today, i got a Peavey Rockmaster all tube preamp. This is the first piece of tube gear that i have purchased so far. I've gotten to mess with it for several hours today, and so far, i don't like it. It sounds like cheap, death metal, Boss Metal Zone tone. There's not really any richness to it. It actually sounds a lot like a cheap Crate amp. It really doesn't sound good to me. I don't know how old the tubes are in this thing, though. Plenty of gain, though. I borrowed the other guitarist in our band's MXR dual 15 band EQ and tweaked the Rockmaster with it. Again, still very cheap-sounding. This EQ makes our other guitarist's 5150 combo sound insanely brutal! This preamp also has a huge cult following... but i personally don't see why.
I'm really, really depressed about this. Maybe i'm just being crazy about all of this, but i don't much feel like playing guitar right now because i'm unhappy with my tone. And i know how much of a person's sound comes from their hands. But when a person hits a power chord and lets it ring out, you can hear what their tone {gain structure, emphasized frequencies, etc...} sounds like. That kind of thing can't be altered 100% by playing differently. Fred from Meshuggah could't plug into a Fender Twin and make it sound just like the tone on Destroy, Erease, Improve, for example. I know this sounds extremely juvenile and stupid, but i want my guitar tone to sound like all of my favorite albums. I want to listen to my guitar and go 'ahhhh.....' I want clarity {ala None by Meshuggah}, huge gain {new Nevermore}, tight bottom end, punchy mids {ala Lamb of God}, lots of volume, and tube warmth. I want lead sounds to sing, and still have plenty of gain {Gilbert, Petrucci, Eklundh, Loomis, Romeo, etc...}. I like shimmering, bouncy clean sounds with lots of body. Am i going for unreasonable goals? I would really like studio-quality tone. I play lead and rhythm in a prog metal band, and i need lots or versitality on top of everything. On top of all of this, i'm on an extremely low budget. Damn.
Worst of all, these's hardly a guitar store in my area. There's one in my town that has Crates and Marshall Valvestates {yuck}, a Guitar Center about an hour away that doesn't exactly have much going on {save for a few Mesa Mark series amps, which i've never tried}, and...... not much else.
I apologize for this extremely poorly-written thread, and commend everyone who is still reading it. It's late, i'm tired, and i'm really bummed about all of this. I just want nice tone. Please offer any suggestions.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-25-2004, 08:37 AM
 
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One, the tones you have mentioned are pretty diverse. This would suggest rack gear, but the main thing to think about is are you the tones you want studio or live tones?

By this I mean, if its studio tones (tones from cd's) then remember this has gone through a lot more stages than just amp speaker, its been eq'd, it been amplified again by a mic, its probably had reverb and other effects added.

By this I will use my favourite guitarist James Byrd as an example. To me this guy has the BEST tone period. I love everything about it. Luckily I have gotten to know James extrememly well over the past 3 to 4 years to the point where I am his webmaster and go and stay with him and his wife once a year. That was the tone I decided I wanted, so logical step #1, get the same gear. So I get myself a Marshall 1987XW, a DOD250 Overdrive pedal (well JB actually sent me one as they were unavailable in the UK at the time), same guitar more or less, same pickups. And no it sounded nowhere near, it was kinda in the ball park but it was missing something. Countless email scrutinising settings, even string action was discussed (thank god for Byrds patience) and never really there. James even got a chance to record with the same amp I had (ltd edition Marshall 1987XW - only 250 made) and he said that the amp sounds identical to his main amp (a 50 watt non master) so he was puzzled.

Skip forward, new Byrd cd's come out, that tone gets better and better. I go to Seattle for my first visit, down into Byrd's home studio and pick up his guitar, turn his amp on, hit a power chord and there is THAT tone (well as near as its gonna get with my hands) - this was a dream come true. But this is the crucial element, what I was hearing (on CD) and was hearing in that control room was the sound of that Marshall mic'd by a darn expensive tube mic painstakingly angled to perfection into an expensive Allen & Heath mixing consule with painstakingly set up reverb levels all tailored to hearing that amp to perfection through high definition studio monitors. What a glorious tone - the tone from the CD, but it was right there that I realised I will never have that tone that I hear on record, I will get close to what actually comes out the Marshall cab (in the cab room with the volume and pressure levels) with what comes out my set up but its never gonna be exact. It was at this point I started searching for my own tone and making purchases based on that, it sounds like you are doing this, but using other peoples experiences of gear to tell you what should sound good.

Your gear might actually be what you need. The easiest way to work this out for yourself is to record your tone, and that as simple as using headphones as a mic dangled in front your cab into a minidisc recorder or such like. It sounds different. Just that headphone makes one hell of a difference and is the best example to show what studios add to tone.

So what does this say? Probably not a lot but don't always go by exactly what your ears hear in the room, use something as a reference. And maybe expect to be suprised and use some gear that you would never have thought about because others say its crap - it might be the gear for your tone.
strat110 is offline  
post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2004, 04:58 PM
 
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Are there any models in the Line6 you prefer more than others?

I played modeling amps for a few years, and when I finally got ready for something else, the starting point was right there in front of me... I had a Johnson JM150 and used the Mesa Mark models almost exclusively on it. So I went after a Mark IV, and sure enough, it was just what I was looking for (somewhat familiar, but much warmer & smoother).

--B
bduersch is offline  
post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2004, 06:40 PM
 
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I've had a mosvalve-2112 setup,a jm250,5150,ada mp1&2,rocktron piranha etc. all had good elements to them,just not everything I wanted.I secretly wanted a mesa triaxis-poweramp the whole time but didn't want to spend the money.I finally got tired of tone searching and bought the triaxis. added a g major,searching over.When I add up all the money I spent on other setups,I could have bought several triaxis-290 setups along time ago.You might want to try the rockmaster-chameleon through a mesa or other all tube poweramp.I remember the mosvalve,although not bad for solid state, was just not the same as tube responsiveness-warmth.I'm just glad my tone search is over.Guitar searching-a whole other problem!
musicdr is offline  
post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-27-2004, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
 
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I'm searching for an amp to use live with my band, and to use in my own home. Yeah, i've given some serious thought to the Triaxis, too. It would take me sooooooo long to save up, though. I mean, i work two days a week at a pizza place, i teach guitar lessons two days a week, i have to pay for car insurance, gas, food {sometimes}, i like to take my girlfriend out a lot... blah blah. I'd work more, but i also attend college : ( . Hopefully, after my bands CD becomes available for purchase, we'll start selling lots of copies and getting some big shows where we can earn serious cash.
Does the Triaxis really sound that great? I mean, that's some serious money to shell out for just a preamp!
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-27-2004, 02:37 AM
 
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I bought mine for 800.00 used,still a bit of money, but it meets my needs perfectly.For me it definitely was money well spent.When you throw in a mesa simul 395(700.00 used),g-major(200.00 used) and a 4-12 with celestions(400.00) it adds up in a hurry.And foot controller,cables etc.Midi switching was very important to me. I just realized how much money I have invested.I haven't tried the peavey rockmaster,it could be great through a tube power amp.I would definitely try it that way or through the power section of a good tube amp before you decide it s##ks.Remember,if you try some mesa stuff out, give yourself time to play with the knobs.There are some killer sounds to be had,but you have to spend a little time getting them.It took me a while to buy my rig.Even though I love it,you could pull off a great gig with far less.A good tube combo with some effects would work as well.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-27-2004, 12:15 PM
 
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Plain and simple, the modelling stuff is kewl for what it is, but its emulating what? TUBES.
For me, I played with all of that stuff, and its ok, but at loud volumes, they have something lacking.
I went with all mesa gear and am happy, not just because it's Mesa, but because it sounds good. You need to sell off all the stuff you're not happy with and start checking out, Mesa, VHT, Rivera, Marshall, whatever is all tube. I think your ears will find something you like.

Bamm
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-01-2008, 01:29 PM
 
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Re: Really bummed about my tone : ( Please help me

Strat and Bamm got it right. m8.
Get off the L6 2x12. Metal tone in a can.
TUBES 4tw. You're going to drop some bank getting there, though...
when you start adding in all of the pedals and effects + 2nd head/cab, yada, yada.

I love the L6 X3 Live - run it into a pair of JBL EON powered PA's (400w each, Crown amped) - sexy. Get all the juice + effects + sexy amp models (tube emulations, mostly) and probably set you back about $1800 total, including XLR cables etc. Plus when you'
re ready to "go big" you can re-purpose the PA's into...well, PA's.

Boutique stuff is expensive for a reason. It usually sounds better than the standard stuff.

Bottom Line: Good tone costs money, plain and simple. You're either committed or not.

-zt
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-01-2008, 01:48 PM
 
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Re: Really bummed about my tone : ( Please help me

i had the same problem. and the answer is as strat110 says. i eventually listened to as many live rigs as i could (shows i was working, videos, whatever) and now i use engl. the tone is completely shape-able, and it does every high gain tone imaginable. they also sound unbelievably good at practice level.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-01-2008, 02:07 PM
 
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Re: Really bummed about my tone : ( Please help me

Quote:
Originally Posted by velocity View Post
i had the same problem. and the answer is as strat110 says. i eventually listened to as many live rigs as i could (shows i was working, videos, whatever) and now i use engl. the tone is completely shape-able, and it does every high gain tone imaginable. they also sound unbelievably good at practice level.
velocity could you tell me what what engl amp you are using cause im thinking of buying one thanks
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-01-2008, 03:10 PM
 
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Re: Really bummed about my tone : ( Please help me

i have a powerball v2...
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-01-2008, 09:58 PM
 
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Re: Really bummed about my tone : ( Please help me

It been 4yrs since his original post.He probably has a killer tube rig by now!
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-02-2008, 12:18 AM
 
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Re: Really bummed about my tone : ( Please help me

freakin noobs
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-02-2008, 12:31 AM
 
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Re: Really bummed about my tone : ( Please help me

Quote:
Originally Posted by musicdr View Post
It been 4yrs since his original post.He probably has a killer tube rig by now!
He could also be a grandfather by now!
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-02-2008, 01:05 AM
 
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Re: Really bummed about my tone : ( Please help me

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZippoTragedy View Post
Strat and Bamm got it right. m8.
Get off the L6 2x12. Metal tone in a can.
TUBES 4tw. You're going to drop some bank getting there, though...
when you start adding in all of the pedals and effects + 2nd head/cab, yada, yada.

I love the L6 X3 Live - run it into a pair of JBL EON powered PA's (400w each, Crown amped) - sexy. Get all the juice + effects + sexy amp models (tube emulations, mostly) and probably set you back about $1800 total, including XLR cables etc. Plus when you'
re ready to "go big" you can re-purpose the PA's into...well, PA's.

Boutique stuff is expensive for a reason. It usually sounds better than the standard stuff.

Bottom Line: Good tone costs money, plain and simple. You're either committed or not.

-zt

Lefty Robb is offline  
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boss metal zone , death metal , fender twin , marshall valvestate , mesa mark , mesa triaxis , overdrive pedal , peavey rockmaster , playing guitar , power amp , rocktron chameleon , rocktron piranha , tube amp , tube combo , tube power amp , tube preamp

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