that tone

(11 posts)

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  1. cruxtable
    Member

    my tone has been getting better, and obviously kurt's sound is the big influence (i have the ny-ss) - but with every guitar i've had, whether semihollow or hollow, i haven't been able to get that warm down without turning down my tone knob (neck pickup) very low - to 2 or 3, at which point it begins to get too dark and muddy. any higher and it's very bright, twangy. closer to a grant green sound, which isn't really what i'm going for. i've tried through a variety of amps, including my polytone IV, cube 30, an acoustic image combo (i think this has the best sound that i've tried), and a rebuilt (i think) fender deluxe reverb.

    anyone else have this experience? does anybody know how the modern guys who get really nice, warm sounds (kurt, ben monder, mike moreno, etc) have their tone knobs set? do they have them very low or are there actually guitars with warm neck pickups with tone full-on?

  2. Poparad
    Member

    I have a 135 and it's a pretty bright guitar, plus I play through a Deluxe Reverb, which as most Fender tube amps are, on the brighter side. I first tried rolling the tone down, which is too muddy, as you said. What I've found works is a combination of things. First, I keep my tone about half-way down on the guitar. Enough to take some edge off, but still clear enough for chords. On the amp, I have the bass turned way up (around 7) and the treble way down (around 2 or 3). This actually helps the most, as the amp knobs don't drastically change the tone like the guitar tone knobs, but instead refine a pretty specific frequency range. By still having a brighter guitar tone going into this, it helps balance out the muddyness. Lastly, using a good pick helps. I've tried a few things, and ultimate I've settled on Dunlop 2.0 Gator picks. Sharp, clear attack (which the Jazz picks were lacking for me), but a warm, round tone. My articulation sound isn't as bright as someone like Kurt's, and I think his different pick choice has much to do with it. Well, also the whole Rat thing, too. I don't do the midrange boost thing.

  3. Totally agree. The only way to get a deep and clear sound is to get it before the electronics.
    It sounds like you "need" a harder and thicker pick and may be a heavier set of strings. And of course then you'll need to change a bit your playing. It worked for me. Also try to experiment with the mix of the two pickups, I usually turn down the tone knob of the brigdge pickup and put at maximum the tone of the neck pickup.

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  4. Poparad
    Member

    That's also similar to what I do with my pickups. I set the bridge darker than the neck, but not in an extreme way, though. As for strings, I only use 11's, so they're not really that thick.

  5. cruxtable
    Member

    i use .13s, nickel wound. and the dunlop jazztone 207 pick. yeah, i know - i pretty much ripped off kurt's set up from around 2005 or so....but it's a good starting place to find out what i need to do to get my own sound. i could try turning the tone up a little more, but i've always had really bassy sounding amps, and unless i have the bass pretty low on my polytone, it gets boomy around the fifth and sixth strings.

  6. I have been dealing with this. First of all, picks are really important. Finding the right one can take some time, but it's worth it. I use Ultex Jazz III's now. I play a Sadowsky Jimmy Bruno into a Twin Reverb, both of which are very bright. I think the key is putting your tone on 9 or 10, so you get the maximum amount of sound and overtones from your guitar and then adjust the amp accordingly. On my amp, i have the Highs at about 3, mids at like 5 and bass at 3.5. This gives me a very nice, warm and natural sound.

  7. add4
    Member

    I'm currently searching for the same kind of tone.
    At the moment, i found that it's possible to find it with
    1- tone to 5, lots of high on the amp, bass and medium cut - i like that setting because it makes the muddy guitar tone cut trough and it's warm, yet defined.
    2- tone to 10, amp dialed to whatever sound i like.
    i usually put a distrotion with a very subtle touch of gain between the guitar and amp. As most distortions will color the mediums/highs to boost them a bit, it might be good to consider it when you're searhching for your tone. my favourites are rat, tubescreamer dx, mxr distortion III.
    What i find funny is that my ears seem to be allergic to highs some days and love them the other.
    Kurt has lot of medium high/high sound to my ear, very defined, not like adam rogers who would have a very rich warm tone.

  8. add4
    Member

    Another word about pick : i currently try to rotate the pick counterclockwise a bit, i've found that it gives a much brighter and percussive sound with the same settings.
    The picking movement then becomes a kind of rotation between the thumb and first finger and the hand doesn't move as much as it does with traditional picking ...
    i'm not used to it yet, but it seems promising. i'm trying to work all the scales and voicings using that.

  9. GuitarToneMan
    Member

    Here's something all of you might try for a smooth jazz tone. This will get rid of the "chime" a la John Lennon and his Vox tone (those very bright Celestion Alnico Blue speakers), which is not usable for jazz. It is simply the Eminence Little Buddy Hemp Cone 10" speaker. Put this in a Fender Princeton Reverb and it is TONE GRACE! If you have a Fender Deluxe Reverb, fear not. There is also a 12" version of this speaker called the Eminence Cannabis Rex. Personally, I like the 10" design because it's a little more responsive. The speaker cone itself is very rough-textured due to it's impregnation with the hemp fibers. This smooths the tone out beautifully. Also the speaker has a very large dust cover at the center. This feature subdues the highs and extends the mid range where jazz tone lives. The speaker itself is cheaper than any pedal you might buy, at around $90.00. This speaker would not be a great rock speaker, but it works well for jazz or even blues. Especially jazz, though, as a bigwig from Eminence assured me in an email. He said Eminence wanted to focus this speaker for the jazz market. He succeeded well. But all of this, of course, is a matter of personal taste. When it comes to guitar tone, there is never any right or wrong answer. The test of good tone, I think, was put best by Miles Davis this way: "Does it sound cool?"

  10. jorgemg1984
    Member

    I have had a C Rex in a Fender amp, it sounded good but saying it will instantly give you a spectacular jazz tone is a little too much...

  11. egav
    Member

    I use Jazz III tortex picks. The smooth material helps a lot vs plastic picks.
    I think something you might want to do is look for your original sound. Don't try to copy Kurt. I think if there's someone you should copy, it should be Jim Hall or someone Pre-60's.
    Those guys didn't run through anything, it was guitar and amp, and they never used the same amp, it's whatever was at the club (I know this is true of Wes, not entirely sure of others). This is how a lot of those guys built their tones, from the finger to the wood to the amp. Everything else is extra.
    I would even pick up an acoustic archtop, something that you don't even need an amp to produce sound on, and build from there.
    Try also playing with your fingers (classical style, index and middle fingers) even if it's slowly. No matter how bad your technique is, the sound you'll get will be more warm, since it's produced by a soft but well controlled plectrum (your fingers), and from there you can feel and emulate that sound with a pick.

    My setup (not including pedals) is on the guitar, volume knob all the way up, tone knob anywhere from 40-60%.
    On my amp, I only touch the volume knob. I always keep the EQ at 0 on everything, except a little reverb. I don't have a mixer pedal so my sound is that, and I get a really good tone from that.


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