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Guitar talk: acoustic, bass, classical, twelve string? You name it!

Discussion in 'off topic' started by windhoek, Oct 20, 2016.

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  1. -alan-

    -alan- pfm Member

    Interesting looking guitar Joe. Never really got into the PRS guitars yet - probably moreso because I'm a latent brand snob than anything else :(
    How do you find that one to live with ?
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    The attraction for me is the low power, an 18 Watt amp would be way too much for my quiet noodling about.

    I have to admit I’ve never understood the ‘headroom for pedals’ thing as I don’t set my pedals to be any louder than the untreated guitar, i.e. if I stomp on my BD-2 Blues Driver or FZ-5 Fuzz it just gets dirtier, not louder as I like to be able to return to the clean sound. I get the impression a lot of proper guitarists like the Pedal Show guys use the pedal to overdrive the amp input. I don’t do that (I guess mainly because I’ve never had a valve amp!).

    I’m sure I can get the sounds I want out of the PR6, it certainly does the clean stuff perfectly and that is more the direction I’m heading at present. Even so I get the impression the really dirty sounds I like (Sonic Youth, MBV, Dinosaur Jr etc) are a shit ton of pedals in front of a clean amp. I’ve never liked the big Marshall stack kind of sound, and I don’t seem to like Tube Screamers etc either. I seem to gravitate to almost entirely clean with just a tiny hint of crunch (the BD-2 is excellent for this) or a really over the top 17 Rats in a row through a Space Echo kind of thing.
  3. Joe

    Joe pfm Member

    I think it depends upon the amp and the speaker. Where on the volume scale does the amp and the speaker start to break up..to lose that clean tone you want.Low powered combo's can break up at really quite low volumes. Having more headroom means that you keep that clean tone way past what you would want at home and use pedals if you want to start with the crunch. It all depends how the amp is voiced eg, Marshall v Fender etc.
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    To be honest its win/win in that if I can get the ‘crunch’ without pedals I won’t use pedals! I suspect I’d be perfectly happy with just the amp and an echo pedal.
  5. cutting42

    cutting42 Heading to Fish Hacker Erg \o/

    I just love this thread. Folks playing with and buying what they want with no judgement (other than self) on their ability or "right" to own. How refreshing!
    PrettyVacant likes this.
  6. matthewr

    matthewr spɹɐʍʞɔɐq spɹoɔǝɹ ɹnoʎ sʎɐld

    I think it just means amps that will go loud without any breakup or compression so you can use it as a (gah) "pedal platform" and get lots of different sounds from your gazillion pedals. What's really confusing to me is I don't understand why this somehow still means you still need a tube amp -- "We don't want any tone or colour from our amp but it must be a tube amp" just seems nonsensical to me. Or indeed why, since these big pedal boards almost always have a choice of preamp pedals why the best clean platform wouldn't be straight into the effects return so you bypass the amp's preamp entirely?

    My experience with the Benson preamp has been that if you get a preamp that a) makes a sound you *really* like and b) can offer a range of tones just from gain and eq fiddling (which is kind of what valve amps are for!) has been that the "need" for a bunch of overdrive pedals and endless knob fiddling and pedal order experiments kind of goes away[*].

    The other thing I would say, whilst acknowledging I am well into teach granny to suck eggs territory already, is that once you have an amp sound you really like the king of all pedals is the so called "dirty boost". That is set your preamp in its sweet spot / edge of breakup setting and use a low gain pedal like your BD to get a whole other set of glorious tones. This is, I think, why pedals like Greer Lightspeed, Blues Drivers, Klons and Klones are so popular -- basically it's like getting another set of all the things people love about tube amps.

    Grats on the new amp.

    [*] Although "knob fiddling and pedal order experiments" remains an enjoyable activity for me in much the same way that synth wrongmos love nothing more than wiring their oscillators up differently.
  7. -alan-

    -alan- pfm Member

    Steady now man...
    I think all this talk of pedals and tube-amps is daft. A good modelling amp (like..oh just off the top of my head let's say a s/h Mustang IV V1 for example...) is plenty :)

    With an almost boundless variety of effects/tones and sounds, there's enough in one of those to keep even the most ardent of tone-hunting noodlers busy/satisfied for years"

    *(..steps back from the keyboard, swiftly..)
  8. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones pfm Member

    I can't just keep up with today's youthspeak.
  9. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    To my understanding the clean tube amp ‘thing’ is that they have a little compression along with a nice fat and warm sound (i.e. yes, plenty of ‘colour’) that responds to touch in a better way than even cleaner and more dynamic solid state amps. Plus when you do overdrive the input stage with say a treble boost pedal it saturates gently and organically rather than giving that typical solid state clipped square wave fuzz distortion. Here I’m talking about proper old-school solid state amps, e.g. ‘70s and ‘80s HH, Peavey, Yamaha, Carlsbro etc, not modern modelling amps which effectively use computer technology to emulate an vintage tube amp, and can do it very well (e.g. the Roland Blues Cube genuinely seems superb).
    matthewr likes this.
  10. -alan-

    -alan- pfm Member

    ^ Genuine question Tony - why the Rift instead of something like a higher-end (but still considerably less expensive) modelling Amp ?

    (Reason I ask btw is I have absolutely no doubt it's the kind of decision I'll be back facing a little further down the line)
  11. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    As much as anything the simplicity and serviceability. It fits with my mindset to buying hi-fi, and similarly I plan to own it for the rest of my life. Not only am I absolutely certain it will be working/can be fixed in 20-30 years, I suspect I’ll be able to fix it myself. Much as I like things like the Roland Blues Cube I’m not convinced that will be the case as they have a computer aspect to them. The rift is just transformers, valves, capacitors, resistors etc all neatly soldered to a tag board, just like my 60 year old Leak Stereo 20. I can deal with that technology! It will also never have no value or end up broken in landfill, and that aspect does matter to me.
  12. matthewr

    matthewr spɹɐʍʞɔɐq spɹoɔǝɹ ɹnoʎ sʎɐld

    There's also, I think, aspect to traditional amps that the modellers don't really get which is broadly similar to how petrol engines are valued by motorsports fans over electric engines, 60s sports cars over modern cars, or normally aspirated over turbo. The subjective experience is to some extent borne out of the cultural place these things come from so an amp like a Rift is a better musical instrument than an essentially identical Klemper recreation. They are also just more enjoyable things to own as there great joy in a hand built traditional device that works in the "proper" way. They are just nicer things.

    Which leads me to a couple of thoughts. 1) They are mostly a concern for, well, middle aged white men with a musical history based on the golden era of guitar music and a reasonable amount of discretionary income (i.e. PFM!). 2) They are probably not what you want if you are a working musician or setting up a recording studio.

    So boutique amps end up being bought by, well, people like us and will mean increasingly little to future generations.

    There's also the point that TPS make a lot which is that the best guitar, amp, etc. is the one that inspires you to play. There is a lot to this, I think, but it's all hugely subjective and whilst there is probably a small element of how these things "respond" to your playing that DSP solutions miss, it is mostly a function of who and what you are.
  13. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’m not so sure about that. I grew up on new wave, DIY etc and later played in an ‘80s indie band, none of which had anything whatsoever to do with boutique valve amps. The vast majority of bands I knew just had solid state combo amps (HH, Peavey, Carlsbro being pretty ubiquitous), i.e. I’ve just bought an amp which has nothing whatsoever to do with my younger musical taste! I’d also argue a nice little valve combo is a superb addition to a recording studio as they have plenty of nice sounds on tap and are very easy to mic up as they needn’t be deafeningly loud. In fact most good studios do have a few such options to hand as folk in starting-out bands tend to have cheap/bad gear so the engineer will often tempt them with an amp he knows records well.
  14. matthewr

    matthewr spɹɐʍʞɔɐq spɹoɔǝɹ ɹnoʎ sʎɐld

    But for how long though? Miking up a valve amp just seems like a thing that will be rare fairly soon once the people who have always done it like that retire.
  15. cutting42

    cutting42 Heading to Fish Hacker Erg \o/

    I think it will still be here for a while. I record a bit and have lots of friends as recording engineers and artists and the modern studio has all techniques in use. the new generations of engineers love the old gear and mics with the venerable U87 still the mic of choice for many studios and some going back even further to tube condensers etc. The old tube amp is here to stay for a while longer
  16. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Indeed. Music is astonishingly conservative and given Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, John Lee Hooker, Jimi Hendrix, Dave Gilmour etc played through valve amps I think it is safe to assume everyone else will too given the choice. Sure, a lot of home recordings will just use the truly excellent amp and FX modelling in Logic Pro etc, but I can’t see that ever actually replacing real amps entirely any more than say the TR-808 ever replaced real drum kits. Technology just adds further options rather than replacing tradition.
  17. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    It won't be long until new valve amps are banned by the EU on energy saving grounds. Many people gigging regularly and travelling any distance are using Line6 and Kemper these days...
  18. Yank

    Yank Bulbous Also Tapered

    And many more aren't.

    Even if new valve amps are banned, it's not like there's not already a lifetime supply of old ones already out there...
  19. -alan-

    -alan- pfm Member

    On a slightly different note..

    I've never scratched the telecaster itch. Plan is to sell on some of the oddities and orphans I've acquired and rationalise back to stuff I'm actually going to use more regularly. I think there's room for a telecaster there - especially if I can get one with a neck the same, or as close to the one on the StratPlus I've had for about 20 years now.

    A friend suggested one of these - the Baja Tele. Made in Mexico which keeps the cost down, but with some unique to it wiring/phase shifting on the pickups which gives it a nice bit of flexibility.


    Tried one locally. Beautiful neck, shiny maple with a nice profile and big jumbo frets that seem to make it really easy to bend notes. The only problem was I couldn't get the d*mn thing tuned in the shop. The intonation was out - but worryingly with those 'paired' saddles they use on the tele, it was out by different amounts on adjacent strings that shared a saddle. I'd heard - I thought jokingly - that you never actually get a tele in tune, it's all part of the twang. But now I'm starting to worry. I've a feeling my intonation OCD could well kick in, and that'd be another guitar on the move :)

    Any current or past owners on here - or any more insight on whether it's likely to be an issue in the real world ?
  20. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’ve never understood how tuning a Tele is possible with that bridge as the D & G are on the same saddle and there is usually about 4mm between them due to the change from wound to plain strings at that point. I guess if you tend to play chords down the bottom and only go up the dusty end for lead with bends it will be fine, but probably not a guitar for expensive jazz chords up the neck!

    One of my Tele-loving friends, who really is an excellent guitarist IMO, certainly plays way down at the sensible end of the neck, as I suspect do most folk who play them. I associate the Tele more with country, blues, indie/alt etc rather than jazz or really technical modern metal etc. I’m trying to think of anyone who plays a Tele and uses a lot of fancy chords up the neck and I’m drawing a blank. It seems to be country picking, power chords with a bit of lead for most people. Dunno, happy to be proven wrong on this one.
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