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> The Quest For Tone., Very long post, but if you're bored that might be a good thing :)
audiopaal
post Jul 5 2013, 07:43 AM
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At one point I had given up. Sick and tired of "bad" sound.
After many thousand posts here, many thousand videos on youtube, many thousand tutorials,
many thousand pizzas and even more beer, I had still not been able to crack the riddle of tone. My tone that is.
I had given up getting the tone I was searching for, and had been searching for so long.
I've tried tons of guitars, tons of amps and even more pedals.
I've spent a fortune buying, selling, trading and borrowing instruments, amps and pedals just to get the tone I've been looking for.
Did I ever get it? Nope.. I wouldn't write this post then, would I? biggrin.gif
I've been close a few times, but there's always been something wrong, out of place or just outright annoying.
Yeah, I guess I'm hard to please when it comes to my own sound.

I've tried Nik Huber guitars, Gibson guitars, Fender guitars, ESP guitars, Tom Anderson guitars, Suhr guitars, Jackson guitars, Ibanez guitars, Mayones guitars, Nasg guitars, Hansen guitars, Edwards guitars, PRS guitars and so on..

I've tried Marshall amps, Hiwatt amps, Fender amps, Blackstar amps, Engl amps, Mesa Boogie amps, Bad Cat amps, Budda amps, Hall Amplification amps, Suhr amps, Reinhardt amps, Retro Channel amps, Orange amps, Fuchs amps, Egnater amps and so on..

I've tried so many pedals I don't know where to start, but I'll give you a list on some of them:
Blackstar HT-Drive
Blackstar HT-Dist
Boss HM-2
Boss BD-2
Boss GT-6
Boss GT-10
Boss MT-2
Boss DD-20
Boss RE-20
Boss VF-1
Diamond Memory Lane Jr.
EMMA PisdiYAUwot
EMMA TransMORGrifier
EMMA ReezaFRATzitz
JHS Morning Glory
JHS Angry Charlie
JHS Charlie Brown
Keeley BD-2 Phat Switch
Keeley TS-9 Baked Mod
Mad Professor Mighty Red Distortion
Mad Professor Sky Blue Overdrive
Maxon AD-9
Strymon Brigadier
Strymon El Capistan
Suhr Riot
Suhr Shiba Drive
T-Rex Alberta
T-Rex Replica
T-Rex Gristle Luxury Drive
TC Electronic Corona
TC Electronic Flashback
TC Electronic G-Major 2
Catalinbread Hyperpak
Way Huge Pork Loin
Xotic BB Preamp and so on..

I had brought my home practice amp (Hall Amplification Lil' Devil) and my Gibson Traditional as well as my Gibson CS ES-137 down to a local guitar shop (www.godlyd.no) and tested almost every pedal they had. They grew quite tired of me, I'll admit that, but they let me sit there two evenings in a row until I was done smile.gif

Then one day a friend of mine working in another local guitar shop (www.4sound.no) gave me a call.
He gave me some great offers on a few guitars they had in their store, so I went down there to have a look.
The moment I picked up the Gibson Custom Shop '58 VOS he had for sale I knew it had to come home with me.
I've tried my share of great guitars, but this one was different. It was what I'd been looking for. It was just right.
Perfect neck, plays like a dream, sustain from the deepest depths of mahogany heaven, I just couldn't lay it down.
So I ended up selling my other two Gibsons, and and brought home the Gibson R8.
Now, suddenly my amp sounded better, and my pedals were a bit more friendly to my playing.
The pickups in it were unpotted Burstbuckers 1 and 2, and is obviously what I should have had all along.

So the good people at Godlyd had the pleasure of having me scratching down their door yet again the next weekend.
They didn't cry, I'll give them that. But I'm quite sure tears were hard to hold back as I picked down pedal after pedal (again!) from their shelves and had a go in their shop. This time it was different though. This time I actually found what I was looking for.
There it was, hidden in a Gibson CS LP '58 VOS and a few great pedals through a strange little amp.
I bought the JHS Angry Charlie, JHS Morning Glory, Diamond Memory Lane Jr. and a Flatliner SIX that day (as well as a small pedalboard).
For the first time I could see a smile on their faces, finally taking my money. I even think they said "thanks, come again!" blink.gif

I brought the guitar and pedals down to the rehearsal room, hooked up my Marshall Vintage Modern and had a go...
I'll be damnedidoodledoo, it sounded smacking awesome!

Since that day, about 4-5 weeks ago, I've been playing way more than I used to the last couple of years.
It's so much more fun to play when you finally nail that sound, and you don't have to spend your time roaming guitar shops looking for something you might not find.

I'm still waiting to get my "home recording corner" set up in my new apartment, so I can begin recording again.
One day soon I'll post some clips. You might not even like it, that's the fun part smile.gif
My tone might not be your cup of tea at all, that's what makes it so special. I have found what I was looking for, and I hope you do too.
And when you do, don't let anyone tell you it's not good enough. Me and a friend always discuss guitar sound and we will NEVER agree, that's for sure smile.gif

There is no moral to this story, I don't like morals in a story. Reminds me too much of bad sitcoms that always have to ruin a great episode with moral advice at the end. So no, I'm not going there.

However, I'll give you some advice. That might be just as bad, but it sounds much better.
If you are on the market for a new guitar, track down every last one of them and try them for yourself.
See how they feel in your hands and how they sound on a rig that's close to your own.
Don't do what I did, bying guitars because they looked freakingishly good, because you might be dissapointed down the road.
Example: I was looking for a ESP Eclipse to use for band practice with Incipit (local metal band), but ended up with a LTD EC-401.
It's not a better guitar than the ESP, but that particular guitar played better for me than the ESP Eclipses I tried.
It's got EMGs in it as well, so the difference in tone between the guitars I tried were almost non-existent.
So I bought it, and now I have a great and cheap guitar for playing downtuned metal as well.


Try out the effects as well, with a guitar and amp that's close to what you have at home/practice.
Bying online after watching a great review on youtube might be a great buy, but you might just be dissapointed as well.
Every piece of equipment plays it's part, and there is no guarantee you'll get the sound you heard in a video (or a live show) when played on completely different gear.

Same thing with amps, try them out in a store and find out what you like.
This way, when you're ready to buy, you know what you want and that you like it.
Saves you a lot of trouble. I wish someone told me this back in 1995 when I first started out tongue.gif


Am I done yet? Yes I am!
Congratulations, you've reached the end. Now have a coke and some popcorn, you deserve it smile.gif
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jul 5 2013, 07:34 PM
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hahaha I reached the end!! hello Paal!! How are you mate! I really enjoyed your post, sharing your experience in the quest for tone. You did a very hard quest, you tried everything and that's not a bad thing. You ended the post saying "I hope that somebody told me this" but I think that the experience that you gain, the training that you gave to your ear, all you know now about equipment, guitars, effect is priceless. Maybe you are thinking that you did the longer road, but I think that you didn't waste your time. You are now a very experimented guitarist and guitar tech and you would do that work.

Thanks for sharing your story here! smile.gif


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Mertay
post Jul 5 2013, 07:49 PM
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Nice smile.gif


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Darius Wave
post Jul 6 2013, 11:41 AM
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Nice trip through gear biggrin.gif Your method is better than looking for advice even from the expireinced player. I mean...we all use same words to describe things but...very often we misundersood the meanings like war tone, full tone etc. So...any advices are too subjective....just a good starting point smile.gif There are many things we have to learn on our own mistakes to understan WHY smile.gif


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DeGroot
post Jul 6 2013, 02:11 PM
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Great post! I've been down the path of not trying before buying... and have resold many guitars and amps. Although it looks like you have been through WAY more equipment than me. smile.gif It took many years to finally feel comfortable with my own set up and not feel like I need to change something.

I had a friend who used to go through a few different guitars each month! Eventually he just opened his own ebay store to sell and buy guitars. smile.gif


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pdf64
post Jul 6 2013, 03:42 PM
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Another vote for the R8 - it's pretty much perfect, from my perspective.
It took me 20 years plus playing to realise that 'modern' neck profiles - slim, wide, pretty flat - are uncomfortable and slow me down.
The 50s rounded, deep fat neck works with my (smallish) hands much better.
It's unfortunate that the R8 price has risen about 50% recently.
Pete


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klasaine
post Jul 6 2013, 05:54 PM
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Your journey is not too dissimilar from many guitar players. But yours is particularly well documented biggrin.gif

I don't even want to begin to think about all the sh*t I've gone through. Not too mention my 'taste' changed/changes during the search - still is.


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audiopaal
post Jul 6 2013, 09:32 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Jul 5 2013, 08:34 PM) *
hahaha I reached the end!! hello Paal!! How are you mate! I really enjoyed your post, sharing your experience in the quest for tone. You did a very hard quest, you tried everything and that's not a bad thing. You ended the post saying "I hope that somebody told me this" but I think that the experience that you gain, the training that you gave to your ear, all you know now about equipment, guitars, effect is priceless. Maybe you are thinking that you did the longer road, but I think that you didn't waste your time. You are now a very experimented guitarist and guitar tech and you would do that work.

Thanks for sharing your story here! smile.gif


Good job mate biggrin.gif
I'm fine, great actually. Thanks for asking smile.gif I just moved in to our new apartment with my girlfriend, I got a Gibson R8, work is busy but fun and even the weather is nice. Can't complain smile.gif How are you mate, all is well I hope? And Cirse?
I agree, I wouldn't be without this journey. It's been great actually smile.gif
Some might benefit from reading this post though. I would assume that there is a lot of people that could do fine without the hassle of learning the hard way smile.gif I love it, still looking for the perfect Chorus pedal (I'm stuck between three pedals, I'll let you know what I choose). so I'm not totally done yet, hehe..

Thanks for reading mate smile.gif


QUOTE (Mertay @ Jul 5 2013, 08:49 PM) *
Nice smile.gif


Thanks smile.gif


QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Jul 6 2013, 12:41 PM) *
Nice trip through gear biggrin.gif Your method is better than looking for advice even from the expireinced player. I mean...we all use same words to describe things but...very often we misundersood the meanings like war tone, full tone etc. So...any advices are too subjective....just a good starting point smile.gif There are many things we have to learn on our own mistakes to understan WHY smile.gif


That's true, many different opinions about tone. Everyone wants different things, and that's what makes it so fun.
I've learned a lot from going through so much different gear, but I'm looking forward to "settling down" soon biggrin.gif

QUOTE (DeGroot @ Jul 6 2013, 03:11 PM) *
Great post! I've been down the path of not trying before buying... and have resold many guitars and amps. Although it looks like you have been through WAY more equipment than me. smile.gif It took many years to finally feel comfortable with my own set up and not feel like I need to change something.

I had a friend who used to go through a few different guitars each month! Eventually he just opened his own ebay store to sell and buy guitars. smile.gif


Good thing you're happy with your setup now then smile.gif
Haha, why didn't I think of that? My own Ebay store would have made it all easier smile.gif


QUOTE (pdf64 @ Jul 6 2013, 04:42 PM) *
Another vote for the R8 - it's pretty much perfect, from my perspective.
It took me 20 years plus playing to realise that 'modern' neck profiles - slim, wide, pretty flat - are uncomfortable and slow me down.
The 50s rounded, deep fat neck works with my (smallish) hands much better.
It's unfortunate that the R8 price has risen about 50% recently.
Pete

Yeah, it took me many years as well. I always thought I liked the Gibson 60's neck better, but I guess I didn't after all.
The neck on the R8 is perfect for my smallish hands as well biggrin.gif
Yeah, the price is steep, at least in Norway.. But I got a really good offer, so I was in luck smile.gif


QUOTE (klasaine @ Jul 6 2013, 06:54 PM) *
Your journey is not too dissimilar from many guitar players. But yours is particularly well documented biggrin.gif

I don't even want to begin to think about all the sh*t I've gone through. Not too mention my 'taste' changed/changes during the search - still is.

Hehe, you're right about that biggrin.gif
Yeah, change of taste is also a problem. Not only do you have to keep up with the gear, you need to keep up with yourself as well laugh.gif
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Britishampfan
post Jul 7 2013, 11:53 PM
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I play and have owned a fair amount of gear, glad you found something, It`s really hard to beat a Gibson and a Marshall.

It`s a very frustrating experience and one that has taken me a long time as well and I still keep evolving well maybe refining might be a better term.


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Todd Simpson
post Jul 8 2013, 03:56 AM
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Finding the right neck takes time be sure!!! From the sound of it, you'd LOVE the MINARIK LOTUS neck. I had a LOTUS while I was a Minarik Endorsee and it's sort of a more extreme version of a 50's style neck on a Les Paul style body. For smaller hands it's one of the best I've tried.

Attached Image


QUOTE (pdf64 @ Jul 6 2013, 10:42 AM) *
Another vote for the R8 - it's pretty much perfect, from my perspective.
It took me 20 years plus playing to realise that 'modern' neck profiles - slim, wide, pretty flat - are uncomfortable and slow me down.
The 50s rounded, deep fat neck works with my (smallish) hands much better.
It's unfortunate that the R8 price has risen about 50% recently.
Pete



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audiopaal
post Jul 8 2013, 10:01 AM
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QUOTE (Britishampfan @ Jul 8 2013, 12:53 AM) *
I play and have owned a fair amount of gear, glad you found something, It`s really hard to beat a Gibson and a Marshall.

It`s a very frustrating experience and one that has taken me a long time as well and I still keep evolving well maybe refining might be a better term.

Yeah, it's hard to beat a Gibson and a Marshall if you find the right ones smile.gif

Frustrating and rewarding I'd say...



This post has been edited by audiopaal: Jul 8 2013, 10:01 AM
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jul 8 2013, 04:29 PM
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QUOTE (audiopaal @ Jul 6 2013, 05:32 PM) *
Good job mate biggrin.gif
I'm fine, great actually. Thanks for asking smile.gif I just moved in to our new apartment with my girlfriend, I got a Gibson R8, work is busy but fun and even the weather is nice. Can't complain smile.gif How are you mate, all is well I hope? And Cirse?
I agree, I wouldn't be without this journey. It's been great actually smile.gif
Some might benefit from reading this post though. I would assume that there is a lot of people that could do fine without the hassle of learning the hard way smile.gif I love it, still looking for the perfect Chorus pedal (I'm stuck between three pedals, I'll let you know what I choose). so I'm not totally done yet, hehe..

Thanks for reading mate smile.gif



Good to know it mate! I'm fine thanks! I also moved to a new apartment with my girlfriend 6 months ago and we are having lots of gigs with my band while we work on the new album that will be released on August 28th. So lots of exciting stuff is coming...

a chorus? I have Chorus CE ensemble and H2O and I think that H2O chorus is so tasty. Please let me know which on you finally get!


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audiopaal
post Jul 9 2013, 11:54 AM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Jul 8 2013, 05:29 PM) *
Good to know it mate! I'm fine thanks! I also moved to a new apartment with my girlfriend 6 months ago and we are having lots of gigs with my band while we work on the new album that will be released on August 28th. So lots of exciting stuff is coming...

a chorus? I have Chorus CE ensemble and H2O and I think that H2O chorus is so tasty. Please let me know which on you finally get!


Great Gabe smile.gif Congrats on your new apartment smile.gif
Awesome, can't wait to hear your new stuff!

I'll check them out as well, thanks. I'll let you know what I get in the end.
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jul 9 2013, 10:49 PM
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QUOTE (audiopaal @ Jul 9 2013, 07:54 AM) *
Great Gabe smile.gif Congrats on your new apartment smile.gif
Awesome, can't wait to hear your new stuff!

I'll check them out as well, thanks. I'll let you know what I get in the end.



Great! Looking forward news from you!


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audiopaal
post Jul 12 2013, 07:17 AM
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Well, after giving the "Mad Professor - Electric Blue Chorus" and the "TC Electronic - Corona" a run for its money,
I ended up on buying the "Mad Professor".
Picking it up in a couple of weeks, ordered it online for a cheaper price smile.gif

The TC electronic were great. One of the cheaper ones I tried, and gives a great and subtle chorus in many forms.
Typically this would have been my dream chrous.
However, the MP sounded just right to me. I was able to dial it in just the way I wanted both for clean and heavy tones.
And I'm a sucker for blue, so what the heck laugh.gif

When my pedalboard is complete, and my equipment has found its way home (in a few weeks as well),
I'll post some clips and play around with it smile.gif
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