Jump to content
ejdj

Creating Smooth Clean Tone With A Little Dirt

Recommended Posts

I run my hd500 directly into the pa... I've been trying to get a smooth kind of a clean tone with a bit of dirt on it, just enough to give it some depth and punch and want to get the notes to sustain for a long time.... been trying hard but can't seem to workout the tone.... need some help to get on d right track...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try the plexi on normal chanel, or the basssman on bright channel,or use a boost compressor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fender blackface deluxe vib full model with drive set around 75-85 range will give you a clean but semi crunchy tone which you can control by how hard or soft you strum or pick. I use drive at 83 and use exp-2 set to go from 73-83 heel to toe. If you need more crunch you can add a tube screamer before the amp with drive at 0 and output at 100.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I run my hd500 directly into the pa... I've been trying to get a smooth kind of a clean tone with a bit of dirt on it, just enough to give it some depth and punch and want to get the notes to sustain for a long time.... been trying hard but can't seem to workout the tone.... need some help to get on d right track...

I'll try to remember to post my main go-to dirt tone. Depending on your pickups it can be clean on the neck and slightly gritty to crunchy depending on how you dig in on the bridge. I use it with a DT25 but when I don't feel like hauling my amp to practice I run it studio/direct into a Kustom 12" powered monitor and it still works fairly well. Backing the volume knob off slightly will clean it up on the bridge too.

 

I use either my LP with 57 Classic/Classic+ or a different LP with SD Vintage Blues set (Vintage 59? I think they are called). It's a little dirtier with the 57s but cleaner with the 59s due to how hot the pickups are. Of course your mileage may vary. I will try to remember.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good suggestions here.  Some things to listen for regarding the upper mids and highs are that amps with ELxx power tubes tend to have a more crunchy gnarly  distortion.  Those with Pentode ELxx power tubes generate only odd harmonics in class AB (push pull) mode.  Even harmonics are canceled in class AB.  Class A (single-ended) operation adds even harminics, as can be achieved by turning the Amp DEP Bias up all the way into full class A mode for any amp.  Both the even and odd harmonics present in the string vibrations are still however accentuated as tubes compress.  The following beam tetrode type tubes generate much less 3rd harmonic distortion than pentodes, leaving complex chords sounding clearer. The Soldano and Bassman 5881 tubes seem to have a glassy compression effect compared to the 6L6's in the Fender Twin and other amps, which to me have that glassy crunch favored by many modern metal players.  KTxx tubes generally have a more open sound with an smooth breakup producing a bubbly sizzling distortion.  The KT88's in the Brit 75 are more crunchy than KT66's, but have the biggest bass sound of all.  6V6 tubes seem close to KT66 and 5881 to me with equally huge bass, but a more velvety breakup.

 

In short, if you want less 3rd harmonics for clearer chords in your amp distortion derived crunch, go for something with beam tetrodes.  Then, if you want to add even harmonics for a richer amp crunch that will not further muddy chords, turn up the Amp DEP Bias for the Class AB models.  Transformer distortion will add both types of harmonics as well, so it's really a matter of how hard the amp is pushed.  Any amp will get muddy in the bass when pushed hard enough, but I don't think you'll be pushing the amp that hard for this type of sound. 

 

Tube preamps are normally wired in class A, so driving them generally generates the whole harmonic series.  Some preamps use mutiple cascading preamp tubes.  They produce more sustain/less crunch than those with just two.  I think the Divided by 13 amp allows you to mix the smooth 6V6 distortion and EL84 crunch, so it might be a good one to try out.  If you get too much crunch, you could try switching the IN-Z feature to 230k or lower to roll off some highs before the amp.  It will have less affect with higher inductance pickups.  Running a compressor before the amp can be really helpful, but it's kinda cool if you don't have to do that.  Turning up the Amp DEP Bias X might make that completely unnecessary.  Don't be afraid to turn the tone stack presence, treble and even the bass down, and boost the mids.  The presence tames amp crunch.  At 12 O'clock in most guitar amp tone stacks, the bass and treble are boosted and mids are cut.  Sweet and creamy tones can be had by evening the curve out a bit. 

  • Upvote 1
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good suggestions here.  Some things to listen for regarding the upper mids and highs are that amps with ELxx power tubes tend to have a more crunchy gnarly  distortion.  Those with Pentode ELxx power tubes generate only odd harmonics in class AB (push pull) mode.  Even harmonics are canceled in class AB.  Class A (single-ended) operation adds even harminics, as can be achieved by turning the Amp DEP Bias up all the way into full class A mode for any amp.  Both the even and odd harmonics present in the string vibrations are still however accentuated as tubes compress.  The following beam tetrode type tubes generate much less 3rd harmonic distortion than pentodes, leaving complex chords sounding clearer. The Soldano and Bassman 5881 tubes seem to have a glassy compression effect compared to the 6L6's in the Fender Twin and other amps, which to me have that glassy crunch favored by many modern metal players.  KTxx tubes generally have a more open sound with an smooth breakup producing a bubbly sizzling distortion.  The KT88's in the Brit 75 are more crunchy than KT66's, but have the biggest bass sound of all.  6V6 tubes seem close to KT66 and 5881 to me with equally huge bass, but a more velvety breakup.

 

In short, if you want less 3rd harmonics for clearer chords in your amp distortion derived crunch, go for something with beam tetrodes.  Then, if you want to add even harmonics for a richer amp crunch that will not further muddy chords, turn up the Amp DEP Bias for the Class AB models.  Transformer distortion will add both types of harmonics as well, so it's really a matter of how hard the amp is pushed.  Any amp will get muddy in the bass when pushed hard enough, but I don't think you'll be pushing the amp that hard for this type of sound. 

 

Tube preamps are normally wired in class A, so driving them generally generates the whole harmonic series.  Some preamps use mutiple cascading preamp tubes.  They produce more sustain/less crunch than those with just two.  I think the Divided by 13 amp allows you to mix the smooth 6V6 distortion and EL84 crunch, so it might be a good one to try out.  If you get too much crunch, you could try switching the IN-Z feature to 230k or lower to roll off some highs before the amp.  It will have less affect with higher inductance pickups.  Running a compressor before the amp can be really helpful, but it's kinda cool if you don't have to do that.  Turning up the Amp DEP Bias X might make that completely unnecessary.  Don't be afraid to turn the tone stack presence, treble and even the bass down, and boost the mids.  The presence tames amp crunch.  At 12 O'clock in most guitar amp tone stacks, the bass and treble are boosted and mids are cut.  Sweet and creamy tones can be had by evening the curve out a bit. 

 

After all of his advice, I would advise reading a tube amp building manual, or just pick an amp with a sound you like, put a compressor in front with very low impact on compression, find the spot on the drive knob with the amount of breakup you want when you really dig in on the bridge pickup, eq with amp controls to taste, then add other effects, then add an eq at the end to slightly boost the low end.  I used the Plexi Brt Pre for mine.  I really will try to post it for you when I get home lol. GCKelloch, your posts make my brain hurt.  Seriously, I think just about every one of them does lol.  Great, great input and information, but too technical for this layman who just wants TONE! \m/

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remembered!

 

Like I said, it's designed for a DT amp, but with minor tweaking it should get you on the right track. I've actually just given you the link to my customtone list, as there are two files there.  Marshall Dirt is the one I was talking about.  The other one is my brown sound, but I've modified it since then.  If you try both and kinda like the brown one too, I will upload my newer version.  Hope it helps you!

 

http://line6.com/customtone/profile/stumblinman/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually don't know the specifics of amp circuit design. I have tried to limit my use of technical jargon only to how it affects the sound -- as opposed to an electrical engineer who might explain what happens within the circuitry and not explain how it affects the sound. You'll notice I use the word "sound" rather than "tone". It's important to delineate between tone and timbre: both of which fall under the rubric of "sound". It is common amongst guitar players to proclaim that "tone is in the fingers". That's actually not quite correct. Timbre is in the fingers. Tone is in the guitar and the gear it connects to...more on this below.

 

It's also common that guitar players aren't aware of the physics and terminology involved in the characteristics of sound. We resort to using subjective terms that aren't really reliable in conveying our meaning -- some terms being more universally understood than others. There is still much I don't know, but I have cleared up some essential things for myself. I think it makes more sense to offer up the "tools" to understanding a guitar sound, rather than just make pat recommendations based on subjective terms which can often describe texture more than sound. In other words: "Give a man a fish..." It might also make sense that, given the amp/cab customizing DEP features in the POD HD series, we would want to utilize them ASAP to tailor the sound without having to resort to adding pedals which take up FX blocks and often compromise sensitivity and nuance.

 

Tone has to do with how frequency ranges are equalized along the spectrum. The guitar itself is a sort of equalizer filter -- in that inherent resonances fall into certain ranges regardless of the notes played on it. The same is also true for a guitar speaker, and for resonances in certain amp components (including the tubes), and possibly from eddy currents in output transformers. Those resonances do involve harmonics, but the frequencies of those harmonics are static. i.e. they do not stem from the pitch of the guitar notes, but are merely reinforced when guitar harmonics are the same frequencies.

 

When I use the word timbre with regard to exciting a guitar string, I refer to the portion of the definition where finger/pick technique is used to alter the string's harmonic content -- not the tone. That harmonic content relates to the fundamental note. Its not the same as equalizing a spectrum range, because the harmonic series changes for each note and string. Apply the same pick technique on the low E string as for the E on the D string and the harmonic series will of course be roughly an octave higher. Therefore, distortion generators (like tubes) alter the timbre, because the generated harmonics are based on note pitch.

 

Like I mentioned above, tubes can also have resonances that become more apparent as they are pushed, so they might also affect the guitar tone. I'm not quite sure of that, but tubes do exhibit some capacitance, and capacitance creates a resonance. Perhaps it's why certain tubes might sound more 'glassy" and others more "velvety"...or whatever other subjective descriptors seem right.

 

I also mentioned output transformers. One cool thing about them is that they generally only produce harmonics up to ~500Hz (depending on construction), which means they will compress and add "warmth" or "meat" without the high end hash. Hiwatt amps were known for having very good transformers. I remember mine sounded like a big diesel train when cranked. I had the Sylvania 6CA7 beam tetrode tubes in it, so I guess they produced less 3rd harmonics than EL34's. They were still pretty crunchy though...with a big bold driven sound and massive bass. Line 6 doesn't mention their Hiway model using 6CA7's, but I suspect it does.

 

Smooth clean with a little dirt does hint more at something with 6V6, KT66 or 5881 tubes. Another thing about the Divide 9/13 amp model is that the 5879 preamp tubes produce a fatter sound than those used in most amps. Still, driving the power amp will be more dynamic. You should get more sustain for the same grit with the Amp DEP Master at 100%.  Leave either or both Drive knobs set not too gritty (~50%?) with the Channel Output maybe 50-70% and experiment with driving the first preamp stage with an eq in an FX block right before the amp to see if it affects the attack character. Once you have that sounding as you want, adjust the Drives to the right grit level. You may have to go back and forth with the Drive knobs and eq output to get the attack character the way you want for the amount of grit, or it may not make any difference with this model.  Finally, the passive tone stacks adjust only the amp tone and distortion. They do not affect the preamp section.

 

Lastly, the stock Divide cab might be just fine, but something with 2x12" might be better. Celestions generally have more presence than Jensens. The Fanes should actually have more high end extension than anything else there without being harsh. Describing the sound of all the cabs and mics would be too much even for long-winded old me ;) Your best bet in learning how the cabs really sound is to use one of the ribbon mics. For this application, the soft highs of the 67 Cond might be just what you want. Several of the other mics boost the highs and some roll off bass, so be aware of that. The 57 Off Xs would have a flatter high end than On Xs, but still some bass roll off. Look up FR graphs of the various mics to see what's what.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's some really good advice in this thread.  

 

This is the kind of sound I use for my main tones.  I really like the Dr. Z amp for this.  The Divided by 13 is good too.  

 

Here's a patch that I built for this purpose.  http://line6.com/customtone/tone/256861/

 

It's tuned for FRFR and played at or near stage volume.  Played with the volume down it will probably sound kinda flat.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...