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Muddy Tone From Flextone Iii

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I've been trying to dial in a EVH tone similar to this Line 6 video, which uses the Spider IV. You'd think it would be pretty straightforward, but my tone just comes out really muddy. I've tried dialing down the bass, pushing up the treble and presence, but it just doesn't sound close to the Spider IV tone on the video. You can tell that the underlying tone is similar, but it's like it's playing underwater. In trying to match the video's tone I mostly used from the Flextone's Insane mod, but also tried out the Solo and some other high gains. The Plexi mod doesn't seem to have nearly as much gain, even if it's trying to more or less catch the early VH tone. 


Any help appreciated!

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The high-gain settings on the Spider IV are pretty "gainy" sounding right away, whereas the Flextone is much more elegant in it's higher gain tones.


I would personally not use the "insane" or plexi settings.  The insane doesn't have as much definition as a recorded Van Halen tone, and the Plexi tones on the Flex are very realistic...that is to say it sounds like a real Plexi!  You have to open up all the EQ knobs to get it to bark...don't be shy!  But Eddie's sound is so processed on the early Van Halen records, they do not sound like a Plexi to me.  Maybe a plexi with a distortion pedal in front or something?  Ted Templeman really tweaked the tracks all to weirdness.


Rather I would use the JCM 800 or 2000 amp models on the Flextone.  Don't be afraid to put the bass, mid, and treble controls on max on your flextone...that can really change the character of the distortion on the amp models.  And if you want the appearance of a larger sound, dropping the mids a bit can make the amp sound louder or heavier.


Lastly, when you think you have the gain where you want it, try switching cab models.  I assume you know how to do this? (Press on the amp encoder so that the LED shows green, and then turn it while pressing down.)  Switching cabs is a great way of using different EQs on amp can take any amp model and run it through any imaginary cabinet.  (Be careful here - if you hold the encoder down on a "green" cabinet model for around 3 or 4 seconds, it will flash and that cab model will be permanently attached to your amp model...a customizing feature.)


Don't be afraid to try different amp models too.  Some of the best higher gain amp sounds I have made are using the Rectifier models with different cabs.  And, if you are playing loud, turn your drive down!


I hope this helps in some way.

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