Music Player Network Home Guitar Player Magazine Keyboard Magazine Bass Player Magazine EQ Magazine
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#2738353 - 12/01/15 08:52 PM tonal holy grails
hurricane hugo Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/01/08
Posts: 2682
Every guitarist has those tones that he or she covets, whether immediately upon first hearing, or suddenly after hearing them for years. Sometimes we spend what seems like eons attempting to emulate and duplicate them because it's just that time in our lives. At other times, we fall in love with other tones because they spark the desire to go beyond them, or even in the opposite direction when we find them to be so perfect that trying to get them seems futile.

My first entry here is definitely in the former camp. Having come from a classical/flamenco beginning into full-on electric punk, metal and noise. I ended up being completely blown away by a band whose guitarist was everything sonically that I was not. The guy's name was Jamie West-Oram, his band was The Fixx, and his glassy clean tones still put a chill in me to this day.

Red Skies

The Sign Of Fire

Secret Separation

I never did nail his clean sounds down exactly, but I'm still trying from time to time...even now, 30+ years later.

Feel free to share some of yours.


Edited by hurricane hugo (12/01/15 08:53 PM)
_________________________
http://blip.fm/invite/WorkRelease

Top
GP Island
#2738360 - 12/01/15 09:16 PM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: hurricane hugo]
Dannyalcatraz Online   content
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5231
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
I always loved what JWO did for the Fixx. In a way, he was as key to defining their sound as The Edge was to U2.

Another contemporary I love is Warren Cuccurullo. Did great work for Zappa and Duran Duran...and ESPECIALLY Missing Persons.

Billy Duffy's work in The Cult always makes me happy.

Andy Summers, Mark Knopfler, David Gilmour and Brian May always sounded sweet to me. They dont just have great tone, they also had great taste...instinctively, even when they went for dissonance it sounded RIGHT.

Fripp & Belew are also faves of mine.


Edited by Dannyalcatraz (12/01/15 09:23 PM)
_________________________
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”.

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/

Top
#2738363 - 12/01/15 09:40 PM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Larryz Offline
10k Club

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 10217
Loc: Northern California


Edited by Larryz (12/01/15 09:43 PM)
_________________________
Take care, Larryz

Top
#2738364 - 12/01/15 09:43 PM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: Larryz]
Dannyalcatraz Online   content
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5231
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
Excellent choice, Larryz.
_________________________
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”.

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/

Top
#2738365 - 12/01/15 09:45 PM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Larryz Offline
10k Club

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 10217
Loc: Northern California
Thanks DannyA...had to add a couple more while I was watching that belly dancer LOL! cool
_________________________
Take care, Larryz

Top
#2738372 - 12/01/15 11:47 PM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: Larryz]
Dannyalcatraz Online   content
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5231
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
On the more 80's metal side, I've always loved the tones Blackmore & Uli Jon Roth and Malmsteen achieved.

Eric Johnson & Andy Timmons have some of my favorite moderns blues rock tones. Absolutely soaring.

Al Di Meola & Charlie Hunter are jazz giants to me.
_________________________
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”.

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/

Top
#2738383 - 12/02/15 03:06 AM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
picker Offline
10k Club

Registered: 06/13/04
Posts: 13364
Loc: Near 12th Street and Vine...
Robben Ford has a tone like cream on fire. Guess that's what you get with a Dumble and the right fingers.

Stevie Ray Vaughn has one of the best Strat/Fender tones ever.

Carlos Santana, in his Caravanserai/Borboletta/Welcome period, had a tone I wanted desperately for a long time.

I really liked Duane Allman's tone from the Eat A Peach and Live At The Fillmore East albums for a long time. But lately, it seems to have a harshness in the top edge that I don't like. I guess tastes change over time.
_________________________
Always remember that you’re unique. Just like everyone else.




Top
#2738399 - 12/02/15 05:33 AM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: picker]
Fred_C Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/12/10
Posts: 2037
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: picker

Stevie Ray Vaughn has one of the best Strat/Fender tones


Didn't SRV play some really heavy gauge strings?
_________________________
If you play cool, you are cool.

Top
#2738401 - 12/02/15 05:52 AM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: Fred_C]
Fred_C Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/12/10
Posts: 2037
Loc: PA
JAZZ: Joe Pass, Barney Kessel, Jim Hall and a host of others.

BLUES: Buddy Guy (his early years when he played a Guild Starfire IV).

Otis Rush

B.B. King

Freddie King (on the ES335).

Another host of others.

ACOUSTIC/ACOUSTIC BLUES/COUNTRY:

Doc Watson

Chet Atkins

Mississippi John Hurt

Sam McGee (not well known, but a killer player)

Roy Clark
_________________________
If you play cool, you are cool.

Top
#2738470 - 12/02/15 09:16 AM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: Fred_C]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
20k Club

Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 24520
Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
Originally Posted By: picker
Robben Ford has a tone like cream on fire. Guess that's what you get with a Dumble and the right fingers.


He's also been known to sound ridiculously great playing through a rented "red knob" Fender "The Twin", which are supposed to suck...

Originally Posted By: Fred_C
Originally Posted By: picker

Stevie Ray Vaughn has one of the best Strat/Fender tones


Didn't SRV play some really heavy gauge strings?


He did, but he also usually tuned down at least a half-step, which (A) lowers the string-tension, making heavier gauge strings much more forgiving, and (B) is another factor in his tone, in itself.
_________________________
Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

Top
#2738474 - 12/02/15 09:28 AM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Fred_C Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/12/10
Posts: 2037
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
Originally Posted By: picker
Robben Ford has a tone like cream on fire. Guess that's what you get with a Dumble and the right fingers.


He's also been known to sound ridiculously great playing through a rented "red knob" Fender "The Twin", which are supposed to suck...

Originally Posted By: Fred_C
Originally Posted By: picker

Stevie Ray Vaughn has one of the best Strat/Fender tones


Didn't SRV play some really heavy gauge strings?


He did, but he also usually tuned down at least a half-step, which (A) lowers the string-tension, making heavier gauge strings much more forgiving, and (B) is another factor in his tone, in itself.


Hmmm. In an effort to coax an optimal tone from my Heritage H575 Custom I strung it with a 12-51 set. They feel heavy and slow in comparison to the 11-48 set I normally play on my other guitars. Maybe I should tune down a half step to improve playability.
_________________________
If you play cool, you are cool.

Top
#2738479 - 12/02/15 10:01 AM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: Fred_C]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
20k Club

Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 24520
Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
Originally Posted By: Fred_C
Hmmm. In an effort to coax an optimal tone from my Heritage H575 Custom I strung it with a 12-51 set. They feel heavy and slow in comparison to the 11-48 set I normally play on my other guitars. Maybe I should tune down a half step to improve playability.


First experiment with more or less relief and lower or higher action.

I take it that those are round-wounds?

What's the scale-length on that axe? While the accuracy is unknown, a quick search turned up both 24.75" and 25.5" for Heritage H575 Customs. The shorter of the two would certainly be more forgiving, making heavier gauges feel looser compared to longer-scaled instruments. Scale-length is a big factor in zeroing-in on the perfect strings and gauges for a given guitar.

I feel like the 11 - 50 sets that I string my Les Paul with are "Rock and Blues medium-lights"; they feel considerably tighter on a Strat or a Tele.
_________________________
Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

Top
#2738486 - 12/02/15 10:30 AM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: hurricane hugo]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
20k Club

Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 24520
Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
Originally Posted By: hurricane hugo
Every guitarist has those tones that he or she covets, whether immediately upon first hearing, or suddenly after hearing them for years. Sometimes we spend what seems like eons attempting to emulate and duplicate them because it's just that time in our lives. At other times, we fall in love with other tones because they spark the desire to go beyond them, or even in the opposite direction when we find them to be so perfect that trying to get them seems futile.

My first entry here is definitely in the former camp. Having come from a classical/flamenco beginning into full-on electric punk, metal and noise. I ended up being completely blown away by a band whose guitarist was everything sonically that I was not. The guy's name was Jamie West-Oram, his band was The Fixx, and his glassy clean tones still put a chill in me to this day.

Red Skies

The Sign Of Fire

Secret Separation

I never did nail his clean sounds down exactly, but I'm still trying from time to time...even now, 30+ years later.

Feel free to share some of yours.


SRV, "Lenny".

Loads of Van Halen tones from their first few albums; while I was never much of a fan of the band, I ALWAYS really loved Eddie's playing, touch, and tone.

Lots of the tones on Led Zeppelin's fourth album, Houses of the Holy, Physical Graffiti, Presence, In Through The Out Door... Not too shabby on the first few albums, either, particularly some of the keening lead tones on I and II...

Michael Schenker's tones on the U.F.O. album Obsession.

Tony Iommi's tones on the albums Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules.

Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser's tones all over a lot of Blue Oyster Cult albums.

Duane Allman. Dickie Betts. Derek trucks for daaays. Warren Haynes.

Wes Montgomery. Joe Pass.

Octave-fuzz deployment by Adrian Belew on "Big Electric Cat", Kenny Wayne Shepherd on "Blue On Black", loads of classic Jimi, Neil Young on "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)" from Live Rust...

Fast Eddy Clark's tone on the Motorhead album The Ace of Spades.
_________________________
Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

Top
#2738494 - 12/02/15 11:01 AM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Delta Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/18/10
Posts: 240
Loc: Ormond Beach, FL
Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton (Cream Era), Rory Gallagher, Billy Gibbons, Terje Rypdal, Robin Trower, Frank Zappa.
_________________________
"Let me stand next to your fire!", Jimi Hendrix

Top
#2738500 - 12/02/15 11:20 AM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: Delta]
desertbluesman Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/22/07
Posts: 4383
Loc: Near Phoenix Az
Quote:
tonal holy grails


I have a tube overdrive pedal that is my holy grail of overdrive called a Nady TD 1. I liked it so much I bought a second one as a backup.

In fact I liked them so much I tried 2x to get another one for a second backup but they must have changed them and all I got was microphonic feedback from both of those, which I shipped back for credit.

Hopefully the older models will outlast my interest in making music.....
_________________________
dbm
If it sounds good, it is good !!
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=143231&content=music
Harvey Cedars is my stage name on Soundclick

Top
#2738505 - 12/02/15 11:39 AM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: desertbluesman]
Dannyalcatraz Online   content
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5231
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
There is so much "Yes! Yes!" running through my head as I read through people's posts.

...speaking of which...Steve Howe

Let's add Nick Zinner, too.

And Kim Thayil.
_________________________
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”.

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/

Top
#2738511 - 12/02/15 12:03 PM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Fred_C Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/12/10
Posts: 2037
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
Originally Posted By: Fred_C
Hmmm. In an effort to coax an optimal tone from my Heritage H575 Custom I strung it with a 12-51 set. They feel heavy and slow in comparison to the 11-48 set I normally play on my other guitars. Maybe I should tune down a half step to improve playability.


First experiment with more or less relief and lower or higher action.

I take it that those are round-wounds?

What's the scale-length on that axe? While the accuracy is unknown, a quick search turned up both 24.75" and 25.5" for Heritage H575 Customs. The shorter of the two would certainly be more forgiving, making heavier gauges feel looser compared to longer-scaled instruments. Scale-length is a big factor in zeroing-in on the perfect strings and gauges for a given guitar.

I feel like the 11 - 50 sets that I string my Les Paul with are "Rock and Blues medium-lights"; they feel considerably tighter on a Strat or a Tele.


@Caev: 24.75 scale length. Yes, to roundwounds.
_________________________
If you play cool, you are cool.

Top
#2738566 - 12/02/15 04:40 PM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: Fred_C]
hurricane hugo Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/01/08
Posts: 2682
There's this sound...it's not clean, but it's not dirty, either. Pete Anderson gets it all the time:

Long White Cadillac

<3
_________________________
http://blip.fm/invite/WorkRelease

Top
#2738595 - 12/02/15 08:25 PM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: hurricane hugo]
Scott Fraser Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 5001
Loc: Los Angeles
For gain-y tone, pretty much any Jeff Beck since about the "Guitar Shop" album. For clean tone, just about any Bill Frissell.
_________________________
Scott Fraser

Top
#2738753 - 12/03/15 04:04 PM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: Scott Fraser]
Lokair Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 04/12/08
Posts: 607
Loc: Braeburn PA
I personally like

Bucket head soothsayer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adV8-_hgL4g

Michael Schenker UFO everything but especially Self Made Man from Walk On Water https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqGY2AIKYyM


I am trying to pick more modern today(lol 10 years old and 20 years old), I know I could just has out the old standbys. But not today.

Lok
_________________________
Taking Lessons till the day I die.

Top
#2738754 - 12/03/15 04:08 PM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: Lokair]
Lokair Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 04/12/08
Posts: 607
Loc: Braeburn PA
And acoustically I like Ben Harper live from Mars, I actually like the electric cd as well But not sure who is playing what on there. He should really get more respect, from all guitarists. His whole career is great , tone and playing. He uses three Dumble Amplifiers in his road rig. Check him out if you havent.

Lok
_________________________
Taking Lessons till the day I die.

Top
#2739241 - 12/06/15 04:11 AM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: Lokair]
Guitarzan Offline
10k Club

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 14994
Billy frikin Gibbons, Angus Young, Mattias Eklundh, Ace Frehley , Dave Mustaine, Mark Knoffler and Eric Johnson all have great tone as well.
_________________________
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=193274

rock it, i will





Top
#2739242 - 12/06/15 04:16 AM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: Guitarzan]
Guitarzan Offline
10k Club

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 14994
Yeah, I guess you never thought Ace and Eric would be in the same sentence.
_________________________
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=193274

rock it, i will





Top
#2739576 - 12/07/15 11:26 PM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: Guitarzan]
hurricane hugo Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/01/08
Posts: 2682
Always loved Jerry Cantrell's palette of tones:

Rain When I Die

Heaven Beside You
_________________________
http://blip.fm/invite/WorkRelease

Top
#2739596 - 12/08/15 05:17 AM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: hurricane hugo]
skipclone 1 Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 8016
Loc: Japan
Totally yes to The Fixx!
I wore `Reach the Beach`out.

This is a band that most here have probably never heard of-
They got airplay on Woodstock N.Y. radio.
Tone here doesn`t overreach, to my ears it`s sweet, simple and sits perfectly in the mix. Uncle Skip approves:



Definite Yes to Ben Harper-same radio station. Gorgeous slinky slide goodness.


Edited by skipclone 1 (12/08/15 05:19 AM)
_________________________
Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

Skipsounds on Soundclick:
www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

Top
#2739635 - 12/08/15 08:51 AM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: skipclone 1]
SEHpicker Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 05/16/02
Posts: 1662
Loc: Inverness, Florida
You are right Skip - never heard of em - but after watching/listening to that video I'm hooked.
Those guys have got it right - great sound. That clean, punchy bass against the chimey, staccato guitar is addictive.
They look like they are 17 or 18 years old. I can imagine a lot more good things coming from them.
_________________________
SEHpicker

“The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." George Orwell

Top
#2739644 - 12/08/15 09:23 AM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: skipclone 1]
Dannyalcatraz Online   content
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5231
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
Originally Posted By: skipclone 1

This is a band that most here have probably never heard of-
They got airplay on Woodstock N.Y. radio.
Tone here doesn`t overreach, to my ears it`s sweet, simple and sits perfectly in the mix. Uncle Skip approves:

I remember them. Never warmed up to them, personally, but it wasn't because of the guitarist.

Definite Yes to Ben Harper-same radio station. Gorgeous slinky slide goodness.


Edited by Dannyalcatraz (12/08/15 09:24 AM)
_________________________
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”.

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/

Top
#2740831 - 12/13/15 12:57 PM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: hurricane hugo]
d Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 6097
Loc: no longer lexington, Kenfunky,...
I'll get back soon with links but here's a short list of what I think are some very distinctive sounds....

The regular slide tones of both D Allman & L George.
They're almost opposites. DA so rawly overdriven he sounds like a harmonica or sax; LG, while also v. overdriven, so smooth he might be playing a synth.
In a related area we could look at---er, listen to--- Randy Bachman's [non slide] American Woman & G Harrison's slide in Something.

Almost every Beatles record had some great timbres, both electric & acoustic, but the solo gtrs in And I Love Her, Fixing A Hole & Hey Bulldog pop into mind.
Also the spiky rhythm tone opening Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me & My Monkey [almost like a Beefheart track !] & the riff opening Harrison's I Want to Tell You.
In later work, the reverberant gtrs in Lennon's Hold on, John & McCartney's instrumentals on his 1st solo record.

Back to slide, the "mystery" tones of Hendrix's version of All Along the Watchtower & Steppenwolf's Magic Carpet Ride are almost unique.

Finally, & a bit more defining of the artists: the blatant, snorting timbre Zappa often invoked from a Pignose when he wanted to be really offensive; Steve Stills's treble-dialed-waaaaay-back, sustained sound on tracks like Wooden Ships &, to give him his rightful due, Dick Betts's sweet countryish tone ala Blue Sky.

_________________________
d=halfnote

Top
#2744613 - 01/03/16 04:52 PM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: hurricane hugo]
ashevillecabbie Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 04/08/14
Posts: 534
Loc: Asheville NC


Edited by ashevillecabbie (01/03/16 04:52 PM)

Top
#2744628 - 01/03/16 05:38 PM Re: tonal holy grails [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Dannyalcatraz Online   content
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5231
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
Originally Posted By: Dannyalcatraz
Originally Posted By: skipclone 1

This is a band that most here have probably never heard of-
They got airplay on Woodstock N.Y. radio.
Tone here doesn`t overreach, to my ears it`s sweet, simple and sits perfectly in the mix. Uncle Skip approves:

I remember them. Never warmed up to them, personally, but it wasn't because of the guitarist.

Definite Yes to Ben Harper-same radio station. Gorgeous slinky slide goodness.


I don't know what happened to my post...but I do remember those guys. I never thought much of 'em, so I don't own any of their stuff, but a buddy of mine was in a band that used to open for them, so they're still familiar.
_________________________
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap”.

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

http://murphysmusictx.com/

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


Moderator:  A String, Bluesape, myles_rose