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the high strings sound too nasal


Johan Larson

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I've been playing around with my new guitar (a Reverend Manta Ray 290) and amp (a used Marshall JCM900 50-watt combo). I'm very happy with the dirty sound, but finding a likable clean sound is proving to be more of a challenge.

 

Basically, the three high strings sound nasal across a broad range of settings. I can minimize this, to some extent, by switching to the neck pickup, turning the master volume way up, the preamp volume and gain way down, and backing off a bit on the guitar's volume and tone knobs. These measures alleviate the problem somewhat, but the nasality never quite goes away, and the resulting tone isn't particularly pleasant, with the G-string being the worst.

 

At this point, I suspect the solution is not to be found in twiddling the knobs on the guitar or amp -- I've done plenty of that -- and something more radical may be called for. I'm willing to entertain changing strings, tubes, speaker, pickups, or something similar. Or maybe this guitar and amp have been designed for heavy music, and it's unreasonable to expect it to sound pretty.

 

Any advice would be welcome.

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I have no idea how much time you've spent with equalizer settings, but would you like help with understanding how to generally dial it in for specific genres? Also, are you running pedals? And what type of cables do you use?

My Gear:

 

82 Gibson Explorer

Ibanez 03 JEM7VWH

PRS McCarty Soapbar

Diezel Herbert 2007

 

Peters '11 Brahms Guitar

Byers '01 Classical

Hippner 8-Str Classical

Taylor 614ce

Framus Texan

 

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A couple of things...

 

"Don't use a Marshall for clean sounds ..."

 

I don't usually see Marshalls in folk or jazz. Mesas in folk-ish acts like Rusted Root. Marshalls with Ozzy Ozborne.

 

My first thought is that the room, or the position of the amp in the room, is having a negative effect on the sound. Move it around and see if the tone changes. The distance from walls, the reflective surfaces... stuff like that.

 

I would do two things... first, put all the tone controls at 12 o'clock, and both the preamp and power amp settings at 9 or 10 o'clock. Put all the guitar tone controls full up, and the pickup selector switch in the middle position. Make sure that there are no effects in the chain, and no boosts enabled on the amp. What does it sound like now?

 

Does the guitar sound correct in other amps?

 

ADDing electrical things to solve an acoustical problem seldom works. Usually the simplest answer is the right answer.

 

You are describing a comb filtering problem. The simplest deduction there is that the amp is places poorly int he room. The next possibility is switch settings. The next possibility is some miswiring.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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