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Old March 25th, 2010, 09:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Fatten up your sound

Hi all, Which pedals do you guys use to fatten up your Strat sound? I use a Keeley modded blues driver which i love into a Laney Lion Heart 5watt combo with an EJ Strat, but want to add something to my board that fattens the sound but at friendly volume levels. I use 9's on the EJ and cant put 10's on because i just cant get used to a Srat with 10's, it just does not feel like a Strat to me with 10's but thats another topic. Anyway what do you use if at all to fatten up your sound? Thanks in advance.

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Old March 25th, 2010, 09:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I just got a TIM pedal..........can do it all basically as far as mid-gain tones. Everyone will tell you to go with a bigger string gauge but if you don't like the feel of heavier strings, you definitely will not hear the fatter sound!! I tend to use my fingers more than picks as well even though I just got some V-picks which are incredibly good and really do have a thicker tone to my ears.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 09:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Why do you think you have to use a pedal to fatten up the sound of any guitar?

I always plug straight into amps and twiddle the knobs until the sound coming out is ok for me.

To be honest the difference in sound between 9s and 10s is extremely small and unlikely to make a guitar sound 'fatter'
As Thaus suggests, using your fingers will make a bigger difference

Good luck anyway
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Old March 25th, 2010, 09:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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There are a few around that work. I tried a few things, looked into others, and settled on the FullTone Fatboost 3. Had a V.1 and it was okay. The V.3 works really well for me.

I also have a Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster that works really well for that kind of thing better than as a volume boost/fattener for lead stuff.

Still, if I wouldn't have already had the Fatboost, there's a guy here in PA who builds pedals. I would have had him build one. For what you're looking, he has one called the "Stage 3" that a lot of guys seem to really like.

His site is:

Home - Barry's Guitar Stuff

He's very responsive to emails and such for any inquiries.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 09:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The two I've used and been happiest with are the Xotic RC Booster and EP Booster.
The EP is based on the preamp of an Echoplex EP-3 - just one knob with an internal bright switch and bass boost. It makes the guitar sound 3 dimensional - with the bright switch on it adds both sparkle and girth - really great product.
Before the EP I used the RC - with separate treble and bass knobs it has more tweakability and gain than the EP - maxxed out it will give you a slightly broken up sound.
If you want maximum flexability - go with the RC.
IF you want one knob of FAT - go with the EP.
Here's a vid demoing both:
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Old March 25th, 2010, 10:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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There are already a lot of good replies and recommendations. Here's what I do. I am a huge Robin Trower fan and I love his FAT tone. He uses heavy hybrid string gauges and tunes down a whole step. Also, he primarily only uses his neck and middle pickups.

I have the Fulltone RTO Overdrive as well as the Fulltone MDV2. The MDV2 also includes a volume boost. I find these pedals along with tuning down can provide a unique and interesting effect that makes my strats sound "bigger" or "fatter". Also, I only use Dunlop Jazz III picks. Hope this helps.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 10:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies guys, I've been looking at the Fulltone FB3 and the Xotic BB but never seen the EP, i will check that one out, cheers Ventgtr and ToneRanger. John and Thaus i do often play with fingers alone but mainly for rhythm playing not so much for lead.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 10:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I use an overdrive. But with Strats I use a Totally different amp EQ than with humbuckers. I use more bass and mids than treble. Depends what amp your using I suppose.
Play with the amp EQ first though.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 11:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Cheers also Volusia, I was going to go with 9-46 instead of 9-42 but not sure if i would need to set up the EJ, i really dont want to start altering the truss rod if i can help it, only had the guitar about a month so i'm still in the cant put it down mode and i dont trust doing it myself with old fashioned truss rods, too much messing.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 11:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Good advice Srat Man Do cheers.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 12:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I like small amps, so a second or third amp fattens things up quite nicely and typically fixes the reverb problem.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 12:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I have learned playing with your fingers instead of picks in certain ways adds a little bit more warmth/fatness to lead-work, also I use an EQ pedal to gain more control over the output as a whole. It seems to help once you've got your amp dialed in then play around with the EQ to get a little more girth to the sound in the mids and bass frequencies.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 01:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks to you all for the replies, gives me plenty to think about. Cheers.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 02:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
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A BBE Sonic Stomp might do the trick for you. I tried one and it thickened up the tone. I then realized that I didn't want a thicker tone.
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Old March 26th, 2010, 04:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Alot of good advice here already.

A few tricks that i use....

Amp EQ, dial the treble back a little...Strats are bright enough already.

Guitar controls, they're there for a reason, rollin' off the vol a little can get a fatter sound...Strats can sound pretty hard and thin on 10, likewise don't be afraid to turn the tone controls down if necessary and don't be afraid to readjust amp settings to suit.

Turn the amp up, if you can get away with it a little more amp volume will sometimes yield a fatter sound.

Neck pickup, isn't just for rhythm playing it'll do lead too, as will the middle pickup. I like to swap the second tone control to the bridge pickup and leave the middle pickup with no tone control, this makes neck + mid less muddy and lets me dial out that hard edge from the bridge pickup.

These aren't hard and fast rules, just a few little tricks that i find work for me. They may or may not work for you.

Good luck.
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Old March 26th, 2010, 04:30 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strat-o-mojo View Post
I have learned playing with your fingers instead of picks in certain ways adds a little bit more warmth/fatness to lead-work, also I use an EQ pedal to gain more control over the output as a whole. It seems to help once you've got your amp dialed in then play around with the EQ to get a little more girth to the sound in the mids and bass frequencies.

For the longest time, I've been a "set it and forget it" type of player. Can you help me understand how an EQ pedal can give you a more precise setting than simply spend a good hour or so experimenting with the basic amp settings? Not a flame--I'm just intrigued at what I would gain (other than perhaps the ability to produce TWO different settings depending upon whether the pedal was on or off).
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Old March 26th, 2010, 04:40 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimi Hendrix View Post
Alot of good advice here already.

A few tricks that i use....

Amp EQ, dial the treble back a little...Strats are bright enough already.

Guitar controls, they're there for a reason, rollin' off the vol a little can get a fatter sound...Strats can sound pretty hard and thin on 10, likewise don't be afraid to turn the tone controls down if necessary and don't be afraid to readjust amp settings to suit.

Turn the amp up, if you can get away with it a little more amp volume will sometimes yield a fatter sound.

Neck pickup, isn't just for rhythm playing it'll do lead too, as will the middle pickup. I like to swap the second tone control to the bridge pickup and leave the middle pickup with no tone control, this makes neck + mid less muddy and lets me dial out that hard edge from the bridge pickup.

These aren't hard and fast rules, just a few little tricks that i find work for me. They may or may not work for you.

Good luck.
Excellent summary, especially about moving the tone control from mid to bridge. In addition to that I find that a hotter bridge pickup gives a fatter sound which also balances better with the other pickups.
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Old March 27th, 2010, 09:05 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackmore Fan View Post
For the longest time, I've been a "set it and forget it" type of player. Can you help me understand how an EQ pedal can give you a more precise setting than simply spend a good hour or so experimenting with the basic amp settings? Not a flame--I'm just intrigued at what I would gain (other than perhaps the ability to produce TWO different settings depending upon whether the pedal was on or off).
If you're lucky enough to have an amp with a good variety of tone controls, an EQ pedal wouldn't add much at all; trouble is, most amps stick to the basics, you're doing well if you have treble & bass, & a mid control is like a gift from the gods! My 2 guitar amps are a vintage Gibson GA 30, & a vintage-style Ampeg J20, & each gives me only volume & tone; the Ampeg has a normal or bright input, & the Gibby has a "Tone Expander" switch that does nothing, as far as I can tell. So an EQ pedal (or 2) might do me a world of good, in fine tuning the overall tone. Now if I can just win the lotto so I can have all the pedals I really need & have been GASsing for...
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Old May 12th, 2010, 01:20 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Similar Question...

Hey guys, I have a similar question that Fretnickspeed's had except I have a few more problems.

ok, so I play a 88 american standard strat with a maple neck and play through a 32 wat crate tube palimino. My issue is that i've messed a lot around with my amps eq, my guitars eq and no matter what I do the middle pick-up sounds blah. It just sounds so meh compared to the neck.

I thought maybe using a thinker gage would fix it and it kinda did. I have 10's on the E-d and 11's on the g-e. It did give my sound a bigger umph in the neck but in the middle position it just sounded dull. I considering changing out the middle for maybe a custom shop fender 69's or a texas specials. but, short of changing the pick up out, do you guys have any suggestions to adding ump into my middle pick-up?
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Old May 12th, 2010, 02:06 PM   #20 (permalink)
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There’s two possibilities:
1) Your pickup is, like you said, meh.
2) Playing an ’88 American Std, you have the bridge and middle wired to the same knob which has the TBX tone control. I have an ’89 Am Std myself – and I never liked the TBX because it made an already trebly guitar even more so. Also, say you set the tone on your bridge lower to reduce some of the harsh high end – well now your middle is darker as well when it maybe could have benefited from a slightly brighter sound.
What I did was ditch the stacked pot TBX control in favor of a normal tone knob wired to the bridge pickup – just like the Jimmie Vaughan and Eric Johnson models. This leaves the middle pickup on wide open which to my ears sounds better this way especially in positions 2 and 4. I even put separate caps on each tone control so I can get a more drastic treble cut for the bridge but a more subtle control on the neck.
Then again, if you’re someone who tweaks the tone knob on the middle a lot that mod might not be for you.
FWIW, I never used to use the middle pickup by itself, but when I installed a set of Klein S-7’s (“EJ Specials”) I was STUNNED how good it sounded – to the point I actually am using it now on occasion. I know you can order just the middle p’up off that set for only $65 (go to the link and hit the video clip to see yours truly demoing the S-7 set…)
Klein Pickups 50's/60's S-7 Stratocaster Set
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