How do you adjust your tone?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by GuitarGeni, Apr 7, 2021 at 9:53 PM.

  1. GuitarGeni

    GuitarGeni Strat-Talk Member

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    With amps, pedals and guitars all having volume and tone controls, how do you adjust your tone? Do you set one up before the other? If so, in what order and how? Instinctively I would think it would be amp first, pedals next and guitar last. Does it depend on the setup? Something else? Really would like to know how you all approach this.

    Thanks in advance.

    Geni
     
  2. Intune

    Intune Strat-O-Master

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    I usually set my amp flat and guitar controls open full. Depending on the guitar(single or humbucker) I’ll adjust the amp accordingly then leave it and use the guitar to shape the tone. I rarely use any pedals other than a stand alone reverb tank. Pretty basic but for me it what I play it does it all.
     
  3. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Senior Stratmaster

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    No pedals here. Tone is primarily tweaked through my two two-channel tube amps (not used at the same time). I do small tweaks using my Les Paul or SG whatchamacallit volume and / or tone controls with both pickups active.

    The blender pot on the StratoMutt gets a lot of use. Don't think I've ever really used the tone pot on that guitar. Blender is much better.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021 at 5:44 PM
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  4. Tone Deaf

    Tone Deaf Most Honored Senior Member

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    I twiddle & tweak. But generally use the order that the OP mentioned.
     
  5. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Fuzz Meister General

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    I use my ears and volume and tone knobs.
     
  6. stevierayfan91

    stevierayfan91 DEEPLY SHY.

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    Hi, @GuitarGeni

    I usually set amp EQ where sounds nice for strumming, to me.

    Then will adjust on guitar for mellower or crunchier as playing.
    I have no pedalboard at present cause starting over.
     
  7. cranky

    cranky Strat-O-Master

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    Idk, I just get lucky every time
     
  8. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Buried alive in the blues Gold Supporting Member

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    I don’t use a lot of pedals anymore. About 95% of the time I’m plugged straight into an amp, and I don’t want this to sound lofty or anything, but I get most of my tonal changes with guitar controls and my hands.
     
  9. Antstrat

    Antstrat Most Honored Senior Member

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    Don’t use pedals much but when I do it’s to compliment the amp. In other words, I have my amp dialed in tone and volume wise so the pedal gets dialed in and no amp settings get changed.
     
  10. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music.

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  11. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Silver Member

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    Every setup is different.

    What type of sound you’re going for (clean vs dirty) tends to dictate how you will set up the overall tone. For instance, whether you’re using the amp’s distortion or an external pedal, etc.

    Otherwise, I usually set up the amp and guitar together to get the clearest, brightest tone with the guitar volume turned up, then see how things work out with the guitars volume backed off and adjust for the best possible compromise.

    But, ultimately, as @amstratnut so eloquently put it, (and I quote), “I use my fingers” to make it all come together...


     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021 at 6:56 AM
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  12. sam_in_cali

    sam_in_cali Scream for me Strat-Talk! Silver Member

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    Here's what I do:

    1. With just your guitar and amp (no pedals), dial in your amp: Set amp's master volume to 0 and all knobs to 12 o'clock. Adjust volume to how loud you want it. Then adjust the pre-amp for desired gain. Then sweep the EQ knobs (bass, then mids, then treble, then presence) until you find the sweet spot of each. Its best to use your ears and not your eyes for this part.

    2. Then add in pedals one at a time starting with the first one your amp sees (usually its a OD). Adjust the level and gain knobs first, then the tone knob. Its not rocket science, close your eyes and sweep the knob until you find the tone you like. If you have other pedals, add them in one at a time and adjust similarly.

    3. Then add your pedals to the effects loop..again, one at a time, starting with the one plugged into 'send', and adjust (level/effect first, then tone) how you want it before adding another pedal to the chain.
     
  13. Stratman84

    Stratman84 Strat-Talker

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    Dial in my Clean and Dirty channel amp tone. Ride the volume knob on my guitar to fine tune... Old School. :) Works well with pedals too... ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021 at 12:27 AM
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  14. Electgumbo

    Electgumbo Not Of This Earth

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    Well you need to be more specific. At home, at a gig, just mucking about?

    At a gig I got Treble Bass and Volume... not a lot to adjust on the amp... the
    Louder the amp the less Bass I use. Then pedals are eyeballed to be set were they should be. If time allows you can try a bit of tune that uses the effects to hear if they are set right. Last is the guitars that are normally wide open but I’ll jockey the volume with certain OD pedals were you can get clean or dirty with your volume knob. But that can all change if I bring a big channel switcher amp then it’s a whole other ball game. Then it’s a 4 wire setup and a bit more attention to detail. But I get paid the same for a 2 wire setup or a 4 wire setup so it has to be big room or some special reason to bring so much fire power. Oh make sure the guitar synth signal is in my monitor...

    At home anything can happen. I don’t even plug it at home unless I just checking something out. I just
    Plunk away on the couch and watch TV...

    I did pick up the Cher Tee Boogie last week and it’s a lot of amp in a tiny package. For those of you that don’t speak Coon Ass that’s a Mesa Boogie Mark 5
    25 1x10.... lots of stuff and switches and such. Great clean sounds easy to achieve and the Flame Thrower Engage channel works good too.... but I just set on the couch going plunk plunk plunk....
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021 at 7:46 PM
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  15. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude Strat-O-Master

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    Even when I was gigging a lot it was pretty straight forward. I always switched pickups, volume, and tone settings on the Strat a lot. Switch it up depending upon the song. I never had a big pedal board. Tone settings become intuitive the more you play. Even adjusting your pick attack can greatly effect tone.
     
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  16. Blackmore Fan

    Blackmore Fan Senior Stratmaster

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    Exactly.
     
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  17. Dibbs

    Dibbs Strat-O-Master

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    The whole point of top end pickups is TONE. I don't see the point, of saving 150$, on pickups, so you can pump it all into pedals, and other crap you have to drag around, from gig to gig, and spend hours setting up, before, and breaking down, after, each gig.
     
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  18. Andrew Wasson

    Andrew Wasson Senior Stratmaster

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    I’ve got a pedal board that’s evolved over the years but that’s not for tone; it’s for reverb, delay, stacked overdrives, sometimes a phaser and sometimes chorus.

    I always set up the amp to get the tone. I can’t really explain it but once it’s dialed in, I know it’s dialed in and if it’s one of my fender amps with a whack of controls, I’ll take a photo for reference because I don’t typically change it once I’ve got it. I run my guitar tone controls at about 9 and sometimes roll back if I need to take the edge off.

    As a couple of guys have mentioned tone is in the fingers. It kind of is. It’s in both hands. I often moderate the attack of my picking hand and adjust the tension of my fretting hand to affect the tone.
     
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  19. StummerJoe

    StummerJoe Senior Stratmaster

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    :thumb: Congrats! Ideal. Less to go wrong. :thumb:
     
  20. StummerJoe

    StummerJoe Senior Stratmaster

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    ++1 !!!!! Yep!

    Hello, my name is Joe.

    I am an OD/Distortion addict. It all started when I was 14 and my cousin introduced me to .....
    vanhalen.gif
     
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