How do you adjust your tone?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by GuitarGeni, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. Handsome McClane

    Handsome McClane Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Depends on the guitar or amp. Lately I'm doing a lot of it with my Revv distortion pedal.
     
  2. Anacharsis

    Anacharsis Guitar Player

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    Fleshing out what I mean more, think of it this way:

    A guitar tone control is, in almost all cases, a passive treble roll off (depending on the control, it may venture into what some call midrange as well, but that's a side issue). That's all it does, and there's nothing wrong with that.

    Pedal tone knobs vary a lot. On a traditional two or three-knob pedal, many tone knobs are again passive treble roll offs. Then again, some pedals add bass roll offs. Others have full tone stacks like amps. Some have active boost/cut. What's more, sometimes one tone control is pre-overdrive and the other post-overdrive, because of the trial and error-determined relative utility of those controls in those locations.

    Amps are more complex as well - although more amps seem to have a traditional passive tone stack (one, two, or three bands, plus maybe a presence knob) than anything else. Those tone controls can be interactive to varying degrees, of course - in some cases, turning one knob significantly changes how the others react. See: Mesa. They also can come before or after (the majority are after) preamp gain stages. A few amps have active boost/cut tone controls.

    Here's the key point: where along the path you make the change makes a difference, too. Turning a tone knob on a pedal or an amp does something clearly different to the sound from turning a tone knob on a guitar. Sure, an active mid boost circuit in a guitar probably isn't at all different from the same circuit being in a pedal into which the guitar is plugged. But you get the idea.

    There's no substitute for experimentation. And there's no need to experiment if you're content with what you are currently using.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
  3. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    I set my amp first, then the pedals and last on the guitar. I actually get most of my tone variations just with the volume control on the guitar. Between 6-10 on the guitar volume covers most of the tones I’m going for.
     
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  4. Slunkboy

    Slunkboy Strat-Talker

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    Trigger warning: heresy

    I completely remove both tone controls and relocate the volume to the position closest to the jack to make room for my picking hand. I then adjust the pickup height to suit my taste while playing clean into a solid-state bass practice amp.
     
  5. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    I use my fingers. :D
     
  6. Bladesg

    Bladesg Funk Meister Silver Member

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    I don’t change settings on my amp and rarely change any settings on my pedalboard. 99.9% of the time the only thing that changes is the guitar and how I play it.
     
  7. thatStratGuy

    thatStratGuy Strat-Talk Member

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    Works for tone and pick up lines.
     
  8. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music.

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    Thankfully I havent had to use pickup lines in 30 years.
     
  9. Caddy

    Caddy Strat-O-Master

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    Very simple for me. I don’t spend a lot of time chasing tone. I use no pedals, plug my guitar into the amp and as long as I get a nice warm clean sound and not too bright I’m good to go. I’ve never played a guitar with volume or tone pots on 10 (or even close to ten). Tone pots are normally around 6 or 7 and the highs on the amp rolled back. As long as it sounds warm and clean I’m happy.
     
  10. publius

    publius Strat-Talker

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    It's the head. The mood & attitude. What am I holding in my hands ( fingers)?
    whats turned on a tubed 12 or a SS 10 or an 8?
    plug in cable
    Set amp knobs. ( preliminary)
    Switch on
    Strum a G C D run some riffs
    whar am I? Clean / Dirty- fluid mood?
    Adjust tone controls on amp then guitar..sometimes I surprise myself
    I switch pickups and volume level quite often..switch channels and will generally find the right spot
    tone knobs rarely on 10 except kicking in the Delta Tone on the Strat.
    No pedals or modeling but have ordered some (3) inexpensive AKA Cheap Behringer's from Sweetwater when they went on sale for 19 bucks.
    Still have not arrived been on pandemic backorder......
    I even found some tone on a rarely used 1990's Fender Bronco Tweed Practice amp last night
    that was about to be sold off until I read on a forum to remove the back panel
    this I did and the little boxy thing really opened up. Got nice and dirty ( the mood thing )
    Oh yeah and some one did mention Pick Up's and their relation to tone yes?
    fairly obvious but yeah. Different guitar and amp combos well sound different I like
    Different. Variants. Choices. Possibilities. Overdrive. Clean. Gain. Volume. feedback. reverb.......
     
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  11. Jimi Beckton

    Jimi Beckton Strat-Talker

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    Does anyone have a 'brit box?
    I was at the store looking at stomp boxes. I tried a few. The 'blues driver's didn't change a thing about the sound to my ear. I did buy a... I forgot, it's purple.
    I also saw a few Wah-wah pedals with effects on them...
    Things have changed.
     
  12. Slartybartfast

    Slartybartfast Strat-Talker

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    Amp first always, with the guitar's tone controls all the way up. If a pedal doesn't sound good with it, it's outa there.
     
  13. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    I hit mine with this

    universal fixer.png

    until it surrenders.
     
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  14. mattier303

    mattier303 Strat-Talk Member

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    I do use a lot of pedals but recently have enjoyed just straight into my Smaller tune amps at just break up point on volume.
    Then I can use tone and volume to clean it up or play with a lighter touch.
    With pedals I usually shooting for a nice clean, mid ton, pre break up. Like a blank slate for pedal usage. Which is about as fun as it gets for so many reasons.
     
  15. ThebiggestJerk

    ThebiggestJerk Senior Stratmaster

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  16. JunebugJones

    JunebugJones Strat-Talk Member

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    On guitar: Volume + tones turned to 10 and left there almost always. I adjust EQ at the amp. I may do this so that when gigging out, I couldn't roll up the volume higher and confound the sound person.
     
  17. StratUp

    StratUp Senior Stratmaster

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    Amp on 5 bass/mid/treb unless I've already learned that it needs some sort of different compensation for a particular guitar or song. Guitar all on 10.

    Tweak amp if I don't like the sound. Guitar tone only changes for the very few songs where I need something particular.

    Amp tone might change for some specific pedal combination i.e. a pedal that cuts or boosts highs or lows too much.

    Try not to obsess because as is oft said "once the bass and drums come in, it doesn't matter".
     
  18. AJBaker

    AJBaker Strat-Talker

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    I set my amp more or less the same for every gig, big or small: on my AC15 normal channel I set master to full, and channel volume somewhere above 50% (depends on the guitar and the gig, but it doesn't change much). A touch of reverb (unless the room doesn't need it), und treble cut off (unless the room is especially bright).

    Then I start with guitar volume at 0 and turn it up to what's needed. For a restaurant gig I might never turn the guitar up beyond 4 or 5. For a bar gig I would turn up to 10 for solos, and play rhythm at 5-8, depending on the song.

    Tone control and pickup selection according to the needs of the song.
     
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  19. 76standard

    76standard Strat-Talk Member

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    I set my amp’s dry signal first—EQ to work best with neck pickups. The bridge pickup can EQ’d by using the tone control on your guitar. If you install a blender pot you will have more control of your tone as you can blend the neck and bridge pups for a more balanced tone. Next, I set my wet signal by adjusting all pedals to desired output and tone settings. Adjust chorus, flanger, tremolo, phaser, and delay setting last so your tone does not become indistinguishable. Finally, set your boost so it does not overwhelm your overall tone. This step by step process has worked for me.
     
  20. GuitarGeni

    GuitarGeni Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks everyone for your input. Got tons of input and a few ideas to try out.
     
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