Getting a Smoother lead tone

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by bonchie123, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. bonchie123

    bonchie123 Supporting Member

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    Most of my playing comes in a church setting and I'm really trying to go after a lead tone on slower stuff that is "smooth." Whatever that means right :)

    Kind of an EJ/Bonamassa, perhaps even Neil Schon type tone.

    I currently play a Marshall 2554, Les Paul, Strat + a DM-2 that's on pretty much all the time subtely, a Boost DLA for the heavier delay and tap tempo stuff, and a Sparkle Drive I use for low gain tones and to boost the drive channel's gain on my amp. I've never found reverb very helpful for what I'm going for and currently don't even have a reverb pedal and prefer the DM-2 for light on all the time ambience.

    On the amp I'm cutting the treble pretty good and boosting the mids. That seems to help a tone with getting closer to what Joe sounds like.

    Is some light Chorus what I'm missing to round the tone out some? I've always danced around the idea of getting a chorus pedal but never though it was necessary. I can certainly hear it in EJ's stuff and Schon's clean tones.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. Etosser

    Etosser Member

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    I can't say for Eric, but Joe makes liberal use of his tone controls on the LP.
     
  3. jazzfromhell

    jazzfromhell Member

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    Nah, afaik neither EJ or JB uses chorus on their distorted sounds. To me chorus on dirt gets really cheesy really fast.
     
  4. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    First place I'd look for smoothing is the speakers...

    Chow,
    Seegs
     
  5. FuzzGazer

    FuzzGazer Member

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    I'd start by plugging straight into the Marshall, no fx, and start messing with the EQ combined with pickup selection and tone controls on your guitars.

    Most likely it will be the neck PUP with the treble on the amp turned back up a bit, and the tone on the guitar rolled back a bit. There will also be a sweet-spot with the gain on the amp where you get sustain without too much fizz. Find that spot and mark it.

    Then add your pedals back in one by one and see if any of them adversely affect the base tones you have found.
     
  6. leonardrock

    leonardrock Supporting Member

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    +15

    I just bought a chorus pedal after 20 years of playing......it took me 3 seconds to decide to never, ever, run it with dirt again!
     
  7. phil esposito

    phil esposito Member

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    Try a Pork Loin. I use it after my Timmy and it's velvety smooth.
     
  8. PedalOnPedalOff

    PedalOnPedalOff Member

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    One of JB's amps runs a chorus, its documented in many of his rig videos.
     
  9. tnt365

    tnt365 Supporting Member

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    The Crowther Hotcake I had did a nice dark sustaining boost that smoothed out the tone for leads.
     
  10. abnerfm

    abnerfm Member

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  11. solitaire

    solitaire Senior Member

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    You'd require a natural kind of distortion (ideally you'd get those EL34s cooking up some swirling harmonics), turning the tone knob down on the bridge so it balances with the other pickup(s), turning down treble, presence and bass all the way (or to taste). Pushing the speakers hard or using speakers with not so dominant mids and lots of bass help a lot too.

    I wouldn't use chorus but flanger should I feel a need for a modulation effect. Delay is essential, however, and a tape- or analogue type delay is ideal.
     
  12. guitargod2u

    guitargod2u Member

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    hi gain fuzz. i prefer muffs like musket for this but those guys are all about higher gain fuzz faces. Then just throw some delay in it and possibly a overdrive after the fuzz and boom smoothness.
     
  13. solitaire

    solitaire Senior Member

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    Well, for smooth lead they are not. It's a dimed amp with a touch of OD into it.
     
  14. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

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    What speaker are you using.?
     
  15. SG_Seth

    SG_Seth Member

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    I stack one with an OD9 and can get incredibly smooth lead tones at any volume.
     
  16. solitaire

    solitaire Senior Member

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    I'm curious about this as well. If stock I believe these came with Celestion Vintage speakers, which is the forefather of the V30.
     
  17. JRBain

    JRBain Member

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    This.

    In my experience, it's the amp. My amp doesn't really do 'smooth'. I can use delay to smooth it out, and the room and band mix help, but it's quite a bright, jangly sounding amp by nature. It does the nasty vintage gritty sound best. The speaker's also not very good.
     

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