How to make 'Cleans' sound..... Better?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by LikeAMotherF, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. chrisr0712

    chrisr0712 Member

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    Zvex SHO after your drives and always on.
     
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  2. moore_for_less

    moore_for_less Supporting Member

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    Sounds like you need an AIAB. Might I suggest Catalinbread Formula 5F6?

    Most of the Catalinbread foundation overdrives don’t go very clean, but the gain knob on this one goes near-squeaky clean especially at 18V, but never bland or dull. Just enough to liven up your clean tone and give you some pushback when you dig in.

    I used it as my clean foundation for years until I finally found an amp that did what the 5F6 was emulating.
     
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  3. Silent Sound

    Silent Sound Member

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    You might need a loop pedal, so you can easily switch between your clean pedal chain and your dirty pedal chain. Then decide if you need any compression, reverb, a touch of dirt, or just a smidgeon of chorus added to your clean signal.

    Though personally, I'm from the school of thought where you don't worry about what the backline gear is and just make it work as best you can. 98% of the audience will never tell a difference anyway. They didn't show up to audition guitar tones. They came to have a good time, and putting on a good show doesn't really have anything to do with tone. If you're recording, then yes. Worry about tone. If you're headlining a tour and bringing all of your own gear, equipment, and personnel, then yes, worry about tone. But if you're using backline equipment, no one's going to say you sounded good or bad, because you'll sound just like every other guitar player that comes through that joint.
     
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  4. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

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    I start things off with a Klon. Sweetens up even a blackface amp
     
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  5. LikeAMotherF

    LikeAMotherF Supporting Member

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    I tend to agree with you on both counts. I'll probably do an ABY TB looper for clean/dirty sounds. And I'm not particularly worried about the backlines. But that's why I'm looking for a simple solution to keep things easy, streamlined, and decent sounding.

    That being said, I play in a band that does originals. While I'm happy to just be able to play out, have fun and get a few drinks on the house, I do like having our own 'sound'. We have an aesthetic, and we have a sound that we shoot for. It doesn't have to be million dollar, rarer-than-rare unobtanium toanz. But I'd just appreciate a little consistency from gig to gig. It's not that big of a deal to me. Just wondering if other people have come up against similar issues, and if so, how did/do they deal with it.

    Better sounds is never a bad thing!
     
  6. Dolphineus

    Dolphineus "The game of ball is glorious." -Walt Whitman Silver Supporting Member

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    I will second the use of a Ge Fuzz Face wil guitar volume rolled back. There are many options. Analogman is making some killer Ge Sun Faces right now at a very affordable price IMHOAE.
     
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  7. louisnd

    louisnd Member

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    try the amazing Unit67 by Drybell : its a fantastic tool :)
     
  8. Maggot

    Maggot Member

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    I disagree with the Klon as a cure-all. A Klon at its cleanest may not be ampy enough, and once you dirty it up it's a fairly specific sound. I think that what you probably want is a setup where during most shows, you set the amp as clean and flat as you can, and then go to town. It doesn't have to be particularly complicated. At its simplest, for Marshall-type rock sounds, you could have a one knob AIAB like a Lovepedal JTM in the clean loop (for example) and then an Angry Charlie or another AIAB with a flexible EQ on the dirty side, along with whatever dirt you want to add to it. When you find yourself using an amp that doesn't have headroom, you'll have to adjust.

    This may not the style your working in, but here's a video of J Mascis, showing how he he creates gain and "clean" - i.e. mildly overdriven - sounds in front of a clean amp. His trick is to keep the amp fairly sterile, and then go in order from most to least gain and volume. His overdrive pedal is his clean.

     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
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  9. Mista G

    Mista G Member

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    Don’t know how relevant this would be but for a while I had to make do with an early Fender modelling amp for home and rehearsal use. The thing that gave the cleans a bit of ‘life’ was a cheap-as-chips EHX LPB-1. Set to just above unity it didn’t mess much with the dirt I was using either.
     
  10. LikeAMotherF

    LikeAMotherF Supporting Member

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    Mascis levels of gain isn't quite what I'm going for, but I can totally relate to what he calls his 'depressing' clean tone! Haha. That's so funny. And he uses a light OD for his actual sound when he wants a non-fuzz, non-distorted tone.

    But yeah, that's what I'm finding. A depressingly sterile and lifeless base tone is best for running dirt and stacking. I just need to figure out the optimal tool to use with that depressing base in order to get a great clean.
     
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  11. Maggot

    Maggot Member

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    For the price of a normal AIAB, you could buy three Joyos and see which you prefer, then upgrade if necessary if you're not getting what you want. Also, as I mentioned, I borrowed a Lovepedal JTM at some point and it had a pretty good Marshally clean. I didn't liked the way any of them stacked, but I thought they sounded very amp-like on their own.
     
  12. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

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    Dunno, I’ve run through a fair number of Amp in a box solutions and they don’t really make a sterile amp sound like a nice clean amp. The Klon makes of the world suit me for that, but of course YMMV.
     
  13. mabands

    mabands Supporting Member

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    Works for Pete Thorn:
     
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  14. Will_Pancake

    Will_Pancake Member

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    Run a keeley compressor, or keeley katana. Install a treble bleed in your volume pot for easy gain adjustment. Also- the best clean tones are a little dirty
     
  15. run23

    run23 Supporting Member

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    Two things already mentioned solved the problem for me: Chase Tone Secret Pre-Amp and the CBA Condor. I use the Condor with midi presets for different eq settings for clean and various types of drive sounds. And the SPA gives me a nice 3d sound on cleans. I thought ‘3d’ was a meaningless description until I heard the SPA - it really does give everything (especially clean tone) a 3d sound.

    For what it’s worth I’m playing a tele with a p-90 neck through a fender twin.
     
  16. bobcs71

    bobcs71 Member

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    I'm a edge of breakup & push the amp with a pedal guy. For clean backline I was using a Catlinbread 5F6 set to taste. I think any preamp type pedal of your choice should work. A buddy used a compressor this way.
     
  17. guff

    guff Member

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    Echoplex EP3-style PRE goes a long way/bang-for-buck.

    I like using chorus, one with a delay-time control is ideal. Low-Depth setting, high-Delay/Time setting. Typically slow Speeds but faster also work. The key is to have the depth so low you only notice something missing when bypassed.
     
  18. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    For one thing, pedals suck tone, even true bypass ones. You still have the quality of the contacts and cables and any impedence they add to consider.
    The best way to get clean tones is with low wattage tube amps turned up enough to make them start to compress and sustain, so you don't have that tinny plinky plinky tone.
    This is something jazz guitarists figure out a long time ago.
    Some solid state amps that are more powerful work as well , such as Roland JCs.
     
  19. joebloggs13

    joebloggs13 Member

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    I have one of the best clean amps you can get, a Reeves Custom 50, which is based on the original Hiwatt DR504. To get my cleans, I add a bit of compression from an EQD Warden compressor to get 'that' tone at lower volumes. That's it. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
  20. ranchofm

    ranchofm Member

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    I third the Unit67. It's great at livening things up. However, given your dissertation, I feel like you would want to pair it with a low gain OD like a Gain Changer or Timmy, just to give you some more range. This is what I use for my regular gig board. The Jackson Audio Bloom is great too, but even with all of its compressor options, I prefer the Unit67.

    My super high-priced but very effective solution for this: Pettyjohn Lift (HEADROOM!!!) > Barber Compact Tone Press (low squash) > Pettyjohn Chime (open clipping, low gain). This setup doesn't get dirty, but gives me more air, sustain, overtones, wood, charcoal, peat, tannins than either the Drybell or the Jackson. If I want more gain, I have a DOD Looking Glass right behind this whole mess.
     
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