Midrange honk - favorite examples, and how do you get it?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by greenybloomers, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. greenybloomers

    greenybloomers Member

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    I'm thinking of that brash, nasal, almost-vocal quality that shaves off most of the treble, but still seems to cut through almost any mix. What immediately comes to mind for me is Mick Taylor's live tone from the late 60s and early 70s:
    Most players seem to get these sounds through some combination of treble boosters, ODs, cocked wahs, out-of-phase pickups, and/or EQs. What are your favorite examples of big, honkin' midrange, and how do you cop those tones?
     
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  2. Pete Cage

    Pete Cage Member

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    Lots of Brian May's stuff...
     
  3. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

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    Seems that nice HBs and a hard driven power amp tone with rolled back tone help. Mixing both pickups helps too. I use a JB pickup and that gives me a bit more of that honk...sometimes too much.

    The Stones were using Ampegs (V2 ?) around that time if memory serves. That’s a lot of volume and power, not too much pre amp gain either. Speakers breaking up must be adding a lot to that tone. I know the Allman Bros have that sound too. They had some JBLs in the cabs and that might add to the sound. I suppose there’s more than one way to get this sound, but it’s pretty awesome when it works. Claptons woman tone plus a little more treble seems to be a good starting point.
     
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  4. WordMan

    WordMan Silver Supporting Member

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    Like this? 15 seconds in. It’s your recipe with a Zemaitis metal front, I think in the middle position. And if I have it wrong, well, at least we get to hear Three Button Hand me Down!!! ;)
     
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  5. bob-i

    bob-i Member

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    Mick Taylor and the stones used prototype Ampeg amps. The midrange honk came from the baxandall tone stack. The Fender Marshall Vox (FMV) tone stack is designed to accent lows and highs, mostly because the state of the art of speakers was not great and most speakers had weak lows and highs.

    Ampeg used the baxandall tone stack as early as the B15, tuned to reduce lows, also because of speaker issues. Their issue was blown speakers. Even that huge 8x10 SVT cabinet would blow speakers unless the lows were rolled off.

    wow...I have too much free time.
     
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  6. LaceSensor1

    LaceSensor1 Supporting Member

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  7. HugoLC

    HugoLC Member

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    Interesting to read as Marshall and Vox are always praised for their upfront mids
     
  8. Blix

    Blix Supporting Member

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    SRV and John Mayer lead tones are pretty typical examples of mid honk.
     
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  9. twoheadedboy

    twoheadedboy Member

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    P90s and cranked tweed amps
     
  10. Echoplexi

    Echoplexi Silver Supporting Member

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    Rangemasters/Treble Boosters are a sure fire way to get there IMO. Like Brian May mentioned above,

    or Tony Iommi:


    or Marc Bolan:


    or Rory Gallagher:
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
  11. mule train

    mule train Gold Supporting Member

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    These are my gold standards
    The common theme for most of these is low output PAF and loud amps

    Henrik Freischlader- Blues for Gary
    Have you ever loved a woman-Bluesbreaker’s w/Clapton
    Since I’ve been loving you- Zeppelin how the west was won
    Golden Slumbers- Robbin Ford
    Hot ‘lanta- Fillmore
    Brown Sugar- ZZ
    Stop- Bloomfield
    Let me love you- Jeff Beck
    Sleepy Time Time-Live Cream
     
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  12. Brian.gerhard

    Brian.gerhard Supporting Member

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    i think paf style pups and a tubescreamer gets you there
     
  13. TinFingers

    TinFingers Member

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    Mick Taylor and Keith Richards were both playing through SVTs (or early V9s, which were very similar) live on stage from 1969 through 1973. I don't think there's a huge difference between those preamps and what's in a V-4, V-2, VT-40 or VT-22.

    By 1973, Taylor had a wah pedal in his rig, but the fundamental lead tone wouldn't need it with the EQs on those big Ampegs. I'm sure we will never see a photo of how either Stones guitarist configured the knobs on their stage amps, but as a VT-40 owner, I have gotten in the ballpark. The amps let you choose three different "focus points" for the mids: 300 Hz, 1,000 Hz and 3,000 Hz. The mids can also be boosted beyond the guitar's raw signal. Set the "mids" switch to 1,000 Hz, boost the mids, cut the bass and gently nudge the treble above 12:00. Crank up the volume, plug in a Les Paul (or even a Tele), and for the 30 seconds before you go deaf, instant Mick Taylor.
     
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  14. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    Fat, balanced mids are good, a little honk is ok, but a lot of honk turns nasty, easily.
    Be careful o_O
     
  15. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    Ronson had a lot of honk in his spiders tone
     
  16. Spooky Action

    Spooky Action Member

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    He usually did it with a fixed wah and the brutally cranked Marshall.
     
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  17. Echoplexi

    Echoplexi Silver Supporting Member

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    mk1 Tonebender too
     
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  18. greenybloomers

    greenybloomers Member

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    Some more standouts that came to mind since I first posted:



     
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  19. greenybloomers

    greenybloomers Member

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    Ron Wood definitely had THAT sound while with the Faces. If memory serves, his Zemaitis has an onboard boost (likely germanium-based) that I think contributed a lot to his tone at the time.
     
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  20. mdrake34

    mdrake34 Member

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    Every Boston song.
     
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