Trouble with Lead Tone: How to fatten?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by PitchShifter, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. PitchShifter

    PitchShifter Member

    Messages:
    91
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2007
    Location:
    A.C.T., Australia
    Newbie Q:
    I play a triple P90 guitar that has a beautiful rhythm tone for crunchy chords and picking patterns, but when I need to switch to lead lines, the tone really lacks body. I usually write the lead lines on my HB equipped hollowbody through a Marshall Guv'nor Plus.
    Any ideas on what I can use to fatten up the single-coils for a powerful lead tone to get a similar type of effect?
     
  2. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

    Messages:
    10,959
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I don't have any P90 guitars, so YMMV, but typically a mid boost will add body and fatness to a lead tone. An easy and relatively inexpensive way to do this would be to use an MXR 10-band EQ. Kick it in with some boost in the mid frequencies for your leads.

    A more complex option would be to have a mid boost circuit installed in your guitar. My Fender Powerhouse Strat has such a circuit - I think it adds up to a 12db boost. I crank that up for solos and it fattens the tone big time.
     
  3. Telecaster62

    Telecaster62 Member

    Messages:
    3,487
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    Location:
    Lexington South Carolina
    Yep, mids fatten tone. Resist the urge to EQ your amp with lots of bass and highs while turning down the mids. If you are using an amp with interactive tone controls (AC30 type) then turn down the treble and bass to allow for more mids. Also, back off the tone control on your guitar from 10 to about 7 and see if that fattens the bridge pickup a little. I'm not familiar with the tone of the Governor pedal but most screamer type pedals tend to thin out the tone somewhat. If the pedal has eq then turn the bass up and treble down to warm it up some.
     
  4. shredtrash

    shredtrash Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,803
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    A good Tubescreamer would fatten it up. If you really want major fatness, try a Keeley Fuzz Head as a lead booster. That's what I use when I want a super-thick lead tone.
     
  5. funkycam

    funkycam Member

    Messages:
    2,278
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Location:
    El Sobrante CA
    Any good drive pedal with a bunch of mids will make you very happy. ts-9, yats etc.

    My pick however would be a gas pedals dumbell. really nice fat chewy mids & keeps the low nice & tight. Great into amps set clean or dirty. I love that pedal!
     
  6. somedude

    somedude Member

    Messages:
    6,817
    Joined:
    May 30, 2004
    Location:
    South of Heaven
    For fat lead tones I use a compressor. For screaming leads I use a Tubescreamer type.

    IMO, mid boost pedals with P90s add alot of scream, but not much fatness. A compressor will bump up the sustain and (if desired) boost your output without thinning out or stiffening up your tone like dirt pedals seem to like doing. I wouldn't bother with some uber boutique, ultra transparent model since the whole idea is to squash the signal somewhat. I use a Retro-Sonic Compressor myself, and it's basically a tricked out MXR Dyna-Comp.
     
  7. this1smyne

    this1smyne Member

    Messages:
    2,495
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Location:
    Mt P. SC
    i stack pedals for leads. if i want it clean than i'll go with my katana, but if i'm looking for something to fill out the tone i'll kick my FD2 into my TIM with the boost engaged, i can solo on that all day with no prob at all! MXR idea works well too, create the space thats lacking with the frequency sliders.
     
  8. Jack

    Jack Member

    Messages:
    668
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Location:
    New Mexico
    xotic bb preamp is a good lead fattener imo.
     
  9. Prodigy

    Prodigy Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,002
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    Brent Mason Hot Wired!
     
  10. Godspeed64

    Godspeed64 Member

    Messages:
    3,875
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Location:
    Singapore
    You need a fuzz! :AOK
     
  11. imguitardan

    imguitardan Member

    Messages:
    3,776
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    I only play P-90s and the best lead boost I've used is a Treble Booster (really boosts the mids). Just a great pedal. Almost like a Fuzz Face but more focused and not as fuzzy/bassy. Think Brian May.
     
  12. tim10888

    tim10888 Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    has anyone tried the MI Audio boost and buff? I heard it can be a clean/treble booster.
     
  13. geetarboy

    geetarboy Member

    Messages:
    1,968
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Treble booster (Beano Boost) or compressor (Tone Press).
     
  14. madscientist

    madscientist Member

    Messages:
    2,215
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Location:
    Boston
    Find yourself a fulltone Fat Boost (v.1..in the gray box), it does a great job of thickening things up.
     
  15. RANMAN

    RANMAN Member

    Messages:
    182
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Location:
    South Bend ,Indiana
    I am loving my newly accuired Skreddy Lunar Module for fat solo tones.
     
  16. drod2045

    drod2045 Member

    Messages:
    4,658
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Location:
    North NJ
    i tried a fatboost v1 in a live setting and as the saying goes (ymmv) - it did nothing for me in a sonic way. It muddied up and really didnt boost much at all. It was a one-off experience also. Got one chance to try it and not inclined to try it again

    Katana for me

    stacking also works. Just stack from High Gain to low gain so as you add on, the signal doesnt get crazy stupid when you stack
     
  17. shngn7

    shngn7 Member

    Messages:
    1,235
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    MI
    Maybe try some slapback delay (just one or two quick repeats)? That is usually my method of thickening up my lead tone besides the obvious stacking overdrives (mainly a TS) or mid boost from my Beano.
     
  18. tone4days

    tone4days Member

    Messages:
    6,233
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    central maryland
    could you dial your rhythm tone in with the guitar's volume knob on 7 or 8 then goose it up to 10 when you take a lead?
     
  19. PitchShifter

    PitchShifter Member

    Messages:
    91
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2007
    Location:
    A.C.T., Australia
    Hi guys, thanks for the info, I have some leads to follow!

    Just for clarity, I do stack my pedals and have tried various orders to put them in (Barber Silver LTD, Timmy, Marshall Guv'nor Plus). I don't have problems with volume level or sustain, just that the tone sounds too thin jumping from crunchy rhythm parts to a lead line. I have a Compressor (no-name one that will soon be replaced by a Barber Tone Press) that is on all the time.
    I went and fiddled with the treble/Bass/Mid on the Guv'nor but couldn't get what was I was after.

    Years ago I had an old cheap Rocktek Phaser that was broken and didn't sweep properly. That thing was awesome at fattening things up. I recall seeing a phaser a year or so ago that didn't sweep like a normal phaser, but had knob where the user could set the filter --- anyone recall something like that?
     
  20. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,491
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Location:
    Reno
    Try a Carb set on the middle setting or the cut setting. Instant fatness with clarity.
     

Share This Page