What do you mean when you say "clean" tone?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by 3waytie4last, Aug 4, 2019.

To me, "clean" means...

  1. Guitar straight into amp. No pedals and no amp effects like reverb or tremelo.

    26 vote(s)
    13.8%
  2. Guitar straight into amp. No pedals but amp effects are fine.

    13 vote(s)
    6.9%
  3. Pedals are fine as long as they are not dirt (e.g., OD, Fuzz, Distortion).

    108 vote(s)
    57.4%
  4. Other, please explain.

    41 vote(s)
    21.8%
  1. Tom Gross

    Tom Gross Silver Supporting Member

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    Are you asking about the tone or how to get there?
     
  2. Tom Gross

    Tom Gross Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes. I got a nice Strat I dig (Nash with Lollers) and since have got it setup into a Germanium fuzz with the volume down into a nice fender/dumble style amp. Best cleans I've ever gotten. Also been messing with the treble booster & the blended Treble booster/Germanium fuzz I have for similar effects.
    Pete Thorn's video on this was what opened my eyes.
     
  3. SAH1972

    SAH1972 Member

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    No dirt even for me. And I simply don t understand why many clips on yt (mainly for drive pedals) start like.... Ok this is my clean sound.... And it s not. That changes everything.
     
  4. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Even guitar into amp is pretty wildly different. One of the back rooms has a Tweed Twin clone, a brown Vibrolux Reverb and an early SF Vibrolux Reverb all in a row. The "clean" sounds are completely different between the 3, with attack and mids being the biggest differences (more complex, less clean from tweed thru sf). Then there's the clean you get plugging into the low output of a JCM800 (more upper mid-honk). Then there's the clean I've only experienced once, a 100w Dumble, where every note would just sustain forever but without any distortion... They're all clean to me, and they're all really good sounding in the right context. Pedals and amp effects really don't change that for me.
     
    ThinPaperWings likes this.
  5. metrokosmiko

    metrokosmiko Member

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    A true clean sound is useless, at least to me. All the nice clean tones have some compression or very light breakup going on.

    For me, clean is my OCD with the gain at 7.
     
    the_rising and axdxm like this.
  6. Humble Texan Fan

    Humble Texan Fan Member

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    I agree on a truely clean tone being rather useless and unsavoury. You could really as well record right into the console.
     
    the_rising likes this.
  7. spentron

    spentron Member

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    To me, "my clean tone" can be simply one's cleanest sound. But in an effects DEMO, "into a clean amp" is a CLAIM that the sound is not highly sweetened or sort of replaced with amp dirt. While no (tube) amp is completely clean, a looper pedal should be able to placed in front of the amp for multiple parts without noticeable degradation.
     
  8. axdxm

    axdxm Supporting Member

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    7? As in 7:00 or 70%, which is still high either way, haha.

    But I'm with you. I also use an OCD and dig the clean tones with backing my guitar volume back. I hate the brashness of a clean guitar into an amp that is not being pushed at all, unless it is an archtop with flatwounds. I feel like the amp compressing or rounding the bright edges off is a lot more pleasing to the ear. The Kingsley Page is a great pedal if you want that sound/feeling but going into an amp with a lot of headroom.
     
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  9. monty

    monty Member

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    Clean to me= no dirt. I consider chorus, delay reverb ect. part of my clean sound.
     
  10. ThinPaperWings

    ThinPaperWings Member

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    Not that I mind general discussions of what clean means, but since the OP says 'to me...' the answer is pretty straightforward. (In other words, the question is not 'what is clean?' but 'what's my clean?')

    I work on a patch by patch basis live, and most, if not all of my clean patches are guitar (volume on 10) > compressor (parallel with modest amount of compressed blended in, treble increased) > delay > reverb > Hiwatt style amp with no breakup (excepting THD). I may add trem, chorus, phaser, octave (whammy), but it's still a clean patch.

    I do appreciate playing light/volume knob adjustments with a light OD on, but those are still OD patches by my reckoning.

    Also, as someone who has watched endless YouTube demos, this slayed me:
     
  11. eltorrero

    eltorrero Member

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    To me clean is a guitar straight to an amp, except if you’re doing the 80’s ballad thing that includes chorus and maybe a compressor.
     
  12. s3gle

    s3gle Member

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    Not everybody is going to play something inspiring or unique to demo a pedal, especially if it's under budget construction and rare in video

    thus no need to 2 take on approach to the device since the disengaged tone doesn't come with the pedal

    even sucky musicians can demo pedals well if they want to follow a rubric based on the run of the mill yt complaints

    Kinda brings me back to my thoughts on this topic, like seeing everyone's responses,
    Clean channels with amp breakup or not have very different tone stacks and etc structure of the preamp vs dirty in general. So even if they're going for that broken up clean channel drive with heavy picking, the whole thing is squeezed by a different animal before the power stage, even through breakup you should be getting an idea of when it's a designated ch1 clean of some branded sort vs yknow. a patent sound of extra circuit to generate a stronger responses from a preamp
     
  13. Karl Houseknecht

    Karl Houseknecht Supporting Member

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    My cleans are dirty. And by dirty, I mean just on the edge where they can be pushed over by either strumming real hard or with an OD/boost. I find using pedals any other way makes it sound like a pedal instead of like it's part of the amp.
     

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