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RE: (TV) Re: clean guitar tone
I'll bite on this one too...
"Clean" guitar tone is indeed a huge misnomer. When you hear TV records or
T.V.'s playing, you are hearing guitars through guitar amps, which when
turned up produce harmonic distortion from both the preamp and power amp
stage, and then from speaker distortion, which you get from pushing poor
little underpowered speakers past where they should be (it was a big
revelation at the end of the 70's when people started ditching their
super-duper JBL's that could take tons of power, and went back to little
alnico and Celestion Greenback speakers. Pushing speakers to their extreme
is one of the things that make guitars rock well).
Since the boys seem to favor AC30's lately (at least live), we can assume
they are playing them nearly wide open, which means you're getting TONS of
harmonic distortion in there. It gives them that high end bite, and adds to
sustain (although that's in the fingers too be sure).
The nasty sound you get plugging guitar straight into a tape deck has more
to do with mis-matched levels, and too many damn frequencies. Put it through
a pre-amp of some sort (one that is supposed to reproduce guitar frequencies
well), and even if it's super clean it'll sound much better. Good guitar
preamps roll of nearly everything outside of the midrange, where electric
guitar kinda comes alive.
Some of the best distortion on record was done without pedals: The Sonics,
early Stooges (I think...does anybody know for sure?), early Van Halen (Well
he DID change the way electric guitars are played. Got to give him credit
for that) and, god love them, AC/DC (ever stood in front of a 100-watt
Marshall full stack wide open? The angels sing...A friend once told me
"yeah, it's rips holes in your aura, and you get a rush." Whatever man, he
was right about the second part).
I used to play through a really fucked up 120 watt Orange that only sounded
good once I got the power tubes cookin--usually about half open would do it,
and then it screamed to life. Never heard an amp so tight and massive.
Anyway, there's my contribution to the mighty mighty topic of distortion.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]On Behalf Of
> Maurice Rickard
> Sent: Tuesday, October 02, 2001 7:22 PM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: (TV) Re: clean guitar tone
> True. But clean tube tone is a glorious thing, too. And I'll note
> that I can't think of any instances on record when I've been
> disappointed with Tom's tone.
> And if I didn't mention it before, Ray, those are some really good
> tracks on your mp3 page.
> At 9:14 PM -0500 10/2/01, Ray O'Graf wrote:
> >'clean' guitar tone is a tremendous misnomer
> >...what you need is some nice warm and fuzzy tube induced
> distortion to make
> >the critter listenable
> Maurice Rickard
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