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Thread: The Classic Tones Thread!

  1. #1

    The Classic Tones Thread!

    Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we return you to those classic tones of yesteryear with this, the Classic Tones thread!

    As I was posting this recipe for the Jeff Beck "Truth" album's tones in an HX/DA amp thread, I realized that other players here would probably be interested in sharing some of their "secret sauce" recipes for various classic tones with the rest of the Forum's members, too. Hence, this thread.

    So please forgive the fact that I'm repeating the other post, I thought I'd get the ball rolling:

    One of my favorite records from my youth was Jeff Beck's "Truth" album. And because I happen to have a Fulltone Plimsoul on hand, I wondered if I could get the classic "Rock My Plimsoul" sound with the pedal and the HXDA. Understand, I have no idea what Beck used for this recording, but I have to tell you, I absolutely got that tone with these settings -- note that the guitar output level is also part of the deal.

    Plimsoul Pedal Settings:

    Level: 9 0'clock (unity gain)
    Sustain: 10 o'clock
    Stage II: about 9 o'clock
    High Cut: about 1:30 o'clock

    HX/DA Amplifier Settings:

    HX Gain: One o'clock-ish
    DA Gain: 7 o'clock
    Treble: 11 o'clock
    Mids: One o'clock
    Bass: 12:30 o'clock
    Presence: 11 o'clock
    Volume: To taste
    Switches (left to right): DA, DA, HX

    Guitar: Artist V, Settings

    Bridge pickup, Volume = 6-7, Tone = 7-8

    If you set the guitar volume too high, it pushes the pedal into a tone that's too "modern" for the 1968 Beck setting, that was very buttery sounding on the recording.

    But if you do it right (season to taste with your own gear of course) you can nail that tone.

    If I could also nail the playing, all would be right with the world, but I'll take what I can get!!

    Other notes and observations:

    1. I'm betting that any good Tube Screamer type pedal can do this, you don't need to go get a Pliimsoul. Just remember to use a low-ish gain setting, and back off the treble to get a smooth sound, and use just enough pedal output volume to merge with the natural sound of the amp. In other words, the pedal almost becomes something of a tone control in addition to those on the amp. The natural mid and low mid boost of these types of pedals makes the solo pop a little, and that's what you want to achieve this tone.

    2. If it's not already obvious, these are humbucker tones.

    3. If you don't have an HX/DA, my guess is that an approximation of the vintage marshall sound on your own amp will work; remember that the Superbass and Superlead Marshalls were not grindy, trebly, midrangey JCM style monsters; they had beautiful clean tones, and buttery, creamy lead tones, with rich lower mids and bass, and a softer high end. Listen to the recording and you'll get the concept pretty quickly.

    4. I got these tones with a closed-back Mesa 212 recto cab with V-30s. Greenbacks would have been closer, but to me, it's a tweakage thing. If I can do it with the "wrong" speakers, you can do it, too, or heck, use the right ones if you have 'em!

    5. Tag will have to go for the Marshall sound he hates. Heheheh.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 04-18-2013 at 07:31 PM.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  2. #2
    Crickets.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  3. #3
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Crickets.
    I really like the idea of this thread Les, can you do a from the ground up lead tone for "Who's that Lady" by the Isley Brothers next?


    What if I dare you?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Woundtight's Avatar
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    Les,
    Great thread, you struck a chord with me.

    this is one of MY favorite Albums, and Rock My Plimsoul was always one of my favorite bluesy Beck tunes. Gotta love Rod Stewart singing on this one.

    I would agree with the guitar setting, I take my DGT with the Bridge pickup around 7.

    However, I don't think you need any pedals. I am hearing a Marshall or VOX just absolutely being pushed to the hilt on this one. Very few can reign it in and make it sound good the way Jeff Beck can. He either picks softly or backs off the volume some more to clean it up. Dime a cathode biased amp like a Bad Cat, or dime your HX/DA and you can get that tone. Listen to that crazy warbly, 'harmonizer' tone around 1:54 when he plays in the upper register. Ideally, V-30s all the way to accentuate that cone cry, harmonizer sound. Greenbacks will smooth it out too much.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post
    I really like the idea of this thread Les, can you do a from the ground up lead tone for "Who's that Lady" by the Isley Brothers next?


    What if I dare you?
    I love the Isley Brothers! How about if you do it, I will also try!

    Quote Originally Posted by Woundtight View Post
    However, I don't think you need any pedals. I am hearing a Marshall or VOX just absolutely being pushed to the hilt on this one. Very few can reign it in and make it sound good the way Jeff Beck can. He either picks softly or backs off the volume some more to clean it up. Dime a cathode biased amp like a Bad Cat, or dime your HX/DA and you can get that tone. Listen to that crazy warbly, 'harmonizer' tone around 1:54 when he plays in the upper register. Ideally, V-30s all the way to accentuate that cone cry, harmonizer sound. Greenbacks will smooth it out too much.
    Interesting; I don't claim to know how Beck got his sound, and you may be right. I'm hearing more Marshall than Vox, but I've read that he used a Vox for the record. But you can dime a Vox and not get the buttery Truth sound. I've read that fuzz pedals were a big part of Beck's sound, and that's why I tried a pedal.

    I've also read that there were other amps around the studio at the time, and it makes sense to me that he'd have tried what was there. I do know that he toured with Marshalls after making the record.

    Rod Stewart was great on that record, too. In a strange twist of fate, I'm sort of linked to him these days via North Star Media, who represent my media work -- that makes me almost semi famous!

    In any event, I did nail the tone with the Plimsoul pedal and the HX/DA, so there's that!
    Last edited by LSchefman; 05-07-2013 at 08:41 AM.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  6. #6
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    Some tone wizardry happening here. I just set all of my amps knobs at noon. Gain and volume to taste and work that volume knob. Maybe I should experiment more.
    Plank Owner

  7. #7
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    I love the Isley Brothers! How about if you do it, I will also try!
    Deal.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by jfb View Post
    Some tone wizardry happening here. I just set all of my amps knobs at noon. Gain and volume to taste and work that volume knob. Maybe I should experiment more.
    Well, the good news is that it's fun, and it's free! Woohoo!
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

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