Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Posts 26 to 50 of 65
  1. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    Short version:
    I think if you try the full down treble and bass, with full up middle, you will have approached the tone you might want for jazz and will have immediately eliminated about 90% of the various non-jazz sounding combinations; and you might find this is hitting the right setting the first time. Just be aware that in performance you will need to learn to trust it sounds right to the audience and be patient learning to hear it yourself on stage.

    Long version:
    It may help to understand what is going on with how the tone controls operate, which for almost all of the popular amps is not how you would think, and not how the controls are labeled.

    Almost all guitar amps use a "tone stack", which is just this particular circuit's name because of the arraignment of the components in the circuit. In order to grasp how it works, the first thing to know is that there are only three principles involved:

    1) attenuation
    2) filtering
    3) amplification

    The tone controls use only attenuation (a reduction in signal level).
    The reduction of signal level is filtered to "shape" the result.
    The whole tone stack is amplified about 20dB of signal boost

    The treble and bass tone controls are marked so when you turn them to higher numbers there is an increase in treble or bass, but that is not what is really happening. They can only attenuate signal, never add signal. When the treble control of moved from high numbers to low numbers, what it is doing is attenuating bass frequencies. When the bass control is moved from high to low numbers it is attenuating treble frequencies. Basically, treble and bass controls are mislabeled as far as what they actually do in the circuit, and the markings are ordered backwards.

    Since both treble and bass are attenuating the signal, the 20dB amplification is provided to make up for this - the overall level is moved up to account for the reductions that shape the resulting tone. To the operator, it sounds like turning up treble or bass results in more treble or bass.

    In a tone stack, the middle tone control is not a tone control; it is an insertion loss recovery control - it acts to generally raise most of the whole frequency curve, whatever shape it is from the treble and bass control settings, up and down as a whole without reshaping the middle of the curve but letting only the high and low tails of the curve be subject to the treble and bass settings when the whole curve is low. As the whole curve is raised is tends to flatten out.

    So what does all this mean and how can you set the controls?

    If you want to hear what it sounds like when the tone stack is flat, you turn the bass and treble to their minimum values (all the way down) and set the middle control all the way up to maximum. This is the sound of an amp with not tone controls. This is a good starting point for hearing the sound of your amp and the sound of your guitar (if the guitar controls are all wide open, full up). For jazz, many have discovered that this resulting tone is perfect.

    The tone stacks for amps with no middle control actually have the component active in the circuit for that, but it is fixed and not variable - no control knob attached. Its value is typically chosen for what you would get with a middle setting at about "8" on a 1-10 marked knob.

    If you're still with me, I will tell you what is likely to happen based on my experience with this. I spent a weekend a few years back trying to make my Strat sound like an L-5 and discovered the full down treble and bass, full up middle setting. With the amp across the room so I was hearing it like someone out in the audience, the tone was perfectly jazz magical - no low booming, a blooming mid-range, and a sweet high end, single notes with depth and character, chords smooth and coherent, blah, blah... just amazing and perfect.

    First time in performance I was disappointed. It sounded muddy and thud like. By the second tune I had to adjust the settings. However I stuck with it and kept trying, and it took about three more shows until all was well with hearing the magic settings. Now it's the only way I play.

    If you are used to playing with the treble up especially, you will likely need some time getting used to the treble full down setting. The intelligibility of pitch discrimination of notes, and even more so that of distinguishing chord types harmonies is conveyed mostly by the higher frequencies. Turning up treble makes it sound clearer to you when you are on stage amidst the band's stage level and sub optimal amp placement and positioning with respect to your ears, but this is at the expense of possibly punishing the audience.

    If you love the sound of the flat setting, you have to have faith that you will learn to be able to hear it just fine, but it takes some time to learn to hear it. A nice surprise is that when you do learn to hear it, you will find your ears have actually improved their ability to hear, distinguish, recognize, and identify everything else better.
    pauln!
    Thank you very much for this explanation. Even though I can't comment on the technical description, I'm with you on the Mids up, Bass and Treble down principle. I would often use that as a starting point myself. I don't know if every B,M,T tonestack works the way you describe though?

    The part of your story that really speaks to me is that we "need time getting used to a sound". This definitely applies to me. I don't feel comfortable when I can't have "my sound". A long time ago I played just one particular guitar. Any other guitar felt wrong. I solved that problem by spending time with different guitars and eventually got cured (and learned a few things about setup and adjustment). These days I also got a few different amps. Even though I don't depend on an individual amp per se, my amp customization skills are limited to tube and speaker replacement. And the amp variation I come across outside my studio is greater than the variation of my guitars. I guess I have to work on my personal "good enough philosophy", but I still believe some amps are not for me.

    As long as the back line rig has a poweramp Input/FX return, I could use my own portable preamp.
    Last edited by JCat; 09-25-2021 at 07:17 AM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #27

    User Info Menu

    There are two types of amps, and you have to know which you have. There is the Fender style, and flat is with all the tone knobs at zero (or 1, which is as low as some go). Increasing the treble cuts the bass, and increasing the bass cuts the treble. You cannot add either, only cut. I do not like these amps, but lots of people do. The other type has active tone controls, and flat is with the knobs at 12 o'clock. You can add or cut bass, treble, or mids. These are much more intuitive, and seem to sound better to me.

    So if you have a Fender style, start with the tone knobs all the way off, and increase to taste. On my Vibrolux Reverb, I generally have the bass at about 1.5 and the treble between 2 and 3, meaning those numbers on the knob are at 12 o'clock. For active tone stacks, I start with everything at 12 o'clock. I may change one or more slightly, depending on the room, the guitar, and the pick, and how my ear hears at the time. I don't often move any of them much, though. YMMV.

  4. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by marcwhy
    Try this for kicks:

    "These steps will work for any combination of guitar and amp"

    I don't think so
    He's using a Fender Strat into a Modified BJ (Fender into Fender)
    Glassy tones, nice, but that's not my Jazz!

  5. #29

    User Info Menu

    It's YouTube. Not much different than facebook. You have to search diligently to find even a little truth.

  6. #30

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Greco
    Any chance you could post a pic of your actual "Bud" settings? I'd like to try them on my "Blu".

    Many Thanks in advance.
    Using the clock face as a reference, I start with all knobs at flat at 12 o'clock. A typical setup when I'm done adjusting is:

    Gain: 10-12 o'clock
    Volume: 10-12 o'clock
    Low: 12 o'clock
    Low Mid: 2 o'clock
    High Mid: 12 o'clock
    High: 10 o'clock
    Presence: 12 o'clock

    I have found no drastic cuts or boosts are usually required for the Bud. Essentially, the mid (Low Mid) is slightly boosted and the treble (High) is slightly cut. Everything else is basically flat. How much the EQ is adjusted will vary depending on the gain/volume settings required by the instrument and volume needed for the situation.

    Most archtops sound pretty good this way. For flattops, which also sound good through the Bud, I may boost the bass and treble a bit and cut some mid.

  7. #31

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    The tone stack explained in English for humans:
    The guitar amp. Why does one control seem to alter what another one does? Why does the mids knob affect volume? And why is the treble pot more like a blend control? Because they’re connected in ways we could not intuit.

    After searching repeatedly for a layperson’s explanation of the tone stack – the EQ section found in guitar amps – I realized one would not be forthcoming. There seemed to be two camps: guitarists, who, despite an adorable belief that the three knobs do what the labels suggest, have no understanding of it; and amp builders, who understand it too well and talk to each other in Martian.

    This is it.
    Absolutely invaluable! Many thanks for posting this!

  8. #32

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Chazmo
    Using the clock face as a reference, I start with all knobs at flat at 12 o'clock. A typical setup when I'm done adjusting is:

    Gain: 10-12 o'clock
    Volume: 10-12 o'clock
    Low: 12 o'clock
    Low Mid: 2 o'clock
    High Mid: 12 o'clock
    High: 10 o'clock
    Presence: 12 o'clock

    I have found no drastic cuts or boosts are usually required for the Bud. Essentially, the mid (Low Mid) is slightly boosted and the treble (High) is slightly cut. Everything else is basically flat. How much the EQ is adjusted will vary depending on the gain/volume settings required by the instrument and volume needed for the situation.

    Most archtops sound pretty good this way. For flattops, which also sound good through the Bud, I may boost the bass and treble a bit and cut some mid.
    Thank you very much for taking the time to post your EQ settings in detail. Much appreciated!

  9. #33

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    There are two types of amps, and you have to know which you have. There is the Fender style, and flat is with all the tone knobs at zero (or 1, which is as low as some go). Increasing the treble cuts the bass, and increasing the bass cuts the treble. You cannot add either, only cut.
    If this were true, these amps would be louder when bass and treble turned all the way down than all the way up. My Princeton is significantly quieter when tone knobs are turned to 1. Same as my old Deluxe Reverb.

    Yes, the tone knobs are passive but they cut signal as you turn them down.

  10. #34

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by JCat
    Talk to me

  11. #35

    User Info Menu

    You don't need to understand the engineering to be able to set simple levels.

    I start with everything at 5.

    It's jazz so I start by adjusting the bass. I'll leave it at 5 if I'm in a flat mood or bump it to 6 or 7 if I'm in a bassman mood.

    Next I adjust the treble. Bump it up a tad if I want more bite or back if I want it smoky.

    Usually that's all you need to do.

    You don't want a bunch of mids for a jazz sound regardless of whether you like it bright or dark. So I decide if I want a more scoopy sound with the treble above the mids, or a more smoky sound with the treble backed slightly below the mids.

    That's about it. Not too difficult. You can make more extreme adjustments, but these basic principles will work pretty simply.

  12. #36

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    If this were true, these amps would be louder when bass and treble turned all the way down than all the way up. My Princeton is significantly quieter when tone knobs are turned to 1. Same as my old Deluxe Reverb.

    Yes, the tone knobs are passive but they cut signal as you turn them down.
    Yes. I’ll also note that there is so much bass on tap with the bass knob of my Vibrolux-ish thing at noon that I have to turn the bass way down when playing an archtop, despite whatever effect this has on the EQ curve.

  13. #37

    User Info Menu

    I fiddled with the three tone controls on my DV Mark Little Jazz.

    It seems to me that they work as advertised. That is, the bass control seems to increase bass, without affecting the mids or treble. And, each of the others seems to affect only its own stated range. Not like my Mesa Boogie, where the controls are far more interactive.

  14. #38

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    That's about it. Not too difficult. You can make more extreme adjustments, but these basic principles will work pretty simply.
    Well it's not.
    I owned a Rivera M100 for a while and the amp was able to produce a number of good sounds. It was not a matter of playing and adjusting to flavour. It was about getting to know the amp and now what it is able to do.

    The more complex an amp. The more time it will take to experiment before you know what you are doing. I remember i met the guy who used to own rhe rivera. Het stepped into to the practicing room. Plugged in a guitar, twiched a few knobbes and made the M100 sound like i never heard it. He was in control. And that is often the trouble. A lot of people are not.

  15. #39

    User Info Menu

    It's not hocus pocus, you just learn the eq spectrum and then adjusting becomes intuitive. I run my XK-5 organ thru a 10 band eq and I know what each slider does and I can manipulate it to get the sound I want without too much trouble. I have a 31 band rack eq on the way.

  16. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    I have a 31 band rack eq on the way.
    Busted, you are cheating!
    And you play the organ too! Bro, I love the organ!

  17. #41

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by JCat
    Busted, you are cheating!
    Dang it!

    And you play the organ too! Bro, I love the organ!
    Organ rulez!

  18. #42

    User Info Menu

    On a serious note, I don't see why anyone would not use an eq if they couldn't get the sound they want. I'm one of the most anti pedal guys there is. They're just not fun for me, but eq is indispensable for me.

  19. #43

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    It's not hocus pocus, you just learn the eq spectrum and then adjusting becomes intuitive.
    So, by fixing the eq everybody sounds like eddie van halen? Or like Pat Metheny?

    It is hocus pocus. Not with a Fender champ or a little jazz. But the more complex the amp, the more hocus pocus it gets. A 30 band EQ is just that: an EQ. An amp is more than its EQ.

  20. #44

    User Info Menu

    Listen to the sound and adjust accordingly.

    Wireless is great for getting a sense of the sound in the room. I’ve started using this… it’s a revelation…. Recording gigs can be helpful too. Listen to the guitar sound in the mix.

    Practice room settings are not gig settings.

    obvious stuff really but I find it can be hard to remember all of this in the heat of the moment. Experience is everything, and the capacity to reflect.

    Sometimes you must suffer a little bit as a player to have a sound that works better for the audience. Treble down smooths out the sound, makes it easier to play, but may disappear in the mix. OTOH if you play to the side of your amp (sometimes unavoidable in small venues) it’s easy to dial in a sound that’s way too bright.

    I consistently want to hear the guitar louder when I am playing than when I am listening back. I know this intellectually, so don’t turn up too loud in general, but I still often play too hard to compensate which can lock up my left hand and cause tension when playing live with drums. It’s difficult. Boost pedals etc can help.

    there’s a sweet spot where I am not too loud but have helpful compression from the amp and don’t have to play too heavy, but on some gigs this seems to be like hunting a unicorn. On other gigs it all works great. I’m better at knowing ways to get this feel and sound more consistently, but it’s not 100%.

  21. #45

    User Info Menu

    Graphic EQ is great in theory, if you are good at hearing frequencies you can notch out a horrible room sound or whatever. However I’ve taken mine of the board because I’ve never found it that much help tbh.

  22. #46

    User Info Menu

    I could add that, in the process of getting to know your amp and its relationship to your sound, it is helpful to take it in small chunks - no more than a half-hour tops. Your ears need rest. And remember sound is contextual. It's not just you and your instrument and your amp - it's also all the other sound generator/reflector/absorber sources in the room at the time. It is a fluid situation that needs vigilance to manage. A good FOH person is helpful but frequently absent. Wing it, and hope for the best, prepared by practice.

    FWIW, I gradually started using my amp as a personal monitor - I aim it at my ears, whether it's in front of me or behind, and try to keep in mind that what I am hearing is what is going out to the audience, whether mediated by FOH or not. Regardless of whether it is feeding a mic or just bouncing off the ceiling, what the audience will hear is a version of that sound. I try to get it right from the outset.

    I do not always succeed, but I always try.

  23. #47

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    Graphic EQ is great in theory, if you are good at hearing frequencies you can notch out a horrible room sound or whatever. However I’ve taken mine of the board because I’ve never found it that much help tbh.
    I use it for my organ, but usually not for guitar because I'm already happy with the sound.

  24. #48

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel_A
    So, by fixing the eq everybody sounds like eddie van halen? Or like Pat Metheny?

    It is hocus pocus. Not with a Fender champ or a little jazz. But the more complex the amp, the more hocus pocus it gets. A 30 band EQ is just that: an EQ. An amp is more than its EQ.
    If you view adjusting simple levels as hocus pocus, you're not very smart. We're playing jazz with a bassy sound and some detail on top lol. Set the mids to medium and adjust the bass and treble to taste, will work every time. If there are other parameters like presence or master volume, I don't view those as insurmountable obstacles.

  25. #49

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    And remember sound is contextual.
    ^this^

  26. #50

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    If you view adjusting simple levels as hocus pocus, you're not very smart. We're playing jazz with a bassy sound and some detail on top lol. Set the mids to medium and adjust the bass and treble to taste, will work every time. If there are other parameters like presence or master volume, I don't view those as insurmountable obstacles.
    I use a Fender style amp with treble and bass. A good way to approach this and other tube amps is to dial up the treble and bass until they just start to affect the tone. No mid control on this one like a Deluxe Reverb, but mids are said to be set round 7 or 8 on black face style circuits without one.

    After that, you can adjust the bass and treble a bit for final tweaking. But that might not be enough, fender BF amps in particular have a scooped sound, not ideal for a jazz tone.

    I have three ways of dealing with this, though I'll only use one at a time generally.

    Number one, a Boss GE7 EQ with a very slight boost in the two low mid bands. This works pretty immediately, pretty simple actually. Mine is a modded version so it is very clean. Also useful for radically changing your tone when needed.

    Second, find a boost type pedal with an EQ that works, which can add a bit of mids and compression. I use a King of Tone for this, but there are many other options depending on what tone you are looking for.

    Third, I just picked up the new version Empress compressor. I have had a problem with one of my guitars in that the unwound second string is just louder than the rest, and the compressor helps tame it. There is a mix control so the effect is really subtle, not very compressed sounding really, more like an amp in the sweet spot. Plus it has a tilt EQ for added control.

    As an added benefit, you can leave the pedals off for a cleaner rhythm sound and use the pedal for a fuller lead sound, still with a very organic jazz tone. Works for me.