Finding YOUR Tone
As guitarists, we are all searching for our sound, but sometimes finding that sound can be elusive. Whether we have to work with a backline that we are not used to, or we are trying to learn how to use a new shiny new toy that we haven’t told the wife about yet, it is important to know how to get YOUR sound out of an amp.
Today, I wanted to talk about some of the most iconic amps on the market, Fender amps. Fender amps are amazing, and I personally love my Modded ‘76 Bassman Ten. Many other players love Fender amps, because they make a great pedal platform amp.
How Does The Tone Stack Work?
One thing that stands in the way of people and finding their sound is realizing how the tone stack on different amps work. Fender amps are no exception here! Most people believe that “all eq’s at noon” on an amp means that your tone is “flat” (or unaltered). This is not the case for most amps. Let me prove it to you, and show you what it takes to find your sound on a Fender Amp.
Finding The Bassline
In order to find our tone we need a bassline. Let’s call our bassline a “flat” frequency response. This allows us to hear the guitar tone least affected by the circuitry, and begin to make changes from there. Although “flat” does not mean that it sounds the best, it is a good starting point in order to make changes.
Like I said before, many people believe that “all eq’s at noon” is flat, and let me show you why that’s not true. Below is the Duncan Tone Stack Calculator. With a everything at noon, there is a pretty severe mid-scoop. This is what everyone in forums call the “Fender mid-scoop”. Not that this is a bad tone, it just isn’t a good bassline for reference.
The way that a Fender amp is designed, the tone tone stack is flattest when Bass is almost at 0, Mids are at 10, and Treble is at 0. Actually, it is flat as long as the treble and bass are at 0. The mids are set at 10, because at this setting, there is the least amount of gain lost. With the Bass and Treble at 0, the mid control acts as an additional volume control. Don’t believe me? Get the Duncan Tone Stack Calculator and try it out for yourself.
Note: On a 2 knob Fender tone stack, the Mid is fixed at about 7 with a resistor, but the amp is still flat with Bass and Treble at 0.
Find YOUR Sound
Now that you have the tone “flat”, you can manipulate it to suit your tonal needs, enabling you to find YOUR unique sound. Have fun and try out new settings! Now that you have a better understanding of how your amp works, you can find new life and inspiration in the gear that you already have!
I hope this was helpful in equipping you to find YOUR sound! If you found this article helpful, please follow Moustache Audio on social media, and take a look at our products here on our website.
At Moustache Audio, we build gear that allows you to dial in something unique to fit your personal playing style. We want to help you groom your tone, and shape it into the masterpiece that you have always dreamed of.