What am I hearing?

Discussion in 'Tone Zone' started by living room rocker, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. living room rocker

    living room rocker Member

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    For you veteran tone guys that can put into words what it is that you hear.....a quick question. I'd like to recreate the tones I hear in the intro to Van Halen's "Finish What You Started". I'm a clean tone player but my tone is too sterile for my liking. Using an Epi G400 w/Pearly Gates and a cheapo solid state Fender Champion. How does one achieve that razor sharp spanky tone? It's undoubtedly a clean tone with what dialed in (or out)? What do you hear? Is it all in the choice of amps? Is it all in Eddie's fingers?
     
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  2. Gahr

    Gahr Well-Known Member

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    I think Eddie recorded it using a Fender Stratocaster plugged straight into the desk. The rhythm guitar is Sammy Hagar playing a Gibson acoustic. On the OU812 tour in 1988/89 i think he used a Fender Strat to play it live as well.
     
  3. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    I didn't realize that Van Halen recorded any records after 1984. :hmm:
     
  4. Gahr

    Gahr Well-Known Member

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    Hehe, Van Halen fans must be the most divided group of people in the history of mankind.:D

    Personally I definitely prefer the Dave years but I still like a lot of the Hagar stuff. Van Halen is my all time favorite rock band and the reason I picked up the guitar. Seeing them in Oslo in 1993 (the only time they have ever been to Norway) is still my fondest concert memory.
     
  5. DaveInSoCal

    DaveInSoCal Member

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    Kinda has that twangy Tele sound to my ears, a Strat as Gahr said would be a good candidate for sure. You could try it with the split coils on the G400 but that might not get there.
     
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  6. living room rocker

    living room rocker Member

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    I've a good understanding of basic guitar effects (reverb, vibrato, chorus, flange, delay, wah, etc) but a full understanding of your terms "gain, compression, touch sensitive, overdriven, edge of breakup" still eludes me; not enough varied experience yet. There's something in Eddie's tone that gives it that spanky sound.......is this the "edge of breakup" commonly referred to in tube amps, or higher gain, a compressed tone maybe, overdriven?
     
  7. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah, Sammy Hagar, wasn't he that guy in Montrose? I've been to his bar in Cabo, fun place!
     
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  8. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    Let's see, I'll try my best, and in the simplest terms.

    Gain is the amount of input signal, which when hitting an amp can cause various degrees of overdrive.

    Compression is when the signal gets compressed, losing some of the highs and lows and can be a result of higher levels of gain.

    Touch sensitive is when playing harder results in more gain, and usually a more overdriven signal.

    Edge of breakup is the sound you get when your amp is just starting to overdrive, it's a very nice place to be, IMO.

    And overdrive is when a device that creates gain in an audio signal, like a vacuum tube, begins to work beyond it's ideal parameters. For guitars that can often be a good thing.

    You can go a lot deeper with all of those definitions, and I'm there are others that could do much better than I, but that's my abridged take on it.
     
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