Check out the recent GEARCAST show on Kyle Bull’s YouTube channel where I had a great discussion about all things related to guitar tone and music.
NEW and updated for 2021! Introducing the LegendaryTones HOT MOD V2 EVO, a plug-in dual 12AX7 pure tube module specifically engineered to dramatically increase gain in Marshall amps. The HOT MOD V2 EVO requires NO chassis cutting, drilled holes, or wiring modifications to your amp – it simply and easily installs in place of the middle V2 tube position. The circuit within harnesses the power of an additional gain stage now running an additional 12AX7 tube.
Want your classic Marshall to sing with increased sustain and pure vacuum tube tone? Your tube high-gain solution is here. No solid state tricks or clipping diodes. 100% pure tube gain. The HOT MOD V2 EVO circuit was carefully designed to give you gradual increases of gain when using the amp’s preamp control. From adding a touch of sweet sustain, to full on metal, your Marshall will now have greater flexibility and deliver a wider range of tones.
We are honored and humbled by the great feedback we’ve received from customers since releasing the LegendaryTones Hot Mod V2 and Lynch Mod high-gain tube modules. Nothing is more satisfying than to create something that others can enjoy and be inspired by. Here are just a few testimonials below:
“My friend, I am absolutely blown away. I tried it in my 900 and it sounds amazing, I love how articulate the notes still are…Just ran my 900 with your HMV2 and the original (Soldano Hot Mod). I’m so liking yours way more. Just keeps more of your tone intact. I’m really enjoying it. Very responsive. Gets the same growl, but only if you really crank the preamp. The original is pretty much on 11 as soon as you turn your amp on. I’m pretty sure the Soldano Hot Mod is going to go on eBay. Yours is way more usable.”
Dave Hunter’s latest book is entitled, The British Amp Invasion: How Marshall, Hiwatt, Vox, and More Changed the Sound of Music, and covers a span of the influence of British amplification from the late 1950s onward. As an industry, the companies behind the amplifiers are a fascinating study, not only from a design and sonic perspective, but also because of the stories themselves that surround their business success and growth (or for some, their bad deals and decline).
Changing guitar strings is a lot like shaving; it’s fun and challenging at first, but do it a few thousand times, the less fun it becomes. Upgrading from a Bic shaver to three-blade cost me a little more, but it made the task easier and I got a better shave that lasted longer. When it came to making strings last, I boiled them, or cleaned them with Windex to stretch a set for a few more days. So, any string that promised a longer useful life, I’d try out a set, even when they cost more than my normal nickel/steel brand.
At LegendaryTones we certainly love discussing gear, but make no mistake, the gear is only part of the equation when it comes to tone and being a better player. A great player, with excellent technique and one who has the knowledge to apply musical principles, will not only be more enjoyable to listen to, but also have better overall tone. There certainly is truth to the adage, at least to some degree that “tone is in the fingers.”
One such musician who has spent years honing his craft is Dave Weiner (www.daveweiner.com). Dave runs GUITOPIA, on online guitar education website that is packed full of resources designed to make you a better player. Dave’s philosophy is to to teach in ways that focus on effectiveness and efficiency to maximize results. He focuses on creativity and opening up ways for players to develop their own styles. He does not, however, rely on tricks or gimmicks stating that players will become experienced, pro-level guitarists in a short period of time. At the end of the day, it still takes work and practice and what you get out of it is what you put into it.
If only things were so easy that we could buy the guitar we felt comfortable with, plug into an amp, maybe add a pedal or two, and then be done. Tone Nirvana. It usually doesn’t happen this way however. The problem is that there are numerous choices for gear and, and even more options for putting together the whole rig, to create an effective system that is optimized. And just how we use the equipment (whether for live use or studio recording) also makes a difference in finding what works for guitarists.
We recently wrote about the challenges with the Internet and its opinions. You can find as many people who will love or hate any particular piece of gear. This can become frustrating when trying to dial in a tone you’re interested in capturing.
When people most often think of vintage Marshalls, the most highly regarded are the non-master volume series including the model 1959 100 watt head produced in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. It’s hard to argue against the amp that Hendrix, Page, Van Halen, Clapton and many others used.
And while I would agree that they are incredible amps, the REAL game changer in my mind for Marshall was when the company introduced its master volume series of amps in 1976. The models 2203 (100 watts) and 2204 (50 watts) heads became instant hits, and quickly began to outsell the non-master volume versions by the late 70’s. Why? Well, they sounded great at more reasonable volumes which essentially made them more practical for guitarists who couldn’t always play at full volume and crank up a non-master volume Marshall inside a concert arena.
Knowing about the details of most anything can be a curse. Really. The devil truly CAN be in the details. I’ve been on the guitar tone journey for a long time and it all started when I was a young player in my early teens. I wanted to capture and emulate the exciting tones I heard from my favorite guitarists. That’s normal.
Over the years I’ve learned that the gear is only part of the equation. There is a lot of truth when people say, “Tone is in the fingers”, but we’ll get to that discussion in detail another time. It took me a long time to live by the thought and remind myself of this fact.
We’re thankful for YOU, our readers! And to show our gratitude, we’re giving away one of Robert Keeley’s most in-demand new releases, the Keeley Oxblood overdrive pedal. All you need to do to enter is insert a comment below with a topic you’d like us to research and write about next year! It could be anything from a review request for a specific product, a tone tip or question, a profile of a favorite artist or an interview, etc. We’ll select a winner randomly on DECEMBER 18, 2015! Good luck and wish you all a wonderful holiday season!