Thanks you guys, really appreciate all the input I'm getting! I'm gonna try to respond to all of you!
Originally Posted by numrologst
I hate to say it but your preamps are probably the weak link in the chain... The digi002 preamps are pretty bad...And bad preamps can cause some serious ear shrapnel on guitars.
The 57 and 421 aren't gonna be your problems... Although there are much much sweeter mics for cabs (r84, 121, 4038)... Ribbon mics really sound fantastic on cabs, especially the aforementioned.
Mic placement, room, amp placement in the room... are all huge factors too.
How does your amp sound when you are in the room playing it? If it sounds bad just listening in the room, then your cab can be giving you the mud, as well as bad tubes, blown resitors, and a whole variety of other things.
But I would definately think long and hard about your room and preamps
I don't have much experience with ribbons, but I tried the 121, but on a completely different setup (not my own), and it sounded great. However, as far as I'm concerned, considering how great tones I've hear recorded with either a 57 or a 421 (or a combination of both for that matter) I should be able to get a really good guitar sound with the mics I currently have at my disposal.
What you say about the 002 pres is of course absolutely true, they are not smooth in any way, but the kind of harshness I'm talking about isn't really the "subtle" sharpness you'd get from bad pres, but rather a sharpness that seems to be coming into the mics from the very beginning. If I was to get a pair of preamps, what would you suggest for guitar? I have serious GAS for the 3124, but right now it's a bit outside of my budget. Oh, and I tried running the 421 and 57 (separately) through the tl audio, and it still doesn't sound very good. The 5050 isn't exactly high end, but it should at least sound better than the 002.
And yeah, the guitar sound in the room is pretty decent, I think! I've got fresh valves in the 6100 and the tele (american) is great as well. But then, I'm not really playing with my ear 2" from the speaker cone!
The room sound pretty ok too, I don't think that's a major problem since I'm close micig here, and both mics are cardioids. The room I have the guitar cab in is really small and dead, so I'm not picking up much room at all.
Originally Posted by gainreduction
You might wanna try a 335 or a LesPaul instead of the tele aswell.
Thanks for the input! However, I have already tried a les paul, but it didn't really fit the sound I was looking for. I liked the sound of an explorer, but I enjoy playing the tele more, and that's more important to me to get a good sound, I think. The 335 is great, but I don't currently have one, I'm afraid.
Originally Posted by Jesse Miller
Not only room and mic placement can affect the sound you hear in the room. Is the Cab on the floor? Try raising the cabinate on a flight case or concrete blocks. Make sure the floor surface directly below the mic is Soft and not hard (wood floor?) Comb filtering from early reflections is often a problem ,where it may sound good to you in the room but what the mic hears is completly different.
You raise a pretty good point here, I think. This is the deal:
My cab is standing on wheels, though as you say, I should probably get a flight case since it would absorb some vibrations and not just transfer them into the floor. I really improved the sound of my guitar a while back by putting a blanket just below the mics on the (wooden) floor.
However, I don't think it's comb filtering I'm experiencing right now...
Originally Posted by Protools Guy
i would suggest getting it to sound right coming out of the amp/cab first. if it sounds great there, it should be easy to reproduce. if it sounds like ass, it's hard to polish.
Yes, this is exactly what I am asking. Could it be that the sound of the cab is just terrible? It's kinda hard to tell when you're listening to the room sound.
Originally Posted by FFTT
First I'd try several different amplifiers. While an amp built for live performances
may sound good in a live setting, generally a 5, 15 or 30 watt class A amp will
give you better results for recording.
You can try Greenbacks or a cabinet with a pair of Vintage 30's.
As mentioned above, try different cabinet placements and mic placements.
The room can also make quite a difference.
Sometimes a hard room can work, such as a concrete stairway or tile bathroom.
I've also recorded with the amp and mic wrapped in a makeshift box of sofa cushions.
Your Tele should should fine, but also as mentioned above, something with humbuckers may get you the sound you're looking for.
Also try recording with less drive than you would normally use live and see how that sounds.
Then there's re-amping a relatively clean signal back through your amplifier.
You can also try drop tuning your guitars or using a capo or multi-tracking the same part in layers.
Keep records of your set-ups, so you can go back to the ones that work best.
The 6100 is switchable between 100, 50 and 25 watts, and I always run it at 25w when I record. And I always use less gain than I would in a live situation. Actually, the sound is kinda low gain from the begining. The rest I think I have already answered?
Your last point is an important one. This is how I always do with heavier guitars (tuning lower to get looser strings) and dubbing the guitars. However, I don't feel like dubbing when I don't have a guitar sound I'm satisfied with yet. Thanks for tip though!
Originally Posted by tradarama
All things considered...if you're talking JUST about the tone of the speakers...assuming you had God's gift of everything else perfect in the universe (including the best tone fingers in the world because we all know that's the only place tone comes from)....then...
The V30s or G12H Celestions will give you a smoother tone than the speakers you're using. You could end up having to turn other knobs to avoid mush (not that those speakers are mushy but more mids smoother highs).
One trick that might work is to take a 4-12 and only put speakers in the top 2 slots (leave bottom empty). Some people say this gets them very warm tone. Don't run out and drop a ton of dough but 4-12s can be cheap to buy locally because nobody wants to ship them! Worth a shot.
But the speakers...V30s (yes many people HATE them) are pretty good to try.
Also I'm told that wiring to 16 ohms gets the fullest tone from your amps output tranny.
A couple of other things that are pretty inexpensive...buy a good quality cable from the amp to cab (monster will do fine ...the thicker one). Also try a better instrument cable.
I do tend to agree that a single coil will give you a very harsh distorted tone (although some pull it off). A humbucking guitar may be smoother (I'd bet my lungs it would be). If you do move that direction get a mahogany guitar (LPish).
Hope this helps. Jim
Some interesting thoughts here, Jim, thanks! Some of them feel a bit "audiophile-ish" (no offence!), like getting a high quality cable between the amp and cab. I don't really see how that could make a difference? I'm sorry if I'm just being naïve! I'm really curious about some other things though...
First of all, thanks for the tip about the V30s, I'm going to try them out (allthough people hate them... That ought to make 'em cheaper, right?
Why would leaving the bottom slots in a 4x12 empty make the tone warmer? I see that the resonances could be doing it, but what else? It sounds like it could work, but I'm always really curious about the theory part.
The 16 ohm thing is really interesting as well! It sounds plausible that the amp could be doing a better job with a higher impendance (running at 8 ohms currently), but I guess it would only be a very subtle change? I think what I'm looking for right now is a more "radical" change...
And oh, I already got very good quality instrument cable (I belive this is far more important than having a good cable between the amp and the cab).
And about single coils: I have a Seymour Duncan JB Junior in bridge position, sorry, I should have mentioned that earlier!
Originally Posted by tradarama
He and I have spent hours chasing old Celestion speakers. He may be one of the best accessible experts on speaker differences. His site is informative and I believe the discussions of the different tones is accurate.
Email him and ask if he still has clips of the different types of speakers and cones...it's pretty telling. You can tell him I recommended him (Jim Pallotta) although he's extremely nice without an intro. http://www.southbayampworks.com/faqs.html
Thansk! That was a lot of great info! I'm gonna have a closer look later on, when I have more time. If it is possible to get some sound clips, that would also be awfully interesting!
Thanks a lot for the kind tip!
Originally Posted by woomanmoomin
I think Fane speakers as used in some Hiwatt cabs ought to be less scooped than the ones you're using as well. Might hem in the harsh highs a bit, though I don't know whether they'd suit your style overall. Might be worth a look.
Oh yes! They have some blue ones I tried but forgot the name of which sounded really delicate! However, these were pretty expensive I think? Hm, isn't those cones the ones used in some of the newer AC30's?
Again, thanks everyone! Please continue posting in the thread! If it's not too much trouble, please see if I managed to formulate some new questions in this post. I'm not sure though?