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Achieving a decent jazz guitar tone at low volume using hi-fi? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 5th April 2009
Lives for gear
I.R.Baboon's Avatar
Achieving a decent jazz guitar tone at low volume using hi-fi?

Here's the dealy:

After about 20 years of not playing guitar, i've decided to spend some of my free 10 minutes a day at home picking it up again.

The tone i'm looking for is something like Kenny Burrell or Grant Green

I will need to be playing at really low volume so as not to wake the kiddy or disturb the wife, so a regular guitar amp is out.

So what i'm wondering is, could i get a decent tone playing it through my hi-fi system? (i have a pretty decent hi-fi system)

I have a semi-acoustic jazz guitar so that's a good start.

The first obstacle will be low passing the signal to emulate a guitar amp. I will also need to be able to apply a very small amount of distortion. I have no idea what to get for this distortion. I checked out the Electro-Harmonix site, but all the demo videos feature rock / metal type playing, and even when the pedals are bypassed the sound is distorted as hell so i found it impossible to judge the distortion.

So basically slutz, what i'm asking is for someone to suggest a signal chain to get a half decent jazz tone at low volume thru my hi-fi.

What i'm thinking is DI, distortion unit, EQ (with low pass and tone shaping)

Budget is not really a problem, i don't mind spending a few hundred or even a bit more. It doesn't have to be pedal stuff, 19" rack gear is also ok.

Thanks! - I.R.B.
Old 5th April 2009
Deleted User
You can study this to death, but this is what works for me...what I'm saying is consider this approach but you don't have to do it.

My amp is a five watt Space Tone from Swart Guitar Amplifiers. It sounds very good in a household environment and I use with a Gibson jazz box as well as solid body guitars. It's supposed to be based on the Fender Champ.

There's a web site out there devoted to the benefits of low wattage guitar amps. Its called AMPTONE.

Guitar Amp Tone and Effects Placement

Of course you might be able to use a direct box and go into a mixer...but usually the non guitar amp sounds too clean.
Old 5th April 2009
Gear Maniac

Why not just pick up a used polytone mini brute for $125.00 and call it a day?
Old 5th April 2009
Lives for gear
The Polytone makes sense. Many of those guys used them.

All of the guys I work with that go for that sound go direct. I usually will use a tube pre .

Or maybe look at this: Mesa Boogie V-Twin Pedals

I love what it does for a natural guitar tone.
Old 6th April 2009
Lives for gear
I.R.Baboon's Avatar
Thanks for the advice.

I took a trip to my local guitar emporium and, after trying a few amps out, walked away with a Fender Blues Junior:

.:: Fender®.com ::.

Capable of subtle distortion at low volume and a nice onboard 3 band EQ.

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