Has age or decent gear changed your ear for tone?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by starscream67, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. starscream67

    starscream67 New Member

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    Hi All,

    Probably a stupid question... but I don't know if my ear for tone has been changing as I get older or if as I get older I can afford better gear.

    A few months ago I got a Mesa Mini Rec and switching back to my trusty old Vox Night Train to test a new pedalboard build, I hated how it sounded until I played with the EQ - a knock on effect of the Mesa perhaps?

    I also restrung my core Custom 22 and SC245 in the last 24 hours and am surprised that the Custom 22 with the VB/HFS doesn't sound as good as I remembered - but the SC245 with the 57/08 (which I never really bonded with) I now love the sound of.

    Anyone else experience something similar?

    PS. Should I put 59/09 in the Custom 22 or just trade it for a McCarty one day when I can afford it?
     
    #1 starscream67, Sep 11, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
  2. Lee B.

    Lee B. I stitch my wings and pull the strings.

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    I know my ear for tone has changed with age, because certain frequencies are toast. :D
     
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  3. veinbuster

    veinbuster In the cards

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    I don't hear the same as I did ten years ago. I can still get the sound I like, but I'm not sure if it is the same to other people. They might not care anyway.
     
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  4. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    Tastes can ( Do ) change
    I know mine have , I have had the same MKII Boogie for 35 years as my main ( only ) amp in the last year or so I have been on a bit of a quest
    Ive had an Egnater , Marshall and now a 2 -Channel H also tried other folks Kemper , Bogner , Fender and another Marshall along with that I have discovered the Vol and Tone knobs on my guitars.
    IMHO better ( different ) gear opens up new possibilities !!!!
     
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  5. Lee B.

    Lee B. I stitch my wings and pull the strings.

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    I do like my Egnater head, but I think I'd like a Dr. Z Cure even better. And maybe an HDXA head with a 2x12. Age certainly doesn't cure gas, that's for sure!

    I haven't played the 59/09s yet myself, but I like how they sound on YouTube. They really seem to nail that darker overwound late-model PAF tone, but with noticeably less mud. There's one Reverb dealer in Florida (hopefully not currently underwater) who still has some covered ones for sale.
     
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  6. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Rah rah ah ah ah!

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    I feel like if your taste in music broadens as you age, you'll become more into different tones as well. When I was young guitar tone was all about MOP James Hetfield tone, nothing else mattered.
     
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  7. starscream67

    starscream67 New Member

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    Very true, Sergio. My music tastes went from grunge to hard rock to everything from pop to metal o_O
     
  8. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    I'd say this is very true with me as well. It was all that scooped eq and tons of gain. Now I enjoy lots of variety.

    As for your Cu22 question; I put a 59/09 in the bridge and a 57/08 in the neck. Love it!
     
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  9. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    I see you, Serg.

    My tastes have changed and I think it's mostly a result of better gear. I get something new, find something I like (or dislike) about it, A/B against an old favorite until I can pick out what it is about the new thing that's different from the old one.

    A big thing for me in the last couple years has been OD pedals. For quite a while the Visual Sound Jekyll & Hyde and Wampler Plexi Drive were at the top of the heap for me. Then I got a Wampler Sovereign, Dracarys, and JHS Angry Charlie, and I've found things that I like about each of them more. One thing amongst all of them is that they all have a lot more midrange than any pedals I've used in the past, and I think that might be a newer thing in the market.
     
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  10. starscream67

    starscream67 New Member

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    I've been doing this too - trying to figure out why my cheapest PRS SE Singlecut is my go to favourite. I bought a multimeter this weekend to measure the pickups so I can compare to all my other guitars. But so far the HFS bridge and Tone Furnance bridge pickups seem to be too hot for my liking these days. Sadly don't have my Singlecut with me right now to compare.
     
  11. flux

    flux Has the fever...

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    Yep, I too spent most of my time nuking mids from orbit, or trying to duplicate Vai's studio tone with rack gear. Ah, the folly of youth..
     
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  12. xjbebop

    xjbebop Yippy ki yay!

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    My ear for tone changes daily....
     
  13. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

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    My ear has been remarkably consistent. I like today what I liked 40 years ago. I do find that I hear more now than I did then. More nuance, more detail, and more volume. I expected to be going deaf about now and have to crank it up. Turns out I have to keep turning it down or it hurts. I think it is because my eyes are going bad. When one sense fades the others try to make up for it, right?
     
  14. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Putting aside the question of how well someone's physical hearing apparatus wears, one's appreciation for good tone evolves, changes, etc. Add to that, when we learn about different types of gear, and get to use it, we discover things about what we want to hear when we play.

    Presumably also, the more time you spend playing, the more time you spend listening. The additional listening, the added skills that come with having your playing improve, and sure, better gear, all add up.

    Then, too, maturity brings an appreciation of different musical styles, something that also broadens our musical horizons and affects our ear for good tone.
     
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  15. Screamingdaisy

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    My ear for tone hasn't really changed so much as expanded. I still like what I used to like, but I'm into more sounds now.

    It's not like I dial in those old sounds and cringe when I hear them. I still like them, they're just not appropriate for everything I do.
     
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  16. GuitarDrummer

    GuitarDrummer Always learning more...

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    I also like what I liked 40 years ago, but have added onto it. It is possible that gear has changed my tone a bit, but I would also think that my abilities as a player have also had an impact on my tone. Lessons and experience. I'd like to think that my technique is better, and therefore my tone.
     
  17. alantig

    alantig Santana-free since '63!

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    Those are two different albums... o_O

    I've never been chasing a particular tone, but I feel like my appreciation for a wider tonal palette has definitely grown. Sometimes I even turn the gain down to 9!

    I've always fiddled w/the tone knob on the guitar - not sure where I picked it up, but it's something I've fiddled with for a long time. I feel like I'm more discerning with it now, though.
     
  18. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk alberngruppenf├╝hrer

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    What?
     
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  19. Herr Squid

    Herr Squid I was severely impressed

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    The answer to both parts of the question is yes!

    One other thing is that tonal preferences can vary a lot based on mindset and mood. I play the Axe-FX II and some days a particular setting will sound wonderful and a different one will sound like complete poo. Then a day or two later, they'll trace places and I'll love the "bad" sound. I know the device is consistent -- it's me that changes!

    And go for the pickup swap. I've put 59/09s in a Cu22 (replaced the stock Dragon 2s) and been very happy with the results.
     
  20. Parralax view

    Parralax view New Member

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    I've played the same gear for decades. Same amps, same guitars, infrequent pedals, and it still sounds good to me. I know my ears aren't what they once were, and that is surely an effect and an affect. I was once told that I could get tone out of anything but that was a long time ago.
     

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