Fat Les Paul Tone

POST UPDATED – see comments for more guitar tone information !!

Jamie from the US has asked us how to get a fat tone from his Les Paul. Well, tone is a particularly personal matter but also comes in as many flavours as the imagination. There is no single method, set up or solution. Alot of TONE variation is achievable simply through your guitar to start with. If you simply use your neck pick up you will find the tone becomes more warm, more naturally rounded, rich, arboreal and smooth. Compliment this through changing your tone selector pot and you`ll be on the way. A tube or valve amp such as a Vox AC 30, or a Sunn amp will also help. Personally I use an Award Session amplifier.

It`s best to experiment with as much gear as you can. If you can`t get hold of a valve amp try a valve based pedal – maybe an Electro Harmonix English MuFF`n or Big Muff PI. These things`ll give you a fat range of tones from Clapton through to Leslie West and more. You could of course hitch a ride along the digital highway and look at stuff like the Line 6.


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    Jamorama Post author

    Having a look at and comparing the classic guitar track Hideaway by Freddie King, Johnny Winter, and Eric Clapton will also give an idea of how different guitars and amplifier combinations contribute to tone in both a sonic and a stylistic way.

    Dont quote me on it but I think:

    Winter used to favour a Music Man amplifier and a Gibson Reversehead Firebird.
    Clapton used a 1962 Les Paul Standard with PAF pickups and a 1965 Marshall Combo.
    Freddie King used a Les Paul and Gibson 345 stereo.

    The heavier the gauge of strings you use will contribute to depth of tone too. Heavier gauge = better TONE but harder to play and higher action.

    I set up my stratocaster with a higher than usual action & unique bridge set up; making it all too easy to play robs the sound of character I.M.H.O.

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