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same gear, same setting, same player, same room...different sound?


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I spent a couple hours fiddling around with my gear and got it all sounding the way I like it. I used tape to mark all my settings on the amp and on all my pedals. The next day I took it to practice and I was very pleased with the fruits of my labor...it all sounded jsut the way I like it. Next practice I double check to make sure everything was still right according to my tape markings..it was...but I start playing and the whole thing sounds crappy. Thin distortion, so-so cleans that won't cut through the mix. overall, just scratchy boring tone with no balls.

 

What could cause this phenomenon? All the gear was 100% the same, all pedals are powered (not using batteries)...hell, nothing in the room even moved between practices. I thought I'd taken care of all the variables. Any ideas?

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Perhaps a slight fluctuation in voltage from the wall could account for the change. The interim period would seem to negate the possibility that the tubes were doing something significantly different, though if you set your levels/settings at the end of a long rehearsal session, you might find that the heat of the tubes had altered the sound somewhat.

My guess is the voltage.

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If you had a Germanium fuzz, those are sensitive to temp/humidity changes I believe. But you mentioned your cleans were different, so I'm not sure.

They do say "tone is in the fingers," perhaps your playing was affected by your mood/mental state?

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2 things...First is our ears. I always have my stuff on the same settings but some days it sounds better than others. I have to figure that if the gear is the exact same that it has to be the way I'm hearing it. The other is that to a certain extent tone is in your fingers. You play better some days than others!

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my classic is to forget to check if the wah is turned on :D

i was once in rehearsal early, so i started noodling around alone, and my sound was terrible. thin and noisy... i checked everything, settings and pedals and so on..

then i thought my amp was broken, i started changing tubes, everything kept the same, the guitar was thin, and a little volume u and it feeded back, and fieppt...

i had no clue whats wrong, i took me around one hour, 2 minutes after my bandmate came in, i looked at the wah, for the first time, stomped on it and everything was fine again :D

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Originally posted by t_e_l_e

my classic is to forget to check if the wah is turned on
:D

i was once in rehearsal early, so i started noodling around alone, and my sound was terrible. thin and noisy... i checked everything, settings and pedals and so on..


then i thought my amp was broken, i started changing tubes, everything kept the same, the guitar was thin, and a little volume u and it feeded back, and fieppt...


i had no clue whats wrong, i took me around one hour, 2 minutes after my bandmate came in, i looked at the wah, for the first time, stomped on it and everything was fine again
:D



You have no idea how many times I've done this!

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I go with RP on the humidity thing. The last two things between the amp and your ear are the speaker (with some sort of paper cone, susptable to humidy) and air (density differs with humidity and other factors) If you've spent any time driving a deisel powered vehical, you will have noticed how air temp and denisty affects it, I tend to think that speakers are affected just as much.

The other thing is you. Your energy level and how you hit the guitar and hold the stings makes a huge difference. It's near impposible to come at the guitar the same everytime, mood and energy level will flucuate, unless you are something more than human.

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Gremlins!

If you've ever had a great rehersal or soundcheck,
Or left a studio after setting up a nice tone,

you'll realize there's little microscopic knob-twisting, tone-screwing {censored}ing GREMLINS inside all your gear!

Some manufacturers still more in than others, but they're in there man!

That's the only answer it could be. :D

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Originally posted by t_e_l_e

my classic is to forget to check if the wah is turned on
:D

i was once in rehearsal early, so i started noodling around alone, and my sound was terrible. thin and noisy... i checked everything, settings and pedals and so on..


then i thought my amp was broken, i started changing tubes, everything kept the same, the guitar was thin, and a little volume u and it feeded back, and fieppt...


i had no clue whats wrong, i took me around one hour, 2 minutes after my bandmate came in, i looked at the wah, for the first time, stomped on it and everything was fine again
:D



Dude, i feel so stupid everytime I do that! and unfortunately it's been more than once! :)

Once I brought a guitar I hadn't played in a while and when I plugged in, got the noisy, thin sounding, feedback problem. I chalked it up to the guitar and dying tubes. Then 30 minutes into practice I go to kick in my wah, and it turns off and fixes everything. brilliant.

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the voltage varying could be one cause, depending on usage over the grid at that point the actual voltage you get from the plug can vary, so your amp may sound perfect at a quiet time, but if you plug in during the evening or whatever when more people are using electricity then the lower voltage can result in a thin nastier tone

your ear can be the problem too, some days i can plug in and get a perfect sound, others i just cant find the sound i am looking for, just my ear and what i have been listening to last changes the exact sound i am looking for

things like humidity and temperature will affect the way the amp works too, the relative heat of the valves and how quickly they warm up and so on

David

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The room may have been the same, but was your amp in the same place? We use the same rehearsal room every week, but because we set up and break down the gear every week, it's always in a slightly different place each week. That seems to change the way sound reflects off the walls etc, which affects how it sounds.

Some weeks it sounds great, other times it's just mush.

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