Where Does Tone Come From

Racerxrated

Well-known member
I hear

I heard that. That’s why I don’t bang the GF before a gig. Can’t waste the guitar tone batter. But I find no matter what I play thru, I sound like me. So I say the hands are a huge part.
Except, when you dial ANY amp in you always dial it to your preference, hence sounding like you on any rig.
Whether you realize it or not. I think that’s mostly the reason why people say it’s “in the hands”…..no, it’s mostly in the fact that we all eq any amp to our liking. My Triple Rec sounded like my Marshalls because I eq every amp the same way….and not by moving the eq knobs identical; but I dial the eq until it sounds right to me.
The “in the hands” thing reflects your playing style, vibrato, phrasing etc. But tone comes from the gear in the chain.
 

bikerdude2

Well-known member
Except, when you dial ANY amp in you always dial it to your preference, hence sounding like you on any rig.
Whether you realize it or not. I think that’s mostly the reason why people say it’s “in the hands”…..no, it’s mostly in the fact that we all eq any amp to our liking. My Triple Rec sounded like my Marshalls because I eq every amp the same way….and not by moving the eq knobs identical; but I dial the eq until it sounds right to me.
The “in the hands” thing reflects your playing style, vibrato, phrasing etc. But tone comes from the gear in the chain.
I respectfully disagree, although that is certainly a part of the equation. I remember going to a open mic with my guitar player. We both played thru the host bands guitar rig separately on different jams, and a musician friend made the comment how different our tones were using the same guitar/amp/settings. No EQ differences, but like you said differences in our technique picking attack flesh of our hands, etc. it’s definitely more than one thing that contributes to your tone, in my opinion. I just think the hands play a huge part.
 

anomaly

Well-known member
I respectfully disagree, although that is certainly a part of the equation. I remember going to a open mic with my guitar player. We both played thru the host bands guitar rig separately on different jams, and a musician friend made the comment how different our tones were using the same guitar/amp/settings. No EQ differences, but like you said differences in our technique picking attack flesh of our hands, etc. it’s definitely more than one thing that contributes to your tone, in my opinion. I just think the hands play a huge part.
It's just technique dude. Some players know how to use vibrato properly, bend in tune, play in tune in general, and have a feel for it and some don't and those playing techniques makes a guitar sound good. Our hands are all the same basically, just flesh and bone, something to manipulate the strings. Tone is not in the hands, technique is in the hands. Tone is in the pickup, strings, amplifier circuit, cab, speakers.

Actually, tone comes from Ziltoid The Omniscient, a good cup of coffee and beer.
 
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sahlomonic

Active member
I think most of tone comes from the amp, and lesser from the guitar/wood/pickups, but the hands are what makes or breaks it. Just have two or three different guys play the same riff or lead run on the same rig, and they'll likely all sound a little different. Some guys can have great rigs but the tone is jacked. Inverse is also true. There's a vid of Satch jamming on a poverty rig at some dude's house, and it unmistakably sounded like Satch.

Reminds me of a story from Ted Nugent way back when he was excited to play EVH's rig when they were on tour together. Something to the effect of how disappointed he was that it sounded nothing like Van Halen.
 

bikerdude2

Well-known member
It's just technique dude. Some players know how to use vibrato properly, bend in tune, play in tune in general, and have a feel for it and some don't and those playing techniques makes a guitar sound good. Our hands are all the same basically, just flesh and bone, something to manipulate the strings. Tone is not in the hands, technique is in the hands. Tone is in the pickup, strings, amplifier circuit, cab, speakers.

Actually, tone comes from Ziltoid The Omniscient, a good cup of coffee and beer.
Well, the best thing about opinions is we all get to have them. Life would be boring if we all had the same opinion. Hell, more boring as guitar players if we all only liked one tone!
 

sytharnia1560

Well-known member
It's just technique dude. Some players know how to use vibrato properly, bend in tune, play in tune in general, and have a feel for it and some don't and those playing techniques makes a guitar sound good. Our hands are all the same basically, just flesh and bone, something to manipulate the strings. Tone is not in the hands, technique is in the hands. Tone is in the pickup, strings, amplifier circuit, cab, speakers.

Actually, tone comes from Ziltoid The Omniscient, a good cup of coffee and beer.
you are right. Tone is in the guitar/amp/cab .... but a players "sound" is 100% in their hands. Problem is some players don't have their own sound so calm it is the gear
 

scottosan

Well-known member
Tone comes a synergy of pickups, tonestack and speakers and how well they play with the resonant peak of your specific guitar. Like the guitar, pickups, tone stacks and speakers have either resonant peaks, or boosted or cut frequencies that all have to work together.
 

SQUAREHEAD

Well-known member
Tone =
Pick,
Strings,
String gauge,
Pickups,
Pickup placement,
Bridge,
Nut,
Guitar wood,
Neck wood,
Fret Material,
Guitar wiring,
Guitar cord,
Amplifier,
Gain Stages,
Wattage,
Transformers,
Preamp Tubes,
Power Tubes,
Speaker cable,
Speakers,
Speaker Cabinet,
Cabinet wood,
Front / Rear loaded,
Microphone,
Mic placement…



Technique = Brain / Hands



… just my opinion.
I know, Maybe I’m in the minority😉
 
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cobrahead1030

Well-known member
It's an interesting video. It's also completely useless in a real world context.

I've played enough different guitars with the same electronics in them to know it makes a difference in my hands, where it's actually being used.
 

scottosan

Well-known member
It also depends if your talking recorded tone or in room tone. Room acoustics have a tremendous affect on standing waves.
 
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