1. I like the second tone; cleaner, bluesier, more vintage. Done on your 335 I guess.

  2. I actually really like both tones. The second fits what you were wanting to get from BB King tone and it sounds great. The first tone reminds me of Warren Haynes–clean w/ some fur around it! Nice work!

    1. Thanks a lot. I like both as well, but the artist was looking for a clean tone.

  3. Hi John – I liked them both too – though you didn’t tell us if after the clean up the client gave you the job !!
    As they say you pays the money you makes the choice ! I tried the attenuator route as I use a Boogie F30 for gigs ( no trouble with clean tone there ) – but preferred using a little Epiphone 5 watt hot rodded and hand wired here in the UK to get the breakup sound at just the right levels for home recording

    1. Oh I guess I forgot that. Yes I got paid! I’ve been working with them for about 6 months now. So far I’ve recorded 4 songs with them. His name is Eddie Towns who toured with Solomon Burke and had a hit song in the 80’s.

  4. I like them both, too. But I agree with you, they each have a place. Thanks for what you share, I think I’m gonna have to grab those Clapton lessons! You give tone info of those, too, right?

  5. Hey John,

    Great post. I completely agree with you as far as distortion being a tone killer. Be it on an amp or a pedal, but distortion pedals are far worse for tone in my opinion. I’ve found that the you should focus more on creating the distortion and gain with your playing and technique with things such as palm muting, scrape picking, etc.

    I’ve also found that as far as amp settings go, gain is the last place you want to turn for distortion, much like you said. I usually find a real nice, bluesy distortion with a low gain (between 2-4, tops) and a medium treble or highs (between 4-6). The mid range is really dependent on the sound your after, use those to shape your tone. A lot of guitarists are quick to jump on the gain and distortion band wagon in search for an aggressive or distorted tone but few realize the key lies in their hands and less so in their gear.

    Having said that, however, your pickups will play a role in this as well. If your going for fat blues, my personal favorite, and a wide spread favorite among musicians, are single coils. There’s a reason the classic Strats had em for decades.

    1. Deven,

      Very well said!!!

      Jeff Beck is the perfect example to prove your point!!! I took me a couple of years to figure out…..its not what he is using when he plays, but…..how he plays!! Yea….im a little slow, but I generally figure it out….Lmbo :D

  6. I like both tones but prefer the second one, I think the second one with a little less reverb than the first one sounds great. I have a 57 Fender Twin Custom Shop Reissue and it sounds great, but with just a very slight touch of reverb ( tube T REX), it is killer for those blues tones. I fully understand why Eric Clapton loves those apms. John you always have great tone, thanks for being a perfectionist. Play on.

  7. Well, kind of a silly question to ask what tone is better just in general, because it matters (duh) what you want to sound like. If you want vintage blues, then obviously the second tone is better, but I don’t see why the first tone is perfect for a different setting. Its all context. Just as John points out in his youtube Duane Allman video, their are no set rules in music, and sometimes that distortion gives you more of a vocal or horn like quality.

    1. In fact, rereading the article, John mentions that what the article means is distortion is killing your “classic blues” tone, because he does say how in other setting he loves the attenuator etc.

  8. I like the first tone much better, but they both sound good. Hard to say out of context with what the licks were accompanied to.

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