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Jtmart

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Reply with quote  #1 
I'm just wondering what others use to get the tone they want from their touchstyle instruments. In You Tube videos I've heard everything from great tone to horrid tone. I've settled on compression-light delay and a little reverb into a Tweed Deluxe clone. I love the full rich sound I get from that combination. It's has bell like clarity but I get just a little growl from the tweed.

I have EMG active tele PU's on one instrument, it has my favorite tone. The other one has Seymour Duncam Blackouts, I installed them before I knew much about pickups, they're ok if you turn the volume of the instrument way down but they are harsh and not sweet at all if turned up. One of these days I'll be swapping them out.

Anyway, just wondering what others use.

Jeff

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Tapladder

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Reply with quote  #2 
I just use an old acoustic guitar pedal (Zoom 504II), to help simulate more of an "acoustic guitar" sound.  A tapped note can have too much of an attack, and not have as "full" of a sound as the same note picked or plucked on the sweet spot of the instrument.  I use the pedal to soften the edges of the attack, and to simulate some of the fullness.  But, any discussion of the tone of an instrument is difficult, as the terms are hard to define.
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russogermaine

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Reply with quote  #3 
I'm borrowing a friend's tapping guitar (an old Megatar) for a few months, so I'm a total beginner here. I haven't got a clue how to play it but I am really interested in trying to learn. But my real big hangup is that I'm a TONE freak. If I can't get the right sound out of an instrument, then I just get rid of it. Right now, I'm plugging the bass and treble outputs into an old Fishman Loudbox amp I have. That's it. Bass and treble straight into the two inputs on this amp. It sounds horrible. I'm ready to walk out on it right now. The bass is really thin and tinny sounding, the treble is shrill and flat. It is a little better through headphones, but not much. I've tried adjusting everything I can on the amp and can't get a good sound at all. And another thing that really bugs me about this instrument is that the tapping sound on the frets is part of the sound I listen to when I'm playing - CLACK, CLACK, CLACKETY-CLACK. This becomes part of the tone I'm listening to. Is this supposed to sound this way?  What am I supposed to do with all this? Like I said, I'm interested in this instrument, but the sounds I'm getting from it are not making me want to continue my adventure.
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Jtmart

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Reply with quote  #4 
The first amp I played through was a Peavey Solid State Bass amp I already had, sounded like crap. I then tried a Roland a keyboard amp, I thought it would be able to cover the wide range of octaves that a guitar or bass amp couldn't cover, again, sounded like crap! I played through a Vox ToneLab into headphones and got a sound I really liked but could not transfer that to an amp no matter how I set it up. I was very frustrated. I mess around with several instruments, including electric guitar, and had wanted a good tube amp but couldn't afford one so I built a Tweed Deluxe clone. From the first moment I plugged into I was in love. I got the full, rich, lush tone the solid state amps were lacking.

The compression helps to round off the notes and get rid of the sterile sound the tapped note seems to have, at least to me. I don't know what pickups that megatar came with but I think lower output neck pickups like the EMG's I put on the one instrument make a big difference too.

I would see if someone has a Fender Blues Jr they would let you plug into, I think you would be pleasantly surprised.

As far as the clackety clack, that bugs me a little too. I turn the volume up a some more.

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Tapladder

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by russogermaine
And another thing that really bugs me about this instrument is that the tapping sound on the frets is part of the sound I listen to when I'm playing - CLACK, CLACK, CLACKETY-CLACK.



When I set the action of my Megatar, I put a U.S. dime under a string on fret 12, and adjust the action down until the string is just touching both outside edges of the dime.  Is your action higher or lower than that?

Also, remove the dime, take a regular guitar capo, and capo some strings around fret 2, so they are resting on fret 2.  Look carefully at the gap between fret 12 and a representative string or two, as you slowly press the string to the fretboard at the highest fret. If the neck is straight, the string should just touch fret 12 at the same moment that it touches the highest fret.  If the string touches fret 12 before it touches the highest fret, or if there is a gap when a string is touching the highest fret, the neck isn't straight, and may need adjustment.

Does the "clack" sound get amplified, or do you just hear it directly from the fretboard?
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jdavies

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Reply with quote  #6 
I play a Megatar with gold pickups. I want the highs to be high and the lows to be low. No problem with the lows, but the melody side pickup always seems a bit too jazzy for me. So I use two cheap Behringer stomp boxes to tweak the tone. They are amp simulators, a blue one for guitar and a silver one for bass. GTI and BDI 21. With those I can dial in some more treble for the melody side and tame all the bass that's nestling in the bass side. I'm not much of a one for onboard controls.

There is a lot of clack in tapping - it's a percussive sound. You are imparting energy to the strings to make them vibrate and therefore give you sound by tapping them, metal string to metal fret. The "room sound" of that can be off putting but unless you have no neighbours or very understanding ones you might struggle to play as loud as you might need to to stop that being a distraction. It's just something about tapping - the instrument makes a lot more noise than, say, a guitar, especially on the bass strings I find, and the amplified sound can be strident! So, it's mostly out of the pedals, and then into headphones all the way for me.

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Tom Drinkwater

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Reply with quote  #7 
I've had really good luck with my Behringer keyboard amp in the past.  It's flat response and full range so it doesn't color the sound.  It also has a bunch of effects of which I only really use the delays.  The nice thing about a keyboard amp is that most of them have multiple inputs so you can run a bass pod and a guitar pod simultaneously into the same amp if you play run a dual region instrument. 

Now that my tapping is only on an 8 string guitar I just play through my Roland Cube on the clean channel.  That works pretty well.  One thing that I try to remember is some advice that Bob Culbertson gave me and that is to hammer down right on top of the fret.  I think it produces the most even volume and intonation overall.  The other thing I try to remember was a suggestion from Traktor and that is to turn up the volume on the amp but play softer.

     

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rainman

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Reply with quote  #8 
If you want to use just one amp but it has two channels, can you still get some effects with the melody strings while keeping the bass strings clean? For example, can you run the melody strings to an effects box and then to the amp and run the bass strings straight to the amp?
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Jtmart

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Reply with quote  #9 
I do exactly that, I run the bass side directly to one channel and I run the melody side through a compressor, chorus, delay and into my other channel. I'm not much on distortion for tapping but whatever you want. My tweed deluxe handles the bass just fine, some amps may not.
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