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Getting that Clean Marshall Sound


You may have read my post where I was deciding between my Marshall SL5 and Axe. I still have both and know I want to keep the Axe. My only problem is I can't seem to get the clean tones out of my axe without it sounding like crap where the cleans sound really nice on the SL5. I'm talking about playing chords that don't sound extremely muddy or almost like i'm overloading the monitors(Yamaha HS80's). I have a few Les Paul's that i've tried and chords just sound really bad on my monitors. What am I doing wrong? I've tried various amps, AFD, JCM800, Friedman's, etc and the chords sound muddy or over distorted. Is this just the case or am I doing something stupid?


Fractal Fanatic
tried the JTM45 or plexi's?

fwiw, some guys love the JCM for cleans...but i haven't experimented with it enough to know if it does big/pristine type cleans


JCM 800 with the guitars volume knob rolled off gets me that distinct Marshall clean better than the SL5 ever did. bring the input trim down a little if its getting crunchy too soon. Play with the Graphic EQ just after the Cab and set it for 5 band passive, Q around .60 and just bring up the high mid a touch.


Fractal Fanatic
Try cutting the lows before the amp too with the cut switch or low cut on the tone page of the amp block. Keeps the tones tighter and less flubby or muddy with any amount of gain. You can add more bass back post-gain if needed. Also, describe the type of clean tone you are shooting for. There are countless varieties of sweet clean tones in the Axe ranging from smooth warm jazzy tones, to gritty tweed tones, to snappy funk and country tones, and more.


Fractal Fanatic
While you're working it out why not tone match that amp? This way you'll always have a reference tone in the box.
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