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Go to amp models for 90’s Rock/Grunge

Dirty145

Inspired
Any suggestions?? I’ve been using the Friedman BE V2, but wanted to see what others may be using. Main music we cover is Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, STP, Foo Fighters, etc…
 

sixtystring

Inspired
I'm a big Silverchair fan and their live guitar tone is ridiculously huge, especially for one guitarist.





I was actually looking into it the last couple days and apparently they used Soldano HR100's; I think HR stands for "hot rod". Not sure how much they differ from SLOs, but perhaps @2112 can comment...

 

GlennO

Fractal Fanatic
I'm a big Silverchair fan and their live guitar tone is ridiculously huge, especially for one guitarist.


[


I was actually looking into it the last couple days and apparently they used Soldano HR100's; I think HR stands for "hot rod". Not sure how much they differ from SLOs, but perhaps @2112 can comment...

[
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Frogstomp was recorded with a Marshall. Leon would know.
 
STP used dual amps - an AC30 and a Marshall. He'd blend a cleaner sound and a distorted sound to get more clarity because a lot of their songs have weird chord voicings (by rock standards).

Pearl Jam has had a lot of different tones over the years but start with a bassman or Plexi and try different overdrives.
 

sixtystring

Inspired
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Frogstomp was recorded with a Marshall. Leon would know.
From what I've read, I believe that they used the JCM 900 for Frogstomp era -- sometime after that he switched to Soldano HR100s


https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/silverchair-in-a-box.1810697/post-23821002
Really only a PRS into Soldano w/ greenback cab (for that era) will get you that very unique gutsy tone, it really is that simple. The low-mids of a PRS and the mid and high-mids of a Soldano Amp just works. He was using McCarty pickups (in the Green Custom 24 previously owned by Page Hamilton of Helmet) around Freakshow, but switched to Dragon 2's for the Tours (this was straight from a PRS dealer who enquired directly with John's manager and the reason I tried one).

He liked to set the amps with treble pretty low (3-4 max), mids around the same or lower, bass about 8 and presence very low. Freakshow tour was with JCM 900 cabs (G12t75) and thus he set the highs around around 2.5 due to the aggressive tone from those speakers.
 

biggness

Power User
Sound of the 90’s PRS into a Mesa Boogie.
Literally not a single one of those bands played a PRS, and except for the Foo Fighters, none played a Mesa. Lol

The 2000's? Yes, absolutely.

I think any chewy high gain amp would fit as long as you executed the riffs right. Grunge has a nice high gain sound, with a thick and full bottom end, but just enough to not override the sound. Stay away from boosting the amp with an overdrive to keep that "loose" bottom end.

I'd probably go with a XTC or even a properly eq'd 5153 to generically cover all those bands in one set.

There's a video that fairly popular on tiktok at the moment of a high school band covering Alice In Chains live. The only guitarist is using a 5153 50w and it legit sounds killllller. But their execution is spot on too. Lol

Link to video
 

2112

Axe-Master
Most of the usual suspects have been listed already, so I'll just note that having some crunch on the bass guitar goes a long way to the overall sound of a lot of those bands.

Also, it's an excuse for me to post a link to my favourite recording from the whole "grunge era".



The Hot Rod 50+ sounds pretty similar to the SLO with it's own quirks - the Solo88 models sound a little closer to it in the Axe to my ears.

@GlennO I was 6 when Frogstomp came out but it formed the musical backdrop to just about every garage band or house party I went to in my teens. Amazing what they were able to do at such a young age.
 
Soundgarden used Mesa Dual Rec after switching from JCM800 in the early recordings. The Mesa was mixed with a JPM.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.pr...yil-chris-cornell-and-ben-shepherd-2651073114

Most of the time a JCM800 lands you in most grunge territory, Pearl Jam used JCM800s at one point and I think Fender amps too.

For AIC use a Bognor, a JCM800 gets you close and maybe in the future, Cliff will add the Friedman JJ100 to the fine collection.

I do wish the Axe had a Demeter amp, good for those early STP sounds, mix with an AC30. If you are looking for sounds from Tiny Music you will have to experiment with a lot of low 5-10watt amps with small speakers. That album is more about production than single amps (superb album and some really original sounds).

This may help:

https://equipboard.com/

Mike
 

TSJMajesty

Fractal Fanatic
Sound of the 90’s PRS into a Mesa Boogie.
Considering all the different PU's and tones available on PRS's, and all the different-sounding Boogies, that's kinda wide open, dontchya think?
I "sorta" get what you're saying, especially since you pretty much described the rig I used in my 90's cover band, bit still...
 

TSJMajesty

Fractal Fanatic
Most of the usual suspects have been listed already, so I'll just note that having some crunch on the bass guitar goes a long way to the overall sound of a lot of those bands.
You beat me to it Leon! I was just thinking the same thing, but not sure how to describe it: That a lot of the sound had to do with how the bass was set to mix in with the guitar(s). Absolutely.
 

Budda

Fractal Fanatic
You beat me to it Leon! I was just thinking the same thing, but not sure how to describe it: That a lot of the sound had to do with how the bass was set to mix in with the guitar(s). Absolutely.

That's true today too. Good guitar tone means nothing without a good bass tone. And bass and drums need to sound great together. When guitarists hyper-focus on just guitar, watch out haha.
 

TSJMajesty

Fractal Fanatic
That's true today too. Good guitar tone means nothing without a good bass tone. And bass and drums need to sound great together. When guitarists hyper-focus on just guitar, watch out haha.
No, absolutely! And I was thinking that as I was writing. But something in particular about the music in the OP, just immediately sprung to mind about the bass, and then when Leon mentioned it...
Anyway... Yes, good reminder about not forgetting that that tone you're trying to dial in will sound different in the whole band mix. I've been seriously guilty of over-doing that myself, quite a lot.
 

Tom Morris

Power User
I'm stuck on the Fryette D60 More for just about everything these days. Killer Nasty ass amp. After 5 years tweaking fractal gear I have a pretty good understanding of all the controls in the amp block to tweak that sucker from clean to mean. Just went through 50 cover songs for a new old project and used the D60 for 98% of the songs. I'm not talking close enough tones I'm talking oh hell yeah thats it. Also using a custom IR I shot of a V30 greenback 212 I have. Funny thing is I now realize after using that custom IR for a year the mic I used is Shit needs a new element but it's more aggressive than anything Ive found from too many cab packs Ive bought.
 
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