Struggling to find a good metal tone - Page 2
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Thread: Struggling to find a good metal tone

  1. #9


    Join Date: Oct 2016
    Location: Corpus Christi
    ME: LTD H7, KM6, 540SLTD
    MB: SR305E
    Rig: Helix

    iTrader: 0

    Welcome to the boards. You definitely came to the right place for help - there's a ton of cats on here with decades and decades of combined knowledge.

    I used to run a Marshall/Boss/Ibanez combo and swore by it (that's what I'm running in my avatar pic, actually - granted it's a JCM900 full stack). If you get the opportunity, I'd swap the Metalzone for an SD-1 or OD-2, both seem to play nicer with Marshalls than the MT-2. Another thing to consider is the pickups. If they're stock INF pickups they're going to sound thin no matter what you do. By just replacing the bridge one with a Duncan Distortion or Dimarzio Super Distortion (or better yet, an Elysian Hades Trident II ceramic bridge pickup) you'll hear a huge difference.

    What used to work for me was to barely crank the amp gain and drive it with the OD2. I found trying to push the amp's gain then piling on more from the pedal just made it sound fizzy/soft. But, keep trying, I totally understand how the tone you get either inspires or de-motivates, but you'll get there.
    Tone Chasers Anonymous ™ - I’m not just a member, I’m the President.
    Don’t expect much, it’s not like I’m a rocket surgeon.

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  3. #10


    Join Date: Jan 2014
    Location: IL
    ME: LTD EC 1000
    Rig: EVH 5150 III EL34 50watt

    iTrader: 0

    First off, welcome to the forum bro!

    A lot of us here started like you. I know I used to run a metal zone into a small combo when I was a kid in my parents house. While some are giving you hints to make your current rig sound better (with metal zone tips), I would just dump that setup to be honest. Fortunately for you, good gear for cheap is way easier than it was when most of us started out. In terms of your guitar, change out the pickups like Iron suggested. A seymour duncan distortion is a great option and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg either. Learning how to solder is also beneficial too because you are less apprehensive to try new pickups. Some of us here also have this stuff laying around in our drawers so feel free to make posts wanting to buy gear like pickups. Hell, I have 2 seymour duncan JBs laying around in my drawer right now.

    In terms of your amp/distortion sounds...

    There is deff a "meme" here of "just buy a 5150". There is a reason for that. The 5150/6505 series is a killer/affordable (for what it is) series of amps that is damn near impossible to get a bad tone from. You dont have to sit there and tweak knobs forever as long as you know the basics. However, even though they are affordable, they are not necessarily in everyones budget as the full size heads (used) are from $500-$800 and then you need a cab. There are also combos too starting around $350 on the used market. The other issue too is that they are loud as fuck. Its a tube amp, and most are really loud. If you live in an apartment than this is not a good solution. A good solution (for a 5150 variant) is the 6505 mh (mini head). 20watt head and can go down to 1 watt. I have one of these and its the amp I used late at night when the wife is sleeping. You still need a speaker cab for it but these are very affordable and it even has a headphone jack. Ill post a demo to it below.

    However, if you really do not want to go down that rabbit hole, just get a boss katana. Those things are just absolutely killer for what it is. My friend has one and it does anything reasonably well enough without having to need to have additional pedals because it includes a lot of the pedals (in digital form). Coming from most of us here, who have high end tube amps and digital modelers, they get a lot of praise around here. I think the 50watt combo is only $225 or something?


  4. #11


    Join Date: May 2020

    iTrader: 0

    Thanks everyone for great piece of advice!

    Since my budget is limited here's my shopping list for now:

    1) Boss Katana Combo
    2) Seymour Duncan Distortion pickups
    3) Reasonably priced audio interface to test amp sims

    Long term goal: 5150

    Can't wait to hear a proper chug

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  6. #12


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Tokyo
    ME: Ibanez RGIXL7-ABL
    MB: Ibanez SR505
    Rig: Fractal Audio AX8

    iTrader: 0

    Yeah, the Boss Katana is a great option that's pretty cheap (even cheaper used):


  7. #13


    Join Date: Oct 2016
    Location: Corpus Christi
    ME: LTD H7, KM6, 540SLTD
    MB: SR305E
    Rig: Helix

    iTrader: 0

    Quote Originally Posted by Pshemek1986 View Post
    Thanks everyone for great piece of advice!

    Since my budget is limited here's my shopping list for now:

    1) Boss Katana Combo
    2) Seymour Duncan Distortion pickups
    3) Reasonably priced audio interface to test amp sims

    Long term goal: 5150

    Can't wait to hear a proper chug
    Not sure if this would be helpful for you, but Reaper has guitar plugs-in built in (at least they used to...?) and the software is dirt cheap. You get an easy to use DAW and some plug-ins for under $100. Bonus: you can use it for free for a trial period to get you by and see if you dig it or not.

  8. #14


    Join Date: Oct 2016
    Location: Greensburg, IN
    ME: Jackson SL3X
    Rig: Blackstar ID TVP 150

    iTrader: 0

    i bought a focusrite scarlet 2i2 a while back and it works great for plugins with reaper. it didn't cost too much either. i think i payed like $160 for it. the plugins I started with was the Lecto plugin which is free and is supposed to sound like Mesa Boogie rectifier. you'll also need cabinet sims so it sounds like its going through speakers. without speakers the sound an amp makes is very harsh and ice picky. I use the NadIR from Ignite Amps for the cab sims. the NadIR also came with another amp sim which sounded really good as well. i used reaper's built in parametric EQ to boost the lecto plugin at 750Hz and cut the highs and lows. that tightened up the sound and along with the lecto sounded really chuggy. the cab sims from ignite were great for free ones and the sim loader lets you blend 2 together if you want.

    https://www.zzounds.com/item--FOCSCAR2I2V3

    Download Free Guitar amp simulator plug-in: LeCto by LePou

    Download Free IR cabinet simulator plug-in: NadIR by Ignite Amps

    alternatively, if you want get a better sound with what you already have you could try graphic EQ pedal. they have some really cheap ones on amazon for under $40. that'll let you cut and boost the parts of your tone that you like and hate and give you much better shaping control than your amp's contour knob. its pathetic that they couldn't have at least given you a 3 band EQ on that thing.

    https://www.amazon.com/Caline-USA-CP...dp/B01EPWGF8O/

    https://www.amazon.com/JOYO-Electric...dp/B085QKS9LZ/

  9. #15


    Join Date: May 2020

    iTrader: 0

    Thanks for more recommendations.

    Would focusrite interface play sound from laptop also so that I could play along with the mp3 track while using plugins?

    Currently I'm plugging mp3 player to my cheap amp but the output on headphones is terrible. I think it's mono even. Adds to my frustration.

  10. #16


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: London ONT
    ME: 6's
    MB: Aerodyne
    Rig: AxeFX III

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pshemek1986 View Post
    Thanks for more recommendations.

    Would focusrite interface play sound from laptop also so that I could play along with the mp3 track while using plugins?

    Currently I'm plugging mp3 player to my cheap amp but the output on headphones is terrible. I think it's mono even. Adds to my frustration.
    It will if that's how you set it up - I leave the audio as coming out of the headphone jack, as that's where my speakers are plugged in.
    ________________________________________
    Needs Sleep

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