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Thread: Brownie Tone

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    Default Brownie Tone

    Hey Gang:

    I thought I'd share what I've recently found to be some excellent "Brownie"-like tone.

    Some of you may know I've been in the recording business for a long time (17+ years). It used to be my main occupation, but now it's part of my overall career as a self-employed musician (which also involves playing, teaching, and writing). Last year I moved my studio into my house; what I lost in space I gained in convenience. My band's long in-the-works new album is finally getting done--mostly because I head down whenever I feel like it to do mixing work. I've been finishing up my guitar tracks and, in some cases, re-recording them.

    A few weeks ago I played one of the mixes for a bandmate, and we both agreed it needed an additional lead part that was "Slash-like." So I attempted to get "Slash tone" as closely as I could with the gear I have. The chain was: Hagstrom guitar w/ Gibson 498 and 490 pickups (basically it's my Les Paul); Dunlop Original Cry Baby Wah; GFS Brownie pedal; Peavey 5150 II head (clean channel, crunch engaged, bright not engaged, pre-gain at about 2); Marshall JCM900 cab. I mic'ed the cab with a 57 and ran it through an ART Gold tube pre and an ART Pro-VLA tube compressor. The result was astounding. With the wah in action the tone was indeed quite Slash-like. With the wah off it was more "brown" than just about anything I've ever tried. The key ingredient was definitely the GFS brownie pedal. I bought mine used off eBay for like $35. I figured for that price it was worth a try. This weekend I took a similar approach for a song's main track--replacing my previous Wolfgang/5150 II track. Different guitar, mic, pre-amp, and compressor, but it yielded a very similar result: brown. This time the chain was: Peavey Wolfgang guitar; GFS Brownie pedal; Peavey 5150 II head (about the same settings as above); Marshall JCM900 cab. I used an AKG 451 condenser mic and ran it through a Demeter H Series tube pre and a Focusrite Compounder compressor.

    A photo of this weekend's set-up is attached.
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    Very interesting... sounds like yet another gem that GFS makes. I might have to pick one up!

    I've been eyeballing their "dual tubescreamer" Twin Overdrive pedal for a while... I recently built an "original" tube screamer (correct 'premium' vintage parts and schematic) because I like building guitar related electronics for fun (ya, I'm one of those weirdos hehe). It sounds really nice, and so I was looking forward to hearing how it compares to the GFS tube screamer that is not built with 'vintage correct' components (which some people prefer).

    Also, having the 2nd channel of a TS9 screamer circuit would be very useful in the studio.

    What was mostly holding me back is the lack of reviews about GFS pedals -- especially the distortion/overdrive pedals -- from people who's ears I trust. I've heard of people using the flanger and liking it, etc., but nothing about any of the drive pedals.

    Now hearing this about the Brownie Pedal.... I might have to try one out... and maybe a handful of their other pedals!

    Also, what speakers are in the JCM900 cab? Vintage 30's?

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    Oh, and I just noticed something that might be important...

    The first thing it says here http://store.guitarfetish.com/NEW-DE...es_p_1076.html is this:

    "All new and redesigned for 2012. Now in the CLASSIC cast aluminum indestructible case!"

    Not sure if yours is one of the "old" ones or the "new" ones... I wonder if they actually changed the design....

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    Interesting... Before putting my 5150 combo up for sale, I'm gonna try the same thing with my Catalinbread DLSMKII and see what kind of tone I can get out of it. If it isn't workin' after that attempt, I think it will be time to part with it... It's a really early one, I got the first one the local music store got in I believe in '94 or '95... My years are runnin' together...
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    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    Hmm that might be fun to try! That's always been my thing with the 5150, I can never get it warm enough sounding.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjstudios View Post
    Oh, and I just noticed something that might be important...

    The first thing it says here http://store.guitarfetish.com/NEW-DE...es_p_1076.html is this:

    "All new and redesigned for 2012. Now in the CLASSIC cast aluminum indestructible case!"

    Not sure if yours is one of the "old" ones or the "new" ones... I wonder if they actually changed the design....
    They just changed the box. I have the old one. (And I actually like the new box better.)

    It's been a nice discovery. I tried out the Brownie quick when it first arrived and just thought: "Yup. Dirt." And it went onto the big pedals shelf. I tend to delve into the distortion/overdrive/fuzz pedals when I do overdubs and want tone that contrasts with my main track. With the Brownie I've so far had the most success keeping the gain and tone knobs rolled back quite a bit. I've used its "Open" setting the most.

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    Got any clips?

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    I'm hesitant about posting clips until the song has been formally copyrighted and released. But we're probably going to release the song within a few weeks on the interwebs, so I'll post a link to it then.

    About something else GFS... A while back I bought a couple packs of their guitar strings. I put a set on a Wolfgang Special last night and attempted to check intonation on that guitar tonight. They SUCK! The A and low-E strings were useless! TERRIBLE! I replaced the bottom three wound strings with GHS, and all was back to being good. Ugh. Avoid those strings at all costs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AT View Post
    About something else GFS... A while back I bought a couple packs of their guitar strings. I put a set on a Wolfgang Special last night and attempted to check intonation on that guitar tonight. They SUCK! The A and low-E strings were useless! TERRIBLE! I replaced the bottom three wound strings with GHS, and all was back to being good. Ugh. Avoid those strings at all costs.
    Really?! I love the GFS strings.... all the packs of .009's and .009 hybrids have been great for me. I've been using them since "Guitar Research" strings went out of business. I've probably used 15-20 packs of the GFS ones so far.

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    Speakin' of strings, I just broke my first one on my new Jet City a few minutes ago... I think I've had it 2 months now and I put on the Curt Mangans a week or two after I had it. I have a set of Kerly Kues that I am gonna try next. I've heard good things about their strings so I figured why not?

    As far as the tune goes, I am interested in hearing it just to see if someone can actually get a decent warm tone out of a 5150...
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjstudios View Post
    Really?! I love the GFS strings.... all the packs of .009's and .009 hybrids have been great for me. I've been using them since "Guitar Research" strings went out of business. I've probably used 15-20 packs of the GFS ones so far.
    This was the second set I put on a guitar--both hybrid lights. The previous set was just for a re-string, so I didn't check intonation. I did notice those strings sounded kind of clanky and oddly bright. The E and A on this set I put on the Wolfgang last night were awful. When a wound string won't intonate properly it's a sign of a bad wind. I won't touch those strings again.

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    As far as strings go, I was using EB 9's with my floyd guitar, seemed like a string broke every week. I swapped to D'addario 9's, the core of the string is brass coloured for some reason, I don't know if that's the difference here, but I've yet to break a string in a whole year WITH a floyd guitar (and I whammy the shit out of it xD)

    I'll have to try some GFS and see for myself

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    Quote Originally Posted by AT View Post
    This was the second set I put on a guitar--both hybrid lights. The previous set was just for a re-string, so I didn't check intonation. I did notice those strings sounded kind of clanky and oddly bright. The E and A on this set I put on the Wolfgang last night were awful. When a wound string won't intonate properly it's a sign of a bad wind. I won't touch those strings again.
    Wow, that sucks. The strings are fairly bright -- but I like that because I leave them on so long that they mellow out, but don't go completely dull over time.

    Actually now that I think about it, I just restrung a guitar with some GFS strings the other day, and the A string seems to be going out of tune a little more than normal.... even after I've stretched it a lot.... I'm gonna look into this more.

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    I have a 5150II stack so i am going to try this for a more classic EVH tone. I use the clean channel with the crunch on for the older VH tones but it needed a bit more ohmph and this pedal may be just that bit more ohmph?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fast98dodge View Post
    Speakin' of strings, I just broke my first one on my new Jet City a few minutes ago... I think I've had it 2 months now and I put on the Curt Mangans a week or two after I had it. I have a set of Kerly Kues that I am gonna try next. I've heard good things about their strings so I figured why not?

    As far as the tune goes, I am interested in hearing it just to see if someone can actually get a decent warm tone out of a 5150...
    I have a 5150 combo and can get a nice warm tone.....for me, the difference is low-output pickups...my Les Pauls have PAF-type pickups and they sound great. With those guitars, I can get a great Marshall-y tone without any pedals, just into the amp. I hated the stock pickups in my PV Wolfgang (too shrill for me), so I just changed to GFS VEH pickups and it now sounds fantastic...I also turn up the Resonance to about 8 and have the Presence set to about 4 and that helps, IMO.
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