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the signal processor method


The amount of knobs I’d want on my ideal guitar would be none at all. I only need one pickup; a single coil in the neck position.

I don’t need a tone knob because I leave them on max treble (the one exception being the Hofner Archtop, but that’s not a gigging guitar).

Volume? Don’t need it. The expression pedal on the signal processor is always set to ‘volume’, so I use that. It’s also much easier to control volume that way. Once the soundcheck is done, the max volume doesn’t need altering either.


When I got my latest signal processor (a Line 6 POD HD400), I spent a long while constructing the ‘perfect’ tone for my Soloist XL guitar. It turned out beautifully.

This tone has been copied & adapted to suit other gigging guitars. TBH, the small tweaks are minimal and are mostly just EQ levels.

When I get a new guitar, I select the neck pickup (I don’t use anything else) and turn the tone to full on treble. Then I allocate a new bank for it on the signal processor, I clone the ‘master’ tone patch and tailor all the EQ settings right there. If I get it right, I never touch it again. So depending on what guitar I use, I just select it’s custom tone patch bank.

There are 4 slots in a bank. I only really need one, but I clone it and add some tremolo to suit ‘Mama Told Me Not To Come’ on one. So it’s only used on this song.

For the 650C and the Deuce I have added a second clone. That second clone has a tad more gain (about 6%) and perhaps a smidgeon more treble (3%). This is used as a ‘boost’. The 650C needs this past the 12th fret on solos. The Deuce needs it on a couple of songs that benefit from a little punch at the last bars of some solos.


The 3rd position in the bank is pure guitar with no amp modelling or FX at all. This ultra clean setting is for ska rhythm.


I don’t need the 4th patch slot.



I know what sound I want. (except that Fender one :))

I have the sound I want.

Therefore I don’t need to faff about with it.

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Great read Rudi.


Things will change with a variax.


Line 6 strove for authenticity as much as humanly possible with the models included.  This means that the output and tone control varies widely from model to model.  One of the forum members from VGuitars created a customized bank based on all the original settings but...Volume levels.  He normalized the volume across the board so if you are switching say from a Les Paul to a Gretsch Duo Jet the output is the same.  I have his custom bank which I've modified a little on my variax.  It's convenient but not authentic anymore.  As a result I'm going through a "unbalancing" act in my own modded model guitars.  Sure I can't change the virtual string windings, gauge, bobbins and base plates but there is much that can be done with regards to varying the output on a per string basis and altering the pots capacitance and resistance.   It's nothing that I would advise a working musician to do.


My first "serious" modelling attempt is trying to recreate Frampton's Les Paul Custom.  His signature model is not far from the truth to the original one he owned.  Which was modded before he acquired it.   Originally it had soap bar P90's not humbuckers.   Though Gibson states that his original "modded" LPC had two Gibson humbuckers and a humbucker of "unknown origin" in the middle.   I personally have every reason to believe that all three humbuckers were SD's.  two Jazz and one JB in the bridge.  As well Frampton's original had a different wiring then every other 3 pup.  On the original one it was two tone and two volume. On LP Customs with 3 pups the wiring goes.... Neck only, Bridge Only and the middle position is bridge and middle.  On Frampton's one that he played he had the middle pup always on.  And the tone was bypassed for the middle pup.   The three-was selector was...

Bridge-Middle, All Three, Neck Middle.   When you take out the tone control completely on a pup the character of the pickup sound changes.   The problem with my noble idea is that the variax won't allow a position which uses all three pups at ones. Or to use two pups at the same time with one pup having a tone control while the other one doesn't.   Crazy cork sniffing stuff I know.   In the end I opted for middle pup only for the middle position and boosted the middle pup levels as Frampton's pup levels are set (the middle pup has a higher output then the bridge/neck.  It's been fun and I just wish I had an amp that was loud enough to capture the whole thing.   






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Mike, I knew about the volume disparity (perhaps from you?). The volume normalization seems like a sensible move.


You probably have realised that I will get a Variax soon. I finally got the refund on the Flaxwood.

I want to try out the remaining JT models, but will almost certainly get a Standard, based on the one I used at PMT a short while back.


Designing a new tone is certainly appealing. I doubt I would try to do as you have and try to recreate an existing sound. 

I'm not sure what you mean about the volume of your amp. Maybe you dont have the opportunity to use the volume levels to make the simulation complete. Or maybe you literally dont have a powerful enough amp?

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5 hours ago, Rudi said:

Maybe you dont have the opportunity to use the volume levels to make the simulation complete. Or maybe you literally dont have a powerful enough amp?


Both.  At ten watts output and having to limit the master volume to 5 (neighbors)  It's just not there for me.   While I've got a 60 watt roland cube sitting in the corner anything past the 3 mark and the cops are at my door.  

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