How clean does it need to be?

ricksdisconnected

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You folks here are always talking about the cleans on amps. Being a rock/metal guy cleans aren't real high on my list for most amps or applications to me. I didnt care much for the amps overdrive tones but it had great cleans in my world. You just told me the amp was just about useless then. Maybe an end table or something, or somebody raves about an amp's tone and some guy says "yeah but the cleans suck". So how important are cleans to you on an amp and WHY? I mean if I want great cleans I can use a Fender or Dr Z.
 

Trelwheen

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My poor brain can't stop writing every imaginable kind of music so I've got to have many different tools for different situations.

I've got high gain amps, classic rock type amps, amps with greasy cleans, and spanky clean ones....I've got guitars with single coils and HBs, high output, low output, etc etc

I do tend toward higher gain needs, but for example, plugging a Tele into my Magnatone Panoramic and cranking the vibrato can inspire a mood that starts a whole different avenue of exploration.... Not to mention the fact that playing clean will make you clean up your chops in a big hurry
 

fitz288

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The music I listen to, and emulate with little to no sucess, does not have a lot of "cleans".
The cleaner stuff is usually acoustic, or still a little on the edgy side of clean.
Electromagnetic induction transmitted through cables to various signal enhancements and amplification circuits creating voltage fluctuations to drive magnets connected to a speaker diaphragm.
Makes me wonder just how clean is clean?
 

Matthews Guitars

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Every amp I have ever played that I found had a great overdrive tone has a great clean tone.

Ever amp that I have ever played that had a bad clean tone had a bad overdrive tone.

The clean tone is the foundation of the amp's tone. (For most, but not all, amps.) Adding overdrive on top of it can't overcome a bad clean tone.

BUT...some clean tones don't overdrive too well. If they're too bassy, or too sparkly/trebly, I don't expect those to overdrive well.
 

Vinsanitizer

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I don't like pristine clean, but if it's got to sparkle like breaking glass, there's only one sound for that: a Stratocaster on the neck & middle pickup position, into one of Fender's cleanest maps. Otherwise, a Tele on the bride pickup, and whatever that Dick Dale surfin' stuff is called.

For me, there are 3 tones: dirt (scooped), crunch (flat), and high gain solo (huge fatass mids).

:shrug: ...chews gum.
 
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don550

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It depends on what the gig calls for… if the band is doing a gig where ballads are required I will bring a amp that cleans up or has great base tone but can roar where needed. Some songs just sound off in a dirty amp and I want the tone of my Les Pauls or Strats to be the focus.
 

KraftyBob

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There are a lot of bands that have songs that start clean then get to the heavy stuff: Metallica, System of a Down, Creed, Tool, etc. While they’re not sparkling clean, they‘re not breaking up either.
I play a lot of those so having a good clean with headroom is important to me.
Also, a lot of guys look for that good clean amp as a base for a pedal platform. Say what you want about the Fender Hot Rod series, but it’s perhaps the best selling amp out there for that reason. Show up at a gig with a Hot Rod on the back line and plug in your pedal board. If the clean is shitty that’s only going to show up in your dirt tones too.
 
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sdn25

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Cleans are somewhat important to me as I like using my volume on the guitar a lot for dynamic playing. I also have a switchable treble bleed installed on my Charvel that lets me do cool sparkly stuff and transition into a meaty riff. So in essence I don't like 'clean' cleans, but a the clean tone as a result of lowering your guitar volume is very important.
 

Geeze

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I remember reading that a 'good' non tube HiFi system produces less than 0.1% THD [total harmonic distortion] - it may have been less than that. A 'good' guitar amp is somewhere in the 10% THD. Not sure if the writer was referencing [shudder] Fender on that number or not. 0.1% is clean.

I tend to prefer everything with a bit of 'fur' on it. While I'm mostly a Marshall guy I have a Satellite Cuda [KT66] that even pushed hard may be a medium grind at best into EVM12L's. One of these days I'm going to find a 2x12 with Blues in it and try it. I just ordered an Atom which has been described as a pissed off AC30 with big cajones that had sex with a Superlead. We'll see.

Russ
 
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Mitchell Pearrow

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Cleans are somewhat important to me as I like using my volume on the guitar a lot for dynamic playing. I also have a switchable treble bleed installed on my Charvel that lets me do cool sparkly stuff and transition into a meaty riff. So in essence I don't like 'clean' cleans, but a the clean tone as a result of lowering your guitar volume is very important.
This is the manner in which I do it as well.

Cheers
 

mirrorman

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My poor brain can't stop writing every imaginable kind of music so I've got to have many different tools for different situations.

I've got high gain amps, classic rock type amps, amps with greasy cleans, and spanky clean ones....I've got guitars with single coils and HBs, high output, low output, etc etc

I do tend toward higher gain needs, but for example, plugging a Tele into my Magnatone Panoramic and cranking the vibrato can inspire a mood that starts a whole different avenue of exploration.... Not to mention the fact that playing clean will make you clean up your chops in a big hurry
This. Different amps for different applications.
 

jmp45

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My poor brain can't stop writing every imaginable kind of music so I've got to have many different tools for different situations.

I've got high gain amps, classic rock type amps, amps with greasy cleans, and spanky clean ones....I've got guitars with single coils and HBs, high output, low output, etc etc

I do tend toward higher gain needs, but for example, plugging a Tele into my Magnatone Panoramic and cranking the vibrato can inspire a mood that starts a whole different avenue of exploration.... Not to mention the fact that playing clean will make you clean up your chops in a big hurry

1959 or 1987 gets clean enough for me.. But hard to beat the Twin with coffee can SROs.. I get the Magnatone inspiration.. I have a little $99 used Vox VT15 stuffed behind the couch I noodle on in the evening, it's clean with a slight verb and delay.. Kind of does the same thing.
 

GregM

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I love switching from clean to dirty using the pickup selector . I'm mostly using my lil studio sc20h and I have the volume up and gain usually down at one or two . Then attenuated to the desired volume . High input .
Can get gnarly enough for me off the bridge and really clean off the neck , especially with my lil stacked p90 LP . Not using pedals except a tuner . Occasionally a chorus or phaser in the loop but very rare .
The exception being my Gibson LP . Has had the neck pup replaced by previous owner . I'm going to change it one day but there's alot of dirt on that neck . If I want to clean up that neck I use my Vox . But my gibby is my inspiration guitar not my main player so not in a rush .
 

Barfly

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Maaaaaan... screw the cleans.. LoL. Give me OVERDRIVE!!!!! hahaha I like cleans but whatever. I'll make it work.
 

Redguitar

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I like an ultra spanky clean...for some songs. Others need the ultra higain slam. Most need in between, but even my 410 needs another 12 modes to cover that.😜
 

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