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Not that a mere mortal couldn't nail that tone with something, but it's unlikely to be anything specific that one could plunk down a credit card in a store and walk out of there with the few specific things needed. Keep in mind as well that the good reverend uses ridiculously light gauge strings (Joey uses .019 thru .063 !!!), and there are obviously going to be things like ribbon mics and one-off amplifiers involved.

If you stumble onto that sound, great, but don't go looking for it, because you won't find it on a shelf.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you stumble onto that sound, great, but don't go looking for it, because you won't find it on a shelf.
Not expecting that, but I can hear that a fuzz is in the chain and fuzzes are in the deepest rabbit hole where I have no intention to set foot in. I can get pretty close with the few OD pedals I have, but I feel I need some of that little square frequency.

BTW, 9-42 gauge strings for me.
 

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Not expecting that, but I can hear that a fuzz is in the chain and fuzzes are in the deepest rabbit hole where I have no intention to set foot in. I can get pretty close with the few OD pedals I have, but I feel I need some of that little square frequency.

BTW, 9-42 gauge strings for me.
1) Those are "heavy gauge" from Billy's perspective.
2) I wouldn't classify what we hear in the video as "fuzz". More like a distortion to my ears.
 

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Yes. string gauge doesn't make tone. But string gauge yields output level, and output level into clipping device WILL alter resulting tone. Stick a clean booster, set for a smidgen more than bypass volume, into a distortion pedal, and you WILL easily hear the difference. Indeed, the whole basis of the Tube Screamer's design is to provide the same degree of clipping for wound and unwound strings by providing more gain for unwound than for wound.

Personally, I classify overdrive, distortion, and fuzz, based on how long, after the initial pick attack, the pedal maintains the same amount of harmonic content. It subsides quickly in an overdrive, lasts a bit longer in a distortion (often with a bit of treble emphasis to help along), and will endure for quite a while in a fuzz. Indeed, the onomatopaeic name for such pedals tells the story - fuzzzzzz.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes. string gauge doesn't make tone. But string gauge yields output level, and output level into clipping device WILL alter resulting tone. Stick a clean booster, set for a smidgen more than bypass volume, into a distortion pedal, and you WILL easily hear the difference. Indeed, the whole basis of the Tube Screamer's design is to provide the same degree of clipping for wound and unwound strings by providing more gain for unwound than for wound.

Personally, I classify overdrive, distortion, and fuzz, based on how long, after the initial pick attack, the pedal maintains the same amount of harmonic content. It subsides quickly in an overdrive, lasts a bit longer in a distortion (often with a bit of treble emphasis to help along), and will endure for quite a while in a fuzz. Indeed, the onomatopaeic name for such pedals tells the story - fuzzzzzz.
We all have different ears. Mine wouldn't hear string gauges ... or maybe wouldn't care.

As for clipping, I see an OD as a smooth silky clip, like a cat's purr. Distortion is more of a nails on chalkboard kind of thing. Fuzz image I get is like a car bearing grinding the little metal balls to cubes.

Fuzz...........................................................................OD.......................................................................Disto
Rectangle Slope Font Line Parallel


Like I said, different hearing.
 

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Perhaps I didn't convey my point clearly. I agree that both our ears would not likely "hear" string gauge differences in tone...from a clean signal into a clean amp. But the very same string gauge, feeding low output vs high output pickups into an amp that is subject to breakup would be heard by both of us, no differently than would the same strings, into the same pickups, into the same amp, BUT with the gain control on a pedal turned up a bit for one of them. What the pickup senses depends on string thickness. The fatter the ferromagnetic body wiggling above the polepieces, the more signal is produced by the coil. A person CAN lower the tension of thicker strings by tuning down a bit, but that only changes the pitch and tension, and NOT the impact of a thicker string on the pickups.

So, one wouldn't hear string gauge differences in tone if the entire rig was set up to be clean, no matter how you strummed. But the moment there is any possibility of clipping, thicker strings WILL generate more, under normal conditions.

In principal, there is usually no electronic distinction between overdrive, distortion, and fuzz circuits. With a few exceptions, they generally differentiate based on how much gain they apply to the signal, how they set up the clipping threshold or otherwise limit headroom, and some toneshaping to move some parts of the spectrum in front or in the back. Many simple drive pedals can be made to be distortions, or even fuzzes, by pushing their front end harder. The same principle that lets a "clean" boost push an amp into overdrive also applies to a boost feeding an overdrive pedal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Perhaps I didn't convey my point clearly. I agree that both our ears would not likely "hear" string gauge differences in tone...from a clean signal into a clean amp. But the very same string gauge, feeding low output vs high output pickups into an amp that is subject to breakup would be heard by both of us, no differently than would the same strings, into the same pickups, into the same amp, BUT with the gain control on a pedal turned up a bit for one of them. What the pickup senses depends on string thickness. The fatter the ferromagnetic body wiggling above the polepieces, the more signal is produced by the coil. A person CAN lower the tension of thicker strings by tuning down a bit, but that only changes the pitch and tension, and NOT the impact of a thicker string on the pickups.

So, one wouldn't hear string gauge differences in tone if the entire rig was set up to be clean, no matter how you strummed. But the moment there is any possibility of clipping, thicker strings WILL generate more, under normal conditions.

In principal, there is usually no electronic distinction between overdrive, distortion, and fuzz circuits. With a few exceptions, they generally differentiate based on how much gain they apply to the signal, how they set up the clipping threshold or otherwise limit headroom, and some toneshaping to move some parts of the spectrum in front or in the back. Many simple drive pedals can be made to be distortions, or even fuzzes, by pushing their front end harder. The same principle that lets a "clean" boost push an amp into overdrive also applies to a boost feeding an overdrive pedal.
OK.
So, stacking gain pedals would act "about the same" as a boost up front.
 

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I learned all about gain-staging and cumulative gain back in 1974, when I learned how to take an itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny microvolt signal from muscle, and amplify it up to a level where it would drive a solenoid pen recorder on a polygaph. Every stage along the way (and there were several) requires an optimum input signal to behave its best, and the final result depends on the synergistic interaction of all stages.

Same thing with gain-stacking.
 

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Wait a second... so, you were designing polygraphs a decade before I was born? No damn wonder I am so far behind :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I learned all about gain-staging and cumulative gain back in 1974, when I learned how to take an itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny microvolt signal from muscle, and amplify it up to a level where it would drive a solenoid pen recorder on a polygaph. Every stage along the way (and there were several) requires an optimum input signal to behave its best, and the final result depends on the synergistic interaction of all stages.

Same thing with gain-stacking.
I have a hard time making the difference between ON and STANDBY on my amp.
 

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Wait a second... so, you were designing polygraphs a decade before I was born? No damn wonder I am so far behind :)
I most certainly wasn't "designing" them, but I was being trained in how to use them for my undergrad project. You think maintaining a good S/N ratio is important when your guitar puts out a couple hundred millivolts? Try working with well under a hundred microvolts. My first FET preamp was built into the head of a rat in 1976, so we could get decent brain activity recordings 40ft away, but that was just following a schematic. I have no formal training in electronics, but the amount of electronics, signal-processing, programming, and interfacing one has to learn about and use, for psychological research, is more extensive than many realize. And it's not just brainwave or electrocardiogram stuff. If your research involves measuring the effect of some drug or training experience, on a rat choosing and running down an alleyway, there's going to be photocells, and solenoids, hooked up to timers. If a pigeon's pecking pattern, for testing their visual memory is involved, there's going to be microswitches connected to an input/output port. And so on. The days of clipboards and stopwatches disappeared long ago.
 

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what fuzz would come close to that tone ?

I think a take on the Kay fuzz could come close to that (but would add a bit more barbwire as opposed to the granular gritch in that clip).

Here is a clip of the Basic Audio Kay fuzz that I made.
In the past I've participated in a few TGP tour boxes with BA fuzz pedals.
https://soundcloud.com/caesarshift%2Fasparagus
I have a BA Marq Won, but I think its "grit" is a bit more tightly packed (like wet sand on a beach).
https://soundcloud.com/caesarshift%2Fmarq-won
 
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