By KenBJammen on Jan 31, 2012 | In Music
Well, the year is 2012. Here is an update on my thoughts on Single Coil’s manifesto. (Broken into 4 parts). Single coil’s manifesto has been gracing the internet for about 10 years now, the true origins lost somewhere in the depths of a Harmony Central archive. Although these truths were self evident 10 years ago, do they ring true today? I am not sure that all 20 truths are still the way it is.
Here is part one of the 2012 thoughts on the single coil manifesto.
Here's Single Coil's opinions on nearly everything important about guitars. I've limited to 20 points, all of which should be accepted as Gospel. Trust ye the word of Single Coil on this folks, he knows what he's saying.
1. The vast majority of players play amps that are too powerful. If your tube amp is not being turned up past 5 or 6 on a regular basis, you're not using it to it's design specs. Most people don't realize that a "little" 15 watt tube amp is pretty loud. Sure, you may need that 100 watt head for the next 120,000 seat outdoor festival you play . . . but you'll still have to mike the amp. And how much stage volume do you really need? That's just the way it is.
I continue to agree with this. Go to any guitar center and find the amps that everyone is playing. The ½ stacks, the large combo amps, etc. A great sounding 1 x 12” tube amp combo with the right microphone will sound better than any modeling amp. That is really how it is in 2012.
2. Sounding good beats sounding "just like" some famous player. A great clean sound, a great blues sound and a great lead sound are all you really need. You can still play that Santana song without a PRS into a Boogie. That's just the way it is.
I also agree with this. People still go out and buy this amp because this person or that person used it. Each individual player needs to go an find their own tone. Be cautious of artist endorsed tones from a molding amp or a modeling multi-effects pedals. Modeling is good, but will leave you feeling empty in the quest for great tone. That is really how it is in 2012.
3. Buying effects is the least effective way of improving your sound. Most effects end up unused after the initial thrill is over (and it doesn't last long). The most frequent exception to this is a decent distortion box. That's just the way it is.
Probably somewhat true, but less true than it was when this was first written in 2002. This could probably be changed to add the word “Cheap” or “mainstream” in front of the word effects. A great reverb pedal will go a lot further that a cheap one, unless you are looking for that cheesy sound. There are very few decent effects pedals under $100, most decent will cost more than you want to spend. There is a great deal to be said about true bypass and a buffered signal chain. Arguments both ways have validity. That is really how it is in 2012.
4. Admit it, you really DON'T need more than a couple distortion / OD / fuzz boxes. That's just the way it is.
Unfortunately there are four distinct types of pedals that fit into this group, BOOST, OVERDRIVE, DISTORTION and FUZZ. Each of these types of effects are different and unique. There are unique qualities to each type of boost and they work differently. This can also be said of the Overdrives, Distortion and Fuzz categories. Fuzz reacts differently both before and after Overdrive. Overdrive sounds different before and after distortion. Some distortion works well with an overdrive pushing it, and some do not. Boutique quality effects have the highest likelihood to sound good through a good tube amp and sometime sound terrible through a cheap solid state amp. Sterile mass produced effects tend to be designed to sound better through a tube amp, but sound OK through a solid state amp. If you go on a tone quest, you will eventually go through the effects stage and spend some time on the quest for the best OD/DS/FZ box. That is really how it is in 2012.
5. Don't get your feelings hurt if non-guitar playing people in the audience don't notice your awesome tone. They're probably watching the singer anyway. That's just the way it is.
This continues to be true. Many successful bar bands are mediocre at best. They are playing what people want to hear when they are drunk. The most successful bar bands care about what the audience wants and not about equipment. The best bands that have perennial followers take and meet somewhere in the middle. They have great individual musicians who have a quest to sound great, playing what the audience wants to hear. In the same vein, if you have the greatest vocals and your guitar player sounds like a buzz saw, people will think your tone sucks. That is really how it is in 2012.
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