way too bright tone


Hi,  I have spent hours  trying to develop a clean sound and I am beginning to think it's not possible with this amp.  It is way too bright, or high toned...  It's like the guitar's B string is way louder than the other strings..  I have tried 2 stratocasters, and my alvarez acoustic and they all sound horrible.  These guitars sound fine on other amps.  I have even turned off all of the effects and I can still hear that high ringing noise, so it looks like the problem is not something I can adjust away...   Has anyone else experienced this?  Hopefully I am missing something simple, because I love the idea of the amp and interface.

edited 31 Dec 2017 at 06:27 PM

Bud Evans

asked 31 Dec 2017 at 04:12 AM

Bud Evans
Something that will help the Forum is more specifics about amplifier you have, and what pre-amp and power amp settings you are using. As you are realizing, there are many combinations available and all have their own tonal qualities. You may simply have not discovered the right combination as yet. I have Strat's, P90, humbucking, filtertron and other instruments along with a CODE 25 and have yet to experience what you describe. Making use of the User generated pre-sets may also help in determining what settings work best with your specific instruments. Bear in mind that the signal from a Fender single coil will be significantly different that say an Ibanez single coil. - Dave Duncan 31 Dec 2017 at 06:07 AM
Answers: 2


You're right Dave, I should have thought of more details.  I am using the Code 100H amp head and a Marshall MX 412B  speaker cabinet with 4 12" celestion speakers.  My main guitar is a Fender Strat Plus with the lace pickups.  And I have re-watched several youtube videos and I believe all of the code amps have this issue.  Now that my ear is looking for that ring, I hear it in all of the clean samples in the videos too.  However, in all of the sample videos, the guitarist is strumming very very lightly, so it is not as noticable.  If they were to play an aggressive strum like Long Train Runnin by the Doobie Brothers, I'm sure their sound would be unacceptable too.  And I have tried all of the presets and tried to make my own.  Even with all of the effects off, I hear the ring.

edited 10 Jan 2018 at 02:36 AM

Bud Evans

answered 31 Dec 2017 at 06:23 PM

Bud Evans
Have you tried any of the User created presets...?
There are lots to choose from and several setup for Stratocasters. Making use of the USB connection is a great tool to listen to presets before downloading. In the meantime I'm going to do some research and maybe help with an answer. Stay tuned...
- Dave Duncan 31 Dec 2017 at 11:11 PM
awesome! thanks Dave! Yes, I have tried tons of the user presets. And a most of the clean ones sound fine as long as you strum very lightly. It's weird, because it seems to be that B string ringing, and when I watch youtube videos, even though all of the clean ones I could find are light pick style, you can still tell the B string is louder even on their guitars. I've been playing for 30 years, and I can't remember the last string I broke, so I don't think I have an unusually aggressive strum. I've played around a lot with the compression on this amp too, but that ring does not go away. thanks! - Bud Evans 01 Jan 2018 at 12:51 AM
No problem. This is what Forums are for. I'm thinking that it might be preferable to exchange email addresses and keep the back and forth off the forum, as it just fills the space with uninteresting conversation. You are welcome to send me a note at dadun@telus.net and we can continue on our own. Cheers! - Dave Duncan 01 Jan 2018 at 03:30 AM
no please.....keep going on here so we can see what or how to fix if this is indeed a problem for others too ...and for record....code 25... Gibson standard....I haven't noticed anything....yet.... :-)
- dave thomas 02 Jan 2018 at 09:19 AM


Per request, here is my response to Bud as a starting point...

After reading through your comments and thinking about possible solutions I decided to do some research into Ritchie Blackmore and his gear.

His main sound was from a stack with a Marshall Major 200W head as his primary amp and (2) 4x12 cabinets. Pretty classic at the time. This is a version of the 50W and 100W Plexi from the 60’s where the 200W was originally a PA version. If you listen to some of the early Deep Purple stuff (Machine Head for example) you will hear a Stratocaster with more mid-range than say a Clapton tone of later times. Blackmore also did most of his work with finger plucking rather then pick, which helps with the mid’s.

So I am suggesting you start with a Plexi or DSL preamp, going into a Marshall 30W or 100W power amp. As you go through each cabinet sample you should hear the mid’s change. Don’t forget about Resonance and Presence as these settings will affect the ‘ring’, as it were, of the power section and cabinet emulation. Especially the Presence. EQ should be set at ‘5’ or 12 o’clock as a starting point then fiddled from there. I would expect you will decrease Treble and Midrange accordingly. No effects should be on as this will affect the signal tone depending on the effect being used. But you probably already have this process figured out so I’m just going through the process to see if it makes sense to me…

 My suggestions are based on a CODE 25 and other experiences so my apologizes if I am way off base for the 100W head and cabinet you have.

Perhaps you could do me the favor of testing the presets I have posted and let me know what you think or if I am close. They are ‘Strat’, ‘Mor Paul’, and ‘Filtertron’. You will find the Mor Paul a little darker and that may help you. 

Another thing to examine is the pickup. I’m not sure if you have covers on yours but if not check the height of the pole pieces. You may just have a hot section in the pickup. If you are able to lower the pole under the specific string that can sometimes help with signal strength. Another thing I’ve done is rotate the pickup 180 degrees. It’s not always a solution but it can help through the process of elimination. 

Tell me… what other amps are you using where you DON’T get the ring….? Maybe we can find the proper setting based on that.

answered 02 Jan 2018 at 05:09 PM

Dave Duncan (57)
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