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    Santana Tone

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    clearyrich

    Posts : 3
    Join date : 2015-04-15

    Santana Tone

    Post by clearyrich on Sun Sep 27, 2015 2:31 pm

    Hi everyone,

    I'd be interested to know if anyone has got anywhere near Carlos Santana's tone (early years or later) on the GM36 without the use of external pedals. None of the presets seem to get me very close to a starting point for tweaking.  I've tried the crunch, lead and ultra channels from scratch but I'm not getting much success so far.  There doesn't seem to be enough "smooth sustain" in anything I try, perhaps I need a comp and/or an OD pedal in front?

    Cheers,
    Rich
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    bordonbert

    Posts : 767
    Join date : 2015-01-28
    Age : 97
    Location : Southern England

    Re: Santana Tone

    Post by bordonbert on Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:08 pm

    Couple of questions are relevant here Rich (Richard?). How do you have your amp set up? Is it still with original valves? What speakers are you pushing it through? What guitar are you using? Are you using the guitar pickup selector to give your base tone and its tone controls to cut the top end back?

    All of these things are very important to the sound you will get. I suspect I'm like you in that I find the tone controls to be very "subtle"! (By that I mean they don't seem to really do as much as anything else I have ever played.) These other factors make up for the limited amp tone control though and when you get things right you can get rid of that hard bright layer that can sit over the top end.

    clearyrich

    Posts : 3
    Join date : 2015-04-15

    Re: Santana Tone

    Post by clearyrich on Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:05 pm

    Hi Bordonbert,

    Many thanks for your reply. All of the following applies to a very small home studio environment.

    The GM36 I'm using has original valves.

    I'm playing through a combination of small PA (via redbox) and a Hartke 4x10 cab which I can play in tandem or separately. Both outputs sound really nice and clear generally speaking on clean to ultra channels.

    I have 2 Gibsons (a Studio with Burstbuckers & a Special with P90s) and a Fender Deluxe Power Strat with Tex Mex pups (+ Piezo bridge).

    I favour the neck pups on any guitar I play as I like the creamier and smoother tones they produce.

    I have tried all 3 guitars as above and found it difficult to get that Santanaesque tone.

    Cheers,
    Rich (Richard)
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    bordonbert

    Posts : 767
    Join date : 2015-01-28
    Age : 97
    Location : Southern England

    Re: Santana Tone

    Post by bordonbert on Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:25 am

    I would have a read through some of the other threads, (some quite long and involved), on speaker choice and valve swapping.  Look in the TM36 section as well as they are fairly similar in their basic design and ideas there will be relevant.  Make sure to read the threads to get other opinions than mine.

    a) Valves make a fair difference to the tone.  There is the option to swap for a different valve type and there is advice there on what works (properly) and what is a risk.  Everyone has their favourite approach but the consensus of opinion is that changing to at least another make of the same type will improve things.  If you need a starting point, the opinion seems to be that JJ 12AX7s always give a smoother sound and help remove that top end glassiness.

    b) The amp is very sensitive to speaker choice also.  Again everyone has their favourite but, in my own case, Vintage 30s were like a razor to my ears while G12M Greenbacks improved things immensely.

    I would also point out that this amp has one great benefit, it responds to the guitar tone controls incredibly well, better than any other amp I have ever had.  Do try to control it from your guitar and don't be scared to back off the tone control more than you may have been used to.

    All that said I still have the feeling that the amp was originally voiced with a metallic slant!  (Es ist Deutsche after all!  Wink  )  It does the other things I want really well but always has a sort of tendency to need pulling back from a harder sound than I ever use.

    Like you I've got a couple of LPs.  Mine are a 2010 Trad with (I think) 57 Classics and a Special Doublecut with P90s and I love the sound they both make through it.  I play with a Santana fan who uses a PRS and he can get very Santanaish sounds out of his basic Marshall setup so I wonder just how much the guitar contributes to the Santana tone you are looking for.  For my own part, I've never been too fussed about achieving someone else's sound.  I'm much more interested in trying to steal from them and put what I get into my own playing.  (That's not a criticism in any way).

    clearyrich

    Posts : 3
    Join date : 2015-04-15

    Re: Santana Tone

    Post by clearyrich on Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:14 pm

    Hi again Bordenbert,

    Thank you for taking the trouble to reply in detail. Yes I think you are right about the underlying and over-riding brightness/sharpness of the GM 36 tone. I need to persevere and consider other things, including you suggestions. That's part of the fun with this amp. It's got so many possibilities.

    Cheers,
    Richard
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    Phrasemaker

    Posts : 34
    Join date : 2015-05-24
    Location : Essex

    Re: Santana Tone

    Post by Phrasemaker on Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:13 am

    Crunch channel, gain at 3 Oclock tiny amount of delay, single repeat, reverb at 10 Oclock, humbucker loaded guitar with volume and tone tweaked until it soars.

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    Re: Santana Tone

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