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What do you like most in your gain? Bass, Mids, Or Highs?

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Eminent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 9
Topic starter  

Just wondering. When it comes to overdrive or distortion, I like ALOT of mids in my gain with little treble and just enough bass to feel powerful and big. I play through a Marshall DSL100 all-tube head.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582


I'm sure everyone has their own personal tastes when it comes to favorite tone settings.

On my Hot Rod Deluxe, I set the clean channel to get a very nice warm tone. I usually set Bass 4-5, Mids 7-8, and Highs 5-6. But I experiment with different settings at times. I use a multi-effects pedal to get distortions, and use an EQ pedal to fine tune my tone.

With my Marshall DSL401, I love the famous "scooped mids" for the overdrive channels. I turn Bass and Highs to 10, and turn Mids to 0. I absolutely love this tone, especially when playing my LP Studio through the amp.

On the clean channel of the Marshall, I use approximately the same settings as I use on the HRD.

Try the scooped mids setting on your Marshall. I bet you'll like it. :D

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis

Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 392

WOW thats a big opinion question. I usually go lows 10, mids, 7-8 and highs 8.... its known that mids give u more volume but to much mid can be bad in my opinoin.......... my pickups are hot so i tend to turn the highs down alot too sometimes down to 5. they are still heard really well too.... when i play with heavy distortion lows are 6 highs 4 mids 8. the piercing highs kill me and the pickups are hot and lows over do it here...... ever try no mids like WES said it is fun i've done it once and it gets a cool tone..... not for me thought :?

No matter where you go.... There You are! Law of Location

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 7833

I like to "turn everything to Patent Pending." Can't beat that for good old raunchy blues. A lot of my playing's at low volume with mid-gain and all the EQ knobs maxed.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."

Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 266

I do anything from scooped mids for more metal stuff. I add a little extra mids to that to get my hard rock tone. And for texas style blues I go high mids and mild bass with great highs.

Usually on my 6505 I have two setting on my channels a nice crystal clean sound and a over the top crunch (scooped) with overdrive (TS9).

GN's resident learning sponge, show me a little and I will soak it up.

Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 94

I like bright tones for the most part.

Mids, always cut through best, in a band sitiation. Big boomy bass is hard to beat. I like them all, but mostly bright tones, I guess. :D

Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 2337

I use so many equalizers they all contribute or work together to full fill the over all signal chain. I bracket everything with one to allow me better control coming and going from each piece fo equipment. This way I can fine tune the tone after I've made changes else where in the signal chain or to another piece of equipment.


Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5349

If you leave out effects and just focus on the amp it's still hard to give any general answer since it depends on the amp too much. It's even worse with my Vox since each model has a different EQ, some models will have each band effect the bands beside it while some don't, some will sound very bassy with bass at minimum and others will need the bass much higher to get anywhere. So in short: depends on your amp, guitar, style of music and other stuff you're using.

Somewhat general rule: relatively much gain is used mostly for lead, lead guitar often needs fairly high mids to get through the mix.

Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 472

There's nothing more effective than scooped mids when you're playing lead and don't want to be heard in the mix. Or so has been my experience. One of my buddies insists on doing this and you can never even tell what key he's in.
Of course, it depends on the amp or the model. A prototypical Marshall sound starts with pretty strong mids, especially through Celestion speakers. In that case, setting mids at 3 will probably give you a pretty flat eq (though you'll sacrifice some chime). Do that with a typical Fender with a Jensen and you'll be all tinkle and thump.