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Who doesn’t love to talk about guitar tone?? Aside from the obvious fact that much of your tone comes from your fingers, it is also greatly affected by your beloved gear: your instruments, amps, effects pedals, etc. Lots of the gear that you purchase off the shelf can actually be improved or changed through mods / modifications to the internal circuitry – some of which you can do yourself. We bring in guitarist, amp technician, music teacher, and Berklee graduate, Miles Harshman, to give us the ins and outs of musical equipment.
In Part 1 of this conversation we dig into guitar tone, ranging from Jimi Hendrix to Stevie Ray Vaughan to Robin Trower. Miles talks about his love of different types of fuzz pedals, an effect that Joe rarely uses. While Joe uses several types of overdrive and natural small amp distortion, he commits to giving fuzz another try. Miles presents an overview of how tube amps work – their different gains stages, how the tubes break up, the feeling of a tube amp due to the sag/sponginess in the rectifier tube.
Miles tells us about his journey to becoming a gear technician, including building his first stratocaster in high school and his more recent telecaster with unusual switches.
We talk about clean guitar tones, and how hollow, semi-hollow, and chambered bodies affect the your sound.
Miles begins telling us about his experiences at Berklee College of Music, including the many ensemble choices, the enormous practice room amps, and the general atmosphere. Check out next week’s episode to discover who was Miles’ freshman year roommate!