And now that we are prepared, lets reamp and start twisting knobs!
Some general rules to follow:
- Set the amp at the volume you intend to play at. Being whisper quiet or AC/DC loud isn't realistic. I shoot for where I see the speakers start to move(speaker excursion).
- Set the gain where you think it sounds good and saturated and then back it off a tad. I find that I generally NEED less gain than I WANT.
- Remember that guitar is a midrange instrument. Dial in enough bass to make it sound full and enough treble and presence for clarity, but spend most of your time getting that mid control in the right spot!
- Generally, the more gain added, the less bass is necessary. Don't be afraid to use something like a Tubescreamer to boost the amp for tightness, but don't think you need it either. There are lots of great metal tones that do not involve overdrive pedals.
Bonus: For Mesa/Boogie amps like this one, the graphic EQ is essential for getting a tight sound. The way the gain structure works with these amps usually means you want to keep the bass knob down(under halfway) and then restore that lost bass with the EQ sliders. Think of 80hz as the "thud", 240hz as the cabinet resonance, 750hz as the overall voice of the guitar, 2200hz as the cut-factor and 6600hz as the sizzle on the top. There is a reason that "V" shape is so popular. Just remember not to pull out too much on the 750 slider or the guitar will vanish from the mix!