Home (theory of the ego death and rebirth experience)

Electric Guitar Psychoacoustics


Budda/Reverend Amps, Heavy Mental Feedback. 1

Fuzz Guitar vs. Fake Spirituality. 3

Trumpets of Heaven: Van Halen Amp Tone. 5

OT/Bio: Adding a speaker isolation cab to your home studio. 6

OT/Bio: Book: Gear Secrets .. Guitar: CD sounds like abs. sht 6

OT/Bio: Is an equalizer pedal really useful?. 7

OT/Bio: Effects between amp and speaker 8

Standard 2-stage amp rig with power attenuator: 8

Guitar Amp Tone & Ego-Death Experience. 9

Acid Rock amp tone in "Ride My See-Saw" 10


Budda/Reverend Amps, Heavy Mental Feedback



>Regarding your Amp Tone site, I asked if you were like "the chosen one" and then you blew my mind with that Amanita/Christ trip. Although most of the stuff at Egodeath.com is too heavy for me to comment on, your Amptone editorial [http://www.amptone.com/overview.htm] still stands virtually alone in its articulation of the deeper aspects of amplified electric guitar tone.

>I have thought on occasion that harmonic feedback has a cosmic significance akin to Nietzsche's infinite loop (especially with lots of delay [echo] and reverb), but my knowledge of both is too shallow for it to be anything more than an amusement. Just wanted to note my admiration and appreciation of your dedicated and enlightened perspective.

>Hawkwind's "Warrior on the Edge of Time" album is some sort of altered-consciousness classic.

>Also Monster Magnet's take on the "space-rock" genre may be worth checking out.

Here is some more Monster Magnet psychoacoustic High Art. 

Album: Brotherhood of Electric: Operational Directives.  Artist: Wellwater Conspiracy -- Feb 1999.  "A multifaceted sound that lurks somewhere between the sonic realms of Seattle grunge and psychedelic garage. Showcasing the talents of ex-Monster Magnet guitarist John McBain and former Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron, the Wellwater Conspiracy exist as an adventurous studio project steeped in '60s psychedelia."


Monster Magnet?  Watch out for the control vortex with the Minotaur in the middle; it will pull you in and spit out only bones, ending in a great victorious defeat.  "Oh no, not that thought, don't think That Thought, that right there is the one not to think -- but it is beautiful as well as terrible!"  That is the thought that kills, the Realization of the metaphysical impotence and inherent nullity of one's personal control with respect to spacetime.

The following new Heavy Metal album has a release date of November 14, 2001 -- the same day as my revelation that frozen-future determinism is the key to a dirt-simple, rational mystic interpretation of the Christ allegory.

Album: Fed To Your Head.  Artist: Scorched Earth.  "[Neo-acid/psych guitarist] Bevis Frond under a pseudonym with help from the Alchemysts and the Lucky Bishops. A "heavy metal" record in the vein of the early 70's style."  November 14, 2001.


Spectators of my discussion group may regret that I am so absent.  However, the group is influencing me by requesting coverage of Buddhism.  I don't like the burden of explicitly covering religions other than esoteric Christianity, but recent trends in religion concur that I am obliged to address a Buddhist and Islamic audience, and a Hindu audience, really as much as a Christian audience.  When I committed to tackling the project of making rational sense out of the Christ allegory in 1988, it was true at that time that Christianity towered above the other religions in Western culture.  But that was 14 long years ago.  The New Age isn't new anymore, and Buddhism is no longer exotic to U.S. natives.

Making sense of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam in terms of rational mystic experiencing is easy compared to Christianity, especially when one already has cracked the riddle of Christ as the principle of determinism.  Also recall that my core philosophy was based on Zen, not Christianity.  Like in Watts' books The Supreme Identity and Behold the Spirit, we can use Eastern religions to at last solve the riddle of the meaning of the dominant Western religion.  So first I had to make rational sense of Watts' portrayal of Eastern enlightenment, especially short-path satori, and after solving the riddle of Eastern religion, then I moved on to the much harder and more hidden riddle of the Western religion.  Thus, explaining Buddhism in terms of deterministic self-control cybernetics is elementary in comparison to explaining Christianity in such terms.

The keys to a rational theory of religious insight are determinism, entheogens, and the mythic-only Christ.  Attached posting below.

The definitive psychedelic effect is runaway echo that builds and builds -- used commonly in my 60s Pop Sike compilations.

I have genuine recorded white-light feedback guitar sound that I recorded myself, a perhaps 4-minute piece in the middle of what may be the most important peak experience.  I keep wondering what day my most important religious experiencing was, somewhere in the midst of the 90s.  I have the lab notes somewhere on my old hard drive, and may have a printout, but what is most remarkable is that I have a 4-track cassette tape with tripped out electric guitar improvisation in one direction, and with *two* tracks of spoken voice (brainstorming idea development about religious insight) in the other... from that highest visitation of the Holy Spirit.

There are several episodes from that era, but that was the most perfect, when I had the tape rolling and I have the moment on tape, the moment of cybercontrol death and understanding what the fear of God is, understanding why one would, trembling, be forced to pray, forced to posit and wish for the unknowable: praying that a compassionate puppetmaster is the one who is pulling the strings that are certainly moving all my thoughts and actions, perceptibly.

That peak mountain is merely one of a series of tall mountains, that effectively communicate across time to each other from their peaks.  But that mountain is the most perfectly significant as far as specifically religious experiencing -- that was the key kneeling prayer, when I understood rationally and fully clearly why a clear understanding of self-control cybernetics would cause kneeling in trembling.

There is great competition among these mountains of peak mystic experiences.  An atheist who has debunked the Historical Jesus reports that he has no understanding whatsoever of what it could possibly mean to experience oneself as crucified with Jesus and crucified as Jesus, but when keeping the frozen-future, block-universe model of spacetime in mind, in the midst of the mystic altered state, when one is consciously frozen into the spacetime block that strips one of the apparent power to change one's future, this is much more of a *report* of an intensely, physically felt *experience* than an abstract *theory*. 

This is why I theorize with such confidence: the Holy Spirit first brings full intense experience, and theorizing then proceeds to explain and make sense of that experience.  It's not a tall edifice of theorizing building itself up on its own, alone; theory and experience must build each other up.

I hope to upload to mp3.com someday my recordings from the peak trembling prayer experience, with the white-light guitar feedback in the background.  That soundtrack was with a Marshall all-tube combo amp, miked with an SM-58 mic, at quiet volume but with high preamp gain.

http://www.amptone.com -- toward any Tone at any volume

Fuzz Guitar vs. Fake Spirituality

http://www.freakemporium.com - probably the best starting point for 60s psychedelic albums and compilations.  By Freakbeat zine.  See their links page.

http://www.cdnow.com - to buy albums

http://www.allmusic.com - rock reviews/discography database

http://www.rollingstone.com took over tunes.com

http://www.amazon.com -- search Books for "psychedelic" or "entheogen"

http://www.phinnweb.com/retro/garage/index2.html -- links section lists psych-rock sites

http://www.vcn.bc.ca/sig/htmlsig/pisites.htm -- list of psychedelic music sites

Styles covered: Freakbeat, flower power, pop sike, acid rock, progressive psych.  Pop music history supports my assertion that Rush, the 70s progressive philosophy-oriented Rock group, is specifically Acid Rock.  It is unfortunate and clueless that the category of Acid Rock is defined so narrowly that only about 3 bands are included (Blue Cheer, Hendrix, Captain Beyond).  Smashmouth's popularity shows the potential to discover more of the richness of freakbeat era -- what it was really all about; I similarly anticipate a rediscovery of the psychedelic roots of Heavy Rock.

We need to go back to the late 60s-early 70s transition and take another look to recognize the era of Acid Rock and recognize the Acid Rock background of groups that are not at all recognized as such.  It wouldn't surprise me to see the psychedelic mushroom aspect of Led Zeppelin denied and pushed out of awareness.  Obviously, Psychedelic Rock uses psychedelic drugs, but it's terrible the way that the existence of the category "Psychedelic Rock" tends to be used as a safety bin to whisk away the psychedelic drugs from all the other genres that are based largely on psychedelics.  People don't understand the concept of "Acid Rock".

Our picture of 70s Heavy Rock is completely inaccurate and out of touch with reality, as we have forgotten that "Heavy" is practically synonymous with acid-soaked.  Classic Rock *is* LSD-influenced Rock, to a large extent.  In the electric guitar industry, however, together with the popularity of Smashmouth, the fuzz type of distortion sound has become mainstream and trendy again, rediscovered.  The death of Grunge and popularity of Smashmouth, and the abovegrounding of 1980s psych-rock 1-man band Bevis Frond, have led to a resurgence of Acid Rock.  Heavy Metal is almost synonymous with Acid Rock, and some of the best, most influential Metal is LSD-oriented.

(I have not heard the following albums so cannot vouch for them)

Fed to Your Head -- by Scorched Earth:  "Bevis Frond under a psuedonym with help from the Alchemysts and the Lucky Bishops. A "heavy metal" record in the vein of the early 70's style." -- Amazon.com

Amazon:   "On their sophomore effort, the Wellwater Conspiracy create a multifaceted sound that lurks somewhere between the sonic realms of Seattle grunge and psychedelic garage. Showcasing the talents of ex-Monster Magnet guitarist John McBain and former Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron, the Wellwater Conspiracy exist as an adventurous studio project steeped in '60s psychedelia. Besides playing a number of instruments, Cameron is an able singer who occasionally echoes the style of his old bandmate from Soundgarden, Chris Cornell. McBain exhibits an expansive guitar vocabulary, creating several acid-flashback moments amid the band's hard-rock haze. Using vintage electronic keyboards, fuzz-ridden guitars, tribal drumbeats, and melodic songwriting, the Wellwater Conspiracy hark back to a cosmic time when rock music was simpler, more mysterious, and plenty of fun." --Mitch Myers

How can we have an authentically contemporary form of mystic experiencing?  Rock artists and lyricists creating psychedelics-oriented music.  It is often uncontaminated by dogmas and false notions of religious history, resulting in direct trip reports in lyric and musically expressive form.  I smell more Truth coming from a fuzzed-out electric guitar with runaway tape-echo feedback freakout than from spiritual books that supposedly cover mystic experiencing.  But such contemporary and direct-from-the-Source artistic reports still need systematic explanation. 

Why exactly is the fuzzed-out psychedelic freakout today's authentic expression of Dionysus' religion, and why does that religion penetrate the heart of really religious religion?  Why, conversely, does pop spirituality lack authentic religion?  "Religion" is Truth, "spirituality" is delusion that knows nothing of religious experiencing.  In the battle of Spirituality against Religious Experience, I side with the latter.  Everything about the pop conception of Spirituality smells entirely fake and ignorant to me -- it's ersatz, a substitute. 

Such Spirituality is indeed the Devil to me.  Spirituality is even more evil than Prohibition, but the two go hand in hand.  Because of Drug Prohibition, which is completely a sham, fake, ersatz, we have ended up with the concomitantly ersatz, sham, fake form of religion.  Spirituality is fake religion for the fake Prohibition era.  Spirituality is the religion of the Prohibition era.  "Spirituality" and Prohibition are the same thing; I hate them as a single oppressor.

After Prohibition, the public will be able to have religious experiencing again (direct, primary mystic experience) rather than Spirituality, which lacks religious experiencing.  Spirituality is uninformed by the Holy Spirit, uninformed by *experiencing*.  Spirituality lacks experience.  The Boomers hated Religion and created Spirituality but did so largely by rejecting and putting down entheogens at every opportunity, condemning entheogens to hell with a mountain of faint praise.

Some scholars are calling for "Back to non-liberal Religion".  I agree that to gain real religion we need to avoid today's liberal religion and "spirituality".  However, the thing we must return to is not literalist religion, but rather, truly religious experiencing, which goes with neither Literalist conservative religion *nor* liberalized conservative religion such as Boomer Spirituality or the paradigm of Historical Jesus scholarship, but rather, esoteric religion led first of all by the Holy Spirit of Dionysus residing in entheogens.  We may meditate but first of all we are lost from the presence of religious knowledge, unless we are led by the Holy Spirit residing in the flesh of entheogenic molecules, where spiritual and material planes intersect, joining God and Jesus in Christ-consciousness *in us*.

There is no way meditation can so lead us.  Entheogenic molecules are our only practical hope for salvation into religious awareness and knowledge on a significant scale.  Buddhism tells us that now is the time when Buddhism utterly fails to enlighten.  If you believe Buddhism, you believe that Buddhism is spiritually bankrupt as it claims to be. 

I agree with Buddhism, that Buddhism now has no hope of giving us saving Knowledge and really religious experiencing.  At this point in the cosmic cycle, Buddhism is supposed to practically utterly lack the Holy Spirit of enlightenment, as it indeed does.  In every religion, look to the mystics.  Then look closer at the mystics, and you will find a concentration of entheogen use. 

Religious experiencing, being led by the Holy Spirit, proceeds from entheogens mainly and directly, and from meditation only incidentally as a weak and indirect echo.  Entheogens are a mainline injection of the Holy Spirit; meditation is a mere subcutaneous injection.  Prohibition has been directly obstructing direct religious experiencing.  Prohibition is the Devil which provides a fake substitute for direct religious experiencing, called "spirituality and meditation", which is designed to *prevent* and shut out the Holy Spirit and thus prop up ego-delusion.  Prohibition, spirituality, and ego-delusion are three in one, the unholy trinity.

Tomorrow, $3.2 million taxpayer dollars will be used by the U.S. government to buy two 30-second Superbowl television advertisements to whip up support for the failing, obviously fake "War on Drugs" by asserting ludicrously that drugs should be stopped by prohibition because they support terrorists.  Given that Prohibition is in power (albeit a rapidly collapsing power that clearly has no persuasive future), must we give up on really religious experiencing and settle for a substitute which is exactly as fake as the sham, bogus "War on Drugs"?  That spirituality is the official established religion proferred by the same government/corporate machine that uses taxpayer money to oppress taxpayers and other countries.  Offered the spirituality that is endorsed by the Prohibition Establishment, we might as well refuse spirituality altogether. 

Better to have no spirituality than a spirituality that is designed to be fully accepted by the empowered rulers during the dark ages of Prohibition.  Pop spirituality only allows a bit of entheogenism, and to that extent is led by the Holy Spirit, but only to that slight extent which is not sufficient to break through to enlightenment and revelation.  "Because you are neither hot nor cold, I spit you out of my mouth."  Spirituality is half-religion, dabbling so as to avoid that which it claims to seek.  The greatest risk is that the half-developed substitute becomes so popular and dominant that it is taken for fulness and thus ends up blocking the way, like a guitar-amp simulator that produces Tone of such sterling mediocrity that the young guitarist never moves on to the glorious richness of the real thing.

This same logic drives Bruce Ehrlich to demonize any LSD that is not the purest, most first-rate; he lies awake at night worrying about the popularity of, say, 90% pure LSD because its popularity prevents people from having the vastly superior pure LSD experience.  As much as the Boomers hated "plastic religion", so do I hate "plastic mysticism" or "plastic spirituality".  "Religion" (as supernaturalist Literalism) is indeed bogus -- the great majority of people including most Christians agree; very few Usans (Jonathan Ott's correction of "Americans") believe in supernaturalist Literalism.  But I'm declaring the answer, "spirituality", also bogus. 

Religion is the thesis, Spirituality is the antithesis; the mystic altered state is the synthesis.  There are really three contenders within Christianity: Supernaturalist Literalism, Historical-Jesus Liberalism, and Esoteric Mysticism.  As Alan Watts points out in the book Behold the Spirit, there are many theological studies of God, and Jesus/Christ, but next, clearly, we need coverage of the Holy Spirit -- the missing ingredient.  That book was written before LSD, and it's remarkable how Watts' prediction of a Holy-Spirit phase was fulfilled most clearly by the psychedelics revolution.  The Holy Spirit lives in the entheogen molecule, flesh of Christ."

Trumpets of Heaven: Van Halen Amp Tone

If one were to play electric guitar through this rig while in the spirit, one would feel one in the cosmic Rock with Eddie Van Halen.

Electric guitar *through power-tube saturation* is the authentic contemporary harp played in Heaven.  It would be unthinkable to have altered-state electric guitar without power-tube saturation.

It would be really good if I could post samples at my Distortion Valve artist area.

Posted to the guitar amp discussion area:

I'm off doing philosophy and occasionally playing guitar a few minutes a day, but it's a crime to withhold this Tone from you.  I have died and gone to Van Halen heaven.  Completely independent of volume.

Bridge double-coil pickup

Slow phaser mixed with bypass to make subtle

Frown curve EQ

Preamp distortion

Moderate smile curve EQ

Power-tube saturation

Dummy load

Moderate smile curve EQ

Right channel: amplifier, guitar speaker

Left channel: reverb, amplifier, guitar speaker

Optional: feedback device

This sounds exactly like Van Halen I because this is the signal processing chain used on that album.

OT/Bio: Adding a speaker isolation cab to your home studio

Practical ways to get authentic, authoritative cranked-amp tone with minimal noise leakage

The ideal approach is to create a permanent setup of a double-layered guitar speaker isolation cabinet in another room, or a super-insulated closet in another room.  The most ideal would be a small massive concrete or brick room with inner insulation on the surfaces.  Purchase one or two guitar speakers dedicated to this isolation booth and one or two guitar-cab mics dedicated to this isolation booth.  The ideal is a booth large enough to roll in a 4x12 cab and mic setups, with breathing room for the speakers.  Run permanent cables between your control room/performance space and the remote isolation booth: one speaker cable and two mic cables.

When using a remote multimiked speaker isolation cab, which is the only way to get authoritative cranked-amp Rock guitar tone quietly, you end up with three cables running off into the distance, from the control room/performance area.  These form an abstract transducer processing module, converting a high-power signal as the input signal, to a complexly smoothed and complexly distorted multimiked output signal which you can then blend and equalize at the mixer.

Be sure to put an equalizer on either side of this speaker-mic transducer processing module: one equalizer (such as a guitar amp's bass, mid, and treble controls) before the power amplifier that's driving the guitar speaker, and one equalizer (such as the mixer's bass, mid, and treble controls) after the mics -- just as you should bracket *any* major distortion stage with equalizers, one before and one after.

The worst-case, minimal approach is buying a big box and dropping it over a combo amp in the same room -- that's barely good enough to bother with.

It is a practical idea to keep a good power attenuator such as the THD Hot Plate in between whatever amplifier you use to drive the guitar speaker, and the guitar speaker.  This can be used to incrementally reduce the volume late at night (alas, reducing the amount of highly desirable, even though subtle, speaker distortion).  A power attenuator also enables using a 100-watt amp to drive a 25-watt guitar speaker without blowing up the speaker too soon.

You should purchase extra guitar speakers, because speakers are like tubes and guitar strings: they regularly break when pushed into their interesting, nonlinear range.

You can also use a muffled guitar speaker without a cab or mics, or in a face-down cab, just to load the amp -- but the Weber MASS may be a less expensive and more ergonomic solution; it's a power attenuator using an actual guitar speaker, without surface, as the dummy load component.  It has tone controls on the line-level Out jack.

For a further tonal compromise, using no actual guitar speakers, but still obtaining power-tube saturation, use a dummy load then a guitar speaker cab simulator.  Power attenuators always have a dummy load component, and typically *don't* have a built-in guitar speaker cab simulator.

OT/Bio: Book: Gear Secrets .. Guitar: CD sounds like abs. sht

Gear Secrets of the Guitar Legends: How to Sound Like Your Favorite Players

Pete Prown, Lisa Sharken


June 2003

So far, I rate the book tentatively as mediocre (very uninsightful about Eddie Van Halen's setup), and the accompanying CD as zero stars.  Please help me find language harsh enough, if possible, to describe this CD.  After gathering articles about genuine star guitar rigs, one editor bothered pouring his time and energy into making a so-called sample CD -- using a POD-type device! 

I just can't *stand* the sound of *any* tracks on that CD: fake, fake, incomplete, half-baked Tone at best.  This is the worst amp tone sample CD I've ever heard.  Lose-your-lunch awful.  It's positively *evil* and harmful, misleading and misguiding young guitarists to make them think that this wretched non-range of non-Tone is even worth putting down on tape.  It's mediocre *at best*; well suited for -- nothing.  I wouldn't let my dog listen to it. 

Why would anyone ever choose to listen to this wretched fake sound when they could easily put on a genuine, rich sounding record instead?  If some kid wants to record such a fake sound, that's their business, but it is downright immoral to use the opposite of Tone, to create a CD that is marketed as showcasing the authentic, *real* amp sounds, including actual power tubes and bona fide speaker distortion, which are explained to some extent within the book. 

The *only* thing the CD demonstrates is negative: why your tone is doomed to sound like a total uninspired amateur and poseur if you use a POD-type processor rather than actual power tubes and hard-pushed guitar speaker.  No content of the book can make up for this sin and crime against the guitar gods.  The CD proves that simulators and emulators are the equipment of the mortals; actual cranked amps are essential to the qualifications of the guitar gods.

This sample CD could be the greatest boon to amp tone, by scaring people away from POD-type processors, putting some fear of the devil into them, jolting some good sense into them to run out and get instead an actual miked-amp setup, such as a tube power amp and a guitar speaker, possibly multimiked in an isolation booth.

Books about Getting Guitar Sounds


OT/Bio: Is an equalizer pedal really useful?

>>>>I have a bunch of pedals....chorus, flanger, delay, reverb, wah, volume, distortion, compression, octaver...and they all sound good.  I also have A/B switch and PSM-5 which allow me to use all of those pedals if I wanted to.  It took me 3 years of shopping around, buying pedals here and there and reselling those that were not satisfactory.  From what I have read, an equalizer pedal is a must.  Is that true?

>>>A multi-band EQ is the only way to really nail that "tone in your head." I went through just about all of the pedals you mentioned (except the octaver), and after I finally got an EQ I dumped everything else (well, I still play around with distortion pedals). The one warning is that it takes a lot of tinkering with an EQ before you figure out how to use it for your setup. Also, the effects of the EQ are extremely different pre- and post-distortion.

>>For years I played with only an Echoplex, and an Electro-Harmonics 10 Band Graphic EQ through a BF Deluxe Reverb. It was the EQ that I used to boost the Mids to slightly Overdrive the signal. I didn`t use any other effects.

An equalizer is an absolute essential part of a guitar amp rig.  Literally buy an EQ before buying a distortion pedal.  I absolutely recommend as strongly as possible that every electric guitarist run out and buy, after a tube amp, two equalizers and a good power attenuator, and only after that, buy an od and dist pedal.

This is the new standard I am defining for what the term "guitar amp" means:

eq pedal

amp's preamp distortion or an od/dist pedal

eq pedal 2

amp's tone stack

tube power amp

good power attenuator

guitar speaker

Every guitarist in the world should immediately drop everything, sell everything they have, and run to spend the money on two equalizer pedals and a good power attenuator.  Keep your od and dist pedals, though, because each one has unique voicing inside its gain stages.  This is the shortest possible path to Tone Heaven.  Try it, and you will quickly prove to yourself that what I say is the truth, and is no lie.

Beyond that, the next level of trick that ought to be no trick, but universally known upon first touching an electric guitar, is the importance of pushing a guitar speaker hard, into distortion.  The standard way to do this in the pro recording studio is by using a remote isolation booth with multimiking.

You can easily do the same thing in a home studio environment by building or buying an isolation booth or isolation cabinet, using this in conjunction with multimiking.  Put the fake-o sounding simulators and emulators in their place -- the crib or the garbage can -- and enter the land of the guitar gods.

OT/Bio: Effects between amp and speaker

>>I have heard people talking about putting time-based effects (delay, tremolo, etc.) in between the amp itself and the speaker cabinet.  Has

> anyone ever heard of doing this?

Yes.  Use a standard 3-stage dummy-load amp rig, shown below.

>>The THD Hotplate (which is placed between the amp and speaker) has a Line OUT, but I believe it has to go to another power amp to be used.

Correct.  Use any power attenuator as a dummy load; use the dummy load component that's in any power attenuator, and leave the load-splitting circuit unused.

>>I'm trying to exhaust every avenue of my sound, looking for something that is my own.

Eddie Van Halen made the 3-stage amp rig his own sound, and also split the signal after the dummy load, to form one dry guitar speaker cab and one for late fx such as reverb.

Trent Reznor made the fake-o degraded simulator processor sound his own, playing on its signature artificial and cold character.

Start by not innovating, but use either of the two standard professional studio rig chains: 2-stage amp rig with power attenuator, or 3-stage amp rig with dummy load:

Standard 2-stage amp rig with power attenuator:

eq and other fx (stage 1)

preamp distortion (pedal or amp's built-in)

eq and other fx (stage 2)

tube power amp

power attenuator (as loud as permitted)

guitar speaker, pushed hard, possibly in an isolation booth or iso cab

multiple mics


eq and other fx (stage 3)

monitor speakers or headphones

Standard 3-stage amp rig with dummy load:

eq and other fx (stage 1)

preamp distortion (pedal or amp's built-in)

eq and other fx (stage 2)

tube power amp

dummy load (can use any power atten's dummy load)

eq and other fx (stage 3)

power amp (solid-state is fine here)

guitar speaker, pushed hard, possibly in an isolation booth or iso cab

multiple mics


eq and other fx (stage 4)

monitor speakers or headphones


>>Is there any way to simulate an effects loop for an amp which does not have one?

Turn off the amp's built-in preamp distortion, and use a distortion pedal instead:

[effects group 1]

distortion pedal

[effects group 2; equivalent to fx in amp's fx loop]

amp's input jack

amp's built-in preamp distortion not used

amp's tone stack

tube power amp

guitar speaker

This posting contains all the most important basics that the guitar gods know, but that every beginning guitarist should be immediately taught on the first day, with their first A-shaped power chord.  Study it as the gospel of Tone victory and entry into the kingdom of Tone heaven.  Guitar-god Tone is also in the crazy fingers which are inspired by pot and acid.

Guitar Amp Tone & Ego-Death Experience

Amp Tone and the Experience of Ego Death

Even as this site gains in popularity past 1 page-view per minute (4 hits per minute when the pictures were present), I must limit the time I spend responding to email, as I switch my attention to developing the Egodeath.com site to fill in the forbidden understanding of religious experiencing and high philosophy. I'll use the same web development techniques and strategy of looking for the gaps and combinations of ideas about which there is great interest yet little information provided.

My serious interest in amp Tone and ego death philosophy both began in the middle of college, in the midst of electrical engineering studies. The traditions of electric guitar Tone and the ego death experience go back to the birth of mainstream Rock in the mid-60s. My exploration of ego death and self-control cybernetics, searching for the holy grail of a rational explanation for religious experiencing and our imperfect self-determination, has always taken place against the backdrop of the quest for the holy grail of quiet and flexible cranked-amp Tone for everyone.

Comparable to Amptone.com being a central hub for practical techniques and products for amp Tone, Egodeath.com will be the central hub covering the intersection of Christian mystic experiencing, philosophy of ego death, and drug-policy reform. I encourage guitar-gear seekers of the holy grail to also explore a high interest of the world of the 60s guitarists: the highest experience of all, the experience of ego death and rebirth.

The ultimate amp Tone is the heavenly trumpeting sound of doom for the egoic cybernetic steersman and the triumphant recovery of the sense of personal agency. The subtle bending of the sound of the cranked amp is no unfamiliar backdrop to the high perspective on personal agency; where you find ego death in this age, you will often find an awesome cranked tube amp Tone providing the soundtrack to this truest and most genuine and authentic, and historically established religious experience. This ultimate amp Tone heard in the ultimate state of perception is the highest Tone, the Tone of mystic death and rebirth.

The plant-induced mystic altered state is not "like" authentic religious experiencing, it is the authentic sacrament and vehicle for religious experiencing - see Council for Spiritual Practices and Alchemind.org. The main thing blocking interest and involvement with real religious experiencing and high philoosphy is today's U.S. drug policies - like the ancient Jewish priests, like the Catholic church, these authoritarian power-driven prohibitionist policies block the doorway to Heaven.

I am concerned to share and spread the same religion as Led Zeppelin, Rush, Queen, the Beatles, and Hendrix -- all influential in their amp Tone and all interested in high philosophy. If there is one religion shared by the leading amp Tone explorers, it is the religion of entheogenic ego death. As in the culture of these influential amp Tone pioneers, I am connecting music and revolution, revolution which is political and spiritual, to bring actual freedom to the land of the free, especially freedom of religion, which above all means the freedom of religious experiencing: the freedom to take the sacrament that you find effective for religious fulfillment.

In December 2000, I created Reformnav.org. Drug-policy reform is no longer an underground movement; this topic is becoming the most popular activist cause. Many now are working to end the evil prohibition industry, the industry of persecution for profit. I need to freeze Amptone.com and prepare and simplify the practical philosophical system at Egodeath.com for the coming unravelling of the phony Drug War. Amp Tone mattered to the original Rock guitarists, but remember that it was used in the service of mental and spiritual freedom.

From this point of view, amp Tone in the foundation of Rock was the medium, and spiritual and political freedom was the message. So these two sites, Amptone.com and Egodeath.com, work together to advance the work started during the birth of heavy Rock. I bring key, practical amp Tone information for free for everyone, and I bring key, practical ego death information for free for everyone. I especially encourage continuing the tradition of combining these realms, using amp Tone to convey and bring about the ego death and rebirth experience, so that the best Tone is the highest Tone, the Tone of Enlightenment and Revelation.

I will see if there is any amp tone material in this book. Tomorrow Never Knows: Rock and Psychedelics in the 1960s. By Nick Bromell, Nicholas Knowles Bromell. Hardcover. $22.50 list. 225 pages. December 2000. Note that it would be a mistake to assume that psychedelics can be avoided and denied by safely relegated them to the 60s. They have always been alive and well in Rock, and entheogens have overlapped with music throughout history.

This is a major sense in which amp Tone is a religion -- in this case, a literal religious experience, when the complexity of multiple distortion factors is heard as the timeless trumpet of doom and revelation during the phenomena surrounding the ego death experience."

Acid Rock amp tone in "Ride My See-Saw"

Newsgroup: alt.guitar.amps, alt.music.4-track

The song Ride My See-Saw by the Moody Blues is one example of the definitive acid-rock amp tone.  Here is how to get this sound using typical equipment, at any volume level.

The goal is to:

o  Avoid preamp distortion

o  Hit the power tubes hard, but keep the power-tube saturation just at moderate clipping

o  Backoff midbass and upper bass to avoid swamping the saturation with crusty bass.


Single-coil neck pickup

Compressor pedal -- strong attack, moderate sustain.

EQ pedal -- boost low bass moderately, cut the mid/upper bass.  Boost the mid-mids through treble bands.  Depends on guitar's own EQ curve.

Fender Blues Jr. tube combo 1x12 guitar amp -- Crank all controls and engage the midboost.  Then back off preamp gain to 12 o'clock, and back off the treble to 2 o'clock.

THD Hot Plate - realize that on the low, variable setting, between 0 and noon, treble backs off as you increase the variable level control -- so there is interaction between the Treble boost switch, the variable volume control, and the proportion of treble.

Combo amp's built-in 1x12 speaker


The guitar on this track sounds like it is double-tracked or uses a 12-string.  I am becoming interested in 12-string electric guitars in this single-coil neck, power-tube saturation configuration.  I read that Rickenbackers have bass-cut control.  Brian May and others commonly used a bass-cut effect before the guitar amp's input.  Bass cut before preamp distortion or power-tube-only saturation is an open secret of the guitar gods.

To record this sound, I would use two condenser close-mics and blend them at the mixer.

This acid-rock amp tone is fat and warbly with no fizz, and deep dynamic richness.  It is worlds apart from the 1980s double-coil bridge pickup aesthetic.  This sound is particularly interesting for psychoacoustics, because it is distorted in a warped, warbly way, without breaking into fizziness.  This sound is associated with the perceptual distortion of the mystic altered state and with the fearsome onset of deterministic ego-death.

I'm going to demo the Vox Valvetronix amp soon -- the first guitar amp designed the way I've been recommending, combining amp modelling with a tube power amp driving a dummy load, with post-processing and a solid-state final amp.  However, I would have used an actual power tube, an EL84, rather than a 12AX7, in the tube power amp.  To demo this amp, I will bring a couple EQ pedals and some cables.  High on my gearlust list is the new BOSS 10-band EQ pedal.

Artist: The Moody Blues

Album: In Search Of The Lost Chord, 1968

Ride My See-Saw

(John Lodge)

Ride, ride my see-saw,

Take this place

On this trip

Just for me.

Ride, take a free ride,

Take my place

Have my seat

It's for free.

I worked like a slave for years,

Sweat so hard just to end my fears.

Not to end my life a poor man,

But by now, I know I should have run.

Run, run my last race,

Take my place

Have this number

Of mine.

Run, run like a fire,

Don't you run in

In the lanes

Run for time.

Left school with a first class pass,

Started work but as second class.

School taught one and one is two.

But right now, that answer just ain't true.

Ah ah ah ah, ah ah ah ah, ah ah ah ah ah

Ah ah ah ah, ah ah ah ah, ah ah ah ah ah

My world is spinning around,

Everything is lost that I found.

People run, come ride with me,

Let's find another place that's free.

Ride, ride my see-saw,

Take this place

On this trip

Just for me.

Ride, take a free ride,

Take my place

Have my seat

It's for free.

Ride, my see-saw.

Ride, ride, ride, my see-saw.

Ride, my see-saw...


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