How do I set my guitar amp to get a 50's rockabilly sound?

I just got a guitar and amp as an early Christmas gift. I have a Peavey amp, the settings are Amp, Effects, Pre Gain, Low, Mid, High, Post Gain, and Master Volume. I also have an Epiphone Wildkat if that makes any difference.

3 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well, it would help to know specifically which model Peavey you have. However, given basic control outline you've described, I would set the Amp model settings to one of the "clean" models, preferably a Vox or Fender Deluxe model if possible (not sure how they are labeled or described on your amp). Then set the pre-gain low, around 9 o'clock or lower-- this most likely determined how much initial signal breakup you will have. Set the Low to 12 or 1 o'clock, mids to 11 o'clock, and high to 2 or 3 o'clock. Not sure what the effects pre-sets are, but you need a very quick slap-echo or delay effect, about 1.5-2.5 milliseconds, no more than 3 milliseconds tops. Now I'm not quite sure how the post gain figures in with the master volume on this amp, but you might try setting the post-gain to around 10 o'clock or less, depending on the amount of distortion it gives you. Then use the Master volume to control the overall level. You may have to set the post-gain slightly higher, it will require experimentation. Also, Since you are using an Epi Wildkat, be sure that your volume and tone controls are fully open (set on 10). The reason for this is that The Wildkat does not have a treble-bleed circuit on the master volume knob, and the stock Epi metal-covered P90's are a little darker in tone compared to plastic-cover P90's. Last, try using the middle switch position on the guitar (both pickups). It will give you some mellow bottom with a touch of sparkle from the bridge pickup.

    Overall, your goal is a clean, bright sound but still with a good bit of bottom. Classic Rockabilly sound almost always involves a slap-echo or slight delay effect. It's OK to have the clean sound just "on the verge" of break up, but you want to stay away from totally distorted sounds... unless you're playing psychobilly instead of rockabilly.

    Source(s): 20+ years of personal steady gigging.
  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Um.. the FIRST ELECTRIC GUITAR wasn't being played by Les Paul until about 1957 and ALL the amps back then were TUBE amps.. so just HOW do you plan to get a 50's sound with a modern amp?

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Turn th treble all the way up and the bass totally off

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