The Player's Guide to Ultimate Tone

Celebrating 20 Years of glorious tone

This Tone's For You™

You’re invited to a private monthly consultation with the world’s foremost experts on tone— the most successful players— all the true innovators who share an unwavering obsession. They will literally try anything, anytime, anywhere, in their Quest for Tone. Jason Lollar and Lindy Fralin relentlessly pursued this approach to building pickups. Larry Cragg journeyed to the temple of tone every night with Neil Young. Yes… Talent, Heart and Dedication count. But Carlos Santana said it best. “My tone is all I have. Your tone is your fingerprint and your personality.”

If you’re really serious about the guitar and achieving Signature Tone you must read the story behind the development of this vitally unique resource, and why subscribing to The ToneQuest Report™ is one of the most important creative decisions you’ll ever make as a guitarist.
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Oct 2019
20th ANNIVERSARY
GREATEST HITS ISSUE

How It All Began...

On April 5, 1967 The Who's rave up, “Pictures of Lily” was released, and it changed everything in the world of a 16 year old guitarist in Indianapolis, Indiana. Go ahead and cue it up on your phone or PC while we chat – it's on YouTube. We'll wait.

The name of the band was The Early Times, comprised of Brock Howard on drums, Bill Clark on guitar, Mike Byrum on bass, and yours truly sporting a brand new 1967 Sparkling Burgundy ES 335 played through a 1965 Fender Deluxe Reverb. One of the guys tripped over the guitar stand and broke the headstock on my National Westwood, so the band contributed to the purchase of a new guitar.
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Sound Better Play Better™

Finding you unique, Signature Tone, is a profoundly important personal journey that is incredibly complex, time-consuming, needlessly hit or miss, and often very expensive. Sure, we’ve all made our share of mistakes using trial and error to choose the instruments that define our Tone. We’ve bought cool guitars that didn’t meet our expectations, amps that were anything but tone machines, curiously disappointing “killer” effects and pickups, speakers, tubes, and other accessories that couldn’t just cut it.

Why is the Quest for Tone so difficult? Today, more than ever, we’re simply confronted with too many risky choices. And in truth, it’s finding the right combinations of guitars, amps, amp modifications, tubes, speakers, effects, and mic placements that defines the art and science of achieving Signature Tone. Given the complexity of the task, it’s easy to understand why thousands of frustrated guitarists are trying to unload their “experiments” as you read this… and while countless more will burn expensive studio time searching “Killer Tone on tape.” We know, we’ve done it! Finally there’s a better way to achieve your Quest for Signature Tone… [READ MORE]

Mining for Tone

No matter what musical style or type of instrument you play,
The ToneQuest Report™ is solely dedicated to helping you achieve the Tone of Your Dreams.

Whether you’ve been playing the guitar for 3 decades or 3 years, each issue of the The ToneQuest Report™
will faithfully serve your passion for Tone. We’ll cover it all— every inch.


Guitars

Insightful and truly inspiring reviews on new, used and vintage electric guitars that reveal the true character and appeal of the instrument. We cover setup techniques, custom wiring tips, and practical guidelines on repairs and upgrades you can do at home, how to achieve true vintage tone on a budget, and great finds that are completely off the radar of the guitar magazines. We also cover the acoustic guitar world with in-depth reviews on guitars, acoustic amplification, pickups, and string selection— after all, strings make the tone of an acoustic guitar.
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Amps

One of the most important (and misunderstood) areas that can enable you to achieve your own Signature Tone. Individual amp reviews, modifications and tone-tweaking tips that will amaze and enlighten you. Reissues vs. vintage— know the difference before you buy! Secret tips for “no harm, no foul” mods that retain the original character and value of your favorite amps— we’ll call it optimizing Tone! [READ MORE]


Pickups

More pickups have been bought and promptly listed for sale on the internet or thrown in a case and forgotten than possibly any other guitar accessory. Why? The Quest for Tone— unfulfilled again. We’ll give you expert reviews, descriptions, rewind sources for vintage pickups, wiring diagrams, a bit of theory, and a road case full of practical advice you can take to the bank.
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Speakers

Your choice of speakers is one of the most crucial decisions you’ll ever make— speakers are the final transducers! Find out which “bargain” brands easily rival the tone of speakers costing 3 times as much. Mixing speakers in one cabinet or combo amp for amazing results. When are vintage “recons” a complete waste of time and money? A/B a vintage reissue against a typical reconed vintage speaker and you may be shocked by the results! What are the real differences between various AlNiCo and ceramic magnet speakers? What are the speakers of choice for some of the most respected guitarists in history? Matching pickups, amps and speakers— finding the right combos are crucial, and there are no shortcuts!
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Effects

Guitar effects pedals are easily the least expensive tools for acquiring truly memorable and inspiring guitar tones, and we guitarists are inundated with an unfathomable number of pedals in 2020. Where to begin? Our featured chats and reviews with Robert Keeley, Brian Wampler and Analogman (Mike Piera) will give you a new and enlightened perspective on “pedal tone.” from three of the top pedal designers in the world.
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Artists

For twenty years we have featured insightful, inspiring and eminently informative interviews with guitarists whose influences span the entire universe of popular music, from the blues to rock and many genres that are simply too unique to describe with a convenient one-word description. Players such as Sonny Landreth, Carlos Santana, Robben Ford, Peter Frampton, Mike Campbell, Ronnie Earl, Charlie Starr, Jim Campilongo, John Jorgensen, Johnny A, Larry Campbell, Nalle Colt, Adrian Legg, David Grissom, Billy F Gibbons, and many, many more. All of these artists have a story to tell and you can depend on us to dig deep into their influences, the evolution of their careers from the very beginning, the gear they play and how they use it on stage and in the studio. The depth and detail found in our interviews has and never will be duplicated, because we aren't fighting for space with ad pages. You can depend on The ToneQuest Report™ to simply deliver the most insightful and fascinating interviews with guitar players in existence, in print or online. That's our unwavering pledge to you as a subscriber.
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