Better Now or Then? (The Tone Survey!)

Is electric guitar tone better now than it was in rock’s ‘golden age’ in the 60’s and 70’s? A recent article titled “Is It Tougher To Get Good Tone Now Vs. Then?” on Jay Kumar’s fantastic Woody Tone site explores that very question. Quoted from the article, guitarist and producer Dave Cobb, who recently recorded a new album with Black Robot, believes that “Everything was better back then.”

Says Dave:

The guitars were American-made and made at the height of American craftsmanship, the Marshalls were made with quality parts, and you had quality players – you couldn’t record a record unless you had a high level of ability.  Plus studios had the best mics in the world, they had good consoles and tape. Now we might have more stuff available, but it’s not as high-quality.

Jay goes on to ponder the current state of electric guitar gear and whether it is actually more difficult to get what he calls “a convincing, old-school rock tone” than it was when Page, Clapton and Beck were young. So, here’s the deal!  I thought I would ask what you think about this topic…

First, read Jay’s article. Then click on the link below to take a quick four question survey and tell me what YOU think!


As always, I’ll share the results next month!!


Don Mackrill –

PS: Check out another article on Woody Tone: “Mack of Mack Amps on EL84s and Tone Controls”. In this two part interview I explain why I like EL84s, how the Heatseeker line of amps came about and why I don’t like TMB tone stacks!!

PPS: Join the Mack Amps mailing list and take advantage of the current Member’s-Only discount on Heatseeker HS-18 and Skyraider SR-15 boutique amps!