Q: I’m trying to get a bigger electric guitar sound, more like what I hear on the classic rock songs I hear. My friends keep telling me to turn up the gain, but I’m not sure that is giving me what I want.
A: The opposite will probably help you achieve the sound that you are seeking. In general, classic rock guitar tones were surprisingly clean and low gain. Most of the distortion was generated in the power amp/output section of the amp rather than from pushing the front end with preamp gain.
Our advice is to turn the front-end gain as low as you can tolerate and still play well, then use an amplifier that allows you to turn up the output volume loud enough to generate power tube distortion.