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Live Sound Month!

Brown Sound

The “brown sound” is a legendary electric guitar distortion tone that musicians try to emulate using various effects pedals, tube amplifiers, and modeling amplifiers. The term was coined by guitarist Eddie Van Halen. Sources of the brown sound are frequently speculated upon, from the pickup Van Halen used on his “frankenstrat” guitar, possible modifications to the amplifier for more preamp gain or simply studio trickery. However; Eddie admitted years later that the amp modification story was made up to increase his buddy’s repair business. No real modifications were done to his Marshall amp except once in a while Eddie would use a different rated output tube(s) that would saturate faster.

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