Greg - Yes, yes it is.

What's chime? Think Byrds, think Pretenders, both users of chime by the bucketful. When you hear a worship song described as having chime, if you can't relate it to the classic sound of either band then you know the describer has a forked tongue or cloth ears.

As you said, this is the tone that many Marshall players work hard to eliminate, and rightly so if they want those kind of drive tones, even though a clean early Marshall valve amp will give quite a nice chime since they're based on a Fender or WEM circuit.

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Guess that's back to what I said about which stock pickups.

Personal tastes aside, It still irks me that Gibson and the like can't create new guitars in the $2000+ price range that all sound superb. I'm finding that Gretsch's mostly have "that sound", but when pick up a Gibson Les Paul in the music store, there are very few that hit the spot for me. Strats and Teles mostly have "that sound" as well and could be used stock, but I don't get it with Gibson. 

Hey Greg, you've been keeping this thread going single-handed. Glad you like your amp tone alone. :-)

Talking about amp tone and low volume, the usual issues are a lack of compression and the guitar sounding thin when the amp isn't cranked. But these days the small amp revolution has *mostly* fixed that, so that someone can turn up with a 5-15W amp with appropriate speaker, set a reasonable volume for good tone and sound like they're playing through a much bigger, louder rig without the volume issues. And in another 10 years it's likely that decent modelling amps will be available at lower prices so that it will no longer be possible to tell whether the amp is valve or digital, even when you plug straight in.

:-)

And with unlimited disposable income I'd probably try a Kemper. But I do like the tone I get from a smallish amp - actually I'm really grateful for the amps I have these days, although I've almost stopped playing now. Maybe I should just sell up & retire, except I'd really like to record a worship album this year.

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