Brown Eye and
Earlier, I mentioned that the Brown Eye
should appeal to players who like a more
immediate attack and extraordinary detail in
the upper mids. Those frequencies really start
to show themselves in a stronger light when
the guitar is in standard tuning or perhaps
a half-step below. With the Naked, though,
it’s all about dropped tunings. This was of
special interest to me, as I like to keep one
of my guitars tuned down to C#. I can’t tell
you how many Marshall (and Marshall-esque)
amps I’ve gone through over the years that
just can’t keep the signal tight and focused
when I’m tuned down that low.
With the Naked and its custom-voiced circuit, that frustrating issue was nowhere to
be found. The jumbled, fuzzy mess of distorted, down-tuned riffs was substituted with
quite possibly the tightest, meanest British
overdrive I’ve ever experienced. Every low-string palm mute coming out of my 20th
Anniversary Bogner 2x12 cabinet was crisp
and clear, with that perfect sag in the mids
that Marshall lovers obsess over. I’ve played
(and owned) some fantastic British-voiced
amps throughout the years, but nothing was
ever quite this good in terms of high gain.
My 1978 Gibson Les Paul Custom, which has
a Bare Knuckle Warpig in the bridge posi-
tion, sang up and down the fretboard, deliv-
ering biting, detailed tones and some of the
best note definition I’ve ever come across.
It was almost as if there were two voicings
in the frequency spectrum—one being a
darker, more aggressive tone in the low end,
and the other being sweet, bright, and soft
in the upper registers.
And, just like the Brown Eye, the Presence
control has a massive overall effect on the
sound. The control really starts to kick in
between the 1 o’clock and 5 o’clock positions, considerably boosting both the gain
and upper-end frequencies in the higher
settings. It’s almost a voicing control at this
point, because slight changes pull it from
hard rock to raging Slayer territory. It’s flat-out amazing just how well the Presence control changes the tone, and it was definitely
the secret weapon in my amp testing. During
these tests, I found no need to change
the EQ from where I had originally set it,
because there was a myriad of spectacular,
completely usable tones to sweep through,
thanks to that single knob.
Even after experiencing the Naked’s extraordinary overdrive tones, I could not ignore its
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