Rex Brown Tone

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SCH1SM1C, Jun 5, 2020.

  1. SCH1SM1C


    Jan 21, 2020
    Was listening to some Vulgar Display Of Power this morning and Rex's tone hits you like a train. I was hoping if someone knows what settings he uses. I know he uses Spector basses, and Ampeg amps. I use the SVT4 Pro and a Jackson bass with EMG PJX pickups. From what i heard he also has a decent amount of gain in it.
  2. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    I can give you ideas on how to get closer to his tone, but as to what settings he used, there is not a magical way to get his tone. On Vulgar I think he was using the Music Man Stingray. His tone on that album really cut through in the upper mids (750-2khz) and he was a bit absent in the 500hz range. After Vulgar, I know he started using various distortion/overdrive pedals mixed in with his clean tone. He focused a good chunk of his attack in the midrange 500hz to 800hz since Dimebag's tone did not have much sound in that range. If any.

    On your 4 PRO, start with the EQ sliders at the neutral setting (tone knobs doing the same thing), try boosting the 600-800hz range on the EQ sliders, use roundwound strings, play with a pick, and don't bother boosting over 5khz. Keep your low mids in check (150-300hz on the EQ sliders set to no boost), maybe a slight drop at 300hz, set all other knobs at noon/neutral, and lastly, roll the low end downward on the 33hz slider as necessary to tighten the tone.

    I used to own the 4 PRO and you need to watch out how much low end that head is putting out. At modest and/or neutral settings, the low end is BOOSTED. Oh, that Ultra Low knob, don't use it! I am going to nick name it: "Anti-Pantera" knob. After Vulgar, Rex focused more on shaping his tone to mesh with Dime even more. It allowed him to sit int he mix well and it never ran over what Dime was doing. Hopefully that will get you in the right direction.
    Arthur U. Poon and SCH1SM1C like this.
  3. SCH1SM1C


    Jan 21, 2020
    Thanks for the advice. It got me really close to it although it's still not quite there, but i'll get it one day.
  4. Arnarco


    Feb 29, 2020
    Very good info here! I also dig Rex Brown tone, but I'm having problems with the floppy strings when using drop tunings (I'm using .45). Do you guys know if using heavier strings can help?
  5. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    I think you mean .045. Yes, heavier strings are needed for lower tunings. What are you trying to time to?
  6. Arnarco


    Feb 29, 2020
    Oh yes, I'm using .045, but I think I gets floppy when I tune 1 whole step down to D or more, to play heavy stuff like Pantera. I wonder if there is any kind of string that have more tension, or if I should use a higher gauge.
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Do whatever you think is necessary. Personally, I don't dig heavier strings, but if it feels floppy to you, they might work.
  8. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    Try a .055. For me, every half step you go down, add .005 to the string gauge and see what happens.
  9. DudeWowTotally


    Jun 25, 2017
    Rex mainly used Blue Steel and Medium lights 45-105's.

    I made a whole rig video about him recently, I hope it helps.

    ihixulu, crguti, Sid the Kid and 4 others like this.
  10. Lammchop93

    Lammchop93 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    I had an MXR M80 pedal back in the day, and I felt like I could get the tone very close with that.
  11. RandalPinkFloyd


    Jun 3, 2012
    I know online articles say he started using them on Vulgar, but according to his autobiography, he didn't switch to a Music Man until the Far Beyond Driven album. However, the entry is a little confusing, because in the same passage, he says that Rachel Bolan of Skid Row turned him on to Spectors and after 5 minutes alone "I was a full blown Spector fan. I had to have one and I've played them ever since." Don't know if he's being forgetful, or if there is an error in the online rig down.
  12. rufus.K

    rufus.K Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2015
    I played that album out.. wore out the tape, back when it was a new release.

    I never noticed any bass on it.
    MYLOWFREQ and jbrew73 like this.
  13. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    I think vulgar display is his worst tone out of all the albums. CFH he was using Carvel and ampegs, so you should easily be able to get that tone.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    In one interview he mentions boosting around 4kHz, and being very careful about that because Vinnie also boosts those freq on his kick drum. But at the same time, he says something like screwing the pickups all the way into the body to get the wood tone, which obviously is BS and magnetic PUs don't work that way. So not sure about taking Rex seriously.. That being said I am a BIG PanterA fan. \m/
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2020
    Gearhead17 likes this.
  15. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Hell Paso Texas
    I use those exact same strings. My friend Rick, formerly of Pissing Razors/Ministry, got me hooked on them. I love the mid range growl they produce, especially through Stingrays and G&L M2000's.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2020
  16. Zele


    Apr 9, 2021
    That's strange considering that the album is mixed quite good and bass can easily be heard. Also, song "The Art Of Shredding" literally has a bass intro so not sure how did you miss that.
  17. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    You think the Cookie Puss or Fudgie the Whale would be best? :)

    I thought I remember him using a SansAmp BDDI into SVT II-Pros at one point in his career too. He's got a killer tone, but I really just dig his playing no matter what.
  18. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Definitely cookie puss.
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