I’m a big fan of the band Tool. So, naturally, I’ve tried to get an Adam Jones guitar sound multiple times. Since Adam uses three amps including two Diezel VH4 (with different cabs) and one Marshall Super Lead, it’s not easy to get that sound money wise. Fortunately, Diezel released a pedal VH4-2, which is supposed to give you the sound of the amp but in a box. The sound was great. Recently, a colleague of mine borrowed me his new Line6 HX Stomp, the little cousin of the successful Line6 Helix. Of course the first thing I tried was to get a usable Adam Jones sound.
Here are the amps and cabs Adam plays most of the time
- Marshall JMP mid 70’s Super Bass + Marshall 4×12 G12 70W
- Diezel VH4 Blueface + Mesa Boogie Celestion V-30s
- Diezel VH4 + Mesa Boogie 4×15 bass cabs
Also see this (new) article on the sound used during the recording of Fear Inoculum.
Adam’s effects pedals are pretty straight forward and even mostly easily accessible. Stripping away wah, volume pedal and his loops, it boils down to the following:
- MXR Micro Amp
- Boss DD3 Delay
- Boss BF2 Flanger
- DOD FX40B EQ
Some sources state he also uses a Boss CE5 Chorus, but I haven’t seen one photo showing this pedal.
So, two amps + four effects and the HX Stomp has six available blocks, we should be good, right? RIGHT?
Sort of, yes. But also no.
Here’s the problem I ran into:
I chose the following two amp models in the HX stomp:
- German Ubersonic as an alternative to the Diezel
- Brit Plexi Nrm
The sound was very satisfying and I thought to myself “Great, now I only need to add the pedals”. But all of a sudden, almost all of the effects were grayed out in the HX stomp. First I thougt there might be incompatible combinations of blocks/amps/effects. But no, it’s simply the DSP power of the unit. It’s just too much for the device. But I managed to get an equivalent:
- Boost Comp (MXR Micro Amp)
- Digital Delay
- Analog Flanger
- Line6 2204 mod (Marshall)
- Line6 Badonk (equivalent for the Diezel sound)
- Verb for DIR headphone sound
I stripped the EQ, because in the physical version with the VH4-2 pedal, it didn’t make that big of a difference.
Here’s the patch download (*.hlx file)