So here's the deal. The frontman in my band has a fetish for Fender amps that the bassist and I (who are kind of tone snobs, I have to admit) have never really understood. For a long time, he was convinced that his Frontman 212R was fantastic. It was only after months of badgering and the Frontman finally starting to die that we convinced him to get a tube amp, and the Hot Rod Deluxe 212 was what he wanted. The problem is, he's not that great a player and he has a Gibson Les Paul Studio from a not-so-great year, and right now his tone is just mud. Trebly, yucky mud. Given that he hasn't even finished paying off this amp yet and will probably never want anything else (good tone to him seems to just mean he can hear himself), what are some things we can try to improve his tone to be more articulate and clear?
We are currently trying to get him to get a new guitar. He really likes the look of Teles and I think that might help a lot, as playing my Strat seemed to improve his tone in that I could actually hear what he was playing. Has anyone tried any upgrades to the amp itself that have yielded good results? I don't know if he'd go for swapping the speakers just because then someone would have to buy them (though I have one 8 ohm G12H, so we could just get one more). I wanted to try it through some of my cabs to see if maybe a closed-back cab would help, but the impedance requirements of that amp are really bizarre (I think it wants a 4 ohm load, last I checked). When I had a Blues Jr. a long time ago, I did the Billm mod to it, though I don't remember how much good that did. I am more than able to mod the thing, if I can convince him to let me.