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If you’re underwhelmed by your overall lead tone, assuming your amp is working as it should be, there are still changes you can make. Ask yourself – is it the right amp for the job? Low-powered valve amps might hold their own with a drummer but lack the headroom to allow you to boost the overall dB level any further.
Bigger isn’t always better, either. Amp overkill in a small venue is a sad sight – much like watching someone struggling to lift too heavy a weight in the gym.
The object of the exercise for optimum lead tone is to get the amp hot enough to ‘break up’ at a practical stage volume.
Learn your amp: change preamp tubes to alter the gain characteristics, and exchange speakers (and cabs) for different levels of efficiency and presence, and a surprising tonal makeover.