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> Getting That Perfect Tone?
Azzaboi
post Jul 16 2010, 10:24 PM
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Getting that perfect tone?

It's getting time to replace my guitar strings and pick.
I'm wondering if it's also time for a service and clean?

Setup:
My baby is a Les Paul Gibson USA '98 - Standard (2nd hand but good nick)
Laney Hardcore Max Amp HCM65R (The amp has two channels: clean and crunch, and even an extra distortion)
Line 6 - PODXT (for effects)

I currently have Ernie Ball Custom Gauge (10-46) guitar strings on her and use a dunlop 1.14mm pick (lost and worn a few others)

My question is first should I do the full service along with the guitar strings, or just string it myself. It's harmonics are slightly off I think and the 12th fret - top E string buzzs a bit when played. I could possible clean it myself but don't know how to setup the action correctly.

Is it better to setup a FX loop? I feed the PODXT in thru the AMP input and leave the AMP off 'Crush Factor' mostly to clearly hear the POD tone effect, but it also has the ports for Foot Switch, FX Send, and FX Return. Should I be looping it through there instead? Also what's good EQ settings for the AMP, for this style rock/metal or should I leave it flat so the POD does that?

What would the best string and pick to get? I enjoy rock/metal and getting into learning to shred, styles like Paul Gilbert, Dimebags, Slash, and James Hetfield, etc.

Thanks in advance!
ps. you dont' have to answer all the questions, one or two would be fine smile.gif

This post has been edited by Azzaboi: Jul 16 2010, 10:26 PM


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superize
post Jul 16 2010, 10:29 PM
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If you can have a guitar tech setup your guitar that would be the best if you are not sure how todo it yourself


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Sollesnes
post Jul 16 2010, 10:34 PM
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Yeah, it's always good to have a tech go over your guitar every now and then (perhaps once a year etc), as long as you can do basic intonation and stuff yourself smile.gif
About picks and strings, there is no best for any style, only best for your technique and sense of comfort. About the Pod -> Amp configuration, try out the various things you mentioned, and look in the manual, and see yourself what sounds good. Both into amp input and FX Return is common. There is no ultimate tone smile.gif

This post has been edited by Sollesnes: Jul 16 2010, 10:36 PM
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ZakkWylde
post Jul 16 2010, 10:41 PM
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You can watch some of the *setting your guitar up* videos from youtube and try it yourself. If it gets better - fine! If you make it worse - you can always go to a tech and get a full setup...

Effects like Dealy, Reverb and so on don't sound good when run through the preamp and should therefore be placed in the FX-loop. Distortion effects and stuff like Wahs belong in front of the amp. Where you put the Line6 Pod depends on what effects you use on your POD.

There are no general EQ settings as every amp sounds diffrent. Try to find what settings sound good to you with your ears!
Need more low end - turn up the bass! Sounds muddy - reduce gain! You get the picture...

Strings are up to personal preferance but the Ernie Balls you already used have a great rock tone and are used by A LOT of artists from Metallica to ACDC. It's the same with picks: Play what you like and not what anybody tells you to use. You can play any genre with any pick.
You might wanna think about a pickup change to something hotter... The Gibson Burstbuckers are Rock and Blues pickups, there are better ones for metal and hardrock!


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Azzaboi
post Jul 16 2010, 10:48 PM
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Aww, but I want the ULTIMATE tone! Something like cries and wails which my dog can sing too while still getting up to speed biggrin.gif

I'll check out the Gibson Burstbuckers, thanks.
I also heard about speed picks (H10r Angle) with a little twist in them and wonder if they are better or a have. Or maybe go with Jazz III picks?

Also what thickness on the strings and pick would be suitable?

I know there's no instant play better if you use this device, strings and pick, but it can help right? I can wish laugh.gif

This post has been edited by Azzaboi: Jul 16 2010, 10:52 PM


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Sollesnes
post Jul 16 2010, 10:52 PM
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Completely up to you smile.gif I LOVE thick picks (4.10mm), and I use 11-54 gauge in D standard and Drop C tuning. You just have to find what works for you, by trying out everything you can ^^
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ZakkWylde
post Jul 16 2010, 10:57 PM
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The Burstbuckers are the ones you already have in your Les Paul! I was talking about replacing them^^


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Azzaboi
post Jul 16 2010, 11:01 PM
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So was I thinking of replacing the pickups Zakk, heh might be costly thou!


Slash Signiture guitar just has a flatten neck, different pickups and bridge and paint job. Looks awesome!
Customise my guitar the same? (a bit over my head and costly maybe)



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ZakkWylde
post Jul 16 2010, 11:04 PM
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Paint Job change is impossible. The maple tops are flamed and painted in layers to create that burst look, you can't just change the color of the maple top...

The neck is about the same as on a normal standard and the pickups are Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pros. They are low output pickups with a great Rock and Clean sound but they are really bad for Metal and heavier Rock (fizzy under high gain)


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Gear:
- Jackson USA Select KV2 King V with EMG 81/85
- Gibson Les Paul Custom Arctic White with EMG 81/85
- Ibanez Rg 8527 J Custom 7-String with DiMarzio Evolution and Air Norton

- Peavey 6505+ head with Marshall 1960AV 4x12 cab
- Peavey Vypyr 30 Practice Amp
- Dunlop Crybaby From Hell, Maxon OD808, Boss TU-2, MXR CarbonCopy, ISP Decimator, MXR Custom Audio Electronics Booster

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Azzaboi
post Jul 17 2010, 01:23 AM
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QUOTE
I LOVE thick picks (4.10mm), and I use 11-54 gauge in D standard and Drop C tuning

That's insanely heavily! Nice, but I don't think I'll go that far? I normally play in standard tune. I've never actually tried a thicker pick than 2.4mm, might give it a go. My Big Stubby is 2mm, great grip but not sharp enough. I want to learn picking like how Paul Gilbert does it angled, I get much sweeter harmonics.

QUOTE
The neck is about the same as on a normal standard and the pickups are Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pros. They are low output pickups with a great Rock and Clean sound but they are really bad for Metal and heavier Rock (fizzy under high gain)

Oh ok, thanks for the heads up. I was just wondering mostly about the pickups slash uses, but you answered my question.

Would a Gibson Burstbuckers #3 work well in the bridge position with a BurstBucker™ #2 in the neck position for the rock/metal tone? I'm not quite sure whats on it at the moment, does sound "vintage" without any effects or distortion.

This post has been edited by Azzaboi: Jul 17 2010, 01:24 AM


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ZakkWylde
post Jul 17 2010, 10:42 AM
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You either already have a Burstbucker #2 and #3 in your Les Paul as they are the standard pickup configutaration in the Standard Les Pauls or you might have the Burstbucker Pro, which is a hotter version of the regular Burstbucker by Gibson.


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Gear:
- Jackson USA Select KV2 King V with EMG 81/85
- Gibson Les Paul Custom Arctic White with EMG 81/85
- Ibanez Rg 8527 J Custom 7-String with DiMarzio Evolution and Air Norton

- Peavey 6505+ head with Marshall 1960AV 4x12 cab
- Peavey Vypyr 30 Practice Amp
- Dunlop Crybaby From Hell, Maxon OD808, Boss TU-2, MXR CarbonCopy, ISP Decimator, MXR Custom Audio Electronics Booster

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Azzaboi
post Jul 17 2010, 07:02 PM
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Hi Zakk,

So what are you suggesting? I replace them with something else? if so, what? or I replace them with the same or pro version, etc?

By the way, it's was my gibson guitars birthday (was created on 14th July 1998), mine own bday is also coming up on the 27th July.
Will be getting new strings/pick and taking it in for a service and clean at least. I like dating it around every 6-12 months.


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ZakkWylde
post Jul 17 2010, 07:17 PM
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Depends on what you want from your next pickups: more low end? more gain? more precision? more harmonics?
Basicly what don't you like with your current pickups?


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Gear:
- Jackson USA Select KV2 King V with EMG 81/85
- Gibson Les Paul Custom Arctic White with EMG 81/85
- Ibanez Rg 8527 J Custom 7-String with DiMarzio Evolution and Air Norton

- Peavey 6505+ head with Marshall 1960AV 4x12 cab
- Peavey Vypyr 30 Practice Amp
- Dunlop Crybaby From Hell, Maxon OD808, Boss TU-2, MXR CarbonCopy, ISP Decimator, MXR Custom Audio Electronics Booster

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Azzaboi
post Jul 17 2010, 09:38 PM
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more gain? more precision? more harmonics? sounds good.

It's got a great low end and blues/rock tone. Clear playing with no effects.
I like the bridge pickup, but not so much the sound of the neck pickup.
It's smooth and sweet but no edge for metal, screams and harmonics.

Okay so far...

For string might be getting:
QUOTE
Dean Markely 10
Ernic Ball Slinky Custom Gauge 10 (what I've currently been using)
or a Gauge 9 of something?


For picks, tossing up between:
QUOTE
v-picks
clayton 1.2 or more
Stylus Pick
Dunlop Max Grip Jazz III
Speed Pick
dunlop h3
dunlop 1.14mm (what I've currently been using)


I can't afford a metorite light pick 'Custom Monulista Pick from Sweden', lol, costs $135US!

Ain't that something though, woah at how that one plays!

This post has been edited by Azzaboi: Jul 17 2010, 09:49 PM


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Praetorian
post Jul 18 2010, 12:10 AM
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Try Dunlop Jazz III XL's. Same as the legendary Jazz III, but bigger so easier to handle!

This post has been edited by Praetorian: Jul 18 2010, 12:10 AM


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Azzaboi
post Jul 18 2010, 02:12 AM
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Hi Praetorian, they look and sound sweet, I was thinking of the max grip version but those Jazz III XL look like a better option (and more suitable to what I'm use to). I wondering how they compare with the v-picks? Anyone tried both yet?

I like the sound and grip of the v-picks, but there's quite a few different shapes and sizes to pick from.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jul 18 2010, 11:58 PM
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I can recommend a bit heavier pick, but all picks act slightly different in your hand, so it's best to tryout several in the store and see what suits you well. They all give slightly different sound too, depending of the material.

best picks I've used are Pickboy Carbon Nylon black picks, they have a bit warmer sound and good grip. The shape is similar to Jazz III XL.

This post has been edited by Ivan Milenkovic: Jul 18 2010, 11:59 PM


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Azzaboi
post Jul 19 2010, 02:06 AM
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I got Dean Markely 10 gauge strings and my guitar serviced today smile.gif
The service guy said it's an awesome guitar, great nick and a peasure to work with and didn't need much change. So that's a plus I guess.

They didn't have Dunlop Jazz III XL, just the Jazz III (tried by quite small) and varies others (didn't see any Pickboys), but I'm thinking of ordering in some v-picks instead, need to work out which ones are better to get though (maybe a small mix)?

Replacement pickups need to be ordered in (if I plan to get new ones), cost $250-$300 each pickup thou. I was thinking of a calibrated pair of Gibsons contemporary-voiced Ceramic series humbucking pickups, a 496R in the neck (rhythm) position, and a hot 500T in the bridge (lead) position. But I still don't have an idea what's in there already and if it's worth the cost as they are still working fine - just smooth blues/rock sounding?

Thanks for everyones help so far, some great advice!

This post has been edited by Azzaboi: Jul 19 2010, 02:10 AM


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Azzaboi
post Jul 20 2010, 02:47 AM
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I assume the guitar shape, amp used and effects will all affect it as well, so this is quite confusing for me...

Les Paul Gibson USA - Standard 1998.
Laney Hardcore Max Amp - HCM65R.
Line 6 - PODXT effects.

If swapping out my original Gibsons pickups, should I replace them with DiMarzios or even Duncans pickups? I've heard they are quite good? (After a more rock/metal sound with a higher gain and strong harmonics)

Do you know what pickup magnet is best to use (Ceramic, Alnico, etc) or the name of pickups you would recommend, etc?
(I quite like the DiMarzios X2N pickup sound i think from what I've heard so far)

I also assume both pickups will be have to be replaced to work together?

Would the sound quality be a major difference?

This post has been edited by Azzaboi: Jul 20 2010, 03:01 AM


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ZakkWylde
post Jul 20 2010, 02:09 PM
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The Gibson pickups are good for Rock and blues stuff but they are wound to sound vintage like and that's what makes them muiddy under high gain. For a Les Paul, I would get a Seymour Duncan SH-5 in the bridge and an Sh-1 in the neck.

The Sh-5 Custom has a ceramic magnet which gives you more cut, a sharper sound and tighter attack (and also more output). The pickup however is not too hot and has a balanced sound - you can play extremely heavy stuff with it aswell as Rock or blues!
The Sh-1 59 is a classic PAF style neck pickup that fits perfectly to the sound of the SH-5 in the bridge. It's also very versatile!

You will hear A HUGE diffrence in your guitars sound and pickung response!

The X2N is a freakishly hot pickup! In every guitar I heard it in, it sound totally muddy from all the gain and sterile if you tried to take away some distortion from the amp...


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Gear:
- Jackson USA Select KV2 King V with EMG 81/85
- Gibson Les Paul Custom Arctic White with EMG 81/85
- Ibanez Rg 8527 J Custom 7-String with DiMarzio Evolution and Air Norton

- Peavey 6505+ head with Marshall 1960AV 4x12 cab
- Peavey Vypyr 30 Practice Amp
- Dunlop Crybaby From Hell, Maxon OD808, Boss TU-2, MXR CarbonCopy, ISP Decimator, MXR Custom Audio Electronics Booster

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