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Great for chords, flat for leads....whaaaa????

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  • Great for chords, flat for leads....whaaaa????

    It is unreal how some guitars sound great with any pickup in them, and just give you the sound or better of the pickup's description, and others...not so much. My basswood Chibson SG should be a dog by the very description, yet EVERY pickup I've ever put in it sounds wonderful. Big problem is my Agile Hawker Custom with Floyd. Original pickups sounded great for chords/rhythm playing, but leads sounded almost like I was playing a clean amp with no bite or scream. Okay, put my original, first run Brobucker in there. It's been in two other guitars and sounded killer, so I know it's an awesome pickup. Guess what? Same thing. As a matter of fact, didn't really sound much different from the original pickups. So yesterday I put a C5 in it, and when I get my A8 mags, will swap an A8 in. Again, C5 has been in a couple of other guitars and sounds killer. Lo and behold THE SAME THING! Very frustrating. Any suggestions.....including sell the guitar, lol? I love the look, the way it feels, everything, but I have to wonder if it just has some dead wood or the Floyd is a REAL cheapo and is sucking tone?
    My songs....enjoy! (hopefully )

    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...?bandID=652921
    or for older stuff too, but slower downloads
    http://www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp...=301569&T=7414

    Originally posted by DankStar
    700 watts is ok for small clubs, but when you play with a loud drummer or at a medium-large sized venue, you really need 1,500-watts at least. no one should be left alive.

  • #2
    IME 2 things make chords sound good but leads be thin/flat/lifeless. Lack of the right frequency of mids, and something about the guitar construction absorbing vibration and taking the sustain out of it. To solve the latter, things like: a different bridge/tailpiece/nut/sustain block material, different tuners, if it's botl-on, resetting the neck and tightening down; even different strings can help. The former should be covered by changing pickups, but it appears the guitar itself is weighing stronger in the resulting sound.

    Comment


    • #3
      You may just not like the way the guitar sounds. Pickups can only do so much to change the fundamental tone of the instrument. On the pickup side, you could try some highly voiced options (Dimarzios?).

      Or, maybe you just haven't found the right settings and height adjustments and whatnot to get tones that make you happy. Try some really weird stuff - put all your EQs at zero and bring it in one at a time, put the pickup really low, run it through a 7 or 10 band EQ, try some different before-amp boosts or preamps.

      I have some 85/15s in a PRS Floyd SE and it took me many months to get it to where I'm satisfied. It would just sound terrible in so many scenarios, but the guitar played amazingly and I didn't want to modify it. We're there now, but dang it was a process. In no way would I consider it toneless.

      HOWEVER. If the guitar is taking up too much of your energy and you don't really need it around, no shame in letting it go!
      Originally posted by crusty philtrum
      Anyone who *sings* at me through their teeth deserves to have a bus drive through their face
      http://www.youtube.com/alexiansounds

      Comment


      • #4
        I had a similar issue with a guitar recently. Even a set of Black Winters sounded blunt in it with a massive brass block underneath the Floyd. I blamed it on the waaay too big routings for the controls and the bridge. It was noticeably louder unplugged and notiveably blunter when plugged in compared to my other guitars. I figured less wood and more air is not good for cutting leads and angry riffs. Ended up selling it.
        Last edited by nexion218; 04-05-2021, 01:09 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Not enough scream for leads? Get a Dimarzio Evolution. It's got a very distinct screaming voice to it. I've had it in 3 different guitars (a really dark sounding basswood Ibanez, a bright SG, a typical ESP Eclipse) and it sounded pretty similar in all of them.

          But at some point it's worth giving up on a guitar if it doesn't work for you.

          Sent from my SM-G970W using Tapatalk

          Comment


          • #6
            I have two Dimarzios in the old pickup box I guess I'll try if the A8 (which just got here) doesn't do the trick. I have an old Super Distortion and a Super 2. The Super 2 I used to use in neck, but never had it in a bridge...not that I remember, anyway. And yeah, I think if I can't solve it with pickups, I may sell it. Dang shame, but I'm not going to put much more into it. I'd hate to start dumping money into it with a new block, this and that, and never come away happy. BTW, it is a set neck. Bottom line like what was said before is I may just not like the sound of the guitar.
            My songs....enjoy! (hopefully )

            http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...?bandID=652921
            or for older stuff too, but slower downloads
            http://www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp...=301569&T=7414

            Originally posted by DankStar
            700 watts is ok for small clubs, but when you play with a loud drummer or at a medium-large sized venue, you really need 1,500-watts at least. no one should be left alive.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have a 7 string that had a similar problem.
              I ended up swapping out all of the electronics and starting fresh. It sounded much better, but still I didn’t love it. I think it’s just not the guitar for me.

              Comment


              • #8
                Sounds like it is the guitar itself. I don't know if I'd bother to keep trying pickups. Just get an instrument that inspires you to pick it up.
                Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

                Comment


                • #9
                  I would bet that guitar is naturally slightly scooped in tone is what it is. probably slightly muted in the 1-2 khz area, It will make chords smooth and sit softer in a mix but seem lacking presence in solos and single note runs -especially in a band mix.

                  Borrow or buy a little graphic EQ pedal and try to boost at 800, 1000, 2000. individually and then mix together to prove or disprove this. if it's slightly scooped chances are it's boosted somewhere in the 100-400 hz range which is why you like the chords - may try dial that back a bit when testing.
                  “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Tough row to hoe though especially if it feels so good in your hands. If it's the best feeling axe you've got, definitely worth plugging away at. If it's not competing for your #1 or #2 I would say it isn't worth the continued chase.
                    Originally posted by crusty philtrum
                    Anyone who *sings* at me through their teeth deserves to have a bus drive through their face
                    http://www.youtube.com/alexiansounds

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by NegativeEase View Post
                      I would bet that guitar is naturally slightly scooped in tone is what it is. probably slightly muted in the 1-2 khz area, It will make chords smooth and sit softer in a mix but seem lacking presence in solos and single note runs -especially in a band mix.

                      Borrow or buy a little graphic EQ pedal and try to boost at 800, 1000, 2000. individually and then mix together to prove or disprove this. if it's slightly scooped chances are it's boosted somewhere in the 100-400 hz range which is why you like the chords - may try dial that back a bit when testing.
                      +1

                      Graphic EQ will likely fix this problem. A little bit of 1-2k is a great frequency area to bite through a mix for clear leads.
                      Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

                      Originally posted by Douglas Adams
                      This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have only had this issue with a few guitars before luckly. The most notable one was a Schecter Demon 7 string. Playing unplugged you could barely even hear it. I put close to $400 in upgrades in it because I liked the way it looked and felt. But nothing in the end made it better sounding. Pickups, new wiring, bridge, or pedals... Ended up selling it for a huge loss. But I did find another guitar similar later on that was much better.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 75lespaul View Post
                          It is unreal how some guitars sound great with any pickup in them, and just give you the sound or better of the pickup's description, and others...not so much. My basswood Chibson SG should be a dog by the very description, yet EVERY pickup I've ever put in it sounds wonderful. Big problem is my Agile Hawker Custom with Floyd. Original pickups sounded great for chords/rhythm playing, but leads sounded almost like I was playing a clean amp with no bite or scream. Okay, put my original, first run Brobucker in there. It's been in two other guitars and sounded killer, so I know it's an awesome pickup. Guess what? Same thing. As a matter of fact, didn't really sound much different from the original pickups. So yesterday I put a C5 in it, and when I get my A8 mags, will swap an A8 in. Again, C5 has been in a couple of other guitars and sounds killer. Lo and behold THE SAME THING! Very frustrating. Any suggestions.....including sell the guitar, lol? I love the look, the way it feels, everything, but I have to wonder if it just has some dead wood or the Floyd is a REAL cheapo and is sucking tone?
                          When you have a guitar with a smooth top end, that is a good excuse to crank the treble on your amp.

                          Situations like this can be attributed to an unexpected pot value. did you test each pot with a multimeter? There could be a 250K pot in there.

                          Guitars that are more acoustically resonant are warmer plugged in. This guitar must sound good unplugged.


                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I’m going to add my support to the graphic EQ plan. Borrow one, or buy a cheap one, or use some software, and find out if it’s just a case of boosting certain frequencies when playing lead.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Do you have a tubescreamer? Try kicking that on for the leads.
                              "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And it’s the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

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