Registered User
Join date: Jul 2004
744 IQ
OKAY!!!! So I'm in the market for a new guitar.

Here's a list of guitarists/guitar tones that I'd like to be able to emulate:

Greg Hill of Mute Math: http://www.uberproaudio.com/who-plays-what/414-mute-math-greg-hill-guitar-rig-gear-and-equipment
Johnny Buckland of Coldplay: http://www.uberproaudio.com/who-plays-what/403-coldplay-jonny-buckland-guitar-gear-rig-and-equipment
John Mayer: http://www.uberproaudio.com/who-plays-what/146-john-mayers-guitar-gear-rig-and-equipment
Johhny Greenwood of Radiohead: http://thekingofgear.com/jonny
Ed O'Brien of Radiohead: http://thekingofgear.com/ed
Thom Yorke of Radiohead: http://thekingofgear.com/thom
Dave Knudson of Minus The Bear: http://www.uberproaudio.com/who-plays-what/374-minus-the-bear-dave-knudson-guitar-gear-rig-and-equipment
The Edge of U2: http://www.uberproaudio.com/who-plays-what/158-u2-the-edge-guitar-gear-rig-and-equipment
Chris Wall for Deathcab For Cutie: http://www.uberproaudio.com/who-plays-what/452-death-cab-for-cutie-chris-walla-guitar-rig-gear-and-equipment
Iaasac Brock/Johnny Marr of Modest Mouse: http://www.uberproaudio.com/who-plays-what/610-modest-mouse-johnny-marr-guitar-rig-gear-and-equipment
Jack White: http://www.uberproaudio.com/who-plays-what/118-jack-whites-guitar-gear-rig-and-equipment

The common link here seems to be a Fender through an AC30. I'm currently looking at a Fender Telecaster American Standard 2012 through a Fractal Audio Axe-Fx II Mk II to emulate the AC30 and other amp sounds. My only concern is this is basically going to fail me on all humbucker tones, and I'd like to be able to essentially sound SIMILAR to anyone. My other thought would be a PRS McCarty/305/408/513 with coil taps, through the Axe-Fx. This would be arguably more versatile and I really don't think a PRS could ever be a weak link in the chain.

For those of you who don't know what an Axe-Fx is, it's made by Fractal Audio and it is similar to the Line 6 modelling equipment, you plug straight into the black box, and plug the black box straight into your PA system. Genius, and a higher quality than any other modelling unit out there.

And here's some more criteria that I need my guitar to meet:
Ability to retain tune with regular use, temperature changes, use of whammy and bends. Perfect intonation across the neck. Quick restring via Planet Waves Auto-Trim Locking Tuners or Sperzel Trim-Lok Tuners. Lowest action and easiest barrability/fretability with no audible string buzz through amp. Elixir Nanoweb Light 10-46. Lightweight. Straplocks.

So my current thoughts are, buy the Axe-Fx and some In Ear Monitors. Take the Axe-Fx and IEMs to all the different guitar shops and try out a heap of different Fenders and see which ones sound the best. Buy said Fender, and take it to a luthier to get strap locks on if it doesn't already, get some auto-trim tuners and get it setup with my guage of strings.

What do you think? Anything I'm missing to sound like these guys with the criteria I've met?

And for anyone who doubts me not using a real amp, check out these videos demonstrating the Fractal Audio Axe-Fx.

Last edited by squidlips at Jul 28, 2013,
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2011
22 IQ
Well really you seem to already have a pretty good plan of action set up if that's what you're set on, of course everybody and his dog is going to grumble about emulating an amp.

Really though, you'd pay for a luthier to fit freaking strap locks? It's one screw.
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2004
744 IQ
Ended up getting a Fender Telecaster American Standard 2013 for approximately USD$1100/AUD$1300 which I thought was a fantastic deal. With any luck if I get an audio interface I'll be able to post some tone samples soon. I think the tone of these things are amazing, I'm going to leave it almost completely stock.

Registered User
Join date: Jan 2012
1,110 IQ
Congrats on your new tele. If you're going for a tele sound, there probably isn't really a better source than a good Fender tele, you know?

I've been using an old Variax 500 as my "tele". Excellent model of a tele (Mutt Lange famously chose it over several real teles as his tele sound-of-choice for the first Shania Twain tour), but the best thing about it may be that there's no single coil hum. No noise whatsoever.

This leaves two holes left to fill from your original post: the Axe-FX II and the humbucker sounds. While the Axe-FX is a really good choice and an excellent bit of kit, I'd suggest that your amp needs (largely centered around an AC-30) make the Axe a bit of overkill. I've got the older Axe Ultra, and the II is a good piece, but with the recommended foot pedal it's a solid $3K US. Duplicating the AC30 is a piece of cake even on less-expensive gear, such as the Pod HD-500x. If you're planning on running through a PA system (a good plan), you'll be hard pressed to hear the difference between the two modelers on a dialed-in AC30 setting. And that runs about $500 US.

Going this route leaves you $2500 in your budget for a real humbucker guitar, complete with the correct scale (which makes a difference).