#1
I have a MIM Standard HSS Strat. I've not considered anything particularly "wrong" with the sound I get from it, but recently there have been more and more times where it just doesn't sound "right". Just sort of sounds like more could be gotten from what I was playing. I don't know really how to describe these things, but the neck pickup sounds a bit muddy to me, and both the neck and middle are sort of flat and quiet.

I'm sorry if that description isn't very detailed, but I'd say that's about where my playing is. I'm not so new to playing that I don't hear the difference, but I'm not experienced enough yet to be able to explain what I'm noticing. Which brings me to my question.

It looks like when people upgrade they'll often sell their OEM stuff on Ebay. I was looking at some pickups off an American made Strat (someone was probably upgrading) and wondered if they'd be worth trying. I also see a lot of GFS pickups that seem very inexpensive, but don't know how they typically compare to my OEM Fender ones...

Is there much of a difference between the pickups on a MIM model versus and American made model? I'd like to think so, but I really don't know.

As for an amp I currently have a Line6 Spider III 15. I've been looking at the Line6 Spider III 75 as a potential upgrade instead of the pickups...

Thank you in advance for any input.
Richard

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Last edited by richardlpalmer at Jul 28, 2009,
#2
Quote by richardlpalmer
As for an amp I currently have a Line6 Spider III 15. I've been looking at the Line6 Spider III 75 as a potential upgrade
This is not an upgrade. It's just louder.
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#3
As for an amp I currently have a Line6 Spider III 15. I've been looking at the Line6 Spider III 75 as a potential upgrade


NOOOOOO
Never buy spider amp, please!



i'd suggest you swap pickups for SD or DiMarzio to your taste, and get Callaham tremolo block
Last edited by Regensgeliebte at Jul 23, 2009,
#4
Your probably going to get flamed for wanting a Line 6...

With my peavey raptor, the neck and mid pposition sound the way you described. Whenever I use that setting(when I play chords, or clean) I use a clean boost thing.

IMO, GFS pups are great for the price.

If I were you, My main concern would be the single-coil in the bridge, I'd upgrade it to humbucker, or, I'd change it immediately.
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#5
Quote by timbit2006

IMO, GFS pups are great for the price.

If I were you, My main concern would be the single-coil in the bridge, I'd upgrade it to humbucker, or, I'd change it immediately.


Timbit: Have you ever even tried GFS pickups yourself?
GFS pickups are probably similar to mexican pickups in terms tone/quality. The new mexican pickups are probably alot better in fact. So GFS wouldn't be an upgrade but perhaps a change. I'd say not worth it.

And did you even bother to read his post? He says he has a HSS strat in the first sentence. It already has a humbucker.

TS, you could move your neck pickup further from the strings to decrease the muddyness, but I then read you think its already too quiet. Perhaps you should try a more expensive strat and see if you just don't like the tone of strats.

Wait, actually, your amp will not be helping your guitars tone at all. If you played your guitar through a nice amp it would probably sound great. My stock mexican did. A good amp can do alot more most guitars. A pickup change through your amp will have little tonal benefit. And the bigger version, like SYK said, will not be better. I suggest saving for a better amp. You have a decent guitar. But your amp is sub par
Last edited by supergerbil at Jul 23, 2009,
#6
Quote by supergerbil


Wait, actually, your amp will not be helping your guitars tone at all. If you played your guitar through a nice amp it would probably sound great. My stock mexican did. A good amp can do alot more most guitars. A pickup change through your amp will have little tonal benefit. And the bigger version, like SYK said, will not be better. I suggest saving for a better amp. You have a decent guitar. But your amp is sub par


^ wisdom

i went from a spider to a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe about a year ago, and that really improved my sound, especially the muddiness. of course, you'll have to get the EQ right, but yea. Also, with a better amp, you'll be able to tell what you do or don't like about those pickups a lot better
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#7
Thanks a lot, guys. I appreciate the feedback.

I know a lot about motorcycles (road racing) and we so often get newer riders (or at least new to track riding) asking about upgrades -- very often the same questions over and over, like you must get here.

Most often people ask about engine/exhaust modification and what would make them faster. Invariably the answers are, "invest your money in setting up the suspension or upgrading the suspension". Most riders have plenty of engine in a stock bike, but their suspension settings are totally out of whack so they get no benefit from the extra horsepower they seek.

Sounds like I'm in one of those boats, which is great to realize. I love the feel of my guitar, I love the neck and I really enjoy playing it -- I look forward to it every time.

So it sounds like amplifiers are to guitars as suspension is to motorcycles. I could have the best guitar but if it's going through a poor amplifier I won't be able to realize the potential of the instrument.

Sounds to me like I should invest more energy in a getting a different amp. I was doing that concurrently but now I think I'll abandon the pickups for the time being. The thing is, I don't particularly need a louder amp -- this little amp is plenty loud for playing in my spare room. Sounds like I need a better quality sounding one...

(Oh, and I'll be sure not to mention "Line6" again around here. )
Richard

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#9
Quote by richardlpalmer
Thanks a lot, guys. I appreciate the feedback.

I know a lot about motorcycles (road racing) and we so often get newer riders (or at least new to track riding) asking about upgrades -- very often the same questions over and over, like you must get here.

Most often people ask about engine/exhaust modification and what would make them faster. Invariably the answers are, "invest your money in setting up the suspension or upgrading the suspension". Most riders have plenty of engine in a stock bike, but their suspension settings are totally out of whack so they get no benefit from the extra horsepower they seek.

Sounds like I'm in one of those boats, which is great to realize. I love the feel of my guitar, I love the neck and I really enjoy playing it -- I look forward to it every time.

So it sounds like amplifiers are to guitars as suspension is to motorcycles. I could have the best guitar but if it's going through a poor amplifier I won't be able to realize the potential of the instrument.

Sounds to me like I should invest more energy in a getting a different amp. I was doing that concurrently but now I think I'll abandon the pickups for the time being. The thing is, I don't particularly need a louder amp -- this little amp is plenty loud for playing in my spare room. Sounds like I need a better quality sounding one...

(Oh, and I'll be sure not to mention "Line6" again around here. )


SOMEONE WHO GETS IT!!!!! yeah line6 is about the most digital sounding s*** out there. vox valvetronix or any tube amp are great choices imo.
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#10
Quote by dudexitsjay
get a Vox AD30VT. it kicks ass.

I just posted in another thread about this. Don't want to spam the board, but I'm really curious about this now.

Quote by AngusJimiKeith
SOMEONE WHO GETS IT!!!!! yeah line6 is about the most digital sounding s*** out there. vox valvetronix or any tube amp are great choices imo.

This is a copy/paste from that other link (but this is my thread so I'm cool if has its own discussion in it):

I've wondered what can be done with one amp, actually. I have a Line6 Spider III 15 which honestly is plenty loud. The higher level Spider line (starting at the 75) markets the idea of several amp models, which was appealing to me.

I love blues but I also love rock, hard rock and metal.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but is the idea behind a SS amp that you use effects (external or internal) exclusively to get your sound, whereas a tube amp generates the quality of sound without effects?

I guess what I'm getting at here is, is it realistic for me to find an amp that sounds great when I want to play blues but that can use a foot pedal (or other effects processor) when I want to play metal?

Will the Vox AD30VT or vox valvetronix give this range of use? Will I immediately need a pedal/processor to have fun with it? What's the cost?

Actually, I'll go start looking the prices up, now.
Richard

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#11
well, somewhat, the amp is most of your tone, SS or tube. pedals are for doing things the amp cant, and any amp, tube or SS, has some use for pedals, but they are by NO MEANS necessary. its just a consensus among guitarists that for whatever reason, tubes sound "better". the vox prolly wont need pedals at all, its even got built in effects. small tube amps might, especially if they dont have master volume controls, in which case an overdrive pedal can be used so that the amp doesnt need to be cranked, but if it has a master volume, its fine. cost can be from $150-ish to over $1000 depending on the amp.
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#14
Quote by Regensgeliebte
NOOOOOO
Never buy spider amp, please!



Seriously line 6 spider III arent that bad i dont know why people hate them so much. Ive been playing 3 years, i won a peavey 6505, Mesa boogie triple rectifier, my dad owns a marshall plexi which i play through and honestly the line 6 spider III sounds pretty good compared up to them and i do play it alot probably more then my 6505 but not more than my mesa. I see nothing wrong with the amp i think someone just said it sucks and hella people just jumped on the band wagon

But GFS pickups are really good i bough the GFS VEH and i got the perfect brownsound when running thorugh a plexi and a custom frankenstrat. Ive also ttried their power rails and their single coil sized humbuckers and they are all amazgin pickups, i prefer them over seymour duncans.
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#15
What the hell is wrong with a spider? Of course they suck, but they're cheap as ****. They're not even that bad. I've tried some seriously ****ty amps, and spiders are nowhere near that category. I admit, they're not too great, but as a practice amp, it does it's job hella well. I'm gonna tell you that upgrading from a spider to a spider will fail miserably. The only difference will be that it will be louder..

Save up and buy a good amp. Buy yourself a decent tube amp like a mesa or a fender hot rod. Don't buy yourself the same thing if you are not content with what you already have.
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#16
So I guess the first place I need to start is the fact these amps you guys are talking about are combo amps, correct? I won't need a head, pre-amp, effects processor, etc. to play with them, right?

Would I be able to gig with any of these you've recommended (assuming a mic'd PA system)?
Richard

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#17
tell us your budget, you might get sth even better than Vox VT

Would I be able to gig with any of these you've recommended (assuming a mic'd PA system)?

if PA, why not

for those who say spiders aint that bad: its almost okay to buy them as a 1st amp, but not as a 1st AND a 2nd
Last edited by Regensgeliebte at Jul 24, 2009,
#18
TBH, I wouldn't think that the vox counts as a worth while upgrade from a spider. It's still a low level amp in my opinion. What is your budget? Even at the lower end of the market, there are still some great amps to be had...

I probably sound like I work for them, but I really do recommend the Blackstar HT-5. It has so many different tones and is a 5 watt valve amp. Great OD especially. It is easily loud enough for practising as it is designed for recording. Now it is great value for what it can do. It goes for $399 (which is about the same price as the biggest spider iiis) from guitar centre but you can probably get it cheaper some place else. Might be too much though...

And your mostor bike related post was spot on. I congratulate you in fact.
#19
I probably sound like I work for them, but I really do recommend the Blackstar HT-5. It has so many different tones and is a 5 watt valve amp. Great OD especially. It is easily loud enough for practising as it is designed for recording. Now it is great value for what it can do. It goes for $399 (which is about the same price as the biggest spider iiis) from guitar centre but you can probably get it cheaper some place else. Might be too much though...

this
HT-5 is one of the best cheaper amps i've seen
#20
Sorry guys, was on a quick vacation to San Diego; back now.

My budget is $200 -- $300 (ish) and I was planning on buying used to get the best gear I could for the lowest price possible.

I've only owned little practice amps over the years -- and they invariable pack in everything someone would need to get as many sounds as possible, which is cool. So that's the background I'm coming from and I feel a little embarassed I'm that ignorant of the equipment involved for the sound to come out.

I do like the sound tube amps make but I've only played through big Marshall stacks which were hooked up through more gear than I could even describe. I don't have that kind of dough for this and even if I did I wouldn't want that big of an impact on my room's real estate -- it's just not necessary for how/what I play.

In reading about the Blackstar HT-5 it seems this would allow me to play through a clean channel (getting the tube quality of sound) and still allow me to play hard rock/metal by using the foot switch and built in effects. Honestly, I'd never heard of Blackstar but that's exactly why I'm asking for opinions -- this amp looks really good, even if I haven't heard it yet.

I assume there are others out there in a similar price range/quality of sound?
Richard

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Last edited by richardlpalmer at Jul 28, 2009,
#21
5 watts might not be enough unless you're miking it up...

Hard to find something tubey with enough clean headroom to do what you wanna do. Maybe a used blues junior, and just go metal with pedals?

You could probably pick up a crate v-18 112 or v-33 212 for that kind of money. I've got a v-33, and while it ain't great sounding, it loves pedals and has a good amount of clean headroom...

...check ebay!
#22
^The blackstar is easily as loud as your line 6. The distortion is not an effect. It is actually driving the tubes. And lastly, there is hardly anything to compare to it in terms of value for money!
#23
you cant really go wrong with a fender blues jr. its a fun lil amp thatll throw some volume and has some pretty decent tones i think there around 300
#24
Quote by artie fisk
5 watts might not be enough unless you're miking it up...


5 watts is loud enough to drive your neighbors nuts on full-tilt, yet low-powered enough that you can crank it to get that oh-so-sweet tube crunch without your ears bleeding. I gig a lot, and when you are miking with a PA anyway, low-power is the way to go. In fact, sometimes 5 watts is even too much power for a miked situation!

Quote by artie fisk
Hard to find something tubey with enough clean headroom to do what you wanna do. Maybe a used blues junior, and just go metal with pedals?


Clean headroom is great when you play clean, but if you want natural drive and crunch you have to turn it up, and on a higher powered amp this means more volume.
#25
Since he was talking about pedals, i assumed he might be better off with an amp that sounded clean and had enough headroom to play loud, and use pedals for distortion.

ALso, very few people i know actually end up miking an amp when they play live. I dunno 'bout you, but my band, and every band i generally play with, for that matter, doesn't have enough inputs for miking up amps. we have four vocalists, and 2 acoustic guitars that both go straight into the board, so miking up amps is a luxury i don't have.
#26
Yeah, I think something like that is what I'm after now that I think of it.

The one thing I DO like about the Spider is it can be relatively quiet and still have distortion. I'm not very adept with tube amps, although I do love how they sound -- I've just never played one quietly.

So with something like this Blackstar (or any other 3-5 watt tube) can I use a pedal if I can't turn it up loud enough for the amp to naturally distort?
Richard

I tried setting my password to "penis". It said my password wasn't long enough.

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#27
You can use pedals with any of the amps mentioned so far. The Blues Jr. is a fantastic clean amp if you want something bigger. I am not happy with it when driven hard though. If you get a ~5W tube amp that uses a 12ax7 in the preamp, you can swap that tube for a 12at7 (lower gain) and push it to distortion at even lower volume. I do this with my Valve Jr. a lot.
#28
Try and find a bugera v5. Theres some on ebay, I plan to buy one soon. Built in attentuator so it goes all the way down to .1 of a wat. Reverb and even a headphone jack. Gain and volume controls, for 150 USD. With a boost in front, can probably do metal.
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#29
Quote by cedricsmods
You can use pedals with any of the amps mentioned so far. The Blues Jr. is a fantastic clean amp if you want something bigger. I am not happy with it when driven hard though. If you get a ~5W tube amp that uses a 12ax7 in the preamp, you can swap that tube for a 12at7 (lower gain) and push it to distortion at even lower volume. I do this with my Valve Jr. a lot.

Okay, that's good to know -- and I'm thinking a tube amp is for sure what I'll be getting, so having that bit of knowledge is nice. Small mod but it gives me what I need.

Quote by JoePerry4life
Try and find a bugera v5. Theres some on ebay, I plan to buy one soon. Built in attentuator so it goes all the way down to .1 of a wat. Reverb and even a headphone jack. Gain and volume controls, for 150 USD. With a boost in front, can probably do metal.

Hmmm, I'll go check that out. That seems awfully cheap though...

Oh, one other general question. What is all this mention of channels with these amps? That can't be meant for recording. Different channels set up differently for a foot switch or maybe one set up for a pedal?
Richard

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#30
Each channel is usually clean and one is overdrive so switching between the two is easy.
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#31
^ Yes. You can get solid state amps in your price range that are two channel, clean and drive, and usually switchable with a footswitch. You probably can't get a 2-channel tube amp in this price range unless it is used. However, if you want to go the tube route you can always use an overdrive pedal or a boost pedal to achieve the same affect as two channels.

Edit: a side note ... a 50W amp is only about twice as loud to human ears as a 5W amp.
Last edited by cedricsmods at Jul 29, 2009,
#32
The blackstar has an overdrive channel so that you can get distortion at genuinely low volumes. You wouldn't need pedals for it...

Saying that, you would need pedals from the blue jr. I didn't realize that blues Jnrs are the same price as the blackstars out there...
#33
Thanks guys. It looks like the Blackstar HT 5W (or equivalent) is a perfect fit for what I'm looking for. Now I just need to find a deal on one. As they're made in the UK that poses a bit of a problem (so far I've found only big companies that sell them -- and none used so far).

Anyone happen to have one of these they'd like to sell?
Richard

I tried setting my password to "penis". It said my password wasn't long enough.

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