#1
I'm considering adding a new guitar to my collection, but I want it to be heavy sounding. The guitars I have now are great but I want to go heavier. Any suggestions as to what I should get?
#2
What guitars do you have now, and can you give any examples of the kind of tone you're looking for?

When I think of heavy sounding guitars, I think of Les Pauls, ESP Eclipses and Yamaha SG1000's. Also, your amplifier is also an important source of heaviness. What amp do you currently have?
#3
I'm assuming when you say "Heavy" you're talking distortion and most likely a "darker" tone. At that point, you're looking into wood like mahogany (I think? Don't quote me on this.. Lol), woods that just are just heavier by themselves. Produce a less "Bright" tone. Like said above, les Pauls are good examples of this.

But even though guitar is a small factor in your tone, the amp will be the big issue.. What'cha got?
#4
i would recomend a schecter hellraiser, or as the guy above me said, a les paul or esp eclipse.

hes also right about the amp, thats a bit of vital information
#6
I have a schecter Hellraiser Solo 6 and at slams. Its a mahogany body and it has a set neck and Emg 81/89 pickup setup. The scale is an inch longer so it helps with string tension when downtuning and makes for a deeper tone. Its a heavy sounding guitar for sure.

I can compare it to your Jackson because I have the same guitar, only with a Floyd Rose trem. Its a great guitar for metal but it sounds a little on the muddy side and the powerful low end isnt quite there on it.
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Gear
Schecter Hellraiser Solo 6
Jackson DKMG Dinky
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Peavey 6505
2 Custom Built Cabs w/ Celestion Vintage 30's
#7
Also, your amp isnt really made for heavy tone either. I would recommend a peavey 5150/6505 combo or head, or a Mesa Boogie Dual/Triple rectifier if you really have some money to blow. Both great for metal/hard rock tones.
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xRepresentx
Hellsent (New)

Gear
Schecter Hellraiser Solo 6
Jackson DKMG Dinky
Epiphone SG-400 Limited Edition w/ EMG 81/85

Madison Divinity w/ JJ Preamps
Peavey 6505
2 Custom Built Cabs w/ Celestion Vintage 30's
#8
hellraiser for sure
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#9
Quote by sashki

When I think of heavy sounding guitars, I think of Les Pauls, ESP Eclipses
Les Pauls have a pretty balanced tone and Eclipses are basically the same but just a touch thinner. Neither are what I would call ''heavy''.

Quote by Bad.Seed
Its a mahogany body and it has a set neck
Which give a warm tone, not particularly heavy.
and Emg 81/89 pickup setup.
Which even out the tone and add a little brightness.
The scale is an inch longer so it helps with string tension when downtuning and makes for a deeper tone.
Longer scale length results in a snappier and brighter tone.


God damn, people. Really? Really?



OP: "heaviness" mostly comes from your amp, as other have said. Your speakers also matter greatly - you'll never get a "heavy" tone out of a single 8" speaker, but four 12" speakers will do it no problem. However, the guitar does of course matter somewhat but none of the suggestions so far are close other than the Yamaha, and even that's only halfway there.

There's an important disctinction that needs to be made: "heavy", "dark" and "thick" tones are not the same thing. A guitar can sound both bright and thick. A guitar can sound both heavy and thin. A guitar can sound both light and dark, as confusing as that may sound. Then there's warmth, which would require an essay by itself to cover.
Thickness and thinness are basically the presence a tone has. Think of it like your mid control. Thinness is characterised by lacking in mids, lacking punch, a thin tone sits at the back of the mix. A thick tone sits right at the front, it cuts through the mix with strong mid presence. Les Pauls sound thick; SGs sound thin.
Brightness and darkness are like your treble control. A bright tone has really cutting treble while a dark tone has that top-end chopped off. Telecasters are bright; super-Strats tend to be dark.
Heaviness and lightness are like your bass control. They're how much or how little of a thud you get when you twat the strings as hard as you can. Stratocasters have a light tone; Explorers have a heavy tone.

So, OP, you need to work out what it is you actually want. Do you just want a heavier tone, or do you actually want a darker tone, or even a thicker tone? The three get confused very frequently.


Of course what hasn't been mentioned is that a large of how "heavy" your sound is comes from how you play. Just having powerful pickups, thick strings, down-tuning and having a mahogany body does not mean you'll sound heavy when you're playing Three Blind Mice. Conversely plenty of people manage to sound heavy using light strings and E Standard tuning on Stratocasters just because they know how to compose a heavy-sounding riff. So that's something else to think about.

Personally, when I think of how to get "heavier", I think of grabbing a set neck, mahogany, seven string, using an EQ pedal to boost the lower-mids and playing lots of sus4 power chords.
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#10
Quote by MrFlibble
Les Pauls have a pretty balanced tone and Eclipses are basically the same but just a touch thinner. Neither are what I would call ''heavy''.

Which give a warm tone, not particularly heavy.
Which even out the tone and add a little brightness.
Longer scale length results in a snappier and brighter tone.


God damn, people. Really? Really?



OP: "heaviness" mostly comes from your amp, as other have said. Your speakers also matter greatly - you'll never get a "heavy" tone out of a single 8" speaker, but four 12" speakers will do it no problem. However, the guitar does of course matter somewhat but none of the suggestions so far are close other than the Yamaha, and even that's only halfway there.

There's an important disctinction that needs to be made: "heavy", "dark" and "thick" tones are not the same thing. A guitar can sound both bright and thick. A guitar can sound both heavy and thin. A guitar can sound both light and dark, as confusing as that may sound. Then there's warmth, which would require an essay by itself to cover.
Thickness and thinness are basically the presence a tone has. Think of it like your mid control. Thinness is characterised by lacking in mids, lacking punch, a thin tone sits at the back of the mix. A thick tone sits right at the front, it cuts through the mix with strong mid presence. Les Pauls sound thick; SGs sound thin.
Brightness and darkness are like your treble control. A bright tone has really cutting treble while a dark tone has that top-end chopped off. Telecasters are bright; super-Strats tend to be dark.
Heaviness and lightness are like your bass control. They're how much or how little of a thud you get when you twat the strings as hard as you can. Stratocasters have a light tone; Explorers have a heavy tone.

So, OP, you need to work out what it is you actually want. Do you just want a heavier tone, or do you actually want a darker tone, or even a thicker tone? The three get confused very frequently.


Of course what hasn't been mentioned is that a large of how "heavy" your sound is comes from how you play. Just having powerful pickups, thick strings, down-tuning and having a mahogany body does not mean you'll sound heavy when you're playing Three Blind Mice. Conversely plenty of people manage to sound heavy using light strings and E Standard tuning on Stratocasters just because they know how to compose a heavy-sounding riff. So that's something else to think about.

Personally, when I think of how to get "heavier", I think of grabbing a set neck, mahogany, seven string, using an EQ pedal to boost the lower-mids and playing lots of sus4 power chords.



Yeah man. Really. All the things I listed were not incorrect, and what you said did not disprove them so how am I technically wrong? A heavier bodied mahogany guitar is going to result in a warmer tone. Yup, I know that. I have found that a slightly warmer toned guitar as opposed to something like an SG would make a Difference in how "heavy" or dark a guitar would sound, regardless of the amp being used.

No need to show off your "technical" knowledge when you arent really proving much of anything.
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xRepresentx
Hellsent (New)

Gear
Schecter Hellraiser Solo 6
Jackson DKMG Dinky
Epiphone SG-400 Limited Edition w/ EMG 81/85

Madison Divinity w/ JJ Preamps
Peavey 6505
2 Custom Built Cabs w/ Celestion Vintage 30's
#11
Quote by Bad.Seed
so how am I technically wrong?
You must be new here.

A heavier bodied mahogany guitar is going to result in a warmer tone.
Ye sit does, if by "heavier" you're talking purely about the mass of the guitar. If you're using "heavier" to refer to the tone then nope, as I explained above. Mahogany has a naturally thick and warm tone, but neither of those things have any bearing on heaviness and mahogany is actually quite balanced in terms of the lightness of its tone. Combine it with a maple cap and you've got a thick, warm, balanced and bright tone on your hands.

I have found that a slightly warmer toned guitar as opposed to something like an SG would make a Difference in how "heavy" or dark a guitar would sound, regardless of the amp being used.
SGs are just as heavy-toned as any other set neck, mahogany body & neck guitar. They are, however, much thinner-toned. Again, see the thick/warm/dark/heavy confusion I mentioned.

Re-read my previous post because right now you're just shooting yourself in the foot repeatedly.




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#12
Damn it. I was going to come and say something witty, to find that Flibble already got here.

@Bad.Seed There's really no point arguing. I don't mean to sound like a dickrider, but as long as I've been here, I've only seen Flibble be wrong once, out of every post I've seen him make. Simply put, he knows his shit.

But since I'm already posting, I might as well post what I was going to say.

TS, just get a Mesa Rectifier or a Peavey 5150, and then it really won't matter what guitar you're playing. Seriously. Fine tweaking your tone aside, it's all in the amp.
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#13
Quote by Offworld92
Damn it. I was going to come and say something witty, to find that Flibble already got here.

@Bad.Seed There's really no point arguing. I don't mean to sound like a dickrider, but as long as I've been here, I've only seen Flibble be wrong once, out of every post I've seen him make. Simply put, he knows his shit.
Eh. I've been wrong more than that. That is why I don't even try to talk about specific types of speaker, why I stay out of Ibanez threads and why you'll never see me answering questions about jazz.

TS, just get a Mesa Rectifier or a Peavey 5150, and then it really won't matter what guitar you're playing. Seriously. Fine tweaking your tone aside, it's all in the amp.
Pretty much. This is the thing, there's quite a few types of "heavy" but the main one is just a big, powerful amp, a bit speaker cab and all the controls maxed out. Once you've got a lot of gain and a lot of bass being pumped out, everything else becomes redundant.
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#14
If you want heavy the best thing to do is drill some holes into a guitar,melt down some lead and pour it into the holes.Instant heavy metal guitar.


I am not responsible for any screwed up guitars.you are on your own.
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#15
Quote by Bhaok
If you want heavy the best thing to do is drill some holes into a guitar,melt down some lead and pour it into the holes.Instant heavy metal guitar.


I am not responsible for any screwed up guitars.you are on your own.

I.... I almost want to try that now. Hmmm... My brother has a squire strat he never uses
EDIT: On topic:
I'm sort of confused as to what you mean by "heavy." To me, a good amount of distortion on a decent amp and some power chords is enough to be considered "heavy." If by heavy, you mean dark, then that's a little bit easier to understand. For a very dark guitar tone, I would recommend a Mesa/Boogie mark series, a mahogany guitar with a set mahogany neck, and 24.75, and some dark voiced pickups
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Last edited by simpleben09 at Sep 12, 2010,
#16
Quote by MrFlibble

God damn, people. Really? Really?

Personally, when I think of how to get "heavier", I think of grabbing a set neck, mahogany, seven string, using an EQ pedal to boost the lower-mids and playing lots of sus4 power chords.

Yes. Really.

I was never very good at describing sounds with words, but "Heavy" makes me think of Tony Iommi, Matt Pike, Zakk Wylde, Jeff Loomis, Devin Townsend, James Hetfield on the Black Album.

You say Les Pauls sound balanced, but they've certainly got a fuller tone than, say, Stratocasters. You could equally say that a strat sound balanced but leans to the bright side. Describing tone is like describing colour or flavour: it's hard to do without referring to something else for comparison. That's why people often disagree.

Also, interestingly, your description of a heavy guitar fits a lot of the guitars that have been recommended here. I always thought Les Pauls were known for their huge midrange and while they may not have the strongest attack, they do have quite the "thud" when you hit them hard.
Last edited by sashki at Sep 12, 2010,
#17
... Again, you're confusing thickness and warmth with heaviness. Fuller tone does not equal "heavy". Again, re-read my initial post.
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#18
Quote by Bad.Seed

No need to show off your "technical" knowledge when you arent really proving much of anything.


Forums are where people go to be helpful (:

By 'heavy' I'm gonna guess you mean darker, thicker, warmer, more like a sledgehammer then fingernails like a chalkboard kind of sound.

Amp and pickups will affect this greatly, as with all guitar tone.

Here's an example: Schecter Blackjack Atx, with a Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier.

If I continued I'd just be spitting out what has been previously said, so I hope you get the jist.
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#19
Quote by MrFlibble
... Again, you're confusing thickness and warmth with heaviness. Fuller tone does not equal "heavy". Again, re-read my initial post.

Done.

I still don't see the point you're trying to make. Les Pauls, in my experience, have plenty of low frequency response.

What I was trying to say is that there is a lot of subjectivity in the choices of diction used to describe sounds.
I'm not denying your experience, but there's no need to be patronising.
Last edited by sashki at Sep 12, 2010,
#20
Quote by sashki
Done.

I still don't see the point you're trying to make. Les Pauls, in my experience, have plenty of low frequency response.
yes, but "plenty" does not mean they're heavy-sounding. It just means they're not light-toned. In the spectrum of light-toned to heavy-toned guitars, Les Pauls sit pretty much right in the middle. You can get far, far "heavier"-sounding guitars than them just as you can get far, far "lighter"-sounding guitars than them. That's not to mention of course that not everything that is a Les Paul shape sounds the same, for example both the EPS and PRS LP copies sound considerably thinner than most Gibson models.
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#22
Get a Schecter.

They have EMGz and a coiltap for Th3 br00talz...


OT your amp will be far more important in shaping how "heavy" your tone is.

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#23
Quote by sashki
Could you give an example of a song with a "heavy" guitar tone?
Personally, I define "heavy" starting at Lacuna Coil (of course youtube compresses audio and bass can be nonexistent depending on your speakers/headphones) and going from there. I've actually seen them perform without their bass player and you could barely tell the difference because both guitarists use such a heavy, grinding tone anyway. Some of their lead riffs are a bit lighter though and they usually have one of the guitars right at the back of the mix, which is why I say they're my starting point for "heaviness".

Of course it helps that they use 300w amps that go direct to the mixer.
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