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#1
'Ello forum. I've had a Dean V79 for a bit, and I bought it thinking "This guitars feels great, sound is decent, so I'll throw some new pickups in it. Even afterwards (threw in the Seymour Duncan Hot Rodded set) I've gradually grown unsatisfied with it. At first I was satisfied with it, but I was playing cheap guitars. I've recently moved up to higher calibre instruments, and to me, to be honest, the guitar just sounds weak. I understand it is a mid ranged axe and therefore won't sound as good as a higher end axe, but it seems like it should be better than it is. I am to the point of considering selling it (it is in need of possibly a new bridge so I'd put about as much into repair and getting the Seymour's out as I'd get out of selling). So, does anyone have any advice on improving the sound of the guitar? I am not sure there is anything much out there, just curious to see if anyone has ideas I haven't thought of. It's an excellent feeling axe and looks sharp, just getting a high gain sound that has real meat on it is proving difficult. It seems like it just can't handle high-gain amp settings very well at all.
#2
What kind of amp do you have?
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#3
Well I have a Fender Mustang II and Marshall MGDFX250 (let the mostly rightful MG hate begin)... Neither are particuraly expensive amps, and I don't really see why people would dislike this particular MG. The other models I dislike but the 250 I get a tone out of that I prefer to many higher end amps, although it did require pretty unconventional settings. (I go for a high gain early to mid 80's tone, think Judas Priest or Iron Maiden. Regardless of whether or not you like either of those amps, there is an obvious difference between the Dean and other guitars through them.
#4
There's a whole host of questions that could be asked here: e.g. what are the other guitars you are referring to? In particular which ones tones do you like the most? What specs/pickups do these guitars have? What are the more detailed specs of your Dean? etc

If you like the tones you can get from your amp with other guitars, then it's possible that you could be happier with some pickups that better suit your Dean. E.g. maybe something hotter with more mid range (as an example). However the question you need to ask yourself is: do you like this guitar enough that you would continue to play/use it if it sounded better, or would be prefer something different?

Hope that helps!
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#5
Hmm, when I'm going for a meatier tone, I usually try turning up the mids on my amp. Also, it might help to use a some kind of pedal for a boost, such as a distortion with the drive low and the level high.
#6
Quote by VVolverin3
There's a whole host of questions that could be asked here: e.g. what are the other guitars you are referring to? In particular which ones tones do you like the most? What specs/pickups do these guitars have? What are the more detailed specs of your Dean? etc

If you like the tones you can get from your amp with other guitars, then it's possible that you could be happier with some pickups that better suit your Dean. E.g. maybe something hotter with more mid range (as an example). However the question you need to ask yourself is: do you like this guitar enough that you would continue to play/use it if it sounded better, or would be prefer something different?

Hope that helps!


Well as far as specs go:
-Mahogony body
-Rosewood fretboard
-22 frets, neckthrough design
-Grover tuners
-Tune-O-Matic bridge, string through design
-SH-4 and SH-2 pickups by Seymour Duncan

I have three other guitars:

Bc Rich Special X:
-Mahogony body
-22 fret ebony fretboard, neckthrough design
-Tune-o-Matic bridge
-2 Rockfield SMV pickups
-Flamed maple top

A beautiful looking guitar, sounds pretty darn good too. Lots of people dislike BC Rich and their lower end stuff isn't so hot, but I've loved every $500+ one of em I've played.

Gibson Les Paul Studio Plus Top:
-Mahogony Body
-2005 model, so not with all the extreme chambering they do now
-22 frets, rosewood fretboard, neckthrough
-Dimarzio pickups
-Flamed maple top

The moment I picked up this guitar I fell in love with it, I bought it used with the Dimarzios. It's my best guitar by far.

Fender American HSS Strat:
-HSS setup, all stock pickups
-22 frets,
-rosewood fretboard, bolt on neck
-Tremolo system
-Alder body

Not really high gain but it sounds very alive. It's my more straightforward rock/blues guitar. It can push higher gain stuff but I don't really use it for that much. Love it as well.

These guitars can all be found on my profile, if you want pics. These are all considerably more pricey instruments than the Dean, but still, I'd expect more out if it.

As far as the sound I'd like out of it, I'd enjoy a more powerful 80's metal sound, like I said like Iron Maiden or Judas Priest, or on the thrashier side, Megadeth or Slayer. The LP and Mockingbird push that sort of tone if I want them to, except a bit ballsier, and they sound gorgeous. The strat is the odd man out and is better for what I listed above for it, so I use it for those. They're all fantastic guitars, they play great and absolutely sing. I'd like my V to be more like the LP and Mockingbird, but it sounds good for something like ZZ Top, which isn't what I want it for; well at least not limited to. It was same thing with the stock pick ups, which was why I upgraded... These are better but not really much in the high-gain sense.

As far as if I really want it that bad, I'd probably sell if it wasn't for a couple issues with the bridge that recently developed that are going to probably cause me to have to get a new one if I keep it or not, and I'd rather not sell the pickups with it so I would have to pay to get them switched back with the originals. I relatively wouldn't get much money out of selling it because of that, $100 or so maybe, so I'm making sure there is no way I can satisify myself before I do that.
Last edited by Thermon at Feb 26, 2012,
#7
Honestly, with those guitars you should really be looking at investing in a decent amp.

Something like a Dimarzio Breed would certainly thicken up the tone of the Dean and give it more oomph in the lower midrange, have a listen to the amp clips in my profile to hear what the breed sounds like in a mahogany guitar.

Thing is though, all the tones you're talking about are classic, tube-driven rock tones. One thing you'll never get out of your two amps is dynamics, they won't responf in the same way as a tube amp. You mentioned your strat sounding "alive", tube amps tend to have more life in their sound, solid state amps tend to sound a little flat in comparison. You could sell your two mediocre amps and get one that's a lot better, not bought an amp for a while but something like a Jet City JCA 100 should nail the tones you're looking for.
Actually called Mark!

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#8
I also own a Mustang II and while it was amazing for a beginners amp,now that I improved my skills to a somewhat amateur level it has started to feel weak. Bad distortion,the clean is very good on it tho. Go for a cool new amp.
#9
Quote by steven seagull
Honestly, with those guitars you should really be looking at investing in a decent amp.

Something like a Dimarzio Breed would certainly thicken up the tone of the Dean and give it more oomph in the lower midrange, have a listen to the amp clips in my profile to hear what the breed sounds like in a mahogany guitar.

Thing is though, all the tones you're talking about are classic, tube-driven rock tones. One thing you'll never get out of your two amps is dynamics, they won't responf in the same way as a tube amp. You mentioned your strat sounding "alive", tube amps tend to have more life in their sound, solid state amps tend to sound a little flat in comparison. You could sell your two mediocre amps and get one that's a lot better, not bought an amp for a while but something like a Jet City JCA 100 should nail the tones you're looking for.


I will look into better amps sooner than later. I've played tube amps before and loved em of course. The Fender is moreso for something I can take places easily, like a band practice, that has the volume to handle playing with drums and at high volumes. It's not the best sounding but it has it's uses and does a good job. The Marshall, I know a lot of people don't like the MG series and I don't for the most part either, I rather do like mine actually. It isnt the best sounding thing but after messing with it for a bit, I've had a tone I've been very happy with. I do think that it picks up dynamics just fine.

Regardless though, I expect the next major purchase I make to be another amp that is better, and something tube would be nice. I'm much more concerned about the guitar right now though than an amp, one thing at a time right?
Last edited by Thermon at Feb 26, 2012,
#10
Another factor for the tube amp part of it is I also don't really have the pleasure of being able to crank my amp, so I think a tube amp would be a bit much besides playing places, which I only do every few months.
Last edited by Thermon at Feb 26, 2012,
#11
Mmm, if you love your LP tone (and the BC Rich) then it sounds like the Dean V just may not have enough weight too it to really get that sort of sound. There are some options, as have been mentioned: getting an overdrive pedal to push your amp harder, or boosting the mids more. But I don't really know how close you could get. It could also be that the seymour duncans you're using just don't really suit what you want to do.

You could maybe try switching to a similar set of dimarzios to your LP? Or even staying with seymour duncans but using the active Blackouts - they sound fantastic in mahogany (in my experience).
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#12
Honestly I'd rather just sell it than fork out money for more pickups. Like I've said, the only thing holding me back is the cost getting to where I CAN sell it. I'll just have to get it looked and see what that would require, and how money that would cost.
#13


Quote by Thermon
Well I have a Fender Mustang II and Marshall MGDFX250


These amps are not fit for purpose.

Also I'm struggling to see why you're asking our advice and then arguing that you MG, "sounds fine. Because it obviously doesn't if even you think your tone is lacking.
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Last edited by ChemicalFire at Feb 26, 2012,
#14
Get a good tube amp and it will add more meat to your tone.
Fender American Special HSS Stratocaster
Ibanez 1987 Roadstar II Deluxe
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#15
Or cover your amp in bacon and deep fry it.

Quote by ChemicalFire
Also I'm struggling to see why you're asking our advice and then arguing that you MG, "sounds fine. Because it obviously doesn't if even you think your tone is lacking.

Although I do sort of want to argue this. My understanding is that OP does like the tone of his amps with all of his guitars except the Dean - so it would seem reasonably obvious that the problem is with the guitar and not the amp in this case.
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#16
Quote by Thermon
Another factor for the tube amp part of it is I also don't really have the pleasure of being able to crank my amp, so I think a tube amp would be a bit much besides playing places, which I only do every few months.
You DO NOT need to crank a tube amp to get a good sound. To get power tube saturation? Yes, but it's not required.

But seriously, get a new amp. The guitars you own do not deserve to be run through shitty practice amps. You say you like the tone of your MG but it's most likely that you haven't developed an ear for good tone yet.

There exist multiple afford low-watt tube amps that would not only sound better than your current amps, but do a lot more in getting you a better sound.
#17
Quote by VVolverin3
Or cover your amp in bacon and deep fry it.


Although I do sort of want to argue this. My understanding is that OP does like the tone of his amps with all of his guitars except the Dean - so it would seem reasonably obvious that the problem is with the guitar and not the amp in this case.


THANK YOU^^
This post about the guitar, not amps

But regardless, suggestions for amps, just for the heck of it? The Jet City was mentioned above, but any other than that?
#18
Quote by Thermon
But regardless, suggestions for amps, just for the heck of it? The Jet City was mentioned above, but any other than that?
The Jet City is a great choice, especially for your music. If you prefer a combo, check out the JCA5012rc (NOT 5212). Same preamp circuit as the JCA100h mentioned above, which has the SLO circuit, which is optimal for 80's metal.

Also look into a used Marshall DSL100, or JCM800 if you can afford it. Peavey Valvekings are also worth looking at, and go for extremely cheap used.
#19
I would definitely check out better amps. The MG's aren't as horrific as people make them out to be at times, but they definitely lack in depth and subtlety. they're going to sound thinner and weaker than real deal marshalls regardless of how you set them up. that just the reality of them

if you can, save your money for a decent tube amp. I particularly like stuff like an Orange Tiny Terror (or dual terror if you need the volume) or a mesa mini-rectifier (its got a more brit sound than a typical mesa). depending on your budget though, there are a myriad of possibilities for amps that will slaughter your MG
#20
Quote by Thermon
THANK YOU^^
This post about the guitar, not amps

But regardless, suggestions for amps, just for the heck of it? The Jet City was mentioned above, but any other than that?

Yeah, I recommended the Jet City because it's based on the Soldano SLO, which is pretty much THE sound of 80's hair metal lead guitar.

Obviously it's NOT an SLO, but it's arguably as good as you can get for the money
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#21
Should I look into another cab, or would the 2x12 in the MG serve the purpose, at least for a bit?
#22
Quote by Thermon
Should I look into another cab, or would the 2x12 in the MG serve the purpose, at least for a bit?
Either look into a cab (used, of course) to go with it, as the MG speakers are terrible and I don't think the speakers are connected to a .25" jack anyway, or buy the combo equivalent instead: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/jet-city-amplification-jca5012c-50w-1x12-tube-guitar-combo-amp.
#23
Actually the MG speakers do have the jack (on my model, at least), but if you don't think they would be a good choice I'd rather put money into something better. Do you think the combo amp above could handle things like Slayer, or Megadeth? Hair metal keeps being brought up, but to be honest hair metal sounds more rock than it does metal to me, so would this amp allow more aggressive tones? I'm not talking like death metal or anything too extreme, but stuff like what I mentioned above?
#24
I'm running my Mex strat through a mustang II modeling amp along with digitechs rp355 ( two 2 DSPs>1 DSP, if you know how to use them, you get amazing delay, reverb and even distortion).


I can proudly say that in rehearsal rooms, my mustang II cranked beats the sht out of the marshall 'halftube' amps ( dont remember).

Just play a bit more with those freq's. You can get a lot of different tones. It's not like boys in 70's and 80's had something to choose...
#25
Quote by Fafarona
I'm running my Mex strat through a mustang II modeling amp along with digitechs rp355 ( two 2 DSPs>1 DSP, if you know how to use them, you get amazing delay, reverb and even distortion).


I can proudly say that in rehearsal rooms, my mustang II cranked beats the sht out of the marshall 'halftube' amps ( dont remember).

Just play a bit more with those freq's. You can get a lot of different tones. It's not like boys in 70's and 80's had something to choose...


I agree, they are great amps. I've messed with it a lot for the past year or so and I've gotten some great stuff on it, especially cleans and the effects you mentioned. The high-gain side of it can be difficult to get to where you like it, but I got some high-gain settings that sound good. I use it mainly for band practice. I'm sure there are other amps out there I'd like better though for recording and playing live.
#26
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/blackstar-series-one-45-45w-2x12-tube-guitar-combo-amp

Get that one.

(seriously though amazing amp - maybe out of your price range though?)
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#27
Quote by Thermon
THANK YOU^^
This post about the guitar, not amps

But regardless, suggestions for amps, just for the heck of it? The Jet City was mentioned above, but any other than that?


Your not going to get the true tone of your pickups without a tube amp.
On my solid state half stack I couldn't tell why EMG HZ's were picked for the zakk wylde signature guitar over just the stock pickups. They were just stale and average sounding.
However with a tube amp they sound like totally different pickups.
#28
Quote by VVolverin3
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/blackstar-series-one-45-45w-2x12-tube-guitar-combo-amp

Get that one.

(seriously though amazing amp - maybe out of your price range though?)


*sigh* As much as I'd love to be able to afford that, I don't see that happening. I'm a student and the only the reason I have the guitars that I have is that I bought them all used so I could actually afford them lol. I probably could save up for something about what the price of the Jet City combo above was was, about $600, but even then it'll be a couple months off. The price of the Blackstar is... a little off

Quote by Quesenek
Your not going to get the true tone of your pickups without a tube amp.
On my solid state half stack I couldn't tell why EMG HZ's were picked for the zakk wylde signature guitar over just the stock pickups. They were just stale and average sounding.
However with a tube amp they sound like totally different pickups.


Which is why I am looking into a tube amp ... if I can find one I can afford that is decent.
Last edited by Thermon at Feb 26, 2012,
#29
Quote by Thermon
*sigh* As much as I'd love to be able to afford that, I don't see that happening. I'm a student and the only the reason I have the guitars that I have is that I bought them all used so I could actually afford them lol. I probably could save up for something about what the price of the Jet City combo above was was, about $600, but even then it'll be a couple months off. The price of the Blackstar is... a little off


Which is why I am looking into a tube amp ... if I can find one I can afford that is decent.

Check used gear. You'll be able to get way better deals than buying new.
#30
Quote by Quesenek
Check used gear. You'll be able to get way better deals than buying new.


I figured I would. Should I worry about tubes being messed up on the amps? I've heard plenty of horror stories about people buying used tube amps, and then the tubes being broken or something.

Sorry everyone for my n00bishness
#31
Quote by Quesenek
Check used gear. You'll be able to get way better deals than buying new.

This. My uncle got a JCM 212 for £400
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#32
Quote by Thermon
Would this amp allow more aggressive tones? I'm not talking like death metal or anything too extreme, but stuff like what I mentioned above?
Absolutely. More than enough gain on tap for pretty much any genre of metal as it is. It'll do classic thrash ease.

Though if you are willing to go used, also look into a Marshall DSL401. That'll do classic thrash better than the Jet City as it's harsher and more mid-ranged voiced. The Jet City is more round and defined sounding, but will still work.
#33
Quote by Ian_the_fox
Absolutely. More than enough gain on tap for pretty much any genre of metal as it is. It'll do classic thrash ease.

Though if you are willing to go used, also look into a Marshall DSL401. That'll do classic thrash better than the Jet City as it's harsher and more mid-ranged voiced. The Jet City is more round and defined sounding, but will still work.


Alright well thanks I'll have to research both of those, and look into them when I can afford them.
#34
first off, you realize your rig and amp make about 90% of the tone? your make it sound like the guitar dictate anything. if you mod your guitar and adjust your rig right, you can make any one of your guitars sound like whatever you want it for.

...there is no high gain guitar or low gain guitar. people play clean or jazz with EMGs. many classic plays pumped the gain on vintage strats. still sounds good! its what your setup is and how you play.

lastly, the ONLY thing you need is amps. you have decent guitars. if you took that same dean and played it through a boutique amp with kt88s in it, it would be fat and rich tone or something like that.

get a nce tube amp with a 2x12 cab. problem solved. perhaps a creamy thick OD as a cherry on top.

oh yeah almost forgot, go up 1 string guage.

__________________-

to comment on the EMGs - thats because the tubes and design of a tube amp is reacting naturally to the high output of the EMGs and it changes tone. drives it harder. solid states dont do that.

_______________

and about the jet city - not that its a problem but its a common scenario i see. people buy a ton of guitars and have a practice amp and wonder why eventually they want better tone. if anything you should blow all your money on the amp and have a more budget or mid range guitar (well one thats godo enough to get some decent playability out of...)
Last edited by ikey_ at Feb 26, 2012,
#35
Quote by ikey_
first off, you realize your rig and amp make about 90% of the tone? your make it sound like the guitar dictate anything. if you mod your guitar and adjust your rig right, you can make any one of your guitars sound like whatever you want it for.

...there is no high gain guitar or low gain guitar. people play clean or jazz with EMGs. many classic plays pumped the gain on vintage strats. still sounds good! its what your setup is and how you play.

lastly, the ONLY thing you need is amps. you have decent guitars. if you took that same dean and played it through a boutique amp with kt88s in it, it would be fat and rich tone or something like that.

get a nce tube amp with a 2x12 cab. problem solved. perhaps a creamy thick OD as a cherry on top.

oh yeah almost forgot, go up 1 string guage.

__________________-

to comment on the EMGs - thats because the tubes and design of a tube amp is reacting naturally to the high output of the EMGs and it changes tone. drives it harder. solid states dont do that.

_______________

and about the jet city - not that its a problem but its a common scenario i see. people buy a ton of guitars and have a practice amp and wonder why eventually they want better tone. if anything you should blow all your money on the amp and have a more budget or mid range guitar (well one thats godo enough to get some decent playability out of...)


About the string gauge: It already had 10's on it so I'm not really wanting to go up any more, considering I don't downtune much at all. The thing with the amp being the main source of tone has already been made clear, so I understand that. I'm not sure what you said after the Jet City amp has to do with the amp, unless you are saying it is considered a practice amp. I really don't have the budget, nor do I have the need, for a large tube amp. So give me your input on which amp you would suggest.
#36
Best thing to do is simply take your Dean to a store and try a few of the amps that have been mentioned - stores don't care if you take your own gear, if anything it shows your serious about looking for something
If you can get a better tone out of it with one of those amps then you know it's probably time to upgrade, if you can't then maybe it's not as much of an issue as we all thougt...they're your ears when all's said and done.
Actually called Mark!

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#37
Tube amp. Marshall Haze 40 or a Fender blues Jr or Deluxe. Both are good for gigs a small enough to drive without getting insanely loud.
#38
Quote by k.tripoli
Tube amp. Marshall Haze 40 or a Fender blues Jr or Deluxe. Both are good for gigs a small enough to drive without getting insanely loud.
A Fender Blues Jr. for thrash metal? Yeah, sure. And the Hot Rod Deluxe must be great for deathcore.
#39
I'll probably just keep my eye out for some of the stuff mentioned earlier, or any tube amps in general that could maybe handle more metal tones. I have two local music stores in my little-ole-town in which I live that I go to once a week (one for band practice, the other for classical guitar/music theory lessons), and I'll keep an eye out for some tube amps. One of 'em had quite a few last time I checked, mostly Fenders but I THINK they had a couple of Marshall's. I'll give it a look next time I get to go. Unfortunately this week I won't get a chance to check there but next week perhaps?
#40
Pickups, tone-wood, amp, technique; all are ingredients in your overall tone.

But that being said, if you want your stew to taste more oniony, you don't add more salt. In your case, your amp is the most important ingredient.

I can pick up my Fender strat with a GFS 59 in the bridge and play some pretty meaty stuff on my Peavey 6505+ combo. Same for my Les Paul 60s tribute with P90s.

My ideal is simple: you pick the amp for the tone you like. Any changes you make to the guitar are simply fine-tuning.
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