#1
Hey guys

I've been collecting cash for two years, and I finally bought a guitar. It's a Jackson with maple fretboard, licensed floyd and emgs 81/85. It sounds awesome in E standard, frets are huge and neck is quick. I blocked the trem with some taped coins because its an unstable piece of shit to be honest, but now it resonates really well and sustain is pretty good.


The problem is - this guitar is WAY TOO BRIGHT!!! I mean really, it sounds pretty good but I have to turn Highs and Presence from 7-8 down to 4-5 so it doesnt sound like farting and I actually get some low end, but then it doesnt sound as selective and gets muddy.


I have an Ibanez GIO starter pack which was my first guitar. The quality sucks and it's made of 100pieces of random wood but it sounds pretty good... And I decided to compare the two guitars.


and guess what. Both guitars with the same tuning (drop C) same strings (10-52) attached to the same amp (6505+ 4x12 engl)

and 250$ ibanez sounds so much more powerful, LOTS of low end, perhaps the clarity sucks but I actually get some chugs. My 1000$ jackson just feels like a toy and sounds like it has built in phaser or something?

I've tried rolling down the tone knob, switching to neck pickup, but it all just doesn't sound right...


What can I do to make my guitar sound darker? It's mahogany but I think its the maple fretboard that gives me this goddamn high end annoying sound. I don't want to sell it because I've earned the money really hard, and I like the feel of that guitar....


But FFS I didn't think that 800bucks of diffrence and it still would sound worse...

help me : /
#2
EMGs suck

/thread

but seriously, it's prolly the EMGs. check the battery
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#3
Jackson designs do tend to be quite bright, and active pickups exaggerate the character of a guitar. Bear in mind that your GIO is passive which inherently gives a tone balance biased towards the mid range, whereas the wide response of the EMGs means the mids aren't so prevalent. It's quite normal when using active pickups to turn up the mids more than you usually would, so try that to start with.

Though frankly, the notion that you find your GIO to sound better and that you find the Jackson's Flody to be "an unstable piece of shit" makes me think that you don't have the Jackson set up properly and/or you have bizarre expectations.

I would suggest you put all your amp's EQ controls to 70%. This is what I do when I first try out a new guitar or amp. It gives you a good sense of the guitar/amp's plain tone while still giving you enough room both up and down to tweak to your tastes. You should start your tone tweaking with the mid knob, since this has the most dramatic effect. As a general rule with active pickups and a bright, high-gain amp like the 6505, I wouldn't put the mids anywhere below 50% and if anything I'd always be tempted to max it out.

Quote by IronMaiden76

but seriously, it's prolly the EMGs. check the battery
A low battery doesn't make active pickups oddly bright. If anything it makes them muddier, softer and makes them clip.
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#5
Which model of Jackson is it? I have one of their maple fretboard models, the DK2M, and I haven't had any problems like that. The trem isn't unstable at all. It's not the best unit, but if there's one quality I'd say it has in abundance it's stiffness. You need to press on the bar quite a bit harder than you would with other Floyd style units to get it to do anything, and it holds tuning for months.
#6
EMG equipped metal axes, especially with Floyds can sound pretty bright and attack-heavy.
I guess the maple neck isn't exactly help with the brightness either.
You know, EMGs actually tighten up your tone, give you more attack and definition which is actually what you need for downtuned metal.
Turn your mids up, your treble down, maybe your bass up a bit, use less gain.
Compared to the dark muddy Ibanez GIO pickups I can imagine it sounding brighter.

Also get it set up.

And why do you buy a guitar which is too bright for your taste anyway, didn't you try it first?
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#7
what he ^ said almost 100% And I too found that EMGs are too bright and sterile sounding, and with a tremlo setup they sound worse.
I always wanted them and picked up a neck thru USA Bich ($175 a killer pawn shop deal) with a Kahler and that thing sounds way too thin. When I get around to it passives are going into that. Was thinking about some BKP or those Di martini sig pups.
What the hell!!!
#8
My first concern is your trem. Have you had it professionally set up? I would check that first.

I am not a big fan of active pups. Sounds like at least some of what you describe is characteristic of actives. Try not to be too discouraged and keep playing around with all your settings on your guitar, amp, pedals, etc. Maybe you will find something you like.
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#9
the emg 81 is a ridiculously bright pickup that sounds great in a darker sounding guitar, but can be ear piercing in a bright guitar. you should try switching your pickups around. put the 85 in the bridge and the 81 in the neck. this should be easy since emg's use a quick connect so its probably just one plug to switch them.
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#10
There is no way that a trem on a $1000 Jackson is an unstable piece of shit. I'm calling user error here.

Quote by 14xjake
the emg 81 is a ridiculously bright pickup that sounds great in a darker sounding guitar, but can be ear piercing in a bright guitar. you should try switching your pickups around. put the 85 in the bridge and the 81 in the neck. this should be easy since emg's use a quick connect so its probably just one plug to switch them.


+1. Also, don't be afraid to mess with your amp settings. A totally different guitar to what you were using before is going to warrant some EQing.
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#11
The 81 is a bright pickup to begin with, and has a midrange growl and lots of top end. It seems the low end from the pickup is backed off a bit when compared to a passive, which makes it not sound as thick and heavy when playing by yourself. However in a band/recording situation they cut through the mix rather well and when you downtune it doesn't get lost against the bassist.

Having the treble around 7-8 on a 6505+ is pretty cranked by the way. I'm pretty sure your amp has an active EQ on it, in other words having the knobs all at 5 would be the same as having a regular EQ amp all at 10. <- I could be wrong about that but that's how I've always treated them.
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#13
its not because of the emg's girls its the alder body in the jackson,fyi alder is used in tele's and strat's
alder guitars with 81/85 are only good for cob type powermetal stuff
basswood is darker than alder thats the reason why you like it better
in short return it and get a fixed bridge mahogany guitar
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#14
Quote by deepsal
its not because of the emg's girls its the alder body in the jackson,fyi alder is used in tele's and strat's
alder guitars with 81/85 are only good for cob type powermetal stuff
basswood is darker than alder thats the reason why you like it better
in short return it and get a fixed bridge mahogany guitar

Nice job reading the OP.

Just experiment with the EQ on your amp more. If you still don't like it then try some passive pickups.
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Last edited by FloyDZeD at Mar 3, 2012,
#15
if you had your highs and presence that high on that amp (I use a 6505+ combo, hooked up to a Celestion g12 loaded traynor 4X12), you'll be in for some seriously bright tones!!!!!

depending on the specific speakers in your cab (I found the standard engl cabs brighter than the pro's), you may have to dial the presence back quite a bit to work with EMG's. also, remember that if the resonance control is set too high, your amp will sound really "farty" because the bottom end response will be too aggressive. on top of that, your new guitar will drive the amp harder, meaning you don't need nearly as much gain dialed in as you may think. I run mine at about 11 o'clock and its got plenty of sustain and saturation, without sounding muddy.

so in short, set all your controls to EVEN (noon) and dial around from there starting with the mids. mids are the core character of your tone, so if you get them set right (and no, don't just scoop them and leave them. thats bad!) it should be easier to set everything else.
#16
I don't see how ANYTHING could be too bright in Drop C...
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#17
get an invader not SD's best (probably one of the worst) but the super loud bass on it should level out the brightness of the guitar. I'm jealous of your amp head that's probably the only tube amp I want, because I'm too lazy to replace tubes anyway. Umm Maybe get a blackout in the neck, or '59 or even a JB just for smoother.
#18
Quote by deepsal
its not because of the emg's girls its the alder body in the jackson,fyi alder is used in tele's and strat's
alder guitars with 81/85 are only good for cob type powermetal stuff
basswood is darker than alder thats the reason why you like it better
in short return it and get a fixed bridge mahogany guitar



Alder was used in Teles and Strats because it was a domestic hardwood that Leo got for dirt cheap. Same way with Ash and maple, the other two original Fender woods. Everything about a Strat/Tele was designed with mass production in mind.

With that aside, Alder is pretty neutral in sound with an even response across the board. If anything its got a slight exaggeration in the low mids. Basswood is marginally "warmer" than Alder with more emphasis on the mids.

An 81 is a ceramic pickup with a preamp stuck under it. It's gonna have some bite and top end to it.
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#19
Listen to the guitar unplugged, that'll tell you if the guitar is to blame for it sounding bright.
But yeah EMGs are best suited for mahogany or warmer sounding guitars. If you're playing really heavy stuff down in drop C you want warmth, not brights.

BTW, when you get into the >$6-700ish dollar range, you're money is mostly going towards build quality, not tone. Even a relatively cheap guitar with good tonewoods will sound just as good as a >$1200 dollar guitar, assuming the pickups are the same and of a good quality. But the playability wont be as good.

Quote by dragonkidkoga
get an invader not SD's best (probably one of the worst) but the super loud bass on it should level out the brightness of the guitar. I'm jealous of your amp head that's probably the only tube amp I want, because I'm too lazy to replace tubes anyway. Umm Maybe get a blackout in the neck, or '59 or even a JB just for smoother.


Totally disagree with this. My invader has great clarity in my alder Start. If anything I think it's got a little more mid/high range than bass. It's well balanced with alder. You're certainly entitled to your opinion though.

-Tony
Last edited by X-plorer88 at Mar 3, 2012,
#20
actually i totally get what you're saying. i have a schecter 7 string with emgs and it doesn't sound nearly as heavy and chuggy as my other 6 string schecter when tuned to drop a. my amp, which is a 6505 combo, needs readjusting to make the 7 string sound really gnarly. so my advice to you is to mess with the eq settings.
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