#1
I got a Dean V Black Gold off of ebay today and it sounds a bit dull, the strings aren't ringing out as much as my Schecter C1 Exotic Star when unplugged and this causes a difference when plugged in as well.

One way I was told to judge if a guitar is good that has stuck with me is that if it sounds good unplugged then is a good guitar. I had the same problem with the Ibanez ic300 that I used to have. Even when I put new strings on it sounded a bit better but it is still not as bright as my Schecter. It sounded a bit dead and lifeless.

Originally I thought it was because the Ibanez was just made of cheaper wood but the Dean is basically the same as the Schecter (mahogany body, set mahogany neck) the differences are that the Schecter has a quilted maple top and an ebony fretboard and the Dean has a flamed maple top and a rosewood fretboard.

So why does the Dean not sound as good? (The top nut on the Dean looks quite cheap compared to the rest of it.)

Can it be fixed? Should I just sell it and look for something different (I got it second had for a decent price so I won't lose much (if anything) if I resell it)
#2
How far are pups from the strings. If their too far away it might have something to do with it
#3
Wouldn't be the pickups if you're having the issue unplugged. If the strings are new, you might look at the action; if the strings are too low they won't ring out as well. Does it resonate in the body when you strum unplugged? The brightness plugged in could have to do with the pickups, but if it feels dead unplugged you may need to set it up.
OffsetOffset
#4
Quote by SteveHOC
Wouldn't be the pickups if you're having the issue unplugged. If the strings are new, you might look at the action; if the strings are too low they won't ring out as well. Does it resonate in the body when you strum unplugged? The brightness plugged in could have to do with the pickups, but if it feels dead unplugged you may need to set it up.

Unless you have the pickups so high the magnets are interfering with string vibrations
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#5
1. make sure pickup magnets aren't messing with the strings
(should be 1/8 – 3/32 on the treble side and 5/32 – 1/8 on the bass side)

2. Make sure the strings are new and not old/worn out

3. Make sure the string radius is matched to the neck radius
(should be around 12" on that guitar, printout radius gauges HERE)

4. Make sure the action and neck relief is adjusted properly
(action should be 4/64th on bass side, 3/64th on treble side @17th fret)
(relief should be 0.4-.0.6 @7th fret with 1st and 17th fret held down)

5. Make sure there are no high frets or humps in the neck - especially around the neck joint
(use a short piece of a credit card or something similar to see if it rocks on the frets. it should be solid)

If you are still having problems.... send the guitar to a tech.
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Last edited by stonyman65 at Mar 12, 2013,
#6
Sorry to break it to you but your dean might just be a somewhat un-resonant chunk of mahogany and it's bad luck. Whereas you might have just lucked out with your schecter. It's the way of production guitars, I have 4 ibanez rg550/570s and they are essentially identical as far as specs go, but some sound better unplugged than others, just the luck of the basswood from production run to production run.
#7
It's not necessarily true that if a guitar sounds good unplugged it's a good guitar, though a lot of people say this. My PRS is pretty mediocre without an amp. The body resonates well, but it's quiet, tinny and lacks sustain. Plugged in it's a monster. My squier strat sounds pretty good unplugged. It's actually the guitar I teach lessons with. It sounds meh through an amp.

That being said, there's some good advice in this thread about pickup height. You might also consider a set up. Some guitars need different set ups.
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#8
Quote by Artemis Entreri
It's not necessarily true that if a guitar sounds good unplugged it's a good guitar, though a lot of people say this. My PRS is pretty mediocre without an amp. The body resonates well, but it's quiet, tinny and lacks sustain. Plugged in it's a monster. My squier strat sounds pretty good unplugged. It's actually the guitar I teach lessons with. It sounds meh through an amp.


I'll agree wholeheartedly with this dude.
As far as I'm concerned, you will be playing your electric guitar through some kind of amp, and when it comes down to it the pickups+the amp itself will have the biggest factor on how it sounds when plugged in.

If you have a poor amp, there isn't much that can be done to improve your tone (it is most def a limiting factor).

A really good amp will show up poor sounding guitars and let great guitars shine.
#9
Do the intonation! A higher quality bridge may help liven up the sound.

IMHO there's not much truth to that "unplugged sound" thing. Electric guitars do not sound good unplugged, they sound good through a big loud amplifier, that's what they are made for. Judge it by the plugged in sound of course!!