#1
Hello everyone,

I have a Squire Stratocaster Sunburst and also a very cheap electric I got for like £100 for a guitar/amp bundle.

However my question comes to when I actually plug my guitar(s) into an amp. I have a Fender Amp (will get the model at some point) or I use Guitar Rig 4 just to play some songs. Usually when I play open E alone or open E and A strings together the sound is absolutely horrible. I set the tone knobs to 10 and 5 and play on the pickup closest to the bridge. Is there anyway to get rid of this horrible distortion while still being able to produce pinch harmonics? I was told the better the gain the better for pinch harmonics.

I do have a question for when I sweep pick (novice level but I'll put that in another forum as it could be a technique issue) but when I sweep the strings make a horrible noise and it sounds distorted rather than a nice clean sweep.

Are these because of the quality of the guitars or have I done something wrong with amp settings?

Sorry for the questions but I'm tired of it sounding awful
Last edited by Syn_Pitts at Dec 3, 2014,
#2
Ummmmm...... Ok if your playing an open E string along with an open A string, of course its gonna sound like crap. Those two open strings played together produce nothing but noise. Tune your big E string down one whole step to D and chug away little man. Thats it, have fun!
Jackson Pro King V
Schecter LE Hellraiser C-1
Schecter Hellraiser V-1
Peavey 6505+
Marshall1960a
Line 6 Wireless G50> Boss TU-3> Dunlop Orignal Crybaby> Ibanez TS-9> MXR Smart Gate> Digitech Turbo Flange> MXR Black Label Chorus> MXR Carbon Copy
#3
your pickups probably arent helping you. squier strats have pretty terrible pickups, and id have to guess they are single coil, which arent so good with high gain. im sure with a better amp and some tweaking you could get a decent sound, but id say live with it until you can afford a better guitar.
Ibanez S7521qm 7 string
Ibanez S771pb
Fender Jaguar HH Special
PRS SE Custom 24 7 string
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
#4
The issue probably doesn't lie in the guitars.
If your amp is a Fender Frontman, you won't get good distortion tones out of it. Also, pinch harmonics won't sound the way you expect through that amp.

In that case, it'd be time for an amp upgrade.

Quote by rtfk101
your pickups probably arent helping you. squier strats have pretty terrible pickups, and id have to guess they are single coil, which arent so good with high gain.

I wholeheartedly disagree. My bet is on the amp as the culprit.

The only Squier guitars with really bad sounding pickups are the Bullet series ones. From the Affinity series upwards, they sound from pretty good to amazing.

Also, with the right amp, a good Squier with single coils can handle high gain just fine, and produce pinch harmonics easily.
Squier "VMC" Stratocaster
PRS SE Singlecut
tc electronic polytune
CMAT MODS Signa Drive
Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina
DIY gaussmarkov Dr. Boogey
EHX Small Clone
Mooer ShimVerb
DIY Beavis Devolt
T-REX Fuel Tank Chameleon
Ampeg GVT52-112
Last edited by Linkerman at Dec 3, 2014,
#5
Quote by rtfk101
your pickups probably arent helping you. squier strats have pretty terrible pickups, and id have to guess they are single coil, which arent so good with high gain. im sure with a better amp and some tweaking you could get a decent sound, but id say live with it until you can afford a better guitar.


The only real trouble with single-coils and distortion is to control the hum. Depending on the character of the pickups, they can sound amazing with distortion. Thus many well known guitarplayers have used pickups aiming to replicate single-coils while being noise free - Paul Gilbert and his Ibanez Fireman is a good example.

I don't think the guitar is the problem. It is probably a playing/technique problem before being an amp problem too, as Guitar Rig 4 is quite good.

My advice to let someone who is an experienced player play with your gear. They'll know if something is wrong with it. Friend, guitar teacher etc. It is very common for unexperienced players to blame their gear when it won't make the sounds they want - I certainly know I did.
"Your signature can not be longer than 250 characters."

How you know you have too many guitars...

Apparently once also known as PonyFan #834553.
#6
You have to "beak in" guitars like that or your tone will hardly even work.

I had a squire and didn't use one of the tone setting because of my guess similar issues.
#7
Quote by Evecin
You have to "beak in" guitars like that or your tone will hardly even work.

I had a squire and didn't use one of the tone setting because of my guess similar issues.

I find that very hard to believe, with an acoustic or classical, well yes of course, but no way is there a break in for an electric guitar (tonally speaking).
#8
So no one is going to tell him to simply check his intonation?
OR to make sure he's accurately in tune?

Or to lower his action at the nut?

You don't have to "beak in" guitars to get them to play correctly, but you may have to set it up correctly.

An Open E and an open A are just fine together if they're in tune. Playing Drop D doesn't change the need to be in tune.

You don't need tons of gain to play pinch harmonics. Folks do this on acoustic guitars, for heaven's sakes. Learn the proper technique and you can do it anywhere.

Buying new pickups isn't going to fix anything. Nor is buying a new amp.

Re-read HomerSGR's post. It's bang on the money.

It's a poor workman that blames his tools.
Last edited by dspellman at Dec 3, 2014,
#9
a single coil by itself will buzz that is the big thing. They are wound to about half the resistance of a humbucker so it's going to be weak sounding regardless as that was how it was designed... i hate bringing up pickups a lot like oh you should upgrade because I've done 100s of pickup swaps... BUT... you need higher output pickups for metal from a strat. There is good single coils out there for metal BUT they are expensive.

some options/ideas
the double rail pickup on ebay for about 6 to 9 american dollars with free shipping there are some with 12k resistance so in theory it's hotter than most stock bridge pickups on guitars I've worked on. It cancels hum too. I put a white set into a mexican strat and it was quiet and way more heavy sounding. Try lower tunings too by the way and make sure the guitar is intonated ((youtube) but besides that a lower tuning you'll get heavier tones too.

option B
a new pickguard with a humbucker in the bridge position
most strats are routed for a humbucker in the bridge. the last squier bullet I worked on had a HSH routing believe it or not.

a new pickguard you can get cheap off of IKNMusic on ebay. It will need to be re-drilled and the electronics swapped which for the most part you can do yourself. Just de-solder the bridge from the switch and snip the ground wire a few millimeters from the blob of solder. The big tip if you're new to soldering is just to solder away from the blob of solder everything else is connected to. Don't make a habit of this though.

however try out some new amps and see what works best. Single coils aren't great for metal and there's a reason guys don't use single coils for say a master of puppets or whatever tone.
#10
Wow firstly thank you for the replies! I do not know how to actually diagnose the issue but I'm willing to learn so could you enlighten me?

Quote by Linkerman
The issue probably doesn't lie in the guitars.
If your amp is a Fender Frontman, you won't get good distortion tones out of it. Also, pinch harmonics won't sound the way you expect through that amp.


It is one of those unfortunately but I haven't used an actual amp in a long time I mainly use guitar rig. If I posted the configurations on the "distortion amp" could someone tell me how to set it, if any, another way so it sounds nicer but with a nice amount of distortion?
#11
I agree with Homer and dspellman. It most likely isn't the guitar, maybe not even the amp. Have someone who's a good guitar player check out your rig and see if it needs any work you don't have the experience to identify. That's the best piece of advice here so far.

Also check the things dspellman mentioned...intonation, action etc.

I've played a Squier Strat for around 15 years, my favorite guitar. Early 90's model I think, pickups sound great and it's excellent for distortion. They varied, but a lot of the Squier guitars did have pretty decent pickups.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#12
FWIW, single-coil strats *can* do just fine with distortion.

Boost pedals were originally designed specifically for strats back when. I have an all-tube preamp that has a built-in boost "for single coil guitars and those that don't have "hot" pickups". The preamp has four channels from clean to fully gained-up, and offers up to 11 tube gain stages (from nine 12 AX7s). It expects a certain incoming level to perform up to snuff, and the built-in boost has LED's that tell you if you need to turn the internal boost on.

Worth noting that single coil pickups (and strats) were responsible for a whole lot of metal before the formula got easy (buy a set of EMGs and a 6505 for your bedroom) and predictable. They still do a surprising amount in-studio, because so many record clean signal and then re-amp the things, where you can do whatever you like to the track including pitch change.