#1
I currently use a Basswood RG8 but the sound is a little lightweight I find going through a Kemper. I'm not sure how to define it but it lacks thickness and real heaviness. The pickups in there are Bareknuckle Juggernauts.

Do people think this is down to the wood or am I looking at the wrong thing?

Thanks
#2
Wood is a long, long, long way down the list of things to care about, especially since you're using what I assume is whole bunch of distortion.

You haven't given us a ton of information, but the first few things I'd suspect would be whatever you're using to amplify the Kemper, maybe a proper setup on the guitar if it hasn't had one in a long while, and then just a bunch of deep editing on the Kemper. Poke around some of the user groups, grab some presets, mess around. Try using less gain than you think you need, that's a common early mistake.

With a proper power amp/speaker, the Kemper should be able to make just about anything sound thick and heavy. Maybe the guitar just sucks, it certainly happens, but I'd suspect a lot of other things before assuming it was the instrument itself.
#3
not wood issue at all. more than likely it's an amp setup problem. now are you playing alone or using this in a band? often what doesn't sound thick sitting at home fits in a band situation really well and sounds full in a band context. Roc has some good points worth exploring
#4
There’s at least thirty years of metal bands getting thick and heavy sound from basswood guitars. What kind of sound are you trying to get and what are you modeling with that Kemper?
#5
I wouldn't discount the wood being the issue. Can you test the Kemper with someone else's guitar?
Last edited by dthmtl3 at Nov 20, 2015,
#7
I'm a relatively amateur guitarist yet have seen this kind of thing all across the internet. I'm a firm believer in the fact that if you play electric guitar. Strings, choice of amplifier, and lastly pick-ups in that order are vastly more important in determining the type of sound a person is seeking. Wood is not the issue.
#10
Quote by Tony Done
Another vote here for not worrying about the wood.


Same.
#11
I'm using some metal profiles of Rectifiers, EVH and other amps created by people who seem to be respected in the genre (Lasse Lammert, Keith Merrow). To be fair it's a cheapo guitar which I picked up as it looked really nice in blue and then whacked expensive pickups in. Probably a r****d move I was short of cash and desperate for a guitar, shoulda held out and saved up for something better.

I did own an Ibanez Apex 2 with a mahogany body but never tried that with the Kemper.

I was sort of thinking it wasn't the wood as I know metal heads use basswood, but wanted confirmation from people who know about this s**t.

Cheers will keep tweaking, by the way I'm going through studio monitors and headphones and the recordings sound weak on both, I double track (play each guitar part twice) with the gain down which should add to the thickness.

I was also thinking it's the Juggernauts in combination with Basswood? Listening to Periphery's last stuff they have a sort of thinnish honky sound - I know Misha Mansoor uses these.

Cheers for the responses.
#12
I do belive in tonewoods, mostly because of the weight of the guitar. But its such a minor diffrence and the kemper can do so much that you should be able to find a setting that works for you with any guitar. If you cant get it to sound good i recomend looking into new speakers or maybe new pickups.
#13
Quote by Tony Done
^^^^ This vid isn't available. If it is one of those that just compares a couple of guitars, it is meaningless without literally mountains of corroborating evidence. And, statistically, you can only prove things are different, not that they are the same.

https://youtu.be/svmOQuNC1Uw

The link was mistyped. It's not just a comparison of different guitars, in fact it's probably the closest anyone's done to a genuinely scientific test of tonewoods. It is, however, a very long video, so will probably be replacing movie night if you care enough to watch it.
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#14
Check out SinMix profiles. He has a free pack with some profiles that absolutely slay. His producer pack is worth it as well, I've heard.

What kind of sound are you going for here? There's actually profiles of the Axe-FX patches Periphery uses out there (since you mentioned Misha). They sound killer as well.
#15
Quote by K33nbl4d3


The link was mistyped. It's not just a comparison of different guitars, in fact it's probably the closest anyone's done to a genuinely scientific test of tonewoods. It is, however, a very long video, so will probably be replacing movie night if you care enough to watch it.


Cheers, I'll sit through it some time.
#16
Again I will say that measurement equipment will itself exhibit differences in tone in theory, *if* an experiment were ever conducted with sufficient control for the results to have meaning for such a comparison. BUT, for humans to simply look at these results with our eyes (spectrum analysis results showing relative harmonic content when the test conditions are *identical*) and draw any conclusions about the influence of wood in the tone is not realistic.

I have seen oscilloscope traces of electric guitar outputs, and looked at a spectrum analyzer display of the same. It changes *so* much for each time I pick the string - on the same guitar - that there is no hope of saying "that wood made a difference" or not. If I cannot get a meaningful result that is repeatable for the *same* guitar, how on Earth could I make any comparison between two different guitars using these techniques?

Whether it is guitar tone or the taste of fine wine, we cannot place nearly the same faith in our science as we can in our senses.

Having said that, I agree with ROC8995 that there are *many* other much more influential factors in the guitar tone than the wood especially if there is a lot of distortion.
#17
Speakers could be an issue too, the best sounding amp in the world is not going to sound good coming through sh*tty speakers, a speaker upgrade can make a mediocre sounding amp sound much better on the converse crappy speaker will make a great amp sound bad!


+1 on it not being the wood.
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#18
string thickness? of course, thicker strings will help. use mids and turn down the gain a notch from where you have it?

use 1 set heavier strings than you normally do. if not, then get a heavy bottom / hybrid set.
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#19
Actually I've sorted it by a) turning the gain down, b) increasing the bass to +2 and c) ensuring there's a well recorded phat bass guitar part down.

So actually just tweaking and nothing to do with the wood.

That said I've started getting insane gas for this mahogany Prestige RG3727FZ..

#20
Amp/speakers/cab constriction and operator have more effect on overall tone then the guitars wood in the long run.
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#22
Quote by Tony Done
^^^And strings.


Strings are questionable. you can get a heavy tone out of 8's.The only advantage of heavy strings are bragging rights you use steel cable as string and you can beat the crap out of them before you get buzz from hitting them too hard.
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#24
Quote by Bhaok
Strings are questionable. you can get a heavy tone out of 8's.The only advantage of heavy strings are bragging rights you use steel cable as string and you can beat the crap out of them before you get buzz from hitting them too hard.

I would argue that the latter point is somewhat significant. On 8's, 9's or 10's if you're sloppy like me, the low E is prone to sound out of tune when you play the open string, whereas 11's (or thicker if you're tougher/use a shorter scale length than me) do let you thwack the strings a bit more convincingly. I do think lighter strings are probably more sensible for metal, though.

Magic can be made with 7's, after all:


Anyway, that's possible slightly off-topic. Absolutely true that replacing an old set of strings or going for a different type can dramatically alter your tone.

OP, I think by this point most of us have accepted that you don't need a reason to want a new guitar
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#25
Quote by K33nbl4d3


OP, I think by this point most of us have accepted that you don't need a reason to want a new guitar