#1
Quote by Zofar
Tone Wise:

Person --> amp --> guitar body wood --> Pickups --> neck wood --> Bridge --> fretboard wood --> strings


I've always been overly obsessed with tone, so I was reading a forum about the order of importance in tone. Granted, the post does state that amp comes before anything (and everyone else in the thread generally agreed) I wanted to discuss guitars. You see your favorite band playing that 3,000 dollar PRS. Do you really need to buy that to sound like them?

Anyways, I have an Epiphone Les Paul, which is made of mahagony, the same kind of wood in Gibsons. So if I wanted to upgrade the pickups to whats in a Gibson, then how far off would I be? Considering the alternative (spending over 1,000 buck) it's gotta be the best option right?

And this discussion goes for any guitar make for any brand. I basically want to talk about how good you can make a cheap guitar sound, and what are some guitars where you just have to break down and buy the real thing?

Any other tips about cheap easy ways to improve your tone are welcome.
#2
Well my Washburn which was £300 ($600 or so) is better than any gibsons I've played so I guess it's just in design and pick-ups, if I was you I wouldn't buy Gibson pick-ups, they are overpriced to hell, I find Seymour Duncans are a perfect match for mahogany guitars.
#3
A few things were missed on that list.

Like neck-joint (an all mahagony set-neck guitar will sound fairly different than an all mahagony guitar with a bolt-on)

General quality matters too. You think all mahagony sounds the same?

You missed electronics (pots, wiring, active/passive)
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#4
try seymour duncan screaming demon pups. i put them in my mexican hss strat and i get great tone for everything from blues to metal
#5
I just checked the prices of Seymor Duncans and Gibson pickups. The difference is only like 60 bucks. And if the pickups are that important it seems like a good choice.

And as for Doodleface's post, he has a good point. There are a lot of other things about the guitar. So how much better is the wood in a gisbon?

Basically what I'm saying is this: A Gibson Les Paul Standard is 2,000 bucks. My Epiphone was 500. How much can I spend to improve it? 300 dollars or more? After I've spent 800 bucks on it, is it not a way better deal than the 2,000 someone spent on the real thing?
#6
The point is that Gibson's are worse that Duncan's pick-ups. You are only paying for the name which is why it is so overpriced.
#7
Quote by Third3ye
I just checked the prices of Seymor Duncans and Gibson pickups. The difference is only like 60 bucks. And if the pickups are that important it seems like a good choice.

And as for Doodleface's post, he has a good point. There are a lot of other things about the guitar. So how much better is the wood in a gisbon?

Basically what I'm saying is this: A Gibson Les Paul Standard is 2,000 bucks. My Epiphone was 500. How much can I spend to improve it? 300 dollars or more? After I've spent 800 bucks on it, is it not a way better deal than the 2,000 someone spent on the real thing?

I think you're right. I think that if you can play really well and have played a lot of guitars. then, you might hear the difference. it also has got a lot to do with the setup I think. especially the playability.
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Last edited by Farether at Apr 13, 2008,
#8
i bought a cheap warlock and its still got the same pick ups it had in it when i bought it but it sounds great. the only change i've made to it is that i put some gauge 11's dimebag signature strings on it and through the marshall mg100dfx i can get a powerful metal tone (very much like machine head) or i can get a nice heavy rock/blues tone (like alter bridge) but with that comes sacrifice, the clean channel (to me) sounds really cheap
#9
Quote by liam1107
i bought a cheap warlock and its still got the same pick ups it had in it when i bought it but it sounds great. the only change i've made to it is that i put some gauge 11's dimebag signature strings on it and through the marshall mg100dfx i can get a powerful metal tone (very much like machine head) or i can get a nice heavy rock/blues tone (like alter bridge) but with that comes sacrifice, the clean channel (to me) sounds really cheap


#10
what the hells wrong with that, if it sounds good then go with it, no point throwing money at something way outta your price range if what you've got sounds good
#11
Quote by liam1107
i bought a cheap warlock and its still got the same pick ups it had in it when i bought it but it sounds great. the only change i've made to it is that i put some gauge 11's dimebag signature strings on it and through the marshall mg100dfx i can get a powerful metal tone (very much like machine head) or i can get a nice heavy rock/blues tone (like alter bridge) but with that comes sacrifice, the clean channel (to me) sounds really cheap


Nice. But would you say it's enough quality to play big shows or record a good song?

I didn't really mean to talk about my situation specifically, that was just an example. But I think I will look into those seymor duncans if it's only some 70 dollars.

Lets just say hypothetically, I'm a guitarist who wants to sound like the national touring big timing bands. What's the cheapest way as far as the guitar goes to sound like them? Someone mentioned Duncans are a good combo for mahagony. I'm looking for more info like that. Just general comments on wood qualities, pickups, and alternative guitar brands that can be made to sound like the expensive ones.
#12
As long as you spend a decent amount of money- I'd say over $600 or so- and get a guitar with the body wood and shape that you want, you can change the pick-ups or whatever and get a perfect guitar.

And Slash uses Seymour Duncans in his Gibsons, they are great quality.
#13
Why is everyone obbcessed with great tone which apparently is so pure Valve amps and expensive guitars and pups. Tbh it dosen't matter that much and if you can get your gear to respond to how you want it to then its fine. as long as it mildly decent and epihones dont exactly sound terrible and are decent guitars.
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#14
ok a few pieces of information like that then, right well when i bought my warlock (second hand) it had emg's in it, still does and the only thing to say is that they are brilliant.
the dimebag signature strings are the nicest strings i've played, they are smooth and have a nice, errmmm, twang we'll call it, beautiful for harmonics as well
also another piece of advice, i discovered this a few days ago, never ever EVER!!! under any circumstances try to perform guitar surgery by taking jackson pick-ups and try to put them in a bc rich, that was fun but didnt work
good times
#15
Quote by liam1107
i bought a cheap warlock and its still got the same pick ups it had in it when i bought it but it sounds great. the only change i've made to it is that i put some gauge 11's dimebag signature strings on it and through the marshall mg100dfx i can get a powerful metal tone (very much like machine head) or i can get a nice heavy rock/blues tone (like alter bridge) but with that comes sacrifice, the clean channel (to me) sounds really cheap

Silly troll is silly.
#16
Quote by geetar_alex
Why is everyone obbcessed with great tone which apparently is so pure Valve amps and expensive guitars and pups. Tbh it dosen't matter that much and if you can get your gear to respond to how you want it to then its fine. as long as it mildly decent and epihones dont exactly sound terrible and are decent guitars.


Well in my case, I just am. I think tone is at least 25% of how good you are. Maybe even up to 50%. But don't jump to flame me too much for that statement, like the original quote said, the player is the most important thing in tone and I totally agree. I'm not trying to argue that you gotta spend thousands to be a good artist.

Am I being irrational about tone? Maybe. I hear songs off the album and I want to sound like that. I don't like playing my favorite songs if I can't get the tone right. I haven't been to a lot of rock concerts, so I can't really make a call on how good they sound live. So maybe the only reason they sound so good on the record is because sound engineers take it and spend days on it to make it that way, and I'm just kidding myself thinking I can play that way. Or maybe it's because I'm not fretting notes right?

As far as IF tone is important. I don't really want to argue it here. I just want to discuss how to sound like a pro as far as guitar is concerned. Maybe I'll do an amp one later. I'm beginning to think my amp is the biggest tone killer in my gear.
#17
pickups and body wood should be switched IMO
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Also caught her playing fallout boy on my guitar, changed my strings and cleaned it the next day.
#18
Its possible. The good G-400s are known to be on par with some gibsons when they get their electronics upgraded.
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#19
really, the main factor to tone (especially when listening to a recording) is the production, a good producer or mastering engineer can make any **** amp sound good, so the equipment is just a part of it. When hearing live or on a cd, you need to bear in mind that its all been extensively mixed to get that sound. (excluding small bands who dont hav a desk rig) Good guitar gear is just a way of getting closer.