A practice amp is for god's sake just a practice amp. Assuming you live in a household with at least one parent and possibly in an apartment, "bedroom volume" would be where you don't or barely audibly disturb people in the house. When I'm home alone I play much louder than when people are home. And for a tube amp, 5W will be enough in the bedroom or wherever, even if the guy lives at a house and not in an apartment.
Ironic Maiden, how long have you been playing the guitar? In my opinion, you should play with a cheap amp until you are confident in your playing and can make that cheap amp sound good. You'll learn a lot that way. But, if you absolutely must get a practice tube amp for metal then I don't think you can go wrong with a Blackstat HT-5. But look into the HT-5 pedals. A lot of the HT-5 amps is based on the HT-5 pedals, so just check them out.
I didn't want to suggest a Vypyr because the one I have tried I generally disliked. I'm the type of person that don't give a crap if it's transistor, digital, tube, moose or white bat droppings. As long as it sounds GOOD. I tried a few different Vypyrs. While not related, I did really like the Meshuggah preset on a Line 6 Spider I tried a few weeks ago.
When it comes to wattage, I think on a tube amp 5W is enough. 15W on anything else. I think my amp gets pretty damn loud at bedroom level when I have it at 5. I usually play with it on around 3, depending on what time of the day it is. And I mean LOUD. Like, I CANNOT have it at past 3 unless I'm home alone.
I have NOT restrung my Eclipse yet, and I would definitely not go with the same strings on a 24.75" as a 25.5" for lower tunings. But I didn't realize you suggested simply even thicker strings. I'll look into that, but I remember the 13-54 feeling right in my fingers. Except the B string, that one coould/should have been a 56.
Back to pickups. I appreciate suggestions, but do you guys know WHY they sound better? For instance, why should I go with bareknuckle painkillers? What about the Super 2's make the guitar sound more open and less compressed? I know the Super 2 is like a Super Distortion but with like, reversed EQ voicing (it goes like, some bass, a little more mids, and more treble). I think that's part of it? I'd do well with pickups that boost mid and mid-high frequencies?
I feel like I'm coming off as an ass right now. Not my intention at all. But people seem to be generally missing the point. I want to know this: What is it in a pickup that would make a guitar sound good for low tunings, assuming it is a good guitar and has been set up properly for low tunings?
PS: I will not get active pups because I have always preferred passives and do not see the use of the massive output actives provide.
Ironic Maiden my man, what's up?! I'll chime in here:
xicetraex mentioned "practicality of a 5 watt amp". This guy doesn't know what he's talking about, feel free to ignore him. He also mentioned the 6505+ combo. It's a nice amp, bit noisy though. In my opinion, way too big in the bedroom. Remember, this is all tube.
I'm assuming you need a practice amp. You need an amp that sounds as good as possible at as low volumes as possible (or something to that effect). In that respect, the 6505+ is a no go for sure, as cranking up the pre-gain knob on that one will make it noisy (I've tried this on both the head and combo version with different guitars thank-you-very-much). For all intents and purposes, 5W from a tube amp is more than enough for bedroom level. And I've tried it plenty. I like my guitars to sound really warm. I play with Les Pauls and boost mids, I like it fat and rich. I can get GOOD TONES from my shoddy SS amp, believe it or not. I've tried a Laney VC-15 and a Blackstar HT-5 side by side. I liked the Laney more because it was more british voiced and warmer, but the Blackstar is a really good sounding amp in my opinion, and it is more versatile than the Laney. You can DEFINITELY play Megadeth and Dream Theater on them. I have managed some Van Halen with it too, I haven't tried anything softer though. Nice cleans, too.
From own personal experience, I will recommend the Blackstar HT-5. I would peronally choose the Laney over the Blackstar, but I feel the Blackstar nails the sound you are looking for better than the Laney. The only issue is that I've heard (note: HEARD) that the HT-5 has reliability issues.
Wait... are you saying you get better results using the built in on the Macbook than with a microphone? Btw you're only hearing the strings because your amp isn't turned up loud enough to cover it
I use a Shure Beta57 and interface to record. Miles and miles better than what I previously did with cheap direct in methods (not all are, just what I was doing to get by). Doubling tracks, left/right mixing and tracking using multiple amps or even eq settings makes all the difference though.
That's exactly what I'm saying. I've tried turning it up as loud as I can before I start upsetting neighbors... volume at around 5-ish. I'm still working on that.
Well I'll give you that, I'm only using the microphone and then record directly on Garage Band. I've tried various angles and tried tons of variations of distance and height and what not. I might have to crank the amp even more (I have not recorded on volume above 3-4... I know, I know! But even when I've recorded with the built-in at lower volumes it's sounded much better!).
My amp inherently is not particularly good. Might just be that the mic picks all that junk up. I don't know. I'll record tomorrow and you'll be able to hear the difference. I am actually HOPING on making the mic method sound better because while the sound is crap, it is clearer. And I love clear.
It's an XLR to Tele cable. The XLR end goes in to the microphone. Then I have a small 1/4" to 1/8" adapter. The Tele end of that cable goes into the adapter's 1/4" end, and the 1/8" end goes into the laptop. It's not as messy as I make it sound.
amiguels: Could you post a record of you recording with a normal computer microphone, or something to that effect?
I've actually never ever touched my guitars' truss rods. I don't know what they look like, and I can only guess how to see one (unscrew and remove the truss rod cover possibly?). I still wouldn't know how to adjust one. I could probably quite easily look it up. I also have to look up why you'd need to adjust it. I thought that was only necessary if your neck became warped.
I'd just like to chime in and say that these recording methods in my ears are all extremely, extremely inferior to just recording my amp through my Macbook's built-in microphone. There's still some peaks and bass booming I need to EQ out (nothing too big) and you can still hear the strings and my pick even when I'm standing a few feet away, but two tracks, one panned hard to the left and the other panned hard to the right, and it sounds incredibly fat, big and downright kick ass. And that's coming from a cheap 15W SS amp with a cheap 8" built-in speaker.
I'll put up two comparison videos tomorrow. One where I record using my laptop's microphone, and one where I record using a professional recording microphone. You'll hear the (huge) difference.
Have people read through my post properly? I am fully aware of string tension. It was very clearly put out that for a 25.5" neck I used .13-.54 strings as opposed to .10-.46. I know that a baritone will sound difference and better than a regular low tuned guitar with thicker strings. However, setting a guitar up for B standard is $50. Getting a baritone guitar of equal quality will cost me 20 times as much. Maybe when the time comes, I will decide to buy that baritone instead, but that's for another topic.
As for use of amps, I'm using an Ibanez 15W solid state amp. And yes, I can make it sound good. I know that a cheap 8" speaker will sound very inferior to a good 12" speaker, but I've also tried this guitar through a marshall head hooked to a 4x12 cab. It sounded better through the Ibanez.
So, let's get back on track: PICKUPS. For a FTB mahogany body guitar with a 24.75" neck.
Dream Floyd: The question wasn't about me setting it up. As I previously stated, I've done this before (I took it to a shop and they set it up) and I think the wood/shape of that guitar, and the pickups, made the guitar sound a bit muddy and inarticulate.
And yeah, pickups will do a difference. I realize that part of the muddiness comes from the heavy gauge strings on that short neck (a baritone guitar would let me use standard .10-.46 gauge strings). But some of the muddiness is due to the pickups as well. More importantly, the right pickups on the right guitar! I know this because when strung with normal gauge strings, my Eclipse still sounded better than my Jackson. Same bridge pickup, but my Eclipse was just so much better sounding - the Jackson did sound good too, but not as good as the Eclipse (in my opinion anyway).
Back on track: Compare a DiMarzio Super 2, a Bluesbucker and an Air Zone in the neck. Just as an example.
I previously owned a Jackson RR3 that I set up for B standard. Here are the string gauges and what string each one was:
B - .13 F# - .17 D - .26 A - .36 E - .46 B - .54
The guitar had a Seymour Duncan Jazz / JB set in it, and had a 25.5" neck with 22 frets. I thought it was "okay", sounded pretty nice clean but it was very muddy and inarticulate when distorted. Did not really like it.I'm thinking about doing the same thing with my Eclipse sometime in the future - that is, setting it up for B standard. It has a Seymour Duncan '59 / JB set, a 24.75" neck with 22 frets.
Do you think that, for a single cutaway full thickness mahogany body guitar, that those pickups will work? If not, why wouldn't they? What should I consider when wanting to switch to pickups that handle these low tunings better? Clear, articulate tones are important. Just because it's a low tuning doesn't mean I'm going to play brutal metal with it. Which I won't. I should be able to play clean, rock, hardrock and heavy metal. Sort of like my current pickups but with a lower tuning.
Note: Do NOT simply suggest pickups. That does nothing for me. I'd much rather know what it is that makes a certain pickup good or bad for B standard, for instance if the pickup should boost mid/high frequencies or cut lows, what magnet are optimal, and so on and so forth. I don't know much really, hence the topic
Same thing happened to me once, the guy only changed the strings and took out the trem block, then he said 'oh, I'll only charge you $50 instead of $60' >.>
´ Charge me with "only $50" for that job... and I'll charge you with a steam roller. Ass.
Seriously, I'm not guitar savvy. I suck at these things. But this music store owner let me in the workshop where I fiddled with my guitar for an hour or two. I learnt how to change strings PROPERLY, adjust the bridge and intonate my guitar there.
Nah, I haven't promised anything. It's not craigslist, it's something I've only seen around Scandinavian countries. I'm extremely interested in the guitar and I've made that clear to him. Both him and I understand that if the examination passes (in terms of condition) then I really will only buy it if it feels good in my hand and sounds right to my ears. But so far he has been extremely helpful and polite and honest. He's answered all my questions and even thrown in some bits of information that in theory would work AGAINST him getting the guitar sold.
So far it feels right, just gotta plug in and play. It should have Burstbucker Pro's #1 and #2 in them, I need to look those up to see what they're about. Here are a close-up shot of the body:
I will agree with the above statements. Most of the time, it is the amplifier and/or the settings of said amplifier that will be the cause of a bad tone. Note that there's a difference between tone and sound. In this case, bad sound would be something sounding like it's broken or not properly functioning as opposed to just "not sounding good in your ears". Try fiddling A LOT with the EQ of your amplifier. Stand in different angles in relation to the speaker(s).
With that said, no, do not swap pickups. Pickups essentially do not really have their own sound in my opinion, they simply help accentuate your guitar. Different pickups will accentuate different aspects of your guitar and its sound, and they will vary in their ability to do so in a pleasing manner. Rule of thumb: Garbage in, garbage out. If your guitar is a crap guitar then really, no pickups will help it turn into a killer guitar.
Of course I'll try it out and everything, there is no way I'm buying ANY piece of gear without getting my hands on it and trying it first. My question was more regarding when I DO go and try it out. What things should I check for, what questions should I ask, what should I try to keep in mind? There's a lot more to a guitar than meets the eye, and I'm not knowledgeable about all these things. Of course that puts me at a disadvantage no matter what, but the more I know, the less the risks of me making a poor purchase.
I've seen other LP Std Faded around. Each and everyone more expensive than this one, and much uglier. This one; Faded Tobacco Burst. Gotta love it. Diggin' the Zebra pickups, too.
I've been selling a few things to get money for a small tube combo, amps can wait when you find a guitar like this. See, a Standard Faded that has a GOOD-looking finish (as they're very hit or miss, judging from other ugly SF's I've seen) looks better than the regular LP Standard in my opinion. And they're cheaper. This one goes for exactly 10,000 SEK which is about 1,300 USD. I think $1,300 is pretty good. I just might be able to push down the price a hundred or two, we'll see.
I'm really thinking about this. This is nice. This is good. The only problem is, I don't really have the money for it so I might have to borrow from a friend, and then I'll have to take as many shifts as I can to revive my economy, but it'd be damn worth it. The guy bought it in 2006. It's got a 60's neck profile. Comes with certificate of authenticity (or whatever it's called) but I'll ask for a serial number anyway. Also comes with a hardcase. I'll ask for more pictures but he claims it's in mint condition save for a few small scratches on the back of the body.
Anything I should think about when checking in and trying this guitar?
You're not getting the point. I turned him down about the same time I posted the thread. Again, here to discuss what people are high on when they do this stuff My ad had other things in them, it should've been clear from that ad that I'm not a clueless newbie.
Haha, the question wasn't serious, I was just hinting that I wanted to tell him to piss off. Ah well. The point of the thread is to discuss why someone would think to trade two guitars of very different price ranges (and quality) with each other? I'm selling my Jackson for more than I can buy his Kramer brand new from Thomann. Like $100 more.
This dude wants to trade his Kramer for my Jackson. How do I - in a nice way - tell him I simply will not trade a good MIJ guitar for a low-end ugly MII guitar? I won't actually knock the Kramer because I haven't tried it but aside from the terrible Redburst, there is something about wanting to trade your guitar for another that costs more than twice as much that I just don't like.
If this guitar had been in a nice color like white, I would've considered it. I would've slapped on new strings, intonated and adjusted the bridge, and I'd have myself a B standard guitar.
I am planing to buy used, but i live in Norway so putting up a budget would be kind of pointless, put its going to be my secondary amp so preferably not to expensive. About 800 USD used i guess, but that estimate is probably way off considering amps go for different prices in the US and Norway :P
I live in Sweden so prices can't be TOO different. Besides, there's always Thomann.
Okay so, $800 bucks. And you're planning on getting used. Here's my opinion: What the **** are you doing with a 120W tube amp at home? You want to keep that beast in your room but you want to buy a secondary, smaller amp for band practice? Assuming your band also plays the heavy/thrash/metalcore stuff you listed above, that just seems backwards. Get a nice amp you can keep at home, and move the Peavey to the rehearsal room.
I have a feeling justin is simply looking for people who will confirm that he should get what his mind is already set on. There is no way he's going to get a Laney or a Marshall. So just let him buy a Blackstar and be done with it.
No I know how to use them. I just don't like them, at all Of course, with modifications and tweaking with various types of effects, gear, electronics etc. you can make most things sound good but... inherently I am simply not a fan of actives. Well I won't knock stuff I haven't tried. I'll say that I dislike active EMG's, and that the way active pups work do not seem appealing to me.
Is the HT-5 really that low quality? I've heard plenty of good from it. Except for the transformer. I'm wary of that transformer.
Anyway, I've no idea what or how or where you researched, but I'm surprised neither Laney nor Marshall showed up. I think they're both excellent amps, and versatile enough for me (I play clean, blues, rock, hard rock, progressive rock, heavy metal and progressive metal).
Most people who think amps like Laneys are too vintage and not metal enough, are most likely not able to work their stuff properly. Assuming you're a good player, have a decent guitar with good pickups, then all that's left is either boosting, EQ-ing or get the proper speakers. If you were to purchase a Laney, then just boost it with your Bad Monkey, put an EQ-pedal in the FX loops and shape the tone as you please. That way, with the FX loops off, you could move from cleans to blues to rock to 70's and 80's heavy metal. An EQ-pedal like the MXR will have a boost as well, so that boost coupled with the proper EQ-ing will definitely get you enough gain and shape your tone enough to let you play any contemporary metal.
Once again, JCM 2000..................... High gain is overrated, my friend. You only need so much before it gets fizzy and muddy and noisy and inclear. It starts covering up your mistakes. Trust me, you can get a regular Laney LC/VC combo and put any decent overdrive pedal in front of it and you can start shredding. The voicing of the amp might not be your thing, but the amount of gain is there.
Ugly as hell. The EC looks like a rougher, more "metal" version of the Les Paul. Then contrast it with some sleaze/glam rock/metal glitter & spark binding and inlays and... ugh! Just gief Les Paul Standard kthxbai.