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Blues SRV using ESP LTD EC 600 and powercab+


Algomas
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Does any one have a similar setup and any luck with a fat blues tone?
Whatever I try it still sounds "fat" or " fake". I even tried a follow along youtube guide and already I heard a big difference with only the amp in place (video had no pc btw).

I'm lost..I'm starting to think my guitar is rubbish and can only play metal..
Tips any one?

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2 hours ago, Algomas said:

Does any one have a similar setup and any luck with a fat blues tone?
Whatever I try it still sounds "fat" or " fake". I even tried a follow along youtube guide and already I heard a big difference with only the amp in place (video had no pc btw).

I'm lost..I'm starting to think my guitar is rubbish and can only play metal..
Tips any one?

 

Well from what I can see from 3 seconds of googling, that fiddle is basically a LP design with what I imagine are fairly high output humbuckers... trying to get a convincing Texas blues Strat tone from it will be difficult, if not impossible. Does that make it "rubbish"? No. There's nothing "wrong" with the instrument, per se... it's just geared towards a different sound, for different genres of music. 

 

The various styles of electric guitars exist for a reason... they don't all sound alike. If you could get every conceivable tone from any guitar on earth, then we'd all own one instrument, you'd never have to hide the latest acquisition from your wife, and the Variax wouldn't exist because there would be no need for it. Want to sound like SRV? Get yourself a nice Strat...

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I agree on the guitar notes above....if you want to explore some things like I did.  3Sigma has some 'guitar' IR's that you put at the beginning of your chain that allow your guitar to 'sound' like another type (Strat, Tele, PRS etc).  Are they great....no?  Would they record well....I dont think so.  Did they work for live use in the clubs I play....sure.  However there was a strange artifact in the attack of the notes that I didnt like and stopped using them.  

 

Try those if you want, its really just an elaborate EQ before everything else in your preset, but its fun to explore.

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I tried really hard to nail those tones myself. It never panned out until I got myself a strat. You will never get that glassy, thick neck pickup tone from a strat out of an LP style with Humbuckers. Even if you can split/tap. The good news is you can pick up a Mexi strat for a few hundred bucks. That's what I did. I ended up putting some Fender 57/61 pups in it but the stock pups will get you close.

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1 hour ago, Algomas said:

Cool thanks for the info so far. 
is there a guitar that sounds great on rock, metal and blues? Then I can think about selling mine for one. Maybe a satriani? Or prs?

 

There is no magic bullet, no. And when you're trying to emulate a specific sound, invariably there's always a right tool for the job, and others that just aren't gonna cut it. You could try and plant tulips with payloader... but it won't end well.

 

Like I said above... if there was one guitar that you could buy that would cover every tone and genre there is equally well, we'd all know what it is, and everybody would own it. You're looking for an all-in-one solution that doesn't exist. Currently I own 11 guitars, and it's not because I'm filthy rich or I wanted one in every color of the rainbow... they all serve a purpose. And that number is relatively modest compared to some guys I've played with over the years. Some see more playing time than others, but they all get used.

 

It's not just an enormous coincidence that country guys are all playing Teles, that the Texas blues players gravitate towards Strats, and the hard rock and metal players are shredding on something with a pair of humbuckers. The only thing that will reliably sound like a Strat, is a Strat...

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8 hours ago, Algomas said:

How about a variax?

 

Opinions about the Variax are all over the map. It does some things well, and others leave much to be desired. Obviously it's a tech-dependent product which relies heavily everything working "just so". They are prone to strange quirks (search "piezo quack") that some players experience and some don't...imho, one's individual playing technique and pick attack are a huge part of whether or not not you'll have issues. In short, some guys take to them and think they're wonderful, and others just don't bond with them at all, and they end up on Reverb or eBay.

 

I was quite enamored with mine initially, but as I put more and more time in with it, it's limitations became more obvious, and I seldom play it now. They're not "bad" instruments, but due to the technology's inherent limitations, they tend to require a great deal of tweaking with the edit software to get whatever sound(s) you're after. The odds of being thrilled with it right out of the box are slim to none...took me quite a while to dial it in before I was happy.

 

It's also worth considering that the current Variax generation is more than 10 years old at this point, there have been no firmware updates in at least 5 or 6 years, and some guys are starting to report that the edit software is not working on some newer operating systems. The smart money says that whatever the next Variax iteration will be is probably not far off, though exactly when is anybody's guess.

 

Bottom line is you have to look at it as a product with a finite lifespan (which has essential already been reached as far as I'm concerned), because sooner or later the tech side of it won't be supported or developed anymore...that's just the reality of the marketplace. There's also the very real possibility that you'll pick it up one day and something will have stopped working on the modeling side, and  you might not be able to fix it yourself. Mine still works after nearly 8 years, but the hardware and/or software can and does fail sometimes. But any other guitar you fall in love with you can take to the grave, and any problems it might develop along the way will be much more readily solved.

 

Here's what it boils down to: I've never met a serious guitar player...working pro, or passionate hobbyist who never plays outside his bedroom...who owned just one guitar. I honestly don't think that guy exists. Hell, my 74 year old classical guitar playing mother owns four instruments. You're not gonna find one be-all, end-all axe that will do everything you want in spectacular fashion...nothing in life is that versatile. A Prius and a Lamborghini will both get you to work, but only one can do it at 200 mph... similarly, you can't take the twang out of a Tele or put a Les Paul's bite into a Strat. There just ain't no "one size fits all", no matter what the brochure says.

 

Go shopping...new guitars are fun, and the economy needs all the help it can get. And don't sell off what you've got before you figure out if you like the new one, or you'll be back to square one.

 

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13 hours ago, Algomas said:

How about a variax?

 

Yes - they can sure get close enough for live work, but are not for everyone.

 

They work best once you know how to tune the models to your taste, or can find good patches, there are a lot out there.

 

Best of all, with a Helix you can change guitar and/or tuning with a patch change or within a patch with snapshots (you can also control other variax parameters).

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All of this in the thread is true.

 

however, also, there are those guitarists who play nearly exclusively one guitar and are very versatile.  Clapton, sure he started with a 335 and got famous on one, but moved to a strat shortly after and never went back (Except for occasional variations for fun).  Very versatile, played in all kinds of different groups and styles of music.  SRV actually had a very versatile tone, all from a strat... listen to him to jazz or soft ballads or screaming heavy wild speed playing or texas flood style SRV tones.  So did hendrix, for that matter... super versatile tones (nearly) all from a strat.

 

But then, ZZ Top is also texas blues (if you ignore their era of sequenced synth backing tracks, at least).  And Billy made nearly all of his greatest sounds on his les paul named "Pearly Gates" (so famous that you can buy copies of his pickups).  His tone is just as intense as SRV's, although without the ridiculous speed and dexterity of course, no offense to Mr. Gibbons - a truly brilliant musician, but there was only one SRV.

 

Another super crazy brilliant guitar playing legend, Jeff Beck, did the album Blow by Blow with his les paul, and used a pick often.  Then he moved to strats (with finger picking exclusively) and never moved back. He sounded INCREDIBLE on both axes, even though they are wildly different instruments, and completely different right hand technique used as he moved along with his albums... and for a guy who's brilliant and original with a strat's whammy bar, when he played his les paul you could swear he used a whammy but he didn't... he was just that incredibly good.

 

With a great instrument, a great tone, the right pickups, and the right strings... plugged into the right amp setup properly, you can get all kinds of awesome tones.

 

With my own les paul I have a coil split setup (and several other custom pickup settings, not to mention a top mounted floyd rose), and I can get close enough to the neck single coil of a strat that lots of people have been fooled when listening to my recordings.  But I cannot get the 2 and 4 quack positions out of it at all.  For that I need a real strat, although I honestly far prefer playing superstrats like my vintage ibanez RG, which I've coil split and sounds amazingly like a strat, and with the flick of a switch sounds like a metal guitar.  But it can't quite sound like a les paul - close, but no cigar.

 

Funny things, guitar tones.

 

I do think you need a coil split on your guitar though, if the pickups can be split.  If not, then replacing pickups is probably not worth it for the money unless you love that particular guitar, so I'd look at some other type of versatile super strat that has HSH pickups (2 humbuckers with a single in the middle) and a coil split mode.  Higher end ibanez RG models do that for positions 2/3/4, whiel leaving 1 and 5 and a single humbucker in neck or bridge position.  Makes it very versatile, but I love the sound of a single coil neck, and I also love a telecaster style neck and bridge both single coils together..... and with a super switch or a couple of extra switches added on manually you can get there.  But you also need very nice pickups that sound good both split and hb.  Mine has 1991 stock ibanez/dimarzio USA pickups which are incredible, but of course it's a 1991 instrument also (Japan/USA built, that weird era when they finished assembly in the USA plants and did fit/finish in USA also for the rg7XX series).

 

So yea, probably your guitar itself.  And for what it's worth, stratocasters have been used for everything from jazz to heavy metal since day one... so don't write off the 3 single coils as being only good for texas blues.  And they're not the only way to get it, but they SURE do sound good for that stuff.

 

Cheers

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10 hours ago, donkelley said:

And for what it's worth, stratocasters have been used for everything from jazz to heavy metal since day one... so don't write off the 3 single coils as being only good for texas blues.

 

This is true...Yngwie has been playing Strats forever, and it's glaringly obvious... you only need about 2 seconds of listening to tell that it's a Strat, and that was my whole point. Each style of instrument has a tonal character that you couldn't remove with a wizard hat and magic wand. You can try to mimic other guitars by swapping pickups or coil-tapping existing ones, etc... but the results are hit and miss. In my experience, mostly "miss". My most recent acquisition is an Epi LP that's coil-tapped. It's a perfectly usable single coil tone, but you'll never wring those really glassy, clean Strat sounds out of it. It's just not there, and that's OK.

 

And it's equally true that you can play any genre of music on any guitar and get by... but the OP seems convinced that somewhere in the wild there's one magical instrument that will enable him to convincingly recreate a wide variety of very specific tones with pinpoint accuracy, and he'll never want for anything else.... and that's a totally unrealistic expectation, and a loooooooong wait for a train that ain't coming.

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I didn't get the feeling that "the OP seems convinced that somewhere in the wild there's one magical instrument that will enable him to convincingly recreate a wide variety of very specific tones with pinpoint accuracy".

 

Just sayin'

 

I got the feeling that he's wondering how to get the srv style tone, and isn't experienced with different guitars yet having only the one guitar, which is fine but definitely less of a character guitar than a strat is, or a les paul for that matter.

 

OP, keep in mind that SRV played a dumble amp with a wah and a tube screamer on his first album.  He also played very specific fender amps much of his life, and that sort of thing definitely contributes to your tone as well.  You DO need single coil pickups to nail the tone, though, for sure, an ideally 3 of them with a 5 way switch.

 

Eric Johnson plays strats and plays es335s.  He sounds like him, with his tone.

 

The guy wants to play texas blues.  I mentioned billy gibbons, legendary for his texas blues tone.   Most of his great work was done on a les paul.  He's also worked on strats and on telecasters a ton.  He always sounds like Billy Gibbons.

 

If you want to sound like SRV, you DO need a strat, or something close.  I can get VERY CLOSE with my ibanez RG with the pickups split.  Like, so close that it's hard to tell.  It's not as shiny as a strat, but that's due to wood and build design of the instrument, and also due to the pickups I use.  But I mean, superstrats are strat designs with tons of improvements and changes from the norm, and they can be brought back into the sound of a strat without much difficulty.

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Oh, and avoid a variax if you're looking for a great guitar as your only instrument.  I owned one and used it professionally for soundtrack recording since it could cop certain famous guitar sounds when I was rerecording famous guitar parts.  But it's not a great experience to play, and after a few weeks you'll regret it as your only instrument, unless you get one that has stratocaster pickups for real, since those are what the variax is the worst at copping in a musical, expressive way.

 

 

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3 hours ago, donkelley said:

I didn't get the feeling that "the OP seems convinced that somewhere in the wild there's one magical instrument that will enable him to convincingly recreate a wide variety of very specific tones with pinpoint accuracy".

 

 

Well here's what he asked:

 

On 1/22/2021 at 5:44 PM, Algomas said:


is there a guitar that sounds great on rock, metal and blues?

 

And after each response, he kept coming back with "what about a Satriani, a PRS, a Variax?". Now perhaps I'm mistaken, and if so, so be it. But to me this implies two things:

 

1) For reasons unknown, he's really hell bent on having just one instrument.

2) He wants this one unicorn of a guitar to fulfill all his wants and needs, to the point where he'll never be jonesing for something else.

 

Having been at this a good while now, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that such a thoroughly unrealistic expectation, coupled with a self-imposed one guitar limit, is almost certain to end in disappointment. Because no matter what he picks, it'll be better at some things than others...c'mon, there's a reason you'll never see James Hetfield on stage weilding a vintage Tele, and it's not just because it would be a weird aesthetic, lol. That's all I was trying to convey... that, and the fact that using the right tool for the right job just makes life a whole lot easier. Then you don't have to settle for "close enough".

 

Plus, how would you not get bored to death playing the same guitar all the time? I'd pull what's left of my hair out if I had only one option at my disposal...;)

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6 hours ago, cruisinon2 said:

 

Well here's what he asked:

 

 

And after each response, he kept coming back with "what about a Satriani, a PRS, a Variax?". Now perhaps I'm mistaken, and if so, so be it. But to me this implies two things:

 

1) For reasons unknown, he's really hell bent on having just one instrument.

2) He wants this one unicorn of a guitar to fulfill all his wants and needs, to the point where he'll never be jonesing for something else.

 

Having been at this a good while now, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that such a thoroughly unrealistic expectation, coupled with a self-imposed one guitar limit, is almost certain to end in disappointment. Because no matter what he picks, it'll be better at some things than others...c'mon, there's a reason you'll never see James Hetfield on stage weilding a vintage Tele, and it's not just because it would be a weird aesthetic, lol. That's all I was trying to convey... that, and the fact that using the right tool for the right job just makes life a whole lot easier. Then you don't have to settle for "close enough".

 

Plus, how would you not get bored to death playing the same guitar all the time? I'd pull what's left of my hair out if I had only one option at my disposal...;)

That makes a lot more sense, thanks for explaining it.  I don't get the sense that he's hell bent on anything other than the fact that lots of us can only afford one decent guitar.  I only had one good guitar for many years, as a professional.  It can get the job done just fine.  Again - with a GOOD guitar, that is setup for versatile wiring, you can get a lot of the strat or les paul or HSH superstrat tones.  You can't really get good 2/4 tones on anything ohter than a split coil HSH or a strat, though.  That's why I don't just play my les paul.  I also play my RG. 

 

And yes, you're right.  If you ever get to the point where you need to cop strat and Les Paul type sounds, then you need both.  If you ever do metal then you should at least consider high output pickups (although I've always preferred more classic output humbuckers with boost pedals and EQ changes when I do metal).

 

This is why I personally own a superstrat and a les paul.

 

But I played for a long long time professionally without a strat or a superstrat around.  It can be done.  And this brings us back on topic:

 

What helix choices can he do, as well as a guitar swap that gives him as much versatility to do texas blues as well as other styles?

 

I tried to suggest some things, and other folks have too.

 

So with only one guitar, let's help the guy out!

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On 1/25/2021 at 5:51 AM, donkelley said:

Oh, and avoid a variax if you're looking for a great guitar as your only instrument.  I owned one and used it professionally for soundtrack recording since it could cop certain famous guitar sounds when I was rerecording famous guitar parts.  But it's not a great experience to play, and after a few weeks you'll regret it as your only instrument, unless you get one that has stratocaster pickups for real, since those are what the variax is the worst at copping in a musical, expressive way.

 

 

 

As a long time Fender player, I would have agreed with your statement had I only ever used the JTV 59s I've owned. Loved the versitility, could never het my hands or heart to enjoy them. I now own 2 Standrards and would happily puchase more. I had them plekk'd and locking self trimming tuners and bone nuts put on them, and they play as well as (if not better) than any fender I've owned. With carefully chosen and modified model banks they more than cater for a range of strat, tele, and gibson tones, with the versitility of adding acoustic, and other tones and custom tunings.

 

Perhaps I'm a fanboy, but for a single guitar that can achive the tones I need (rather than esotieric tones I might like - which an audience really wont give a ship about) that is emminently playable - then yes a variax is fine.

 

I'm simply not interested in having a library of expensive bits of wood, or bragging rights any more - been there, done it. Must be getting old :)

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